How Do I Add a Siren to a Honeywell VISTA System Using a 4204 Relay Module?

You can add a siren to a Honeywell VISTA System using a 4204 Relay Module by making all the necessary wired connections and properly programming the 4204 module to the panel. The relay module must be addressed with the panel, and the output must be programmed to trigger during an alarm.

Honeywell 4204 intelligent relay board for wired security system

The easiest way to add one or more sirens to a Honeywell VISTA System is to just use on-board terminals 3 and 4. By using that method, you will not need to add any extra equipment, other than the siren(s). This extra equipment can include a relay, a power supply, a transformer, a backup battery, and a metal cabinet enclosure. If the power draw for the siren(s) will exceed the maximum alarm output of 2A at 10.5VDC to 13.8VDC (from the panel backup battery), then you will need to add a siren using a power supply. This can easily be done using a relatively simple relay like the Altronix RB5. For that application, no complex panel programming will be required. For a more intricate setup involving multiple programmed outputs, a Honeywell 4204 can be used.

The Honeywell 4204 adds up to four (4) Form C relay outputs to a Honeywell VISTA Panel. The relay board can theoretically get all of its power from the panel. But for this FAQ, we will be assuming that an external power supply will also be used. This is because you would usually otherwise just connect the siren(s) to on-board terminals 3 and 4 and skip using a relay entirely. In this FAQ, we will assume that a Honeywell AD12612 Auxiliary Power Supply is being used. This setup will also require a Honeywell 1361 Transformer and a compatible backup battery, such as an UltraTech 1240. You will also need to supply your own wiring. We recommend using 18 AWG, 2-conductor wiring for most of this installation. You may want to use 18 AWG, 4-conductor wiring for connecting the 4204 Relay to the ECP bus on the panel. Or you can double-up with 2-conductor wiring. Just make sure you make the proper terminal connections at each end.

Please note the panel and the power supply cannot share a transformer!

Complete the following steps to add a siren to a Honeywell VISTA System using a Honeywell 4204 Relay Module:

1. Power down the system. When adding new hardware to a VISTA Panel, you should always power down the system first. To do this, disconnect the backup battery, and unplug the transformer. The system should power down. You can confirm this by making sure the keypads are blank and that there are no LED lights on the panel board. Note that only the VISTA-21iP and VISTA-21iPLTE Panels have LED lights on their boards.

2. Make all the connections. You will now complete all the necessary connections. The 4204 Relay Module will connect to the panel ECP bus (on-board terminals 4, 5, 6, and 7) using a 4-wire connection. The 4204 Relay Module will connect with both the Honeywell AD12612 Auxiliary Power Supply and the siren(s). The AD12612 Power Supply will also connect with both the 1361 Transformer and the backup battery. All of this can be seen in the diagram below. We strongly recommend following the diagram when making connections.

Please note that this diagram assumes that you will be using Relay Output #1 on the 4204 Relay Module. This means you will be connecting to Terminals [1] and [3] in the diagram. If you are using a different Relay Output on the device, then match the Normally Open (NO) and Common (C) terminals according to that relay output.

In total, the following connections will be made:

  1. VISTA Panel On-Board Terminal 5 to Red Positive (+) 12VDC on 4204 - This is 13 on diagram.
  2. VISTA Panel On-Board Terminal 6 to Green Data Out To Control on 4204 - This is 14 on diagram.
  3. VISTA Panel On-Board Terminal 4 to Black Negative (-) Ground on 4204 - This is 15 on diagram.
  4. VISTA Panel ON-Board Terminal 7 to Yellow Data In From Control on 4204 - This is 16 on diagram.
  5. Negative (-) on AD12612 to Common (C) Output on 4204 - This is 3 on diagram.
  6. Positive (+) on AD12612 to Positive (+) on first siren in sequence.
  7. Negative (-) on the first siren in sequence to Normally Open (NO) Output on 4204 - This is 1 on diagram.
  8. Connect the 1361 Transformer to the AC Transformer terminals on the AD12612 - Polarity does not matter.
  9. Connect the backup battery to the AD12616 - Observe polarity.

Please note that any additional sirens will be daisy-chained to the previous siren in the sequence. To do this, just connect positive (+) to positive (+), and negative (-) to negative (-) for each added siren. Refer to the diagram for more information.

The set up described above will have the 4204 get its power from the panel. Since the 4204 is receiving power from the panel in that scenario, you will need to factor it into the current draw calculation. The 4204 draws 15mA of power on its own, with an additional 40mA of power for each relay output that is activated. Using one (1) relay output will draw 55mA of power, two (2) will draw 95mA, three (3) will draw 135mA, and four (4) will draw 175mA.

Note that you can have the 4204 get its power from the AD12612, instead of from the panel. This can be useful if the 4204 would otherwise cause the panel to exceed the maximum allowable current draw. The maximum allowable current draw for auxiliary power on a VISTA Panel is 600mA. To have the 4204 get its power from the AD12612, ignore Steps 1 and 3 in the above sequence. Instead, connect Red Positive (+) 12VDC on 4204 (13 on diagram) to Positive (+) on AD12612, and also connect Black Negative (-) Ground on 4204 (15 on diagram) to Negative (-) on AD12612. You will also also need to connect a wire from Negative (-) on AD12612 to On-Board Panel Terminal 4.

3. Power the panel on. Power the panel back on by first plugging in its transformer, and then connecting its backup battery. Any keypads should power on to indicate that the panel is now receiving power. Wait for the boot-up sequence to complete before continuing. You can also plug-in the transformer for the AD12612 Power Supply if you haven't already.

4. Address the 4204. First, enter programming with the command [Installer Code] + [800]. The message "Installer Code 20" should be displayed on the screen. This indicates that you are using an Alphanumeric Keypad. If you only get the message "20", then you are using a Fixed English Keypad. Do not attempt to program a relay module with a Fixed English Keypad. Instead, press [*99] to safely exit programming, and come back when you have an Alphanumeric Keypad. Remember that the default Installer Code for a Honeywell VISTA System is 4112.

Note: As a general rule when programming a VISTA System, you can press [*] to continue to the next menu prompt or [#] to go back to the previous prompt. The [#] command can be useful if you make a mistake at any point. Keep this in mind as you go through the programming steps.

Once you have entered programming using an Alphanumeric Keypad, enter the command [*79]. The screen should display "Enter Output No." The Output Number basically tells the panel where it can find the relay output. There are (4) individual relay outputs on a 4204 Relay Module. Each individual relay output is associated with its own unique Output Number. The first 4204 Relay Module programmed with a VISTA System will use Output Numbers 1 through 4. The second 4204 Relay Module programmed with a VISTA System will use Output Numbers 5 through 8. The third 4204 Relay Module programmed with a VISTA System will use Output Numbers 9 through 12. And the fourth 4204 Relay Module programmed with a VISTA System will use Output Numbers 13 through 16.

As a reference, note that a VISTA 15P will support Output Number selections of 01 through 08, while a VISTA 20P, 21iP, or 21iPLTE will support Output Number selections of 01 through 16. This means that a 15P System can only support a total of two (2) 4204 Relay Modules, while the other VISTA Low-P Systems can support up to four (4) 4204 Relay Modules. Output Numbers 17 and 18 on all of these systems are for on-board triggers, which are not associated with a 4204 Relay Module.

The table below covers all of the Output Numbers you could select. Note that Output Numbers 9 through 16 are unavailable for a VISTA 15P System.

Output Number
Association
1 Relay Position 1 on 1st 4204 Module
2 Relay Position 2 on 1st 4204 Module
3 Relay Position 3 on 1st 4204 Module
4 Relay Position 4 on 1st 4204 Module
5 Relay Position 1 on 2nd 4204 Module
6 Relay Position 2 on 2nd 4204 Module
7 Relay Position 3 on 2nd 4204 Module
8 Relay Position 4 on 2nd 4204 Module
9 Relay Position 1 on 3rd 4204 Module
10 Relay Position 2 on 3rd 4204 Module
11 Relay Position 3 on 3rd 4204 Module
12 Relay Position 4 on 3rd 4204 Module
13 Relay Position 1 on 4th 4204 Module
14 Relay Position 2 on 4th 4204 Module
15 Relay Position 3 on 4th 4204 Module
16 Relay Position 4 on 4th 4204 Module
17 Panel On-Board Trigger 1
18 Panel On-Board Trigger 2

The Output Number you should enter will depend on which Address Number you plan to use with the 4204 Relay Module you are setting up, and which individual relay output you are using with the siren(s). If this is the first 4204 Relay Module you are setting up for the system, and you connected the siren(s) with Relay Output #1 (as shown in the diagram in Step 2), then you should choose Output Number 1. In that case, enter [01], followed by the [*] key. Otherwise, enter the appropriate Output Number for the system as described in the table above, and press the [*] key to continue. Remember the Output Number, as you will need it when programming the Output Functions in Step 6.

The next step is to set the Output Type. Since you are using a relay on a Honeywell 4204 Relay Module, you will enter [1], followed by the [*] key. Next, you will be prompted to select the Module Address. This is the Address associated with the 4204 Relay Module itself. You can choose between Address Numbers 12 through 13 (VISTA-15P) or 12 through 15. Remember that a VISTA System only has enough Address slots for up to four (4) 4204 Relay Modules. However, since a VISTA 15P only has eight (8) Output Number slots available, you would never use more than two (2) 4204 Relay Modules on that system.

The table below shows what each Address Number refers to:

Address Number
Relay Module
12 First 4204 Module
13 Second 4204 Module
14 Third 4204 Module
15 Fourth 4204 Module

If this is the first 4204 Relay Module you are adding to the VISTA System, you can just enter [12], followed by the [*] key. If you already have one or more 4204 Relay Modules set up with the system, then you can choose a different Address Number. We recommend choosing the next available Address Number in the sequence to avoid confusion. Remember the Address Number, as you will need it when setting the DIP Switches for the 4204 Relay Module in Step 5. Press the [*] key after selecting the Address Number to continue.

You will now be prompted to select the Relay Position. This refers to which of the four (4) physical Relay Outputs you are using on the 4204 Relay Module. If you followed the diagram in Step 2 exactly, then you have the the AD12612 and the siren(s) connected with Relay Position #1 on the 4204. This can be seen in the 4204 Relay Module featured in the wiring diagram shown in Step 2. Note that the 4204 Terminals labeled 1 and 3 in the diagram are being used. Terminals 1 and 3 are associated with Relay Output #1. In that case, you would enter [1], followed by the [*] key. If you are using a different Relay on the 4204 Relay Module, then you would enter the appropriate Relay Output number (1 through 4) instead, and press the [*] key after making your selection.

You will now be prompted to program the next available Output Number for the system. Since you do not need to program another Output Number, you can just press [00] to exit out of [*79] programming.

5. Set the DIP switches. Before you continue programming, now is a good time to set the DIP switches on the 4204 Relay Module. You should set the DIP switches based on the Address Number you selected in the previous step. For this application, you would really only use Address Number 12, 13, 14, or 15. The diagram below shows all of the possible Address settings and their associated DIP switch positions. For Module Address 12, DIPS 2, 3, and 6 are ON. DIP 1 is ON if you want Tamper DISABLED, and OFF if you want Tamper ENABLED.

6. Program Output Functions. It is now time to program the Output Functions. The Output Functions determine what instances will cause the system to activate the relay output you addressed in Step 4. For full siren functionality, you must program three (3) Output Functions. The first Output Function will tell the 4204 Relay Module to activate the siren(s) during Burglary Alarms. The second Output Function will tell the 4204 Relay Module to activate the siren(s) during Fire Alarms. The third Output Function will tell the 4204 Relay Module to stop the siren(s) when an alarm is cleared.

First, if you haven't already, enter system programming on an Alphanumeric Keypad. Then enter [*80] to access the Output Functions Menu. You will be prompted to choose the Output Function. If this is the first Output Function being set up on the system, you should enter [01]. If there are existing Output Functions set up, you should choose the next one available in the sequence to avoid confusion. Please note that a VISTA 15P can have up to 24 Output Functions, while a VISTA 20P, 21iP or 21iPLTE can have up to 48 Output Functions. Press the [*] key to continue after selecting the Output Function you are configuring.

Next, a summary screen of the selected Output Function will be displayed. You can press [*] to continue. You will then select what activates the Relay Output. In this case, you want a system event (Burglary Alarm, Fire Alarm, or Alarm Clear) to trigger the Relay Output. Enter [2] for Zone Type. You will then be prompted to enter the Zone Type. Enter the corresponding Zone Type Number for the condition that you want to trigger the Relay Output. Enter [*] after making your selection.

The table below shows Zone Types applicable for this application. Remember that Sirens stop sounding after Bell Timeout, or when a valid Disarm command is entered, whichever occurs first.

Zone Type Number
Trigger
33 Any Burglary Alarm
39 Any Fire Alarm
36 Bell Timeout OR Disarm

You will then need to enter a Partition Number associated with the event. Assuming that you want the siren(s) to activate regardless of partition, enter [0] for Any Partition. If you only want the siren(s) to activate for events associated with Partition 1, enter [1]. If you only want the siren(s) to activate for events associated with Partition 2, enter [2]. If you only want the siren(s) to activate for events associated with the Common Partition, enter [3].

Next, you will choose the Output Action. If you are programming the Output Functions to initiate the siren(s) for Burglary Alarms and Fire Alarms (Zone Type Numbers 33 and 39, respectively), you should enter [2], which refers to "Close and Stay Closed". If you are programming the Output Function to stop the siren(s) upon Bell Timeout or Disarm, you should enter [0], which refers to "Off".

Finally, you will need to enter the Output Number that you want to associate with the Output Function. You should choose the Output Number you selected back in Step 4. If you chose Output Number 1, then you should enter [1]. Otherwise, choose the Output Number you used earlier. Press [*] to continue after making the selection. You will then be taken back to the summary screen. You can press the [*] key to enter a new Output Function and begin programming that function.

If you just finished programming Output Function 1, then you can enter [02] to begin programming Output Function 2. After you finish programming Output Function 2, enter [03] to begin programming Output Function 3. After you finish programming Output Function 3, you can press [*] at the summary screen, you can press [00] to exit. Then enter [*99] to safely exit programming. Always use the [*99] command to exit programming.

Remember, you will need to program a total of three (3) Output Functions. After you finish the first one, go through and program the other two. You will need to use a different Output Function # for each one. When choosing what the Relay Output is "Activated By", you should always select [2]. You will then enter the corresponding Zone Type Number as listed in the above table (33, 39, or 36). You should choose the same Partition Number for each of these three Output Functions (remember that [0] is for Any Partition). The Output Action will differ depending on which Output Function you are programming. The appropriate entry there is either [2] siren on, or [0] siren off, depending on which zone type is being used to trigger the relay. For Output Number, you should always choose the Output Number you selected in Step 4. You can exit programming after successfully programming all three (3) Output Functions.

7. Test the siren(s). Put your system on test mode with the central monitoring station. This will prevent any false dispatch from occurring. You will now test to make sure that the siren(s) activate when the Burglary Alarms and Fire Alarms occur and that the siren(s) stop when an alarm is cleared.

First you should test for Burglary Alarms. Set the system to Arm Away using the command [User Code + 2]. Then fault a Perimeter or Interior Zone. An alarm should immediately occur, and the siren(s) should activate. You can then perform a Double Disarm to clear the alarm by entering the command [User Code + 1] twice. The siren(s) should then stop sounding after the first Disarm. That will serve as your second test for testing the siren stop function.

Lastly, you can test the function for Fire Alarms. The easiest way to do this is to just press the test button on one of your programmed smoke detectors. If your smoke detectors do not have test buttons, you can test using canned smoke. You do not need to Arm your panel before activating the smoke detector, as a 24-Hour Fire Zone will trigger an alarm regardless of system arming state. The siren(s) should activate. You can then clear the Fire Alarm by performing a Double Disarm. Again, you can do this by entering the command [User Code + 1] twice. The siren(s) should stop sounding after the first Disarm, and the alarm will clear after the second Disarm.

NOTE: The VISTA P-Series Panels provide a Temporal 3 pulsing sound from the bell output when a Fire Alarm is activated. Unfortunately, there is no way to match that output when using a 4204 Relay. Any siren connected directly to Terminals 3 and 4 of the alarm panel will provide a pulsing output upon a Fire Alarm, while any sirens being activated by the 4204 Relay will provide a steady sound.

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