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Author Topic: SC1200 False Alarms  (Read 3976 times)

Blaze85

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SC1200 False Alarms
« on: January 09, 2012, 08:16:48 AM »

I purchased the SC1200 Alarm package a while ago and everything was working fine. I have two zones setup, both using the provided DS10A's. A while ago, the panel said that the battery's were low. I thought it was strange since i have only had the unit a few months but i changed the batteries. Unfortunately, after changing the batteries, it still said low battery. I tried resetting the whole unit, setting it up again, and it seemed fine. About an hour later, it said low battery again. I tried calling X10 customer support, but after an hour of being on hold, then being hung up on, and another hour on hold, the best they could tell me is to unplug the unit for a few hours, and do a master reset and start over again. I am not totally dumb, so I am sure this was just a way to get me off the phone, but I tried it anyway. Of course it didn't work.

I decided to remove both DS10A sensors, and try new ones since I have a few extras. That seemed to fix the battery issue, so I think that the sensors on the door must be bad. A few days after replacing them, I set the alarm to go to bed, and in the middle of the night, the alarm goes off. It says zone 2 was open, but after checking the door I am sure it isn't or wasn't opened. The next night the same thing happened, almost at the same time as the night before.

My question is, are the DS10A's piles of junk? Or is this likely a faulty SC1200 main unit? I am considering buying a few DS12A's but I am not very happy with the X10 product and especially the customer service so I hate to put more money into this. Do you think replacing them with DS12A's would be a good option or should I call customer service, wait on hold for a few hours and try to figure it out with them?
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mike

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Re: SC1200 False Alarms
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 06:49:44 PM »

1)  sc12's have been known to have short rf radio range....  any chance u can move it closer to ur 2 ds10's?  I recently bought 4 of these:  1 had 0 rf reception, 1 saw ds10 at 5 ft max, other 2 good for 30 foot.  moving antenna wire out of case and vertical got me to 50 foot.  adding another foot length on it got me to 75 feet.
2)  ds10's sometimes go into lo batt announce mode and will not reset with batt change;  i wrote up a post here about my experience with this;  IIRC holding down the test button until lots of led flashes, then let go, then quick short push again and it resets the lo batt thing.
3)  I dont think the low batt thing has anything to do with poor reception and hence ur false alarm
4) know that approx 1x per hour each ds10 sends status (open or closed, and batt condition if lo) so that may be why u got 'false alarm' at same time both nights....  older model ds7000 would alarm after 4 missed sigs, cant remember if same on sc12
5)  r u in dayton, oh area?  my sc12  just went back into its monthly "I cant see or hear ANY ds10 sensors" which lasts about 4-5 days - I think it has to do with some wide spectrum hi power rf stuff coming out of wpafb.... when it works, it is rock solid, until these spells it has.  Or maybe it just gets a cold & stuffed up each month or so....
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 06:52:21 PM by mike »
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Blaze85

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Re: SC1200 False Alarms
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 08:22:49 PM »

1)  sc12's have been known to have short rf radio range....  any chance u can move it closer to ur 2 ds10's?  I recently bought 4 of these:  1 had 0 rf reception, 1 saw ds10 at 5 ft max, other 2 good for 30 foot.  moving antenna wire out of case and vertical got me to 50 foot.  adding another foot length on it got me to 75 feet.
2)  ds10's sometimes go into lo batt announce mode and will not reset with batt change;  i wrote up a post here about my experience with this;  IIRC holding down the test button until lots of led flashes, then let go, then quick short push again and it resets the lo batt thing.
3)  I dont think the low batt thing has anything to do with poor reception and hence ur false alarm
4) know that approx 1x per hour each ds10 sends status (open or closed, and batt condition if lo) so that may be why u got 'false alarm' at same time both nights....  older model ds7000 would alarm after 4 missed sigs, cant remember if same on sc12
5)  r u in dayton, oh area?  my sc12  just went back into its monthly "I cant see or hear ANY ds10 sensors" which lasts about 4-5 days - I think it has to do with some wide spectrum hi power rf stuff coming out of wpafb.... when it works, it is rock solid, until these spells it has.  Or maybe it just gets a cold & stuffed up each month or so....

Thanks for the reply. There actually was a wired alarm system running in my house before i moved in. What i did was take the existing wires, and connect the wireless DS10A's to the wired door sensors. I like this a lot better since the magnets are hidden in the doors. That being said, I have two zones setup this way, and both have at least 50ft of wire attached to them so I hope I am not having a range problem. Everything was working for a few months so it seems strange that it all of a sudden is giving me problems. I am in the Eastern side of Minnesota actually. So you don't think that buying the DS12A's would help me out any then?
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mike

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Re: SC1200 False Alarms
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 06:54:16 AM »

so u took off the ds10 magnets and just wired ur magnetic door switches to those 2 wires?  and so mounted the ds10's right next to the sc1200 maybe 2 feet away?  then u should not have a range issue!

if above is accurate discription, then no, the 50' of wire from doors to ds10 is not any issue at all - the wire resisance is prob <5 ohms and the ds10 needs anything less than prob 1000ohms or so from my experimenting.

i have not used ds12 so cannot answer for its range BUT, if above is accurate description of ur wiring, i dont know how you plan to make a ds12 work since there is no external switch for you to wire to is there?

actually i have been contemplating biting the bullet and doing this same exact thing here so i can put my ds10s right next to the sc12 to try to solve consistency issue.....
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Brian H

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Re: SC1200 False Alarms
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 07:45:28 AM »

Mike the DS12A has an external sensor input.
It is a separate zone.
So if you use the magnet next to the internal sensor and the wired in sensor. It is registered as two separate zones.
I never added the internal zones to SC1200 and I am only using the external zones.
The magnets supplied with the DS12As are in storage.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 07:56:56 AM by Brian H »
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Blaze85

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Re: SC1200 False Alarms
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 03:38:26 PM »

so u took off the ds10 magnets and just wired ur magnetic door switches to those 2 wires?  and so mounted the ds10's right next to the sc1200 maybe 2 feet away?  then u should not have a range issue!

if above is accurate discription, then no, the 50' of wire from doors to ds10 is not any issue at all - the wire resisance is prob <5 ohms and the ds10 needs anything less than prob 1000ohms or so from my experimenting.

i have not used ds12 so cannot answer for its range BUT, if above is accurate description of ur wiring, i dont know how you plan to make a ds12 work since there is no external switch for you to wire to is there?

actually i have been contemplating biting the bullet and doing this same exact thing here so i can put my ds10s right next to the sc12 to try to solve consistency issue.....

Actually, the way I have this wired is as follows.

The door was already wired with magnets that were run down to the basement (maybe 25 Feet away, one floor down)
I hooked the DS10's to the wiring in the basement, so I have the door, with the built in magnets, wired to the basement where i hooked the DS10's to the other end of the wiring. Do you think this could be part of the problem? It was working for a few months so I can't imagine it is, but may be worth looking into.
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mike

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Re: SC1200 False Alarms
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 04:45:30 PM »

so you are doing as I assumed;  wired your own switches to the ds10.  the ds10's are in the basement.  where is the sc1200?  within 5 feet of the ds10s also in the basement?  that was the question;  are they CLOSE or FAR away from each other?

so coralary(spelling?) isif u have flashing displays for both ds10.s, why not try putting them CLOSE together for a test??  move sc12 to within 5 ft of the two ds10s and see if it works again.  at least u get more data to work with ........
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 06:28:41 PM by mike »
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Blaze85

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Re: SC1200 False Alarms
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 12:33:24 AM »

so you are doing as I assumed;  wired your own switches to the ds10.  the ds10's are in the basement.  where is the sc1200?  within 5 feet of the ds10s also in the basement?  that was the question;  are they CLOSE or FAR away from each other?

so coralary(spelling?) isif u have flashing displays for both ds10.s, why not try putting them CLOSE together for a test??  move sc12 to within 5 ft of the two ds10s and see if it works again.  at least u get more data to work with ........

The DS10's are at least 20 feet away from the SC1200. Probably not more than 30 feet. I will give this a try and let you know how it goes. Can someone give me a better idea of how the DS12's are different? do they still have the same setup (a magnet wired to a battery compartment, with another magnet to put on the door?) Are they just as big as the DS10s?
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Brian H

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Re: SC1200 False Alarms
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2012, 06:02:38 AM »

http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/DS12A

The DS12A is physically smaller than a DS10A
The DS12A has the magnetic switch mounted on the PC Board and is mounted physically next to the magnet.
It also has a external switch input through a terminal block on the bottom. The internal magnetic switch and the optional external one are independent and can be added as two zones. I used only the external one on mine and didn't register the internal ones. With the supplied magnets in the shipping boxes. I used a long gap external switch because my doors had fancy moulding the DS12As didn't fit on.
They also have a tamper switch and send a tamper message when the cover is removed.

The users manual link is in the wiki page if you care to look at it.
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