Which came first?

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  #1  
Old 08-28-20, 05:33 AM
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Which came first?

The DSCs and Vista20s are so similar, it just seems one must have been a knockoff of the other. Any of you veterans know which was the first to market?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-28-20, 09:26 AM
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That's easy. Ademco (Alarm Device Manufacturing Co) has been around forever...well, seems like, anyway. It was a market standard when I first entered the security alarm industry in the mid-70's, and was well-established then. It seemed to have already been around for decades.
I just now did a quick Google search and found that Ademco history seems to trace back to 1929, but I doubt think the actual brand name dates back that far.

I'm having a little harder time finding DSC, but I didn't personally see their stuff appearing in my area (Wash.DC Metro Area) until sometime in the late 80s/early 90s. I visited a lot of homes and small businesses to service systems that my companies didn't install, and I saw a lot of brands that are now defunct, but never any DSC until 80s/90s; so it's statistically unlikely it was around before then.

There are probably other pros on here who know more about it than I do. I'm curious myself about DSC's timeline.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 04:49 PM
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DSC has been around since ~1979-1980. The real reason most intrusion alarms are very similar, it that they are all based on basic hardware designs that have been around since the 70s. Most of the common features that are "standard" date to the early Radionic, Moose, and Ademco products, but most of the major brands developed pretty much in parallel.
 
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Old 08-31-20, 07:51 PM
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Once upon a time _____

Ademco evolved from a company called Progress Electric, located on Voice Rd, in Carl Place NY. If I remember right, I think that was 1929 I could be wrong on that. It was started by Maurice Coleman. The company sold household appliances, washers clothes irons etc.There was a catalog that showed all of the household electric devices and I don't know if anyone here remembers S&H green stamps, but Maurice had a green stamp like program that offered credit stamps to people who bought from the catalog. Maurice came up with the idea of a magnetic contact from which the famous #39 magnetic contact evolved. It became pretty popular and gradually more and more alarm-like products were developed. Maurice teamed up with an engineer by the name of Nat Verger who designed some of the early Ademco alarm panels like the #100 and eventually the #1000 alarm panel. This eventually grew into the 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005 etc. Then they built frame bells, and eventually applied for approval for the UL Bell Box and alarm panel. This more or less caused an evolution of electricians and others into installing alarm systems. There was no licensing so anyone could do it and they did. As Ademco grew they only sold their alarm equipment to people in the alarm business. To become a dealer you had to buy 5 control panels, 5 bells and 5 bell boxes. There weren't any electronic sirens only the 110 volt sirens like on a fire truck. Maurice was adamant about selling only to dealers and not the end user and Ademco warehouses were set up around the United States and I think one in Canada and one in Puerto Rico. However in the 80's they hired a really smart guy by the name of Bill Nix who came up with the idea of selling Ademcos competitors products from the Ademco warehouses. Maurice was against it but by that time although in his advanced age he still went to work every day, there were too many executives in charge of the "store" and so that was the beginning of ADI. That just blew the top off of sales and ultimately both Honeywell and GE were competing to buy out Ademco. And of course Honeywell won. It sold for billions of dollars but I forget exactly how much.

And they all lived tremendously well and happily ever after.

The End
 
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Old 09-04-20, 05:39 AM
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Thanks for a very interesting and informative read, Jimmiee. Makes me wonder what else you could tell us what life was like in 1929!
 
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Old 09-04-20, 06:54 AM
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I remember the Ademco 100 panel, and not fondly. Panel and bell ran off a lantern battery (6 volt IIRC) and the protective loop had 2 or more 1.5 volt "telephone" batteries. The loop batteries were preferably at the end of the loop.

I think that was about the time Ademco introduced their #29(?) power supply; nothing like today's power supplies. You had to bring 120VAC into the panel and the unfiltered/unregulated output still required a lantern battery as backup. No rechargeable batteries yet. Later they brought out thew 29-12 for 12 volt systems.

IIRC the 100, or at least one panel in that series, did not latch on alarm. If the foil was broken, the bell rang until the panel was reset. But if you opened a door, the bell rang until you closed the door!
 
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Old 09-04-20, 09:21 PM
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No, the Ademco #100 panel did latch on alarm. It was about the simplest panel possible: A keyswitch and two relays, the "sensitive relay" (locally we called it a "750 relay" 'cause its coil resistance was 750Ω) and the latching relay. The sensitive relay would energize at as low as 1 volt, carrying 3/4 milliamp (which we found by actual tests, not by Ademco specs).

There were quite a few of them still in service when I started out in the mid-70s. I actually liked the panels themselves, because they never failed. They were just too simple/basic to go wrong. I once accidentally connected 120VAC across the sensitive relay for several seconds, and it survived it and kept working for years afterwards. (Don't ask how I managed to goof that badly unless you really want to hear the whole story. Troubleshooting was different in that day.)

The one thing I hated wasn't the panel itself, it was the end-of-line battery (2 X No. 6 cells, aka "Telephone batteries) at the end of the protective loop. The installers would often put the EOL Battery in the most out-of-the-way place they could, sometimes even hiding them in really inconspicuous places (above dropped ceilings etc).

In one case, there was a large building that we always had to service late at night, when all the lights were turned off (at the circuit breaker panel, not individual switches); and nobody knew where the EOLB was installed. So when
one service tech arrived in the wee hours (back in the day, graveyard shift was common) and discovered the voltage at the 100-Panel was really low and the EOLB hadn't been changed in years, and nobody knew where it was--instead of spending a couple of hours tracking the protective loop all over the building (remember, this was before zoning, so the entire bldg was on the _one_ loop), he tapped into the phone line (~48VDC) and charged the EOLB to where it would last a few more weeks. Then it was the problem of whatever poor service tech happened to catch that call next. And he bragged about his ingenious solution, so the next tech, and the next, applied the same jackleg-fix. Eventually somebody got around to tracking it down in some unlikely spot above a dropped ceiling, right in front of double doors where you don't want to put a stepladder during business hours, so it wasn't anybody's first, 2nd, 3rd, or 10th guess: It had to be tracked down after hours.

So I didn't care for the EOL Battery configuration, although I understood the security reason for it. But for the panel itself, I considered it bombproof.

OK, some service tech somewhere, sometime, has probably had a 100-Panel go bad on him, but I'll bet it took a lightning strike or something as catastrophic to do it. Or possibly some tech has come across one still in service in the last couple/few decades whose latching relay finally wore out after 50+ years of service. As Ron is fond of pointing out, everything is subject to the third law of thermodynamics. Entropy always wins, given enough time.

I can't remember how long it's been since I've seen one in service, but I'm guessing sometime in the mid 80s. Also guessing, somewhere in these United States of America, there are probably a few still in service.
 
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Old 09-05-20, 01:09 AM
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Never really had problems with any "Original" style alarm panels,
till they started adding dialers..
Then the fun started...
Add telephone to alarms,,, trouble... LOL
 
  #9  
Old 09-05-20, 06:48 PM
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I think It was actually the #866 Bright Star 6 volt lantern battery and the Bright Star # 6 one and a half volt ignition battery. and the # 89 Energy Pac. which was followed by the # 97 Rechargeable Energy Pack with the Ni Cad batteries. The # 89 and 97 had the EOL voltage supply output which started the procedure of bringing the EOL wires back to the panel. I don't remember any alarm panel that would stop ringing if you closed the loop. But there was this device which allowed you to close the door with out tripping the alarm but would trip every morning when you opened up.
Which was followed by this, the # 35 magnetic push button shunt switch.



Below is an excerpt from the Progress Electric Catalog showing the for runner of the 100 panel the #110 which was operated with 110 VAC. I'm thinking that the # 100 was designed to avoid killing the installers.You'll notice some of the appliances in the catalog that I mentioned earlier.




The below pictures are of items that I'm guessing that most of you have not seen or if you have you probably never installed them. I have.








I only ever installed one set of these on one job but only because they were already installed and the owner wanted to "keep the same look"

I'm guessing that's enough of a history lesson for now.
But ----- I've got more if anyone is interested.
 

Last edited by Jimmiee; 09-05-20 at 08:41 PM.
  #10  
Old 09-05-20, 08:34 PM
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The sensitive relay on the 100 panel was the # 90503 made by the Kurman relay company in Syosset NY. that was the one designed to work with two of the 1Ĺ volt EOL batteries wired in series but would still maintain contact down past 1 volt. There was another relay that was designed to work at 6 volts but the part number escapes me now. The bell relay on the 100 panel was the #140 DPST 6 Volt relay
With regard to the 120 VAC across the sensitive relay, I think what you are referring to is "Flashing" a foil circuit to find a swinger. For you youngsters --- what we did when we would get a swinger on a foil job that we couldn't find by taking resistance readings the last resort was to "Flash" the foil with 120 VAC. This consisted of taking an old cut off extension cord, Plug it into an 110v outlet and taking the bare ends of the cord and just lightly touch the both end across the foil circuit. Of course it was essential that the circuit was prepared properly by eliminating all of the contacts so that only the foil was in the circuit. If not, welllll you just might blow a sensitive relay Right ==== Chosun One ???? ;-0 Anyway, this would most of the time pop the high resistance break in the foil. Sometimes though it would create more problems than it solved.
 
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Old 09-06-20, 11:51 AM
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I never saw one of the trip switches but did run across a few exit-shunt contacts. I did a lot of door cords with a built-in tilt switch on transom lites. A UL listed company I worked for built their own screens; don't remember a problem with them.

There was a panel that did not latch the alarm; may not have been in the 100 series. I only saw one and can only guess they inherited it when they bought someone. I was probably there and a battery change and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't latch. The office said it was built that way (grrrrrr).

The #89 sounds more correct than the 29 (memory isn't what it once was).

The only time I saw 4 #6 cells used was in BIG warehouses; probably to overcome voltage drop across hundreds of mechanical contacts. Most of those had company-built test boxes, each with its own keyswitch, meter and batteries to quickly isolate a group of doors for trouble shooting.
 
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Old 09-11-20, 11:30 AM
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Voice Road is only a few miles from my home, that area is all retail now..
 
  #13  
Old 09-14-20, 04:51 AM
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Thanks!

Appreciate all the alarm history, guys! Glad I posted the question. Never thought it would take us here! Interesting stuff!
 
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Old 09-15-20, 07:40 PM
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If you would like to read something interesting look up Agustus Pope and Edwin Holmes.
Pope is credited with getting the first patent on an alarm system. Pope sold the patent to Holmes. Holms is credited with starting the alarm trade but it is interesting to see how it all intertwines with ATT, ( You realize that ATT stands for American Telephone and TELEGRAPH) , Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone. Unknown to many is that during this time some of you may know about the early years of running wires in home using "knob and tube" method. Believe it or not, DC voltage was used in early home and business wiring because that was being promoted by Thomas Edison and would probably be the way we would power things today if it wasn't for Nikola Tesla inventing AC power transmission and the promotion of it by General Electric at the Niagara Power plants. But my point is that they had to use the knob and tube method of running wires because the wires had no insulation on it. I don't find it mentioned anywhere on line but in Holm's book, it shows an illustration of the method that he used to insulate wires in the late 1800's. I'm sure it wasn't the best method but he apparently thought of if and invented a way to do it very early in the development of the use of electricity. for running alarms wires and used for Telegraph lines. All very interesting. This was also the time central station monitoring was popularized. Only the Banks and large corporations could afford it. Prior to alarm systems for small businesses they would hire door checkers and the police patrol would check whether doors were locked or not. Thee was not central station monitoring, just a local bell. I can remember when I was a kid, at seven to 8 Am every morning you could hear the alarms going off as people opened up their place of business. There wasn't any time delay. so people would have to turn on their 100 alarm panel at night. The above door trip would allow them to leave without setting off the alarm, but when they opened in the morning, the alarm bell would trip until they could get to the 100 panel and turn off the keyswitch. It was just a business section morning ritual. But ---- if you think about it, it's got an advantage that modern systems don't typically utilize. Every morning the alarm system was tested. I've had customers who:s siren has failed and there is no telling how long it hasn't been operating. Because they never think to test it.
Anyway, the history is an interesting aspect of the alarm trade that I would imagine few of the present day installers know absolutely nothing about.
 
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