I moved into an older home about a year ago which had a pretty expansive wired system- 14 zones + a wireless panic button. Seeing as how the only thing that was being used were the smoke detectors, I wanted to see if I could revive the system. Having never done anything like this, the wiring seemed overwhelming at first, but with the help of Nate, some manuals and some trial and error I was able to figure it out. All told, it was a bunch of hours of research and troubleshooting, but in the end it was worth it.

The original set up consisted of a primary panel, a siren relay (they had two sirens, one is an intruder alert which literally screams "Intruder, Intruder! Evacuate the premises!" and the other is a good old fashioned regular siren), an 8 zone expansion panel, and finally a wireless panic button relay. As you can see, there was plenty going on here.

So here were my various points of confusion and how I solved them, in case anyone is wondering:

Zones: many (but not all) of the wires had been marked with a number, wire coloring seemed to be random and some of the zones had 6 wires associated with them (or so I thought)! Turns out wire color is mostly irrelevant with alarms (other than power), the three 6 wire zones were really just a keypad (4 wires unmarked) + a monitoring device (2 wires), and luckily the alarm keypad had a zone listing that i could scroll through. This was the source of a lot of confusion at first given the mess of wires, and honestly, it was a pretty simple answer after some sleuthing. Chalk this one up to having never worked in an alarm panel before.

Power: There was no power plug for me to run the DC adapter from. Instead, there are two 14 gauge wires that come in with the rest of the wiring. After some pretty silly back and forth with Nate (silly on my part - I was assuming they were running 120V AC directly to the panel given the gauge wire, which honestly, is pretty stupid) I found the 120V to 16VAC transformer hidden in my mechanical room. To convert, I just plugged in the 12VDC adapter that came with the kit, attached a female DC to screw terminal adapter, reused the wiring that goes up to my alarm panel, then attached another terminal adapter there to convert it back to a DC plug - a bit hacky, but whatever.

Smoke Detectors: These gave me the most anxiety given that they are a pretty important component of safety. If one of my glass break sensors doesn't work, bfd, but if the smoke detectors don't, that's dangerous. Anyways, turns out I had 2-wire low voltage smokes. Luckily, the house had been wired for 4-wire smokes. They were all roughly 8 years old, so almost end of life, so I just took the plunge and bought some new DSC 410BSTs' that Nate recommends. They were only $26 online, much cheaper than the other recommendations. I was expecting the wiring of 4-wire smokes to be much more complicated, but in reality it was pretty simple - just had to remember to yank the end of line resister from my old setup and put it in the new set up. I still need to decide whether to implement a relay to have all smokes go off if one goes off, but they are pretty loud as is.  Lastly, I made sure to buy a UPS for both the Konnected boards as well as my modem/router/smartthings devices to make sure that a power outage wouldn't bring down the full system.

so that's it for now!

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