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Author Topic: False Alarm Low Battery  (Read 8413 times)

tom j

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False Alarm Low Battery
« on: October 21, 2009, 11:33:16 AM »

Hi guys installed a system for a friend about a year and a half ago and he got his first false alarm today. What happen was the was walking his dog when the console called his cell phone when he got back to the house out of breath I might add he actually thought there had been a break in he found that one of the motion detectors MS10a had tripped. This one was protecting windows and no windows were broken, and no, light didn't activate it it was actually angled away from the windows so someone would of actually had to of been in the house. What he did find was that the batteries in the MS10a detector were practically dead so I was wondering what could of caused this I would have thought that because the batteries were so low that it just wouldn't have been able to report in and the console would have picked this up as trouble but it seems like something happen as a result of the low battery. Any ideas? I'm thinking that the low battery condition somehow triggered this but how. Wondering if anybody has any ideas. He what to be able to trust the unit and if we can tract this down it would be helpful in at least understanding what caused this false alarm. Thanks Guys!


Tom J.
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dave w

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Re: False Alarm Low Battery
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 12:14:58 PM »

From a forum perspective, I don't think this is a known problem or frequent complaint.

Were the "practically dead" batteries the original batteries in the MS10A? If so, your buddy is asking for trouble. Change the batteries minimum once a year, don't wait on the console to tell you it isn't hearing from the MS10A.

With out a crystal ball, or a system log, you can probably chalk it up to:

1. Someone was in the house.
2. Weak batteries
3. Fluke - false alarm
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tom j

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Re: False Alarm Low Battery
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 06:27:11 PM »

From a forum perspective, I don't think this is a known problem or frequent complaint.

Were the "practically dead" batteries the original batteries in the MS10A? If so, your buddy is asking for trouble. Change the batteries minimum once a year, don't wait on the console to tell you it isn't hearing from the MS10A.

With out a crystal ball, or a system log, you can probably chalk it up to:

1. Someone was in the house.
2. Weak batteries
3. Fluke - false alarm



Well don't be so hard on him >*<  he's still new to the system and x10 in general. Actually I wouldn't have thought that a low battery condition could have caused this but I told him so maybe it's my fault that the batteries could last as long as two years actually I think I read that in the instructions. But with that being said I think we can definitely cross out number one there was no one in the house if there had been there would have been some evidence like broken glass or a kicked in door so that leaves number 2 and 3. Any idea how a weak almost dead battery could trigger a false alarm. I used a DS7000 for years and a low battery condition never triggered an alarm for me but maybe I was just lucky. Is there some way that a weak battery could cause a false alarm? Well all the batteries have now been replaced with fresh ones and there hasn't been any more false alarms but if he could get a hold on what possibly caused it he would just feel a little more comfortable with the system. Thanks

   Tom J.   

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Charles Sullivan

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Re: False Alarm Low Battery
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2009, 12:51:54 AM »


With a low battery, the MS10A sends a signal at its heartbeat intervals which is equivalent to a combined Alert and Low-battery signal.  It's up to the receiving system to recognize this and react appropriately.  The OP's system apparently ignores the low battery and reacts to the alert.

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Charles Sullivan

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Re: False Alarm Low Battery
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2009, 04:03:45 PM »


With a low battery, the MS10A sends a signal at its heartbeat intervals which is equivalent to a combined Alert and Low-battery signal.  It's up to the receiving system to recognize this and react appropriately.  The OP's system apparently ignores the low battery and reacts to the alert.


A followup to my previous post:

The security data byte in the signals transmitted by the MS10A are:
  Clear            0x80
  Alert            0x00
  Low Battery  0x01

So if the Low Battery bit is ignored, the signal looks like an Alert.

Only the Low Battery signal is transmitted when the total voltage of the four AA batteries falls below about 4.3 Volts.  A serious design deficiency of this sensor is that THE MS10A NO LONGER DETECTS MOTION when the Low Battery condition occurs.  It will however continue to transmit its Low Battery heartbeat signal at intervals of about 90 minutes, at least until the battery voltage drops somewhat lower.

(The above information was determined using an MS10A with a date code sticker 03L50).

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tom j

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Re: False Alarm Low Battery
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2009, 03:32:06 AM »


With a low battery, the MS10A sends a signal at its heartbeat intervals which is equivalent to a combined Alert and Low-battery signal.  It's up to the receiving system to recognize this and react appropriately.  The OP's system apparently ignores the low battery and reacts to the alert.


A followup to my previous post:

The security data byte in the signals transmitted by the MS10A are:
  Clear            0x80
  Alert            0x00
  Low Battery  0x01

So if the Low Battery bit is ignored, the signal looks like an Alert.

Only the Low Battery signal is transmitted when the total voltage of the four AA batteries falls below about 4.3 Volts.  A serious design deficiency of this sensor is that THE MS10A NO LONGER DETECTS MOTION when the Low Battery condition occurs.  It will however continue to transmit its Low Battery heartbeat signal at intervals of about 90 minutes, at least until the battery voltage drops somewhat lower.

(The above information was determined using an MS10A with a date code sticker 03L50).




I see!!! Thanks guys, I have gotten a low battery alert without tripping an alarm so I guess this could happen or not,  B:(  trying to explain it to him he will change the batteries every New Year he says so hopefully this will not happen again.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: False Alarm Low Battery
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2009, 09:39:45 AM »

I see!!! Thanks guys, I have gotten a low battery alert without tripping an alarm so I guess this could happen or not,  B:(  trying to explain it to him he will change the batteries every New Year he says so hopefully this will not happen again.


You might want to run some experiments on his MS10A and console unit versus yours.  As you are probably aware, X-10 has a sad history of making often major functional changes in their devices with no notification or model number revision.

And BTW, other security sensors don't act this way.  The DS10A Door/Window sensor has a low-battery flag but continues to operate normally under at least the early low-battery condition.

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wildearp

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Re: False Alarm Low Battery
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2009, 03:17:19 PM »

I received several false alarms from wireless window sensors.  I threw them all away and only use the motion detectors.  I had nothing to do with battery level. 
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