Focus 32 alarm system problem

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Old 08-18-14, 11:02 AM
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Focus 32 alarm system problem

I have Focus 32 system, with proximety sensors on 5 doors, and motion detectors in each room (8). There are no sensors on the widows.

The system works fine in the summer time, however when it starts to get cold outside...around -8 to -12 degrees or so...the system will "beep" as if someone is opening and closing a door very quickly.

It will do this a couple of times and then stop....and as the temperture continues to drop, the system will work normally again.

The problem here is...if the system is armed, then it goes off. as the temperature drops to this range.

The focus 32 has a LCD readout and tells you what doors are opened etc...however there is no 'trouble' ever displayed either on the LCD display, or on one of the amber trouble lights.

The disconcerning fact is that ADT has been out to the house a number of times and cannot seem to find the problem...making the system basically useless to me.

I have checked all the sensors and even moved a few closer to there targets...have tried to bypass some of the doors, but that did not seem to work very well as I cannot positively identify which door(s) are giving me the problem.

The internal battery is new...so that is not the issue...

I am starting to think that it might be a wiring issue inside the walls to one of the sensors...possibly shorting out or pulling away from a contact when the temperature drops???

Can anyone offer any other suggestions?

The folks at ADT do not seem to be very well educated on these systems and there seems to be a lot of smoke and mirrors when they attempt to troubleshoot the problem...

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 08-18-14, 01:48 PM
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Intermittent issues are some of the hardest to diagnose. If a technician cannot reliably reproduce it he cannot troubleshoot. If the system only acts this way in a certain range -- that is very odd behavior [IMO].

Do you have enough experience with your system that you can troubleshoot some? For instance, can you separate out these doors on different zones? That would help to isolate the problem.

Short of that, I would look at replacing contacts [first] -- since those are the cheapest parts.

This could take some time [and money] to figure out [IMO].

Are you not able to bypass the doors on that system [then it would not be 'useless']?
 
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Old 08-18-14, 06:58 PM
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A common thing that happens in places with substantial temperature and humidity swings is that the actual door that the contact is attached to can warp just enough to throw a contact that is on the edge of it's operating range or starting to mechanically fail in to alarm state. Remember, these things are just dumb magnetic switches (the hardwired ones, at least).

You can turn on the chime feature and manipulate the various doors and windows and see which ones can trigger a chime when the opening is supposedly closed.

There is an off chance that there is an actual wire issue, but it's the least likely problem.
 
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Old 08-19-14, 05:02 AM
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Thanks you all for your comments...just a little more information, I checked all the contacts in question and they are all perfectly lined up with one another, and close to each other....having said that, it seems the door/frame would have to warp a substantial amount in order move the proximety sensor (magnet) far enough away to activate the alarm.

My next question is regarding the contacts themselves;

I understand that one of the contacts is a magnet, but what about the other one that is hard wired into the system?

Is the internal workings of this contact some type of switch that is normally closed but held at an 'open' position by this magnet? If this is so, then maybe I have a sensor (hard wired) that is the issue?
 
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Old 08-19-14, 09:46 AM
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Yes, the magnetically actuated reed switch inside the housing is about the size of a fat pencil lead. They do fail, especially on high traffic doors.
 
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Old 08-19-14, 03:10 PM
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MrROnFL

Thanks for the reply.

I actually did some research and found out that there is a moving part (the reed switch). I was under the assumption that they worked like an aircraft proximety sensor (wrong).

I called ADT today and will have all 5 sensors replaced this thursday...then see what happens when winter comes.


I want to thank all of you for your responses.

-Jim
 
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