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Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System
12-05-2012, 09:31 PM,
#1
Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System
Hi folks, I've been searching for some pointers on repairing, or as the case was earlier today, even silencing my alarm!

We have an old Ademco Accord keypad in the hall with the main box in the downstairs loo. When I came home from work yesterday, the exterior alarm bell was emitting a single short beep every 15 seconds. When I opened the front door, zone 5 was lit but the alarm didn't sound and entering the code reset the zone 5 LED. The strange thing is the green power LED wasn't lit... I changed the fuse above the Accord box just in case but that made no difference.

We went out for the night and didn't set the alarm for fear of it triggering when we were out and while it didn't ring through the night, that 15 second "pip" from the exterior bell continued all night. Great feature - advertises to the world that we have a faulty alarm system!

This morning, I decided to check the backup battery after some reading (yes, I am now one of those half-informed alarm "experts" ) at which point, quite rightly, the tamper switch tripped the alarm. I immediately popped the cover back on and reset the alarm - ringing stopped, external beep still there. Of course, at this point I realise I didn't actually get the specs for the battery so, cover off, tamper trips, get battery specs, close cover, then... Things went wrong. The exterior bell didn't ring but the interior alarm started sounding and the control keypad wouldn't accept the reset code. In fact, the various zone and status LEDs on the keypad panel were intermittently flashing in random sets - I wondered if they were flashing a status code but the sequence was far too random and varied.

At this point, I found the new number for the alarm installer (we are second owners in the house and, AFAIK, it has never been serviced in the 9 years it's been installed), and because we haven't got a contract, they can't help. I can't get a contract until Tuesday because of the bank holiday!

Eventually, the interior alarm died but the exterior alarm started ringing instead - a most pathetic ring at that as if it was running out of power. Some 10 or so minutes later, that ran out of steam and died too. At this point, dad was drafted in!

The system appears to be completely dead now - the tamper microswitch isn't setting anything off, the keypad isn't lit in any way, and the exterior bell isn't ringing or beeping. Dad tested various points of the board with a multimeter and confirmed that 240V was being fed in to the transformer but nothing was coming out. The battery was all but dead by this time too.

Two questions:

1. Would it be safe to say that the transformer (an AMC TU7-1230 apparently) is dead? If so, can I replace this or am I looking at a new panel and a costly callout? Google isn't turning up an abundance of hits on that part number but another forum had one mention where an installer was changing these transformers for units from Texecom?

2. Would it be easier just to get a new panel installed and if so, as my bell, PIRs and magnetic contacts all seem to be fine, could you give me a ballpark of what I should be paying for a supply and fit? I appreciate that's a "how long is a piece of string" but I'd like to be able to brace myself for the worst.

I'm thinking the system is dead now though so I'm happy to leave it until Tuesday before calling for a supplier - really don't need to pay the bank holiday premium!

Anyway, thanks for reading this lengthy post and I would really appreciate any advice!

Cheers,

Colin


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - marty - 29-05-2010 03:46 PM


(29-05-2010 02:24 PM)ColinRF Wrote: Hi folks, I've been searching for some pointers on repairing, or as the case was earlier today, even silencing my alarm!

We have an old Ademco Accord keypad in the hall with the main box in the downstairs loo. When I came home from work yesterday, the exterior alarm bell was emitting a single short beep every 15 seconds. When I opened the front door, zone 5 was lit but the alarm didn't sound and entering the code reset the zone 5 LED. The strange thing is the green power LED wasn't lit... I changed the fuse above the Accord box just in case but that made no difference.

We went out for the night and didn't set the alarm for fear of it triggering when we were out and while it didn't ring through the night, that 15 second "pip" from the exterior bell continued all night. Great feature - advertises to the world that we have a faulty alarm system!

This morning, I decided to check the backup battery after some reading (yes, I am now one of those half-informed alarm "experts" ) at which point, quite rightly, the tamper switch tripped the alarm. I immediately popped the cover back on and reset the alarm - ringing stopped, external beep still there. Of course, at this point I realise I didn't actually get the specs for the battery so, cover off, tamper trips, get battery specs, close cover, then... Things went wrong. The exterior bell didn't ring but the interior alarm started sounding and the control keypad wouldn't accept the reset code. In fact, the various zone and status LEDs on the keypad panel were intermittently flashing in random sets - I wondered if they were flashing a status code but the sequence was far too random and varied.

At this point, I found the new number for the alarm installer (we are second owners in the house and, AFAIK, it has never been serviced in the 9 years it's been installed), and because we haven't got a contract, they can't help. I can't get a contract until Tuesday because of the bank holiday!

Eventually, the interior alarm died but the exterior alarm started ringing instead - a most pathetic ring at that as if it was running out of power. Some 10 or so minutes later, that ran out of steam and died too. At this point, dad was drafted in!

The system appears to be completely dead now - the tamper microswitch isn't setting anything off, the keypad isn't lit in any way, and the exterior bell isn't ringing or beeping. Dad tested various points of the board with a multimeter and confirmed that 240V was being fed in to the transformer but nothing was coming out. The battery was all but dead by this time too.

Two questions:

1. Would it be safe to say that the transformer (an AMC TU7-1230 apparently) is dead? If so, can I replace this or am I looking at a new panel and a costly callout? Google isn't turning up an abundance of hits on that part number but another forum had one mention where an installer was changing these transformers for units from Texecom?

2. Would it be easier just to get a new panel installed and if so, as my bell, PIRs and magnetic contacts all seem to be fine, could you give me a ballpark of what I should be paying for a supply and fit? I appreciate that's a "how long is a piece of string" but I'd like to be able to brace myself for the worst.

I'm thinking the system is dead now though so I'm happy to leave it until Tuesday before calling for a supplier - really don't need to pay the bank holiday premium!

Anyway, thanks for reading this lengthy post and I would really appreciate any advice!

Cheers,

Colin

Firstly, how old is the system? Back-up batteries are replaced by companies every 4/5 years - Maplin around £20 depending on size
Secondly, If your dad's checks are correct you could replace the transformer - input 230v output normally around 18v to Pcb. Around £8 from Maplin.
So if yourself or your dad feels competent enough to change the transformer an easy fix for £30 - Better than callout fees etc from a company....
I don't work for myself but to replace panel/keypad & Battery would probably be around £150......
Other option is to give it a go yourself - Everyone here would give you help/advise


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - FastCar - 29-05-2010 04:58 PM

If you or your dad are handy and confident around electrics , then just swap it for a Texecom VR8 complete with new battery cost around £50.As said , lots of help here if needed.


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - engels7570 - 29-05-2010 10:07 PM

Hello John,

If there's "zilch" at the secondary of the transformer (by the way, you did disconnect the secondary pair from the main board before taking a reading didn't you ?"), You're probably talking a couple of quid to replace the transformer...by the time you've paid postage and so on. In most cases, I would have to say replace it and go from there..but that would not be the end of it..You need the engineering manual and a few days space to get everything back to normal....You can go down that road if you want.

What's not in your favour ? well, the system has been there for nine years and it's never been serviced from what I have read...so besides the transformer there could be...(just "could be" for the moment") other problems about to crop up. Probably the worst nightmare for installers is taking a panel off the wall...they sort of get attached to them in a funny sort of way...I would go with Fastcar on this and replace the panel for fifty quid (You can always keep the Accord and pick up a cheapo TX in the future, get it working and flog it on )..The thing is, How much have you paid out so far ? if the answer to that is "nowt", You'll have a new panel complete with guarantee, complete with engineer and installer manuals..and peace of mind knowing that you don't have to worry about the next problem that might arise if you had kept the Accord. I also agree with Fastcar on his choice of panel but if your premises is not that large you could get away with a slightly cheaper panel which does the same job..Take a look at Security Warehouse and other sites to get an idea of costs..

So there are three choices...Take the Accord off the wall and repair the existing panel, find the engineering manual (because you'll almost certainly need to do a bit of reprogramming), put the accord back on the wall. and hope that nothing else goes wrong because you have no guarantee, it's nine years old, it's never been serviced...and at the end of the day it's pot luck if the truth were told..That's one decision.

The next choice..Take out a maintenance contract... Well first things first they'll want payment for sorting out this problem before asking for more money for the maintenance...Marty has assured you that you will get all the help you need right here on the site so what's the point of paying for a repair and maintenance..That's your next decision.

Third Choice is to go with Fastcar...You are having problems with this panel besides the transformer...Take the Accord off the wall, which you would have to do anyway, and replace it with brand spanking new..Result...short term low cash layout..long term peace of mind...Brand new panel, New guarantee, Engineers manual (no hunting around the net )...and all the help you need from this site..Professional help from experts who have been there and got the T shirt..FREE !

The choice is yours

P.S. I'm a bit old fashioned when it comes to taking a panel off the wall...not content until I've got it working again and sold it on the net...there's a few quid off the cost of a new panel for starters.

Take Care

Engels


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - Jamie - 22-07-2010 05:53 PM

Hi guys, new here and a bit green so be gentle with me!

I have the same problem with the AMC transformer going on my panel.

First question: I assume it is an 230/12v ac transformer as I can see no rectifier?

Secondly: Does anyone have an idea of the spec of these transformers? (AMC TU7-1230).

I have tried without fail all day to try and source a replacement locally, any tips?

Cheers


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - Rem Alarms - 22-07-2010 07:56 PM

Is it an Accord? My honest advice is rip it out & put a Texecom R8 in. If the tranny's burnt out the panel won't be far behind.
http://www.adksecurityltd.com/texecom-ve...-321-p.asp
Ron.


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - engels7570 - 22-07-2010 07:59 PM

Hi Jamie,

Basically the answers to your question are spread out above, but the one point you should take particular notice of is the fact that identical transformers in identical panels have failed, doesn't that tell you something ? Now it could be that both panels came from the same batch and that this is a sheer coincidence. However, in electronics we have a tendency not to believe in coincidence. A thing is either black or it is white with no in-between.

You say that you are a bit green... staying on colours for a minute, you can't be green if you know that the transformer is u/s, you know what part to replace, you know the replacement number. So ask yourself a simple question and then carefully read the replies above. Therein lie several valid alternatives.

How much value do you place on your own time, How long have you spent searching the internet for a replacement TX? How much longer are you going to ponder and worry about this problem before taking action ?

If you need advice or assistance, you've come to the right place. Unfortunately, we draw the line on recommending to someone that they waste they're own precious time.

Take Care

Engels


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - engels7570 - 22-07-2010 09:07 PM

Added Note for Jamie who assumes it's an AC transformer because there is no rectifier:-

Mains transformers are AC transformers. DC transformers are in an entirely different branch of electronics.

The rectifier in this case would be a bog standard on board 4 diode config, Smoothing to DC via resistor capacitor as normal with stabilising transistor dependant on manufacture. Note; stabilisation transistors are not always present, dependant on panel quality and maker.

Engels


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - Jamie - 22-07-2010 09:38 PM

Ok thanks, your replies are very much appreciated. I just want to get the advice I need in order to change the part affected. I am no burglar alarm expert and consider myself a little green as stated. Just trying to save a few quid by doing the job myself, I have located the faulty part and need to replace it with a new one. If I buy a transformer to replace the existing one, what spec would I need? The old one has nothing on it to indicate what it I need. Just looking for that nugget of info that will save me getting out an engineer.
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To Rem.

Yes it is an accord.


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - Rem Alarms - 22-07-2010 10:06 PM

We're here to help Jamie. My advice was based on 20 odd years of experience. The rest of the panel is unlikely to last very long & you're just throwing good money after bad. A spanking new panel & keypad will cost less than 50 quid & should give many years of trouble free service.
If you need any help or advice on installing/programming, we'll be here.
Ron.


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - Guest - 29-07-2010 04:22 PM



Got the old girl up and running again, dead easy, went to RS and chose a new transformer and battery for £22, with some very unbiassed advice from a very helpful chap at the counter. A little bit of soldering later and I put it all back together. I downloaded the user manual and have reprogramed the alarm back to its original settings. I have saved myself the indignity of getting raped by some alarm engineer who would have gladly told me that the whole system was f***** and had me part with a few hundred sheets in the process. I must say that after posting on a couple of forums looking for advice about this, I felt stonewalled when asking simple questions and instead had to put up with more than the odd smart arse comment from some people who need to get out more.

Im off for a night out now with the money I have saved.

Cheers!



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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - engels7570 - 29-07-2010 07:35 PM

Hi,

Glad to hear you're up and running again.

I believe the advice you were given on this site was in your best interests in the long term. It was not given by people who should get out more...the opposite is true, they spend their life 'out more', not in 9 till 5 jobs but often returning home nearer midnight, often replacing transformers on the insistence of the customer and going back a few weeks later to replace the panel..They know what advice to give because they have ''been there and done it". At no point were you advised to seek the services of a trade installer. Again the opposite is the case, in each post you were offered the opportunity to receive absolutely free advice on any aspect of replacing a rather old panel with a brand new one for about £50. Under no circumstances will any one here attempt to stone wall any person with a bona fide security problem. We either know the answer which is ultimately in the best interests of the writer or we don't, if we don't know the answer you don't get a reply it's as simple as that.

"The simple question" as you put it, "on which I was stonewalled" as you put it, evolved around replacing a transformer in a old panel, that question was answered not with "the odd smart arse comment" as you suggest, but on a balance of probabilities based on years of experience by qualified engineers, who may I add spent some time considering your post, and writing a suitable reply to your post... the least they should expect for their trouble is a 'polite thankyou' which is sadly omitted from your post.

I wish you all the best on your "night out with all the money I saved", which brings us back to the post which asks something like "how much is your own time worth to you" You received the same unbiased advice on this forum as you did at Radio Spares. You have taken the panel off the wall, removed a transformer, replaced a transformer, searched the internet to download a manual, previously spent a day trawling the internet, put the panel back on the wall, re-wired the panel, programmed the panel...and crossed your fingers if the truth were told..spending £22 on a transformer when a brand new panel and battery is less than thirty quid more, add in the cost of driving to radio spares.. it all adds up doesn't it ?

I sincerely hope your panel lasts you for years to come, but just how much money have you really saved to spend on your night out? Time will tell.

Please feel free to come back to the site for any reason whatsoever,

Take Care

Engels


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - Rem Alarms - 29-07-2010 09:41 PM

I think maybe Jamie was referring to another forum, where alarm engineers enjoy metaphorically beating up DIYers.
Ron.


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - Dan24 - 22-08-2010 11:20 AM

thats why i like this forum and fire alarm engineers, because people who have an interest and not a qualification feel welcome


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - ravi94 - 30-08-2010 01:58 AM


(22-08-2010 11:20 AM)Dan24 Wrote: thats why i like this forum and fire alarm engineers, because people who have an interest and not a qualification feel welcome

FIre engineers......pfft they have no respect there because they are on their high horse.

But I agree with engels7570. After reading through previous posts I think the advice given was accurate and the opinions of people who do this day in day out.


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - CerbNI - 30-08-2010 11:09 AM


(30-08-2010 01:58 AM)ravi94 Wrote:
(22-08-2010 11:20 AM)Dan24 Wrote: thats why i like this forum and fire alarm engineers, because people who have an interest and not a qualification feel welcome

FIre engineers......pfft they have no respect there because they are on their high horse.

But I agree with engels7570. After reading through previous posts I think the advice given was accurate and the opinions of people who do this day in day out.

Ravi,why don't you actually expand on your opinion and explain why you were banned from the fire alarm engineers forum (misleading selling of fire equipment on ebay,general attitude issues...shall I go on?)?


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - douglas docherty - 30-08-2010 11:58 AM

Ravi,

It may be in your own interests to take a few moments, and view the events of the last few months from an alternative point if view.
I will also not accept any verbal bashing of forums and engineers that have bent over backwards to try and accomodate you.

D Docherty


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - engels7570 - 30-08-2010 12:29 PM

Hi,

I have no desire to cause bad feeling and generally bring this forum into disrepute. You all know that UKSP is one of the best "Free advice" sites in the WORLD with expert guests and members available 24/7 offering their opinion based on years in the industry. WE WANT TO, AND WE WILL, KEEP IT THAT WAY.

There is no room on this site for 'sniping', The last postie "ip adress logged" did not leave a name..Why ? You are as guilty as the next man of bringing this site into disrepute if you are afraid to put your name to a post and in my opinion your sniping is dragging us down.

From what you have said, and if your comments carry weight viz; You can produce unmitigated evidence beyond reproach, then you have no reason to hide behind your ip address.

So a fifteen year old kid, studying for his exams, sells fire equipment on e.bay...what's it got to do with you or me ? it has nothing to do with this site, fire or security. I have just bought equipment off e.bay and it was not just misleading, there were pertinent grounds to grab the seller by the scruff of the neck, but so what ? I didn't do anything about it, I just got on with life. I think it's called "get a life".

You mention general attitude issues. Can you, in the light of your "ip address logged" post, honestly say that you don't have a general attitude problem...I think you have, but only because you would prefer to make snide comments rather than go to the 'new posts' and help out..Doesn't that put you in the same field as little Ravi ?

At fifteen years old, didn't you have a general attitude issue ? ..I know I did, and it was a big problem for all those around me. But rather than knock me down, they gently persuaded me in the right direction.. not by banning me from breakfast or school or my favourite past times.. Isn't that what you should be doing regardless of posts which upset your ego.... I haven't seen thousands of guests lining up to post their thoughts on this kid. There may be a few, but so what ?

At this point in time there are a few thousand kids of his age hanging around on street corners. He has chosen not to do that and he should be applauded for it. Instead, he wants to be involved with professionals like yourself and in the same trade as yourself, despite his rambling posts.. Shouldn't you feel proud that you have in some way brought this kid off the streets ?

From your post; Whatever has happened is gone, he does not need to expand on his posts, why? because the majority of us on this site just don't want to know..we are not interested...move on. he'll get fed up posting his comments about the fire site, just let him carry on.... Are you prepared to do that ? to ignore it and get on with life or do you have the mind set of a teenager ?. You can prove to us all what sort of person you are, If you are prepared to "let the dead yesterdays bury their own dead" you will not respond to this post, not one jot. In that way you are letting the thing pass. If you respond to this post with a tirade of abuse in your own defence then it is clear that you need to take a good look at yourself. Personally, should you decide to post, I would recommend that you are either reduced in rank, as it were, or else you are banned from this site for keeping alive a childish feud which should have died in the playground ages ago.

The kid has a promising future. Help him.

I genuinely send you best wishes for the future.

Take Care

(Note to Ravi: DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS POST, CALM DOWN )
Engels


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - Rem Alarms - 30-08-2010 09:23 PM

I never go on the fire site since I don't deal in fire alarms. Some of the mods there are friends of mine & if they banned Ravi they must have had good reasons to. I like many others here have a soft spot for Ravi, however, inaccurate or unqualified advice is dangerous when it comes to fire.
Ron.


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RE: Dying / Dead Ademco Alarm System - engels7570 - 30-08-2010 11:51 PM

Since we intend to keep the subject very much alive, much to my annoyance, perhaps someone could now point me to the "inaccurate or unqualified advice". viz; posts, forums and dates. It would appear obvious that my post has gone completely unheeded, to the detriment of this site. I shall be more than happy to check and double check each post and correct as necessary where it departs from B.S. 5839 and all relevant codes of practise and regulations, or where in my opinion a danger to life may ensue as a result of those posts, and post my findings here. I trust that my learned colleagues ( and I mean that sincerely since fire engineers have my greatest admiration, having installed myself, in particular for the National Coal Board using both armoured and m.i.c.c. who have in place their own additional regulations) shall not hesitate in providing this unmitigated and incontrovertible evidence at their earliest opportunity. However, I shall not, in any circumstances, consider posts relative to personality or ego clashes. I want this cleared up once and for all, and quick.

Engels.
Tell me, and I'll forget. Show me, and I'll remember. Involve me, and I'll learn.
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