BBB Business Review

Partitioning A DSC NEO Alarm System



Hey, guys. Hayden here again from alarm systems store. And today we're to be learning about partitioning. I've had quite a few requests about this video and I just have not had time to do it. So we're doing it now. And essentially, this is just to be partitioning on a DSC, Neo. I don't have enough equipment to set up multiple partitions, but we're to set up two. That's why I have two keypads here. Through basically, I have everything currently set up just on partition one. So both of these keypads are set up for partition one. And our zones one and two, these two little door contacts are for zone one, are for partition one as well. So all we're going to do now is I'm going to jump into the programming and I'm going to show you how to set up an additional partition and how to assign different devices to those partitions.

So I will say right off the bat, if you're thinking about partitioning your system, a touch screen is a huge help in this regard. The touchscreen itself has functionality to allow it to interact with any partition, even if it's assigned to a specific one button keypads like this one on my right, this can only be tied to a specific partition, or it can be set up as a global keypad. And global keypads in this form are a bit confusing. Essentially, it gives you a whole new screen, a whole new layout you have to go through. And until you get used to that, it's very awkward. So I will cover that later on. But for right now, basically, just know that my recommendation for partitioned systems is to use at least one touch screen. So you have access to all partitions from that touch screen.

So, real quick, before we jump more deep into this, I want to explain what partitioning is for those of you that are still in the learning process. So, essentially, as I mentioned earlier, everything we have here is assigned to partition one. And that is the default partition that every alarm system is going to use. It just picks out the first one and everything you add, whether it be zones, keypads, expanders, whatever, it's all going to attach to partition one. What you can do though, however, is separate those out using the same mainboard for the system. So up here, I have the actual cabinet for all these devices, and that one mainboard can be used to create multiple mini systems. Basically, you can have up to eight partitions total, which is quite a few.

I've never seen a system that big before, but it is doable essentially, you're just going to have one or two partitions. Usually, let's say it's a residential application. You have a house. The house is partition one. You have a pole barn. Pole barn is partition two. Those systems are going to act completely independently of each other. And that is because what we're doing is telling the system to segregate those devices. And here in a second, I'm going to get into the programming and explain how that's done. But just keep in mind that if you're new and you're learning about the DSC Neo, or learning about alarm systems in general, unless you have a secondary building that you can tie to your one main panel, partitioning is not for you. So just keep that in mind as we progress through this video. Most people are not going to have to worry about this, but those that do it can be quite a complicated process if you don't understand what you're doing. So we're here today so I can teach you how to do it.

So let's go ahead and get started. So, real quick, before I do too much programming, I want to give you a rundown of what the system looks like now and what you would normally see. Keypad over here, it's just got a checkmark. If we scroll, system is ready to arm. That's all it says. If we open up one of these zones, let's say it's zone one. Keypad is going to say secure system before arming, and it's going to show me zone one is open over here. If we do the same thing, it's going to show secure system and show zone two. Now on the touch screen, you can use this zone status menu here, and it's a little bit more handy. The problem is that it does show the additional zones, even if they don't exist. That's really the only downside. So here we have zone one. You can see the checkmark there. If I remove the magnet, checkmark changes to an open door. That means the zone is open. Close it gives a checkmark back. Do it with this one. Got an open door there. Zone two shows the open door. It actually moves zone two up to the top so that you can see what's open as you close them. If you're going around getting a system ready to arm at night or something. So this is what it looks like when everything is tied to the same partition.

Now I'm going to go into programming on this keypad here, and we are going to assign this keypad and zone two here to partition two. So to do so, we're going to go into programming star 8555. Then we're going to go to section 200. So type in 20 zero. That is partition masking. Now, if we hit star where it says part mask one through eight, it is going to pop up and say partition one. Yes. That means partition one is turned on. Now, if we scroll through partition two is no, partition three is no, partition four no, et cetera. That means that all the other partitions on this system are turned off. So to enable one, we have to change this value to a yes. So change to partition two, hit star to change the n to a y. Now, what we just did, we just turned on partition two. That just tells the system that we are going to be adding things to a secondary partition to add more devices to it.

However, you need to go into another section, which is going to be sections 20 one through 20 eight. So if we go back to 201. 201 is partition one, zone mask. So what that means is using this menu, we can assign certain zones to partition one. Now, we don't need to do that right this second because everything's already on partition one. So we're going to go to partition two, zone mask. Now hit star. It's going to ask zone mask one through eight. This is just talking about zones one through eight, zones nine through 1617 through 24, et cetera. We only have two zones, so we're going to go into where we can find zone two, which is going to be one through eight. Scroll over to zone two and you'll see it's a no. Change that to a yes. Now, what we just did is we enabled zone two on partition two. However, that doesn't keep it from working with partition one as well. So if we go back two steps, go back to where it says partition two, zone mask. Scroll back to the left. If we go into partition one, zone mask into section one through eight and scroll over to zone two, you can see zone two is still set to yes for partition one. Now, this is where partitioning gets really confusing, because you can have zones that are tied to multiple partitions. However, if you do that, it means that to be able to arm either of those partitions, this door has to be closed. So generally with partitioning, you want everything as separated as possible, and that way it makes it easier for you.

Now, if you can imagine a scenario where it would be beneficial to have a sensor that is tied to both partitions, you are more than welcome to do so. Essentially, you just enable it on both partitions that you wanted to act on. The point of this video, though, is to show you how to segregate them and how to assign zones and stuff like that. So we are going to be completely separating our system. So what we need to do is in the partition one zone, mask where we're at, we need to turn zone two off. Now, if we just back all the way out, not touching anything else, it's going to say, system is ready to arm. Now, since both these keypads are still on partition one, if I remove the magnet from zone two, it doesn't take away our green check mark. It doesn't say a zone is open. Even over here, we still don't have an open zone, because partition one that these keypads are assigned to is not looking at zone two. Right now, partition one completely ignores zone two. The only partition that is looking at that zone is partition two.

So to be able to interact with partition two, we need to assign a keypad to it, allowing that keypad to interact with partition two. Now this is where I'm going to show you the benefits of using a touch screen with partitioning. So if we go over to the touch screen, like I said, zone two is not interfering with it currently. But if we click on the options button, click on partition status. Now, you do have to enter your master code, so that's going to be 1234 by default. Now, as you can see, partition one is ready to arm, partition two is not. And that is because I moved this magnet just a second ago. But what I can do, if I put it back, it changes partition two to ready to arm. So this is a huge benefit with partitioning systems because this touch screen, as you can see it has access to all eight available partitions. So from your touch screen you'll be able to arm and disarm any partition you want. So definitely recommend touch screen if possible. If not, we'll go over how to use a global keypad here in a few.

So what I'm going to do now though, however, is assign this keypad here to partition two. And that way it acts completely independently of everything on this side of the screen. So to do that we have to go into keypad programming, and for keypad programming we have to know what keypad slot each keypad is assigned to. If you're not sure what slot number your keypads are assigned to, we can go into our programming, we can go into section 90 two and we can scroll over to edit module slot. So if we click star on that, as you can see, it gives me the name of the keypad. This is an HS2LCDRF. That's this one. If I scroll to the right HS2TCHP, that is this one. So right now the touch screen is set in keypad slot two, and the HS two button keypad is assigned to slot one. So that is going to help you determine what section you need to enter for your keypad programming. Now, if we back up to where we get the module enrollment solid red lock and select 902, what we're going to do is we're going to type in 860 plus the number of the keypad. So we're trying to adjust this one. So that's going to be 861 because this keypad is in slot one. So type in eight, six one keypad partition mask.

So right off the bat it gives you the option to change the partition of this keypad. So it'll be section, as you can see there hit star. And right now you can see it's assigned to partition one. If we scroll left, it changes it to a global keypad. If we scroll back to the right, it allows you to select any of the other partitions. So for right now, going to assign it to partition two. So what we've done so far is we have enabled partition two. We assigned zone two to our second partition, and we assigned our keypad here to partition two as well. Those are the only steps that are required to partition a system. There's nothing else that I need to do to assign partitions for these keypads or zones. So now if I open up zone two, it is going to show up on this keypad that it is an open zone. On the touch screen, however, it's still showing no zone two. It's not even looking for it. So at this point, our system is completely partitioned. This is one system and this is another system.

Now, if I go to arm this, the only thing it's going to arm is zone two here. So now I'm going to arm both partitions and we'll see how all that works. So I will be right back. All right, I'm back. So, as you can see, I have touch screen armed. I have partition one armed. It does say up there at the top, partition one armed. And over here, this one is armed as well. It's got the red lock and it doesn't say partition armed because it doesn't read partitions like this one does. So it just says system armed in a way mode. So now, as you'll see, when I open this door, contact up here for zone two only, partition two is going to react. This keypad and this zone are going to stay armed and there's not going to be any problems. But if I choose that one, open that one. As you can see, system is in alarm. Zone two is the problem. So let me go ahead and disarm this. I'll go ahead and disarm this one as well.

Now, there's a couple of other things that we can do to kind of fine tune our partitions. So one of them is going to be delay times for each partition. The other one is going to be user codes for partitions. So we're going to keep programming over here just because it's a little bit quicker. So what we're going to do is we're going to go into section five for system times. Now, by default, I'm sure you've already seen this section if you're setting up your own system, but you probably set the times for partition one already, so we don't need to mess with that one. But there is a section for each individual partition where you can set up delay times. So if we want to change the entry and exit delays for partition two, you'll scroll over to where it says partition two and set up additional delay times. Now, they can be the same as partition one. That's not a problem. Or you can make them separate whatever works for you. But that is just one way you can kind of fine tune your partition, and that way it does act completely independently.

Now, another thing we can do is set up user codes so that they only work on each individual partition. Now, your master code, keep in mind, master code is going to cover all the system. Doesn't matter what partition you're on, that code is going to work for arming and disarming no matter what. But if we use the star five menu and create a secondary user code. So let me do that real quick. User one is the master code. Obviously, user two is free because it has this dash. So let's say I make it two two. So now we have a secondary user code, but after we create the code, we can scroll over, you can make a label for it if you want, but the third option is going to be partition assignment. So if we hit star on that right now, this user code can be used on partition one and it can be used on partition two. But if we turn off partition one now, that user code can only be used with partition two. Like I said, the master code is still going to be universal for the system, but that two two two code can only be used with partition two. And now that is essentially all you'll ever need to do for partitioning.

Now, if you're going to have a third or fourth partition, if you're going to have multiple mini systems, like I said, you're just going to follow those instructions. You're just going to relate it to partition two or partition three, respectively. So you need to enable the zone on the new partition, remove it from the old partition, you need to assign the keypad to the partition you want to use it with, and then from there it's just fine tuning it. That includes user codes and delay times. Once it's fine tuned, you're done. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I want to show what this keypad does when it's in global mode. So real quick, I'm going to go back into programming. I'm going to set it up for a global keypad. So we go to eight six one, go into partition masking, set it up as a global keypad, then just back all the way out now.

All right? So now that I have this set up for a global keypad, I let it settle for a minute so it could get back to what it would normally show after sitting for a moment. But as you can see, it's just date and time. But if we press any button, like this pound button, for example, it's going to ask you to enter your access code, and that's going to be your master code. So just type in 1234 and what pops up is 1 R and 2 R. And that is actually referring to the partitions. It's saying partition one is ready and partition two is ready. So if we remove the zone two magnet, it's going to change two to an N. That means partition two is N for not ready. If we replace it, it'll change back to an R. Now, that right there is a perfect example of another annoying little feature of global keypads. They time out very quickly. So if you're learning global keypads and you're trying to get used to it, you're probably going to have to enter your master code quite a few times.

But if we do so, and let's say we want to arm one of our partitions, as long as we have the R, it means they are ready to arm. All we have to do to arm them is either press the one button to arm partition one, or you can alternately scroll through and arm each individual partition. And there's also an option to arm all partitions. So that part's kind of neat. It's just a little awkward getting used to this. But let's say we hit one. We just want to arm partition one right now from a global keypad. If we hit one, as you can see, partition one over here started arming. Now I'm going to go ahead and disarm this real quick. As I'm sure you saw over here, partition one had an X underneath it. And if you ever see that, that means partition one is counting down its exit delay. Now, if we had let it finish arming, it would have popped up and said one a for armed.

If you want to enter, like programming or any of your menus while in a global keypad setup, you just do so before you enter the access code. So, for example, if I just hit star here, it pops up and brings up a menu of all the star menus. So if we just hit *8, for example, brings you to where you would enter your programming. If you hit *2, it's going to pop up with your trouble menu. Now, if you had entered your access code. Before doing that, the star button just gives you a long beep, which just means that was an incorrect entry. So that is another one of those little caveats, because you're going to get really used to entering your master code every time you want to access the keypad. But then when you go to get into programming or something, it typically messes people up because they get to this part and then they try to hit the star button and it doesn't do anything for them. So just keep that in mind.

Now, if you by chance happen to set a keypad as global and you want to change it back, all you have to do is get into your programming. So hit the pound button a bunch of times until you get back to this screen. Now hit *8, enter your installer code, and then you can go back into the keypad programming and change it back to a specific partition. So that's going to be for this keypad. 861, keypad partition mask, scroll back over to partition two and set it, and then just back all the way out. And as you can see, it went back to its normal system is ready to arm. If we open up the zone, it's going to show the zone for us. And that is basically the worst part of global keypads, is if you just have this as a global keypad, it is very difficult to tell what zones you have open and which ones you do not because it doesn't scroll across the screen and say, hey, partition two has this zone open, this zone open, blah, blah, blah, it doesn't say any of that. So you have to very heartily keep track of all your zones, make sure you know what's going on, know what's closed, what's not, and that way, if for whatever reason, partition two is not ready to arm, you know what's open and you can close it.

Now, I will say, in general, most systems, people are going to have a good idea of what sensors are on their system, but if you have a very large system, it gets hard to keep track of all that. So just keep that in mind. But, yeah, that's pretty much it for partitioning. There's nothing else I can really say about partitioning an alarm system. We could go into shared partitions and stuff like that, but basically, I kind of went over that earlier. You can have zones that are tied to multiple partitions. Now, I don't recommend doing that because it just causes more confusion on top of the already confusing setup of partitions. But this is your system. You do it however you wish. I'm going to go ahead and end the video there. I don't want to confuse you guys with too much more information, but I hope this was informative enough. I hope it gave you what you need to be able to partition your own system.

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