• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

Replacement for Moose Z700 Security System

TurboSam

Active Member
My mother-in-law is moving into a new (for her) house, and the existing security system is a Moose Z700 (circa 1996).
  
I have only been in the house twice, but as far as I can tell, all 6 wired zones still work (the red light illuminates on both keypads when the relevant zone is not secure).  The system is not used by the current owners and is not monitored so I suspect the current owners don't even know how to arm or disarm the system.   They evidently don't have the master or installer code.  I have downloaded the 49 page installation/programming manual, and there are factory reset options that might work--but the system would then need to be configured for real time monitoring if that is even possible (since there is no phone line available).  She is used to a Honeywell First Alert system (FA148CP I think) in her current home, and she likes that.  Plus, I have her current system set up with a cellular communicator on Total Control so I can arm/disarm/etc if necessary.
 
My only knowledge about the Z700 comes from Google searches and reading (almost) every post on this site about it.  I have an Elk M1 system, and was delighted to find out from old threads that the Elk is the descendant (or, at least, an offshoot) of Wade Moose's original system, but an Elk is WAY too much for her.
 
I'm charged with finding and having installed a security system in her new house.  So, what should I looking at?  In the past I have tended to skip past posts regarding Vista and DSC systems and products, but are those the types of systems I should do deep dives on?  I've done some research on both lines, but would appreciate any hands on pros and cons with either system (or other systems).
 
I prefer wired whenever possible, so it would be ideal to find something that is wire compatible with the Z700 wiring for the six existing wired zones and two keypads.  Expansion capability would be nice, but adding new wired zones might be difficult so I want to make sure we have the capability of adding new wireless zones in the future--most likely for additional motions, key fobs, and/or glass breaks near sliding glass doors.  Automation is not really something she is interested in, but I'm always willing to tinker to make things easier for her (high WAF for that).  I also need something for her that can handle a cellular communicator because we know we want it monitored.
 
Any suggestions about products and experiences would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thanks!
 

RAL

Senior Member
I think you are right that installing an Elk would be going overboard in this case.  Since it is a simple installation, a Vista 20P would be just fine.   You can expand it if need be with additional wired or wireless zones.
 
You'll need to replace the keypads with ones that are compatible with the 20P, such as the 6160.   You might want to consider a 6160RF, which includes a wireless receiver in the keypad.  Whether or not  the RF keypad is a good choice depends on the location of the keypad.  Otherwise, you can go with a 5881ENH wireless receiver when you expand to wireless.
 
You should check whether there are any EOL resistors installed on the existing wired contacts.  The Z700 uses 2200 ohm EOLRs, which are not compatible with the 20P, which uses 2000 ohms.   So there could be some extra work involved if you need to swap them out.
 

pvrfan

Active Member
TurboSam said:
My mother-in-law is ... used to a Honeywell First Alert system (FA148CP I think) in her current home, and she likes that.  Plus, I have her current system set up with a cellular communicator on Total Control so I can arm/disarm/etc if necessary. ...
 
How much change is your MIL willing to tolerate?  Is she adaptable or will she curse you every time she has to touch the strange keypad?  ;)  
 
Were there any options on her old system that were important?  Is it time to think about a personal medical alarm or similar?
 
Craig
 
First alert panels are the branded version of Honeywell Vistas. I'd go that route as she's already used to them, they're expandable and can interface with a fair amount of "limited" automation based items.
 
I'd suggest going that route.....otherwise the option to put an EZ8 out there could get into an Elk platform that can be interfaced with something else, but the ROI isn't going to be there from the description of your post.
 

TurboSam

Active Member
Thanks, guys, for all the input.
 
I had forgotten about the Elk EZ8 but it is way too much for her, so I'm focusing on the Vista 20P with two replacement 6160 keypads.  The two existing keypads are on a lower garage level entrance (the usual entry/exit point) and in an upper bedroom, but we want another keypad near the panel.  I looked at the 6160RF for this purpose, but the installation manual for it says not to install within 10 feet of the control panel.  So I'll likely go with a third 6160 and add a 5281EH later since there does not seem to be a distance minimum from the panel for it.
 
I'm tempted to buy and install the panel, the three keypads, and the wireless receiver myself, but the rub (as I found out when I tried to get cellular monitoring for my self-installed M1) is that monitoring companies aren't wild about dealing with DIYers.  So I may have to bite the bullet, find a Honeywell installer, and play the "knows too much" customer.  
 
Two followup questions:
 
First, with respect to cellular monitoring, is the GSMV4G preferred over the GSMX4G for future proofing?  I have no idea what the current power draw is--much less what it might be in the future.
 
Second, thanks RAL for the tip about the EOLs.  There are no visible resistors at the panel so I assume the EOLRs the are, in fact, at the EOL.  I gather that means I have to pry out the sensor in the door jam for the doors and sliders (and in one motion sensor) to (hopefully) find and replace them?  Or is there a workaround at the panel?
 
Thanks again.
 
You can move away from the Alarmnet route and go with something like Uplink or other 3rd party communicator route, however plan on a couple of extra zones for interactive and supervisory connections. You can connect almost any cell with interactive to the 20P and program a keyswitch zone or enable the RC for O/C (depends on the cell).
 
As far as EOLR verification, use a DMM to see if they're present or disabled via programming....otherwise it's going to be checking the programming.
 

RAL

Senior Member
You can determine if there are EOL resistors by using a multimeter to measure the resistance in each zone from the panel end. 
 
Disconnect the two wires for each zone from the panel, and measure resistance across the two wires.  If you see something close to zero, then there is no EOLR.  If you measure something around 2200 ohms, then there is.
 
I would disconnect only one zone at a time, so there is no confusion of which wires go to which terminals.
 
If you do find there are EOLRs, then you'll need to pry out each contact to get to them.  Hopefully, the installer left enough slack in the wire to be able to pull it out enough to get to them. 
 
I can't help you much on the difference between the GSMX4G vs the GSMV4G. 
 
You could also go with non-Honeywell communicators, like an Uplink or Telguard.
 
If you sign up for monitoring with a company like Alarmrelay, they are good about working with DIYers.  If you do go that way, you might want to check with them whether they support the GSMX4G/GSMV4G before you purchase it.
 

TurboSam

Active Member
Thanks again, DEL and RAL.
 
I realized after I posted that I could check for resistors with a DMM at the panel so once we have possession of the house that will be my first task.  It's actually quite frustrating that she does not get possession until later this week since I am rarin' to go.
 
The good news is that, having now read the Z700 manual, I know I can get to installer level programming on a restart and dual key press even without the installer code, which offers me a great deal of information/flexibility about what is there now.  As DEL alluded to, I also found out that the panel has a configuration option for either EOL supervision or unsupervised closed circuit loops for burglar zones, so I should be able to find out if EOLs are even present once I have access to the installer level programming.
 
One puzzle is that the 5 door and window burglar zones all appear to have doubled up wires for the loop.  The red/green from the cable goes to the zone and the black/green goes to negative.  Unitl I can get a meter on the wires, I'm assuming this was done just to boost the gauge of the wire (or just for convenience), but time will tell...
 
TurboSam said:
Thanks, guys, for all the input.
 
I had forgotten about the Elk EZ8 but it is way too much for her, so I'm focusing on the Vista 20P with two replacement 6160 keypads.  The two existing keypads are on a lower garage level entrance (the usual entry/exit point) and in an upper bedroom, but we want another keypad near the panel.  I looked at the 6160RF for this purpose, but the installation manual for it says not to install within 10 feet of the control panel.  So I'll likely go with a third 6160 and add a 5281EH later since there does not seem to be a distance minimum from the panel for it.
 
I'm tempted to buy and install the panel, the three keypads, and the wireless receiver myself, but the rub (as I found out when I tried to get cellular monitoring for my self-installed M1) is that monitoring companies aren't wild about dealing with DIYers.  So I may have to bite the bullet, find a Honeywell installer, and play the "knows too much" customer.  
 
Two followup questions:
 
First, with respect to cellular monitoring, is the GSMV4G preferred over the GSMX4G for future proofing?  I have no idea what the current power draw is--much less what it might be in the future.
 
Second, thanks RAL for the tip about the EOLs.  There are no visible resistors at the panel so I assume the EOLRs the are, in fact, at the EOL.  I gather that means I have to pry out the sensor in the door jam for the doors and sliders (and in one motion sensor) to (hopefully) find and replace them?  Or is there a workaround at the panel?
 
Thanks again.
 
I actually am an owner of an alarm company that caters to DIYers that use professional systems (like Honeywell) and want to avoid having to go with a local company that uses contracts and doesn't allow for end user system configuration. We offer no-contract monitoring plans - https://www.alarmgrid.com/monitoring and have worked with people doing this exact upgrade. 
 
The GSMX4G and GSMV4G communicators work the same in terms of cellular connectivity and the only difference is the GSMX4G gets power from the panel while the GSMV4G has a separate power supply and backup battery. The GSMX4G max current draw is 250mA and the panel's total output for power is 600mA so as long as you don't exceed 350mA with all other powered devices wired to the system, the GSMX4G should be an easier install.
 
With all that said, if you can get an Ethernet connection from her router to the panel, the iGSMV4G would be a better option as it supports IP as the primary path and falls back to cellular automatically whenever the IP path is offline or unavailable.
 
For the keypads, I would replace one of her existing with a 6160RF (chose the one that is most centrally located in the home) and then replace the other existing with a 6160 and then you could put the third as a 6160 right by the keypad. 
 

TurboSam

Active Member
Sterling, thanks.  The potential problem with a 6160RF is that one existing keypad is on the upper level, one is on the lower level, and the panel is on the main level so I was concerned about RF strength.  But it is still an option.
 
As for using the iGSMV4G, I haven't scoped out hardwired Ethernet connections in the house yet, but I am pretty sure there is no connection near the panel and the ISP cable entry to the house is some distance away.  Once we get possession, I'll take a look at what is available.
 
I must admit, however, that after reading about some of the problems people were having failing over from from broadband to cellular, I got a little spooked.  I assume you have not see the problem with the iGSMV4G....?
 
You can get up to 200' range with the 5800 Series sensors and there is a 5800RP repeater so you could get up to 400' so I would think the 6160RF would work on the lower level but the standalone receiver would work as well.
 
Yes, we haven't seen any issues using the AlarmNet dual path devices when switching to cellular backup. I think most of the issues seen were with 3rd party "universal" communicators while the AlarmNet devices are made for Honeywell systems and therefore work better when considering those higher level technical issues.
 
Top