General Questions

So, there’s a security system installed in my house and it has been inactive since we moved in. I have some questions about it and I may use it.

So here we go:

-Will the system work if it’s not hooked up to a monitoring center?

-Can I reset the factory ADT panel?

-Will it send a signal if someone were to hit an emergency button?

-Should it be wired into our household smoke detectors?

-If so, can I wire my home system into it?


Under most cases yes it will still work. If it was installed by ADT then they mostly likely dialed in to it and deleted the monitoring settings after your alarm monitoring contract was terminated. I have heard of ADT deleting the system programming as well rendering your panel blank so that it is totally useless without an ADT monitoring account. Best thing you can do is plug it in and find out.

If it was installed by ADT and is a wired system, it is most likely a Honeywell Vista. ADT has an installer code they commonly used – it should work to get into the system programming. Then you can default it from there.

If there’s no monitoring account set up and the phone lines are hooked up, nothing would happen since the dial information was deleted from the programming upon monitoring account termination.

I do not think it is completely legal to wire 120V residential smokes into a BACP with an accessory relay. I know it is legal on fire alarm systems as long as it is set up to do a supervisory and not a full fire alarm.

If it were legal you’d need an accessory relay from your smoke detector manufacturer in order to do it.

You’re welcome. Check your PMs, I sent you a message.

Here is the main keypad for the system:
I can get pictures of the panel tomorrow.

There’s also this weird smoke detector in my house:
I’m pretty sure it’s for the system too.

Oh, well then no.

For whatever reason, ADT put in a DSC PowerSeries system, probably a PC1832.

You’ve got a rarer ADT installation since they almost always use Honeywell Vista.

They also put in a fixed english keypad, not an alpha keypad, which means re-programming one of these things is going to be VERY difficult. What “fixed english” means is that there’s words that “light up” on the display kinda like LEDs for different system events. Here’s an example of an Ademco 6150, a fixed english keypad.

Programming a system with a fixed english keypad is really hard because you have to know what all the little words mean when you’re programming.

You can still test to see if you can get in though.

If you do *8 and then enter the installer code I PM’ed you, it will beep once if correct. Then press # to exit.

If it does not accept the installer code I PM’ed you, it will beep three times then make a really long beep.

These panels do have a backdoor, but unfortunately that backdoor can be disabled in programming. It’s unlikely that ADT disabled the backdoor, however.


That smoke detector is a System Sensor 2100AT, which is a variant on the 2100 smoke detectors like the kind I used in my basement in System Test 26–29. It’s a 4 wire detector and can run on either 12 or 24 volts, and it has a rate of rise heat detector and a piezo sounder that does Code 3.

I see you have a yellowed like crazy Kidde smoke next to it, should think about replacing that sometime.

Yeah, that’s something my dad doesn’t think is needed… (one reason for installing my system)

It’s about 13 years old.

Also if the code does not work, I may consider replacing the whole panel and keypad with something like a Concord 4 or a Vista if I can find one for cheap. Will that connect to the existing devices?

OK, I tried it. It beeps rapidly 6 times and displays the armed lock thing on the side and a hand touching a keypad on the screen.

Hot # to get out of there and don’t try programming until you know what to do.

If the armed light is on and the program light is flashing, you’re in dealer program mode. Press # to exit now.

Do not try to do anything in dealer programming yet. You have a DSC Powerseries panel. It’s probably the pc1864, their largest one in the series. Look on the green sticker on the board. You’ll also need to know the panel firmware version. 4.2, 4.6, etc.

Do not try to program it until you have read and understand the manual. I can hook you up with the dsc manual if you give me the panel type and version.

Since this is ADT branded, there is no software access with DLS. do NOT get yourself locked out of programming!

OK. I got out of there, and I tried a different code that worked. It returned to the normal screen.

Here are pictures of the panel:
Maybe I should worry, it sounded like the battery was squealing.

I’m going to go get a closer look at the firmware.

Looks like ADT did a crappy job. There’s no lock and I have not touched the wiring.

It’s a powerseries 1616

Just to clarify: Installations like this are not a result of “Big Blue” directly. There are "Authorized AT Dealers" that are basically small independent companies who sell and install systems monitored by Big Blue. Tyco Fire and Security spun off their AT and their security now is Tyco Integrated Security. Because of this dealership program, there is no “standard” panel type for AT. The Safewatch panels are old Moose panels, or Vista-20SE or 20P systems. The PremisePro systems (around here) are DSC PC5020 or PC1864 systems. There are also GE Concord panels in some areas, EST fire alarm systems, Fire-Lite fire systems. It’s whatever that particular dealer chose to sell and use. So, your sloppy panel is not Big Blue’s fault, it’s the result of a “dealer”. Much like GM Corporation as a whole, and the individual Chevy dealer in your town.

DSC panels don’t come with can locks, they actually cost extra. So it’s standard practice to see one screwed shut.

One thing that is common with A
T is their characteristic 22/4 solid quad cable (like old telephone wire) with a blue conductor instead of the green conductor. In most cases, when a “takeover” is sold that includes a panel and keypad swap, there is seldom enough time to make the panel neat. I rip panels out and don’t always have time to label and organize the wires. I wish I could, and I do what I can, but it’s not always feasible.

[offtopic]Why is ADT censored? It’s causing lots of confusion, at least for me. [/offtopic]

I added the word censor a while back because a lot of the members on this forum bash ADT and I did not want the posts where we make fun of ADT showing up in search engine results when search engine bots crawl the site.

It has to do with the forum’s liability. Searching for AT (without the censor, of course) would not bring up any search results from The Fire Panel. Since AT is proprietary, people asking questions on this forum won’t be tied to the search term, reducing the possibility of TFP getting in trouble.

Try it yourself:

Searching for A*T [without censor] in TFP’s domain

Searching for “Unknown Security Company” in TFP’s domain

No backdoor instructions there!

EDIT: Andrew, you beat me to it.

Would the installer code be able to arm/disarm the system?

If not, how could I change the user code?

I have the installer code. It’s a default one for DSC panels. Can I use this to arm/disarm system? Can I change it?

Couldn’t you go into programing, change the code, and be fin?

I’ve never tried arming/disarming using the installer code. It may be possible on the DSC systems. I know it can be done on the Ademco Vista panels. Why would you want to do that anyway? If you don’t have the master user code then I think you can reset it with the installer code.

OK. That would be better. Steps on how to do that?

Try this :