VISTA-20P and Magicjack for Paging

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Old 10-20-12, 11:49 AM
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Cool VISTA-20P and Magicjack for Paging

I have a VISTA-20P panel. I had it set up to call my cell phone on arm and dis-arm using the Pager *160 options. It all worked fine for years. I am experimenting with changing over to Magic Jack. (AT&T was over $30/month for local calls and all I use is a cell phone. Seemed like a waste.) I rewired so that the Magic Jack output only goes to a multi-phone base station and to the alarm panel. (I am not trying to use the line seizure function.) I removed the modular connector in the panel that connects to the Vista terminal board. I connected a phone handset to the modular connector and got a dial tone and was able to call another phone. I disconnected the handset and re-connected the modular connector to the terminal board on the Vista-20.
I re-programmed the *160 with my ten digit cell number, put nothing in the *161, put 4,0,0 into *162. I also added a second cell phone into *163, nothing into *164, and 4,0,0 into *165.
The system rebooted and I tried to arm and dis-arm the system. No luck. It did not call my cell. I tried adding a #+13 (as a 2 second delay) as a prefix to my cell number in *160 and that did not help.
Am I missing something? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 10-20-12, 12:09 PM
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I have zero experience with these components but I do know a bit about VoIP telephone systems. Many VoIP adapters (Magic Jack is VoIP) are polarity sensitive. Try reversing the telephone connection at the alarm panel and see if that makes a difference.
 
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Old 10-20-12, 12:30 PM
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I tried reversing the 2 wires from the Magic Jack to the Alarm Panel, no difference. It was one of my first guesses too. I assume that the VISTA-20P uses simple tone dialing just like the handset that i had connected previously. In fact, I tried dialing my cell using the temporary handset and it worked with the wires reversed or not reversed.
 
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Old 10-20-12, 01:11 PM
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Regular telephone line's steady DC voltage is -48V. I doubt Magicjack provides 48 Volts. It may just be 5 or 12 volts. Measure it with a DC Volt/ multi-meter. It seems like Vista 20P is looking for a higher voltage level.

Alternately, may I suggest connecting an EnvisaLink 3 module ($100) to the keypad bus of 20P? Originally designed for DSC systems, they were about to release new firmware to include Honeywell systems. Get a free account on eyez-on.com and monitor, status check and manage your 20P from any smartphone and computer (free so far). Optionally, you can sign up for professional monitoring for a fee.
 
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Old 10-20-12, 01:14 PM
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Then I have nothing, sorry.

In fact, I tried dialing my cell using the temporary handset and it worked with the wires reversed or not reversed.
The handset you used obviously has a "polarity guard" installed. Very early "Touch Tone (r)" telephones were polarity sensitive. I have an old "Trimeline (r)" handset I use for a butt set that IS polarity sensitive and I keep it around for that very reason, I can then identify the Tip and Ring connections on any telco line.
 
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Old 10-20-12, 02:12 PM
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I just measured the output voltage of the Magic Jack. It is 47 volts DC. I would not have guessed that, but on the other hand, it does need to be compatible with all handsets and phones out there on the market, new or old.
 
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Old 10-20-12, 03:02 PM
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A _lot_ of people try to use "magic jack" and it's clones for alarm communication, with wildly mixed results.

Remember, these things are designed to transmit _voice_ (the V in VOIP). The DTMF tones generated by alarm systems often spit out faster than the circuitry in one of these VOIP systems can translate, and require a better phone line quality than one of these devices can provide.

The same device plugged into a different ISP might work just fine...
 
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Old 10-20-12, 03:15 PM
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I went back and read the *162 a few more times. I assumed that the 4 meant "ALL" as in all alarms, open, close, trouble. Then I saw the 5. I thought I needed the 4. That is what is written in my "cheat sheet". I may have had a 5 programmed in before. My testing today was only open and closes with no result. I changed *162 to a 5, and guess what, all is OK.
I am sorry to have posted a problem that I created myself due to not reading and understanding all the options. I dismissed the 5 option because I did not think that the "for all users" was important.
I did change the wiring for tip and ring to be the correct polarity. I must have got them mixed up trying to try different combinations.
Again, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
 
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