Your Backup Battery Activates Automatically
When the power goes out, your alarm system will move to battery power automatically. This gives you uninterrupted protection no matter what the weather or external situation is.
As a result, even if there’s no power, your alarm is still running. If someone breaks into your home, we’ll be notified and can alert you and the police. By the same token, if you come home during a power outage, you still have to enter your code to disarm your security as normal!
How long will your battery back up last?
Running solely on backup power, your security system will work for several hours, which is usually long enough to restore power. In the event your power is out longer than normal and the backup battery starts running low your keypad will start beeping and show “low bat” on the screen. Your home will still be protected as long as your back up battery is running. In the event, the back-up battery dies your keypad will go completely blank with no lights. If this happens your alarm panel is no longer powered up and will not send any alarm signals until your main power comes back on.
You May Get a Low Battery Alert
If the power is out for an extended period of time, you may get an alert on your alarm system panel. This is simply because the battery is being used but isn’t able to recharge until the power company restores electricity.
Once the power is restored, the battery alert should disappear within 24 hours. If it doesn’t, feel free to give us a call!
Power Outage Issues
If your area has been affected by a power outage as a result of a storm, you may be dealing with one of the following common issues:
1. If your system is beeping, it may be because the backup battery has begun powering the system. Simply enter your keypad code and hit "disarm" to clear the alert. After power is restored, if beeping still occurs after 24 hours, please give us a call to schedule service at 772-467-0097.
2. If the panel shows "Comm Trbl" or a similar alert, enter your keypad code and hit "disarm" to clear the alert.
3. Once your power has been restored, the backup battery should recharge in about 24 hours. If the low battery condition persists, be sure to check the keypad display for any indications of system trouble. You can also look for the following common causes of low battery conditions:
- Unplugged control panel
- Tripped circuit breaker
- Outlet powering the alarm system is in need of repair.
If the keypad TROUBLE indicator remains on for 24 hours after power has been restored, the battery may need to be replaced.
What to Do When Power Returns:
When the power comes back on, your alarm system should continue to work normally. If you have concerns, make sure that the system is plugged into a working outlet. Also, check the breaker connected to the outlet and make sure it hasn’t tripped.
As long as the power comes back and the alarm is plugged into a working outlet, everything should be functioning correctly. If it’s not, call us and we can troubleshoot the problem.
Total Connect Camera Issues:
If you are experiencing any issues with viewing your Total Connect cameras please be aware that power and internet service may affect your ability to view your cameras.
How can I get my system serviced after a major storm?
For customers needing service calls or awaiting installation, we ask for patience as we may face higher than normal work volume resulting from storm damage or office closings. As always, your security is our top priority, and Airtronics’ is working as quickly as possible to assist all customers.
Preparing for your Service Call:
After a major storm or natural disaster some customers experience issues with their system that can’t be fixed easily and require us to send a technician to the home. In order for us to be able to effectively service your system please ensure the following items are addressed prior to calling and scheduling a service call.
-Power to the home is on.
-Phone lines are active (if monitored thru landline.)
-Enough time has passed for the power to recharge the back-up battery. This can take 24-48 hours.
In bigger disasters, like a hurricane or flood, the monitoring center (CMS) will still have power. A backup power generator allows this building to keep monitoring your home, answering your questions, and much more. If ever the monitoring center is down, you will be serviced by another Customer Monitoring Center, so your service never stops. Just be aware that the more centers that shut down, the busier the other centers will be, so please be patient.
*We highly recommend testing your security system after any severe thunderstorm or natural disaster. Especially if you feel your home has been hit by lightening or taken any power surges. Lightening can cause individual contacts and devices to not work properly and if the system has been affected the keypad will not always show these error messages. You also want to make sure your system is still communicating properly with the monitoring station. To test the communication of your alarm system please call the monitoring station at 1-800-432-1429 and ask them to put your account on test while you send a test signal. Please give Airtronics a call at 772-467-0097 to schedule service if you feel all other contacts and devices may need to be tested. *
If you are a cellular monitored customer your alarm signals are sent using the cellular communicator and the AT&T cellular towers. With the recent changes/updates being made to the existing towers and the new towers going up in our area many of our customers are experiencing “BF” or “CHECK 103 long range radio” error messages on their keypads. When these messages appear, you may hear your keypad start rapidly beeping. The beeping does not mean the alarm is going off or that any “burglary” signals are being sent to the monitoring station. It is beeping to notify you that the cellular communicator has a low signal strength or lost signal with AT&T cellular tower. When the keypad starts beeping, you can press 1 “OFF” on your keypad and this will silence the beeping. These error messages will usually resolve themselves once the cellular communicator regains signal strength. Below is some helpful information regarding these error messages.
HOW YOUR CELLULAR COMMUNICATOR WORKS:
AlarmNet communicators use the same networks and cellular towers that voice, text and digital data use on your cellular phone. Messages are transmitted using existing AT&T cellular towers via radio waves using different frequencies to a base station. The complete transmission path is as follows:
WHAT DOES A BF ERROR ON YOUR ALARM KEYPAD MEAN?
A bF error on a Honeywell Alarm Keypad means that the there is a problem with the alarm monitoring communicator for your panel. Either the communicator has been removed or it is not communicating properly. The bF error stands for "backup failure". It is sometimes mistakenly read as "6F".
WHAT IS CHECK 103 ON YOUR SECURITY SYSTEM?
Check 103 is an error code that shows up on Honeywell ADT control panels if there is a problem with the cell or internet communication. Usually, it’s an issue with the cell radio.
WHY DOES THE CHECK 103 ERROR SHOW UP?
Check 103 could show up if the cell radio loses cellular signal. This is usually the biggest culprit and usually from a temporary outage from your local GSM network. It could just be routine maintenance or general problems. It also could be a change in the environment (trees, buildings, construction, new roof or siding, etc.).
If you have a Vista keypad, there’s usually a 4 digit code after it also that could be any of these issues.
Whether you see a bF error or a Check 103 error, you can address the problem in the same manner. For cellular, it's possible that there may be a service outage in your area. Check to see if cellular service is temporarily down, and see if the trouble condition can be cleared when service is restored. Although cellular service outages are very rare, they do occasionally occur due to severe weather and various network problems.
A weak cellular signal may also result in one of these errors. The cellular communicator may have lost connection with the cellular network in your area. You can check with your AlarmNet dealer to see if your cellular communicator had a drop in cellular signal strength. These communication failure situations can resolve themselves. If the connection is restored, the AlarmNet alarm communicator should be able to automatically restore communications.
You may also notice a bF or Check 103 error due to something extremely minor like a tamper cover or due to your communicator not being registered. These errors may also be caused by loss of communication between the panel and the module. Another culprit could be the failure to receive acknowledgement of a signal transmitted within a certain amount of time. Some of these errors are the result of power and/or battery issues.
Most AlarmNet devices have a built-in tamper. You will be alerted if someone removes the cover of your communicator. When first activating your AlarmNet communicator, you have to remove the cover. As a result, many people end up getting the bF trouble signal once the device is active. If you simply put the cover back in place and then go through a disarm sequence on your keypad (Master Code + 1), the bF signal should clear.
Please note that the bF trouble signal will remain on your keypad until the condition has cleared, and you acknowledge the trouble by entering your Master Code, followed by the 'OFF' key, twice. The OFF key is also known as the  key. The complete command is the following:
[Master Code] +  + [Master Code] + 
That command is what is known as a double disarm. Your Honeywell Security System requires this double disarm because it wants to make sure that you are aware of the issue, even if it has already restored. That is why the bF signal will remain on the keypad display until acknowledged, even if the trouble condition is no longer present.
HOW TO READ THE LIGHTS ON YOUR CELL RADIO:
If everything is working normal, you will see a yellow light flashing not very rapidly. If there is an issue, you will see a red light. And if your radio is not registered, you will see a green light. (Why on earth yellow is the best and not green is beyond me. What were the Honeywell engineers thinking? They should have made green be the color if everything is good, but it’s not. Green and red are bad and yellow is good.)
HOW TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE
1. Test the system. There is a chance that the AT&T cell towers had a one-time loss of communication with your alarm system and now you have alarm communication restored. We recommend that you call Airtronics or the monitoring station (CMS) to do a test. If the test is successful, the check 103 will go away.
HOW DO I POWER DOWN THE ALARM SYSTEM AND POWER IT BACK UP?
Isn’t is crazy how most electronics that have issues just need you to turn them off, unplug power, and then power them back on again? This is called a power cycle. It works with computers, routers, and many other electronic devices. To power down your alarm system, you need to open the panel and disconnect the back-up battery. If you have a Lynx, you push the two tabs on the top with a flat head screw driver.
Once you’ve unplugged the back-up battery, you need to unplug AC power. AC power is coming from a plug (we call it a transformer) somewhere usually close to the panel. The Lynx has a white one and the Vista has a light brown one. In order to unplug it, unscrew the screw holding it into the outlet. Once you’ve removed the transformer, put it back in and plug the back-up battery back in.
After you power cycle the panel, do another test with Airtronics or the monitoring station (CMS). The easiest way to do this is to push the panic buttons (Make sure you call them first to put the account on test mode). You can do * and # for police panic, or 1 and * for Fire or 3 and # for Medical or you if you have the color-coded panic buttons next to your main keypad buttons you can press and hold one of those buttons until you hear the keypad start beeping. Once Airtronics or the monitoring station get this signal, you know your system is communicating again.
If it doesn’t, you could also try unplugging the cell radio and plugging it back in. You can do this by unplugging the little white cord from the motherboard. Once you pull it out and put it back, try testing your system again with Airtronics. Additionally, if you have the cell radio in the picture above, you’ll want to disconnect the small cell back-up battery and the power to the radio either from unplugging the transformer or unhooking the black or red wire for a second. Then reconnect and hope for a yellow light.
HOW TO RESET YOUR SECURITY SYSTEM AFTER ALARM ACTIVITY:
-Type in your 4-digit code and 1 (off). (This will silence the system.)
-Type in your 4-digit code and 1 (off) again. (This will reset the system and you should get a green ready light.)
For more information please visit https://youtu.be/V4nzGmfvZx4 to watch a video that explains the BF and long range video error messages or give us a call if your alarm keypad is showing any of these messages for more than 24-hours in a row.
The Airtronics Automation & Security techs are working hard on redoing a customer's audio rack (installed & wired previously by another company). Below are some pictures of what the wiring on the rack looked like before and some pictures of the work in progress.
Installation of the security system at a custom home built by Passage Island Construction.
Working on the surveillance camera prewire at the new equestrian stable in Palm City
Another custom home security prewire completed for Passage Island Homes Construction in Sebastian.
A few pictures of jobs in progress.............
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