DSC PowerSeries System Enhancement Module (SEM) Compatibility and Setup Guide

Panel Compatibility

If you have a DSC PowerSeries panel, you may be able to connect it to Alarm.com using the System Enhancement Module or SEM .

This guide will cover how to determine if your DSC PowerSeries panel is compatible with the Alarm.com SEM and how to connect it to the SEM if it is.

Identify compatible panel
The PowerSeries System Enhancement Module (SEM) is only compatible with the following panels that are version 4.20+:

  • PC1616
  • PC1832
  • PC1864

To determine if the SEM is compatible with a panel, locate the version on the panel’s prom chip sticker.


Note: When using an LCD5500 or PK5500 keypad, this can also be found by going to Installer Programming and then section 900. The panel version is displayed as a 4-digit number (e.g., 0460 in section 900 is panel version 4.60)

Keypad and peripheral compatibility


The following devices listed have been tested and certified to work with Alarm.com’s SEM-DSC PowerSeries. Other keypads and versions are expected to work, but have not been fully tested by Alarm.com.

Note : The SEM can view and report everything performed on touchscreen keypads. It does not require going into console mode as the SEM-Honeywell/ADEMCO Vista requires.

  • RFK 5500 v1.3/1.2 (Alpha)
  • RFK 5564 v1.3 (Alpha)
  • PTK 5507 v1.12 (Touchscreen)
  • WT 5504 v1.0 (Touchscreen)
  • PK 5508 v1.2 (Fixed English)
  • PK 5501 v1.2 (Fixed English)
  • PK 5501 (Icon)
  • PK 5500
  • PowerSeries 433 branded keypad


The following devices listed have been tested and certified to work with Alarm.com’s SEM-DSC PowerSeries.

  • LED 5511 (LED)
  • LED Status light
  • PC5108
  • PC5132
  • TR 5164 (Wireless Receiver)
  • Multi button Keyfobs
  • Single button Panic fobs
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Pre Connection Checklist

The Installer Code

The SEM is a bit different when it comes to Alarm.com compatibility. It requires that the user have access to their panel’s Installer Code prior to the creation of their Alarm.com account. This code is necessary as Alarm.com uses this code to access panel programming and read information stored on the panel.

Tools and supplies needed

  • Small blade screwdriver and Phillips screwdriver
  • Drill and bits for screws and/or wall anchors
  • Alpha keypad
    • Alarm.com strongly recommends installing an alpha keypad with at least 32 zones to ensure the “Communication Failure” trouble condition is displayed to the user.
  • Four-conductor, 22-gauge or larger stranded wire
    • The following shows the maximum wire length for each gauge.

      • 22 gauge Maximum wire length 40 ft. (12.2 m)
      • 18 gauge Maximum wire length 90ft. (27.4 m)

Installation Guide

Disconnect power from the panel

Prior to disconnecting power from the panel, first verify that the panel is disarmed.

Next, remove panel AC power and disconnect the backup battery.

Caution : This is necessary to prevent damaging the panel or module while making wiring connections.

Mount the SEM

Caution : You must be free of static electricity before handling electronic components. Touch a grounded metal surface before touching
the circuit board.

  1. Press down on the bottom tabs of the enclosure cover to remove it and set it aside.
  2. Carefully remove the SEM circuit board by depressing the interior bottom tab.
  3. Place the SEM back plate on the wall at the desired mounting location and mark the three mounting holes as shown below.

    4 Set the back plate aside and drill holes at the mounting locations.
  4. Use wall anchors where studs are not present and secure the back plate to the wall with the enclosed screws.
  5. Insert the SEM circuit board back into the back plate.

Wire the SEM to the panel

Caution : Verify panel AC power is removed and the backup battery is disconnected.


  • Connect panel terminal SEM GND to BLK.
  • Connect panel terminal YELLOW (IN) to YEL.
  • Connect panel terminal GREEN (OUT) to GRN.
  • Use the included red cable with the two prong battery connector to connect the battery to both the SEM and the panel. For a power limited circuit, ensure the fuse is inside the PowerSeries panel.

Once wiring is complete, route the antennas outside of the enclosure, away from the SEM, and replace the enclosure cover.

Note : The antennas should be routed through the second and third channel openings at the top of the enclosure as shown in the following images:


Dual-Path (Optional)

For Broadband Ethernet, connect the provided Ethernet Dongle to the connector on the SEM.

Connect the Ethernet cable to the provided Ethernet Dongle.


Power up the panel

Connect the backup battery and restore AC power to the panel. For the SEM to interact with the existing zones on the system, it must read them from the PowerSeries panel. The SEM does a zone scan to read this information.

The zone scan automatically begins within one minute after the panel is powered up and should take between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the number of partitions and zones on the system. Do not touch the panel, keypad, or SEM at this time.

The zone scan is complete when the green and yellow lights on the keypad remain solid. If you press any buttons on the keypad during the zone scan, the message System unavailable displays on the screen. The date and time shows on the screen when the zone scan is complete.

Important : If the system was previously communicating over a phone line, we recommend Disabling Telco Line Monitoring (Section 015, Option 7) and Removing the Phone Numbers (Section 301-303).

Broadcast sensor names

For the SEM to be able to read the sensor names stored on the panel and display them on Alarm.com, you must broadcast the sensor names stored on the keypads. This should be done for every install with an LCD keypad and is necessary even if there is only one keypad on the system.

Default Installer Code: 5555

Add & delete Z-Wave devices

Alarm.com does not recognize any Z-Wave devices previously learned into the panel. These devices need to be deleted from the previous Z-Wave network and added to the SEM to use Alarm.com’s home automation services (e.g. automation control via website, app, and intelligent automation rules).

Adding Z-Wave devices
  1. Press and hold Z-Wave button on the Alarm.com module.
  2. Release the button once LED L5 flashes in groups of four. L2 also flashes.
  3. Trigger a device to add it to the network.
  4. When a device is added successfully, L5 illuminates solid.
  5. You need to re-enter Add Mode before triggering the next device.

Note : If you can’t add a device to the network, you may need to delete the device’s current network data using the device deletion process before you can add it to the new network (some devices come from the factory with network data)

Deleting Z-Wave devices
  1. Press and hold the Z-Wave button on the Alarm.com module.
  2. Release the button once LED L5 flashes in groups of two. L2 also flashes.
  3. Press and hold the Z-Wave button on the module a second time.
  4. Release the Z-Wave button once LED L5 flashes in groups of two.
  5. Trigger a device to erase its network data and delete it from the network.
  6. When a device is deleted successfully, L5 illuminates solid.
  7. You need to re-enter Delete Mode before triggering the next device.
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What do I do if don’t have the PowerSeries panel’s Installer Code?

The Installer Code (default 5555) is necessary when setting up an Alarm.com account. If the code is not known to you, and you are unable to find the code, you may be able to Factory Default the PowerSeries panel.

Note: This will reset all codes but it will also remove all paired sensors/devices and should be done as a last resort.

Additionally, it is possible that the panel’s Installer’s Lockout has been enabled. This will prevent the Factory Reset from working.

Installer’s Lockout is indicated by 10 rapid clicks from the phone relay on the main circuit board on power up. If this is enabled, the Installer Code cannot be reset.

To factory default the main control panel perform the following:

  1. Remove AC power and battery power from the panel
  2. Remove all wires from the Zone 1 and PGM1 terminals (may wish to label these before removing)
  3. With a piece of wire short the Zone 1 terminal to the PGM1 terminal
  4. Apply AC power to the main panel
  5. Zone light 1 will turn ON when the default is complete (approx. 10-30 seconds)
  6. Remove AC power from the panel then disconnect the jumper wire.
  7. Reconnect all original wiring and power up the control panel normally
  8. Test the default Installer Code (5555).