How Do I Disable the FC and bF Signals on a Honeywell Security System?

FC and bF can be prevented by disabling their respective programming fields. To prevent FC, remove any programming related to the panel's dialer. A bF message can be prevented by disabling the AlarmNet communicator. If a communicator exists, this may indicate troubleshooting is needed.

FC means Failed to Communicate (FC is the message shown on a fixed English keypad, like the 6150) or Comm Fail (shown on an alpha keypad, like the 6160). This message indicates that the alarm panel has attempted to communicate via the built-in dialer, and it failed to receive an acknowledgement that the signal was understood. This could be caused by the fact that the programming for the panel tells it to communicate in this way, but there is no actual phone line to allow it to do so.

Comm Failure is often seen on Vista Panels that previously used a phone line to communicate but now use an AlarmNet communicator instead. This switch may have been prompted by the removal of the phone line or a switch to a VoIP phone line, which is not reliable for alarm communication. Because the AlarmNet communicator receives all the signals that it's meant to send via the dialer queue, you cannot just simply shut it down.

To program the Vista P-Series Systems to communicate via an AlarmNet device, and to never attempt to communicate via the dialer, perform the following functions:

  1. Enter programming. Enter the Installer Code (default is 4112) + [8] + [00]. You should either see 20 (fixed keypad) or Installer Code 20 (alpha keypad). If you're unsure of the installer code, you can use the backdoor method to access programming.
  2. Remove the phone number. Enter [*41*]. You should hear three beeps. Enter [*42*]. Again, you should hear three beeps.
  3. Program dynamic signaling. Enter [*54], followed by [#15]. Then enter [*55], followed by [1].
  4. Exit programming. Press [*99] to exit system programming.

These dynamic signaling settings instruct the panel to attempt to send signals via the AlarmNet device first and allow it as much time as possible to get an acknowledgement. The combination of these settings, plus the fact that all central station phone number information has been removed, should prevent an FC or Comm Fail message from ever being displayed again.

If you are receiving a bF (backup failure, displayed on a fixed keypad) or a Check 103, LngRng Radio (displayed on a alpha keypad), and you do not have an AlarmNet communicator, you simply need to disable the communicator through programming.

Complete the following steps to disable the AlarmNet communicator in a Vista P-Series Panel:

  1. Enter programming. Enter the Installer Code (default is 4112) + [8] + [00]. You will see 20 (fixed keypad) or Installer Code 20 (alpha keypad). If you're unsure of the installer code, you can use the backdoor method to access programming.
  2. Disable the AlarmNet Communicator. Press [*29], then [0]. On older panels, you should hear three beeps. If your panel is a version 7 or higher, after entering [0] you'll need to press the [*] key twice.
  3. Exit programming. Press [*99] to exit programming.

If you're receiving a bF or Check 103 error, and you have an AlarmNet Communicator, then further troubleshooting will be required.

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