is there a way to test alarm zones?


I started to work on my HAI alarm, prior to HAI I had a Ademco 21ip; the way the wire was set up, it used 7 zones on the pannel. I imagine that each contact in my house has an individual cable and they simply spliced two or three contacts into one zone to make it for example master bedroom. Am I wrong in that assumption? Anyway after disconnecting the old panel and pulling it back to the attic I find a cluster #$%@ of cables, I am seriously thinking about cutting and tracing each cable to organize the mess as an added bonus i would like to have more zones. For example, currently one zone covers both my kids windows and the garage door. If i could i would like for those zones to be 2 individual zones.

What is the best way to tackle my problem? How can I trace what cable goes to what contact?

Retrofits like that are a guessing game... been there, done that.
Personally, I like very few sensors per zone to increase logging accuracy, ease troubleshooting and increase automation flexibility.

I would split as many wires as possible, test them with a meter (they should be open or closed, but no voltage present), then wire them to your HAI panel inputs. Then it becomes trial and error to see what zone is triggered by what sensor. Once you have things documented, you may wish to move wires around to group all the doors together, all the windows together, etc.
I ran into a similiar situation last week in FL. When the home was built I did all of the wiring except for the alarm. The alarm company prewired for all the doors, windows , keypads and alarm sensors. The wires at the source were numbered but not at the distal ends. When I called the alarm company they looked but could not find the records of the wiring. The attic had about 2 feet of insulation blown into it so it was kind of useless to go into the attic. So I just ended up using a Toner, Multimeter and PCAcess. Initially when visiting in Nov used a toner and retagged all of the wires. Last week used what I had toned out and verified with jumpers and a multimeter. It was time consuming. I would jumper the distal end then use the ohmeter to check. After all was documented I created about 3 zones with multiple switches and about 10 single zones. IE: There are three sliding glass doors on one side of the Lanai. These are all wired into one zone. Only one of the three doors is ever used though. To work backwards just take an ohmmeter with a tone and jumpers to the distal side. If you are in a zone with multiple connections you will know. Say a bedroom might be in one zone. If you open one window then you will break the continuity. The zones were easier to do as they had only one termination resistor. The doors were a bit harder in that most of the frames were in cement and it was difficult to tuck the wires back in although I keep them as short as possible. The only real problem runs were the PIR and Keypad runs. The internal & external siren runs were easy to find. If you of your stuff is complete then all you need to do is trace the wires one by one by where the panel was. Total time involved was 3 solid days. It should be much less time for you considered all is completed on the distal ends.

I also used PC Access (for my OmniPro II) on my wireless laptop to check. It worked well when I was on the opposite side of the house. BTW I mounted the OmniProII cabinet and pulled the wires into the alarm cabinet before I started to test. I also added new electric adjacent to the panel for the PS. Easy to do in FL versus IL. I was also able to fish a network cable from the OmniPro II cabinet to the media/network cabinet easily.

The IR sensors you will need to take apart and manually jumper them.

The order that I used is what I liked but its really your preference -

1 - doors - entry/exit - I included all the sliding glass doors with "regular doors"
2 - windows - perimeter - very time consuming because of the number of windows - some had wires above the frames, on the side of the frames and on the bottom of the frames.
3 - IR sensors - most difficult to find the wires for - you should already have these in place so it won't be a big deal. I used wall mounted IR sensors. In Illinois I use a number of ceiling mounted PIRs.
^ what he said.

get yourself a tone tester, a multimeter, a pal who's not too busy and a jumbo bag of nurofen.

get your mate to open a contact and put the oscillator end of the tone tester on a spare pair (or discnx the wiring from the contact & use that)

get him to shout when "on"

stick the probe into the birdsnest & find the pairs/cable....then mark it!!!

wish you luck! (it won't take that long but it's gonna be a very dull weekend....)
Thanks for the great ideas, I am going to work at it immediately after typing this. Fortunately there are no IR sensors on my set up, I will be installing those after I sort the mess!

Thanks again!