PC1555MX issues and wireless expansion

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  #1  
Old 11-06-16, 05:41 PM
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PC1555MX issues and wireless expansion

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum. I currently have a functioning and monitored DSC Power632 system with a PC1555MX that I installed about 10 years ago or so and pretty much did a set and forget. It has a very basic 8 zone keypad (see picture below) I have stupidly forgotten my installer's code and I have been reading relevant threads here to default the panel. But before I do that, I want to describe the state it is in now. I know the master code and have 2 user access codes. I have 3 zones activated.
1 - Front and garage entry doors (not actual garage door, but human access door)
2 - Living room wired PIR sensor
5 - TV room wired PIR sensor (broken)

The system is basically half-baked and I have the number 8 trouble light on which I believe is a wrong system clock.

After I default the panel to get my installer's code reset, I need to reprogram it, which I think I can do based on the archived threads here and the manual.

Then I want to know what I can do add wireless devices to enhance my home security. Based on what I've read, I could get a RF5132-433 wireless receiver which will give me up to 32 zones (panel is not too old?). I want to add window sensors and a sensor to the back door and I think the WS4945 could suit that. I also want to add a wireless smoke alarm (DSC WS4916) and a wireless PIR sensor to the garage (DSC WS4904P).

Questions:
-Do these part numbers look correct and current, and are they compatible with the PC1555MX v2.3 if I can program this panel?
One issue I see is that keypad only shows 8 zones of information but I will be getting up to a dozen zones. Can/should I replace the keypad and what is compatible?
-What is a recommended hardwired replacement PIR sensor?
-Are the LCD5501Z and LCD5500Z keypads are supported and will they show the extra zones? Which one is better?
-Any recommended resellers (if allowed to recommend)?
-Anything else to watch out for during this troubleshooting and upgrade process? Is it better to get a new panel? I would rather not start over unless it is necessary.

Thanks!

The keypad looks like this:
 
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  #2  
Old 11-07-16, 10:01 AM
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You can replace the keypad with an RF receiver model. The newer ones are backward compatible with the older Power Series panels like the 1555mx.
PowerSeries 64-Zone LCD Full-Message Keypad with Built-In Wireless Receiver | DSC Security Products | DSC
 
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Old 11-07-16, 10:38 AM
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I hadn't considered that keypad. I already have the wires run, however to the keypad area and wired is usually more reliable. Is there a comparable wired version that supports 64 zones like that model?

How do the part #'s look for the rest of the items on compatibility and do they make sense? I am going to try defaulting the panel very soon, maybe tonight. Have to work around the baby's schedule.
 
  #4  
Old 11-07-16, 02:41 PM
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It's a wired keypad. The RF means that the wireless _receiver_ is built into the keypad.
 
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Old 11-07-16, 08:10 PM
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That's great. That would actually solve two of my problems. The installation manual for that says it supports the latest version of the PC1555MX, which I'm assuming is v2.3. My hardcopy manual says it's a PC1555MX v2.3 but on the board I see no markings and on the inside metal lid for the panel it just says PC1555. How can I tell which version I have before buying all this stuff? I can post a picture of it if it will help.
 
  #6  
Old 11-08-16, 02:20 AM
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The IC chip in the center of the board _usually_ has the version number written on it. Shop around; you may find a kit with that keypad _and_ a new PC1832 system for not a lot more than the cost of just the keypad.
 
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Old 11-08-16, 06:30 PM
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panel shot

Can tell you what version it is? I can't from the IC chip. It says 'DSC 3918' on it. I have seen the PC1832 and the RFK5500 keypad and a siren and PIR sensor kit on ebay for $165 or so. The keypad by itself is about $85 or more. Do you think it's worth the upgrade? That would save me the hassle of defaulting the panel I suppose and I could just start over with all new hardware but there is a cost different for the panel itself. I have a little bit of an accessibility issue with a computer shelf in front of it that I will have to partially dismantle to really work on it.

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Old 11-08-16, 06:56 PM
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Not having to deal with the potential legacy of someone else's configuration decisions, and having to back track to document what is already there, along with the fact that there is no potential compatibility issue with the current hardware is worth the price difference.

All you have to do is identify your current zones.

On many of the earlier power series models, the label on the chip was literally a sticker, which usually fall off, over time, as the adhesive dries out.
 
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Old 11-08-16, 08:37 PM
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I think you are right on the compatibility possibilities, although I was the one who configured it, I did a poor job documenting the configuration. The board is 10 years old and there is always the possibility that it could eventually fail before a newer board would.
 
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Old 11-23-16, 10:46 AM
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Dsc pc1832 installed

I ended up buying a PC1832 board and RFK5500ENG keypad. Oh and I was able to default the old board and I guess I can sell it. I have the new one already wired it up and wired a new LC-100-PI sensor to replace a dead one. I have some vanishing wireless window/door sensors I have not installed yet. I confirmed that the keypad works and I can enter programming mode. I am basically ready to start programming.

The old set up had no resistors. Should I continue with this old setup and disable the EOL mode or should I add resistors? The kit came with plenty. I am still using three of the old wired sensors which includes a motion, two front entry doors and a closet.

Should I ground the panel? The old panel was never grounded and it is located in a closet with a metal shelf and computer equipment in the shelving. There are no pipes and the flooring is carpet on slab so I am not sure how to ground it.

I am using the power transformer in an outlet inside this closet. I could run it somewhere else in the house but is it worth the trouble? The siren is run elsewhere but the comms are in the same closet.

For the abovementioned motion sensor I wired red and black to power and ground and green to C and white to NC. On the panel green is on COM and white is zone 3. is this right?

Thanks!
 
  #11  
Old 11-23-16, 01:28 PM
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In a residential system, unless you are going to go through the effort to put the resistor out at the furthest out device on the loop, there's no practical benefit to installing the resistors at the motherboard; so go with the NC loop configuration, like you had before.

The grounding isn't really a big deal, either. In the past, it was primarily needful because certain telephone connections needed the ground reference.

Polarity doesn't really matter on the zone inputs. I habitually use a common color (like green) on all of my COM connections, primarily because it makes the wiring consistent, and easier to troubleshoot down the road.
 
  #12  
Old 11-25-16, 04:16 PM
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Communicator issue

Ron,

Thanks for all your help so far. I am using Nextalarm but they don't do much as far as programming goes. I configured all my zones and did an installer's walk test and tripped all alarms. Now the communicator is the last thing to do. I asked support the communicator details, this is what he told me:

888-xxx-xxxx is the receiver number.
First 4 digits of my 6 digit number is the account number.
Contact ID is the report format.
DTMF or tone dialing is the dial method.

I have set sections 350 (communicator format contact id or 03), 310 (system account number to XXXX), 380 (communicator on), and 301 (receiver phone number) and 302 to the same number.

I have been generating alarms and arm/disarm events while in test mode but nothing is received. Only the telco restores and faults occur in the activity log when I take the Alarm Broadband Network (ABN) adapter offline or remove the ring/tip wires from the panel. Most likely ABN events, not panel ones. I also tried setting communicator format to 06 for residential dial and that also didn't work and tried the phone number with an without the country code 1. Also tried using the full six digit account number. Verified the receiver # is legitimate by dialing it and listened to the squawks and tones.

Any idea what is going on here? I can't get my account to receive any events. The old PC1555MX worked fine so I'm fairly certain it's a programming error and not Nextalarm's ABN adapter or maybe there is something they have to do on their end? They are out for the holiday weekend so I can't talk to them, but they did say there is nothing on their end that they have to do since the ABN adapter was working and I just need the abovementioned details.

Also, how do you program the panic and fire buttons on the RFK5500? Do I need to configure zones for this somehow?

Thanks!
 
  #13  
Old 11-25-16, 05:43 PM
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Did you put anything in the report codes for the zones and functions that you want to report and restore? They default to 00 (disabled). Any non-zero value will make them generate the correct CID signal (I usually use 11)
 
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Old 11-25-16, 06:17 PM
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I thought it was set to automatic contact id codes mode. I did not set anything for the zones except type. do you know the section to set? section 381 option 7 is unset.
 

Last edited by zergrusher2010; 11-25-16 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 11-25-16, 07:19 PM
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Set automatic contact id reporting

Okay, I went to section 381 and set option 7. Then I set section 320 and changed the options from FF to 11 for the first eleven of the zones before pressing #. Arm/disarmed and no event.
 
  #16  
Old 11-26-16, 07:12 AM
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If you are wanting arm/disarm reporting, have you turned on that call direction in programming location 367? Also, for individual user codes, those are located in programming locations 349-344, and can be set for each access code you wish a report from. Also, remember that there is a 30 second default communication delay (set in location 377).
 
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Old 11-26-16, 08:56 AM
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Comms working

Hi Ron,

You are a really great help! I think it was setting 367 and enabling option 1 and 2 that did it. I also set 377 and changed the comm delay from 30 seconds to 5 seconds but I don't know if it's dialing out any faster. I see events about 15 seconds or so after the event makes the board click. However, I can get all the events after setting 367 and they started flooding in and I was able to trigger in walk tests, etc..

Panic button and fire alarm buttons work too. They also say have "restored" events that follow. Is that normal because I don't want these events to be cancelled? What is the auxillary alarm button for? When I press it, it sends a medical alert to Nextalarm.

Now, I just need to get more window sensors for the rest of my windows.
 
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Old 11-26-16, 10:30 AM
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Siren question

Can I hook up more than one siren to this panel? Currently the panel has a pretty big battery. It's a UB1280 with 12V 8Ah. The DSC 1832 says it can power 700mA of power to the bell.

I have a Moose MPI-38 hooked up to it right now in a central location, see http://security.livewatch.com/wp-con...85448f9fcf6f88.

Seems to be working...

However, I was thinking of putting another siren next to the panel for more noise. The one in the kit has a TS-443S-6UL and says it has the following specs:
Power supply: 12VDC
Operating current: 380mA
Surge current: 404 mA
Peak current: 392 mA

Can I simply screw the terminals of the second siren into the bell +/- like the first siren or will it overload it? Or does it need a different power source? According to the spec sheet, the MPI-38 has a 1.6 amp drain at 12V so it's already over 700mA but it does seem to be working and quite loud.
 
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Old 11-26-16, 03:23 PM
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In general, most monitoring centers will not cancel a dispatch/contact because they got a restoral on a signal. That's a procedural question to clarify with your central station.

The current limit on the panel is the listing to maintain UL standards for a commercial install. Generally. the current rating on a siren is the peak current draw. The continuous draw is the more critical number. Usually, to only way to determine that is to hook up your sirens to a battery and test with an ammeter.

Using the two sirens together is likely to push the current total output on your alarm control to the limit (don't forget that the draw of the keypads and powered devices, like motions, are also part of that alarm draw), so you may come out better getting an inexpensive power supply and a relay, and using the siren output to trigger that.

ELK-P1215 Power Supply / Battery Charger Kit
ELK-912 Compact Relay module, 12 Volt DC coil
 
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Old 11-29-16, 07:23 PM
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So is the restore event a normal thing after pressing the button? I can ask the monitoring station how they handle it but wanted to check if its a programming option as well.
 
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Old 11-30-16, 02:14 AM
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You can simply program the restoral report code as FF (the default), if you wish. From the monitoring end of things, it's not generally a critical thing.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 11:08 AM
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Section 329 seems to be the section to program the codes for the the keypad emergency buttons. Everything, both alarm and restore are set to FF by default. I set the Fire, Aux, and Panic restoral codes to 00 and that seems to cause the restore to never occur after holding down the buttons.

I did contact the monitoring station and he said that if a zone, including the buttons, is restored they will not dispatch. I kind of wish there was a sequence to cancel these alarms with a code or something (in case of false alarm) but I'm not sure how to do that. If there is a way, please enlighten me, otherwise I would rather have false alarms than a real emergency be ignored by the station.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 12:55 PM
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Again, that's a procedural question for your central station.

The system can send a cancel code if you turn on option 3 in programming location 382, and put in a report code in the last segment of location 328.

If you disarm within the time window (the default is 5 minutes) it sends the cancel code.

The 30 second dialer delay is intended to prevent exactly the situation you are describing, by the way.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 03:38 PM
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Option 3 is set in section 382 already. Section 328 has FF set for bytes 1 through 8 and my panel seems to send messages when FF is set as an event code and 00 causes it to send nothing. I am not sure what you mean by disarming since these are manual emergency buttons. What would I do to initiate the cancel code if the system is already in disarm mode (i.e. - I am at home)? I could change the dialer back to 30 seconds to give more time for cancellation. Thanks again for your help.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 04:33 PM
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What happens with the priority buttons, is that they generate alarms that may or may not show on the display. If you have the cancel functionality set up, if you enter your code during the time window, it will send the cancel code.

Again, there's a lot of human interaction involved, here.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 05:15 PM
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I extended the communicator delay back to 30 seconds, section 377, option 4. Sent panic alarm from keypad and entered my code. It then arms the system, then I immediately disarm by entering my code again. It does not stop the panic alarm from being sent. Doesn't matter how fast I entered the code. If I go to section 329 and put FF for the panic restore code back (option 7), then the panic restore gets sent every time after pressing and releasing the panic button, or auto-cancelling, regardless of a code entered or not.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 06:35 PM
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Ok, you are trying to override a configuration that was _designed_ to be difficult to circumvent. This is one of those "it's not a bug, it's a feature" kind of things.

When you own the piece of electronic hardware, you have the responsibility to teach all end users to not push the wrong button. Sorry...
 
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Old 12-04-16, 07:06 PM
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Right on, I was exploring the possibilities. I've made it clear to my end users that if the buttons are pressed and held down, then the authorities are coming. Again, I appreciate all you have done for me.
 
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