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Using Existing Wiring

thanks to DEL and RAL and everyone have been making good progress re-using existing wiring and topping off with new elements (new MS, GB) as well.
the process has been helped by almost illegible scrolls on the old JB which i have been deciphering.
feels like archeology in egypt.  anyway
 
by the way i could not get the LEGACY bus card to ever work properly with my setup.  the modern ethernet plugged BUS HUB worked right away after proper cable termination.  
 
have a few remaining questions.
 
1) knowing a contact wire pair is dead
can i assume that if i test with a multimeter a pair of wires which are supposed to be door/ windows contacts and i get INFINITE (or no short) then it is likely that the wire is dead, cut somewhere possibly and basically DISCARD/DUMP that pair and move on.  with all doors/windows closed an open loop means this is not reusable right?  any other scenarios you can think of?
 
2) 2 x 4w fire detectors on a run
i found that several 4-wire fire detectors are daisy chained on a run which i connected to a zone.  by shorting either of the detectors i get an alarm.  i did not expect this at first but both 1) using the tone + probe, 2) shorting both detectors seem to prove the 2 FD are daisy chained.  
can i safely leave this two detector run on the panel on a single zone.  i won't be able to rewire which ever is the end one so my only other choice is to disconnect it.
wondering if there is any risk i am not factoring in with having both detectors on the single run back to a single zone.
 
3) tone + probe
i'm finding the LOUDNESS of the tone to be completely different from circuit to circuit on the JB.  that's checking right out of the JB as well as at the end of the circuit.  sometimes very loud, sometimes very faint.  sometimes nothing.  all at same volume on probe obviously.  does it make a difference if the circuit you are attaching the tone box to is OPEN or SHORTED?  is there ever a time that you would but the + and - of the tone box on both ends of the circuit?
sorry for the basic questions but after a doze fluke videos i still can't tell the above.
 
4) any recommendations (or warnings) about the CENTRAL STATION services available?
i've started my research, just want to get a sense of how the cellular service connects to the M1 (probably won't use phone - no land line)
 
5) temperature sensor.
I've connected an ELK temperature sensor (without the probe) to one of the first 16 zones.  it seems to recognize it but whenever i look for the temperature (in keypad or elsewhere) i get NOT ENABLED.  the zone is defined and not on 0 - disabled.  i can only review the temperature of the physical keypad (which has a temp sensor) but neve the probe.  is there a magic to enabling it?  it does not need to be enrolled or anything.  i have not tried to test it using a program, just want to get a reading of the temp F somewhere to verify it works.
 
thanks in advance.
 
 
 
 
 
 

RAL

Senior Member
urbanscribe said:
thanks to DEL and RAL and everyone have been making good progress re-using existing wiring and topping off with new elements (new MS, GB) as well.
the process has been helped by almost illegible scrolls on the old JB which i have been deciphering.
feels like archeology in egypt.  anyway
 
by the way i could not get the LEGACY bus card to ever work properly with my setup.  the modern ethernet plugged BUS HUB worked right away after proper cable termination.  
 
have a few remaining questions.
 
1) knowing a contact wire pair is dead
can i assume that if i test with a multimeter a pair of wires which are supposed to be door/ windows contacts and i get INFINITE (or no short) then it is likely that the wire is dead, cut somewhere possibly and basically DISCARD/DUMP that pair and move on.  with all doors/windows closed an open loop means this is not reusable right?  any other scenarios you can think of?
 
2) 2 x 4w fire detectors on a run
i found that several 4-wire fire detectors are daisy chained on a run which i connected to a zone.  by shorting either of the detectors i get an alarm.  i did not expect this at first but both 1) using the tone + probe, 2) shorting both detectors seem to prove the 2 FD are daisy chained.  
can i safely leave this two detector run on the panel on a single zone.  i won't be able to rewire which ever is the end one so my only other choice is to disconnect it.
wondering if there is any risk i am not factoring in with having both detectors on the single run back to a single zone.
 
3) tone + probe
i'm finding the LOUDNESS of the tone to be completely different from circuit to circuit on the JB.  that's checking right out of the JB as well as at the end of the circuit.  sometimes very loud, sometimes very faint.  sometimes nothing.  all at same volume on probe obviously.  does it make a difference if the circuit you are attaching the tone box to is OPEN or SHORTED?  is there ever a time that you would but the + and - of the tone box on both ends of the circuit?
sorry for the basic questions but after a doze fluke videos i still can't tell the above.
 
4) any recommendations (or warnings) about the CENTRAL STATION services available?
i've started my research, just want to get a sense of how the cellular service connects to the M1 (probably won't use phone - no land line)
 
5) temperature sensor.
I've connected an ELK temperature sensor (without the probe) to one of the first 16 zones.  it seems to recognize it but whenever i look for the temperature (in keypad or elsewhere) i get NOT ENABLED.  the zone is defined and not on 0 - disabled.  i can only review the temperature of the physical keypad (which has a temp sensor) but neve the probe.  is there a magic to enabling it?  it does not need to be enrolled or anything.  i have not tried to test it using a program, just want to get a reading of the temp F somewhere to verify it works.
 
1. Most contacts are normally closed, so that when a window or door is closed, it would create a short on the wire pair back to the panel.  So yes, if you are seeing an infinite reading on the multimeter, that is probably a good indication that there is a break in the cable somewhere.  Is it an absolute guarantee?  No - there's always a slight chance that it could be a normally open contact.  But that would be very unusual, especially if all you other contacts that do work are the normally closed type. It's also possible that the problem is the contact itself, and not the wiring. Best way to test that would be to pry it out and get to the wires at the contact end.  Short the two wire ends at the panel, and measure the wires at the contact and see what you get. If it is still infinite, then yes, it's a bad cable.
 
2. I'm not sure which way you are going with the smoke detectors.  I thought in the original thread, we tried to push you towards using 2-wire smokes with the existing 4-wire cabling. 
 
Sounds like you'd like to use the (existing?) 4-wire smokes on one cable run that has two smokes daisy chained together.  If you do that, you need to install an EOL resistor and a power supervision relay on the last smoke in the chain.   But trying to use these one zone while other smokes are on a separate zone will still cause complications in system operation.
 
Even though the two existing smokes are daisy chained, if you replace them with 2-wire smokes, you should still be able to use the 4-wire cable to construct a proper daisy chain and tie it in with all the other 2-wire smokes that are on their separate 4-wire cables.
 
3.  You didn't say how you are connecting the tone generator to the cable.  Are you connecting both wires in the cable to the tone generator?  If so, then yes, the loudness of the tone you hear from the probe can be affected by whether there is an open or short, or something in between on the wires of the cable.  Also, if it is twisted pair, that will affect the loudness.
 
> is there ever a time that you would but the + and - of the tone box on both ends of the circuit?
 
Not sure I understand what you are asking.   By both ends, do you mean, say the red and black wires at one end of the cable?
That's a common way to do things. But it doesn't make for a particularly loud tone if the wires are twisted pair, as the twists in the wire tend to cancel out the signal.  In that case, it is better to connect the tone generator just to one wire of the cable and connect the other wire of the tone generator to earth ground.
 
4. One thing to look for about a central station is whether it is UL Listed.  You should also check whether they support your specific alarm panel and cellular communicator.   You're going to need technical help from them in setting things up, so if they are familiar with your equipment, it helps a lot.
 
5. Have you defined the temperature sensor zone as type 33, and did you set the zone option for FastLoopResponse?
 
You should be able to see the temperature on the keypad using menu option 4.
 
thanks RAL
let me clarify about TONE
 
1) per the videos and instructions i am MOSTLY using the tone generator by tying one alligator clamp onto one of the circuits (usually red alligator) and leaving the second one (black alligator) loose or fixed onto a ground cable i have going into the basement room i'm in.  making sure that the second loose or grounded alligator clamp is not touching anything else.
 
what i am finding is the the probe goes nuts (loudly replicating the tone) when close to the second LOOSE or GROUNDED other cable/alligator (above = black).  much less so (or nothing) on the first circuit wires.  nothing close to the JB and nothing far away at the contact.  or very very little.  i've pushed the volume at max obviously.
 
2) i rarely but once in a while (when i have not been able to successfully find the contact at the other end with the probe) tie BOTH red and black alligator to the two wires of the circuit at the JB.
 
i hear you that this is trial and error but since i don't think i am risking any bodily harm, i'm trying everything to find a reliable way to hear the tone AT THE OTHER END.  have not yet.
 
3) SO
i know to use the multimeter to check if i get INFINITE (open) or some resistance reading (SHORT) circuit.
what seems to work better (but maybe i am nuts) is
3A. if open then tie both alligators red and black to both circuits
3B. if shorted then tie only one leaving the other hanging or grounded.
 
i'm just basically looking for a rule of thumb for using the tone generator based on what i find with the multimeter.  this is all old cabling so - correct me if i'm wrong - i don't think it's twisted pairs 
 
Central Station 
indeed i forgot to mention all i am looking at are UL listed which is what is required by the insurance company.  
currently i am looking at http://alarmrelay.com
 
Temp
Yup, zone 33 and fast loop response AND nothing else checked.
will check again.  
 

RAL

Senior Member
urbanscribe said:
thanks RAL
let me clarify about TONE
 
1) per the videos and instructions i am MOSTLY using the tone generator by tying one alligator clamp onto one of the circuits (usually red alligator) and leaving the second one (black alligator) loose or fixed onto a ground cable i have going into the basement room i'm in.  making sure that the second loose or grounded alligator clamp is not touching anything else.
 
what i am finding is the the probe goes nuts (loudly replicating the tone) when close to the second LOOSE or GROUNDED other cable/alligator (above = black).  much less so (or nothing) on the first circuit wires.  nothing close to the JB and nothing far away at the contact.  or very very little.  i've pushed the volume at max obviously.
 
2) i rarely but once in a while (when i have not been able to successfully find the contact at the other end with the probe) tie BOTH red and black alligator to the two wires of the circuit at the JB.
 
i hear you that this is trial and error but since i don't think i am risking any bodily harm, i'm trying everything to find a reliable way to hear the tone AT THE OTHER END.  have not yet.
 
3) SO
i know to use the multimeter to check if i get INFINITE (open) or some resistance reading (SHORT) circuit.
what seems to work better (but maybe i am nuts) is
3A. if open then tie both alligators red and black to both circuits
3B. if shorted then tie only one leaving the other hanging or grounded.
 
i'm just basically looking for a rule of thumb for using the tone generator based on what i find with the multimeter.  this is all old cabling so - correct me if i'm wrong - i don't think it's twisted pairs 
 
3A and 3B) What you are seeing makes perfect sense.
 
The tone generator works best when connected to an open pair of wires, with nothing connected at the far end.   If there is a closed contact at the far end, that will short out the signal and then the probe will pick up little or nothing in the way of a signal. 
 
In the case where you know there is short or closed contact, then connect the tone generator to only one wire in the cable, and connect the other lead from the tone generator to earth ground, or leave it unconnected. 
 
I've found that earth ground usually works best, but not always. Say the wire you are trying to trace has a short somewhere to ground, then if you connect the tone generator to one wire of the cable and ground, it'll be sending the signal into the short, which isn't going to work well. Letting the second lead float will work better in that case.  If you can't pick up a good tone on one wire, try the other wire in the cable.   And if there is a contact at the far end, open it as well.
 
Sometimes, you just have to try different methods until you hit on something that works for the situation at hand.
 
 
urbanscribe said:
Central Station 
indeed i forgot to mention all i am looking at are UL listed which is what is required by the insurance company.  
currently i am looking at http://alarmrelay.com
 
Temp
Yup, zone 33 and fast loop response AND nothing else checked.
will check again.  
 
Alarmrelay for a central station is one that many folks here on Cocoontech have used, usually with good results. They would be a good choice.
 
On the temp sensor, if the zone type and fast loop response are set correctly, then the only other thing I can think of in terms of configuration is to make sure the fast loop response time is set properly (less than 200) in the global system definitions.
 
Also use your multimeter to check at the temp sensor and make sure it is really getting 12V from the cable.
 
You don't want FAST loop response on a panel PERIOD. Asking for trouble in the long run. Only item that would even consider that would be inertia based shock detectors (Litton) and even then, it's a band-aid on a system that should really have an analyzer installed.
 
I'm going to forgo any other at the moment, tired and under the weather.
 

RAL

Senior Member
DELInstallations said:
You don't want FAST loop response on a panel PERIOD. Asking for trouble in the long run. Only item that would even consider that would be inertia based shock detectors (Litton) and even then, it's a band-aid on a system that should really have an analyzer installed.
 
I'm going to forgo any other at the moment, tired and under the weather.
 
 
@DEL - I'm not sure I follow you.  I agree, that for zones with alarm sensors, you don't want fast loop response except for some special cases.  But for the Elk zone temperature sensor, Elk says it's required for the temperature zones.
 
RAL said:
@DEL - I'm not sure I follow you.  I agree, that for zones with alarm sensors, you don't want fast loop response except for some special cases.  But for the Elk zone temperature sensor, Elk says it's required for the temperature zones.
Elk's ZTS isn't a passive device. It's an analog voltage device. If you used FAST on a thermostat based device you're likely to end up with hysteresis issues if and when they trip.
 
The OP should rewire the fire alarm portion....what has already been posted about the understanding and findings is already giving me cold shivers. Just as bad as the guys that monkeyed with the cables and installed the DSC.
 
@DEL to reassure you, i've EOLed most of the wiring and all the wiring i cannot specifically track down/identify. 
 
so far it's taken care of all the doors which is good and a number of motion sensors.  this was never going to be a reuse of all existing. just at least some.
the temp sensor is all new wiring.  
 
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