Loss of Takeover with Repeater

Hi Surety Team,
I’ve been having an ongoing issue with loss of supervision of the several sensors being monitored by my 2gig E take over module.

These zones were previously installed with the former system in a house I purchased, they were all hard-wired. I wired them to the Takeover and programmed them appropriately into the panel.

I would pretty consistently lose supervision around 7:30 at night daily, but not every day.

The Takeover module is outside of the original metal box in the basement mounted on a floor joist. It is about 80-100 feet away from the panel which is located on the opposite side of the basement first floor.
I thought perhaps the signal was being degraded somehow, as I know I have a I-beam support in the middle of the home. My home was built in 2003, not filled with metal mesh for walls or anything like that.

I purchased the encrypted repeater and placed that about midway in my basement, and did not receive loss of supervision for two days in a row.

Then last night received the familiar alert…

Is there anything I should do or try?
Why would the repeater not satisfy any signal issues?
The alert sends my dog in a panic, not too mention the general bother it is to have to go to the panel to silence the alert.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

This is a bit of a head-scratcher, because normally a Takeover module would throw offline malfunctions for all of its connected zones.

In this case, looking at your history, it seems to just be 3 of them, and other zones on the Takeover module report normally while the three show offline status.

This is odd. The first thing I would try is re-terminating the wiring for those three zones so that fresh cable is stripped back and connected. Typically offline is just for signaling, and resistance and wiring should have no impact, but I am at a loss as to why only some of the zones would have this issue.

I would power cycle the Takeover module as well.

Give it a couple days and see if the status returns.

Do those zones otherwise report if you open them when they go offline?

Hi Jason thanks for your input.

I will strip those wires back on all connections and terminate as advised.

Yes, the sensors will trip individually if I test them while offline or after a loss of supervision.

That’s what I thought is weird too since as you see, my mudroom door will stay active though it is connected to the same takeover module that is reporting loss of supervision on three other sensors.
I can then walk to my front door, open and close, and the panel immediately indicates the sensor, which is also controlled by the Takeover module.
Same thing with my basement door and the one time I tested my sump pump float switch it worked immediately and also triggered an alarm.

Hi Jason/Surety Team,
I finally was able to take some time and get my system in test mode so I could perform the requested tasks.

I stripped back all wires and re-terminated, wire nutted, etc. There were a few loose connections within the wire nut for the ground wire.
This was a few days ago, and all was well for a few days, then I received the Supervision loss on 2 out of the 3 takeover connections I was previously receiving; an improvement, but still an issue.
This time it was the Front and Basement Doors, not my Sump Pump float like before. Again, if I go to either of these doors, open/close, the system immediately responds.

Yesterday, I had the system in test mode again and performed another verification on wire connections on the takeover module. This included having the Takeover powered down for a minute or two. I did not feel or notice anything loose or not properly making a connection. Regardless, I did not receive loss of supervision on any of the Takeover sensors. This is not new behavior however, and often am good for a few days; I’ll continue to monitor.
To note, so all information is here, I have resistors installed in-line on these hardwired connections to the takeover, as they were connected to the original hardwired panel.

My Encrypted Repeater is still plugged in and solid green light in my basement.

A new oddity however, was introduced yesterday. I installed a brand new 2Gig-SMKT8e-345 Smoke/Heat/Freeze detector in my utility room. I programmed in each function to their own wireless zone, and respective loop, enabled supervision. This is installed in my basement, about 20 or so feet below/away from GC3e Panel.
I then lost supervision of both Smoke/Heat at 6PM Eastern last night (10/04/21). I acknowledged the alert on the panel. I then lost supervision of the Freeze function at 0326 this morning.

As always, I really appreciate your time and assistance in this matter.

Supervision malfunctions and signaling issues are not uncommon in something like a utility room. I see active malfunction for those new smoke detector zones now.

Metal heavily affects rf signals, as will high voltage wire. Make sure that the sensor is not placed with wiring or a lot of metal nearby, and avoid large metal objects in the transmission path, like HVAC/furnace/water heater/ducts/etc.

Fair enough, I’ll move that to a more open area in the basement. Near the repeater actually. To your point, my utility room is framed in and has ALL you’ve mentioned; 2x water heaters (electric), furnace, geo thermal unit, gas piping, electrical, radiant heating plumbing/electrical…

Unfortunately, this does not address my takeover module issues in any sense, as that is in a totally separate area of the basement, and as you mentioned previously, is showing odd behavior.

I also have a repeater that should honestly, handle all these signaling issues; is there anything “special” that need be done with the repeater?

I also have a repeater that should honestly, handle all these signaling issues; is there anything “special” that need be done with the repeater?

There is nothing special for the repeater, however, are you 100% certain that the repeater and all sensors, including the TAKE, are all the E-series encrypted versions?

If the repeater is a non encrypted version, it would not improve encrypted signaling, and vice-versa if it is encrypted it will not improve unencrypted sensors.

Can you verify all model numbers for the Takeover module, the repeater, and the smoke detector to make sure they are all e-series? Given the issues described it would make the most sense for something to be mismatched.

That’s a good point, I believe everything was E-series.
When I moved to my new home I purchased the newest 2GIG panel, having upgraded from my previous GC2.

I verified model numbers both visually as well as email receipts:

2GIG RPTR1e-345 (programmed in for supervision)
2GIG-FF1E-345 (not currently installed/programmed)
3x 2GIG-FT6E-345

I had moved the SMKT8e out of my Utility Room yesterday and did not have any loss of supervision, nor did the sensors connected to the TAKE alert. Though this is typical thus far for a few days then the alert returns.

Is the panel itself located near metal or stone/brick?

Not that I’m aware of.

It’s mounted on an interior wall inside my mud room with the other side of the wall being my dining room.

The SMKT8e is nearly directly under and about 10-15 feet away in an open area from the panel. The RPTR1e is about 2 feet from this.

Is that mud room a laundry room with washer and dryer close by? If so how close?

No, just a mud room, about 10x10. No metal or anything like that.

The other 3 walls vary, with 1 being the attached garage wall, an interior wall to a small bathroom, and an exterior wall (across from panel) with vinyl siding.

Below the Panel/wall is an insulated flexible duct run and a couple 14-2 romex lines. Nothing significant in my opinion.

Other than the SMKT8e not regaining supervision of the freeze loop, I did not receive any alerts for the TAKE module sensors yesterday. I am not sure what you see on your end?

The utility room smoke detector and heat zones still show malfunction. This has been going on since its installation, that condition has not resolved in Alarm.com. Which zones on your panel right now show malfunctions?

If you bring that detector close to the panel and tamper the detector, does the panel register a tamper?

If not, double check battery polarity and double check the TXID in programming. There may be a typo if it was manually entered.

It looks like there are three zones for that sensor in programming, Smoke, Heat, and Freeze. FYI freeze reports being programmed as a Panic Button zone type. This is not correct and would lead to discrepancies in reporting as by default panic zones I don’t believe are supervised.

At this moment I show no zones in a malfunction state.

Yesterday I had taken the SMKT8e up to the panel and flipped the tamper switch left/right, and also removed batteries; the panel did not acknowledge.
While I had bought this new, and removed the pull tab out of the battery compartment upon initial programming, I swapped for brand new batteries and same outcome.

I then removed the SMKT8e from the panel programming, saved, and then re-added to the panel via Learning in the alarm via the test button and it took the TXID automatically.
I received a loss of supervision for all three loops on the SMKT8e last night at 8:22PM EST.

I had programmed the Freeze loop 3 as an audible alarm as I thought that’d remove the issue of dispatching any emergency services for a cold/freeze alarm. I’m guessing that’s not proper then?

I have not received a loss of supervision for any of the TAKE sensors since making changes on Monday.

Freeze zones should typically be programmed as type 08 - 24 Hour Auxiliary Alarm. Equipment Type is Freeze. Those are environmental alarm types. Dispatch does not occur on a freeze temp alarm.

Here is a thread discussing GC3 programming for a smoke detector with those three zone types.

However, I see that your SMKT8e is reporting a malfunction again in Alarm.com.

The last test I would recommend is just bringing the SMKT8e within line of sight of the panel close by and letting it rest there for a day. Do you still see supervision malfunctions when it is right by the panel? If so, replace the SMKT8e.

Thanks, Jason. I’ve updated that programming.

I moved the SMKT8e into the mud room with the panel, removed the malfunctioning zones and re-added them, and have NOT had an issue with that since. I performed that the same day you advised I make the change for testing.

I received a loss of supervision on my sump pump sensor last night, but hadn’t previously. I am going to again, re-seat the wires and see if that remedies that; though they all seem very solid now.

I’m also going to mount my encrypted repeater higher up on the basement wall to hopefully help capture these signals and pass them on to the panel. After all this, I feel like there is somehow interference being introduced through something in my basement.

It’s driving me nuts though!

After all this, I feel like there is somehow interference being introduced through something in my basement.

It is very likely that ducting or other construction elements in vicinity of the panel in the basement are causing more attenuation than expected.

You might try that Repeater in the opposite direction and on the 1st floor rather than basement. Any change?

Anything blocking the panel would have to be in the interior wall that I cannot see, and underneath there’s really nothing, so I’m a bit puzzled. Especially since my last house was built in the 50’s and had chicken wire/plaster ALL over the place; yet never had 345mhz nor zwave signal issues…??? Strange!

Are you saying place the repeater in the mud room on the opposite wall of the panel, facing the panel?

Are both the repeater and panel an omni-directional signal antenna? In that, they send and accept signals in all directions, as I’d assume?

Yes, the panel’s receiver and the repeater are omnidirectional. Attenuation may be higher from some areas, like the basement.

Yeah I just mean putting the repeater above the basement devices and on the first floor away from the panel location so the signals aren’t going through the same materials as the panel to reach it, as a test. The goal isn’t to get the repeater closer to the panel, but to change the direction and materials it goes through to reach it .

Thanks Jason.

I’ve moved the SMKT8e out of the panel’s room and back to its proper location (about 7’ up on wall) in my basement utility room. I had not received any loss of supervision once I had moved it to the mud room and reset programming.

I am not sure why I didn’t think of/notice this, but I have 2 additional 345MHz sensors in that same utility room that I have NEVER lost supervision of; a CO2 detector, about 8" off the ground, and a Temp sensor mounted on the wall about 5’ up.

Just now, I’ve relocated my encrypted repeater from the basement up to my 1st floor, about mid-way between the panel location, and where the SMKT8e and TAKEOVER module are located. I placed the repeater about 10’ up on the wall/top of my cabinet.

I did not have any loss of supervision on my TAKE last night, but did lose the Sump the night prior (10/11/21).