How Can I Tell if My Keypad has an RF Receiver Built-in?

You can tell if your keypad has an RF receiver built-in by checking for one of a few different characteristics. It can often be difficult to distinguish between standard alarm system keypads and alarm keypads with integrated receiver modules. But there are a few factors you can look for.

Honeywell 6160rf alphanumeric alarm keypad with integrated transceiver

A wireless receiver is needed for an alarm system to support wireless sensors. The advantage to using a keypad with a built-in wireless receiver is that you will not need to add a separate standalone wireless receiver module later on. But if you inherited your system from someone else, then you might not know exactly what equipment you have. And in many cases, keypads with RF receivers don't have easily distinguishable features from their standard counterparts.

One classic example of this situation deals with the Honeywell 6160RF Keypad and the Honeywell 6150RF Keypad. The letters "RF" stand for "radio frequency", and both these keypad have wireless receivers built-in. But these two keypads can very easily be confused with the Honeywell 6160 and the Honeywell 6150 respectively. All four of these keypads are used with the Honeywell VISTA Systems, but only the RF models have integrated wireless receivers. Unfortunately, there is no glaring distinction between the RF versions and their non-RF counterparts.

However, there are a few things you can check to determine if your keypad has an integrated wireless receiver. Here are four ways you can try and distinguish between them:

1. Check the box. If you still have the keypad's box, you can check the box to determine the model. The box should clearly display whether or not it is an RF model.

2. Check the board. Open up the keypad and look for a white sticker that displays the model number. If the sticker is present, then you will quickly know what keypad model you have. Some older versions have the model number silk-screened right on the circuit board.


3. Look for antennas. On an RF keypad, there will be antennas on the circuit board. These are used for receiving signals from wireless sensors. A non-RF keypad will not have these. See an example of an RF keypad above.

4. Address the keypad. If all else fails, you can try addressing the keypad. Power the system down by disconnecting the backup battery and unplugging the transformer. Then reconnect the transformer to power the system back on. Hold the [1] and [3] keys on the keypad within about 30 seconds of powering up.

You should enter a mode to address the keypad. The 6150RF will alternate displaying oo then --. The non RF version 6150 will simply display a 2-digit address. This should tell you which of these keypads you have. The 6160 and the 6160RF will both display Con Addr = ##, with the keypad address displayed. Press the [*] key on this screen. If you are taken immediately back to normal operation, this is a 6160 keypad. If you are prompted for more information, this is a 6160RF. An RF keypad will always have options relating to the wireless receiver, while the non-RF keypad will not.

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