Dsc motion sensor flashing, no movement detection

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Old 06-21-15, 04:13 AM
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Dsc motion sensor flashing, no movement detection

I recently bought a house with a DSC system installed. The battery backup has recently died and a replacement is on the way. I do however have two wired motion detectors (300 dp I think) that that have until last night been working. Now the LED on each unit simply flashes. I have pressed # on the panel and the zone for each unit is not working.

I assume that the detectors are still good because they both went down at the same time. Is there a way to rest them or is this somehow tied to the need to replace the battery back up for the system? This doesn't make sense to me as the main power is stil on.

DSC manuals have been no help, and don't mention the series of flashes on the detectors so any help or ideas would be appreciated.
 
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Old 06-21-15, 06:38 AM
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As long as the system is still getting AC power; a powered device like a motion should be working.

When they are first powered up, the LED blinks at once per second for about a minute and a half while the unit "warms up"

You can check and make sure they are getting 12VDC from the alarm control. If your system battery has failed really badly, it could be pulling down the system DC voltage. Otherwise, these are pretty simple devices; a motion is just a fancy relay, when it's all said and done...
 
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Old 06-21-15, 08:00 AM
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Those were my thoughts as well. I'm not a master electrician by any means, but when I opened up one of the units last night they are pretty much a gutless wonder. As of right now, the LED on both units is still blinking and none of these problems started until the battery went out. I thought that perhaps the blinking might be some warning to check the system, but the panel says nothing. The new battery will be here in a couple days, so I'm hoping this will fix all the problems.

Thanks for the reply and the help. If the battery doesn't do the trick, I'm sure I will be back.
 
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Old 06-21-15, 10:27 AM
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Based in what you described must be the battery for sure.
 
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Old 06-26-15, 03:12 PM
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Problem solved. The new battery showed up today. After putting it in, charging for a few minutes and resetting the panel, everything appears to be working fine. Looking through the old bills I have, the service guy charged the previous owners about ten times what the battery cost to replace it last time for the service call! Seems a little excessive for five minutes of placing two leads and pushing some buttons on the panel.
 
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Old 06-27-15, 03:10 AM
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My information is a little out of date on this but the last time I got an actual number on this, it typically cost a company ~$500/day to keep a technician in the field (the wage of the tech is only a fraction of that). Typically a service tech might run 5 calls in an 8-hour day, here in the WDC area, where service is spread out over approximately ~ a 50-mile radius (but up to 100 with no extra charge). It wasn't typical but also wasn't that unusual for me to travel over 100 non-interstate miles between calls, sometimes in commuter-hour (dead slow) traffic. It's a pain, but it's necessary in order to provide timely service to all customers who need it on a particular day.

Any alarm dealer has to incur the costs of providing timely service to his customers, and the dealer has only one source of income: His customers. So he has to charge an amount for each service call that will tally up at the end of the day/week/month to enough to keep his techs in the field. In practice, that usually means a minimum cost for the first 15/30/45min/1hour to defray the travel time, with a lower cost per hour (typically in 15-min increments) after the initial minimum period. In this area, it's typically a minimum charge of close to $100---that's what a tech would have to charge you to plug in the transformer your housekeeper unplugged to use the vacuum and forgot to plug back in.

The dealer doesn't charge just to plug in the transformer back in (or to replace the battery)--they also charge what they have to, in order to defray the cost of having a tech spend the time to drive between customers, which usually takes more time, on average, than actually fixing system problems.

This is one major reason DIY work is so much cheaper than having a pro come out: You're already there, you can have a cuppa coffee before starting without being chewed out for it; and if you need to, it doesn't cost you anything extra to come back with the right part.
 
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Old 06-27-15, 06:30 AM
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I'm with you. I certainly understand and time is money and am a supporter of capitalism. It just amazes me what some people will pay to fix simple problems around the house that can easily be fixed themselves at a fraction of the cost.
 
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