Help with annunciator

I’m looking to hook up a remote annunciator to one of my MS-4 panels. I have never done this and was looking for some advice. I have an old school Gamewell fire alarm box style remote annunciator I’d like to wire up to the MS-4. I have MS-4 panels and Gamewell masterboxes in each of my sheds on my property. They report in on the 100 milliamp municipal fire alarm telegraph circuit when the panels go into alarm. I have an extensive 100 milliamp fire alarm telegraph system.

You didn’t give much information about the annunciator, so I had to search and guess.

I found a picture of what I think you are describing on Ebay. Is this it?
This is most likely a 120 volt annunciator.

My recommendation would be to add a zone relay module to the MS-4 to operate the annunciator.

Yes, that’s what I have.

I have one of those 4XZMF zone relay cards. But it doesn’t seem like it would work if the annunciator was looking for 100VAC to run on…l

I found some specifications for the relay board which read:

“Dry Form-C contacts rated: 2.0 amps @ 30 VDC (resistive), 0.5 amps @ 30 VAC (resistive).”

I found a picture of both sides of a relay board in an Ebay listing. In looking at the circuitry I can see that the second contact of the DPDT relays is used in some way. Probably for the latch until reset feature. They don’t want line voltage near the system voltage. There could be too much capacitive coupling inside the relay and by the circuit traces on the board.

Two things you could do if you REALLY want to use this annunciator.


Use the relay board to drive the coils of external low voltage relays that then switch the line voltage needed by the annunciator. (We are assuming it is a 120 VAC annunciator, but that is a good bet.) That keeps the line voltage off of the relay board. (This is something I have done in the past to keep 120 VAC off of control ZAM boards that had an issue with it.)


Investigate if there is a low voltage substitute for the lamps in the annunciator. Then the relay board could drive them directly. That is modifying the annunciator which you might not want to do.

I noticed there is an MR-104CR on Ebay for a reasonable price. 4 relays in a metal box with a red cover. Perfect for your application.

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Thanks, I jumped on the relay for $18 including shipping. Honestly, I’m a Gamewell guy and I have 5 of these annunciator boxes but have never hooked one up. I don’t know if they run on 110 or not. I’ll have to pull some bulbs out and investigate. I’ll let you know how I make out. Thank You for all the help!!

Good news, the lights illuminate on 12V. I’m going to proceed a little further and see what I can come up with. I have the 4XZMF relay. Going to check the installation manual before doing any hook ups.

Update. 4XZMF relay looks like just dry contacts. No voltage showing on the multi meter. Lights didn’t illuminate on annunciator either. Looks like I need the 4XLMF LED interface module as well.

I bet the LED module is just for LEDs and will not drive the light bulbs in your annunciator. LEDs use much lower current than incandescent lamps.

It is good to find out what voltage the annunciator uses. The fact that it is 12 volts means that the relay box was not needed. I am sure you will find some use for it.

What is needed is a 12 volt power source. A transformer or “wall wart” will work. You then wire from the 12 volts through the Normally Open contacts to light the annunciator.

What is the terminal layout in the annunciator?

Here is the wiring for the 6 zone one

Having trouble posting pictures on here, but it’s a common ground and a wire for each zone lamp. I have 5 of these things and have gone through 2 of them. One is a 10 zone and the other is a 6 zone. One bulb is bad in the 10 zone, but otherwise all are there and working, I now have them all labeled.


Here it is


Here is the 6 zone annunciator


Here is the 10 zone annunciator.


Wiring for the 10 zone annunciator

OK. looks like typical annunciator internal wiring. You might want to add a terminal strip to make wiring it up easier.

If those are screw base or bayonet base bulbs you could replace them with a 24 to 28 volt lamp and just use the Non Reset power output on terminal strip 1 of the MS-4 instead of a 12 volt transformer. Your choice.

Here is a typical wiring diagram for what you need from a 12 volt transformer through the relay board and to the annunciator.

They aren’t screw in bulbs. They must be bayonet bulbs. The wiring diagram looks pretty easy to follow. Did you make that up??

Then the bulbs must look like this.

Yes, I drew that annunciator hook up drawing.

I forgot to ask, is there an identification number on those bulbs?