Wireless on zone becomes disabled

Posted on
Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:07 am
jay (support) offline
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Wireless on zone becomes disabled

DSC question which has nothing to do with the plugin: we have a DSC wireless transceiver with a wireless keypad and door sensor. We enable wireless on zone 1, but after some period of time, it disabled itself (section [101] option [8]). So the door sensor works as part of zone 1 for a couple of hours, but then it stops. When we go back and look at the attributes for zone 1, option [8] is off. We turn it back on, it works for a while, then it turns itself off.

Anyone have any thoughts on why this would happen? The wireless keypad continues to work fine, so I'm pretty sure the transceiver is working ok.

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Posted on
Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:29 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

And another one: when you're setting up zones:

*8[CODE][001]

then you enter the 2 digit zone [01]

then you enter the 2 digit zone type [06]

It then continues to prompt you for 2 digit "things". When is it done? This is completely awful UI because if going down that path is just 2 2-digit settings (zone and zone type) then why does it continue to prompt for even more 2 digit pairs? This is never fully described in the docs (as far as me or my spouse can tell).

I find programming these alarm panels to be extremely confusing and the horrible UIs to do it don't help. The DSC so far has been the easiest I've ever tried, mainly because there actually is some documentation, but the bar is so low as to be swamp land...

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Posted on
Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:42 am
Monstergerm offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

I agree, programming is confusing. Often you have to set attributes in totally different places to accomplish one particular thing. Do you have all the various user, install and reference manuals?

I do not have wireless zones. But I read that wireless zone devices have to be properly enrolled with their ESN number first, before setting the option 8. Did you do this?

Posted on
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:07 pm
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

So, we've finally found some answers by pouring through the 21 PDFs we have.

Answer to question 1 (why does wireless get disabled): whenever you change any zone settings, the zone attributes (which are set in a completely different section) get reset to the defaults (no wireless). I'm pretty sure it actually happens even when you don't change the specific zone's definition, but ANY zone definition. But, either way, it's kinda silly IMO. I'm about 80% confident this was the issue. Time will tell

Answer to question 2 (why does it keep prompting): apparently, it just continually prompts for zone # then type #, incrementing the zone # every other time. This behavior now, in retrospect, seems ok in that if you're setting up lots of zones you don't have to exit the zone # type # loop. The prompting on the keypad should be a LOT better (data is the only label on either one). I'm not sure why it didn't appear to be "sticking" in some cases (specifically, we have a wired motion sensor who was in zone 3 and we couldn't seem to set it to NULL - I just removed the wires for it until I feel more like messing with it).

Monstergerm wrote:
I agree, programming is confusing. Often you have to set attributes in totally different places to accomplish one particular thing. Do you have all the various user, install and reference manuals?


Yes - 21 different PDFs (and that's only the parts that we care about). Their docs, while significantly better than other company's docs, are still pretty terrible. The nugget about the attributes getting reset was in a completely different doc than where it tells you in vague terms how to set the zone types. So if we hadn't had that other doc we'd still be in the dark.

Monstergerm wrote:
I do not have wireless zones. But I read that wireless zone devices have to be properly enrolled with their ESN number first, before setting the option 8. Did you do this?


Yeah, they actually make that extremely easy, at least with the TR5164-433 transceiver. When I booted the panel up with the transceiver connected, it automatically just did it's thing. The Wireless keypad also just sorta worked after that. Adding the sensor seemed pretty simple though I didn't do it. This is definitely one area where they got it right.

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Posted on
Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:09 am
howartp offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

Wow, Jay asking us guys for help! :)

From memory, I thought wireless zones couldn’t be on z1-8?

I actually got a laptop and cable hooked up to do/check the initial programming.

My biggest problem with DSC was finding the right version of the manual(s) - the EU/US models have settings/parameters in different places to UK model.


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Posted on
Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:41 am
durosity offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

I thought they could be on 1-8, but if you do you can’t use the hardwired port for anything else. I know if you have say wireless zone 10 you can’t use zones 9-16 for a zone expander module.

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:42 am
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

Out of interest I’ve never used the PC based programming software.. do you need a special cable to use it or is it just a modified rs232 cable?

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:52 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

durosity wrote:
I thought they could be on 1-8, but if you do you can’t use the hardwired port for anything else.


This appears to be the case with the 4.6 version. When zone 1 has wireless enabled the hardwired zone connections don't work. But other than that it seems OK.

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Posted on
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:54 am
durosity offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

Yeah I think that’s been consistent since wireless support came in on v2.x .. my panel is a 2.8 model! :/

Computer says no.

Posted on
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:08 pm
CFSS offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

Configuring a DSC with direct data entry is like marmite - you either love it or loathe it! :P

If you are using a PK5500 or RFK5500/5564 keypad, you might find menu driven programming easier. To do this enter engineer mode (* 8 5555 - or whatever your engineer code is) so that the system says "Enter Section - - -". At this point, press and hold the police panic button until the keypad bleeps. You will see the screen change to menu mode. Using this you can select options using the star key (*), select options and zones from drop down menus, or escape menus/options with the hash (#). To revert to data entry, press and hold the panic button again until it bleeps and returns to Enter Section. Note this feature does not work with the fully wireless WT5500.

Section 001.... When you program zones, section 001 allows you to configure zones 1-16 by literally throwing the data in. The most common mistake on entering 001, is typing a zone number - do not do this!!! On entry to the section, whatever the screen says is the zone TYPE for zone 1. By default, this would coincidently be a type 01 (so you can understand why it is easily mistaken as a zone number). An 01 is a Delay1 zone type (or entry exit point). An 03 is an Instant, an 04 an Interior, etc, etc.

Let us say you want to program zone 1 as an instant, zone 2 as an entry point (Delay1), zone 3 as an interior (zone between the entry and keypad) and everything else as instant points. You would type 03 01 04 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 (you will note this is 16x 2 digit entries for the block of 16 zones in order). After the last entry, the screen will refresh to Enter Section. This might look mad to the uninitiated, but you have actually configured 16 zones in about 10 seconds! A record for any alarm system!

Say you only have the first 6 zones in use, all remaining entries (7-16) would be set as 00 (Null Zone). So you would set 001 to be 03 01 04 03 03 03 (that is the first 6 zones completed) 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00.

Important Note: If you change a zone type or re-enter it, you will reset that zones attributes. So if you had turned on attribute 8 for wireless on zone 1, typing 01 in section 001 would re-enter the zone type - and reset the zone attributes (removing the 8 attribute). Originally DSC were a wired only solution, so the Hybrid systems automatically work on the basis the zone will be wired - hence the default attributes have 8 switched off.

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Posted on
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:14 pm
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

p.s. Zone is either wired or wireless - not both!

You can mix zones 1-8 as wired or wireless. If you have a PC5108 on your system, that zone range should be WIRED ONLY. You can get odd results/issues if you change 1 of these zones to be wireless. :D

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Posted on
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:32 am
durosity offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

Well that’s about as comprehensive an answer as you could expect, Jay!

Computer says no.

Posted on
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:59 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Wireless on zone becomes disabled

LOL - yes, lots of good information in those posts, thanks! I wish we'd known about menu mode earlier... :D

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