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PatientOne

Sudden false alarms across numerous zones

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I have 15 hardwired zones running into a Qolsys Hardwire 16 panel that has been running good for about 4 years. Each zone has 1-4 sensors wired in series with a 3k resistor going into the panel.

 

Recently, I started getting lots of random open and tamper alerts from about 6 zones, all day, including for windows that are never opened. I checked that connections at the panel were secure, tried removing the backup battery, using a surge protector, swapping AC adapters, and even swapping out the panel itself, and the random alerts continue. A multimeter shows the resistance is right around 3k for the zones as expected.

 

In the attic where the wires are run, I did have a contractor working up there recently, but he didn't go near the wires for some of the zones that are acting up and none of the wires look like they were disturbed. That said, the only thing I can think of is that something may be interfering with the wires somehow.

 

Any thoughts on how I can troubleshoot this?

Edited by PatientOne

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I forgot to mention, the work that the contractor did in the attic involved running a new 20 amp line for a microwave outlet. Is there a way to detect whether any of the alarm wires are being interfered with by any higher voltage lines?

Edited by PatientOne

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Just checked in the attic and the new high voltage line (yellow in the picture below) does briefly cross over some of the alarm sensor wires (white twisted pairs). Some of those wires include zones that have been problematic, but some of the problematic zones come from the other side of the house and do not go anywhere near the new power line. That said, all the alarm wires do bundle together and terminate in near each other.

 

20190912_195722 copy.jpg

Edited by PatientOne

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Does the zone issue appear when the new outlet is supplying current (microwave on full power) ?  Set your meter to AC and measure between 0v and the zone connections to see if there's an issue. Try with the new outlet under load and off.  For the image posted, I think it's unlikely that this is the issue.

 

I don't know your panel, but doesn't it have a menu to show voltage sat zones and power rails being observed by the CPU?  If not, then you'll need to debug by overriding zones with resistors at the panel.

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Faults like this you need to break down to locate.

Test the controls first voltages, batteries on and off mains, charging circuit, everything you would check on a service, look for instability or incorrect values.

Then check the cabling and terminals both ends and as far as you can access, look for issues with resistance and tightness, ingress of water, damage to outer sheath. Compare with your as fitted documents.

After this you need to consider if it's a device, you could do this by removing it and leave the cable active or swapping known good devices around.

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6 hours ago, PatientOne said:

I have 15 hardwired zones running into a Qolsys Hardwire 16 panel that has been running good for about 4 years. Each zone has 1-4 sensors wired in series with a 3k resistor going into the panel.

 

Recently, I started getting lots of random open and tamper alerts from about 6 zones, all day, including for windows that are never opened. I checked that connections at the panel were secure, tried removing the backup battery, using a surge protector, swapping AC adapters, and even swapping out the panel itself, and the random alerts continue. A multimeter shows the resistance is right around 3k for the zones as expected.

 

In the attic where the wires are run, I did have a contractor working up there recently, but he didn't go near the wires for some of the zones that are acting up and none of the wires look like they were disturbed. That said, the only thing I can think of is that something may be interfering with the wires somehow.

 

Any thoughts on how I can troubleshoot this?

So these zones connected wired  to the QH16 , and the QH16 has an antennae to send back signal to the main panel?

Edited by al-yeti

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11 hours ago, GalaxyGuy said:

Does the zone issue appear when the new outlet is supplying current (microwave on full power) ?  Set your meter to AC and measure between 0v and the zone connections to see if there's an issue. Try with the new outlet under load and off.  For the image posted, I think it's unlikely that this is the issue.

 

Running some zones directly to a multimeter is showing between 1.2 and 1.4 millivolts when closed (slightly different for different zones). Running the microwave doesn't affect that.

 

11 hours ago, GalaxyGuy said:

I don't know your panel, but doesn't it have a menu to show voltage sat zones and power rails being observed by the CPU?  If not, then you'll need to debug by overriding zones with resistors at the panel.

 

You mean by just unhooking a zone and checking the resistance? With the resistors installed the resistance that I'm seeing appears to be stable, around 3k for each zone. That said the open signals being reported seem to be instantaneous so I'm not sure I'd even be able to observe one on a multimeter if I waited. Currently they're happening every 10-20 minutes.

6 hours ago, al-yeti said:

So these zones connected wired  to the QH16 , and the QH16 has an antennae to send back signal to the main panel?

Yep. I would think the problem lines in the QH16 and that the controller just reports whatever is sent to it by the QH16.

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4 minutes ago, james.wilson said:

Bypass them at the controller and soak test then the same at the sensor it may be the controller has failed

 

By bypass you mean arm the system with some zones bypassed? Apologies, maybe you can provide more details on how to soak test as you describe.

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1 hour ago, PatientOne said:

 

Running some zones directly to a multimeter is showing between 1.2 and 1.4 millivolts when closed (slightly different for different zones). Running the microwave doesn't affect that.

 

 

You mean by just unhooking a zone and checking the resistance? With the resistors installed the resistance that I'm seeing appears to be stable, around 3k for each zone. That said the open signals being reported seem to be instantaneous so I'm not sure I'd even be able to observe one on a multimeter if I waited. Currently they're happening every 10-20 minutes.

Yep. I would think the problem lines in the QH16 and that the controller just reports whatever is sent to it by the QH16.

Interference on the wireless connection 

 

Can you see all the cables at the common point ? Meaning if through walls and floors you can access everything ?

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9 minutes ago, al-yeti said:

Interference on the wireless connection 

 

Can you see all the cables at the common point ? Meaning if through walls and floors you can access everything ?

 

Yes I can access all the sensor wires going into the hardwire 16. At the end of line where the sensors are though, they're all embedded in door/window frames and aren't very accessible.

Edited by PatientOne

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using my cynical British outlook-

 

The Qolsys 16 looks like some tat from Maplins

Edited by MrHappy

Mr:)

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11 hours ago, MrHappy said:

using my cynical British outlook-

 

The Qolsys 16 looks like some tat from Maplins

You think so? I thought it looks better than there stuff lol

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I believe this is ment to be a DIY system and i believe it is American panel as it isn't tamperd

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19 minutes ago, al-yeti said:

You think so? I thought it looks better than there stuff lol

 

Qolsys-IQ-Wireless-Translator-16-Lifesty


Mr:)

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