28 Nov 2017
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We get a lot of customers that want to put a keypad in a location that doesn’t have one and doesn’t have any wires going there. A lot of alarm systems are pretty limited on choices for adding wireless keypads. And often they need to put on a new transceiver module which can be troublesome. One major benefit of DSC’s NEO is the PowerG wireless technology. PowerG only uses transceivers and every device is a 2-way device that both transmits and receives signals. What this means is that anyone with a PowerSeries NEO security system that has a PowerG transceiver, with either a HSM2HOST9 or a HS2LCDRF9, can add any PowerG Neo wireless device they want from door contacts to keyfobs to sirens to keypads.
There’s a few different wireless keypads to choose from as well, each with slightly different features. The cadillac of the NEO wireless keypads is the HS2LCDWFPV9. Let’s break down some of that part number to get into what kind of features it has. First, the LCD indicates that this is a full-message LCD keypad. The WF means that it is a wireless “wire free” keypad. The P tells us that it has proximity tag support. And finally the V means that the keypad has voice prompts and chimes. Keep reading for a more in-depth look at each of the above features.
LCD: Full Message Customizable Alphanumeric Display
DSC PowerSeries NEO LCD style keypads are the most popular style. They have a great combination of affordability and usability. They’re a little more expensive than the Icon style, but a lot more user-friendly. They’re a little less-expensive than their touchscreen counterparts, but they don’t sacrifice much usability although they don’t have the same great look and GUI of the touchscreens.
LCD keypads give you a lot of great benefits. One of the first benefits you’ll see is when you’re first setting the system up and doing your programming. LCD keypads allow you to see what you’re doing and check your work when you’re programming. When programming on icon keypads on the other hand, you won’t be able to see much of what you’re doing and in many cases you won’t be able to check your work. The advantage you’ll notice the most is that LCD keypads have the ability to have custom zone labels. So instead of seeing ‘Zone 1’ appear on the screen you might see ‘Front Door’. There are other things as well like being able to see the event buffer or more easily checking trouble conditions: both allow for quicker troubleshooting.
WF: PowerG Wireless Device
I’ve already talked up PowerG, but it deserves it and I think you’ll agree. DSC has improved on their previous wireless technology significantly. First PowerG has an open air range of nearly 1.25 miles. Obviously once you start including walls and other sources of interference it will go down from there, but that is a great starting point. The battery life for the average sensor is much greater as well at up to 8 years. This is thanks in part to PowerG’s adaptive transmission power. A door contact for instance can get feedback from the transceiver to determine how strong of a signal is needed to reach the transceiver reliably. This way it doesn’t need to transmit its signal as far as possible when it only needs to send the signal 20 feet for example. In addition to the great range, PowerG also has frequency hopping that can be used to get around an excessive amount of interference on its normal wavelength. And finally PowerG has 128-bit AES encryption so that signals are much more secure.
P: Proximity Tag Support
Proximity tags are a nice feature that add even more convenience to the day-to-day use of the system. Proximity tags are small and fit on a keychain. They allow users to hold up their tag to the target on the keypad to allow them to arm or disarm the system without needing to actually enter a code. Each proximity tag does need to be tied to a user code though. This is an especially great feature for businesses where you may not fully trust your employees to remember their user code, but since they are tied to a user code you can still track who is arming or disarming the system.
Voice prompts and chimes are what sets this keypad apart from any other. Voice prompts will give you reminders on things like entering a code or that the system is arming or that there is a system trouble. These are useful, but nothing too impressive. The more useful feature is the voice chime feature. This will allow the keypad to actually enunciate the name of the zone. You will need to only use words from the keypad’s word library for this to work properly. When voice chime is enabled for a zone with this keypad, it will not only say the name of the zone for the regular chime when disarmed, but also when the system goes into alarm it will say what zone is tripped that caused the alarm.
Keep in mind that with the default settings voice chime is not enabled. You have to make some programming changes for it to work. Warning: Programming instructions ahead.
- You will need to go into programming and then to the section that corresponds to the keypad slot number that the HS2LCDWFPV9 is on. To easily determine the slot number if you’re not sure, go to section 860. It will display some information about the keypad you are on as well as the two digit slot number.
- To go to the keypad programming section for that keypad you’ll enter section 861-877. 861 for keypad slot 01. 862 for keypad slot 02. Etc.
- From there you will then need to enable the voice chime for each zone that you want it enabled. Zone chime setting start on subsection 101 for zone 1. And then they follow the logical pattern with zone 2 being 102, zone 3 being 103, etc.
- Once you’ve selected the zone you want to enable voice chime for, you’ll want to scroll to 05 and press * or just enter 05.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 as needed. Then press # twice to exit out of programming.
For more information about this keypad, check out our product overview video for it. It provides audio and visual examples of the voice features. Of course, feel free to contact us if you still have any further questions about it.