Simon 3 - Sensor Problem?


  #1  
Old 03-12-07, 04:51 PM
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Simon 3 - Sensor Problem?

First time post here -- excellent site, folks!

My problem:

I have a Simon 3 system and am currently inside of a monitoring contract with ADT for the next few months. A couple of days ago, one of my sensors yielded a 'sensor failure' warning and, as such, ADT called to let me know. ADT suggested that it was probably a battery failure considering that the batteries have been in place since early 2004. I finally made it out to buy a new battery today and replaced the old.

Once I popped the new 3.6v Lithium battery in, the system stopped yielding the 'sensor failure' warning but rather a 'low battery' warning in that particular sensor. My gut was that the battery was good and, after putting a meter on it, it was. So, in an effort to further diagnose the battery problem, I popped a battery out of another sensor and put it in the sensor that was having problems.

Once I exchanged the battery, the sensor wouldn't stop yielding a 'sensor tampered' setting. I pulled the battery again from the original bad sensor (sensor 4) and put the new battery back in. It continued to yield the 'low battery' notice.

At this point, I pull the new battery and put it in sensor 6 and it works like a champ. I put the battery that was in 6 back in 4 and now that sensor doesn't even show up in my network. So, now when I open this particular window, I get no notification on my system.

Now... have I had a sensor fail? Have I somehow deprogrammed that particular sensor (4) because I messed around with it so much? Would a TOTALLY dead battery yield this condition? Any other thoughts?

When I go to my panel and attempt to 'test the sensors', the panel announces the sensor 4 but simply doesn't detect it when I open the window.

Thoughts? All help is greatly appreciated --- I apologize for the lengthy post!

-RP-
 
  #2  
Old 03-12-07, 05:28 PM
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It sounds like a bad sensor. this happens sometimes.
you will probably have to have it replaced.
 
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Old 03-12-07, 07:33 PM
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Much to my suprise - I have a service agreement in place and it'll cost me $25 for the onsite service call.

Additionally, it seems as though the sending unit from which I hijacked the battery (#6) is also showing some problems in that I've been testing the sending unit off and on by simply opening the window and about 50% of the time it trips the sensor and the other 50% it doesn't.

So, needless to say, I'm going to let ADT deal with both of the problems -- and, hopefully, educate me about my remote keypad in the bedroom and why it doesn't make noises beyond arming the system (i.e. - if the alarm is tripped, it DOES NOT sound an alarm).

-RP-
 
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Old 03-12-07, 07:38 PM
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A few thoughts...

When you took the battery from the "good" sensor and put it in the "bad" sensor and you got the tamper condition, that means that the cover was not put back on the sensor correctly...So this leads me to believe that the sensor is indeed transmitting (or else the panel wouldn't have told you that the cover was off).

Secondly, your sensor failure condition went away and was replaced by a low battery condition. What has happened here is that the capacitor (the battery is there to charge the capacitor) was totally dead due to the dead battery. When you put the other battery in, the capacitor got enough juice to it to send the panel a "low battery" signal (another sign that the sensor is indeed transmitting), but hasn't been in there long enough to charge the capacitor back up.

So what does this all mean?? Put a new battery in sensor 4 (I think that was the trouble one?) and wait a few hours before you test it to enable the battery to charge up the capacitor. My guess is all will be fine.

Lithium batteries tend to "die" much quicker than alkaline powered devices. Once you get a low battery signal on an alkaline powered device, you can probably wait a few weeks to replace it before it dies, not so with lithium...
 
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Old 03-12-07, 07:45 PM
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Thanks GEguy, this is some information that I had not heard.
Man this forum is a great source of information.
 
  #6  
Old 03-12-07, 08:02 PM
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Your keypad in the bedroom, does it have a door that opens on it?? If so, does it have an antenna (white) coming out of the top??

Your answers will tell me if you have the right keypad to do what you want it to do!
 
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Old 03-12-07, 08:27 PM
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Thanks GEGUY! I sincerely appreciate your help!

On the keypad -- yes, it has a little door that covers the keys. No antenna though. I can't seem to put my fingers on the manual -- I'll do a little searching here and report back if that isn't enough info.

On the sensor -- everything you said is correct but, the major disconnect here is that the panel doesn't seem to detect that the sensor exists any longer. In short, when you raise the window on sensor 4, the system doesn't know that it's 'up'. Additionally, with this Simon system, wouldn't the panel be 'hunting' for that sensor and give some error code (something along the lines of a 'sensor 4 failure' or similar?

As it stands, it's like that window doesn't exist. Would a low to dead battery now in sensor #4 prevent it from being seen at all? Wouldn't the panel throw a error since it can't see it?

Lastly -- I wonder what the deal is with #6 now. It has the new $15 Radio Shack battery but, when I raise either one of the two windows working off of the same sensor, it may or may not trigger that it's open/closed. Could this be a capacitor problem too? What type of lag time should I expect for that capacitor to recharge?

One more questions -- should I consider replacing all of the batteries or just wait for problems (i.e. for ADT to call and inform me of a 'trouble code' on a particular zone?)
 
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Old 03-12-07, 09:03 PM
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Okay, let's tackle these one at a time...

The keypad in the bedroom is not the one you need to give you alarms...ADT may not know what I'm about to tell you, so you may have to educate them a little bit...You need the QS1500 Dialogue Keypad (looks just like the one you have, but has a white antenna about 3 inches tall sticking out of the top of it). Furthermore, you also need to have a Simon 3 Version 4.0 or higher (unplug the system and unhook the back-up battery and then plug it back in. Listen to the voice it will tell you what version you have).

Yes, the system is waiting to hear from the sensors, but it will give them 12 hours to be heard from before telling anyone (you and ADT) about it (this time frame is programmable). Make sure the batteries are 3.6 volt lithium and also make sure that they are in the right way (as in not upside down!!) If you look closely, you can see the + and- stamped in the battery terminal but you have to look close to find them!

Other things you can try after checking the batteries...Put the system into a sensor test and open and close the sensors in question. This will give you instant feedback. Let me know if you've never done this (it's in the manual).

I think I read you correctly when you said that you have one sensor protecting 2 windows?! Technically this can be done, I assume they put 2 magnets on one sensor, or either hardwired a contact into the wireless transmitter?! When you check this sensor out, make sure you open them both at the same time.

You can also turn the chime feature on at the panel if you're not comfortable with doing a sensor test. This will enable you to hear the panel beep or talk (if ADT turned this feature on for you).

As far as how long it takes to recharge the capacitor...depends on how good or bad the previous battery was. I'd give it an hour or so just to be safe. Once that capacitor is fully charged up, the sensor will even work for a few days if you take the battery out!

You don't have to wait to hear from ADT about low batteries. The panel will start beeping and if you press the "STATUS" button, the panel will tell you what the problem is. How long have you had your system?? Those batteries should be giving you 5-8 years if we are talking about the sensors I think you have.
 
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Old 03-13-07, 07:20 AM
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FROM GEGUY: Okay, let's tackle these one at a time...

The keypad in the bedroom is not the one you need to give you alarms...ADT may not know what I'm about to tell you, so you may have to educate them a little bit...You need the QS1500 Dialogue Keypad (looks just like the one you have, but has a white antenna about 3 inches tall sticking out of the top of it). Furthermore, you also need to have a Simon 3 Version 4.0 or higher (unplug the system and unhook the back-up battery and then plug it back in. Listen to the voice it will tell you what version you have).

_____________________________________________

It's a Simon 3 V3.0 I believe. It's actually printed on a sticker on the inside of the panel (Version 3). So, I'm assuming that the remote keypad that I have is simply there to activate the system? I guess I got suckered into that add-on.

http://www.homesecuritystore.com/ezStore123/resources/products/60-924-3.jpg

That is the one that I own. I think it's a model 60-924-3?

____________________________________________

FROM GEGUY:Yes, the system is waiting to hear from the sensors, but it will give them 12 hours to be heard from before telling anyone (you and ADT) about it (this time frame is programmable). Make sure the batteries are 3.6 volt lithium and also make sure that they are in the right way (as in not upside down!!) If you look closely, you can see the + and- stamped in the battery terminal but you have to look close to find them!

__________________________________________

Interesting that it's waiting for 12 hours before calling them defunct. As such, I suppose that there's a remote chance that, when I go home from work today, that sensor could be working?

The battery is definitely in the correct way and is, no doubt, a 3.6v. I even put a meter on the batteries to confirm that they were okay. I did note the stamping in the plastic in the terminal and, as such, they're installed per that schematic.

________________________________________

FROM GEGUY: Other things you can try after checking the batteries...Put the system into a sensor test and open and close the sensors in question. This will give you instant feedback. Let me know if you've never done this (it's in the manual).

________________________________________

Yep. Tried this. All of the sensors worked when I tried this - minus Zone 4. The panel did, however, ask to test that particular sensor. It simply didn't work when I tested it though.

________________________________________________
FROM GEGUY: I think I read you correctly when you said that you have one sensor protecting 2 windows?! Technically this can be done, I assume they put 2 magnets on one sensor, or either hardwired a contact into the wireless transmitter?! When you check this sensor out, make sure you open them both at the same time.

_________________________________________________

Correct. One sensor transmitter with two sets of magnets. When I pulled the cap off of that sensor's transmitter, it looks like the wires are splice connected together in there. This is the only pair of windows that are wired this way - in short, I have one large window area that is served by two individual windows. That one sensor transmitter serves both windows.

It doesn't make sense that the installer would set it so that BOTH windows would have to be opened to trigger the alarm. No burglar in his right mind would open both windows and venture into the house.... or at least I don't think he would. I know I've tested this sensor (#6) several times by only raising one window or the other and it's seemingly worked fine.

This one is a little weird to me...

_____________________________________________

FROM GEGUY: You can also turn the chime feature on at the panel if you're not comfortable with doing a sensor test. This will enable you to hear the panel beep or talk (if ADT turned this feature on for you).

_____________________________________________

The chime feature does, indeed, work. I've tinkered with it but, like I mentioned earlier in this post, I did try the sensor test with success on every sensor minus #4 (yes, #6 worked when I tried it -- then it wouldn't work later - ??).

_____________________________________________
FROM GE GUY:As far as how long it takes to recharge the capacitor...depends on how good or bad the previous battery was. I'd give it an hour or so just to be safe. Once that capacitor is fully charged up, the sensor will even work for a few days if you take the battery out!

You don't have to wait to hear from ADT about low batteries. The panel will start beeping and if you press the "STATUS" button, the panel will tell you what the problem is. How long have you had your system?? Those batteries should be giving you 5-8 years if we are talking about the sensors I think you have.

_________________________________________________

Great information on the capacitor. My gut is that everything was working correctly when I first changed the battery but, I simply didn't give it enough time to allow the capacitor to recharge -- that's when I went to swapping batteries around from different transmitters (i.e. #4 & #6). Here, I believe, lies the root of the entire unwinding of my problem...

The system is 3 years old -- almost to the day. I suspect that the battery in #4 should've lasted longer as well. I did read where there was a recall of sorts on some versions of the sensors due to the capacitors. I don't remember the color versions that were mentioned in the recall but, I don't believe I had the ones mentioned.

I'm still a bit confused on why the panel would just ignore a sensor. I mean, doesn't the panel go to each of the sensors and 'detect' them? In short, if one of them didn't seem like it was there, wouldn't the system still issue some sort of error message by pushing the status button? The way it was working yesterday evening was basically like that sensor didn't exist nor was it working (I could open the window and/or do a sensor test and it simply didn't see that this window was being opened/closed).

GEGUY -- I really appreciate your help. Thank you so much.

By the way -- are you with GE? I ask because I do a considerable amount of environmental work with Consumer & Industrial in Louisville, KY at Appliance Park.

-RP-
 

Last edited by Rockpick; 03-13-07 at 07:25 AM. Reason: No vB Code use? Good grief!
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Old 03-13-07, 12:39 PM
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Hang tight, at work now...I'll get back to this tonight!
 
  #11  
Old 03-13-07, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by GEGUY View Post
Hang tight, at work now...I'll get back to this tonight!
Thanks, man! I sincerely appreciate it!

--sidenote -- it's goofy that vB code is turned off!
 
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Old 03-13-07, 07:42 PM
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Saw the picture from the website you sent me, that's the old keypad...It won't give you alarms, chime, or talk without you physically pressing it first.

Short of buying a new sensor, my advice for sensor 4 would be to delete it out of the system and try and re-learn it back in.

As far as the panel not responding to the sensor....It is not ignoring it, it just isn't hearing from it (meaning the thing isn't transmitting). Long story short, you don't want the panel complaining that it hasn't heard from a sensor in too short of a time. This would be unnecessarily annoying. As in maybe you don't open a window for weeks at a time. All the sensors are programmed at the factory to "check in" with the panel once every 64 minutes. The panel waits 12 hours to hear from a sensor before it lets you (ADT) know about it.

Yes, there was a recall on certain sensors (yes, the type you are using). Check out this link and see if this applies to you http://www.gesecurity.com/portal/site/GESecurity/menuitem.0abf091ed1710c6ad0f3d010c4030730/?vgnextoid=f3f2e1015726e010VgnVCM100000592d7003RCRD



I wouldn't be surprised if this is the culprit...ADT should be able to help you hear if this is the case!

As far as the window scenario that you have going on, it should work fine as far as using one transmitter to cover 2 zones. I only hope that they didn't charge you for 2 zones, because you are really only using 1 zone in essence (they do this to save money, don't have to buy another wireless sensor to cover the other window)

No, you didn't "de-program" anything. As long as the panel is still asking you to test sensor 4, it's still there.

Yes, I work for GE, but not for Consumer and Industrial. Was just in Louisville last week for work...I work out of Minnesota.
 
  #13  
Old 03-14-07, 05:41 AM
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Thanks, GEGUY. I really appreciate your help.

The plot thickened slightly this morning when I got a call from ADT with a trouble signal from Zone 4. Strange isn't it? Did that capacitor finally charge back up from a semi-weak battery and transmit to the panel? Odd.

Either way, I'm sticking with the service call for Friday.

I'm certain that they didn't charge me for two zones on that one transmitter -- absolutely positive. It's still not working though? Again, hopefully the tech will be able to figure it out. I wonder if I'm on the verge of having problems with multiples of sensors?

For something to start as a 'low battery', trickle into sensor failure, and now have multiple problems -- well, I'm a bit frustrated.

I want to thank you again for all of your help! Too bad I didn't know you were going to be down here on biz; I definitely owe you a frosty beverage for all of your help! Thanks again!

I'll update following the technician's visit on Friday. Hopefully the guy that they send out is as knowledgeable as you on this particular Simon system...

-RP-
 
  #14  
Old 03-14-07, 12:51 PM
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RP,
ADT called you because the panel told them that it hasn't heard from sensor 4 in 12 hours...I think that sensor is officially dead (recall issue). If you have more of the same kind of sensors, you may be in for the same issues. Tell the ADT tech about the recall (bad capacitors) if he/she doesn't know about it. Hopefully shouldn't cost anything on your end to replace them.

Glad to help!
 
  #15  
Old 03-14-07, 06:28 PM
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Another update --

Zone #4 woke up today. I got a call from ADT while sitting at my desk around 1pm stating that they had a trouble code come up from Zone #4. So, when I got home, I had another battery in hand (bought on ebay new -- 6 for $25 w/ free shipping (a fantastic deal -- I checked all of them with a meter and they're all perfect!)).

All zones (4 & 6) are working flawlessly now. I'm totally confused.

Also, what part is the actual capacitor within the transmitter? Is it the thing with the wires coming out of it going to the magnet sensor?
 
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Old 03-14-07, 08:01 PM
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Maybe you just had a bad batch of batteries from Radio Shack??

The thing with the wires coming out of it is the terminal block (has no effect on the battery). The capacitor is either green, blue, or grey and is round, less than the size of a dime...

Keep an eye on the new batteries, if the capacitors are bad, you will get a low battery within a few days due to their inability to hold a charge.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 05:12 AM
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Actually, the Radio Shack battery is installed in #6 and hasn't been removed since the first day that this fiasco started. Maybe it just took a bit to bring that capacitor back up to snuff?

Sensor 4 -- well, that one's a mystery considering that it took the better part of 36 hours for it to 'reappear' to the panel.
 
  #18  
Old 03-15-07, 08:01 AM
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Could be, depends on how drained the capacitor is/was...
 
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Old 03-15-07, 10:58 AM
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Since I have a service agreement and it's only going to cost me $25 for them to show up, I may go ahead and go through with the service call tomorrow morning.

Additionally, I may check into tying some smoke detectors to the system... anything to look for/think about there?
 
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Old 03-15-07, 06:09 PM
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They will have to be wireless, but Simon can handle these. ADT will know which ones are compatible.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 07:03 PM
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ADT called and apparently there's a scheduling conflict with my appointment for tomorrow... go figure. They wanted to move it later in the day which won't work for me because of a very important client meeting tomorrow. Not sure when I'm going to get this taken care of at this point...

I will say though that both 4 & 6 are still working flawlessly. Maybe I don't need the help... (famous last words)

A house in our neighborhood actually got hit by lightning yesterday and burned to the ground (almost literally). We operate with a volunteer fire department and, unfortunately for that home owner, they were on another call. As such, they dispatched from two other departments -- both of which are a solid 15 miles away on windy 2-lane roads in the country (one of which is also a vol department).

All of that said, I'm pretty sure that I want to go with a fire system tied to my Simon.

Dumb question here but, is that something that I can buy on Ebay and do myself? I ask because there are 'several' on there that claim to have compatiblity and they're not that expensive. Naturally, I want it to work and work correctly but, maybe I could do it and save a little coin? Any suggestions?

Thanks again, GEGUY. I appreciate all of your help here!
 
  #22  
Old 03-15-07, 07:23 PM
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This depends on your contract with ADT...Even if you could do it yourself, you have to know their program code (6321..oops did I say that out loud?!) and maybe more importantly, they are going to know something's up if that sensor ever has to report an alarm (or if it calls in a low battery or something similiar). I believe they charge you by the sensor...

So the answer is yes, you could easily program a smoke detector into the panel, but check your monitoring contract carefully!

You are probably locked into a long term contract with ADT, but many people "in the know" realize that the Simon panel can be programmed to call 2 phone numbers (like your cell phone and/or work phone number) and tell you if there is an alarm. ADT probably didn't tell you this...
 
  #23  
Old 03-15-07, 07:37 PM
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Nope. ADT didn't mention that. LOL! That should really surprise everyone I suppose. HA! On the install code -- I didn't hear a thing! LOL!

I'm out of contract in June. Maybe I'll hold off until then or give them a call and ask some opinion. I do recall having a limit of sensors... I know if I call them, it'll be FULL retail plus install plus a contract (extension), etc, etc, etc... They won't be kind.

Again, thanks for your help!!!
 
  #24  
Old 03-19-07, 07:56 PM
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Just a quick follow-up...

All sensors continue to work flawlessly. I do, however, believe that I have the sensors that are involved in the recall. The ADT rep that I spoke with *was* familar with this particular problem. As such, I will be scheduling a service call soon to address this issue.

Additionally, I checked into the fire coverage items. According to two reps (I actually called twice to see if I'd get the same answer), I'm not permitted to install any equipment because they do not monitor equipment that they do not install. That said, it sounds pretty open and shut.

I was quoted approximately $300 for two smoke detectors and a heat detector. There would also be an additional $4 and change on my bill for fire monitoring.

Not sure what I'm going to do with the fire deal... any suggestions? I know that if my house were to be ablaze, it's obviously worth it. In the interim though, we have a very nice wired smoke detector system. That, however, only works if someone's home or if the neighbors, by a mere stroke of luck, here the detectors going off and notify 911. I'm kind of torn here, I suppose.
 
  #25  
Old 03-20-07, 04:04 AM
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RP, don't know if this will help you make up your mind or not.
Check with your home insurance company. Most of them offer up to a 20% discount on your insurance if you have a monitored fire system. This could help pay for the additional costs to have it installed (over time)....
 
  #26  
Old 03-20-07, 05:48 AM
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I appreciate that thought, Umpire. I think I'll give them a call right now to inquire.

With a 'little one' due to arrive in July, I suppose I'm seeing more and more need to go ahead and do this. It's one of those things that you hope and pray you'll NEVER use but, if you do use it, it'd be worth it.
 
  #27  
Old 03-29-07, 08:13 PM
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One last follow up...

It's been a couple of weeks since my problems ceased and everything came back into order working correctly..... and it all is still working correctly.

Must have been those capacitors...

I still believe that nearly all of my sensors have the recall reistor in them but, I don't think I'm going to mess with it...

Thanks again to everyone for the help!!
 
 

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