Security & Fire Protection Systems/Security system call number reset

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QUESTION: I have an old Radionics Omegalarm D4112 system and I want to reset it so it calls me instead of an alarm company when an alarm occurs.  How can I do this?

ANSWER: Hello Ross, and thanks for your question.

Your panel dates back to the early 1990's, so it's not equipped to communicate with regular cell or land-line phones. On top of that, these old Radionics panels require a proprietary programming device, and they're pretty rare. So any programming changes are probably out of the question.

Anyway, if the system is working and trouble free, you can get a separate dialer like this one:

http://www.visonic.com/Products/Components-and-Accessories/DL-125C

These kinds of dialers are typically triggered by the voltage on the bell/siren output (when the bell/siren sounds, the dialer is activated), and will dial regular phones with a voice message.

Now, the reason I mentioned not being able to reprogram the control is this... if you discontinue your monitoring service, the control will still attempt to dial the monitoring center. It'll try 10 times, then store the alarm information. Then, the next time a reportable event happens, it'll try again, wanting to send the stored alarm information and the new information.

The point is, there's a limited amount of RAM to store this data, and once it reaches capacity, the control may lock up. A complete power down and restart is needed to clear that stored memory, and even then it's only a temporary solution.

So in the long run, you might consider having an up-to-date panel installed (using all the existing wiring in your system), and programmed to dial only the phone numbers you specify.

I hope that helps!

Best Regards,

Dave

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dave,

Would you suggest a system I could purchase to replace my existing system and a company that would do the installation?

Thank you,

Ross Davis


Answer
Hello again Ross.

I try not to recommend specific manufacturers or installing companies, preferring to stay neutral in these areas.

My suggestion is to visit the website of the Electronic Security Association here: http://www.alarm.org/

This association is made up of vendor companies who meet the association's standards for quality, expertise, and service. You'll see a tool to locate member companies by zip code. Call two or three local companies and describe your needs to them to see what they're willing to offer. But be prepared to hear the same pitch from all of them that central monitoring is preferable to self-monitoring.

I won't debate the issue of which is best, but I will point out that alarm companies like monitoring contracts for the recurring revenue that they generate. This is why many vendors offer low- or no-cost installations; they make back the capital expense of the installation with the monitoring contract, and then pure profit after that.

I hope this helps!

Best Regards,

Dave

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Dave Neuweiler

Expertise

The design and application of burglary and fire systems for homes and businesses. Helping alarm owners understand how their system works. Helping to troubleshoot false alarm problems. Questions about monitoring issues.

Experience

Over a quarter century in the industry. Experience in installation, service, and monitoring centers. Training manager for a national protective services company; director of education and training for a national trade organization for for alarm dealers.

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