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🛡Home Security => Problems and Troubleshooting => Topic started by: Youngblood on August 18, 2012, 12:13:53 PM

Title: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Youngblood on August 18, 2012, 12:13:53 PM
I finally received an SC1200 for testing yesterday ... and, unfortunately, I have already encountered some issues.

I first ran a Search here for posts addressing both "SC1200" and "PS561" and none of them provided any joy on this subject, so, here'goes ...

I first setup an X10 security system in my house in 1996 with a PS561 & ~10 wireless sensors, half of which are PIRs.  Big house, ~110'x33', so I also have 2 extenders deployed.  Rather than "alarm" 30+ windows, I rely upon carefully located PIRs for a lot of coverage.

Awhile ago I added my "backup" PS561 to the system in parallel so that I could have it at my bedside.  Having the 2 PS561s works GREAT! ... and if a sensor trips in the middle of the night, I can just roll over and remove the "homemade light shield" from the console to see the location of the problem before deciding on my best solution.

Last night after activating my security system and covering the bedside PS561 LEDs, I plugged in the SC1200 and, lying in bed, read the manual and experimented, some, with the SC1200.  When done, I put it aside, still plugged in ("HOME CONTROL" displayed, no batteries & no sensors or remotes registered), turned out the lights and went to sleep.

This morning I removed the "homemade light shield" from my bedside PS561 I was surprised to see multiple red zone LEDs flashing (same as when a sensor fails to poll while the alarm is active) on my bedside PS561.  I checked my "central" PS561 and there was no such light show ... so, apparently, having the SC1200 attached to AC there caused a failure of my bedside PS561 to receive the periodic S'UP? from several of my sensors overnight.

I unplugged the SC1200 ... and within about an hour, the bedside PS561 had received polls from all of those sensors ... so the SC1200 is the culprit in the scenario.

A couple of hours passed and I spent the time to "register" all of my sensors in my SC1200 ... I do this by putting the Console in INSTALL Mode and walking in a certain pattern thru the house/garage to trigger the sensors in the proper order, according to my Zone List.  I also registered ONE remote, my primary KR10A.

Upon completing this process, I parked the SC1200 in the kitchen and went to check the PS561s ... both showed 3 alarms "tripped" (same 3).

An hour has now passed (system disarmed, btw) and all 3 of those zones have resolved. I have now Armed the 3 consoles with my KR10A and will keep an eye on the PS561s to see if any zones fail their checkins.

So ... are the SC1200s & PS561s known to not play well together?  Or, perhaps, am I one of the few people trying to use them in tandem?

BTW, the reason I am bothering ... I would like to have the option of up to 30 wireless sensors ... and I would also like to have the "security" lights (my outside floods) to wink at me to confirm that my depressing the button on my remote actually armed the security system as I am about to drive away from the house.

Sorry'bout all of the words!   :)
Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Youngblood on August 18, 2012, 02:50:05 PM
So far, so good.

With the SC1200 configured for the system over the past several hours, I have experienced no anomalous behavior.  All 3 consoles both ARM & DISARM together (only via remote, o'course) and all of the sensors are, apparently, successfully polling with all 3.

I went out to the driveway and ARMED the system ... and my security floodlights "winked" at me ... I love that feature!
Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Brian H on August 18, 2012, 04:26:50 PM
The SC1200 has two X10 Addresses set in it. The House Code and Light Code {aka Unit Code} and the next highest Light Code.
There is a difference on how the Light On and Off buttons work between the older PS561 and the SC1200.
The Light On and Off button on the Keyfob. Will turn On and Off the address set on the PS561 but the SC1200 will turn On and Off the higher of the two addresses set in it.
Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Youngblood on August 20, 2012, 09:03:07 AM
Thanks for the info, Brian!

That was one of the things in the manual that made me realize that I would probably have to re-think some of system config choices.  Blinking lights during and steady-on lights after an ALARM is a Good Thing!  And if the outside "security" lights are on as I approach the house that I know to be empty, I prepare for trouble and move forward quickly to resolve the issue.  Only happened once and I was pretty sure that my sister was the culprit (she was), but it was good to be able to tell from a distance that the system had been tripped.

I am currently testing the SC1200 on the same rail & breaker where I first had it connected.  I have 2 parallel 150A Load Centers and I have successfully tested it on both rails of the North LC and also the other rail of the South LC.

The electrician that wired this house for us in 1988 did a less than stellar job.  In conjunction with a Backup Generator Project, I recently completed a full mapping of the outlets and lights.  I knew that he did a poor job, but not how poor until I completed this mapping.

Shortly after I built-up this security system, I installed an X10 "cross-over" module (I forget the correct term) to improve X10 signal movement between rails on the South LC (where my PS561s have always been connected).  Connecting anything to a North LC branch circuit has always been iffy, at best.

I am beginning to think that I may be able to deploy one PS561 on a North LC breaker (after installing a "cross-over" module on that box ... I think I have an extra in my kit) and use the SC1200 on the South LC.  Such a configuration may allow me to utilize all of the features from BOTH units and also to avoid a couple of issues that may want to pop up with the SC1200.

Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Youngblood on November 03, 2012, 08:51:37 PM
I just gave up on the SC1200 and am back to my 2-PS561 configuration.

The Sandy power outage caused my PS561s to lose their programming (the SC1200 batteries just managed to hold on).

I spent a lot of today working with the SC1200 trying to isolate, ID and work around issues (with only it activated, the PS561s still offline).  The Deal Killer was its inability to consistently activate ANY of my many X10 power sirens.  It also had problems with properly activating my outside "security" lights.

So, after a couple of hours trying different fixes, I packed it up and reconfigured my original equipment & setup.

Perhaps I can sell this SC1200 on eBay and recoup some of my money.   :)

I knew full well that this outcome was quite possible when I decided to make the purchase, so I am not upset ... just a bit disappointed.
Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Youngblood on November 23, 2012, 08:18:10 PM
I discovered that Eco-I-Lite inductive-charging walloutlet-mounted emergency/flash lights are X10 Signal Suckers (see separate thread), so I removed them and re-evaluated my SC1200.

I was de-lighted to find that it works as advertised!

Actually, I started out this new exercise by thoroughly evaluating my dual PS561 setup ... and was chagrined to find that PS561s do not play well together ... meaning that while both can be configured to work, they cannot both be set to ALARM HOME or ALARM AWAY at the same time without causing issues with the system performance once the alarm is tripped.

From now on I will only have one Security Console ALARM-MODE-activated at a time.

Now I just have to decide whether or not to swapout the primary PS561 with the SC1200 (the other PS561 is on my bedside table for use while I sleep).

Interesting thing ... I removed the batteries, re-boxed and shelved the SC1200 3 weeks ago.  It retained all of my configuration settings, including Zones & Remotes. Nice!
Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Brian H on November 24, 2012, 06:16:57 AM
Only thing it will forget, with no batteries, is the time.
If you ever did want to start from scratch. There is a menu choice for a Master Reset.
Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Youngblood on November 24, 2012, 01:26:47 PM

Actually, I have run into one Issue (so far ... hopefully the last) with the SC1200.

The instructions direct that the Unit Number on any Sirens must be set to match the LightCode Number.

I found that this worked with what I call my CatKillers (PH508, the big 4-Piezo Sirens that will make you ears bleed).  However, it does not work with my little Sirens (SH10A) ... BUT ... I found that by setting them to the same Unit Number as the LightCode+1 Number, they would reliably be triggered when an alarm was tripped. OK, so far.

Until ...

This morning, I configured a Security Keyfob Remote (KR32A) to the SC1200.

Unfortunately, when I turn on the  Lights using the button on the KR32A (all lights set to LightCode+1), all of the appropriate lights come on ... followed by all of the SH10A Sirens. <sigh>

So, my question is, is there a known workaround to get the SH10As to engage while configured to the LightCode Number?

If not, either I will have to avoid using Remotes that call on the LightCode+1 via the Security Console (as opposed to Remotes that specifically call the Unit Number) or box & shelve my SH10As and rearrange my 4 CatKillers to cover the house.

BTW, when I activate LightCode+1 Unit Number via the "Home Control" interface of the SC1200 (in this case, 1+6+ON), only the lights come on, no SH10A action.


Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Brian H on November 24, 2012, 02:51:59 PM
It depends on the hardware revision of the SH10A Small Powerhorn and the PH508A Large Powerhorn.
My older SH10As work OK. Got a Date Code from the sticker on the back of the unit?

PH508s actions depend on the revision.
Early ones would sound a few cycles. Stop for a time then sound for a few more cycles.
The around 2009 ones. Would sound one time when you armed the console.
Latest ones if memory serves me. Didn't sound when armed but again started and stopped during the alarm.

Can no longer do tests. My SC1200s LCD Diaplay is about 3/4 gone and can't be read. I am using the earlier version. Radio Shack 49-1000MC and its sends the On Off cycles much slower and will not trigger any revision SH10A or PH508A.
Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Youngblood on November 24, 2012, 03:37:10 PM
Since this Issue affects all of my ( 8 ) SH10As, I will simply not use the KR32A.

The (what I assume to be) Date Codes Stickers on the 3 close-at-hand SH10As are: 8G31 and 2x6C12.

Thanks (again) for the info, Brian.

Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Brian H on November 24, 2012, 06:02:50 PM
I wounder if X10 tweaked the firmware in the SC1200 or KR32A.
I have printouts of what my 1.5 year old one did. The Lights Buttons on my KR32A. Only sent an On or Off to the House Code, Light Code+1. Which should not cause a SH10A to sound the alarm.

Guess in your case. The Lights On/Off buttons of the KR32A are to be ignored by your fingers.
Title: Re: SC1200 & PS561 don't play well together?
Post by: Youngblood on November 25, 2012, 05:29:05 PM

I realized that I cannot do without SH10As in a few locations (for example, a CatKiller in my bathroom would not be a good idea) so I will have to do without using my KR32A.

Not a Biggie.   :)