Most GE sensors suddenly malfunctioned

I have the Qolsys 2+ panel with the GE/Interlogix card (319.5mhz). Most of my GE sensors just reported malfunction/offline, all at once (9 sensors within a few minutes of each other). I’ve been having problems with a single sensor that is showing a weak signal (-90dbm), but the others all seem okay. Even that weaker signal is picked up just fine by my older Concord 4 system. I’m wondering if there’s a problem with the 319.5 mhz card in the Qolsys?

I don’t feel like I can switch completely over to the Qolsys as long as it keeps dropping sensors. Thanks.

Check the sensor antenna. I see a lot of issues with sensor signaling due to the thin white legacy sensor antenna in the panel either being bunched up in the panel housing or pinched in the back-plate.

The white antenna must be routed out the back of the panel and into the wall if wall mounted. It should be away from house power lines.

After checking the antenna, reboot the panel (Settings > Advanced Settings > Reboot Panel)

Any change?

The panel is sitting on a counter, the antenna is mostly straight out the back. I’ve been waiting to confirm everything works before mounting it!

After rebooting the panel the sensors still reported offline. After a walk test (triggering each sensor), it detected some of the sensors, but not all. One sensor it seemed to detect now has the wrong status.

I’m running 2.5.3 if that matters.

Where is the panel located right now? If you move the panel to another room do you see a difference in signal strength?

You could try updating firmware, but I don’t think that would be a factor in this case.

The panel is middle-middle of the house: near the center of the middle floor. If it can’t work there, that’s a problem! My goal is to mount it near the front door, which would be a bit farther from some of the sensors, but only by about 10 feet from where it is now.

That’s ok, I understand but we want to test potential environmental causes for the signal issues, not necessarily range.

As a test, can you move the panel to another room for a while and test opening some of the sensors? Does signaling improve at all after a period of time when moved to different locations?

Okay, I’ll try it. I’ll report back in an hour or so…

No change in sensors - the few that were still offline still are, and the one that has the wrong status still does. The Sensor Test shows all the sensors have good signal strength (which it did before as well even when it lost them all).

One more status update: I tried deleting and readding a few of the sensors. Worked for some, but since then a bunch have dropped off the system again. If I do a status check from the Concord 4 panel, all sensors are working. The Qolsys panel is still either not detecting or is confused about a bunch of the sensors. The daughter board test passed. Any other diagnostics to try? Maybe I should be on the phone with someone while trying it.

When you pair these sensors to the panel, are you using Auto-Learn sensor or are you manually typing in the values?

Those sensors that report offline malfunctions, if you open them, does the status change on the panel?

I’ve been pairing with auto-learn, hasn’t been a problem. The offline sensors are mostly ignored by the panel if I open them. A couple times though it did cause the panel to reconnect.

Update: last night (after I went to bed) all of the sensors suddenly reported being back online. As of this morning they all seem to be working fine! I’ll leave the panel in its new location for a few days, see if anything changes.

Jason, thanks for trying to help, it’s hard to know what’s going on here!

I’ll leave the panel in its new location for a few days, see if anything changes.

That’s a good test, Supervision is the periodic heartbeat signal from sensors. It will take at least one supervision interval to normalize if location is a problem. Supervision interval can be between 4 hours and 24 hours depending on your installer settings and sensor type.

After trying a few different locations over the last few days, it definitely is location dependent for the panel. Seems like just a few feet can make a difference as to whether or not certain sensors are detected. Can it be the antenna, is there a way to improve that? Otherwise I’ll have to change we’re I’d planned on locating the panel.

Construction in the home and the direct environment around the antenna is going to be the likely cause here. If a location results in bad reception, I would advise using an alternate spot. There is no substitute for that really.

It may also be impacted by the surface the antenna is resting on and what is nearby. Stone will cause more attenuation than wood/drywall.