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ATW Bus Terminal Expander (BT-600)

The BT 600 is a nice little terminal expander used to keep the amount of wires limited in a terminal.

After several questions from customers asking, “how do I fit all these wires in one terminal”, we would like to introduce to you the Terminal Expander by ATW.

Lets say for example you have six wires in your “Aux -” and six wires in you “Aux +” terminals on you main control panel.  The BT-600 will allow you to eliminate that clutter.  You would run one wire from you “Aux -” to one side of the BT-600.  All the wires in your “Aux -” will go on the same side as the wire you ran.  The same goes for “Aux +”.  Each wire will have it’s own terminal and will allow for better connectivity and less clutter. (more…)

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RF House Code On Honeywell Alarm Panels

A few people I’ve talked to in the past on the tech support line have a big misunderstanding of what Honeywell’s RF House Code is used for or even what it is.

Honeywell incorporated the RF House Code into the programming of quite a few of their panels whether they be the hardwired Vista panels equipped with wireless receivers or their totally wireless Lynx panels. The house code was made for certain add-on accessories so that they wouldn’t take up zones in programming.

We will use the Honeywell 5800WAVE Wireless Siren, pictured to the left, as an example of how to set up the RF House Code in your Honeywell system and in the device itself. (more…)

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Wireless Alarm Systems Comparisons (DSC, Honeywell, and GE)

As more and more homeowners are wanting to install their own system, they start to ask questions on what type of system to get. Most Do-It-Yourself people are wanting a wireless alarm system.

Lets get one thing straight, no professional grade alarm system is completely wireless. What I mean by that is, you will have at least one wire (18/2) needed to power your system. This goes for any wireless system. you will also need a phone line to your system, if you plan on the system calling out. If you don’t have a land-line then you could always go with GSM or IP communication.

I have worked extensively with four (4) wireless home security alarm systems. They are the Honeywell Lynx (R, R2, Plus, and Touch), the DSC Alexor and DSC Impassa, as well as the GE Simon XT. Below is a quick review and my personal opinion of each one.

Honeywell Lynx Series

This is a great system for self-monitoring. You can program a number for the system to call. When the system calls you, it has a voice recording saying, “Alarm, Front Door, Alarm, Back Door, etc…” It tells you exactly what zones had been tripped. The new Touch Series (Touch Screen) has a real nice look. The touch screen makes it easier to program the system. It is really difficult to hook any hardwired sirens to this system because the outputs are such low voltage, but it can be achieved with a relay and a power supply setup. Honeywell does make a wireless indoor siren for this system, but not out-door.   The Lynx Plus would be the easiest to hook a hardwired siren up.  There is a hardwired low-draw, low current siren, GE 13-950 or Wave2-Ex, you could use (for Lynx Plus only).  The Ademco / Honeywell Lynx panels are all self-contained. This means the main brain of the unit, indoor siren, and keypad are all in one unit. The body of the panel is strong and sturdy and is high in quality.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Lynx Plus an 7.5, and the Lynx Touches an 8.5.

DSC Alexor (PC9155)

The Alexor is a great system. Unlike the Lynx, the Alexor has a main brain and panel that can be completely hidden. You can place the panel in a utility closet, hall closet, etc.. If a burglar were to break in, they could not disable the system by hitting the keypad, unlike the Lynx panels. The system is great if you plan on having monitoring. I have been able to find a good monitoring service for $8.95 a month.  The DSC Alexor can be used for self-monitoring, but when it calls you, it does not inform you of what zone has been triggered; it only gives you DTMF tones.  This DSC system along with the Impassa are the only two wireless systems that have a compatible outdoor siren.  The Wt4911 comes with a built-in Blue or Red strobe light and a temperature sensor, which will allow the keypad to display the outside temp.  The Alexor is made great and is one of my most favorite systems.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Alexor an 8.5.

DSC Impassa

The DSC Impassa is great and just like the Alexor, however, the Impassa is a self-contained unit (just like the Lynx).  The main brain, siren, and keypad are all in one unit.  This system will also work with the bi-directional key fobs, outdoor wireless siren, as well as all other DSC wireless devices.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Impassa a 7.

GE Simon XT

The GE Simon is a self-contained unit, just like the Honeywell Lynx and DSC Impassa.  The GE Simon has the ability self-monitor as well.  If you want an outdoor siren, there is not a wireless one, but there is a hardwired low-draw, low current siren, GE 13-950, you could use.  The GE Simon has had a higher failure rate for me.  The body and plastics appear to be flimsy and more easily broken.  I have had many customers return the GE Simon XT due to poor quality and failure.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the GE Simon a 4.5.

Overall, if you want monitoring, I’d suggest the DSC Alexor and if you plan on self-monitoring, I would suggest the Honeywell Touch (L5000 or L5100).  Both Systems are great and I would put either system in my home at anytime.

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Ademco 5800MICRA Wireless Recessed Transmitter

The Ademco 5800MICRA wireless recessed transmitter is for those people who would like a recessed wireless transmitter that is hidden from plain site. This device also helps save against voiding the warranty on your vinyl windows because you can shallow recess it without having to drill into anything.

A lot of people like the idea of a recessed transmitter for doors, but don’t like the standard ones that Honeywell makes because it requires drilling too deep of a hole in the door jamb. This small contact is easy to install and, at a depth of .33″, you don’t have to drill a very deep hole at all to fit it into the jamb of a door or the sill of a window. (more…)

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Ability of the Honeywell Lynx Touch L5000 & L5100 to call out for self-monitoring

We have had quite a few people calling in to ask whether the new Lynx Touch panels, the L5000 & L5100, will call out for self-monitoring purposes. Honeywell has been telling people that these panels will not do this. But we have tested this out here in the office and we do know for a fact that both of these panels will call to phone numbers for self-monitoring.

The Lynx touch panels will do what is called a follow me phone number. This will allow your alarm panel to dial two phone numbers beside a central station phone number. This is very useful if you do not want central station monitoring service right off the bat. You can have the Lynx call you in case of emergency and it will announce what exactly is being violated. (more…)

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How To Hook Up An Additional Siren Using Honeywell Vista Trigger Pins

If you have already exhausted the power output of terminals 3 & 4 on your Vista control panel then you can use trigger output 17 on your Vista board to trigger 1 additional siren by doing the following. You will need the wiring harness used for this purpose. The part number is Honeywell 4120TR:

  1. Hook the negative of the siren to pin 1 on your Vista board
  2. Hook the positive of the siren to pin 3 on your Vista board

Now, after you have hooked the siren to the trigger pins as instructed above you will have to go into programming and enter the following information. This programming will let the sirens differentiate between burglary and fire conditions because the siren pulses differently for each condition. (more…)

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GSMVLP5-4G Internal GSM Radio with Two-Way Voice Support

Now you all may very familiar with GSM cellular communication for alarm system from your dealings with these systems in the past, but Honeywell is changing the game with their new GSMVLP5-4G GSM Cellular Communicator.

This new cell communicator for the Lynx Touch L5100 is used to send signal to a central station monitoring service. It will send signal over the 2G, 3G, and 4G networks that AT&T uses. This makes transmission lightning fast if these networks are available in your area. This communicator can only be used with the Lynx Touch L5100 and is not backwards compatible with the Lynx Touch L5000 or the Lynx Plus L3000

A lot of people worry about thieves cutting their phone lines. While it is not really a prevalent issue, it still can be a problem and that’s where the GSM communicator comes into play. If you have a phone line attached to your alarm panel and you think you might need a back up then the GSM communicator from Honeywell will be the best investment you can make. The GSMVLP5-4G can also be used as a primary communicator if you don’t have the option to run a landline. (more…)

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