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Security 

Basics

Wiring

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Basic Alarm Wiring

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Each alarm panel will have different options for wiring configurations and EOL setup, these are the basic wiring configurations most panels will have available.

Normally closed

A closed loop, that opens when the sensor trips.

Normally open

An open loop, that closes, creating a short when the sensor trips.

Single EOL resistor

A closed loop, with a resistor in series, that opens when the sensor trips.

 

 

 

 

 

Fire zones

Check with the specific panel but usually a normally open loop, with a resistor in parallel across the alarm contacts, creating a short when the sensor trips and a trouble if the loop opens.

Double EOL resistor

A closed loop, with a resistor in series, and a second resistor across the alarm contact in parallel, that opens when the sensor trips and creates a tamper if the loop opens.

Wiring NC.jpg
Wiring NO.jpg
Wiring NC EOL.jpg
Wiring NO EOL.jpg
Wiring DEOL.jpg

Camera Wiring

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IP cameras

There are two main configurations, A and B. As long as you are consistent at either end of the cable you can use either configuration. I recommend configuration A because it comes first...alphabetically.

Config A

1) Green White

2) Green

3) Orange White

4) Blue

5) Blue White

6) Orange

7) Brown White

8) Brown

Config B

1) Orange White

2) Orange

3) Green White

4) Blue

5) Blue White

6) Green

7) Brown White

8) Brown

POE 

1) TX+

2) TX-

3) RX+

4) POE-

5) POE-

6) RX-

7) POE+

8) POE+

Analog cameras

Analog cameras are typically run on a coaxial cable with a secondary pair of 18 gauge cable running 12-24v AC or DC voltage. Check the camera specifications and always double check the power supply.

Ohms Law

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OHMS Law is the formula used to work out the resistance, voltage or current of a circuit. Kind of like Pythagoras theorem, if you have 2 of the values you can figure out the third.

The formula is: 

Voltage = Current x Resistance

Volts = Amps x Ohms

E = I x R

V = A x Ω

If you have the voltage, just divide it by the current to figure out the resistance or divide it by the resistance to figure out the current.

Ohms.jpg

Resistors

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Resistors are small components you can add to a circuit to create resistance and reduce the current flow. Most security systems use resistors in the zone circuits so the system can tell the difference between a zone alarm or a short on the wire.

Resistors use colour bands to identify the value they hold. The value of the resistor dictates the amount of resistance it creates. Security systems typically use 4 band resistors. They have 3 colours close together, then a gap before the final colour. We just need to look at the first 2 colours to get our value. Alternatively you can use a multimeter and measure resistance to find the value. 

Resistor colour code

0) Black

1) Brown

2) Red

3) Orange

4) Yellow

5) Green

6) Blue

7) Violet

8) Grey

9) White

Common resistors

Using the first two colours you can identify common resistor values used in security. 

1) 1K Ohm Black, Brown

2) 2.2K Ohm Red, Red

3) 3.3K Ohm Orange, Orange

4) 5.6K Ohm Green, Blue

5) 10K Ohm Brown, Black

Relays

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Relays are basically electric switches. You apply power to energize them and they will open/close a switch.

 

The most commonly used relays in security are 12v DC Single Pole Double Throw or 12VSPDT. There are many variations but there should be at least 5 terminals:

  • 12v+ 

  • Ground -

  • Common

  • Normally open

  • Normally closed

Wiring a relay

1) The + and - of the relay are typically powered from your alarm system, wiring into the output terminal, so you can use the system to program when and how the relay will be tripped.

2) The switch portion of the relay could be used to run power to a device, like a siren or light, or even bypass a zone loop. The practical uses of a relay are endless, this can be the more creative side of alarm installation.

Phone Line Wiring

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Security systems must be connected to an Analog/POTS line (Plain Old Telephone System). Digital/network phone systems are not compatible with alarm diallers.

Security systems must be wired for line seizure to correctly work securely.

 

Analog lines

Analog lines are standard phone lines, most residential systems are analog. Both security systems and fax machines require analog lines to work, so often you will see the alarm system on the same line as the fax.

Standard analog phone lines run on a single pair, usually 22 gauge or smaller cable and measure around 48v DC.

Line seizure

The correct way to wire a phone line to an alarm is using line seizure or line priority. This ensures the alarm panel can always get a signal out to the monitoring station even if the lines are busy.

To setup line seizure you must:

1) Locate the demark, the spot where the incoming line terminates and feeds the building's phones. 

2) Interrupt the incoming line and route it through the alarm system first, then back to the building's phones.

In this diagram, the green and red wire will connect to the incoming phone line, run into the panel's Ring/Tip incoming phone line connection.

The yellow and black wire will run from the security systems T1 R1, phone return connection and feed back to the phones in the building.

Another way to look at this is that you have taken the incoming phone line on a slight detour or pit stop before feeding all the building's phones.

phone wiring.jpg

IT/Networking

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IP Addressing

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Each device on your network will have its own IP address. When working on a system you will need to make sure your computer's IP address is in the same range so it can communicate.

Set your computers IP address

These instructions are for Windows 7, 8 and 1o.

​1) Plug your computer into the network.

​2) Click Start Menu.

​3) Control Panel.

4) Network and Sharing Center or Network and Internet.

5) Network and Sharing Center.

6) Click Change adapter settings.

7) Right-click on Wi-Fi or Local Area Connection.

8) Click Properties.

9) Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).

10) Click Properties.

From here you can select DHCP which will automatically obtain an IP address from the server, this will work on most basic networks.

Or if you need a specific address, like for setting up a default camera, you can manually configure it.

1​1) Enter the IP address, Subnet mask, Default gateway, and DNS server.

1​2) Click OK.

IP addresses explained

​1) IP address

An IP address is a unique number that addresses your device on a network. The format is 4 sections of 3-digit numbers. Typically on a network the devices will have the first 3 sections matching and the last section will be different for each device. The digits can be 000-255.

e.g If the gateway address on a network is 192.168.001.001, devices could be 192.168.001.002 or 192.168.001.099

2) Subnet mask

The subnet mask is a number that sets a range of IP addresses that can be used in a network.

The standard and most common subnet mask used is 255.255.255.0.

3) Gateway

The gateway is usually the IP address of the server or router on the network. e.g 192.168.001.001.

External IP address

Every network on the internet will have an external IP, this is an IP address that the whole network uses to identify itself. Most networks have a dynamic address that will often change unless they have paid for a static external IP.

To find what your current IP address is just go to:

https://whatismyipaddress.com/

Command Prompt

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Command prompt is the most useful tool for network testing and troubleshooting. Get your computer setup on the same network and within the same IP range as the devices you are working on before starting.

Open command prompt

1) Using Windows 10.

2) Click start to bring up the menu.

3) Start typing CMD or COMMAND PROMPT.

Command prompt can be found in different places depending on your operating system, just search for it using the search function.

IPCONFIG

​1) Type Ipconfig and press enter.

2) This will bring up all the network details currently set on your computer.

Ipconfig is always a good start when troubleshooting to make sure your device is configured correctly.

PING

​1) Type Ping then a space then enter the IP address of the device you want to test, followed by enter.

e,g ping 192.168.1.40

2) The device will get sent 5 pings and the results will display as they come in.

3) Check the results:

Successful ping example:

  • Reply from X.X.X.X: bytes=X time=Xms

Failed ping example:

  • Request timed out

  • Reply from: your IP, XXXX unreachable

A successful ping tells you the device is on the network correctly.

PING a range of IPs

Pinging a single IP is great, but what if you don't know the devices IP address? You can ping an entire range of IPs using an advanced command. This is a great way to find all the devices on your network.

​1) Type for /l %i in (1,1,254) do @ping XXX.XXX.XXX.%i -w 10 -n 1 | find "Reply" the XXX.XXX.XXX is the first 3 sections of your IP range.

2) The command is case sensitive so using copy/paste here may help, just change the X's.

3) The successful pings will appear as they are discovered, wait up to 5 minutes.

ARP command

​1) Type arp then a space followed by -a then press enter.

2) This will request the devices on the network to send their IP and MAC address. 

The ARP command is a good way to find devices, however it is not completely reliable and won't always bring back every device.

Camera Wiring

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IP cameras

There are two main configurations, A and B. As long as you are consistent at either end of the cable you can use either configuration. I recommend configuration A because it comes first...alphabetically.

Config A

1) Green White

2) Green

3) Orange White

4) Blue

5) Blue White

6) Orange

7) Brown White

8) Brown

Config B

1) Orange White

2) Orange

3) Green White

4) Blue

5) Blue White

6) Green

7) Brown White

8) Brown

 

POE 

1) TX+

2) TX-

3) RX+

4) POE-

5) POE-

6) RX-

7) POE+

8) POE+

Analog cameras

Analog cameras are typically run on a coaxial cable with a secondary pair of 18 gauge cable running 12-24v AC or DC voltage. Check the camera specifications and always double check the power supply.

Binary

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Reading Binary

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Binary reader, check the boxes:

1           2           3          4           5           6

Binary Value:

0

A lot of alarm panels display data using binary. This way they can show a lot of information with very little displayed.

 

Binary is usually displayed with zeros and ones which is basically yes and no or on and off. Standard LED keypads can show numbers 1-8 so that gives us 8 binary bits to work with. Each binary value is double the one that came before it.

Each digit (1-8) indicates a binary value, if that number is shown (on) then you add its binary value to the total. If that number is not displayed (off) then it represents 0.

LEDs on:  1   2   3    4    5    6     7     8

Binary #:  1   2   4    8   16  32   64  128

In this example all the digits are on, so you would add all the binary values and get 255.

LEDs on:  1   2   3    4    5    6     7     8

Binary #:  1   2   4    8   16  32   64  128

Binary total: 3

LEDs on: 1     3    4    5    6     7     8

Binary #: 1   2   4    8   16  32   64  128

Binary total: 5

 

LEDs on:   2   3      5    6     7     8

Binary #: 1   2   4    8   16  32   64  128

Binary total: 74

Advanced Binary

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01000001 00100000 01101100 01101111 01110100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01100001 01101100 01100001 01110010 01101101 00100000 01110000 01100001 01101110 01100101 01101100 01110011 00100000 01100100 01101001 01110011 01110000 01101100 01100001 01111001 00100000 01100100 01100001 01110100 01100001 00100000 01110101 01110011 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01000010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110111 01100001 01111001 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01111001 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110011 01101000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100001 00100000 01101100 01101111 01110100 11000010 10100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01101001 01101110 01100110 01101111 01110010 01101101 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01110110 01100101 01110010 01111001 00100000 01101100 01101001 01110100 01110100 01101100 01100101 00100000 01100100 01101001 01110011 01110000 01101100 01100001 01111001 01100101 01100100 00101110 00001010 00001010 00001010 00001010 01000010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110101 01110011 01110101 01100001 01101100 01101100 01111001 00100000 01100100 01101001 01110011 01110000 01101100 01100001 01111001 01100101 01100100 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 11000010 10100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101111 01101110 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110111 01101000 01101001 01100011 01101000 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100010 01100001 01110011 01101001 01100011 01100001 01101100 01101100 01111001 00100000 01111001 01100101 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101110 01101111 00101100 00100000 01101111 01110010 00100000 01101111 01101110 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101111 01100110 01100110 00101110 00100000 01010011 01110100 01100001 01101110 01100100 01100001 01110010 01100100 00100000 01001100 01000101 01000100 00100000 01101011 01100101 01111001 01110000 01100001 01100100 01110011 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110011 01101000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01101110 01110101 01101101 01100010 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100000 00110001 00101101 00111000 00100000 01110011 01101111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01100111 01101001 01110110 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110101 01110011 00100000 00111000 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01100010 01101001 01110100 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110111 01101111 01110010 01101011 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100111 01101001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110110 01100001 01101100 01110101 01100101 00100000 01100110 01110010 01101111 01101101 00100000 00110000 00101101 00110010 00110101 00110101 00101110 00001010 00001010 11100010 10000000 10001011 00001010 00001010 01000101 01100001 01100011 01101000 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100111 01101001 01110100 00100000 00101000 00110001 00101101 00111000 00101001 00100000 01101001 01101110 01100100 01101001 01100011 01100001 01110100 01100101 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110110 01100001 01101100 01110101 01100101 00101100 00100000 01101001 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101110 01110101 01101101 01100010 01100101 01110010 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110011 01101000 01101111 01110111 01101110 00100000 00101000 01101111 01101110 00101001 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01101110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100001 01100100 01100100 00100000 01101001 01110100 01110011 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110110 01100001 01101100 01110101 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101111 01110100 01100001 01101100 00101110 00100000 01001001 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101110 01110101 01101101 01100010 01100101 01110010 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01100100 01101001 01110011 01110000 01101100 01100001 01111001 01100101 01100100 00100000 00101000 01101111 01100110 01100110 00101001 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01101110 00100000 01101001 01110100 00100000 01110010 01100101 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110011 01100101 01101110 01110100 01110011 00100000 00110000 00101110 00001010 00001010 11100010 10000000 10001011

Devices

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Burglary Devices

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Alarm panels can have a multitude of different sensors connected to protect an area. Here are some of the more common sensors.

 

Motion sensors

  • PIR

  • Passive infrared detector

Motion sensors detect movement in an area. They are typically mounted around 7 feet and have an LED indicator on the front. Inside the motion is a small relay that temporarily activates when motion is detected.

Door/Window contact

  • Reed switch

  • Door/window bug

  • Recessed contact

Door and window contacts typically come in two types, surface mount and recessed.  There are two pieces, the switch installed in or on the frame and then a magnet installed in or on the door/window. When the door/window is opened, the magnet is pulled away from the switch and the contact is broken.

Glass break detector

Glass break detectors pick up on the sound of breaking glass. They are installed near windows and can detect the frequency of sound created when glass shatters. Check the device manual for specific mounting instructions as they can be very particular.

Seismic detector

  • Shock sensor

  • Vibration sensor

Seismic sensors detect vibrations created by breaking, smashing, drilling or explosions. These are typically installed on vaults, safes, or vulnerable walls.

Foil

  • Window foil

  • Metallic foil

A relic of the security industry, foils were installed directly onto the glass and would trip an alarm if broken.

Pressure pad

  • Floor pad

  • Pressure plate

  • Mat sensor

Pressure pads are usually installed in high traffic areas, bottom/top of stairs, under windows or near entry doors. They detect pressure and trip an alarm if someone walks on them.

Point to point beam

  • Beams

  • Photoelectronic beams

  • Point to points

Point to point beams create an invisible beam between two points that creates an alarm when the beam is broken. This is as close to the movie security systems as it gets. They are usually installed outdoors and consists of 2 units, a transmitter and a receiver.

Life Safety Devices

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Alarm panels can have a multitude of life safety sensors connected to protect against dangerous situations. 

 

Smoke detector

  • Fire alarm

Smoke detectors are the most common life safety device and should be in every building. Although they may not be connected to the alarm system, they could be stand alone or part of a dedicated fire system. 

CO detector

  • Carbon monoxide sensor

  • Gas detector

Carbon monoxide detectors can detect the presence of carbon monoxide. A CO leak is odourless and can be lethal. Every building with a furnace should have a CO detector.

Heat sensor

Heat sensors are used in place of a smoke detector, usually in an area where there may be dust, fumes or other particles that may cause false alarms on a smoke detector. Heat sensors trip when they detect a high enough temperature created by a fire. Some heat sensors are one time use, so check before you test.

Panic alarm

  • Emergency button

Panic alarms can be stationary at a desk or on a wall, or as a pendant/keyfob. It's typically setup as a 24 hour zone that will have the police dispatched. They can also be utilized as a man down alarm or inside a walk in freezer to prevent people getting locked in.

Medical alarm

  • Ambulance button

  • Medical pendant

Medical alarms are usually setup as 24 hour zones that will have the ambulance dispatched. They are popular with elderly people or people with medical conditions. If they can't get to the phone a medical alarm could save their life.

Access Control Devices

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Access control systems can have many different devices incorporated, here are some common devices.

 

Reader

  • Fob reader

  • Card swipe

  • Proximity reader

  • Keypad reader

Readers provide a simple interface for users to interact with to gain access to an area. 

Fobs

  • Access fob

  • Tags

  • Cards

Fobs are presented at readers to gain access. Each user on the system would have their own fob with an access level. 

Locks

  • Electric strikes

  • Mag locks

  • Crash bars

  • Electric bolt locks

There are many types of electric locks that can be connected to a system. Some companies have locksmiths install these for them as there can be specialty tools needed to cut out or install the units. Locks can be locked or unlocked when power is applied. There is also fire codes to keep in mind when choosing which locks to use.

  • Fail safe locks, unlock when power is lost

  • Fail secure locks, lock when power is lost

Door contact

  • Reed switch

  • Door bug

  • Recessed contact

Door contacts typically come in two types, surface mount and recessed. There are two pieces, the switch installed in or on the frame and then a magnet installed in or on the door/window. When the door/window is opened, the access control system can track it and cause alarms if need be.

REX

  • Request to exit motion

  • Request to exit button

Rex motions are mounted above the door on the inside of the secured area. They are setup so when someone approaches the door it will unlock the door granting free egress. Push buttons are the same and need to be pushed before exiting. This allows everyone access to exit the area, even though entry may be restricted.

Camera Devices

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Camera systems can have many accessories and devices in IP and analog systems.

 

IP camera

  • Network camera

IP Cameras run on ethernet cable (cat5/6) and have their own IP address and Mac address. IP cameras can have an external power supply but are usually powered using POE through the ethernet cable. They typically need a computer to setup. 

Analog camera

  • Coax camera

Analog cameras run on coax cable and require an additional cable to power. The most common cameras run on 12 DC or 24v AC. 

RJ45 connector

  • Network connector 

  • Camera plugs

RJ45 connectors are ethernet cable ends. They use 8 wires connected in a row. See the Wiring section above for more details. You need a specific crimping tool to make these connectors.

BNC connector

  • Bayonet Neill–Concelman 

BNC connectors are a quick connector for video devices. The connectors have a centre pin and a surrounding barrel piece. You need a specific crimping tool to make these connectors.

Video balun 

  • Balanced to unbalanced

A video balun converts between a balanced and unbalanced signal. It allows you to connect analog cameras on a cat5 cable by converting it to a BNC connection.

DVR

  • Digital video recorder

Digital video recorders record video in a digital format to a hard drive. It's the main unit of the camera system and usually runs the software and has a mouse and monitor connected. DVRs receive video feeds from cameras and process it into viewable footage.

Mainly for analog cameras.

 

NVR

  • Network video recorder

Network video recorders record video in a digital format to a hard drive. It's the main unit of the camera system and usually runs the software and has a mouse and monitor connected. NVR's receive data from IP cameras and encode and process it.

Mainly for IP cameras.

Hard drive

  • Storage

Hard drives are the storage units for recorders. They are typically the same type of hard drive found in a desktop computer. Most hard drives used in recorders are 1TB or higher. The camera footage is saved onto these in an encoded format.

POE switch

  • Network switch

  • Power Over Ethernet

POE switches are used to provide power and networking for IP cameras. On a large camera install you can use these similar to how you might use a zone expander to save you home running all the cables. A single link between a POE switch and the NVR will connect all cameras to the recorder.

KVM switch

  • Keyboard, Video, Mouse extender

  • Video over ethernet

A KVM switch can be used to setup a basic remote station for the recorder. By running a single ethernet cable you can extend USB, VGA and HDMI to another part of the building. This is a great solution if the recorder is installed somewhere inaccessible.

Basic Tools

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Every technician out there will have a different opinion on what are the best tools for the job. So wanting to avoid an argument worse than "where does the EOL go?" I have listed the absolute basics.

Multimeter

A multimeter can be used to test voltages and resistances, which are two of the main fundamentals of troubleshooting hardwired systems.  

Cable toner

Second only to the multimeter, a cable toner is extremely useful for troubleshooting hardwired systems. Try wiring up a panel after a prewire where the cables weren't labelled. A cable toner can save you hours. 

Test phone

  • Butt phone

  • Linemans handset

  • Test set

  • Buttinski

A test phone is essential for working on phone lines, including testing signals to the station. A multimeter can tell you if there is voltage on a line, a test phone can tell you if there is dial tone and can listen in on signals being sent.

'

Wire cutters

  • Strippers

  • Side cutters

Kind of an obvious one. You have to be able to cut and strip the cables. I've seen techs use a knife and strip some of the smaller cable between their teeth. Just buy some decent cutters.

Screwdrivers

A terminal screwdriver works on damn near everything in the security industry so always have one in your pocket. Some techs prefer a multidrive for everything, others get individual drivers for each different head. Follow your heart.

Laptop

Troubleshooting IP cameras is impossible without a laptop. Some guys also use their laptops to store PDFs of all the alarm manuals, which even with the amazingly quick information of supersecuritytech is still a pretty good idea.

Phone Signals

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Contact ID Explained

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CONTACT ID is normally preprogrammed for most newer panels–all you have to do is choose CID and turn on the dialler. Some panels you have to choose CID auto codes–then put a digit in each reporting code you want sent–(burgs, restores, openings for each user, etc).

Message composition

The form of the message is:

ACCT MT QXYZ GG CCC S

ACCT = 4-digit account number (0-9, B-F)

MT = Message type. This 2-digit sequence is used to identify the Contact ID message to the receiver. It may be transmitted as either 18 (preferred) or 98 (optional). New receiver implementations shall accept either a 18 or a 98.

= Event qualifier, which gives specific event information:

  • 1 = New Event or Opening

  • 3 = New Restore or Closing

  • 6 = Previously reported condition still present (status report)

XYZ = Event code (3 Hex digits 0-9,B-F)

GG = Group or partition number (2 Hex digits 0-9, B-F). Use 00 to indicate that no specific group or partition information applies.

CCC = Zone number (event reports) or User # (open/close reports) (3 Hex digits 0-9,B-F). Use 000 to indicate that no specific zone or user information applies.

= 1-digit Hex checksum calculated such that:(Sum of all message digits + S) MOD 15 = 0 Note: A ‘0’ shall be transmitted as a 10 and valued as a 10 for checksum purposes even though it is displayed and printed as ‘0’. It uses the same tone pair as the ‘0’ (OPER) key on a standard telephone.

Example 

Alarm message:

Account 1234 is reporting a Perimeter Burglary Alarm on Zone 15 of Partition 1. The message shall be sent as:1234 18 1131 01 015 8

1234 = The account number (1234)

18 = The message type used to identify the message as Contact ID

1131 = The Event Qualifier (1) for a new event, followed by the Event Code for PerimeterBurglary (131)

01 = The partition number (1)

015 = The zone number (015)

= The checksum

Checksum computed in the following manner:

a) Add all of the message digits together, using 10 for all ‘0’ digits (1+2+3+4) + (1+8) + (1+1+3+1) + (10+1) + (10+1+5) = 52

b)Find the next highest multiple of 15, in this case 60

c)Subtract the sum from this value (60-52 = 8)

d)Use the result for the checksum. If the result is 0, use the digit ‘F’ (15) for the checksum

Contact ID Codes

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Alarms

Medical Alarms–100

  • 100 Medical

  • 101 Personal Emergency

  • 102 Fail to report in

Fire Alarms–110

  • 110 Fire Zone

  • 111 Smoke

  • 112 Combustion

  • 113 Water Flow

  • 114 Heat

  • 115 Pull Station

  • 116 Duct

  • 117 Flame

  • 118 Near Alarm

Panic Alarms–120

  • 120 Panic

  • 121 Duress

  • 122 Silent

  • 123 Audible

  • 124 Duress–Access granted

  • 125 Duress–Egress granted

Burglar Alarms–130

  • 130 Burglary

  • 131 Perimeter

  • 132 Interior

  • 133 24 Hour (Safe)

  • 134 Entry/Exit

  • 135 Day/Night

  • 136 Outdoor

  • 137 Tamper

  • 138 Near Alarm

  • 139 Intrusion Verifier

General Alarm–140

  • 140 General Alarm

  • 141 Polling Loop Open

  • 142 Polling Loop Short

  • 143 Expansion Module Failure

  • 144 Sensor Tamper

  • 145 Expansion Module Tamper

  • 146 Silent Burglary

  • 147 Sensor Supervision Failure

24 Hour Non-Burglary-150/160

  • 150 24 Hour Non-Burglary

  • 151 Gas Detected

  • 152 Refrigeration

  • 153 Loss of Heat

  • 154 Water Leakage

  • 155 Foil Break

  • 156 Day Trouble

  • 157 Low Bottled Gas Level

  • 158 High Temp

  • 159 Low Temp

  • 161 Loss of Air Flow

  • 162 Carbon Monoxide Detected

  • 163 Tank Level

Supervisory

 

Fire Supervisory-200/210

  • 200 Fire Supervisory

  • 201 Low Water Pressure

  • 202 Low CO2

  • 203 Gate Valve Sensor

  • 204 Low Water Level

  • 205 Pump Activated

  • 206 Pump Failure

Troubles

 

System Troubles-300/310

  • 300 System Trouble

  • 301 AC Loss

  • 302 Low System Battery

  • 303 RAM Checksum Bad

  • 304 ROM checksum Bad

  • 305 System Reset

  • 306 Panel Programming Changed

  • 307 Self-Test Failure

  • 308 System Shutdown

  • 309 Battery Test Failure

  • 310 Ground Fault

  • 311 Battery Missing/Dead

  • 312 Power Supply Overcurrent

  • 313 Engineer Reset

Sounder/Relay Troubles-320

  • 320 Sounder/Relay

  • 321 Bell 1

  • 322 Bell 2

  • 323 Alarm relay

  • 324 Trouble Relay

  • 325 Reversing Relay

  • 326 Notification Appliance Ckt. # 3

  • 327 Notification Appliance Ckt. #4

System Peripheral Trouble-330/340

  • 330 System Peripheral Trouble

  • 331 Polling Loop Open

  • 322 Polling Loop Short

  • 333 Expansion Module Failure

  • 334 Repeater Failure

  • 335 Local Printer Out of Paper

  • 336 Local Printer Failure

  • 337 Exp. Module DC Loss

  • 338 Exp. Module Low Batt

  • 339 Exp. Module Reset

  • 341 Exp. Module Tamper

  • 342 Exp. Module AC Loss

  • 343 Exp. Module Self-Test Fail

  • 344 RF Receiver Jam

Detect Zone Comm Troubles-350/360

  • 350 Communication Trouble

  • 351 Telco 1 Fault

  • 352 Telco 2 Fault

  • 353 Long Range Radio Xmitter Fault

  • 354 Failure to Communicate Event

  • 355 Loss of Radio Supervision

  • 356 Loss of Central Polling

  • 357 Long Range Radio VSWR Problem

Zone Protection Loop-370

  • 370 Protection Loop

  • 371 Protection Loop Open

  • 372 Protection Loop Short

  • 373 Fire Trouble

  • 374 Exit Error Alarm (Zone)

  • 375 Panic Zone Trouble

  • 376 Hold-Up Zone Trouble

  • 377 Swinger Trouble

  • 378 Cross-Zone Trouble

Sensor Trouble-380

  • 380 Sensor Trouble

  • 381 Loss of Supervision-RF

  • 382 Loss of Supervision-RPM

  • 383 Sensor Tamper

  • 384 RF Low Battery

  • 385 Smoke Detector Hi Sensitivity

  • 386 Smoke detector Low Sensitivity

  • 387 Intrusion detector Hi sensitivity

  • 388 Intrusion detector Low sensitivity

  • 389 Sensor self-test failure

  • 391 Sensor Watch trouble

  • 392 Drift Compensation Error

  • 393 Maintenance Alert

Open/close remote access

 

Open/Close-400/440/450

  • 400 Open/Close

  • 401 O/C by user

  • 402 Group O/C

  • 403 Automatic O/C

  • 404 Late to O/C (use 453, 454 instead )

  • 405 Deferred O/C (Obsolete-do not use )

  • 406 Cancel

  • 407 Remote arm/disarm

  • 408 Quick arm

  • 409 Keyswitch O/C

  • 441 Armed STAY

  • 442 Keyswitch Armed STAY

  • 450 Exception O/C

  • 451 Early O/C

  • 452 Late O/C

  • 453 Failed to Open

  • 454 Failed to Close

  • 455 Auto-arm Failed

  • 456 Partial Arm

  • 457 Exit Error (user)

  • 458 User on Premises

  • 459 Recent Close

  • 461 Wrong Code Entry

  • 462 Legal Code Entry

  • 463 Re-arm after Alarm

  • 464 Auto-arm Time Extended

  • 465 Panic Alarm Reset

  • 466 Service On/Off

Premises User Remote Access–410

  • 411 Callback request made

  • 412 Successful download/access

  • 413 Unsuccessful access

  • 414 System shutdown command received

  • 415 Dialer shutdown command received

  • 416 Successful Upload

Zone Access control–420,430

  • 421 Access denied

  • 422 Access report by user

  • 423 Forced Access

  • 424 Egress Denied

  • 425 Egress Granted

  • 426 Access Door propped open

  • 427 Access point Door Status Monitor trouble

  • 428 Access point Request To Exit trouble

  • 429 Access program mode entry

  • 430 Access program mode exit

  • 431 Access threat level change

  • 432 Access relay/trigger fail

  • 433 Access RTE shunt

  • 434 Access DSM shunt

Bypassing/disabling

SystemDisables-500/510

  • 501 Access reader disable

ZoneSounder/RelayDisables-520

  • 520 Sounder/Relay Disable

  • 521 Bell 1 disable

  • 522 Bell 2 disable

  • 523 Alarm relay disable

  • 524 Trouble relay disable

  • 525 Reversing relay disable

  • 526 Notification Appliance Ckt. # 3 disable

  • 527 Notification Appliance Ckt. # 4 disable

System Peripheral Disables-530/540

  • 531 Module Added

  • 532 Module Removed

Communication Disables-550/560

  • 551 Dialer disabled

  • 552 Radio transmitter disabled

  • 553 Remote Upload/Download disabled

Bypasses–570

  • 570 Zone/Sensor bypass

  • 571 Fire bypass

  • 572 24 Hour zone bypass

  • 573 Burg. Bypass

  • 574 Group bypass

  • 575 Swinger bypass

  • 576 Access zone shunt

  • 577 Access point bypass

TEST/MISC.Test/Misc.–600,610

  • 601 Manual trigger test report

  • 602 Periodic test report

  • 603 Periodic RF transmission

  • 604 Fire test

  • 605 Status report to follow

  • 606 Listen-in to follow

  • 607 Walk test mode

  • 608 Periodic test-System Trouble Present

  • 609 Video Xmitter active

  • 611 Point tested OK

  • 612 Point not tested

  • 613 IntrusionZone Walk Tested

  • 614 Fire Zone Walk Tested

  • 615 Panic Zone Walk Tested

  • 616 Service Request

EventLog–620

  • 621 Event Log reset

  • 622 Event Log 50% full

  • 623 Event Log 90% full

  • 624 Event Log overflow

  • 625 Time/Date reset

  • 626 Time/Date inaccurate

  • 627 Program mode entry

  • 628 Program mode exit

  • 629 32 Hour Event log marker

Scheduling–630

  • 630 Schedule change

  • 631 Exception schedule change

  • 632 Access schedule change

PersonnelMonitoring-640

  • 641 Senior Watch Trouble

  • 642 Latch-key Supervision

Misc.-650

  • 651 Reserved for Ademco Use

  • 652 Reserved for Ademco Use

  • 653 Reserved for Ademco Use

  • 654 System InactivityZone

SIA Codes

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SIA, Signal Indicated Alarm,  is a protocol used to send signlas to the station, it sends 2 hexadecimal digits for each signal.

Alarm signals

  • BA Burglary zone alarm

  • BB Burglary zone bypass

  • BC Burglary zone alarm canceled

  • BH Burglary zone alarm restore

  • BJ Burglary zone trouble restore 

  • BR Burglary zone alarm/trouble restoral

  • BS Burglary zone supervisory. 

  • BT Burglary zone trouble 

  • BU Burglary zone unbypass 

  • BV Burglary Verified, more than 3 zones have activated

  • BX Burglary test, zone activated during testing zone 

Opening/Closing signals

  • CA Automatic closing 

  • CE Closing extend 

  • CF Forced closing 

  • CG Close area, System has been partially armed

  • CI Fail to close 

  • CJ Late close 

  • CK Early close 

  • CL Closing report 

  • CP Automatic closing  

  • CR Recent Closing, alarm occurred within five minutes of arming

  • CS Closing switch, armed by keyswitch

  • CT Late to open 

  • CW Was force armed 

  • CZ Point closing

  • EA Exit Alarm, an exit zone stayed open at the end of the delay

  • EE Exit error, an exit zone stayed open at the end of the delay

  • NF Forced perimeter arm

  • NL Perimeter armed 

  • OC Cancel report 

  • OG Open area, partially disarmed 

  • OI Fail to open 

  • OJ Late open

  • OP Opening report 

  • OR Disarm from alarm 

  • OS Opening Keyswitch 

  • OT Late to close 

  • OZ Point opening A point disarmed

Access control signals

  • DC Access closed 

  • DD Access denied  

  • DF Door forced Door opened without access request

  • DG Access granted Door access granted 

  • DK Access lockout Access denied

  • DO Access open Access to authorised users allowed 

  • DR Door restoral access alarm/trouble condition eliminated 

  • DS Door station Identifies door for next report 

  • DT Access trouble

  • DU dealer ID 

Environmental alarm signals

  • FA Fire alarm 

  • FB Fire bypass 

  • FH Fire Alarm restore 

  • FI Fire test begin 

  • FJ Fire Trouble restore 

  • FK Fire test end 

  • FR Fire restoral Alarm/trouble

  • FS Fire supervisory 

  • FT Fire trouble 

  • FU Fire unbypass 

  • FX Fire test, zone activated during test 

  • FY Missing fire Trouble

  • KA Heat alarm 

  • KB Heat bypass

  • KH Heat Alarm restore

  • KJ Heat Trouble restore 

  • KR Heat restoral Alarm/Trouble 

  • KS Heat supervisory 

  • KT Heat trouble Zone

  • KU Heat unbypass

  • SA Sprinkler alarm 

  • SB Sprinkler Bypass 

  • SH Sprinkler Alarm restore 

  • SJ Sprinkler Trouble restore 

  • SR Sprinkler Restore Alarm/Trouble 

  • SS Sprinkler supervisory

  • ST Sprinkler Trouble Zone 

  • SU Sprinkler unbypass

  • ZA Freeze alarm 

  • ZB Freeze bypass 

  • ZH Freeze Alarm restore 

  • ZJ Freeze Trouble restore 

  • ZR Freeze restoral Alarm/Trouble 

  • ZS Freeze supervisory 

  • ZT Freeze trouble 

  • ZU Freeze unbypass

  • WA Water alarm 

  • WB Water bypass 

  • WH Water alarm restoral 

  • WJ Water trouble restoral 

  • WR Water restoral Alarm/Trouble

  • WT Water trouble 

  • WU Water unbypass

  • GA Gas alarm 

  • GB Gas bypass

  • GH Gas Alarm restore 

  • GJ Gas Trouble restore 

  • GR Gas restoral Alarm 

  • GS Gas supervisory 

  • GT Gas trouble 

  • GU Gas unbypass 

  • GX Gas test gas Zone activated during test

Panic/Emergency alarm signals

  • HA Hold-up alarm Silent alarm

  • HB Hold-up bypass 

  • HH Hold-up Alarm restore

  • HJ Hold-up Trouble restore.

  • HR Hold-up restoral Alarm\trouble

  • HS Hold-up supervisory.

  • HT Hold-up trouble 

  • HU Hold-up unbypass 

  • MA Medical alarm 

  • MB Medical bypass 

  • MH Medical Alarm restore 

  • MJ Medical Trouble restore 

  • MR Medical restoral Alarm/trouble 

  • MS Medical supervisory 

  • MT Medical trouble 

  • MU Medical unbypass 

  • PA Panic alarm

  • PB Panic bypass 

  • PH Panic Alarm restore 

  • PJ Panic Trouble restore 

  • PR Panic restoral Alarm/trouble 

  • PS Panic Supervisory 

  • PT Panic trouble 

  • PU Panic unbypass 

  • QA Emergency alarm 

  • QB Emergency bypass 

  • QH Emergency Alarm restore

  • QJ Emergency Trouble restore

  • QR Emergency Restoral Alarm/trouble

  • QS Emergency Supervisory 

  • QT Emergency Trouble 

  • QU Emergency Unbypass

System Trouble/Event signals

  • AR AC restoral

  • AT AC trouble

  • ER Expansion restore

  • ET Expansion trouble 

  • JA User code tamper 

  • JD Date changed 

  • JH Holiday changed 

  • JL Log threshold 

  • JO Log overflow

  • JR Schedule execute 

  • JS Schedule change 

  • JT Time changed 

  • JV User code change

  • JX User code delete 

  • LB Local program Begin 

  • LD Local program Denied 

  • LF Listen-in begin 

  • LR Phone line rest

  • LS Local program success

  • LT Phone line Trouble 

  • LU Local program fail 

  • LX Local program ended 

  • RA Remote Programmer failed

  • RB Remote Program begin

  • RC Relay close 

  • RN Remote reset 

  • RO Relay open  

  • RP Automatic test

  • RR Power up

  • RS Remote Program success 

  • RT Data lost 

  • RU Remote Program fail 

  • RX Manuel test 

  • TA Tamper alarm Alarm 

  • TB Tamper bypass 

  • TE Test operation end 

  • TR Tamper restoral 

  • TS Test operation start 

  • TU Tamper unbypass 

  • TX Test Report 

  • UA Untyped zone Alarm

  • UB Untyped zone Bypass

  • UH Untyped Alarm restoral

  • UJ Untyped Trouble restoral 

  • UR Untyped zone restoral Alarm/Trouble

  • US Untyped zone supervisory 

  • UT Untyped zone Trouble 

  • UU Untyped zone unbypass 

  • UX Undefined Alarm 

  • UY Untyped missing Trouble 

  • UZ Untyped missing Alarm 

  • VI Printer paper in 

  • VO Printer paper out 

  • VR Printer restore  

  • VT Printer trouble 

  • VX Printer test 

  • VZ Printer offline 

  • XE Extra point 

  • XF Extra RF point 

  • RF point not specified

  • XI Sensor reset

  • XR TX battery restoral Low 

  • XT TX battery trouble Low 

  • XW Forced point 

  • YB Busy seconds 

  • YC Communication fail 

  • YD RX line card trouble 

  • YE RX line card restoral 

  • YF Parameter checksum fail 

  • YG Parameter changed

  • YK Communication Restoral 

  • YM System battery missing 

  • YN Invalid report  

  • YO Unknown message 

  • YP Power supply trouble 

  • YQ Power supply restored 

  • YR System battery restoral 

  • YS Communication trouble 

  • YT System battery trouble

  • YW Watchdog reset

  • YX Service required 

  • YY Status report 

  • YZ Service completed 

4+2 Explained

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4 + 2 communication format is in use in a large amount of older alarm panels before CID format became more popular for manufacturers to use on new panels.

4 + 2 is basically a 6-digit event message.

 

ACCT EI

 

ACCT = The 4-digit subscriber account number

E = The event code (burg, fire, open, close, etc.)
I = The zone or user identifier

 

Using Hexadecimal numbers, we can use up to 15 digits for the event and the ID codes, so the event can be any number between 1 and 15 and so can the ID.  Valid codes for the installer to use are:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (or A), 11 (or B), 12 (or C), 13 (or D), 14 (or E), 15 (or F).

 

There is no standard 4 + 2 template so check with your station before setting anything up.

As an example, a monitoring station could use the digit 5 as the event for a burg signal and an 11 (B) for an opening.

 

So a burglary on zone 8 from account number 1234 would be:

  • 1234, 5, 8   

An opening by user 3 would be sent as:

  • 1234B, 3

 

4 + 2 format is usually totally programmable at the panel so the installer can program any value for the event and zone identifiers, making it easy to send the wrong messages for various events.

For this reason, you should ask for a 4 + 2 template from the monitoring station.

Phone Terminology

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We aren't phone techs, so we don't know all the ins and outs of phone systems. Here's a quick run down on some of the terms so you don't get caught off guard.

Demark

The demark refers to the spot where the incoming line from the street terminates with the building's phones. This could be a phone junction box outside the building or inside a phone cabinet in an electrical or data room. Or it could be somewhere completely bizarre. Alarm systems should have a wire ran to the demark to make the phone connection.

DTMF

Dual Tone Multi Frequency signalling is a phone signalling system used from the alarm panels to the monitoring station's receivers. It is also known in the UK as MF4.

Handshake

The handshake is a tone/signal send from the monitoring station receiver to let the alarm panel know it is ready to receive signals. It is the first tone heard when communication is established. Beep Beep.

Kissoff

The kissoff is a tone/signal sent from the monitoring station receiver to the alarm panel to let the panel know it received the signals. It comes at the end of communication. Beeeeeep.

BIX block

BIX blocks are rectangular punch-down blocks used to terminate phone cable. The connectors have a slip-in fitting which automatically strips the wire as it is punched down, eliminating the need for pre-stripping.

Dial tone

Dial tone is that long tone you hear when you pickup a phone. It's a tone emitted by the phone system that indicates it is ready to dial.

POTS

Plain old telephone system. This is a term for a standard analog line. Any phone system that isn't over fibre or network is more than likely a POTS line. Security systems work very well sending signals over POTS lines.

VOIP

Voice over IP. These are phone systems that run over a network, they are not standard phone lines and security systems have great trouble sending signals over VOIP lines.

Alarm systems use specific DTMF tones to transmit their messages and are not modems. These tones need to be transmitted over a line with enough voice bandwidth to allow them to be heard correctly. You have to remember that the alarm systems were designed to work on old fashioned lines and were installed long before these new services were shoehorned onto the consumer’s lines.  An analogy would be like trying to drive a 1920’s vehicle on a modern motorway – it’s just not a great idea.

Analog line

Analog lines are classic standard phone systems. Any phone system that isn't over fibre or network is more than likely an analog line. Security systems work very well sending signals over POTS lines.

Line seizure/priority

The + and - of the relay are typically powered from your alarm system wiring into the output terminal so you can use the system to program when and how the relay will be tripped.

Phone Line Wiring

>

Security systems must be connected to an Analog/POTS line (Plain Old Telephone System). Digital/network phone systems are not compatible with alarm diallers.

Security systems must be wired for line seizure to correctly work securely.

Analog lines

Analog lines are standard phone lines. Most residential systems are analog. Both security systems and fax machines require analog lines to work so often you will see the alarm system on the same line as the fax.

Standard analog phone lines run on a single pair, usually 22 gauge or smaller cable and measure around 48v DC.

Line seizure

The correct way to wire a phone line to an alarm is using line seizure, or line priority. This ensures the alarm panel can always get a signal out to the monitoring station even if the lines are busy.

To setup line seizure you must:

1) Locate the demark, the spot where the incoming line terminates and feeds the building's phones. 

2) Interrupt the incoming line and route it through the alarm system first, then back to the building's phones.

In this diagram, the green and red wire will connect to the incoming phone line, run into the panels Ring/Tip incoming phone line connection.

The yellow and black wire will run from the security systems T1 R1, phone return connection and feed back to the phones in the building.

Another way to look at this is that you have taken the incoming phoneline on a slight detour or pit stop before feeding all the buildings phones.

phone wiring.jpg

Listening In

>

Using a test phone to listen in to the phone line when signals are being sent is critical to troubleshooting phone line problems.

Listening to signals

1) Connect your test phone to the incoming phone pair at the alarm panel.

2) Send a signal on the alarm, you should hear the dialler click.

3) Listen for the tones to figure out what is happening:

  • BEEEEEEEEP dial tone, before the panel dials there should be a crisp dial tone.

  • 1 800 1234 567 dialling, the panel will dial the receiver number programmed.

  • BEEP BEEP handshake, if the receiver answers the call, you will hear two quick beeps. The handshake lets the panel know it's ready to receive signals.

  • BE-BE-BE...BE-BE-BEEP  lots of beeps coming in fast is the alarm transmitting signals to the receiver.

  • BEEEEEP kissoff, if the receiver hears the signals it will send a kissoff tone to let the panel know it received that string of signals. It can now send more or hangup.

Troubleshooting

>

Hardwired PIRS

>

Motion sensors can give false alarms for various reasons and so there are many ways to troubleshoot a faulty motion sensor.

 

Confirm the zone

​With any zone trouble the first thing to do should always be to confirm you have the right zone.

1) Pull a zone wire out at the motion.

2) Check the correct zone is showing open at the keypad.

3) Short the zone wires/resistor to force the zone closed.

4) Confirm the zone has closed.​

5) Double check there aren't more than one device on this zone.

This will not only confirm you have the correct zone, but test the wire is still good.

Check the voltage

Most alarm systems should provide anywhere from 12 volts to 14 volts DC.

1) Test the voltage across the 12v+ and common auxiliary terminals of the alarm panel, where the motion is powered from.

2) Test the voltage across the 12v+ and common terminals of the motion sensor.

3) If the panel voltage is too low you may need to disconnect devices to see what is pulling the voltage down.

4) If there is a large difference between the voltage at the panel and the motion sensor you may have a cable issue.

Voltage loss shouldn't occur unless it is over a long distance.

Check the environment

If the sensor has been there for a while, but only recently started having troubles, check for things that may have changed in the area:

  • Decorations hung nearby

  • Heating systems being used

  • Fans/vents nearby

  • Spiders/insects

  • New pets

  • Ask if anything else in the area has changed recently

Sometimes even furniture rearranged my give closer access for a cat or dog who previously was not a problem.

Adjust the sensitivity

Depending on the device, there may be a sensitivity adjustment on the back, a dip switch/jumper/rotary dial or something else.

1) Check the device manual to see if there are any adjustments available.

2) Lower the sensitivity.

Set up cross zoning

As a last resort you can use programming to reduce false alarms. This will depend on your panel. Cross zoning should be enabled on 2 or more motion sensors near each other, if one sensor goes into alarm and no other sensors do within the set time frame then no alarm is created. 

Check your panel page under Zones for more info.

Hardwired Contacts

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Door/window sensors can give false alarms for various reasons and so there are many ways to trouble shoot a faulty sensor.

Confirm the zone

​With any zone trouble the first thing to do should always be to confirm you have the right zone.

1) Disconnect a wire at the contact.

2) Check the correct zone is showing open at the keypad.

3) Short the zone wires/resistor to force the zone closed.

4) Confirm the zone has closed, if the zone has not closed the cable may be faulty.

5) Double check there aren't more than one device on this zone.

This will not only confirm you have the correct zone, but test the wire is still good.

Check the magnet

1) Turn chime mode on.

2) Open the door/window wide.

3) Place a spare magnet up against the contact and see if the zone closes.

4) Place and remove the magnet several times listening for the chime when the zone opens.

5) If the zone does not open/close you may need to replace the contact.

6) If the zone does  open/close you may need to replace or adjust the magnet to reduce the gap.

Hardwired Smokes

>

Smoke detectors can give false alarms for various reasons and so there are many ways to trouble shoot a faulty sensor.

Confirm the zone

​With any zone trouble the first thing to do should always be to confirm you have the right zone.

1) Disconnect the sirens and make sure you are on test with the monitoring station before working on smoke detectors.

2) Activate the smoke detector using the test feature (refer to the devices manual, it could be a test button that needs to be held down)

4) Confirm the zone activates, and disarm the system.

5) Double check there aren't more than one device on this zone, often smoke detectors will have multiple devices on one fire zone, if this is the case check all of them.

This will not only confirm you have the correct zone, but test the wire is still good.

Check the voltage

Most alarm systems should provide anywhere from 12 volts to 14 volts DC.

1) Test the voltage across the terminals at the alarm panel that are powering the smoke.

2) Test the voltage across the 12v+ and common terminals at the smoke detector.

3) If the panel voltage is too low you may need to disconnect devices to see what is pulling the voltage down.

4) If there is a large difference between the voltage at the panel and the motion sensor you may have a cable issue.

Voltage loss shouldn't occur unless it is over a long distance.

Check the wiring

Double check all terminals at the smoke detector and panel are tight and in good condition. If there is a resistor across the normally open and common terminals at the smoke detector, make sure it isn't twisted onto the wires. If the resistor and wires are twisted together, there will not be a trouble if the wire pulls out.

Check the environment

If the sensor has been there for a while, but only recently started having troubles, check for things that may have changed in the area, things that can set off a smoke detector:

  • Steam from a shower

  • dust or particles from a vent

  • Strong chemicals

  • Fumes

  • Insects on/in the device

Clean the smoke detector

Double check with the manual that this is okay as not all smoke detectors like to be cleaned or are made to be cleaned the same way. Some devices are okay to spray out the chamber with compressed air but this can leave residue. Holding a vacuum up to the device and sucking out any dust can work. Another method is just simply blowing out the device. Whatever you do, make sure the device is powered down when you do it and promptly cleared out when you are finished.

Wireless PIRS

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Confirm the zone

​With any zone trouble the first thing to do should always be to confirm you have the right zone.

1) Ensure all zones are closed.

2) Open the motion sensor to create a tamper.

3) Confirm the open/troubled zone at the keypad.

4) If no zones are showing open, the battery may be dead.

Check the battery

You can check the voltage of the battery, or just replace it if there is any doubt. A battery is cheap, a callback visit isn't, so even if the battery seems fine it could save you a trip back. 

Check the tamper

Almost all wireless devices will have a tamper switch in it. If the zone is in trouble this is more than likely the reason. Make sure the front cover is on correctly, you can test it by finding the tamper and holding it down manually and seeing if the trouble clears after 5 minutes.

Check the environment

If the sensor has been there for a while, but only recently started having troubles, check for things that may have changed in the area:

  • Decorations hung nearby

  • Heating systems being used

  • Fans/vents nearby

  • Spiders/insects

  • New pets

  • Ask if anything else in the area has changed recently

Sometimes even furniture rearranged my give closer access for a cat or dog who previously was not a problem.

Adjust the sensitivity

Depending on the device, there may be a sensitivity adjustment on the back, a dip switch/jumper/rotary dial or something else.

1) Check the device manual to see if there are any adjustments available.

2) Lower the sensitivity.

Set up cross zoning

As a last resort you can use programming to reduce false alarms. This will depend on your panel. Cross zoning should be enabled on 2 or more motion sensors near each other, if one sensor goes into alarm and no other sensors do within the set time frame then no alarm is created. 

Check your panel page under Zones for more info.

Wireless Contacts

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Confirm the zone

​With any zone trouble the first thing to do should always be to confirm you have the right zone.

1) Ensure all doors/windows are closed.

2) Open the door/window wide.

3) Confirm the open zone at the keypad.

4) If no zones are showing open the battery may be dead.

 

Check the battery

You can check the voltage of the battery, or just replace it if there is any doubt. A battery is cheap, a callback visit isn't, so even if the battery seems fine it could save you a trip back. 

Check the tamper

Almost all wireless devices will have a tamper switch in it. If the zone is in trouble this is more than likely the reason. Make sure the front cover is on correctly, and open/close the zone again.

Check the magnet

1) Turn chime mode on.

2) Open the door/window wide.

3) Place a spare magnet up against the contact and see if the zone closes.

4) Place and remove the magnet several times listening for the chime when the zone opens.

5) If the zone does not open/close you may need to replace the contact.

6) If the zone does  open/close you may need to replace or adjust the magnet to reduce the gap.

IP Cameras

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Power cycle the camera

No matter what system, the classic turn it off and on again can save you hours of troubleshooting.

1) Identify where the camera plugs in, from the NVR or a POE switch.

2) Power the unit down.

3) Wait 2 minutes.

4) Power the unit back up.

5) Wait for the system to fully come back online, the cameras may take up to 5 minutes to appear.

Check the cable

1) Remove the camera from its location and bring it to the NVR.

2) Using a tested ethernet cable, plug the camera directly into the POE on the NVR, or the nearest POE switch.

3) Configure the NVR if needed.

4) Wait 5 minutes and see if it comes up on the NVR, or see if you can ping it.

If you plug it into the NVR, make sure its a different port than it was plugged into previously to rule out a bad POE port.

Ping the camera

Get your laptop out, it's time to get technical.

1) Plug your laptop into the same network switch as the cameras.

2) Change your laptop to match the cameras ip range, just copy the cameras ip and change the last 3 to a unique number, e.g 199.

3) Open the command prompt.

4) Start by pinging a good camera that is currently working, this will confirm your laptop is setup right.

5) Ping the ip address of the working camera.

  •  ping xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx 

6) If it succeeds, you are good to carry on, if not check your network settings.

7) Now ping the camera you are having trouble with.

8) If it succeeds you know it is powered and on the network, try web browsing into it to confirm your login credentials and other settings.

Camera configuration software

Many camera brands have software you can download to help find IP cameras on your network, you can check this list for the software, and google "SOFTWARE download", as it may be a different link depending on your country, and you may need a login.

  • Hikvision, SADP

  • Avigilon, Camera configuration tool

  • Bosch, IP Helper

  • Dahua, Config Tool

  • Axis, Axis IP Utility

  • Panasonic, Easy IP Setup tool

  • Digital Watchdog, DW IP Finder

  • Flir, Flir DNA

  • Open Eye, Network Camera Manager

  • Uniview, EZ Tools

  • Pelco, Pelco Device Utility

  • Sony, SNC Toolbox

  • Interlogix, TruVision Device Manager

Replace the Camera

If all else fails, replace the camera. Theres not a lot you can do with IP cameras if they are faulty.

Analog Cameras

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Confirm the power

The most common problem with analog cameras is typically a power supply issue. 

1) Check the power at the power supply.

2) Pull the camera down and test the voltage at the camera.

3) analog cameras can be AC or DC voltage so be sure to check the specs, or check for both.

4) Determine if it's the power supply, cable or camera pulling the power down.

 

Coax connectors

Coax crimps (BNC connectors) can be little finicky if not crimped right. 

1) At the recorder, physically adjust the connector with your hand and see if the image flickers or changes at all

2) Using a multimeter you can check for shorts. Disconnect the cable from the camera and recorder.

3)Use the resistance mode and check between the centre pin and the outer edge of the connectors. 

4) Always a good idea to just replace both BNC connectors at either end, the camera and recorder.

5) Replace the camera.

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