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Author Topic: Noob with some questions  (Read 13168 times)

Jeff74

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Noob with some questions
« on: October 03, 2012, 12:38:12 AM »

I just got the $149 system, seems to work fine except with steel doors.  What is the solution for this?  There has to be something that can resolve it, most people have steel, exterior doors, don't they?  Thanks for any information.
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Brian H

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 06:20:47 AM »

Your Security Kit came with the DS12A or the older DS10A Door and Window Sensors?
Looking at the sales page it is showing the DS12A model.

You may want to try mounting the sensor and magnet on a spacer that holds it about 1" away from the steel door and frame. Though metal between the sensor and the consoles location. Can effect the communication range.

I have wooden doors and frames but they are decorative so mounting the DS12As where a problem for me also.

What I did and maybe what you can do. Is not use the internal magnetic switch and wire an external one to the optional second zone terminals inside the DS12A. Then I just registered the second zone on the SC12A and the internal one was ignored.
With the second zone being used. You could get the sensor away from the steel door and frame.

Others with metal doors may have other solutions for you.
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Jeff74

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 07:47:48 AM »

Thank you for the reply.  I am going to try and mount the sensor on the wood casing.  Does it matter which part of the sensor attaches to the door and which attaches to the frame?  What is the maximum distance the 2 can be apart while still getting a connection?

I did notice that when I went to bed, the alarm was disarmed, but several of the zones were showing on the display, not flashing, but just showing up.  What does that mean?
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dave w

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 08:27:13 AM »

Does it matter which part of the sensor attaches to the door and which attaches to the frame? 
Yes. Do not attach the sensor to a metal door. The metal door will affect the transmitter circuitry in the sensor. In fact, as Brian suggested, you may have to go to a completely separate magnetic switch wired to the aux terminal in the sensor, enabling you to move the sensor farther away from the door. 
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Jeff74

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2012, 10:03:06 AM »

Something else I noticed this morning was that after the front (metal) door had its problem of not being recognized and the console said it was "open", I shut it locked it and went upstairs to work.  About 2 hours later, I came down and noticed the console had no flashing numbers and no numbers at all.  I pushed the ARM button and it seemed to work.  I pushed DISARM, went to the problem door and opened it, console CHIRPED as it should.  I shut the door, reopened it and NO CHIRP.  I don't know what to do other than try repositioning the sensors off of the metal as Dave W suggests or get a magnetic switch, however another metal door I had a problem with I did mount the sensor onto the wood casing and the smaller magnetic part onto the metal door and it doesn't work at all.  This door is also the furthest away from the cosole.  Thanks.
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Brian H

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 11:25:37 AM »

Watch the Green LED on the DS12A as you close and open the door.
If it does not flash or flashes twice like the sensor showed closed and open again. The steel door maybe modifying the magnets field.
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Jeff74

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2012, 12:38:14 PM »

well, now I just got through putting a sensor on a vinyl window, about 30 ft away from the console.  It had some trouble picking it up, but eventually did, but it doesnt work when the window is pushed open.  Also, a window that is about 15 ft in the direct line of sight from the console that worked fine, doesnt work anymore.  The green lights flash, etc, just no chime when opened.  The batteries are Alkaline and brand new.  Maybe the sensors are bad?
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dave w

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 01:19:13 PM »

You might want to do some searching on this forum. The SC1200 can be persnickty. One thing that seems to make a difference is orientation of the console (vertical/horizontal) since the antenna is internal.
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Brian H

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2012, 03:22:36 PM »

Here is a thread on the SC1200 antennas placement.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=468ohrlu4ckirulej1c7r0i4n3&topic=26293.msg148480#new

I am NOT advocating anyone modify their SC1200 but the threads clear photos show exactly where the antenna is.
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Jeff74

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 04:53:32 PM »

One more question, what is the lightcode and housecode and what should it be set to?  And what do the flashing numbers mean vs. the non flashing numbers?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 05:28:19 PM by Jeff74 »
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Brian H

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 06:22:42 PM »

House Code and Light Code {Unit Code}. Set an X10 address you can set things like a LM465 Lamp Module to.
Default is House Code A. Light Code {unit code dial on module} 1.
The SC12A sends X10 power line signal to that address and the Light Code +1.
At Default. When you arm the system it would send an A1 A2 AOn then an A1 A2 AOff. To flash the lights so you know it was armed.
On an alarm the cycle of On and Off commands. Flashing the lights.
This cycle can also trigger a Powerhorn Siren. Though some date code hardware act slightly different than expected.

A Zone Number that is On indicates the Zone is Open.
A Zone Number flashing. Is the Zones sensor has not successfully checked in with in four hours. Since the sensors check in at roughly one hour intervals. There is most likely a communications problem between the sensor and the console. A flashing Zone or any open zones will not allow you to Arm the system unless you bypass that zone. Manual gives details.
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Jeff74

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2012, 07:12:02 PM »

Thanks for that info.  I guess I should just leave those as the default settings and not mess with them. 

I work from home and my wife left and via the keyfob, armed the system (with what sensors are still working, which is about 1 at this point).  I came downstairs and tried to disarm the system via my keyfob.  I could not get any further than about 6 feet for the keyfob to get the signal to it.  I am pretty sure this is not normal, since the keyfobs are really for when you are out side the house.  I would excpect better range than 6 feet.  I called tech support, and of course, they are closed.   I am really comtemplating sending this back.  I guess the other name brand systems are expensive for a reason, but I cannot get them to come to our house since we live outside the service area.
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Jeff74

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2012, 10:34:36 PM »

I think I may have solved my problem.  The location I had the console setting was at my desk area in my kitchen.  In that area is a laptop with wifi always on and about 4 network jacks and 1 cable jack running in the wall right behind where I was mounting the console.  I moved the console to a different location in the house and reinstalled all of the sensors and it seems to work perfectly.  I also got some more reliable brand of batteries (rayovac) than what I was using (AmazonBasics and Harbor Freight Brand).

I am going to continue to install 3 more sensors tomorrow and 1 motion detector and I am now contemplating getting another siren for upstairs so we can hear it better.  Has anyone installed a different siren than the one x10 sells for these systems?  Also, when I am installing a sensor, it installs 2 zones for each of them.  How do I stop that and only install 1 zone?
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Brian H

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Re: Noob with some questions
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2012, 06:21:10 AM »

Sounds like the original location had too much electronic pollution and the new location is much better.

Each sensor is registering two zones?
I know the DS12A has the internal magnetic switch zone and the external terminal block zone.
I only saw mine install both when it happened to be checking in at the exact time I was trying to register it.
You may want to verify the small jumper on the terminal block in the DS12A is firmly tight and the cover is on tightly as the tamper switch could send a tamper for both zones if loose.

Only the PH508 Large Powerhorn and the SH10A Small Powerhorn sirens can be directly triggered by the SC12A sending the flashing lights signals on an alarm. There are a few modifications to a SH10A module here where it was used to trigger an external siren.
I will see if I can find a few links. If not you can use our search function and find them.
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Brian H

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