Ademco 20P dialing/alarm problem

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Old 08-14-16, 12:07 PM
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Ademco 20P dialing/alarm problem

I started getting a comm failure. I reset and called my local police dept to put me in test mode. Then I set off the alarm. It didn't work. About a month ago, AT&T changed my service from analog POTS to uVerse, so this is probably the cause somehow. It worked fine before. But I can't seem to fix it.

Here is what I did:
- Checked the phone connections on the alarm box (I think terminals 23 and 24) by hooking up a phone to them. I *do* get dial tone.
- Using that phone connected to the panel, I manually dialed both of the alarm connection numbers from my police dept ("fast" and "slow"). They both connect, and I hear a beep when I connect. So that appears to work. It must be a programming problem.
- Went into the alarm menu and cleared the phone numbers using *41* and *42*
- Set of the alarm and listened in using the phone connected to the panel. It didn't dial out. Good.
- Then I programmed the police dept numbers in 41 and 42, exactly as I dialed them before, the following way: [Installer code]+800+*41[enter 11 digit phone number]*42[enter 11 digit phone number]*99
- Set off the alarm and listened in off the panel again.
- What I heard was three quick digits being dialed, then the "call cannot be completed as dialed" message, then the alarm tried to dial more digits, I think 7 (too late).
- Then I tried to program in a 2 second delay and then the number. Same problem

As I mentioned above, I cleared the phone numbers from the alarm, and didn't enter in any dial delays. Not sure why this isn't working now, when it did before.

Any help *greatly* appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Old 08-14-16, 12:30 PM
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The most common problem when they change from an analog phone line to a derived digital line, is they install the adaptor upstream of the original telco demark, so the telephone dial tone gets fed into alarm system, essentially backwards.

In effect, when the alarm tries to take the phone off hook to dial, instead of seizing the phone line and cutting off the internal house extensions to prevent a phone being off hook from keeping the alarm from dialing out; it's now disconnecting itself from the dial tone.

The simple solution (but not the most correct one) is to swap the pair of wires on terminals 21 & 22 with the pair on 23 & 24.

The most correct solution is to find the point where the alarm telco is connected to your house wiring and reverse it, there.

All of this is assuming that you actually have dialtone on telco connections at the alarm control.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 01:19 PM
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One claification

I tried reversing 21/22 and 23/24 and I still couldn't get it to work. Can you please explain how I would know if it's connected properly at the demark, and how to reverse it there?

Separately, I read that I should add 1 before the phone number, so I tried that too. No dice.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by lippy; 08-14-16 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 08-14-16, 03:40 PM
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Have you checked for dialtone at the alarm control? (You can attach alligator clips to the red and green wire connection on a standard phone jack so you can use a cheap wired handset to listen to the line).
 
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Old 08-14-16, 03:48 PM
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Dial tone

Yup. The green is on 21, red on 22, brown on 23, and gray on 24. The red and green give me dial tone, as do the brown and gray. I can call out from each pair on that phone. I even called the police dept alarm number from there and it picks up and I get a tone.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 03:59 PM
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Now the trick is to listen in while the alarm tries to dial out. Sometimes you will hear it trying to dial out, but not getting through, or you may hear the dialtone disappear on one of the pairs (it should disconnect the one marked as "house" when the dialer actuates).

It may simply be that your digital phone adaptor isn't letting the call go through.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 04:48 PM
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I think you need to be calling the telephone service provider. The plain simple truth is that some digital telephone systems simply do not like the signals sent by analog alarm systems. Generic VoIP systems are the worst for reliability as they can work 100 times in a row while testing and then fail on the next time when it is a real alarm. I have the opinion that most homeowners do not gain much from a monitored alarm but that IF you have one, then a cellular connection is far, far better than any land-line or Internet connection.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 04:54 PM
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Scratch that

I get dial tone from the red and green (on 21/22), but not from the brown and grey (on 23/24). What does that mean?
 
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Old 08-14-16, 05:21 PM
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21/22 should be in parallel with 23/24 when in a non-alarm status. If you do not get dial tone on BOTH pair of connections then either the alarm is attempting to dial out OR the internal relay has bad contacts.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 05:42 PM
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Dial tone

Nope. I just get dial tone from the green and red, not the brown and gray. I just switched them back so brown/gray are 21/22 and green/red are 23/24, and I still just get dial tone on the green/red.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 06:59 PM
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Under normal circumstances, if your dial tone originates on the red/green pair, if they are connected to 23 & 24, then the dial tone should pass through to 21 & 22 ( the terminals that would normally feed the house lines after passing through the alarm system. If not, then something has failed or locked up in your alarm control.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 07:11 PM
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uVerse should work

According to this, uVerse should work. The problem is that the installer likely screwed up the install.

https://www.att.com/media/en_US/swf/...home_alarm.pdf
 
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Old 08-15-16, 10:54 AM
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You're going to need a BW-1 to connect the phone from the modem to the panel. You'll have to run a new 22/4 or cat5 from the modem to the panel as well
 
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Old 08-15-16, 12:07 PM
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uVerse

I have AT&T coming out on Wednesday morning to try to straighten this out. Hopefully they know what to do. But if not, do you have any guidance on what specifically I should tell them? Also, am I correct to assume they can do this without a BW-1, as it worked fine before they upgraded me from POTS to uVerse?

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-15-16, 02:43 PM
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I wouldn't count on AT&T fixing it, they're only concerned with you having a dial tone for your phone(at least in my area, I do at least 30 calls a month because at&t or the cable company screwed up the phone lines). You could have at&t run a line to the demarc from the modem and could connect that as your incoming phone line.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 10:27 AM
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Still doesn't work

So AT&T came out yesterday. The guy actually seemed good and mentioned he had experience with alarms. He verified the other guy had done it incorrectly and rewired it so the phone signal goes from the uVerse box to the RJ-31 jack at the alarm, and then back to the phone connection to the rest of the house. So the demark is correct. We also verified that I get dial tone on terminals 23/24 at the alarm.

But here is the problem:
- There is no dial tone on terminals 21/22
- If the alarm panel is plugged into the RJ-31, it appears to seize the phone line and there is no dial tone in the rest of the house. When I unplug the alarm/RJ-31 the dial tone in the rest of the house reappears.

I power cycled the panel, but I still have the problem. When I switched 21/22 and 23/24 earlier and then switched them back, I'm afraid I may have damaged the board.

Does it sound like I need a new panel, or is there any other fix you can think of?

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-18-16, 11:14 AM
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It sounds like the telephone line relay is stuck or perhaps continuously energized. If the former it is possible that a new relay could be soldered onto the motherboard. If the latter then the motherboard has serious problems.

I rather doubt that connecting the telephone lines backwards caused this problem.

You can get a new motherboard for about $50. Do a Google using vista 20p motherboard for the search terms.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 11:25 AM
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New motherboard

Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. The problem is that I have about 30 wired and 10 wireless zones, so reprogramming through the keypad is likely to be a time consuming and frustrating exercise.

Frankly I'd get someone to do it for me, but everyone wants a monitoring contract to do it, and I don't want that (our local police monitors for us). The one guy I found who will do it only uses GE so he would have to switch out all of the wireless sensors.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 11:34 AM
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If the relay is just stuck there is a slight chance you could get it to release by hitting it smartly with the handle of a screwdriver while holding the working end. Don't use gorilla strength but do more than just tapping it. The relay is the little black box right above the telephone terminals. Thump it a couple of times and see if you have dial tone at the house phones.

If that doesn't work I'm afraid you need to replace the relay or the entire motherboard. Understand that if it DOES work there is no guarantee it won't stick again.

There is also a possibility that you could swap the program chip from the existing board to the new but I don't know enough about these things to be able to tell you if that would work.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 12:53 PM
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Possible solution

I think the RJ-31 may be bad, or one of the connections. I jumped the Red/Green phone wires from the RJ-31 directly to 23/24 on the alarm, and I no longer have the problem. This way, I now get dial tone through both 21/22 and 23/24 on the alarm panel. I still have some sort of dialing error, but I may be on the right path.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 06:48 PM
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Those RJ-31x jacks can, and do, fail. They are inexpensive to replace, and are nice to have to simplify future troubleshooting.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 08:26 PM
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I fixed the problem! There actually were two problems. I traced the phone wires and figured out there was a splice. I connected it so the demark is now correct. Second, there was a *xx code in the PBX field (40), so I cleared that out. Tested it and it works fine. Thanks for all your help. *So* glad I don't have to replace this panel.
 
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