Can I Change the Rev Chip on a Vista 21iP?

The main reason for chip upgrading a panel is to support added features, primarily Total Connect 2.0. While the chip upgrade of an older Vista-20P may add this feature, the Vista-21iP first requires that the cellular communicator support it. If not, upgrading the chip won’t change that.

Because it is both an alarm panel and an AlarmNet communicator, the Vista-21iP is a complicated creature. Older versions of the system (Pre-Version 3) have an internal communicator that will not support Total Connect 2.0. For these systems, not only must the PROM Chip be upgraded, but an external communicator that supports TC2 must be added as well. Some of the communicators that can be used for this purpose include the GSMV4G, iGSMV4G, GSMX4G, 7847i, LTE-XA, LTE-XV, LTE-IA, LTE-IV.

Honeywell sells a VISTA-21iP PROM Chip that can be installed to allow the system to work with Total Connect 2.0. Complete the steps below to add the PROM Chip:

  1. Power the panel down completely (AC and Battery)
  2. Remove the existing chip using a small screw driver, paper clip, or chip puller
  3. Install the new chip
  4. While the panel is still powered down, set the Internal IP/GSM Jumper to “Off” by moving it to the bottom two pins
  5. Hook up the External Communicator (GSMV4G, iGSMV4G, GSMX4G, 7874i, LTE-XA or LTE-XV) per its instructions.
  6. Power up, AC then Battery
  7. Program and register the External Communicator per its instructions

Vista-21iP panels with date code S300 or higher will support the Vista-GSM4G communicator, and should have an internal communicator version 2.10.15 or higher. This means that they will support Total Connect 2.0. The date code will be on the upper right side of the panel, either silk screened on the circuit board or on a white sticker. It will consist of a letter, followed by a 3 digit number. If you want to chip upgrade one of these panels from a 3.13 to the latest version, you could do so by following steps 1, 2, 3 and 6 above. The features supported in version 4.21 that differ from older versions are:

  1. Added the Keypad Lockout Feature, enabled in *188
    1. If 30 keystrokes are made without the entry of a valid code, the system locks the keypad for 15 minutes (30 keystrokes = 6 attempts of code + command)
    2. While locked, the message "User Code Error" is displayed on alpha keypads in the locked partition
    3. Upon lockout, a message is transmitted to the central station (Event 461 Wrong Code Entry), as well as being logged in the event log
    4. When the 15-minute lockout window expires, a Restore message is sent to the Central Station and entered into the Event Log.You can reset by powering completely down and back up.
  2. Keypad Addresses 17 - 23 enabled by default (*190 - *196) for Partition 1
  3. RIS is enabled by default and can’t be disabled.

Please note that when upgrading an older VISTA-21iP for supporting TC2, we recommend adding an external communicator and replacing the PROM chip versus replacing the panel with a new 21iP System. Although both options are of similar cost, replacing the panel will force the user to reprogram the system entirely. They will also have to rewire and remount the panel for further inconvenience. Upgrading the PROM and adding a communicator is a much easier option. However, an exception occurs if the user wants to use the VISTA-GSM4G, as it is only supported by newer VISTA 21iP Systems. In that case, the user must replace the panel.

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