How Do I Add a Siren to My Honeywell VISTA Alarm System?

You can add a siren to your Honeywell VISTA Alarm System by using terminals 3 and 4 on the board. As long as you do not exceed the max alarm output, then no extra equipment is needed. The max alarm output on a P-Series System is 2A at 10.5 to 13.8VDC. Multiple sirens are wired in parallel.

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If you are adding a siren to a VISTA, it's fair to assume you are using a hardwired siren. Although it is possible to use a wireless siren with the system, extra equipment is required. To use a wireless Z-Wave siren, you would have to add a Z-Wave controller, in the form of a Honeywell VAM or a Tuxedo Touch Keypad. You would also have to create special rules and scenes for the Z-Wave siren to activate during intrusion and fire alarms. Special rules and scenes would also be required to have the Z-Wave siren stop sounding when the alarm is cleared. As for wireless RF sirens like the 5800WAVE, you would need a compatible wireless transceiver like a Honeywell 5883H or a Honeywell 6160RF Keypad. Since hardwired sirens are usually louder anyway, most VISTA users will go the hardwired route.

A VISTA P-Series Panel will provide a maximum alarm output of 2A at 10.5 to 13.8VDC. This 2A of power comes from the system's connected backup battery. This allows the siren to work even if there is a power outage. If you don't exceed this output, then you can just connect the siren(s) to the designated terminals. These are terminals 3 and 4. If you are using multiple sirens, they will be wired in parallel. This means that all of the positive (+) siren connections will go to terminal 3 (bell output), and all negative (-) siren connections will go to terminal 4 (ground). If you plan on exceeding this maximum allowed alarm output, then additional power will be required. This can be provided in the form of an auxiliary power supply, such as a Honeywell AD12612. You will also need a compatible transformer and a battery.

For the purpose of this FAQ, we will assume that you are not going to exceed the maximum alarm output. This makes the installation process relatively simple. Complete the following steps to add a siren to a VISTA System:

1. Connect to Bell Output. Connect a wire from the positive (+) terminal on the siren to terminal 3 on the VISTA board. This is the terminal for bell output positive. If you are using multiple sirens, all of the positive connections can go to terminal 3 on the panel. As an alternative, the positive wire for one siren can be connected to the positive terminal of another siren, as long as at least one of these is connected to panel terminal 3. This is sometimes referred to as a daisy-chain. Many sirens will have two positive terminals to make this type of wiring even easier. It is recommended that you use red wires for positive connections. This will help you stay organized.

2. Connect to Ground. Connect a wire from the negative (-) terminal on the siren to terminal 4 on the VISTA board. This is the panel's common ground terminal. If you are using multiple sirens, all of the negative connections can go to terminal 4. If you choose to daisy-chain the wire using multiple sirens, only one siren must connect to panel terminal 4. Each additional siren's negative terminal can be wired off the siren that precedes it. It is recommended that you use black wires for negative connections. This will help you stay organized.

If you decide to daisy-chain your sirens, you can use the diagram below as a reference:


3. Test the siren. If your system is monitored by a central station, then you must put your system on test with them before testing the siren. More information on putting your system in test mode can be found in this FAQ. To test a siren, you must trigger an alarm on your system. The easiest way to do this is to arm your system and activate a Perimeter Zone on your system during the Exit Delay Countdown. If you don't have a Perimeter Zone, you can arm your system, wait for the Exit Delay Countdown to finish, fault an Entry/Exit Zone, and then don't disarm within the Entry Delay Period. An alarm should occur at the end of the countdown. Make sure the siren sounds. Then disarm your system. You can then take your system off of test mode. Always test a new siren after installation.

Note: You might also want to enable bell supervision so that your system automatically detects if there is a problem with the siren. For more information on bell supervision, please review this helpful FAQ. Although that FAQ was written with the VISTA 20P System in mind, it applies to the other VISTA P-Series Panels as well.

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