Ademco 6128/Vista 10SE beeping randomly

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Old 06-30-10, 06:48 AM
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Ademco 6128/Vista 10SE beeping randomly

We moved into a house that already had this alarm system but we've never activated it, that is, we haven't paid ADT for the service, but we do like the way it beeps to let us know when a door is opened.

After almost 4 years like this, the keypad has started beeping randomly at all times of day and night. We hit "Off" but it's not a permanent fix. Through MrRon's posts I only learned this morning that there's a battery in a metal box high up in our master bedroom closet--a most inconvenient place. Thought it would be a 9volt or something I could easily change myself, but instead there's a big black thing that I assume is a battery of some sort--but neither my husband nor I can figure out how we would change it. I've wrapped wires around terminals before this has what looks like hard clips that are built in to the battery. Where the wires connect to the box is too high up for me to reach, but they also don't look wrapped around terminals that I/we could easily change. (There's white plastic at the ends which hides how they're connected to the box.)

So first--is this what's causing the beeping? And I don't understand why if this alarm system is electrical why it needs this big battery. Second, if the battery needs changing, can we do it ourselves? We don't expect ADT to be helpful since we haven't paid for the service at all. Do I need to turn off the electricity before I do this? (I'm always nervous about shocks.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated. We would like to be able to sleep through the night without being awakened by this beeping!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-30-10, 10:49 AM
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Yes, the "big black thing" sounds like your "backup" battery. The lead-in wires. usually called the battery leads (pronounced opposite of battery follows), are connected by push-on/pull-off connectors. They just pull off the battery terminals.Sometimes they're very tight and you have to give a substantial tug to get them off. I've had to use pliers on extreme cases, but you want them tight to make a good connection.

And yes, changing the battery is something anybody can do, although it sounds more challenging for you with that awkward location.

The battery's purpose is twofold:
(1)First, to keep your alarm system working in the event of a power failure.
(2)Second, to prevent false alarms when your power glitches off for a split-second. The systems are designed to accomodate powered devices such as motion and glassbreak sensors, and these sensors revert to an alarm state when power is removed for a fraction of a second. When your control panel (which supplies the sensor power) loses AC power for a split second, it would also take a split-second catnap and wake up to find the powered sensors in the alarm state, and then proceed to let the world know about it. The backup battery is there to prevent that dozing off and waking up disoriented and noisy every time your lights flicker.
(3) Third, and also the reason the backup battery is NOT optional: The power supply in the control panel is designed to supply power at normal standby levels: Power for the control panel itself, for keypad(s), any powered sensors and/or auxilliary devices, zone loop current, etc.
When the system has an alarm, the siren(s) typically draw more power than all the other devices combined, and more than most panels are designed to supply--the backup battery is the reserve power source during those periods. Without it, the control panel would have to be designed with a substantially larger power supply--and why do that since the system needs a backup battery anyway?

Okay, I lied. The purpose of the backup battery is threefold, not twofold.


As to why the "random" beeping is happening, start with what is displayed on the keypad when it happens?
 
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Old 06-30-10, 11:47 AM
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What a coincidence: just as I was wondering how to answer your last question, the keypad started beeping again. It showed:

AC
Alarm
Batt

NOT READY

With "Batt" disappearing for a few seconds and then appearing again. After pressing 1/Off, it still shows what's above.

Just to verify what you said: am I pulling those connectors off the battery and then connecting them to a new one? (We live quite close to a Batteries Plus, so I'm hoping they'll have one.) Don't laugh at me, but will I get a shock when I do that? Do I need to turn off the electricity before attempting?

Another question: below this metal box there is what looks just like a phone line plugged into the wall. My husband disconnected it before he went to work--thinking that would disable the entire thing--but now that the beeping happened again, obviously that didn't work. So what's that for?

Thanks for the help. Hoping we'll have some peace and quiet soon.
 
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Old 06-30-10, 12:23 PM
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Batt means the system battery is dead. Replace it. It's just 12v, so unless you stick the terminals in your mouth, you are fine.

Alarm means that there is a zone in alarm. Frequently, ADT installations put a tamper connection on the telco plug, so unplugging the phone jack may have brought that about.

If you have a user code, plug the cord back in, and enter code + 1 (the 1 key). You may have to do it a couple of times.

If you don't have a code, follow the basic instructions in the FAQ sticky to extract the installer code, then use the installer code to set a new master user code:

[installer code] + 8 + 2 + [new master code]

Do this in regular run mode, not installer programming. Don't hesitate more than a second or so between keystrokes, or the code won't take.
 
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Old 06-30-10, 12:28 PM
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With "Batt" showing on the display, it sounds like you need to replace the battery, yes. Batteries Plus will carry the battery you need. Just be sure you pay attention and put the red lead on the red-marked battery terminal, and black on black.

All alarm wiring is low-voltage. You can't get shocked. And I never laugh at anybody being careful. I've been bitten too many times myself working around other wiring for the thought to be funny. Makes me appreciate working on alarm systems.

The phone jack below the box, an RJ31X, connects your alarm system into your phone. This might be a good time to make sure your system doesn't have numbers still programmed into it--after you take care of the current problem, that is.

If your system is still programmed to call a monitoring service of the former users, it could be a future problem. Let us know if you want to square that away now. It isn't hard to do.

EDIT: Darn, Ron, I gotta learn to check back before posting after I've composed. I keep answering questions you've already answered.
 
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Old 06-30-10, 03:36 PM
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Hooray! My husband just came home with a new battery and installed it--and no electrocution!

Now about this code thing: we've never had a code. Do we need one if we only use the system to know that a door has been opened?

Looking at the FAQs, MrRon writes:

Nearly all Ademco family (this includes First Alert, Security Link, and several ADT models) panels can retrieve the Installer code by disconnecting the battery, then the AC power. Wait a minute, then reconnect power in the opposite order. Within 50 seconds, on any keypad press * + # at the same time. Unless the system has had an installer lockout feature activated, the panel should go into program mode. The details by system will vary, but the programming section number that shows on the display will be the location for the installer code (on _most_ panels this will be 20). Key in # and the location number, and the panel will read back the installer code one digit at a time. Exit program mode using *99.

We don't understand what the AC power is. My husband would have to disconnect the battery again and then do what?

(Just to verify: are you saying to press the * and the # at the same time or is that plus sign you used also part of code?)

And is this really necessary for us? I'm not really understanding why we need to do this.

But I do thank you for your help!
 

Last edited by Bham45; 06-30-10 at 03:46 PM. Reason: updating answer
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Old 06-30-10, 03:50 PM
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Honeywell/Ademco (and its rebranded clones):

"I can't see the zone programming on my keypad..."
Honeywell/Ademco design system generally need a "2-line alphanumeric" keypad (6139, 6160 or equivalent) to access the programming menus. Zone programming and wireless device enrollment _can_ be done without one, but it is _VERY DIFFICULT_, even for people who are very familiar with the programming sequence.

Retrieving Installer code
Nearly all Ademco family (this includes First Alert, Security Link, and several ADT models) panels can retrieve the Installer code by disconnecting the battery, then the AC power. Wait a minute, then reconnect power in the opposite order. Within 50 seconds, on any keypad press * + # at the same time. Unless the system has had an installer lockout feature activated, the panel should go into program mode. The details by system will vary, but the programming section number that shows on the display will be the location for the installer code (on _most_ panels this will be 20). Key in # and the location number, and the panel will read back the installer code one digit at a time. Exit program mode using *99.

To turn off the dialer on _most_ Honeywell/Ademco panels (and clones):
Once in programming enter *41* and *42*. This erases the dial out phone numbers and turns off the dialer. Check your install manual, there are a few obscure models that the phone numbers are in a different location.
Having codes gives you the ability to actually silence or reset system troubles, and you need a code to turn on and off the door chime feature.

While you are in programming, turning off the dialer will eliminate a bunch of minor annoyances, as well.

You might want to consider websearching to get a copy of the manual. Knowlege is power...
 
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Old 06-30-10, 04:18 PM
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What is meant in your FAQ by the AC power?
 
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Old 06-30-10, 05:01 PM
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In this context, AC (Alternating Current) power refers to power coming from the control's transformer, which is plugged into an electrical outlet somewhere, usually near the control. It's usually a beige box (black sometimes, but rare) and looks like an oversize adapter.

It steps down your home's 120 volt ac line power to about 16 volts ac, which is why you can't get electrocuted with anything wired to the alarm system (as long as you don't stick it in your mouth).

EDIT: To piggyback on MrRonFL's recommendation about having a Master Code: There's a fair chance that your system has (a) 24-hour zone(s) that you don't even know about because they've never given you trouble. If they should give you trouble, either an alarm or a trouble beeping, you will need a user code to shut it up. It's better to go through this now than 3:00 am some morning. I speak from experience here. I've had to talk users through this over the phone at 3 in the morning.
 
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Old 06-30-10, 07:31 PM
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Well, we don't see anything that would be the AC power. There's nothing near the keypad and nothing near the control panel. My husband opened it up and we saw that the wires were came out of the wall from up above. I went into the garage (behind the panel) and there was nothing. I then went into the attic and found wires coming up from the floor insulation and then leading all over the attic. But we didn't dig down into the insulation to see if there was an AC box somewhere down there.

SO...what if we try just disconnecting the battery and reconnecting without the AC being part of the equation--could that give us a code?

But I'm also going to try to find anything the former owner may have left with a security code on it... (Called her and she couldn't remember at all. She thought ADT might reset it for us--think they would if we don't have a contract with them?)
 

Last edited by Bham45; 06-30-10 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Called the former owner
  #11  
Old 07-01-10, 01:24 AM
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Chances are that ADT doesn't know your Master Code. It could have been changed any number of times since it was installed. So they don't have some file where they can look it up. I strongly recommend against letting ADT connect to your panel. They could lock you out of your own panel and have been known to do it.

The transformer is plugged into an outlet in your house somewhere, and probably not up in the attic, although it's not impossible. Whoever installed it would have had to have a mighty good reason to go to all that trouble. Chances are that you have an outlet or two or three hidden by furniture or appliances or something.

It's necessary to disconnect AC power to make the procedure work. Usually the easiest way to do that is unplug the transformer.

However--there's another way to go about it: The AC power goes into the control panel on the first two wires on the left of the row of screw terminals at the bottom of the circuit board.
If you loosen the first term and remove the wire--BE CAREFUL not to let it touch anything!! Other than your fingers, that is. It can't shock you, but it can fry your circuits in an instant if you let it touch the wrong spot on the circuit board, or it can blow (kill) the transformer if one of those wires touches the other. It's not hard to keep it isolated, just be mindful that the 16 volt ac live wire is dangerous to your equipment, not to you.

Anyway, loosen the screw and pull the left-most wire off and that's the same effect on the panel as unplugging the transformer. Then putting it back in place is the same as plugging it in. Since you have a time limit to reach the keypad, it's probably a good idea to have one of you at the keypad ready when the other reconnects the wire.

Then you can proceed with MrRonFL's FAQ directions.
 
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Old 07-01-10, 11:06 AM
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ChosunOne, I'm really confused about this AC power: there wouldn't be a cord that comes out of the control panel to this box? It could be somewhere independent of the panel? So then it could be anywhere in the house? I'm looking for a box attached to an outlet or plugged into an outlet? There's only one power outlet in the closet where the control panel is and nothing's plugged into it. I've looked around the house and don't see anything out of the ordinary.

I appreciate your patience with me. ;-)
 

Last edited by Bham45; 07-01-10 at 11:29 AM. Reason: update
  #13  
Old 07-01-10, 04:18 PM
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It's what some people call a "wall wart". It's a transformer that's plugged into an outlet. If the transformer is not on a wall adjacent to the system enclosure, the other common locations are just inside the attic access, sometimes in an outlet in a utility room or garage.

It's there; often behind a piece of furniture that seldom gets moved.

In any case, for now, you can just take the wire off of the first terminal on the system board. It's 16 VAC, so it's quite safe to handle, just don't let it touch because these little transformers can fail from even a momentary wire to wire short.
 
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Old 07-01-10, 06:39 PM
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Hate to beat a dead horse (is there an emoticon for that?), but the only unusual outlet we have--that I know of--is right outside the closet where the control panel is. When we moved in, the home inspector explained to us that if our whirlpool bath ever stopped working, this outlet would reset it.

I just went and took a look at it. It's not really an outlet in that there are no holes (just one that might allow you to pry it open). It's all white and so hard to read but two square buttons on it say ON and OFF. Think that might be our AC? I just assumed it was dedicated to the whirlpool bath, but could it also work for the alarm system?

I'm just trying to save my husband from doing the wire thing--he's not crazy about the possibility of touching it to something else by accident.
 
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Old 07-01-10, 11:59 PM
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I'm with you and your husband, Bham45: I've been doing this more years than I like to remember, and I still hate having a live wire loose in the control panel. Especially one that's hard to reach and you're handling things at arm's length while standing tiptoe on a chair.

The only way to know about the white plate with the ON/OFF buttons is to try it. One of you watches the keypad while the other turns it off, to see if "No AC" is displayed.

I promise you, though, what MrRonFL and I told you is true: Somewhere in your home is an outlet supplying AC power to a transformer that supplies the 16.5VAC to your control panel. The transformer is the roughly the size of a cube-shaped potato, usually beige but sometimes black.

The reason the transformer is _usually_ near the control panel is convenience for the installer. However, that's not an ironclad rule. Sometimes the original customer objects to the esthestics of the transformer and insists on its being installed out of sight, and it's plugged in somewhere out of sight--hidden behind a bed, or in a utility area--basement, laundry room, mud room, furnace room, behind some heavy furniture, or even (*shutter*) attic.

In one unusual case, I found one plugged into an outlet inside a floor-to-waist-height storage cabinet (backless-used the wall for its back) that was added in a renovation years after the alarm system was installed.

I couldn't see the outlet/transformer without opening the door and stooping, and I still couldn't see it without moving things that were stored in the cabinet. It took me something like an hour and a half of looking and I only found it when I used a piece of special equipment to track the wire in the walls. Otherwise, I would not have emptied the cabinet to look, because outlets are not (normally) found in cabinets.

My point is not to encourage you to empty your cabinets to search for your transformer. My point is that somewhere, unlikely as it may seem to you, there is a normal electric outlet powering your security system's transformer.

One other place where it might be hiding is in plain sight. It sometimes happens that someone has gotten the idea that a transformer belongs to something else, like a phone system or computer peripheral device or something. My suggestion here is that if anything among your equipment resembles my description of your transformer, verify that it is or isn't.

In the event that you have to disconnect the wire from the control panel (Terminal #1), it usually isn't really necessary to wait for a full minute to put it back on. We recommend that to play it safe. But nearly always, a few seconds will do. Just count to five and put it right back on.
Whichever of you waiting at the keypad, wait a few seconds after power comes back up, because the power can drop in and out while you're re-securing the wire at Terminal #1.

Good luck with this. Please let us know what happens.
 
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Old 07-03-10, 09:32 AM
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MrRon and ChosunOne, are either of these 2 things it? I've been looking all over the house and the only unusual things I've found are up in the attic.





I'm thinking the second one might possibly be it. I have to unscrew it from the outlet so didn't want to try that until I asked you first. (That's a floor lamp I've got plugged into the outlet next to it--otherwise I wouldn't be able to see much.)

IF that's the AC, is there a problem with having to unplug it in the attic, run downstairs, climb up a ladder to detach the battery in the control panel and then vice versa? Too much time in between operations or would it work?

Needless to say, the outlet in the bathroom didn't do the trick.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by Bham45; 07-03-10 at 09:34 AM. Reason: forgot something :-)
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Old 07-03-10, 09:59 AM
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The second picture is your alarm transformer. The first picture is your doorbell transformer.
 
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Old 07-03-10, 10:00 AM
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Bingo!! #2, the beige one on the bottom is it. The other other one looks like a doorbell transformer. Unusual to put them in the attic but houses are built all different ways.

You can unplug the battery first, before you start, and just leave it unplugged until you're finished. The keypad may complain after a few minute, but chances are you'll be finished by then.

Edit: When you are finished, I personally prefer to secure transformers with cable ties or even velcro cable ties. They hold it just as securely as the screw and can be slipped off and on without a hassle.
 

Last edited by ChosunOne; 07-03-10 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 07-03-10, 10:59 AM
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Oddly enough, in this region, prewires done to ADT specs frequently put the transformer in the attic, especially ones above a garage, not sure why, but I see it a lot.

I guess it does have the advantage of not tying up a living space outlet, but I still hate having to climb into an attic void in the FL heat...

If you can't get from the transformer to a keypad in under 50 seconds, you may have to resign yourself to doing it at the panel terminals, or else enlist a helper to unplug and plug.
 
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Old 07-06-10, 04:23 PM
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Beer 4U2

Hip hip hooray!!! It worked!

Last week we just wanted to stop the random beeping and the new battery did that. Today was our first chance to do the rest of business. So my husband climbed up on a ladder to unhook the battery in our MB closet, then went up to the attic to unplug the AC transformer. We waited one minute then he plugged it back in. I hit * and # on the keypad and "20" appeared--just as you said it might. Then I hit #20 and the 4-digit installer code appeared.

Once my husband got the battery hooked up again, I entered a new master code. The chime option had gone off when the transformer was unplugged but I got that back on--and then we actually got up the courage to test the alarm. We armed the perimeter and then my husband opened a door. The alarm went off--first time for us to hear it in 4 years of living here. I quickly entered the new code and hit "Off" and instant silence. Hooray!

Thank you so much, Mr. Ron and Chosun One. You guys are the best! Now that we can actually use the alarm--even without an ADT contract--I'm going to feel much safer when I'm home alone.
 
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Old 07-06-10, 08:41 PM
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Talking

You're very welcome. Always happy to be able to help.

Let me acknowledge you and your husband for your perserverence. A lot of people would have given up.
 
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Old 12-04-10, 11:40 AM
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Same Problem

I've been having the same problem, it started earlier this week. I've read the entire post up to the point involving unplugging the AC power for the system. The problem is indeed the battery, but I have no intention of using the system.

My assumption was that disconnecting the AC power would stop the problem completely. I have done so, and the keypad says the following:

No ac
batt

Ready.

My question is, do I need to do anything else to prevent this beeping from recurring or will this effectively stop the entire system?

It beeped a total of 3 times last night while I was sleeping and I had to get up and turn it off.. totally ruined my night. Before I go and pull out all the wires, I'd like the thing to still be usable by any future tenants. However, I don't want to have to deal with this thing going off while I'm sleeping ever again!

thanks in advance!
 
  #23  
Old 12-04-10, 12:26 PM
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You have to unplug _both_ AC and Battery.
 
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Old 12-04-10, 08:28 PM
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Thanks.

Or let the battery drain huh?

Got home and the thing was completely off.

Thanks. =]
 
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Old 12-04-10, 08:46 PM
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If you are absolutely not going to use the system. I recommend physically removing the battery from the cabinet. When these batteries sit long enough, they split open and leak acid gel inside the system enclosure. Just drop it off at your local hazmat collection point, or any battery dealer, and the lead inside will be reborn as another battery.
 
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Old 12-19-10, 09:00 AM
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Same problem

Hello guys,
I have the same problem and want to veryfy something before spending the money on the battery.

Same situation. We've never paid for security service and I haven't changed any batteries for 5 years. We don't have phone in the house. We use only cell phones.
Recently we did some renovation work in the house and they cut the phone wires.
The panel started to beep and I disconnected the AC and battery.
After the work was done I reconnected the wires but the pannel started to beep at 2AM, 6AM, 2PM and 6PM until somebody hits a button. I reprogrammed the alarm and removed the phone numbers that were still there. It didn't fixed it but for some reason it stopped the beeping for couple weeks and yesterday it started again.

It shows '14, Check' on the left and 'AC, Chime' on right for couple seconds.
Then it shows 'AC, Chime, BAT, NOT READY' only on the right side for another couple seconds.
14 is my motion sensor and I don't care about it. I tried bypassing it but no change in the beeping.

Could this be the motion sensor battery or it is for sure the backup battery?
I measured the voltage on the battery and it looks good. It also charges with 13 some volts.
It doesn't show the BAT when it shows the '14 Check'.
It shows the BAT only with the 'NOT READY'.

Thanks in advance.
 
  #27  
Old 12-19-10, 09:13 AM
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Yes, you have a dead battery in the zone 14 transmitter, which I assume to be the motion. Either put new batteries in the motion, or delete the transmitter from the system (if you have an alpha keypad to access zone programming).
 
  #28  
Old 06-10-11, 04:42 PM
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I had the same issue as Bham45. We bought this house 5 yrs ago which has an Ademco alarm system. The previous owner did not leave any info/manual behind. We used it for the chime to alert us if the doors/windows were opened.

Over the last month the alarm system began beeping rapidly at random times of the day/night and we'd have to come to the keypad and press any button to stop it. The display would show "batt" off and on.

I followed the instructions as described by everyone in this thread and it worked! I bought a new battery and the installation was really simple. I thought it was going to be complicated.

I decided to follow the steps to retrieve the Installer Code and was done with the whole process in 5 minutes. I was able to set my own Master Code and it worked like a charm!

Thanks to those that contributed to this posting!
 
  #29  
Old 09-26-11, 03:01 AM
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Thanks for your help MrRonFL, ChosunOne !!!

Just wanted to say "Thanks!" patience that you both gave to Bham45 July of last year! Tonight my wife gave me a list of things to do while she's at work. one of them was to find out what is with our Ademco alarm system that was installed towards the end of 1998. Today(Sunday) our keypads (3) all would start beeping randomly throughout the day. She went to sleep early because she has to drive an hour and a half to work on Monday so she needs to wake up fresh! Since I'm a night owl, I went to Google and searched for "random beeping on Ademco keypads."
While I was searching for info in the Google results list, and found you guys, I was praying it wouldn't go off tonight while my wife was sleeping. While I was reading your thread with Bham45, while I had my headphones on, my son, (also a night owl) came running in around 1:00 AM and said "Dad, didn't you hear the Keypads beeping?" I thought, "Oh heck, my wife was going to be pissed!" I pressed the 1 key on the keypad to get it to stop just long enough to send my son down to my workroom to get my tools. I proceeded to open the keypad and disconnected it. Problem solved, but there were 2 more keypads to disable. I disconnected the one by the front door, then headed to the kitchen to disable that one. Then I thought, "What if I disconnect the last one and it set the alarm off?" instead I went back to my daughter's bedroom closet (luckily she was away at school). I opened the Control box and disconnected the back-up battery. Then I thought, "What if the AC power dropped for a few seconds without, would it set off the full alarm?" I looked in the box again and figured out that screws 1 & 2 were the Power-In screws. I disconnected one lead and thought thought, "OK, I'm going to sleep! I'll tackle this tomorrow while my wife is at work." But before I did, I had to sty up a bit longer to thank you both for your knowledge and helpfulness!

While following your thread, you said to check the batteries in the Motion Detectors. I didn't realize that there were batteries inside them. That may explain why my Master keypad has read, "Zone 5 FR motion Det. failure. Please check." Well, I just want to be sure of the battery being inside, before I climb a letter to check.

Again, Thanks!!
 
  #30  
Old 11-14-11, 12:38 PM
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Similar problem with Beeping, need help

Hi: I have a similar problem with my keypads beeping alternately.
I just moved into a new house with an Ademco Vista 10 alarm system. It would chime when the doors were opened, which helped me keep tabs on the kids going in and out of the house. I had the local cable company install a home phone (Voip I guess... as they had to install a modem). Ever since they installed the phone my alarm no longer works.
That night, the keypads beeped alternately, and would only stop after I pressed some keys. There was a message, but I can't recall what it was. After some time it started beeping again.
Now both keypads say "OC". I've tried BAT-AC-AC-BAT to reset and get a code, but nothing happens. I don't know what the phone guy did... at minimum, I think he unplugged the alarm and plugged it back in (to make space in the outlet for the modem). The second technician that came in said the alarm system wasn't looped to the dial tone. He may have disconnected the phone jack. Can anyone help? Thanks! -DK
 
  #31  
Old 11-14-11, 12:54 PM
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Oc

OC code means you have an open circuit. Either the wire from the keypad to the panel is loose or disconnected or something is shorted there. But this is not a phone problem.

On the other hand, if you have connected phone service now thru a modem and it was not ran to the outside box like originally with your system, then you do have a phone issue as well. If you have a phone tester, check the green and red wire terminals inside the panel on the very right hand side, I think its 23 and 24. If you dont have a phone tester, use a voltmeter, dc. It should read around 5V when not in use and 47V "off-hook". If it shows 0V or open then you have no dial tone here.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 01:54 PM
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Thanks JDH79:

The wires in the panel appear to be connected, but I'll have to double check when I'm at home.

1. So is it just a strange coincidence that the OC occured when the cable guy installed the home phone line? I don't know exactly what the installer did, but he asked me if I used my alarm system, he had trouble getting a telephone dial tone (said something about the voltage being low), and he spent two hours playing around with a bunch of wires. Everything was fine until this guy installed the telephone system.

2. What could have occurred that caused the OC? Could it be that the telephone guy unplugged the alarm system for too long and that the battery isn't working (the keypad doesn't say BAT)? Or could it be that the alarm system should not be plugged into the same outlet as the phone system? If the keypad has lost its address (so I'm told this might be the problem), could this cause an OC message?

3. The telephone seems to be working fine. We can receive and make telephone calls. The second technician did say that the alarm system was disconnected from the phone jack. He implied that the first technician disconnected it or cut the wire or something. I'm not sure if this was the case or if it was like this before the phone line was installed. I did see the phone guy change the wires that were connected at the telephone jacks where the phone was connected. I don't know why he would do this assuming that the phone jacks worked for the previous owners.

I will try to check the keypad wires again.

I'm trying to get the phone company to send someone to look at the problem. I'm not a technical expert, but in my mind it was working before they came in a put in the telephone line, and it stopped working after they left. I can't think of any other reason the system got screwed up.

Thank you again for your advice. I'm going to do my best to trouble shoot this and figure it out.

-DK
 
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Old 11-14-11, 02:17 PM
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Are you currently being monitored by an alarm company?? If so then you should call them. Otherwise, you do not necessarily need the phone connection and most likely it was already unplugged from the jack.

Back to the keypads: the address should not be able to be accidentally changed? Just to be certain, remove the keypad from the mounting, undo the black wire just enough that you can wiggle it around to make it beep and then tighten it back up. You will need a very small phillips screw driver. After tightening the screw, hold 1 and 3 together until it flashes on the display. Then enter 1 and it should alternate between "Ad" and "31". On the vista 10, both keypads should be the same address. Repeat this for the second pad. If this doesnt solve the prob. try disconnecting one keypad all together and see if it works with just the one. Try this with each pad alone if necessary. If both of them work alone, then connect them again together. At least you can narrow down the problem by trying different ways. I wouldn't think that the phone guy would've caused the problem here but you really never know. If he cut a wire thinking it was a phone line when he really had a keypad wire or something similar to this, then he very well could've caused problems. Most likely, he has no clue about alarm systems so they are probably going to be of little help to fix it. Good luck with them tho.
 
  #34  
Old 11-16-11, 05:12 AM
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Thanks again jdh79:

I checked the addresses and both keypads read 3 1 (with the 3 flashing). After about 3 seconds the OC comes back. The wires on the panel side (4 5 6 7) look fine, I need to check the wires at the keypad side.

I did notice this morning that when my wife plugged in an iron on the same circuit as the panel (not the same outlet, but another one very close by) that the alarm keypads started beeping again (the keypads seem to beep only when I try to reset the system by unplugging it BAT-AC-AC-BAT). I'm wondering if perhaps there is a voltage issue? The phone guy did plug in the modem on the same outlet as the alarm system.

Perhaps the alarm system panel is very sensitive to voltage fluctuations or something?

I'm still trying to figure out where the open circuit is. My next step is to check the wire connections behind each keypad.

-DK
 
  #35  
Old 11-16-11, 04:26 PM
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Were they climbing around in the attic or anything? OC shows up if either of the two data wires (yellow and green) are not properly connected.

It has nothing to do with AC power or telephones, unless the phone people _thought_ they were cutting into a phone cable (in older installs 4 conductor phone wire is the same type wire used for alarm wiring).

Simple test. Get a short length of known good 4 conductor and connect one of the keypads directly to the alarm control terminals. If the keypad works in that configuration, then the wire between the control and the keypad(s) is damaged.
 
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Old 11-18-11, 07:35 AM
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Thanks to both of you for your tips. I have an update from some late night tinkering yesterday:

1. I've read elsewhere that it could be a bad battery sucking down power, so I checked the voltage with and without the battery connected. So I checked the voltage on the panel at the first two points and it seemed to be okay (although my multimeter settings aren't that precise). I did notice a couple of open ended 4 conductor wire and there are 3 or 4 phone jacks with and without connectors in them.I also noticed a weird looking transformer connected to the side of the electrical outlet where the adapter for the panel is plugged in. It is metal and had a red and black wire coming out of one side. I think it might be stepping down from 220?? my electrical panel, phone dmark, and alarm system panel are all on top of my dryer in the laundry room. Anyways... TMI perhaps.

2. I disconnected both keypads from the panel and connected them one-at-a-time to isolate the issue. The upstairs keypad showed OC, while the downstairs keypad showed some signs of life. I checked the connections on the back of the upstairs keypad and it looks ok. My next step is to wire it directly to the panel with new wires to see if the line was cut. If the line is bad, I don't know how I'm going to fish a new line through the house.

3. On the downstairs keypad, after the first power cycle, it displayed "d1" and nothing else. After the second power cycle, I tried to get the installer code (*+#) and it flashed "20" and said "No AC" and "Not Ready". The third time I powered off and on the alarm siren sounded off for 1 second, and the display showed "d1" "Not Ready AC". I tried one more time and the same thing happened, a 1 second siren and then "d1" "not ready" "AC"

I don't know what to do next. There is still no door chime. From my readings on this forum, I think I need to:
Power cycle (BAT-AC-AC-BAT)
Press *+# to get the flashing 20
Press #20 to get the installer code
Press *99 to exit program mode
Press code+9 to turn on the door chime

Is this correct? Thank good the alarm siren turned off after 1 second, it was almost midnight and everyone was asleep in the house.

Any further advice would be helpful.

-DK
 
  #37  
Old 11-18-11, 09:07 AM
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progress

First off, a low battery has a different trouble code (bF I believe). What you have "OC" can only be related to the keypad wires, nothing else. The panel doesn't care if you have the phone connected until it tries to use it for an alarm, and that is only if it is programmed to dial out somewhere for being monitored. Then it would say "FC". Extra 4-conducter wire in the panel isn't uncommon if it was pre-wired prior to installation. These were ran for possible add ons at a later date or whatever. If you see some wires with 2 conductors connected and 2 hanging (most likely wrapped around the outside of the wire), these are for 2 wire contacts, such as doors/ windows. All of this is irrelevant to your problem

It sounds like you have a faulty wire to the upstairs keypad. If you are lucky, you can use the old wire to pull a new wire to the pad. I would go up in the attic and see if you can locate the wire where it comes up from the panel and down to the keypad. If you have a toner it would be helpful. It is possible that the wire runs from the first keypad to the upstairs keypad (just keep this in mind). You can tell by looking inside the panel on terminals 4,5,6,and 7 and see how many wires are connected here.

Whenever you power down and back on to enter programming and retrieve the installer code, record it, exit programming (*99). Then use the installer code to set a new master code. The master code will be your primary user code. Enter (installer code) + 8+ 02 + (new master code). The keypad should beep once after to tell you it accepted the code. Then use the master code to turn the chime on (master code +9).

If you disconnect the upstairs keypad and the other one works, try using it alone for all the above and test the chime with that and see if it works for you. If you don't need the other pad, then you don't have to worry about running the wire. If you want it then you can always add it back in at any time.

Hope this is helpful.
Good luck,
Josh
 
  #38  
Old 11-23-11, 09:26 AM
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quick update

Hi:

I owe you guys a quick update on my situation.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to test the suspect keypad yet.

I did finally speak with the right person at my cable company and actually spoke with the technician that did the installation. They said that in some cases their system needs to use a line from the alarm system that would cause the alarm system to stop working. The technician said "I thought you told me you don't use your alarm system?"... well, I hadn't set it up for monitoring but still prefer that the system works!! He also said something about a short in the telephone line somewhere and bla bla bla. I'm a pretty confused at the moment.

Anyways... He's supposed to be coming in to fix it in the next few days. I'm going to watch him like a hawk to see what he does.

I should have an update after that, and hopefully a restored system.

Thanks again,
-DK
 
  #39  
Old 01-30-12, 12:54 AM
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wow... excellent information.

I'm having the same problem and was able to follow the excellent instruction are provided on this forum.. however, there is one little puzzle with my case. I don't have a power supply connected.. in fact, there is no power supply installed for this system. I know this because I was around when my house was built 6 years ago... I even have pictures of house (frame and wiring) before it was dry-walled. The builder and his sub-contractors took shortcuts to quickly complete the house.. (that's another story I'm trying to purge from my memory

Before I buy (or charge the battery) I would like to know where to buy the AC power supply and how to install it. I can follow wiring diagrams. if available.

Also, if the unit lost power for a long period of time, do I have to re-program it all over?

Thank you
 
  #40  
Old 01-30-12, 03:50 AM
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Typically, the power supply will be plugged into a nearby outlet. Less commonly, they are often plugged into outlets located just inside an attic access, or someplace like the utility room.

If the rough in forgot to drop a wire for power, you can run a new wire to a nearby outlet location (without seeing the physical layout it is impossible to be more than generic).

You could leave the system powered down til the next ice age and the programming will stay put.
 
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