Security & Fire Protection Systems/Battery trouble

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QUESTION: I have a security command executive series xr20. Recently my keypad has displayed battery trouble. I have replaced the battery but the error message  still says battery trouble. I no longer am able to use the code that was programmed as it says it is invalid.   Any thoughts on what is happening?

ANSWER: Hello Jessica, and thanks for your question.

Power issues often cause odd symptoms, and this may be the case with the two problems that you noted. So let's work on the low battery trouble, and hopefully correcting that will correct the other.

There are a few things you can check.

1. AC Power -- since this is what charges the battery. There should be an indicator LED on the keypad. If that's not illuminated, write back and we'll work on that.

2. You replaced the battery; just check that it's the correct type. 12 volt, about 6.5 ampere hours, and sealed lead acid (or SLA). It's the SLA battery type that can be a problem. If you inadvertently used a gel-cell type or NiCad type, the battery won't charge with your system.

3. Check the battery connections. These are "spade lug" connections that plug onto the battery. They should be clean, bright, and tight. If there's any corrosion or bluish-white ash on these lugs, they'll have to be cleaned.

These would be the common pitfalls. If none of this applies, you may need a technician with a meter to troubleshoot the issue.

I hope this helps!

Best Regards,

Dave

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

QUESTION: Dave,  
The power light is blinking.  I replaced the battery with the exact battery that was in it.  I have checked the charge on it and it is full. And the old battery that I replaced still says it is fully charged.  The connections all look good and feel tight.

Thanks!!
Jessica

Answer
Thanks for the follow-up, Jessica.

The flashing power LED means that the AC power is okay, but the battery has a problem.

Since both the old battery and new battery are apparently good, this means that your control has, for lack of a better way to say it, "lost its mind."

So let's try a hard reboot of the system, which is essentially the same thing we do when our computer locks up.

Disconnect one of the AC input wires (that's the first two on the left of the main terminal strip in the control). Don't let the bare end of the wire touch anything.

Then disconnect either of the battery connections. Wait about five minutes. Your control is now powered down, and anything in volatile memory will be erased.

Re-connect the AC, and then the battery. The control will go through a start-up sequence during which the bell or siren might momentarily sound, so don't be startled by it.

Hopefully this will clear the trouble, and your system will operate normally. But one thing I cannot rule out is the possibility that the control panel has failed. This model dates back to the late 1990's, so it's probably been in service for at least 15 years. While nothing lasts forever, it's been my experience that alarm controls rarely fail after the initial burn-in of a few months. The caveat here is the power surges or lightning strikes take all bets off the board.

If the re-boot doesn't help, I'd suggest getting that technician in to check things out.

Let me know what happens!

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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