X10 Community Forum

🛡Home Security => Problems and Troubleshooting => Topic started by: HIghwaystar on March 26, 2009, 03:29:55 PM

Title: Flashing zone light
Post by: HIghwaystar on March 26, 2009, 03:29:55 PM
Does anyone know a better way to stop a zone light from blinking other than to unplug and remove the battery?  B:(
Title: Re: Flashing zone lighy
Post by: Puck on March 26, 2009, 04:13:29 PM
What piece of equipment are you referring to?

What has caused the light to blink?
Title: Re: Flashing zone light
Post by: jpeckiii on March 27, 2009, 02:51:47 AM
Flashing zone lights indicate that whatever sensor was installed in that zone has not been "heard" from by the base in a long time. The sensors all send a "I'm here" message to the base about every hour. When the base doesn't receive this signal the zone light flashes. When you set up your system, make sure and write down on a paper what sensors are installed in what zones. It happens sequentially, so the first sensor you install will be zone 1 the second zone 2 etc etc. This way you will have a record to refer to when a light flashes as to what sensor is having a problem. Common reasons for flashing zone lights are:
1) low battery
2) poor signal reception from sensor to base
3) sensors accidentally installed more than one time in different zones

If you know what zone/sensor is the culprit, simply try cycling the sensor by opening and closing the door/window or triggering the motion sensor. You can also use the test button to do this without having to open anything. If the flashing light goes away, see if the problem recurs. AA batteries aren't too expensive so try replacing the batteries, but do this as quickly as possible as not to loose the unique code that is generated for that sensor. If fresh batteries don't help, I've found moving the base to a higher location and thinking about line of sight to the sensor. Is there anything metal or electrical in that line that could be causing interference? You can also move a sensor unit as high as the wiring will allow to improve reception. AKA put sensors on top of doors, and mount the box as high as possible on the wall above the door as the wire to the contact will allow. I have even read of some people splicing in extra wiring to get it even higher for trouble spots.

If there is a registration problem, such as waiting too long while changing batteries it is possible that the sensor has generated a new code and is no longer recognized/registered with the system. In this case I have heard that once the zone light is flashing, if you move to "install" mode the new code will be registered in that trouble zone without having to reinstall the entire system. I have not tested this myself, but others have stated this.

If you don't have a "zone list", you can get a friend to help you by watching the base as you go around and trigger each sensor to see what zone each one is. When you get to a sensor that doesn't activate a zone light, that would be your problem (don't forget that to view zones 9-16 you have to hold down the bypass button). You could also do this yourself by just opening each door/window and walking back to the base and seeing. You can take motion detectors with you to the base and use the test button to find their zone. Motion detectors are tricky during install. They will install themselves multiple times every time you walk by them and things won't work right. You need to face the motion detectors towards the wall when installing the system so they won't register movement and use the test button on the back to register them.

Hope that answers your question and I haven't given you information you are already familiar with. If so just say "DUH!!!" and smile  :D
Title: Re: Flashing zone light
Post by: Puck on March 27, 2009, 09:36:37 AM
jpeckiii: That's a very good explanation of one reason why a zone light flashes, but not the only reason. Plus at this point we can only assume what piece of equipment the OP is using.

We can guess all day at what the reason behind the post is, and sometimes luck out and guess right, but it's better to have the OP provide more details of what they are using and fill in the missing blanks about their problem.

The OP has not been logged on since making the post, and if they read a reply and try something suggested, they may not be back to say it worked. That's fine for them, but the guess may not be the correct solution for someone else who reads it that is experiencing the same problem.

Hopefully you guessed correctly, because you provided a good explanation.
Title: Re: Flashing zone light
Post by: HIghwaystar on March 27, 2009, 10:19:52 AM
Thankyou for the info. I am talking about a MS10A motion sensor and it is within 10ft direct line of sight of the SH 624 console. the battery's are new as is the intire system. I set it at night and it is flashing in the morning when I check it. I live in Vermont and it is in a building with no heat. What do you think?
Title: Re: Flashing zone light
Post by: Puck on March 27, 2009, 12:03:26 PM
HIghwaystar: Thank you for supplying more info. I do have one more question:

You stated that you arm the system at night and the light for that zone is flashing in the morning. Did that zone trigger the alarm?

Note: The SH624 is the model number of a security remote. Is your console a PS561?
Title: Re: Flashing zone light
Post by: HIghwaystar on March 27, 2009, 03:00:18 PM
Hello, yes my mistake it is a PS561 and no the alarm is not triggered. I have been covering the PS561 with a box so that only the antena sticks out could that be it? I am going to not cover it tonight to see.
Title: Re: Flashing zone light
Post by: Puck on March 27, 2009, 03:13:45 PM
Unless the box is metal it should have zero effect on a sensor that is only 10ft away. Are there any objects between the MS10A & the PS561?

Some MS10As are notorious for sending false alarms; is the zone LED flashing slowly or rapidly?

Unless the MS10A's batteries are dead, I can't see the PS561 missing 4 consecutive heartbeats from 10ft away. Do you have a different one that you can try in its place?
Title: Re: Flashing zone light
Post by: HIghwaystar on March 27, 2009, 04:42:12 PM
Yeah I am going to try a different motion detector. I thought I was onto something with the covering it. The box its only cardboard so that's not it. I bought enough to wire the house we just built so I'm just doing alittle experimenting before I do up the hole house.
Title: Re: Flashing zone light
Post by: jpeckiii on March 28, 2009, 12:47:27 AM
Highwaystar, I had a similar problem using a MS10A in my unheated garage. I have not been able to find an officially published operating temperature range for the MS10A even though they do publish it for other X10 motion detectors out there such as the eagle eye, but did run across others who had problems with battery operated motion detectors as moderate as 40 degrees F. I see the average temps in VT are around 40 at night. This could explain the problem you are having. When it gets cold at night it is possible either the batteries are not performing well or the range of temperature is too low for this detector designed for indoor use and it is failing resulting in your flashing zone light. See the below post where others were having the same problem:

http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=6435.0 (http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=6435.0)

From some more research I see that Lithium batteries, such as the AA's that are advertised for digital cameras may have a better operating temperature range. You might try some of these to see if it helps.