any DCS experts?

Dudester

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I have a DCS 832 with a pc5010 control board and two lcd5500 keypads. All works as for as i know and is currently monitored by a local company. I also pay for warranty and they have replaced both keypads and some door sensors throughout the years since it was installed in 99. Issue now is I put it on a Ooma Voip which has worked or seemed to work for the past 10 years or so. In May started getting communication failure trouble lights. Had the company come out and look at it and the system is calling out but looks to be the VoIP that is causing the issue. I think something in Ooma system has changed. Cell service is terrible on this block and we have our cell phones hook to WiFi calling. They suggested putting in a cellular caller but I'm afraid it wont work as even outdoors its spotty. They said they could put in a internet connection but monitoring would run 40 a month. I''m thinking of canceling with them and putting a Eyez-On EVL-4 but want it professionally monitored besides being able to watch it myself. If the DCS works, is it worth it to just add on the new board and whats a recommended monitoring company for a self install or should i update to a newer updated system. I want to stay wired as much as i can. I don't have any issue with upgrading the system myself and actually would feel better knowing how, why and what makes it tick. I think the 40 a month is a bit steep for monitoring a internet connection, i might as well get a new landline for that, which just isnt going to happen.
 

fenderman

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I believe @tangent can help you out.
Eyez on has their own monitoring service, it think its 9-10 a month.
Keep in mind that cell reception will vary by carrier so if your provider has issues on your block you may be able to use another.
 

Dudester

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I believe @tangent can help you out.
Eyez on has their own monitoring service, it think its 9-10 a month.
Keep in mind that cell reception will vary by carrier so if your provider has issues on your block you may be able to use another.
Thanks, I have both ATT for a personal and Verizon for a work phone and neither have very good service here. I thought it may have been something in my home messing with the signal until a couple neighbors brought the subject up about their lousy reception. Go up or down the block a few houses then its fine.After reading your thread a few months ago, I have two ring systems sitting by my desk waiting for install in my daughters home and shop across town. I'm 72.00 for 3 months of monitoring now and its hard to swallow going to $40.00 a month just for monitoring when I know there or a lot less expensive options out there.
 

tangent

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I have a DCS 832 with a pc5010 control board and two lcd5500 keypads. All works as for as i know and is currently monitored by a local company. I also pay for warranty and they have replaced both keypads and some door sensors throughout the years since it was installed in 99. Issue now is I put it on a Ooma Voip which has worked or seemed to work for the past 10 years or so. In May started getting communication failure trouble lights. Had the company come out and look at it and the system is calling out but looks to be the VoIP that is causing the issue. I think something in Ooma system has changed. Cell service is terrible on this block and we have our cell phones hook to WiFi calling. They suggested putting in a cellular caller but I'm afraid it wont work as even outdoors its spotty. They said they could put in a internet connection but monitoring would run 40 a month. I''m thinking of canceling with them and putting a Eyez-On EVL-4 but want it professionally monitored besides being able to watch it myself. If the DCS works, is it worth it to just add on the new board and whats a recommended monitoring company for a self install or should i update to a newer updated system. I want to stay wired as much as i can. I don't have any issue with upgrading the system myself and actually would feel better knowing how, why and what makes it tick. I think the 40 a month is a bit steep for monitoring a internet connection, i might as well get a new landline for that, which just isnt going to happen.
Alarm monitoring over VoIP can be tricky. It might be necessary to try both ContactID and SIA reporting formats. On OOMA, you should program the alarm to dial *99 before dialing the central station, this changes the codec OOMA uses and increases the odds of a successful transmission. Check OOMA's forums to see if other people are having issues with alarms currently.

Cellular monitoring has come down in price enough that a lot of people have moved to that instead of attempting VoIP. Your reception isn't great, so you'd likely want to put the communicator as high as possible without putting it in the attic. Some carriers may have better service than others. Alarm communicators typically have pretty big antennas that might do better than you think if mounted high. There are also dual path communicators that use cellular and internet.

Unfortunately your alarm system is old enough that it won't work with many of today's communication devices including the EyezOn EnvisaLink4. I think dialer capture type communicators are likely the only ones that would work with that alarm panel (some models of communicators from Alula/IPDataTel, Napco, Telguard, Uplink may work). On an older panel they typically won't be able to remotely program the panel which can lead to more service calls and cost you more.

I'd probably replace the alarm panel with a newer PC1864, PC1832, or Power Series Neo HS2032 (there are other non-dsc options too, it depends on what you want). The Neo adds a few nice things, but encrypts the keybus limiting compatibly with third party accessories.
KIT64-219SE- DSC Power 1864 Security Kit with RF Keypad
DSC PowerSeries Neo Control Panel Kit
 
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...
Unfortunately your alarm system is old enough that it won't work with many of today's communication devices including the EyezOn EnvisaLink4.
...
This is inaccurate.

The EyezOn Envisalink EVL-4 will work perfectly with a DSC 832 panel; it is listed on the product description page for the device EyezOn - EnvisaLink EVL-4EZR Security Module For DSC/Honeywell Panels. We have used the Envisalink with 2 different houses and being able to control our alarm system with a smart phone is great.

I installed this device on a DSC 632 from the same time period as Dudester's system and it works well. EyezOn professional monitoring is great as well even with the low price. The handful of alarms (fortunately all non-issues) we have had resulted in a quick and appropriate response from their monitoring station. The 632 has 2-wire smoke alarms connected and EyezOn monitoring handles them seamlessly and is properly notated on the monitoring certificate as having both intrusion and fire monitoring.

The only challenge I had with installation on the 632 was getting an ethernet cable to the alarm system. For a variety of reasons, I used TP-Link powerline devices to get ethernet in the closet with the alarm motherboard and it works well.

The major tradeoff compared to cellular monitoring is how reliable your internet connection is. We had cell-based monitoring for a while and were never notified of a loss of communication with the central station; not sure if this meant it never failed or if we were just never notified of a failure. The Envisalink server (even with just the free service without monitoring) will notify you of a "Network Supervision Fault" if your Envisalink fails to check-in after a few minutes; it will also notify you when the internet connection is restored with a "Network Supervision Restore" message.

The other tradeoff is you have to pay 1 year or 3 years of monitoring service at a time; there are no refunds if you cancel service, but you can transfer the unused portion of the monitoring to another device in your account if you move to another home.
 

Dudester

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I had seen it said compatible on the website but didnt know if there was a reason it may not have actually been. I ve changed the settings in my Ooma to alarm mode and watching it now. Don't think it made a difference. still getting about a dozen dial out attempts within a few minutes around 20 seconds ea.Thought i may wait, because they are sending me some info and options from the installing company that originally put it in and currently monitoring it, but its been a week and haven't heard anything. I'm a little pissed about it also and just adds to the reason i want to take care of it myself.I don't care about ripping it out and starting over ,I just want to know its correct.
 

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... I'm a little pissed about it also and just adds to the reason i want to take care of it myself.I don't care about ripping it out and starting over ,I just want to know its correct.
I feel your pain. We have been using voip (Vonage) for a landline for many years. I gave up trying to use voip for alarm monitoring very quickly.

Installing the Envisalink module is easy--connect 4 wires (same as adding a keypad) and plug in ethernet. Register device with EyezOn and you are pretty much done for self-monitoring. https://www.eyez-on.com/EZMAIN/Envisalink4QuickStart.pdf. If you want to test it out before dropping the Ooma path, you can install the Envisalink and not delete the dial-out numbers currently programmed. The Enivaslink should work in the self-monitoring mode in parallel with your current monitoring solution; the EyezOn alerts can be setup to go to your email and/or smart phone.

FWIW, we moved recently and did not hesitate to install the EyezOn module on the Vista 20p in the new house. Even with the noted tradeoffs, we are very satisfied with our alarm setup and monitoring. Programming is bit more involved for the Vista 20p than a DSC system, but the instructions for the Envisalink were easy to follow.
 

Dudester

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"The major trade off compared to cellular monitoring is how reliable your internet connection is."
That is a non issue right now with my system since the Ooma relies on it already. After I wrote my reply a while ago, I went back and pulled power on the Ooma. Evidently I should have done this when i changed it from phone to alarm system under devices. I had to reboot the Ooma twice afterwards to get the telephone line back, but the alarm called out for the last time and communication trouble light turned off on the DSC keypad. The dial tone has now also changed on my phone line. It used to have a little musical tone when you first get dial tone, now its a normal tone.
Another question I have is if the Eyezon would work, can it be installed as a back up to the Ooma or ran independently along with my current phone line as in say the Eyezson alerting my phone while the landline calls out to the alarm company? For only a 100.00 or so I may just buy it anyway. I have my 24 port network switch mounted about 15 ft away from my alarm panel so a Ethernet drop is also a non issue.
 

Dudester

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"The Enivaslink should work in the self-monitoring mode in parallel with your current monitoring solution. "
Thanks, That was what i was wondering.
 

Dudester

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Well here is where we are at today 7-25. The alarm company came out on the 6-26 and was going to get back to me the next day. Its been a month so I called and evidently the guy didn't get my email to give me options. I guess sending it in a envelope to the address they monitor is too slow,as its only been a full month. I asked for my installer code and was told that the installers don't share that information within the alarm company. So if my installer quits or gets ill, my code is gone. That's two strikes I'm done with them. My wife set the alarm off this morning and cleared it however the alarm tried to call out but only twice. The monitoring company never called and contacted us.They said she cleared it to fast so it quit dialing out. That's a big safety flaw if you ask me and I think they are full of shit because it never stopped before.I want my alarm working not smoke blown up my ass! I did purchase and have the envision 4 but now since I dont have the installer code and want it professionally monitored I'm going to order and replace the boards and both keypads. I called Alarmstore.com where i purchased the eyezon and they cant answer the phone and want a call back number.That's a strike against them now, so who is reputable to purchase the equipment from? I plan on using my original glass breaks and wired sensors for now. I have the original installation workbooks but the code isnt filled it and the default will not work.
 

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@Dudester -- I feel your pain. Some alarm installers seem to want to pretend their job is somewhat similar in complexity to brain surgery and will go out of their way to make you have to pay their sky-high fees for service, updates, or upgrades.

Instead of buying a new motherboard, why don't you reset your current board to factory default? Then you will have a known installer code (installer code will be 5010 and master code will be 1234 I think). I had to take this path on one home we owned that had a DSC 632. There is some chance there is an installer lockout; in that case, getting new boards may be the easier/faster path although there are folks you can find on the internet that will remove an installer lockout. I believe these services require you to send them the board, but never have done this personally.

Here's the DSC doc on how to factory default an 832 via hardware: https://cms.dsc.com/download2.php?t=1&id=13991

Programming is a bit cryptic on these panels and defaulting the panel will require you to set up all your zones/dialout/etc. You can get a worksheet and the installation manual here" Power832 - Power832 Security Products | DSC

I have purchased alarm hardware from jmac.com and found them to be helpful in debugging what turned out to be a non-issue. The tech on the phone was polite as he could be as he walked me through debugging the issue & was spot on with isolating what was a mistake on my part.

Hope this helps.
 

Dudester

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according to the program sheet the lockout is turned on.
 

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according to the program sheet the lockout is turned on.
I am confused by what you mean with "according to the program sheet..."

As far as I understand, you can only determine if the installer lockout is set if:
  1. You have the installer code and check the value of the installer lockout programming through a keypad--so I know this is not the case
  2. You attempt a hardwire default as described in the link above. If the installer lockout is set in the programming, the phone line relay will click 10 times to let you know that the installer lockout is set during the attempt to hardware default the panel (finally found a reference here -- How Do I Default My DSC PowerSeries Alarm Panel? - Alarm Grid).
If you did try the hardware defaulting process and 2. is what you experienced, I would lean towards the new motherboard.\

... My wife set the alarm off this morning and cleared it however the alarm tried to call out but only twice. The monitoring company never called and contacted us.They said she cleared it to fast so it quit dialing out. That's a big safety flaw if you ask me and I think they are full of shit because it never stopped before.I want my alarm working not smoke blown up my ass!..
I don't have access to a DSC system anymore, but I recall the default delay on a "simple" zone violation like a window or door sensor was a 30 second communication delay before the monitoring station is alerted. This can be changed in the programming. I remember reading something about UL standards when I first ran across this delay. FWIW, my current house has a Vista 20p and the default communications delay for a window or door zone violation is 30 seconds; medical or hostage panics have a zero second default communication delay. It was easy to verify the delay (or lack thereof) with the EyeOn notifications on my phone when I had the central station temporarily put my system in test mode on their end.
 

Dudester

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I am confused by what you mean with "according to the program sheet..."
I have the original program sheet the installer left back in 1999 and PARTIALLY filled out. Lockout on is marked yes. He didn't fill in the install code however. I tried several default codes with no joy.
 

tangent

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I have the original program sheet the installer left back in 1999 and PARTIALLY filled out. Lockout on is marked yes. He didn't fill in the install code however. I tried several default codes with no joy.
That doesn't mean that's how it's actually set up.

There's a chance you're under contract with your current alarm company. Some companies have auto renewing contracts and in these cases you typically have a few weeks out of the year to terminate your service without paying some penalty.

I saw conflicting info on whether or not the EVL-4 supported the 5010 and decided to air on the side of caution. It looks like is at least partially supported.

Communication delays are fairly common. I'm not sure if the 5010 has a pc link serial interface for use with DLS software. The newer panels do. One way or another it's technically possible to reset most locked out alarm panels via JTAG, an ICSP of some kind, or an EEPROM programmer. However you won't find this info easily on the internet, but there used to be somebody who made a business of unlocking boards people shipped them (typically in large batches). GE Concord panels are super easy, the EEPROM is even socketed. I've reset the installer code on newer DSC panels via the PC-LINK connection.

If you aren't able to reset the panel, your other option short of replacing it with something newer, would be a cellular or dual path communicator that does dialer capture and works for takeovers. These hook up in place of the phone line. Upgrading the whole alarm system isn't a bad option either.

here are some old manuals for the 5010:
Panel Guides
Panel Guides
 

Dudester

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I see the alarm tried to grab the phone line looking at the the phone logs when the alarm was triggered. It tried twice to dial out and then quit.18-20 seconds each. If the delay would have come into play at this moment,in my opinion, I shouldn't be seeing the dial out attempts in the log. I can understand the central station not getting the alarms because of a handshake issue, but would the alarm STOP calling out because my wife went and reset the alarm to turn off the siren after a actual event triggered? What if it would not have been a accident and she had a gun to her head to clear it? Alarm company told me in that case she should use the duress code. Really, think someone will think and remember to use the duress code hoping a bad guy doesn't pull the trigger first.That's my complaint,it shouldn't have stopped trying to call until it had a handshake.
When it tries the communication test it may try 8 attempts. it used to be 16 with the old number, but why only twice on a event trigger than quit? I haven't received a communication trouble alarm since I reset the Ooma to alarm mode.There are too many variables that I don't trust the alarm now. Everything works except the communication issue and I don't know if i buy it was a Voip issue when the alarm was event triggered. I gave the alarm company the number it called (the service guy set up a new number when he was here 6-26) and they were not familiar with that number and had to look it up. I do think the voip has a issue, I'm not doubting that, but the alarm company has lost my trust especially after letting this go for a month because they didn't have a email address. I've been paying for monitoring plus a labor and component replacement fee coverage fee for 20 years. Until i got that trouble light in May, I always thought it just worked , whatever voodoo was programmed in.

Actually when we received the original trouble light in May we were out having breakfast and the monitoring station called and told us we had trouble. If it cant communicate how did they get it?

I'm at the point of ripping the boards and keypads out and starting over using the wired sensors already here and programming the board myself, so I KNOW the installer code and what is and how its programmed then connect it up another monitoring company. From what I'm seeing price wise on the net, its actually pretty cheap for piece of mind.

I guess the Cliff notes for this post are, in my mind, did they get the event notification and they are trying to cover their ass by blaming the communication issue or did they not really get it. I'll never know.
 

tangent

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Alarm company told me in that case she should use the duress code. Really, think someone will think and remember to use the duress code hoping a bad guy doesn't pull the trigger first.That's my complaint,it shouldn't have stopped trying to call until it had a handshake.
You can always make the duress code something like the numbers that spell "help" on the keypad. If you think the alarm might be legit, don't immediately turn it off.

Precisely what happens in this scenario depends a bit on the timing and model of alarm or reporting options. IIRC, on Honeywell panels in the case of a false alarm, they recommend disarming the panel twice. I think in most cases you'd still end up with an "alarm canceled" being transmitted. If you canceled it quick enough that might not happen (may depend on panel settings). Depending on your track record for false alarms, there's a chance the alarm company might still call you to make sure everything is ok when they get an alarm canceled report.
 
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Dudester

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update- i was able to short the eprom and return the installer code back to default and reset it to my own without erasing all the programming. I installed the eyezon 4 and its up and running for now. i signed up for monitoring through the eyezon site, said it would take a couple days. good?? bad?? i didn't know and honestly just clicked their link for monitoring without thinking of looking elsewhere. I have it set up right now for text and emails.i have the trouble light on because i disconnected the phone line for now. Need to fiqure out how to turn the line monitor off and the dialer.I pulled the line because I didnt want the current company getting back into it. Still to this day , they never sent or called on adding a different communicator on.i did however receive a new monitoring bill from them two days ago.
 

Dudester

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Eyezon works great for now. Just got off the phone with the monitoring company from running a test. It wasn't 5 seconds after I set the alarm off they had it and my cell phones where lit up with text messages.
 

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Eyezon works great for now. Just got off the phone with the monitoring company from running a test. It wasn't 5 seconds after I set the alarm off they had it and my cell phones where lit up with text messages.
Good to hear about your success with the Envisalink and thanks for posting follow-ups on your efforts.

Very similar experience on my end with 2 of these devices. Had them both monitored by EyezOn. It took a couple of days to get the email notification that monitoring was setup and ready after faxing back the contract. It took another few days after the initial email to get a monitoring certificate for my insurance discount. The call center has been amazingly quick when I call in for system tests; alarm notification calls/notifications have always been fast as well.

If you are still needing to disable phone communication, here's the link I saved when working on a DSC 632 for modifying the phone dial-out programming.
 
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