Tips & Tricks – Part III

Glenn Hultz by Glenn Hultz | 08.26.2013

Wireless technology has come a long way and can be a very reliable, robust and cost-effective solution.  In some cases, it may even be your only viable option.  Wireless questions can also generate their fair share of calls to tech support, but in most cases the answers are easy to find. You just knew this was coming… so I’ll go ahead and get it out of the way – please consult the installation instructions for your particular receiver and/or transmitter. Now, let’s review some common questions:

My Keypad Says E4 (or E8 or RCVR SET UP ERROR)
I wanted to tackle this issue first because for some reason it always seems to be a point of contention. Displays of E4, E8 or RCVR SET UP ERROR mean you have more wireless zones programmed than your receiver can support.  I want to be very clear about this – there are in fact too many wireless zones programmed.  On a keypad, enter your installer code plus # plus 3 and put yourself into Transmitter ID sniffer mode.  This command is the same for virtually all of our panels and will cause the panel to display any zone with a transmitter ID – and the culprit is usually a forgotten keyfob zone.  So, if you want to delete a wireless zone and the keypad asks “Delete Zone?”, you must answer “Yes.”  If you don’t, the zone is ignored by the panel but the serial number does not get deleted, thus causing an E4, E8 or RCVR SET UP ERROR at some point in the future.

I Have a “Check” on a Wireless Zone
Assuming the zone is programmed correctly, there are only two possible reasons for a wireless check and neither one of them is a low battery condition – it’s either a supervision or tamper issue.  If you reset the panel by going in and out of programming and the check re-appears almost immediately then it must be a tamper issue.  Why? The supervision process takes 12 hours (by default) and not enough time has elapsed for the zone to go back into check.  Using the Go/No Go Test command, installer code plus # plus 4, is absolutely crucial when installing wireless devices.

Wireless 101
I’m going to go through the rest of this on a rapid-fire basis to get through as many as I can.  This is by no means a comprehensive list of how to fix every wireless problem you may encounter, but I do believe that the information will be very helpful in most situations:

  • If you have a wireless zone that will fault but not restore, it could actually be a range or interference issue, but more often than not we find that the wrong loop has been programmed.  Check the loop first and if that isn’t the issue you can troubleshoot further.
  • If you keep getting a low battery condition, make sure you’re using an approved replacement battery and not a generic equivalent.  Remember, replacing the battery on a transmitter that is in a “check’ condition is only going to mask the real problem.
  • Make sure you’re using the correct input type of 3, 4 or 5 – 6 is for serial polling loop devices, not wireless.  It’s important to note that not all “button” transmitters use an input type of 5 (Button RF) so make sure to refer to the installation instructions.
  • If you’re not getting status on a bi-directional device, make sure you’re using the correct House ID in the device as well as the panel.  Try to avoid using the default House ID of 10 – I suggest deciding on a “pet” House ID for your company and using that particular ID when necessary.
  • If you’re still not getting status on a bi-directional device, the next likely suspect is dipswitch 6 on your 5883H – it needs to be turned on.  Don’t forget that bi-directional devices typically have a lower range when it comes to getting status so range can be a factor.
  • Speaking of range, wireless transmitters can also be mounted too close to a stand-alone receiver – think of it as trying to understand what someone is saying while they scream directly in your ear.  In fact, try to avoid mounting any device until you can verify proper operation.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but at the same time I want to stress how important it is to consult the installation instructions, especially when it comes to the mounting and placement of wireless devices.  You want to avoid putting yourself behind the eight-ball before the installation ever begins.  Follow some basic guidelines and you’ll be racking up plenty of satisfied customers.


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  1. Elliott Sturm 08.26.2013/2:50 pm

    If you have a wireless zone that will fault but not restore, it could actually be a range or interference issue, but more often than not we find that the wrong loop has been programmed. Check the loop first and if that isn’t the issue you can troubleshoot further.
    I’ve found the cause of this is usually a wireless panic button that’s programmed as a type 3 instead of a type 5 (button). It’ll trip, but it won’t restore because there’s no restore signal from the device.

  2. Nick Markowitz jr. 08.30.2013/7:29 am

    One of the biggest problems i see with wireless is configuring the wrong loop on door contacts when using a magnet instead of hardwired switch must be set for loop 2 but many installers mistakenly set for loop 1 think its working walk out and end up coming back for a service call

    • Glenn Hultz 09.09.2013/10:05 am

      You’re absolutely right, Nick – the symptom I mention in the blog is a fault on a wireless zone that won’t restore. Many techs will see it fault and assume it’s working but end up back on the site because the zone never restores. Thanks once more for your input!

  3. jon fuji 01.29.2015/12:28 am

    I am having issues entering the go/ no go test with my Vusymta 20p using the default installer code 4112+#+4. i have not changed the installer code. As soon as I enter the sequence the siren sounds and I have to disable it with my master code. I also disarmed all partitions nd made sure the alarm is in a ready state. Thoughts?

    • jon fuji 01.29.2015/12:30 am

      Oops Vista 20p

    • Glenn Hultz 01.29.2015/9:40 am

      Hi Jon, the siren is supposed to sound after entering go/no go test but it should only sound for a second or two. Are you saying that it continues to sound? If this is the case, I would first check the revision of the panel and then give us a call so we can troubleshoot the problem while you’re on site. Keep in mind that a full second or two can seem like an awfully long time when that siren is blaring in your ear. Thanks for your question.

    • jon fuji 01.30.2015/2:04 pm

      Glenn, awesome answer! I guess I wasn’t patient enough. After following your advice all is well. I was able to perform the go/no go test for my 5800PIR without problems. Much appreciated and thanks for the fast response.

  4. Scott Kincaid 03.12.2016/11:41 am

    Question/problem. I have an Ademco VISTA 10SE, with hardwired and wireless sensors, that has been in place for a long time with no problems. Over the years I have successfully added/changed a couple sensors with good results. No intermittent problems other than changing batteries. However, now when I go into programming mode to add a sensor, when I end out I discover that the panel has lost some or all of the wireless sensor serial numbers — that is, when I go back into the programming mode to review, the wireless zones are there with the relevant data, but the “s” after the loop field is now BLANK. This happens to several wireless zones at the same time, none of which were I modifying. If I leave the system in that state, then in some 12 hours as system checks the sensors I get the expected loss of supervision messages for those zones. This loss of the “s” & associated problems has not occurred randomly as one might expect if having interference problems, it only occurs when I am in programming mode trying to add or delete a sensor. This also happened a year or so ago and I reprogrammed all of the wireless zone and all has been good since then. (Though then I found I had to use new higher zone numbers for some sensors as could get the old original zone numbers to work). All has been well for a year. Then it happened again as I went in to add a new sensor– all of the wireless “s” disappeared from panel. I am below my max of 16 sensors. Any ideas? Am I doing something to accidentally delete all these? Is my main VISTA unit or 5800 receiver failing?
    Any ideas welcomed!


    • Glenn Hultz 03.16.2016/11:52 am

      Hi Scott, first let me mention that the VISTA 10SE is a limited support product – it was discontinued in March of 2006. Your best resource will be the Installation Instructions and they can be found on MyWebTech ( Having said that, I’ve never witnessed serial numbers disappearing on their own from any panel unless there were some sort of corruption. However, in the VISTA 10SE, *22 could be the culprit. If you had serial numbers programmed but then changed *22 to a 0, all serial numbers are removed at that point. I hope that helps… good luck with it!

    • Scott Kincaid 04.10.2016/10:52 pm

      I was able to resolve the problem by using the *97 option — Sets all data fields to original factory default values. First I recorded all the programming values, did the *97 reset, then reprogrammed everything. All is well now with no wireless sensors dropping like before. Thanks.

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