Can a 6150 be used for programming a system?

If you look at the documentation regarding programming for any Honeywell Vista series control, when it comes to instructions for programming, you will see a notation somewhere that an Alpha keypad is required to complete programming.  This often begs the question, "Why?"  The reason for this is not that the panel somehow knows you're using a 6150  or other Fixed-English keypad, and blocks your entry to programming.  On the contrary, a Vista series control panel will allow any working keypad to enter programming if the correct steps are followed.  The requirement stems from the fact that certain areas of programming are menu-driven, and the 6150, because it is a Fixed-English keypad, is incapable of displaying these menu prompts.  Because of this limitation, it is very easy to get lost in a menu driven field, such as Zone Programming, and make unintended changes that render your system incomplete and less than safe.  

What is a Fixed-English keypad, you might ask?  A Fixed-English keypad, as its name implies, is only capable of displaying a fixed vocabulary of words and numbers. Away, Stay, Instant, Chime, AC, BAT, these are a few of the words that can be displayed.  The difference between a Fixed-English, and an Alpha keypad, is that the Alpha Keypad supports full display of all menu-driven programming fields, as well as custom alpha descriptors for zones, a custom message on the "Disarmed" screen, and any other message the Vista panel may need to display, in easy to comprehend text.  The Fixed-English keypad, on the other hand, must make do with its limited fixed word vocabulary in conjunction with zone numbers.  

So, the question remains, can a 6150 be used to program a system?  The answer is, yes, and no.  If you need to quickly enter programming to change a non-menu driven field, such as the Installer Code, the account number, the receiver phone number, etc. then yes, you can do this with a 6150.  However, if you need to enter any menu-driven field, such as *29, *56, *58, *79, *80 or ANY other menu-driven field, doing so with a 6150 or any other Fixed-English keypad can be a recipe for disaster.  

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