Programming DSC Zone Definitions

There are several times people get confused on programming their zone definitions into the DSC security systems.  It is fairly easy to do, but can also be really confusing.  Zone definitions basically tells the system how that zone is to respond to that device being triggered.  In other words, the definition tells the system how to function for that zone.  The only thing to remember when doing your definitions is to know that you will not enter a zone number, but only a definition.  You must also know how to count, because each time you enter a 2-digit zone definition, the system will do a quick triple beep and then you are ready to input the definition for the next zone.

Here are the most common Zone Definitions:

  • Definition 00 = Not Used (null, turned off)
  • Definition 01 = Delay 1 (ie: entry/exit doors)
  • Definition 03 = Instant (ie: window sensors, non entry doors, glass breaks)
  • Definition 05 = Interior Stay/Away (motion)
  • Definition 08 = Delayed 24hr Fire (hardwired)
  • Definition 88 = Standard 24hr Fire (wireless)

To program your zone definitions, you must:

  1. Enter Programming by pressing ” * 8 + Installer Code
  2. Enter Section 001 (Section 001 is used for Zones 1 – 16 only… If you have more than 16 zones, you will use 001 for the first 16 zones, then you will use section 002 for zones 17-32)
  3. Now you will enter Zone 1’s 2-digit definition
  4. The system will triple beep, and now you will enter zone 2’s definition
  5. When you are finished entering the Zone definitions, you will hit # # #

So let’s, for example, say we want to make:

  • Zone 1 and entry door with a delay
  • Zone 2 a back perimeter door, no delay
  • Zone 3 a living room motion
  • Zone 4 a bedroom window
  • Zone 5 a hardwired smoke detector
  • Zones 6, 7, 8 not used

I will use the definitions above and program my zone definitions as follows:

  • * 8 + Installer Code
  • 001 (enters section)
  • 01   (delay 1 for entry door)
  • 03  (perimeter back door)
  • 05  (motion sensor)
  • 03  (perimeter bedroom window)
  • 08  (hardwired smoke)
  • 00  (zone 6 not used)
  • 00  (zone 7 not used)
  • 00  (zone 8 not used)
  • # # # (to exit)

Now you have defined all eight zones. Please note that you must start with zone 1 and proceed in order with the other zones.  There is no way to just start with zone 5 or just enter one zone, without starting at the beginning of the section (unless you start in a whole different section for higher zones, but if using less than 16 zones, you will only be in section 001).   Notice that we did not enter the zone numbers, just the definitions. The system knows that the first two digits you enter in section 001 will be the definition for zone 1, the next two digits will define zone 2, etc.

Depending on the type of keypad you use, depends on how easy it is to program your system.  If using one of the PK5500 fully alpha-programmable keypads, this keypad will show you everything the system is asking for, as well as display the number of digits required for that section.  If using an older keypad or a PK5501, the keypad will not display anything and you have just the beeps to go by.



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