IQ Hardwire PowerG + RRS-MOD, Not Sounding All Smokes

Hi, I’m trying to get our existing 4-wire smokes that are now connected to an IQ Hardwire PowerG unit set up correctly for an RRS-MOD reversing polarity relay.

Unfortunately, only the tested smoke is sounding, and I’m not exactly sure where the problem lies, especially since I can’t find any information on configuring PGM / PowerG Output Rules – does this information exist somewhere?

Our smokes are all connected to the RRS-MOD as follows:

red & yellow to AUX2+
black to AUX2-
purple to PGM1
orange to PGM2
brown to first Smoke+
white to first Smoke-

I had a 5.6K resistor across AUX2+ and PGM1, as I saw described with an older system, but it doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s there or not. It’s currently disconnected.

I had to set up the PGM entries manually. Even PGM2, which I keep reading and hearing should be locked and set up for smokes if I add a smoke zone, didn’t configure itself automatically.

I’ve configured the PowerG Output Rules like this:

PGM1 - Inverted, Latch, System, Alarm (I’ve also tried a lot of combinations, including Normal, Timed, Fire Emergency, and Siren Follower (what is this?) Here is where a guide on the settings would really help.)

PGM2 - Inverted, Timer 5 sec, System, Sensor Reset

The good: All smokes are blinking green and reset when I disarm the panel during testing.

The problem: During testing, only the siren in the triggered smoke is sounding. Checking with a meter, the output from the RRS-MOD stays at about 13.5v regardless of the alarm state. Somehow, things are not triggering to put all of the smokes in alarm mode.

I’m hoping someone can confirm the wiring and give me guidance on the PGM settings for this setup. Thanks in advance.

Alternatively, if there’s a different relay people are successfully using to trigger the sirens on all smokes, I’m happy to switch that out. Whatever gets things working. Thanks.

A guide to the PGM programming can be found here.

Alarm should be right as the system state. I’ve never used the RRS-MOD personally, have you tried specifically the Normal-Latch-System-Alarm for the relay output for PGM1? Follow the instructions in the RRS-MOD manual regarding the resistor when using the PGMs as you are, based on the manual.

I do not see any explicit instructions for this connection unfortunately, happy to reach out to Qolsys to see if they have details, but I am not sure this will function one for one like the RRS instructions suggest for the DSC832.

The PowerG Hardwire Translator specifically calls out to not use reversing modules with 2-wire smokes. It does not give the same caveat for 4-wire ones, but it is a departure from the RRS-MOD manual instructions.

What are the exact model of smoke detectors you are using?

Thanks, I found that document, but all it does is list the options, not what they mean, or suggested uses. For example, I don’t know if “Fire Emergency” is for panel-initiated fire alarms, and smokes and heats or not. I’ll continue to use Alarm. I also don’t know what “Siren Follower” is, but the smoke detectors never stop if I use that, so I’ve ruled it out.

The smokes are System Sensor 4WTA-B.

I do think I’ve tried that normal-latch-system-alarm for PGM1, but I will try it again and see if there’s a difference. I’ll also include the resistor, and report back afterwards.

Ok, so I added the 5.6K resistor back to AUX2+ <> PGM1 and kept the RRS-MOD installed as before. I then tried Normal-Latch-System-Alarm for PGM1, and it didn’t make the sirens on the other smokes go off.

It occurred to me that maybe this is what “siren follower” is actually for, to make the other smoke sirens “follow” the activated one. I set PGM1 to Normal-Latch-System-Siren Follower and it did nothing. But, when I set PGM1 to Inverted-Latch-System-Siren Follower all of the smokes sounded when the one was triggered. The only problem was that they didn’t stop when I disarmed the system. But, the fact that they were all sounding makes me wonder if that’s actually the right mode to use–maybe not in latch mode or maybe I need to do something else for the reset. I had to unplug and plug in the IQ Hardwire PowerG to stop the smoke detector sirens. Oh man, my ears are ringing.

I’m still wondering how other people are set up to have all hardwired smoke detectors go off at once with the IQ Hardwire PowerG. This is a really common setup for wired smoke detectors, so people must be doing it. Any clues from someone who’s done it, or suggestions from Qolsys would be appreciated.

I’m happy to ditch the RRS-MOD if it’s not supported, but I do need all the smokes to sound if one goes off.

PGM2 - Inverted, Timer 5 sec, System, Sensor Reset

Until I get definitive word from Qolsys, can you confirm is that the default when a 4-wire zone is defined? Or was PGM2 not defined and you manually added all that?

My guess is that this needs edited if you can activate them with PGM1. Try the output type and the duration.

There are other reversing modules, like the PRM-4W but there aren’t any documented instructions I can find for any on the PowerG Hardwire Translator. The PGM2 should be set to a default selection used for Power Reset on smoke detectors when a 4 wire smoke is added.

The only other RRS-MOD question I can find in our history doesn’t pertain to the Hardwire PowerG.

I had to add the PGM2 programming myself.

I edited the original PowerG sensor entry from “door/window” to “smoke detector,” assigned it to the smoke zone (I think that was the only option) and expected PGM2 to be set up and locked out for any other use, but that didn’t happen so I set up PGM2 myself. I even tried removing the sensor, removing the PGM2 rule and auto-learning the sensor via the tamper alert on a smoke, but the PGM2 rule was never added automatically after the sensor zone was set up. So, I had to set up that rule again.

I just checked and I can add another PGM2 rule if I want to (just added one for system-disarm as a test), so PGM2 is definitely not locked for any other use. This may be the crux of the problem, that things aren’t really set up for a smoke zone…

I don’t have a physical 4 wire smoke loop here, but I just tested the programming and nothing is set automatically it seems when a smoke zone is programmed as one of the translator zones.

When you select Sensor Reset as the state for PGM2, Inverted and 5 second timer is selected by default. Presumably those are correct.

I am not successfully envisioning the circuit difference where the reset will work for the single smoke but not when all go. The manual specifically states that the 5.6KΩ resistor must be rated for 1/4W or greater. If not, the RRS-MOD cannot reset, per the manual. That might be something to check.

Try swapping to a 5.6k ohm resistor rated for 1/4W. If you are certain the current one is, try swapping it out just in case.

Can you confirm how many 4WTA-B smokes are on the circuit?

Can you verify they are all the same model?

Were you using that RRS-MOD successfully with a prior panel model?

Is the switch on the RRS-MOD in the off position currently?

Hi, here are the answers to your questions:

  • The resistor is rated for 1/4W, but tried changing it out
  • The smokes are all the same model and we have 12.
  • The RRS-MOD was being used successfully with a DSC Power-832
  • The RRS-MOD switch was set to OFF

I think the issue is really one of compatibility. Looking at the RRS-MOD schematic, it toggles polarity on a + connection to the Purple wire.

I verified that if I connect the purple wire to positive, the RRS-MOD reverses polarity and sounds the smoke detectors as expected.

I don’t see any way that toggling on an alarm positive is possible on the PG9WLSHW8 IQ Hardwire PowerG without additional parts. The PGM outputs are pulled to negative based on rules. And, from testing, in non-alarming state, the Bell circuit has a live positive terminal but disconnected negative, so connecting so even connecting to that won’t work. It looks like I’d need to use another relay to invert the polarity of the triggering purple wire for the RRS-MOD.

Given all this, I’ve decided to order a PRM-4W reversing relay, which is much more flexible in its triggering options. It uses 2 wires for triggering instead of 1 and should work on the bell circuit (alerting on the coded fire alarm signal) or when installed using the PGM connections.

Thanks for your efforts; I’ll let you know how that works.

Have you figured this out? I have an old honeywell system with RRS-MOD and the same 4WTA-B smoke detectors. Trying to figure out how to set it up to my new IQ4 panel with the takeover module.

Hey there. Yes, I did find a solution. I was meaning to come back and update this, so thanks for the nudge. First, the PRM-4W is not the way to go–don’t waste your money, it won’t help. But, it turns out there’s a cheaper alternative that works great with the RRS-MOD.

Pick up an “Altronix RBSNTTL - Ultra Sensitive Relay Module.” I got mine at Provantage for $14.54 delivered last year, but they’re easy to find in Google. Note that Altronix makes other relays that won’t work–make sure you get an RBSNTTL.

With that, you can make an alarm toggle the + for the RRS-MOD and get it to behave as expected. I’ll take a look at the wiring tomorrow and update this with some notes, but it was really straightforward once I figured it out.

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Thanks for the update and look forward to the update tmr!

Can I assume you have an external power supply for that many smoke detectors? (Mine has a separate power supply.)

I’m not sure which power supply you’re referring to. I have an IQ Hardwire PowerG (PG9WLSHW8) that connects to the first hardwired smoke detector and powers that, and each one after that is daisy chained until the last leads back to the panel. Each hardwire gateway (we have 2) has its own power supply and battery backup, but I don’t think you’re talking about that.

4-wire smoke detectors should only be powered by a single power line connecting through them all because otherwise you can’t have line supervision. For example, a bedroom smoke without power (cut wire, etc.) could go unnoticed, since there will be no notification. With line supervision, your alarm will let you know of the trouble. You should also have an EOLR-1 (End of Line Supervision Relay) at the end of the line that makes that possible.

The wiring goes like this. There’s a slim possibility that I have something wrong on the wiring from the last smoke, so if thing behave funky, check there first. It was difficult to follow those wires.

TRG –: wired to PGM1
POS +, C (next to PS +), TRG +: all jumped together, wired to AUX2 +
NEG –: wired to AUX2 –

T + (purple): wired to NO on the RBSN-TTL (on the TRG – side)
PWR + (red) and IN + (yellow): wired to POS + on the RBSN-TTL
PWR – (black): wired to NEG – on the RBNS-TTL
OUT + (brown): wired to first smoke detector +
OUT – (white): wired to first smoke detector –
IN – (orange): wired to PGM2

The last smoke’s NO and COM go to Zx/Zx common (don’t use Zone 1 for 4-wire detectors)

RED: connected to last smoke detector + as if it were next in the chain
BLACK: connected to last smoke detector - as if it were next in the chain
VIOLET #1: to Zx (same zone as above)
VIOLET #2: to EOL resistor then to Zx common

The RRS-MOD wires are thick, so I use smaller, higher gauge jumper wires to connect most of those to the RBNS-TTL.

Finally, on the panel, I have the smoke detector zone set up like this:
Sensor type: Smoke Detector
Input Mode: End of Line

With all of that:

  • the smokes should all be powered by the hardwire panel
  • there should be a trouble signal if any of the smoke power wires are disconnected
  • when you trip a smoke they should all sound together
  • and disarming the panel should reset the smokes.

If that all happens, you’re golden.

Photos of my setup follow in case they help.

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Thanks. I ordered an RBSNTTL to get started.

Your wiring/panel looks incredibly clean and is an inspiration!

Thanks. With so many wires/zones/sensors, it really helps to have things organized.

Good luck with the project; let me know how it goes!

I wired similar to yours today (biggest difference is that I’m not drawing power from AUX2 because I have a separate power supply for sirens and smoke detectors). I ran into a problem: it appears that when the RBNS-TTL is triggered, it does not reliably trigger all the smoke sirens. Sometimes it takes 2 triggers, and sometimes it takes 3. I verified using a multimeter and the relay itself was working properly. I’m going to order a new RRS-MOD in case my current one is faulty since it’s been used for over a decade.

Can I get your PGM settings? I have them at:

PGM1 - Inverted, Latch, System, Fire Emergency
PGM2 - Inverted, Timer 5 sec, System, Sensor Reset

Looks like only PGM1 is different on mine:

PGM1 - “Sound All Smokes”
Normal, Latching, System, Fire Emergency

PGM2 - “Smoke Reset”
Inverted, Timer 5 sec, System, Sensor Reset

See if that helps. If not, let me know and I’ll help debug it. My RRS-MOD is 18 years old and still working fine. If it’s consistently looking correct on the meter, I’d suspect something else.

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