Products on www.Shieldlab.com


Alarm Monitoring

Alarm Monitoring

PPC Ad

Trustpilot Badge >

Women's Self Defense

Women's Self Defense

Members Online

139 Guests, 1 User
Magnum Alert

Author Topic: Napco false alarms  (Read 3659 times)

glsinger@glspe.com

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Napco false alarms
« on: February 18, 2016, 08:42:12 PM »
I wired my own house for burglar alarm about 30 years ago and replaced my panel and keypads about 15 years ago.  The panel was a Napco GEM-P1632 with GEM-K2AS keypads.
A few years ago I began to get very intermittent tripping of the entry zone which I attributed to a temperamental plunger type switch at the front door.  I kept spares around and changed the switch and the problem seemed to go away.  The are year or so ago I began to get the same false tripping more frequently so I doubted the bad switch theory.  After successively jumping out the only 2 doors on the entry zone at the contacts the problem was still occurring.  Then I jumped out the entire zone at the panel and it still happened.
I changed the EOL resistor- no help.  With the aid of a tech who has done the monitoring and servicing for me, we switched and reprogrammed the entry zone from zone 9 to zone 14 on the theory that the zone in the panel might be defective.  Same thing happened on zone 14.  At that point a complete new circuit board was installed, rewire and reprogrammed, yet the problem is still occurring, only on the entry zone.
I'm wondering whether anyone has ever experienced anything like this.
My latest theory is that maybe there is some weird intermittent condition on one of the keypads that sends a signal affecting the entry delay simulating that an entry door has opened.  Since there is nothing else connected to the system electronically (other than one glass break module) I have no idea what else it could be.
Any help would be appreciated.

AlarmMike

  • Administrator
  • Security Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1481
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 10:35:10 PM »
LOL.  Sounds like a battle I'm currently having with a 5890 wireless motion on a Vista 50 panel.  After 3 years, began falsing.  Cleaned and adjusted coverage pattern, falsing.  Moved the motion to an adjacent wall, falsing.  Replaced motion, falsing.  In desperation, readjusted the pattern and moved it to a new zone, 48 hours no false alarm yet.  Fingers crossed for now.

To your question...

Did you try changing the zone type to something else, like a perimeter, 24 hour zone, etc.?  How about moving it to a known good zone, and move the second zone to the entry zone?

Strange how it traveled to a different physical zone and also when you jumpered it on the panel.  I'd attribute it to a faulty panel.
1993-1995   Worked for one of the "nationals"  /  1996-Present   Independent dealer
Systems supported:   DSC, Ademco/Honeywell, ITI/GE/Interlogix
-----------------------------
To the world you may be one person, but to one person you are the world.
- Kidney transplant recipient 04/27/2011

ChosunOne

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 584
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2016, 11:45:30 PM »
I'm at a loss to explain how your Zone 9 falsed when you had it jumped out, but you didn't describe how you wired it to jump it out. In any case, the fact that the falsing has followed the zone _loop_--the actual wired zone--is a good indicator that the problem is outside the control panel and in the wiring and switches.

Zone 9 on the panel suggests to me that you may be using Zone Doubling. If you are, this would be a good time to mention that. It IS relevant.


You didn't mention whether you scrutinized the plunger switch carefully, so forgive me if I point out the obvious here: The most common cause of door/windows falsing is the spacing:

Is the plunger switch on the hinge side of the door or the latch side?
Which side it's on makes a huge difference. If it's on the latch side, swap it out it for a magnetic switch, even if that isn't the cause of this particular problem, it will cause a problem sooner or later. Plunger switches in my universe are for doors where you could only run a wire to the hinge side. Mag switches have a much better margin of closure that can be enhanced by simple measures.

If the switch is on the hinge side of the door, you're pretty much stuck with a plunger. The problem with a plunger switch is that the gap between door and frame is "subject to change without notice": it can be anywhere from seemingly nothing (door fits so tight against frame that air can't leak through) to a gap that will accept a stack of half a dozen credit cards. This is due to swelling and shrinking of the door/frame, from humidity, temperature, pressure or the house settling.

If the gap is huge, you can space it out with spaces and shims--they sell them for all plunger models (or just cut yourself one out of an old credit card, it's faster)--but the trouble with that is that what is a gap today may transform into a tight seal when the weather changes. If your plunger button is spaced way out, closing a tight fit on it could damage the switch or strain the hinges and possibly make them loose.

Before I go on and on about this, I'll wait to hear if that might be your problem. Take a close look at how thoroughly your door presses your plunger into its switch when it closes. If you can actually _see_ the plunger with the door closed, then it probably doesn't have enough closure margin to be reliable.

Don't forget to let us know which side of the door it's on. Oh, and are these simple push-button plungers or roller/ball plungers?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 11:58:57 PM by ChosunOne »

Guyfromhe

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 1872
  • Karma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2016, 12:33:46 AM »
He jumped out the zone completely at the panel he said and he also said he replaced the panel...

I have a hard time imagining a jumped out zone falsing unless it was done wrong.


ChosunOne

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 584
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2016, 12:48:10 AM »
He jumped out the zone completely at the panel he said and he also said he replaced the panel...

I have a hard time imagining a jumped out zone falsing unless it was done wrong.

Agreed, Guy. If ZONE 9 was jumped out at the panel, it implies (I think) that there are zones doubled, and it's easy for a novice to get confused about jumping out a doubled zone. The fact that the falsing followed the LOOP to another zone is kind of definitive.
I'm waiting to hear back about my questions.

Guyfromhe

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 1872
  • Karma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2016, 12:55:16 AM »
And thus why I always tell people to pass on zone doubling and pay a little more for an expander.

ChosunOne

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 584
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2016, 03:32:13 AM »
No argument, zone doubling is not for the novice.

I use it myself, but I've been doing this for around 40 years and I've learned to make my zone loops and switch closure margins impeccable.

Of course, we still don't know if this system uses zone doubling, but zone 9 being landed in the panel sounds like it. But it could be a case of terminology confusion. In the alarm industry, we always mean the Control Panel when we say panel.
Some DIYers use "panel" to refer to keypads or zone expanders or just any circuit board. So I'll wait for glsinger to respond.

If Zone doubling was used, it's time to find out where the resistors are and what the loop resistances (without EOL resistors) of Zones 1 & 9 are. And thus why I recommend leaving the "EOL" Resistors in the panel box for a residential system.

glsinger@glspe.com

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2016, 10:18:01 AM »
Sounds like some savvy guys out there.  Yes, this system uses zone doubling.  The way I bypassed the zone was to cut the 2-conductor wire leading to the entry doors about 2 feet out of the panel and soldering the conductors together.  The EOL resistor is in the panel cabinet.  And no, when I say panel I mean the PC board and not the keypad.  Please remember that this system worked, essentially flawlessly for years before this problem cropped up.  Is it possible that a fault with the "companion" zone (doubled zone) could be causing the nuisance trip on the entry zone?  Thanks all for the help.  Greg.

ChosunOne

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 584
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2016, 03:28:58 PM »
((SNIPPED) Yes, this system uses zone doubling.  The way I bypassed the zone was to cut the 2-conductor wire leading to the entry doors about 2 feet out of the panel and soldering the conductors together.  The EOL resistor is in the panel cabinet. 

In that case, a resistance problem (as opposed to a simple momentary-open problem) in Zone 1 could account for the Zone 9 falsing while it was jumped out. This is the problem that sometimes makes Zone Doubling tricky: A resistance on _either_ zone that is too low to be seen as an open but too high to be seen as a short, can be seen as a fault on the _other_ zone.

It's not actually that complicated, as long as you remember to consider _both_ zones of each pair when a problem crops up on either one.

At this point, I would bring out (or buy) a DMM, Digital MultiMeter, and closely scrutinize the resistance of the Zone 1 and Zone 9 loops, ("Loop"= the wiring and switch(es) that are landed on Z1 terminals). Zone loop resistances are often best measured on a DC Voltage scale.  Voltage drops proportionately across resistance: I.e., if you wire two resistors, 1KOhm and 2KOhm, in series across a 12V source, the 2K will drop twice as much as the 1K---so you'd see an 8V drop across the 2K and a 4V drop across the 1K.

A zone loop, minus the EOLR, should have near-zero resistance, so with a 2.2K resistor in the circuit, the rest of the loop should read so close to zero that you shouldn't see anything on your meter. The reason I prefer to use the volt scale instead of the Ohms scale is that even very brief transient resistances will register on the volt scale--it's usually easier to spot, because ANY deflection/reading other than zero, even for a brief instant, is too much.

Transient high resistance ("high = >0.0) can be in the switch or in the connections/splices. I've seen a ridiculous number of problems solved by swapping out perfectly good switches, because swapping it out corrected a bad connection or splice. My point being, check connections and splices very closely before Troubleshooting-By-Replacing-Parts (a too-popular practice). Pay particular attention to any door switches close to the floor or switches in windows where water gets in: High-resistance connections/splices are sometimes caused by standing water inside where recessed switches are installed.


« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 08:22:06 PM by ChosunOne »

glsinger@glspe.com

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Napco false alarms
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 08:58:42 PM »
Thank you for some excellent observations.  I've got my work cut out for tomorrow! Greg

 

Powered by EzPortal