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!

  • Does your wiring for your smoke detectors go in a series or does each have a home run to your DMARC where your Konnected is? Did you put them in 1 zone or multiple?

    Would you be able to supply a sketch of the way you have yours set up? I was having trouble with some existing 4 wire smokes that I had (which I'm pretty sure don't have a siren/beep built in) so I ordered the same model you used and I'll get them on Thursday, but I'm hoping that they'll work unlike the existing, which I couldn't figure out (if they'd even work at all, which I am not sure they would).  Since you used the ones I'm planning on, any help you can provide would be great!  My set up is 2 that are daisy chained and then 1 that is separate.  On the old board I think they may have shared a zone and from the sticker on the panel, it looks like they are 2.2k EOL resistors? I am not an electrical expert but they are kind of a perriwinkle blue with 3 red stripes and 1 gold stripe on them.

  • They are in series - one zone- so its a slightly different setup than what you've described.


     I didn't install the wiring myself, so I can't say for certain, but check this out: http://cms.dsc.com/download.php?t=1&id=16756. Page 2 has a wiring diagram which I'm confident mirrors how my system is set up.


    You should  be able to test your current 4 wire smokes with the Konnected panel, even if they don't have an internal sounder -  just to confirm that the wiring works.  You may have to set them up as a Normally Open circuit, but when you press the test button, Konnected/Smartthings  should register that they are in Alarm. 



  • Oh, and one last thing - my End of Line Resister was wired in the actual smoke detector itself, not in the panel. 

  • Thanks, so you just have the EOL resistor but not the supervisory relay RM-2 (http://cms.dsc.com/download.php?t=1&id=13085) that is shown in the drawing then, right?

  • Correct. I plan to install both the RM-2 (power monitoring and warning if any one of the smokes loses power) and the PRM-4 (to interconnect all the alarms for sounding) but haven't yet.  It works without the RM-2, but it's not as safe long-term. 

  • Marianne, have you by chance installed the RM-2 yet? I just got mine and tried the install (sans PRM-4) but it always registers as smoke. Was curious if you had any tricks you discovered.

  • I didn't get one (so I won't know if it's the basement or the 1st floor per se), but I don't have a whole home full of a series since the 2nd floor was already separate wiring.  Here's how I did mine with EOL resistors.

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