First Alert FA168CP Horn/siren not working

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-29-19, 02:15 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
First Alert FA168CP Horn/siren not working

Horn quit working when door opens. Control panel beeps OK. Tested horn externally with 12V and it worked. Could this be a board problem, and how can I test it? Looks like the horn gets power from pins 3 & 4 on the board.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-29-19, 03:31 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Gainesville, FL, USA
Posts: 16,025
Likes Received: 12
Most commonly its either a siren that's drawing more current than the output is going to allow, or the system battery is on it's last legs (the siren draws heavily on the battery in alarm mode),

The easiest test is to put a meter on the battery, set the system in alarm and watch what happens to the voltage when the door is opened, and the keypad starts drawing more power.

A more complicated test is to put an amp meter into the siren circuit.
 
  #3  
Old 03-29-19, 03:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
Thank you Mr. Ron for the quick reply. I will do the voltage check later first and then give a reply.
 
  #4  
Old 04-03-19, 04:29 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
I connected everything back and alarmed the system, placed a VM on the battery, and opened a door. Pad chimed OK and the battery voltage (13.6v no load) dropped less than 0.5v when the door opened.
 
  #5  
Old 04-04-19, 03:05 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Gainesville, FL, USA
Posts: 16,025
Likes Received: 12
If that battery is more than 3-5 years old it's almost certainly on borrowed time, at best. You could still have a siren that is drawing excessive current, but the battery is a simple, and relatively inexpensive place to start.
 
  #6  
Old 04-08-19, 05:38 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
Will install a new battery tomorrow. Hope that's the problem.
 
  #7  
Old 04-10-19, 08:43 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
New battery installed. Still have the problem. Could the problem on the board.? Any way to do a voltage reading on the board? Your suggestions are welcomed.
 
  #8  
Old 04-10-19, 02:51 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Gainesville, FL, USA
Posts: 16,025
Likes Received: 12
Next simple test, disconnect the wires from the siren terminals, and hook up something like a 12v test light in their place. Trigger the alarm. If you measure 12V+ at the siren terminals with the test load in place, then the only thing remaining is a failed siren.
 
  #9  
Old 04-11-19, 10:35 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
The siren worked OK earlier when removed and tested with a 12V supply as stated in my first post. This would seem to eliminate the siren wouldn't it?
 
  #10  
Old 04-12-19, 02:50 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Gainesville, FL, USA
Posts: 16,025
Likes Received: 12
Just providing the fundamental troubleshooting steps. A siren that may fire on direct voltage from a battery, may still be drawing too much current for the current limited output on the alarm control.

Troubleshooting 101 - isolate the field wiring and devices from the control board.
 
  #11  
Old 04-26-19, 11:36 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
Finally had time to continue. Disconnected siren wiring at the board and applied 12VDC to the wires going to the siren. The siren worked OK.
As a note: The panel is located in a MBR closet and there is no outlet for the transformer. Transformer wiring on 1&2 go into the wall. Any clues to where the installer would normally have placed it?
 
  #12  
Old 04-26-19, 12:28 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 51,008
Likes Received: 166
may still be drawing too much current for the current limited output on the alarm control.
This is the part I don't understand with these alarms. The manual says 2A maximum load on the bell output yet under the UL requirements it states 600ma. max. That almost says that the bell output is not really rated for 2A.

What are you using for an external siren ?

The installer would not have installed a receptacle. He would have put the transformer in the closest and easiest place to get to. There may be power in the attic and he came down from there or possible power in the basement and he came up. It will be a plug-in wall wart to it should be easy to spot.
 
  #13  
Old 04-26-19, 01:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
Panel & Wiring

The siren is inside and is a Wave 2 EX.
There are no outlets in the closet. The AC power wiring is fed from the wall in a bundle with all the external feeds. It is a one story unit with an attic. It makes no sense to me to feed it from the attic, The main circuit breaker box is in the garage and and the control panel is at the opposite end of the house.The circuit breaker box has no listing for the system.

Attached 2 files to show panel and wiring through wall.

Name:  a1.jpg
Views: 27
Size:  72.1 KB

Name:  a2.jpg
Views: 22
Size:  113.8 KB
 

Last edited by PJmax; 04-26-19 at 07:13 PM. Reason: resized pics
  #14  
Old 04-26-19, 07:03 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Gainesville, FL, USA
Posts: 16,025
Likes Received: 12
For awhile there was a trend for alarm installers to put the alarm system wall plug in an outlet just inside the attic access, never really understood the logic.

A Wave 2 should only draw 500mA.

The reason for that UL limit on the output, is that it's about what the system can support without the pass through from the battery available.

It's not impossible that the internal power supply is aging and starting to fail and not passing the battery power to the siren.
 
  #15  
Old 04-27-19, 10:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
I'll look for it the next time I go into the attic as I have a bad knee and an age problem so I limit my trip up there. It does not appear to be an issue now.

In your opinion, what is the next step, board change?
 
  #16  
Old 04-27-19, 07:36 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Gainesville, FL, USA
Posts: 16,025
Likes Received: 12
Since it looks like you have eliminated the field wiring and the siren, short of something like the code encryptor module or the keypad drawing too much power; the only thing remaining is the alarm control board.
 
  #17  
Old 04-29-19, 05:07 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 10
I already have a new board, so I guess I will replace it and see if that fixes it. Don't look forward to the programing part. Thanks for the assist everyone.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes