Honeywell Vista 20P system

Hiya all fellow alarm geeks :)
Consider the following scenario:
1. You install a Honeywell Vista 20P system, including finishing all programming.
2. Months later, you return for whatever reason and attempt to access programming using the installer code + 800. Instead of entering program, you get the long high-pitched error beep disallowing programming mode entry. The only solution is to cuss the original installer for exiting with *98, cycle power, and re-entering program with * & #.
Only, it turns out that the installer, in fact, used *99 as normal, and it turns out that a random fair amount of Vista 20P's since firmware version 9.12 display this (errant ?) behavior.
I have run into this randomly over the past years. Each time it happens, I want to cuss the installers. But, really, they don't even know about exiting program with *
98... they are hardwired to use *99 as normal, for decades, because they are sheep-like.
The more reasonable explanation is that there is some kind of bug in the Vista firmware that is disallowing re-entry into program, as if last exit from programming was with *
98. (It wasn't -- they used *99)
I am forced to wonder, what are the situations that would disallow entry into the program using installer code + 800. I can think of two situations:
1. Previous use of programming mode was exited with *
98.
2. Auto-arm is used, and a schedule is programmed to use it.
Are there other configurations where installer code + 800 is specifically disabled forgood reason, or is this a bug I have run into for quite a while now?
This is a potential problem beecause certain devices, like the Alarm.com SEM, cannot function properly if they can't readily access the Vista 20P system programming.
Thanks!
Reply to
Airdorn
Loading thread data ...
Programmed hundreds of Vista-15P's and 20P's of that vintage and never ran into this issue, Honeywell unfortunately did not state what issues updates fixed only what new features they added
One way to prevent entry into programming is through downloading but this doesn't sound like that was enabled
Reply to
mleuck
Hi Airdorn,
First let me say that the number of Vista systems that I have installed in the past 30 years could be counted on two hands. I really never liked the programming structure. That being said, what I am missing in reading your typing is, was your experience with just one panel install or multiple installs?? The difference could paint a different picture. One would gather that it is multiple "over the years" but not sure. Also if it is multiple then is it 5 or 55??
As for your installers not knowing the *98, it would seem to me that it is possible that one or two when exiting programming were just sloppy and hit *98 and did not realize the mistake. At that point it was too late and since they did not know at the time how could they have corrected?? And if they did realize would they have remembered years later when asked by the boss??
The other question would be is it repeatable?? With a particular panel that was "locked" can you then enter and exit multiple times with *99 and possibly get a repeat at some point??
If it is multiple then it might be a thought to check the serial numbers of the boards. If they are a close match then maybe, just maybe it is a bad batch that YOU only YOU managed to get a few and are experiencing the mystery!!
As has happened to me of the years when I call Tech Support and describe my particular problem with a panel, the Tech Guy says; "Never heard that before!!" And may comment back is; "Really?? So that would mean that I am the very first guy on the planet that finds the problem first!! Multiple times!! How it that possible??" Sorry I could not raise the volume of my text!! But, I am sure you got it. Which brings me to my next suggest have you call the guys at Ademco Tech Support to ask the question??
Ok, I am tapped out for thoughts. Hope they helped in some way!!
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
what Les said..
but, We have had your problem also, What we found was if your panel is set for partitions, and your on the wrong keypad, you'll get that behavior...
(program only from the partition 1 keypad...)
We also had a panel that would not revert back to *99 even when remotely changed to *99 in programming..
Never did figure out what was it's problem.... (trash canned that one...)
Les, tech support isn't what it use to be back in the day....
Last time I had to call them, I went through their whole stable of reps, and not 1 could figure out what was happening.. Just luck I guess, after a nights sleep I saw immediately what was wrong...
RTS
Reply to
RTS
LOL Yes, it ain't, and it ain't gonna get better any time soon.
I love it when the guy I am talking to puts me on hold to ask a higher tech the question which then gets pushed up to another.
It has happened that I was called back by an "engineer" to discuss the problem, to find out that I AM NOT ALONE!! That one involved me working for them by trying different resistors on the board so the panel could "maybe" communicate on DTMF. Turns out that the local CO Phone Switch and another 4 or 5 in the country would not work on DTMF with this panel.
Had to switch to Pulse to get it to communicate.
They actually stopped the production line and sales until this problem could be fixed. They ended up sending me some board variations that had a bunch of various add on resistors and caps to get them to the problem resolved. I took to the local site and tested them. Some were better and some were not. After about 2 months the engineer called and we set a day and time to meet locally. He showed up to try their latest revision on the board. It worked quite well.
After he bought me lunch and before returning to his office he thanked me for all the assistance and asked what panels and keypads that I used the most. I told him my desires and a week later I had a shipment directly off the assembly line of free stock that lasted for about a years worth of installs.
That was a one time deal that will never be repeated!!
Now you are saying; "Les!! What manufacture would do that??" :-)
It was Sentrol after they bought out Moose. The panel was the ZX400.
Now you know a rest of the story!!
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
I got one of those in the storage shed that was never put in.. Also got a Rokonet 8 zone control and keypad. Ever see one of those?
Had an Israel company I use to use (you probability know the one) They came out with a new and improved 8 zone unit, But like you were saying, communicator would fail after about a week to a month.. they didn't have a clue, so they sent me the engineering specs to see if I notice anything odd. First thing I found was they were using soldered on glass fuses on the in/out phone lines.. And they were rated fast blow 90 volts .250 amp... Well anyone who's ever worked on telephones will tell you that ain't gonna cut it.. Ringer ckt alone will do 90-100 vac...
Take a wild guess what the fix was..... (solder a jumper across the fuse...) ;-)
Got a love engineers ... RTS
Reply to
RTS
ROFLOL I have had my share of "engineer" moments as well. The question that comes to mind is; Did you get a Thank You or something in return??
I may have typed this here in the past but one more time won't hurt.
There once was a Doctor, Lawyer, and a Engineer that were found doing dastardly deeds in the Kingdom. They were brought before the King and the King said we can't have this happen again, Off with their Heads!!
So, they were taken off to the Guillotine!!
The first up was the Doctor. The Executioner said; Do you want a blindfold? The Doctor said; Yes. The Executioner said; Do you want heads up or heads down?? The Doctor said, Heads down. So they put on the blind fold and placed him heads down. The Executioner pulled the rope and shhhhhhhch the blade stopped an inch from his neck. Because of the law of the land he had to be set free because you can't try and execute them twice.
The next up was the Lawyer. The Executioner said; Do you want a blindfold? The Lawyer said; Yes. The Executioner said; Do you want heads up or heads down?? The Lawyer said, Heads down. So they put on the blind fold and placed him heads down. The Executioner pulled the rope and shhhhhhhch the blade stopped an inch from his neck. Because of the law of the land he had to be set free because you can't try and execute them twice.
The last up was the Engineer. The Executioner said; Do you want a blindfold? The Engineer said; No. The Executioner said; Do you want heads up or heads down?? The Engineer said, Heads up. So they laid him down and he is looking up. The Executioner reaches for the rope. The Engineer Shouts Out. HOLD IT, I SEE THE PROBLEM!!!
End of the story and one E|ngineer
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
I installed the very first commercial installation for Dish Network (in an Applebee's restaurant). I was a sub for a Muzak dealer at the time. I had plenty of mini dish experience and I kept tell them they need an LNB for each receiver. I'd installed plenty of other system, and I even wrote my own installation manual for Primestar for my guys. They swore up and down that the receivers were setup so that I didn't. Finally I got a call from a tech who called Dish Network who got through to an engineer who swore the receivers were setup with a Zillman switch and we could just daisy chain them. The story I heard is the engineer walked out in the warehouse and grabbed a receiver off the shelf to discover for the first time that they didn't build them the way he designed them.
You would think that when I installed an LNB for each receiver and all the receivers showed good signal strength that would have been the end of it. Great signal strength but no programming. Turns out management and accounting had made deals for commercial programming, and setup a sales structure, but nobody in the software department had written a module to activate commercial accounts.
I went over there 2-5 times a day for over two weeks checking to see if it was activated yet. I billed them for how ever long it took me to get there, walk in, and call them back to say, "Nope." When they got my final bill they threw a temper tantrum and tried to get me to write all off as part of the original install. I reminded them that I did everything perfectly the first time, and all the problems were at their end and mostly because they wouldn't hear what I was saying. That was the last job I did for them.
Its not always the engineer's fault. Both technical problems on this one were caused by the bean counters.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Les, I don't recall if they ever did say anything..
Doesn't matter the business, If your in it long enough, you get a lot of stories to tell.. Some of them are worth telling, others we try to forget...
RTS
Reply to
RTS
True, but some Quality Control Inspections would have help a bit!!
Reply to
ABLE1
HaHa had a Chinese company once tell me that they just make "hundreds" extra, just so they don't need any Q.C., they just replace any that fail for free..
Guess that's why there was that computer/electronics snafu several years ago with all those BAD capacitors.. ;-)
RTS
Reply to
RTS
I changed the Subject Line. It seems we have changed course......again!
LOL To many old memories!!
I had a new box of 10 ea Sentrol Smoke Detectors a number of years back for a new job. Once the install was complete and it came time for power up, the smokes went into alarm. Upon investigating I found that the sensing chambers were all dirty. Dirty out of a NEW sealed box!!!
Contacted local sales rep who said; just return for credit and get new.
He was totally not understanding the WASTED TIME spent. No reason why this could have happened or any serious apology. I now use another mfg.
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
what's the matter Les. don't you like cross posting in 10-20 different groups at the same time... ;-) I do it all the time... can become interesting some times, when nobody knows what your talking about...
RTS
Reply to
RTS
Know the feeling of seeing them in your sleep..
We did have a stretch of time where each panel we received had a second partition already programmed into the system.. (right out of the box)
We had to get into the habit of defaulting each panel as soon as we received them..
But since it's been over 18 months since I last touched any alarm panel, I'd have to "hope" they've gotten that worked out.
RTS
Reply to
RTS
I programmed a fair number of panels during nearly 26+ years as a tech and 23 years as an owner operator, but I never dreamed about programming alarm panels. However... In college I put off all my COBOL74 programming assignments until the last few days before finals. I spent a long weekend cranking out code and testing it (on a couple different machines to make sure it was stable.) After day two I needed some sleep, and I dreamed I was having normal conversations with people about ordinary everyday things, and we were all speaking COBOL. When I woke up the code just flowed from my fingertips like water from a pitcher. I did more trouble free (tested on all platforms perfect first try) coding in the next 3 hrs than I did in the previous two days.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Now that is a very scary story Bob!! I would think there is a movie plot in there somewhere!! Then again maybe that is the whole movie plot................ I will wait till it hits the SyFy channel some day. :-)
Thanks for sharing! LOL
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
"You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop?The Twilight Zone."
Reply to
Jim Davis
auhh. come on man, auhh, you know, auuh, the thing....
Reply to
RTS

Cabling-Design.com Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.