Newbie learning DSC1616 & wireless sender programming


Old 06-05-13, 06:33 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
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Unless a usb-serial converter has some voodoo inside it, why can't one just take an RJ45 ended cable and a molex to fit the alarm board, and put the wires into the molex connector properly?

Voila, $50 saved.

Enough to replace that motion detector that will not talk to the wireless receiver.
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Old 06-05-13, 07:27 PM
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From the installation manual page 9; section 3.3.2:

HEX (or hexadecimal) digits are sometimes required. To enter a HEX digit, press the[*] key to begin HEX programming. The Ready light will FLASH. Refer to the chart below and press the number corresponding to the HEX digit required. The Ready light will continue to FLASH. Press[*] again to return to normal decimal programming. The Ready light will turn ON.
Which means that all digits entered until you press * again will be HEX digits.
Superb answer, sir.
That text above is NOT QUITE what my manual says there.
Well clarified now.

From the instructions for the keypads at the top of page 4: (
Enter keypad programming by pressing [*][8][Installer’s Code][000].
Once you are in keypad programming, all section entries only apply to the keypad programming sections.
Got that manual some time ago.
Went thru all that. Mainly, for over a week, with TWO wireless keypads installed, which no one asserted any sort of problem with.
Note that there is no section [20] or [90], as I was previously directed to.

When you entered zone definitions did you enter the following once in programming?:

001 xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx (with xx being the zone type for zones 1 thu 16, in order). The correct zone type for a normal interior motion would be a 05 in the 7th slot for a motion in zone 7.
Yes, sir. I even went thru and entered all 00's for the data for zones above the 6 or 7 I was trying to activate. Just in case the default left something in there. Each one was selected from the Zone Type chart ["zone definitions" if you prefer] per page 26 wherein it is written:
00 Null [unused] zone
01 Delay 1
05 Interior stay or away
16 24-hr panic
etc. I do not need more than that. I would be happy to see two wired Delay-1 types and one WORKING wireless stay/away motion detector type zone. My worksheet says I entered

01 01 01 01 00 00 05 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

for Four "delay-1" type zones and then Zone #07 being the motion detector. The rewarding beeps indicated that all was well.

(Yes, there is a way to jump to a specific slot in a section, but entering all of the slots is simpler and less error prone for novice users)
I will take the slow and sure route. What's another week or two of this anyhow?

For the trouble: If you are pressing *2 and getting 1 and pressing 1 again displays a 4, then:
[4] General System Tamper

Tamper input on module(s) open circuit

Short tamper terminal to COM terminal on unused modules connected
to KEYBUS (PC5100, PC5108, PC5200, PC5204, PC5208, PC5320,
PC5400, PC5700).

If you don't have one of these,
No modules of any kind, just the very basic system.

check to see if option 8 in programming location 016 is turned on. That's the tampers for the keypads. If it's on and the little switch contact piece on the back of the keypad mounting plate isn't in place, then this will also generate a system tamper.
*8 5555 016
got me "beep beep beep" like it's happy, and BLANK DISPLAY so no options on there.
That's weird because according to my worksheet I have been here and turned on options 1 2 5 7 8, so, yes, option 8 might have been on. I figured it was a good thing to have, and cannot be difficult to implement. Perhaps I did kill all these settings when powered down for keypad removal?

gotta enter more stuff?? I tried a zero and then I forget maybe a fire button and the result was


blank and now DARK display with only the green check-mark "ready" lite on.
Pressing # repeatedly has no result.
It's now a few minutes later and the pad is unchanged.
Power-down restart again?

Oh goody. Unplugged battery then wall wart. Waited oh 30 sec. Re-powered to find the keypad is dark and attempts feebly to flash about once a second, looks like a DEAD POS to me. Sure glad I spent the extra on that alpha text keypad now.

The final, and least pleasant possibility is that an entry may have been accidentally made in one of the locations marked in the programming worksheets as "for future use". Accidental changes in those locations can create this kind of persistent system tamper. The only solution for that is to default and start over.
You know, I did at one point find myself in a FUTURE USE area, by accident. Not sure if I entered anything or not, and with no way to exit w/o saving, the the best of my knowledge anyhow, I could only # my way back out and start over. I would be GLAD to re-default and enter all that stuff again, if only I could get the system to be alive and the keypad to work. Now I am afraid to connect the other identical keypad, for it may well eat that one as well.
I am really starting to dislike this DSC thing.

Once you have programmed the zone type for the zones you will use, then you go to the appropriate attribute programming section for a given zone number and turn on the wireless attribute for any zones that are supposed to be wireless.
Yeah, sure, in my case, for a wireless on Zone 07, I would go to [107] and toggle on or off digits 1 thru 9 as I like, ensuring that "8" ends up "ON"
Old 06-05-13, 07:35 PM
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May not be dead yet.
Kid touched the corner and it revived with no clock. Bad wiring backside?
I snugged all the connections.
Way past bedtime now, pick it up tomorrow.

Ready to default and start over now that [I think] I have a clue how not to proceed, how to read Hex data from this display, etc.

I should have the alpha keypad tomorrow too.


Thanks you Ron and all the other contributors here.
Old 06-06-13, 03:35 PM
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Posts: 83
My system
DSC Honeywell Home Security Alarm System | eBay

was 2, now ONE - DSC RFK 5501-433 (v.1.20) keypad units
1 - DSC PC1616 v.4.6 [per board label]
1 - Honeywell AD 48 Transformer
1 - Honeywell BP 6217 Siren
1 - Wireless Motion Sensor WS4904P - not installed yet, cannot make it work.

Killed the keypad last night, with ordinary button pushes.
But, it got better. Not 100% maybe, I cannot get backlighting on, but at least the time appears and it seems to be working and showing me the contents of the alarm.

For the first time since I got it, the TROUBLE light is now OFF.

I left the wall wart and battery off all night after the death of the keypad last nite. powered up when I got home after work, and was able to enter the time and date and that works. I was even able to enter the zone ATTRIBUTES section, like 101 for zone 01, and view the data. I was even able to enter the system timing section [Delay1, Delay3, exit delay] and comprehend the display of the hex data contained therein, now that someone [me] was kind enough to explain IN ENGLISH how to view and interpret that data!

That chart needs to be in the FAQ section, in a sticky, by the way.

Oh, and the sticky about "how do I make my alarm call my cell phone" is severely outdated and pretty much useless at this time.

But, I digress.

I now have NO TROUBLE, so would like to enroll that #%#$%@# wireless motion detector.

This time for sure.
I will assume that no data fields are correct and go thru the step by step procedure and re-enter every one of the details required for a wireless to be happy.

How can YOU help? Answer these:

Does a power-down wipe out any settings I need to worry about?
All of them? Zone defs? Zone ATTRIBUTES? Wireless ESN?
When EXACTLY should I initiate the wireless tamper by removing the detector proper from its mounting bracket? anytime at all, or AFTER I am in the 804 section or in the wireless placement section 902 or what?

Thanks for any input you can render.
Old 06-07-13, 07:29 PM
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To quote me:

"I “enrolled” the device with ESN “3192BF” by actually punching in:
*8 5555 804 06 3 1 9 2 *2 *6
and all the right beeps seemed to emanate from the Pad of Joy.

So, what am I doing wrong?"
First off, I see that to enter

one should press
3192*26.... and possibly one more * if need be.


Oh, and closer examination reveals the actual ESN is
319-FOUR-BF, not -TWO-

OK, easy fix right?

Hell no.

I cannot view the [001] zone definitions- stepping thru the data with a FAP panic key does not work. Nothing EVER appears except the backlighting. Interestingly, if I press the keypad housing to the lower right of the LCD display, then two dashes appear at the bottom of the display.

I think I have a totally fubar'd keypad or maybe even the whole system board.

Will try replacing the keypad with the other one, but first, will try reprogram with the worksheet, from the start, with 000 keypad programming... but if the display isn't working that might be hard to do right.
Old 06-08-13, 07:06 AM
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I think I almost got it working in a basic mode, WITH WIRELESS, last night..

Turns out, for the past oh week or so, the one remaining KEYPAD has been failing to show me the things it is supposed to. Like, which options are ON or OFF, what data is in that section, etc. It was evidently navigating to the various sections, and altering them per my entries, but NOT SHOWING ME what was going on.

Unable to see this info, or access it in any other way, I was literally stumbling about blind, and probably altered several settings inadvertently. There was, after all, NO WAY to tell what was taking place with the button presses.

Removing the keypad from its wall bracket changed the display (things appeared and then disappeared, including gibberish lines), and placing it back in its wall mount brought it back to life- for now. That allowed me to find an error in the zone definitions- an extra or lacking digit which caused all subsequent digits to be incorrect.

Then of course when CHECKING the data entered for the wireless unit's ESN, I forgot about the ignorant use of zone numbers for base-two-exponents-plus-one, and I entered a "4" but it kept showing me a "3".... oh yeah, the display IS NOT A NUMBER, it is a CODE which translates to the number 4. Per that useless chart in the Installer's Guide.

So, at this time, I am able to arm for STAY, with "BYPASS" showing - which at first confused me, until I realized that the interior motion detector SHOULD be bypassed when at home- I don't see the need to show that on the display, but, whatever. I was able to arm in AWAY mode and convince the motion detector to trip the alarm- ONCE. By then it was way after 11pm and I was happy with the status.
Old 06-08-13, 07:19 AM
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I just said that I have all the parts' INSTALLER'S GUIDES

Just not perhaps all the parts' USER guide

As part of the tamper fault removal process I had the keypad out of its wall bracket many times. I looked over the keypad back pretty closely and saw no sort of switch that might tell the system that the keypad was opened.

The manual points at a round hole and calls it "tamper"
My bracket has such a round cavity, but it's just that.

Adjacent to that cavity, in the keypad, is a small black roundish device perhaps 10mm diameter. I suspect that in order to have tamper protection feature, one places a MAGNET in that round cavity and the adjacent device on the keypad is a Hall-effect or reed or similar magnetic field sensitive switch.

Evidently, though, for this system, keypad tamper protection is not all that vital, because if you remove the keypad, then what? Even if you wire in your own keypad, unless you send the right code to the system, you have gained nothing.

Whereas, with my old system, arming and disarming was a mere matter of momentarily connecting 2 wires, so keypad tampering was crucial to the integrity of the system.

If anyone can shed more light on the implementation of the keypad tampering feature of the PC1616, that would be great.
Old 06-08-13, 07:24 AM
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Please note per the above chart that 3 is 4, whereas 8 is actually 4.

It makes perfect sense.

Of course it helps if your keypad ACTUALLY SHOWS YOU these figures when it is supposed to.

Mine was faulty, and for a week or 2 drove me nuts, because it WAS NOT showing me anything at all. At times....
Old 06-08-13, 08:22 PM
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Latest questions:

I finally got the wireless to communicate and trip an alarm, but then on the next arming cycle, it appeared to not cause an alarm when it should have?? several times I tried arming the system ["away", MD not bypassed] then walking in front of the motion detector. Not until I pulled it off its mtg bracket and therefore "tampered" it did the alarm consider it a problem.


Also, pg 4 [Section 1.6] of the Installer's Guide shows AUX power thru some resistors and a simple N.O. switch into the PGM2 terminal used for an INPUT to the system... seems like I could use this scheme for the N.O. Panic buttons. This would be type 24 - 24-hr audible input, right?

I find it strange that they say PGM2 is good for only 300mA, yet the diagram shows the NO switch in line with a TEN ohm resistor...

per my math, 12V/10 Ohms = 1.2 Amps, or four times the allowed current at the PGM2 terminal... How can that be? Is it a typo, and the resistor should be 100 ohms?
Old 06-15-13, 08:31 PM
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Update 6.15.13

Keypad PK5500 with alphanumeric display arrived at long last

SO FAR SUPERIOR for actually programming.

Using this I discovered that the RFK5501=POS keypad was LYING TO ME

Inspecting the contents say of the wireless ESN in section 804.06, the data was supposed to be for example 0101BF and that's what the 5501 keypad says it was.... but the new PK5500 alpha keypad showed the data to be 0101B6 - an error in hex programming. That's why when I moved the wireless to Zone 07 and gave up on Zone 06, it started working.

I find yet another typo in the Installer's Guide... page 8, just after explaining Trouble Code #8 = time needs to be reset... Manual asserts that to read the version #, enter
* [IC] 900
Which is of course incorrect; the CORRECT entry is:
* 8 [IC] 900
You cannot leave off the "8" which sends it looking for the IC to enter programming with.

So far I have most zones working as desired. Still cannot get a panic button to work correctly. Wiring it to AUX+ & PGM2 as shown in the manual, with a 10 ohm resistor and a "2K2," which is Dolt-speak for 2.2k ohms, gets no result. Connecting Aux+ to PGM2 thru the 10-ohm gets no response from the system.

Evidently I won't be having keypad tampering supervision even if I wanted it because the space for a switch on the backside is vacant. Looks like a rubbery button like a keyboard switch is missing.

Oh, and as I recall I had asked how to enter sections of keypad programming, like [020] I think was the example, when the guide says to enter
*8 [IC] [section code xxx]
and I had wondered how the hell the system knows if you are entering, for example, SYSTEM [020] or KEYPAD [020] section, if for either case you are entering the EXACT SAME sequence of digits and characters.

$5 payment by paypal to the first correct reply if anyone can tell me, and will take the time to provide answer to that... by say noon Sunday 6.16.13. I know the answer now. Can't believe no one else caught it. Hopefully this will help others in the future who stumble across this info.

Last edited by Freddy_Z; 06-15-13 at 08:46 PM.
Old 06-16-13, 09:57 AM
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The answer to the riddle of how the system knows whether you are going into the KEYPAD section [020] or the SYSTEM section [020]:

From the keypad Installer's Guide
"Enter keypad programming by pressing
*8 [IC] *
then enter the section number..."

From pg. 9 of the PC1616 Installer's Guide:
"To enter installer programming press
*8 [IC]
the program light will flash..."

Please not the subtle but not negligible difference between the two keypad entry sequences, which is glossed over in the manuals, and not one person here could point out for readers needing help:

the SECOND ASTERISK which gets you into the KEYPAD area.

PS on the utterly useless RFK5501 keypad, there is NO DETECTABLE DIFFERENCE before and after pressing the 2nd asterisk. You have to GUESS what section you are actually altering.

So, if you do not have at least one alpha keypad, or the cable and software to use a computer to do the programming, then procure yourself an alphanumeric keypad like the PK5500. While it may technically be POSSIBLE to program the system via the RFK5501 (IF it does not lie to you and/or just fail to show you the information)... it is infinitely more painful. I was not so lucky as to get a 100% working and truthful RFK5501, so I spent weeks trying to learn how to do programming with faulty equipment.

Yes, this is one of those occasions where the marketing people made a higher model number that IS NOT better than the lower model number.
Old 06-19-13, 10:01 AM
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PC1616 Update

Time for an update!
THANKS to those of you who helped, or at least tried to.

A few thing you should have caught but did not, like the 2nd asterisk to get into KEYPAD sections of the programming.... the use of asterisks to get a STRING of hex digits in, etc.


RonFL says:
Mistake #3: The keypads (and other modules) have their own programming locations, don't confuse them with the _system_ programming locations.

From the instructions for the keypads at the top of page 4: (
Enter keypad programming by pressing [*][8][Installer’s Code][000].
Once you are in keypad programming, all section entries only apply to the keypad programming sections.
The TRUTH: After the [IC] and before the [000] you need a
and, your UPOS 5501 keypad will show you NO DETECTABLE DIFFERENCE to indicate whether you are in Keypad or System programming.

Manual says, at the bottom of page 6:
*5 [MC (Master Code) or SC (supervisor Code)] [9] [2-digit user ID]
gets you to a screen where you can toggle on/off your favorite features.

In reality, my system will not accept the 9 or 09 except as another user ID known as "09" of course.
Still waiting to hear from you experts how to solve this one.

MrRonFL Forum Topic Moderator
Using NO contact devices requires EOL to be on. DSC doesn't give the option of making individual zones EOL, it's all or nothing.
Mmmmm... NOT QUITE TRUE, sir.
After going over the wiring on pg 4 or 5 of the Inst. Guide very carefully, I see that in order to use PGM2 as a 24-hr PANIC or fire alert type INPUT, you need it programmed as type 24, then hook up a 2.2K resistor across AUX+ and PGM2. In parallel with this 2.2k EOL type resistor goes your N.O. SWITCH, which has for some reason a 10-ohm [maybe should be 100 ohm??] resistor in series with it. Seems to me like that would allow 12V/10 ohms= 1.2A into the PGM2 terminal, but what do I know, I'm just an engineer.
Anyhow, with this setup CORRECTLY WIRED, and programmed accordingly, I was able to test at the panel and produce alarm condition. Now on to attach the real wires and test the remote button. Saved $26 in new EMERGENCY switches.

My previous inquiry:
Does a power-down wipe out any settings I need to worry about?
All of them? Zone defs? Zone ATTRIBUTES? Wireless ESN?
NO, you can power down and restart and your programming will not be lost. All the zone definitions are intact. Attributes intact. ESN's intact. NO WORRIES.

When EXACTLY should I initiate the wireless tamper by removing the detector proper from its mounting bracket? anytime at all, or AFTER I am in the 804 section or in the wireless placement section 902 or what?
I find this works best to "tamper" the wireless device AFTER entering placement test by accessing section 902:
*8 [IC] 902
I also find again that the RFK5501 keypad is a USELESS PC OF CRAP for this task, whereas the alphanumeric PK5500 keypad writes words for you and makes life VERY EASY.

I sure hope this helps others who are in this mess.
Old 06-29-13, 02:14 PM
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Wireless Joy

Having seen the wireless Motion Detector work [more or less] at least once, after I got the enrollment all done right, after I got a keypad that shows English and doesn't LIE...

I bought two new Fire/Heat detectors from epay for a mere $90 delivered.

I had re-defaulted the system anyhow recently to ensure that all 20,000 sections were properly filled, even the "future use" things I may have changed while using the dysfunctional keypad.

Install went as smooth as can be.
Moved MD to the first zone above the hardwired zones, and the two smoke detectors to the next two zones up. Set up attributes properly as #87 = 24 hr wireless smoke/fire. Enrolled in [804] [xx] proper sections...

MD tests OK, smokes test OK, no problems.

At long last I have smoke detectors in the remote building and in the basement, which are set up to alert the whole fam damily and/or neighbors in case of a problem. Whether the alarm was armed or not.

Oh, PS, the remote building unit... not sure it'll work thru winter- instructions say not to install where temperature falls below 41F. That's about 50% of the year around here. We shall see.

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