Takeover False Alarms

I have two front bedroom windows. One of them occasionally shows as if it is open when the window is closed. Sometimes opening and closing the window will reset the status, sometimes it takes a system reboot. This is the window that falser. I should repeat that all perimeter and entry sensors are hard wired from a previous (new) system that worked perfectly. I wanted a more modern system so I went with the 2GIG and used two takeover modules that are placed at the original hardwired sensor box, a mere four feet from the command center controller. Have there been any instances of specific band RF interference triggering a takeover module?

A few things:

  1. Which takeover are you using? The 2Gig Take-345? or the RE208 Resolution Products Takeover? This is important because if it is the 2Gig, resistance on the circuits does not much matter, but if it is the RE208 then you need specific resistance measurements on the circuits and if an old EOL resistor is there you will run into problems.

  2. Are these Takeover modules mounted near the metal alarm can, or are they inside it? They cannot be placed inside the metal alarm panel casing as this will ruin their wireless signal and cause problems even from a few feet away.

  3. Are you using the old panel as the ground for the sensor circuits or have you wired them all directly to the G terminal on the Takeover?

  4. What loop is programmed for the sensors on the takeover module? All takeover module sensors should be programmed as loop 1.

Thanks Jason. To your points:

  1. Both modules are Take-345, however, there are EOL resistors attached to the original wiring block that I left there. Everything seems to work with them so far.

  2. Indeed they are mounted inside. I had figured proximity would trump the RF blocking ability of the thin metal box. I will change the module placement to outside the box.

  3. I used the block ground on the original box, then ran a ground wire from 345 to ground block on the box as well. Again, everything has functioned properly other than this one window.

  4. All perimeter sensors are set to Loop 1.

Since I will need to rewire the whole setup to move the modules out of the metal box, should I remove all EOL resistors? Also, as you mentioned ground, is ganging all sensor grounds together and running them to the 345 directly a better method?

Even just a thin sheet of metal, like aluminum foil, will stop RF dead in it’s tracks. That’s why we wear tin foil hats to protect our brains from government spies. Putting the super switch takeover module inside the metal can will definitely not work. A simple test before you make any changes would be to see if it works better when the metal can is wide open.

Funny story about that… One time an installer from another company called me, extremely frustrated, about a 2GIG super switch. Everything worked when they installed the system but as soon as they left it stopped working. The customer called the installer to come back out and fix it. The installer would open up the metal can to take a look, and then run some tests. All the tests would pass. Then they would close the metal can and leave. Soon after, the customer would call them back and say it’s not working again. After several repetitions of this, both the customer and the installer were super frustrated. I went out to take a look and the super switch was inside the metal can. It always worked for the installer because he always had the can open when he tested. He would always close the can right before he left which made it stop working.

It shouldn’t matter if you leave the EOL resistors with the 2GIG super switch but if you think they might be causing a problem then you might as well remove them. They certainly aren’t helping.

The easiest way to handle grounding the old panel with the super switch is to leave the commons all connected on old panel and just run a single wire from one of those commons to the super switch ground. If you’re unsure about how you have it wired you can take a pic and attach it to this topic. We’ll take a look.

Thanks for the reply Ryan. Your story makes complete sense. It’s basically my story here as well, as I test with box open. However, for the past year since I put this in, it has seemingly worked perfectly. I will remove the modules from the box, and clip off the resistors. Your grounding description is exactly how I have it now. I will not be able to get to this until the weekend so stay tuned, I will update with my findings.

If it has worked at all with the super switches inside the closed metal box it’s because RF signal was escaping out of the little holes or gaps in the box.

A short term solution would be to just leave the box open.

Would a plastic box work better for the RF signals? I’d really like a nice clean install without a bunch of wall warts… :slight_smile:

If you would like to transfer all the components to a single large plastic housing, that should work much better than a metal one.

UPDATE: I found time to rewire my entire system at the two takeover modules, placing them outside and above the metal box housing the original alarm system. So far so good. Again, this system had functioned perfectly for the better part of the last year with the modules inside the box. Only recently did it start acting up, with one window in particular having difficulty updating it’s status when open or closed. It would often read the wrong position. Finally, that window started sending false indications as if it had been tampered with. One full week has passed since I rearranged things and thus far no status oddities or false alarms. I am hoping that the simple answer here was the right answer as seems to be the case. Thanks to all that commented and I will update on how things are going in a few weeks.

2nd UPDATE: A month in, the system has had another false signal sent from a window. That window was usually the culprit prior to my rewiring of the take-over modules to reside outside the metal box. In a strange and expensive twist of fate, again we were out of reliable cell range when the notification texts and calls were made and again we will be hammered by another $150 or more in police department false alarm penalties. That would make four times now. The window in question was never touched, all other operations are working flawlessly. Cannot figure why we keep getting false readings from one window when it is hard wired, never had any issues with the original alarm, and the take-overs are no longer behind a layer of metal.

Do you have a multimeter to test resistance of that sensor circuit? Did you leave the resistors wired in or did you remove them? (Typically this doesn’t matter, but if you are running into issues, the resistance on that circuit may be higher than the Take will properly handle. (Max 3 k-ohms.)

Perhaps sensor is merely defective/wiring issue, or something is occurring causing it to malfunction? Why not just replace it? See if problem resolves.

I would have already replaced and rewired the sensor myself (or switched it for a DW10) after the first fine…

Take a pic of the troublesome window contact and window. How is contact itself wired NC or NO? Just wanna see how it was installed/type of window. See gap size, and if it was a bottom of window/sill install. Can a good gust of wind rattle the window? Can moisture or rain get to it if window is not closed?

Is any of the wiring exposed? I had a window on my new home that wasn’t properly wrapped, and water would leak in during a hard wind driven rain storm (occurred about once a year or so), and run down inside wall to window below. Never dawned on me that the problem was above, and that water was in the walls (and not the actual window that was “leaking”)… any wiring in wall could potentially be getting wet… and if the window contact in question is exposed (bare)…