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Vista 20 alarm

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by dentron, Mar 27, 2020.

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  1. dentron

    dentron

    3
    1
    Mar 27, 2020
    I followed the thread on how to change the reporting number from the CS to another number. I can get into the system and deleted the CS numbers. Trying to put cell number in pager slot (*160, *161, etc) and the system won't take the 3 digits. It defaults to the second and third digit. Am I stuck? I understand if I put cell number in CS slot the alarm won't get CS handshake and goes in trouble. Any help or suggestions will be appreciated.
     
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    dentron likes this.
  3. ChosunOne

    ChosunOne

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    Jun 20, 2010
    Since you didn't provide a link, I don;'t know which thread you're referring to. Don't assume that there was only one thread on the subject. So I can't reference anything that was posted in that thread.

    If the thread you're referring to was for a Honeywell (formerly Ademco) Vista-20P, and your control panel is a (much older) Ademco Vista-20, then you're working with the wrong Installation/Programming manual. Much of the programming is similar--for instance, removing the CS numbers would be the same--but there are significant differences.

    One major difference is that the old Ademco Vista-20 (Not Vista-20SE or Vista-20P) didn't have a pager-calling feature: There WAS no *160, *161, etc" in programming, something you might notice if you were programming with a 6139 Alphanumeric Keypad; but could easily miss if you're programming with a fixed-English Keypad (6128, 6148, 6150). You can program the pager feature (assuming you have it) with one of fixed-English KPs, but they don't do as good a job of giving you feedback to let you know when you didn't get into the Programming Field you thought you were in.


    So I have two questions:
    (1) Do you have a (Honeywell or Ademco) Vista-20 panel, or a Vista-20SE, or a Vista-20P panel? The model number is normally printed on the control panel wiring diagram inside the steel cabinet. If there's any doubt, check for silk-screen print along the top edge of the control panel itself.
    (2) What Keypad model are you using? Unfortunately, the KP model number is labeled on the back of the mounting plate of the KP and can only be read by removing the KP from the wall or wherever it's mounted; or you can post a clear picture of the KP and I can ID it. If you want to post a pic of the KP, post a pic of the Control Panel and cabinet wiring diagram while you're at it.

    If you have a Vista-20 panel, then it doesn't have the paging feature; but don't despair. Vista-20P panels are becoming dirt-cheap on eBay and you can do a wire-for-wire replacement with not a lot of trouble. I have a few used V-20P's lying around myself if you're keen on having the panel call your cellphone; just understand that your cell phone won't receive the pager data like a pager would, unless you have some special app for that. So you'd get a call from your home (landline) phone number, but no indication of what is causing your system to call out.
     
  4. dentron

    dentron

    3
    1
    Mar 27, 2020
    Sorry, I'm new to trying to get answers like this. I followed a thread you had with Btrauth in June of 2010.
    I have a Vista 20 amt3 with two 6139 keypads installed by SecurityLink (since absorbed by ADT) in 1998. I have the installer's programming form but was always leery of trying anything till I read the thread. I kept ADT while my wife was alive for her peace of mind but but she passed away last May and I got tired of escalating fees. If I see my house phone number show upon the screen of my cell phone I'll know the alarm activated. That's all I want. Apparently the system I have won't page but I could put the number in the CS slot and put up with resetting it after an alarm. I'm an old retired Bell guy. Transferring leads wire for wire is a snap. What should I look for on e-bay or Amazon if I decide to go that route?
     
    davenn likes this.
  5. ChosunOne

    ChosunOne

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    Jun 20, 2010
    Very sorry to hear about your wife. My sincere condolences.

    You can use the CS slot in Panel Programming to make your Panel call your cell phone, but I don't recommend it: The Panel is programmed in firmware (can't be changed) so that if it doesn't get through to the CS (doesn't get a "handshake"), then it tries to call 8 times. That means that you would get 8 calls in succession from your Panel every time it tries to report an event; which would be a much bigger nuisance than powering the panel down and back to reset the comm fail. Getting 8 phone calls in succession gets old real fast.

    Now that I've had a little time to think about it, the simplest way to have your panel initiate a phone call to your cell would be a stand-alone dialer, triggered by the bell/siren output (T3 & T4 on the terminal strip of the Vista-20).
    Full disclosure, I've haven't used a stand-alone dialer, since I worked for professional dealers that exclusively used Central Monitoring Stations; so I can't vouch for their efficacy. However, I've read on the DIY forums I post on that they're a viable self-monitoring method, and there are reputable brand names that make them for exactly this application. A quick search turned up new and used dialers for between ~$40 (used) to $140 (new). If this interests you, here is an example I found on eBay:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/UNITED-SECURITY-AVD-45B-AUTOMATIC-VOICE-DIALER/124083803562

    It's used and doesn't seem to come with a manual, but I located that here:
    https://www.onsetcomp.com/files/manual_pdfs/AVD_45b_manual.pdf

    It also doesn't come with a phone cord, but someone with your background probably won't have trouble locating the proper one.
    That's just one example I found, you can search around for others.

    Again: I can't personally vouch for its efficacy, but United Service Products is a brand name in the alarm industry and I can vouch for the general quality of their products.


    About replacing your Vista-20 for a newer Vista-20P, instead of using a stand-alone dialer: I may have overstated the simplicity of replacing your Panel. The hardware itself would be easy enough to replace, but the new Vista-20P Panel would need to be programmed from scratch: There would be a learning curve on the Panel Programming, because professional-grade alarm panels are not meant for DIYers and the manuals assume a certain familiarity with alarm protocol and jargon, etc--they're written for experienced techs. The manual isn't incomprehensible, but there IS a learning curve to get past, especially when it comes to setting values for the Zones in your system (Zone Types, etc). Which is why I suggested the stand-alone dialer: That would be just a matter of wiring it onto the panel and programming numbers into the dialer, and (I suppose) recording a voice message (or not): No Panel programming involved.

    Let me know what looks best to you, and I'll be happy to advise you about getting what you need.

    EDIT: I sent you a PM. Check your Inbox.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  6. dentron

    dentron

    3
    1
    Mar 27, 2020
    ChosunOne Give me a time frame to consult with you. I have the unit and it fits inside the alarm box. I have questions about NO and NC plus some on programming.
    Dentron
     
  7. ChosunOne

    ChosunOne

    392
    106
    Jun 20, 2010
    Dentron, sorry I didn't see this earlier. Feel free to call me anytime tomorrow after 11:00 AM Eastern Time. I'm up late and may sleep in. Also may be out of the house (and away from laptop) for a few hours after 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Probably will be home after 7 PM.
    Phil

    EDIT: For those concerned, I'm practicing self-quarantine: Being out of the house usually means walking alone in nearby woods, in the boonies, where it's easy to stay dozens of yards away from any neighbors I encounter.
     
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