Ademco 4120 alarm frozen?

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by trainfan19, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. trainfan19

    trainfan19

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    I have a home alarm with an Ademco 4120xm control panel and 2 key pads. The other night the keypads froze with AWAY lit up. Our code would not unlock it. We checked all the buttons to see if one was stuck but they all worked. Unplugged the unit and checked the connections at the keypads. Reconnected and was able to reprogram the master code through the keypads but then nothing! Could not disable the alarm or switch modes. Could it be the keypads are not communicating with the control panel? How do I test this? We also opened up doors to trigger the alarm while the keypads said AWAY and they didn't trigger. Could this be a bad control panel circuit board?
     
    trainfan19, Feb 12, 2018
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  2. trainfan19

    ChosunOne

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    I suspect that you reprogrammed the master code through one of the keypads? If so, then your panel and at least one keypad seems to be working to some extent, not "frozen". Also, it sounds like like it's not really armed and the keypads are lying to you, maybe getting their data fouled.

    It could be a bad panel, but it could also be one keypad gone south, that's fouling up the other keypad because they share the multiplex data lines. Before you go replacing things, I would try disconnecting the keypads (power down first) and reconnect each one, one at a time to see if one works without the other, and the other doesn't. *Always* have power off when connecting or disconnecting keypads. Are both keypads the same and do you know the model number(s)?
     
    ChosunOne, Feb 13, 2018
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  3. trainfan19

    trainfan19

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    Unplugged both keypads and reconnected one, tested, then tried the other. Neither disabled the alarm. I checked the new master code in the upstairs keypad and it was set correctly. Then I checked the downstairs keypad and it had the same new code. We had programmed it upstairs so can I assume since both keypads had the same code that it is "stored" at the main control box?

    Also after leaving the alarm plugged in a couple minutes a 01 fault occured and the beeping went off. This was a known issue before but never stopped the alarm from arming. Put in the code and it stopped the sound but display still says AWAY. Opened the front door and the alarm went off. Put in the code and it would not disarm it. Had to unplug.

    Keypads are 6137 models.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    trainfan19, Feb 13, 2018
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  4. trainfan19

    ChosunOne

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    We need to get our terminology straight so we're speaking the same language. You arm or disarm the system; or silence the alarm (sounder wailing) at the keypad with a User Code (including Master Code). You don't "disable" the alarm except by physically removing power from the panel (or destroying it).
    I'm guessing you meant that neither keypad silenced the alarm when you entered C-O-D-E + 1?


    How, exactly, did you check the new Master Code? I usually check a Master Code by seeing if it will let me change or add another User Code. I check a new User Code by entering C-O-D-E + 1 and listening for the "beep"; or by entering C-O-D-E + 9 and seeing if it toggles the CHIME function. How are you checking it?

    That's correct: All system programming is resident in the control panel. The keypads are just interfaces between the User and the panel.


    What is on Zone 01? A lot of systems use Zone 1 as a Fire Zone, and if that's the case here, then this would be the time to mention it. Fire Zones are not like burglary zones: They are 24-hour zones, not "armed" or "disarmed", and entering a User Code + 1 silences a Fire Zone, it doesn't disarm it because "disarming" is not applicable to Fire Zones.
    In any case, if any of your zones are showing faults or troubles ("CHECK XX" displayed on keypad), you need to square that away so it isn't compounding our symptoms. A burglary zone can normally be bypassed at the keypad, but given that the keypads are suspect, I'd rather bypass it physically at the control panel. A fire zone can't be bypassed except physically.



    If you were able to bypass this zone at the keypad, then it's not programmed as a fire zone. Are you using CODE + AWAY to arm?

    What is Zone 01?


    Now that's really odd. The oddest thing is that at one point, your control panel must have been disarmed. The panel won't let you change your Master Code while it's armed. All panel programming can only be done in the disarmed state.

    I'm guessing your reason for changing the code was to use different digits, in case the old code had a digit that was not making good contact?
    I'm guessing further that you tried on both keypads to disarm it?

    I'd like to see if any symptoms change when Zone 1 is physically bypassed. If Z1 is a fire zone, its loop wires are connected to T9 (Terminal 9) and T10. If it's a burglary (or other) zone, the wires are on T10 & T12. You bypass the zone by physically removing (after labeling) the wires from the panel and connecting a 2K-Ohm resistor across the terminals. While you're there, notice whether any 2K resistors are landed (connected) on other terminals, It's a common practice in alarm installations, except for fire zones.


    Thank you. This lets me know what you're seeing on your keypad displays.
     
    ChosunOne, Feb 13, 2018
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  5. trainfan19

    trainfan19

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    I'm guessing you meant that neither keypad silenced the alarm when you entered C-O-D-E + 1?

    Correct. We changed the master code by unplugging the system, plugging in hitting * # and following the instructions to reset. The keypad confirmed the new code. Then it reset to the AWAY state. We then entered CODE+1 to turn off and it did not disarm it. We tried going to AWAY or TEST or anything else and it didn't do anything.


    How, exactly, did you check the new Master Code? I usually check a Master Code by seeing if it will let me change or add another User Code. I check a new User Code by entering C-O-D-E + 1 and listening for the "beep"; or by entering C-O-D-E + 9 and seeing if it toggles the CHIME function. How are you checking it?

    Chime is still showing on the keypad but the door doesn't chime when open. Have not tried to toggle that but will tonight

    What is on Zone 01? A lot of systems use Zone 1 as a Fire Zone, and if that's the case here, then this would be the time to mention it. Fire Zones are not like burglary zones: They are 24-hour zones, not "armed" or "disarmed", and entering a User Code + 1 silences a Fire Zone, it doesn't disarm it because "disarming" is not applicable to Fire Zones.
    In any case, if any of your zones are showing faults or troubles ("CHECK XX" displayed on keypad), you need to square that away so it isn't compounding our symptoms. A burglary zone can normally be bypassed at the keypad, but given that the keypads are suspect, I'd rather bypass it physically at the control panel. A fire zone can't be bypassed except physically.

    Zone 01 is the fire alarm. We had been receiving 01 a while back and I replaced the smoke detector thinking it would solve it. It didn't. New detector was wired and has a resistor in there just like the old one did. Not sure if we bypassed it (CODE+ BYPASS button) but I seem to remember always seeing CHECK 01 on the screen but still being able to arm the system AWAY or STAY before we had this issue



    If you were able to bypass this zone at the keypad, then it's not programmed as a fire zone. Are you using CODE + AWAY to arm?

    Most of the time CODE+AWAY is what we used unless we were in the house at night.



    Now that's really odd. The oddest thing is that at one point, your control panel must have been disarmed. The panel won't let you change your Master Code while it's armed. All panel programming can only be done in the disarmed state.

    I'm guessing your reason for changing the code was to use different digits, in case the old code had a digit that was not making good contact?
    I'm guessing further that you tried on both keypads to disarm it?

    Yes, we thought that maybe the old master code was suspect so we changed it. Both keypads show the new master code but again, when input CODE+1 it doesn't turn off the alarm.

    I'd like to see if any symptoms change when Zone 1 is physically bypassed. If Z1 is a fire zone, its loop wires are connected to T9 (Terminal 9) and T10. If it's a burglary (or other) zone, the wires are on T10 & T12. You bypass the zone by physically removing (after labeling) the wires from the panel and connecting a 2K-Ohm resistor across the terminals. While you're there, notice whether any 2K resistors are landed (connected) on other terminals, It's a common practice in alarm installations, except for fire zones.

    Let me try this tonight and see what happens. Thanks again for your help.
     
    trainfan19, Feb 13, 2018
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  6. trainfan19

    ChosunOne

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    Okay, just to check: When you "followed the instructions to reset the Master Code", you changed it in programming field *01, right?
    After powering up and hitting *# simultaneously, the panel comes up in Panel Programming Mode, and the 1st programming field that comes up ready to be programmed is *00, which is your Installer Code (IC).

    A common error among novices is to program a new IC (Installer Code) in field *00, thinking that they've programmed a new MC (Master Code). You must enter *01 to advance to field *01 in programming, in order to change the MC.

    I'm sorry if I'm coming across as pedantic, but when things don't add up, I have to check step-by-step to confirm that you actually did "follow the instructions." The symptoms here are a lot like someone trying to use the Installer Code as a User Code. It's an error that is insidious because it usually works.
    In fact, the Installer Code can be used to arm the system (I advise against it) and can be used to disarm the system as long as the IC was used to arm the system in that arming event. But the IC cannot disarm the system if any other means was used to arm: For instance, if the Quik-Arm method was used to arm---which is why I advise against using the IC for anything other than getting into Panel Programming Mode.

    Try this experiment with the code you're calling the Master Code. Enter CODE + 8 + 00 and see if it puts you into Programming Mode (keypad display will include the program address "00"---not sure what else the 6137 displays, I've only worked with the 2-line Alpha Keypads). If your code gets you into programming, then it's an Installer Code, not a Master Code. Enter *01 to program Master Code.



    Not sure what you mean by "receiving 01". A keypad display should say "FAULT" or "CHECK". "Fault" in a fire zone is alarm-speak for "in alarm state", meaning that the zone loop (circuit) is shorted (zero or near-zero resistance). "Check" in a fire zone means that the loop shows "open", i.e., infinite or extremely high resistance. Note that the two conditions are diametrically opposite, so it makes a difference whether "FAULT" or "CHECK" is displayed along with "01".

    A bad smoke detector can't cause a "Check" condition, because "open" is its normal standby state. What you should be reading on the two wires of Zone 1 (its loop) is ~2K-Ohms, the value of the End-of-Line Resistor (EOLR). Which is why I recommend putting the 2K EOLR across T9 and T10 until we get this arming situation squared away, so the symptoms aren't compounded.

    You can decide later whether you want to troubleshoot your fire zone or continue to ignore it. Obviously, as a veteran service tech, I'm going to recommend you fix the Z1 problem, but being able to arm and disarm takes priority, since a working fire zone is worthless if you have to keep your system powered down.
     
    ChosunOne, Feb 14, 2018
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  7. trainfan19

    ChosunOne

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    Had a belated thought: In case you haven't already, be sure to download the Installation Manual:
    http://www.info-techs.com/ademco/files/controls/installation/4120xmii.pdf

    It's been so long since I worked on a 4120XM, I had to download this myself to check some of the programming. I have a hardcopy manual somewhere, but downloading this was quicker than finding it.
     
    ChosunOne, Feb 14, 2018
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  8. trainfan19

    trainfan19

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    OK, so that last instruction solved everything! I had changed the 00 installer code so I went back and did the 01 master code. That "unfroze" the panel and all the sudden we got a green ready light. We tried arming and disarming the alarm a couple times from both pads and it all worked (except for a sticky #3 button on the lower panel, we are thinking that might have started the problem when we couldn't arm it at STAY).

    We still had the 01 fire fault so I bypassed the smoke alarm wires with the EOLR from the actual smoke alarm and that cleared the fault. After checking the manual, I figured out the EOLR was installed across the wrong terminals in the smoke detector so I re-installed it correctly and now the smoke alarm works, the 01 fire fault is gone, and our alarm arms and disarms correctly.

    Thank you for your help in pointing me in the right direction. I appreciate it.
     
    trainfan19, Feb 16, 2018
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  9. trainfan19

    ChosunOne

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    Glad I was able to help. :) Thanks for posting back and letting me know the outcome. I always appreciate feedback.
     
    ChosunOne, Feb 16, 2018
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