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How to control your X10 or UPB lighting with the ADEMCO VISTA-15P/VISTA-20P alarm system

After helping a member with configuring their VISTA-20P alarm panel for use with X10 (and UPB via the PulseWorx X-10 to UPB Bridge), I decided to post this quick tutorial, as the manual can be rather overwhelming, and I had trouble locating a complete set of instructions.  The tutorial also applies to the VISTA-15P series.
If you have any comments/questions/suggestions, please post them below.
The ADEMCO VISTA 20-P Alarm Panel, manufactured by Honeywell, is an extremely popular alarm system, offering many options, and some limited home automation features.
Out of the box, the system supports X10 in a limited way using an optional interface.  The system can only support 1 house code, but does let you use all 16 devices on that house code.
Most alarm panels, including the VISTA-20P, rely on a device similar to the X10 One Way Power Line Interface (PL513).  Honeywell's released their own version of this interface, called the X-10 Plug-in Transformer (part # is 1361X10).
Attached Image: pl513color.jpg

However, PulseWorx designed an X-10 to UPB Bridge (PW513) which 'emulates' this X10 interface, allowing you to control your UPB home automation hardware, making the the VISTA-20P even more interesting.  So if you have this panel, and use UPB, you will be able to integrate these components without using a PC.
Several years ago, Boca Devices created a similar device, but for Z-Wave, which would allow you to control Z-Wave hardware with this same panel (in theory).  However, the ZW523 X10 to Z-Wave bridge has been discontinued, so it will be hard to find.
Before we get started, you can find the programming guide for the VISTA-20P series here, which might help explain some of the steps.
VISTA-20P Configuration
This process is extremely easy.  We have to tell the panel which house code we want to use.  Once we have completed this step, we have to map one of the unused outputs to an X10/UPB device.  Now we can associate certain events, such as arm/disarm, with a choice of multiple actions, applied to the output associated with the X10/UPB device we are trying to control.  Easy, right?
In this example, we are going to turn on an X10 device with house code C, and unit code 1, using output #1.  We'll trigger this event when we arm the system.
Any keys you have to press will be marked in red.  Use the * key to confirm your parameters and move on to the next option.
Let's start!
  • Enter Programming Mode.
    There are 2 ways of entering programming mode: 1) Power cycle the system.  During power up, press the * and # key simultaneously or 2) enter the installer code. See the programming guide for more details.
  • Configure the house code using option *27 (Powerline Carrier Device (X-10)).  You need to enter a numeric value, use the list below to figure out the house code you need:
    0 = A
    1 = B
    2 = C
    3 = D
    4 = E
    5 = F
    6 = G
    7 = H
    8 = I
    9 = J
    #10 = K
    #11 = L
    #12 = M
    #13 = N
    #14 = O
    #15 = P

    Remember, you can only use 1 house code, so make sure the devices you want to control are all on the house code you selected here!  Since our device is C1, we are going to enter 2, and press * to continue.
  • We have to map one of the unused outputs (#1 in our example) to the X10 device (C1), using option *79 (Device Mapping).
    • ENTER OUTPUT NO: select an available output.  The VISTA-20P has 18 outputs (01-18) ,while the VISTA-15P offers 10 (01-08,17,18).  If you select output 17 or 18, make sure you set 'OUT NORM LOW' to 0 (this option only appears when selecting output #17 or #18).  Enter 01 on your keypad, and press * to continue.
    • OUTPUT TYPE: Enter 2 on your keypad (Power Line Carrier Device) and press * to continue.
    • UNIT No.: Enter the unit code of the X10 device you wish to control (01-16).  Since we are going to control C1, enter 01.  If you use UPB, make sure the ID is available, and press * to continue.  Check the 'Additional Information' section below for the X10->UPB mapping.
  • Now we have to associate this output/device with a condition, which we do with the *80 (Output Definition) option.
    • OUTPUT FUNCT. #: Enter a value not in use (01-48 for the VISTA-20P, 01-24 for the VISTA-15P).  In this example, we are entering 01, and press * to continue (a summary screen will be shown).
    • ACTIVATED BY: Since we want to turn on a light based on a change in the state of the system, we are going to enter 2, and press * to continue.
    • ENTER ZN TYPE: We are going to turn on the X10 device when the system arms (away), which is zone type 21.  The programming guide (info is included below as well) shows a list of zone types on page 15.  Press * to continue.  You will also be prompted to select the PARTITION to apply this 'rule' to, but since we want to trigger this for the entire system, we will enter 0 (ANY PARTITION).  Press * to continue.
    • OUTPUT ACTION: Enter 0 to turn an output (X10 device) off, 2 to turn it on.  In our example, we are turning a device on, so enter 2, and press * to continue.
    • ENTER OUTPUT NO.: Last but not least, we have to select the actual output (X10 device) we want to control.  Enter the number of the output you assigned in step 3 (*79).  In our example, enter 01, and press * to continue.
    • A summery screen will appear, showing the configuration you just entered.
  • That's it.  If you use X10, you are all set, if you use UPB, proceed to the next step.
UPB Configuration
Attached Image: XPW-513.jpg
If you use X10 hardware, then you have completed this tutorial, and don't need to keep reading.
If you want to control UPB equipment, you will have to purchase the PulseWorx PW513 X-10 to UPB Bridge (manual can be found here), if you haven't already.
Configuration is pretty simple, you just need to make sure you have the latest version of the UPStart configuration software.
Since our example uses the X10 house/unit code C1, we need to translate this to a UPB link ID.  Check the 'Additional Information' section below, or consult the PW513 manual.  C1 maps to UPB link ID 33.
Add the PW513 to your UPB network, and verify the settings.  You can change the behavior of the standard X10 ON command (Snap vs Fade) in the Command Mapping tab.
Don't forget to create the actual link and configure the UPB devices you want to respond to this link.  There really isn't much to it, but if in doubt, check the screenshots below for an example configuration.
Attached Image: PW513-X10-Bridge-ID.jpg Attached Image: PW513-X10-Bridge-Address Mapping.jpg Attached Image: PW513-X10-Bridge-CommandMapping.jpg Attached Image: PW513-X10-Bridge-Advanced.jpg Attached Image: PW513-X10-Bridge-Upstart_Home_View.jpg
Additional Information
The information below can be found in the manuals, but is included here as a reference.
Zone Type/System Operation
  • 00 = Not Used
  • 01 = Entry/Exit#1
  • 02 = Entry/Exit#2
  • 03 = Perimeter
  • 04 = Interior Follower
  • 05 = Trouble Day/Alarm Night
  • 06 = 24 Hr Silent
  • 07 = 24 Hr Audible
  • 08 = 24 Hr Aux
  • 09 = Fire
  • 10 = Interior w/Delay
  • 12 = Monitor Zone
  • 14 = Carbon Monoxide
  • 16 = Fire w/Verification
  • 20 = ArmingStay
  • 21 = ArmingAway
  • 22 = Disarming (Code + OFF)
  • 23 = No Alarm Response
  • 24 = Silent Burglary
  • 31 = End of Exit Time
  • 32 = Start of Entry Time
  • 33 = Any Burglary Alarm
  • 36 = **At Bell Timeout***
  • 38 = Chime
  • 39 = Any Fire Alarm
  • 40 = Bypassing
  • 41 = **AC Power Failure
  • 42 = **System Battery Low
  • 43 = Communication Failure
  • 52 = Kissoff
  • 54 = Fire Zone Reset
  • 58 = Duress
  • 60 = AAV Trigger
  • 66 = Function key
  • 67 = Bell Failure
  • 68 = TELCO Line Fault
  • 77 = Keyswitch
  • 78 = Keyswitch red LED
  • 79 = Keyswitch green LED
  • 81 = AAV Monitor Zone
  • 90-91 = Configurable
X-10 Device Codes UPB Link IDs 
  • A1 A16 : 1 16
  • B1 B16 : 17 32
  • C1 C16 : 33 48
  • D1 D16 : 49 64
  • E1 E16 : 65 80
  • F1 F16 : 81 96
  • G1 G16 : 97 112 
  • H1 H16 : 113 128 
  • I1 I16 : 129 144 
  • J1 J16 : 145 160 
  • K1 K16 : 161 176 
  • L1 L16 : 177 192 
  • M1 M16 : 193 208 
  • N1 N16 : 209 224 
  • O1 O16 : 225 240 
  • P1 P15 : 241 255 
  • P16 : 0