How do I get into programming mode on my VISTA-20P?

You need to enter your installer code followed by 800 on a keypad in order to program your VISTA-20P. The default installer code is 4112 so on a new panel you would enter: 4112 + 800. If you are not sure of your installer code, you can try the default listed above or use the back door method. **

Power cycle the panel > Within 50 seconds of power up press and hold the * and # keys simultaneously

The back door method allows you to get into programming without the installer code. Simply do a hard reboot on the panel by removing any battery connection, then pulling the AC transformer from the receptacle. You may need a screwdriver to remove the screw holding the transformer into the wall plate. It is not recommended to remove power connections from the panel side, since it is live and can damage the panel if shorted. After you have removed battery and AC power, the keypad(s) should be dead. Now reboot by applying AC power, followed by battery. During the reboot cycle (within 50 seconds of power up) press and hold the * (star) and # (pound) keys simultaneously for 3 full seconds.

If you successfully get into programming you will see "installer code 20" displayed if you have an alphanumeric keypad or "20" if you have a Fixed English keypad. The alpha keypad will allow you to enter sub-menus such as *56 zone programming and *29 communicator programming while the Fixed English is limited to viewing only the basic programming selections. See the VISTA-20P programming guide for other programming fields. First reset the installer code by pressing *20 followed by the 4 digit Installer code you wish to use. You will hear a beep after each digit entry, and 3 beeps after the final entry. You can reset other user codes once you know the installer code. After completing programming, it is important to use *99 to exit. This method allows you to reenter programming using the new installer code next time.

**Please note: It is possible to completely lock the Vista-20P from local keypad programming. There are a couple of ways this can be done. If the back door method does not work to re-enter programming, there's a good chance the panel has been completely locked out, and only the downloader who locked it, can unlock it.

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Are you under contract with Cox now? Have you considered switching to us using a Honeywell AlarmNet communicator instead? I'm not sure how Cox would feel about you adding your own zones (especially life safety zones) but you can certainly ask them. The concern would be that, while in theory you can certainly do what you propose, what would Cox do when they get an alarm from a heat zone that they know nothing about?
Bingo! That's what was causing the non-responsiveness to the installer code. Once I removed the interface module and connected the panel directly to ports 4-7 on the Vista panel, I was able to get into the programming mode. Fantastic, thanks! So the whole reason I did that is so I can install a wireless heat detector (rate of rise). the COX system uses Zigbee, and i haven't found any zigbee heat detectors I can buy. Hence, I'm thinking about adding a wireless receiver (e.g. 5881EN) and the honeywell heat detector (5809) to the system (zone 9) while I have the COX interface module removed. Then, reinstall the COX interface module after I integrated the sensor and let it be taken over as part of the overall honeywell system. Does that sound like something that would work? Is there an easier way to do this (I can't hardwire the detector)?
We would recommend re-wiring the panel so that the COX interface module is not connected at all to the system. Depending on the wiring, that may be cutting the crimp and landing the keypad wires directly to terminals 4-7 or disconnecting the wired from the module and landing those to 4-7 on the panel. It's hard to tell from your picture. Once that unit is removed, I believe the system will act as expected.
Hi Julia, I "disconnected" the touch panel by powering it down, which resulted in not having a panic alarm when pressing the * and # immediately after reboot. The Vista 20P has an IControl PIM module attached to it (see diagram below), which wirelessly connects to the touch panel. I did not disconnect the PIM module, as the connections are crimped to the keypay wires that come into the Vista panel box.
How was this device connected to your Vista panel, and when you disconnected it, how did you do so? We've seen these before, and there is usually some type of box that this device connects into, and the box then connects to the keypad bus of the Vista panel. I'm wondering if you removed the connection at the panel, or just at the box.
Hi Sterling, yes, I disconnect the battery completely and then the transformer from the wall. I tried holding * and # when powered down as well as after powering up (within 50 sec). The former won't sound the panic, the later does. But here are some more details on my system that I found out and may cause my issue: - The system is a Vista 20P with a 6160 panel, but the system was taken over by Cox Home Security with a Icontrol PIM V2 (I think) takeover module and a wireless SMC touch panel, which looks like this: - when I disconnected the touch panel and tried holding * and # during reboot, I just hear a single beep, but nothing else (no long beeps, no changes on the alpha display) I'm wondering if the IControl module is somehow interfering with me trying to get into programming mode? Or did they completely lock down my system?
When powering down, are you disconnecting a lead to the backup battery inside the beige metal cabinet AND unplugging the wall transformer from the wall outlet that powers the system? Assuming you are doing that, when you first press and hold * and # together, do you hear a long error tone first and then the panic alarm?
I came across an interesting challenge when trying to use the backdoor method to reset the IC. When I shut down power, reboot, and immediately press [*] and [#], the panic alarm sounds. I've tried a few times now, and made sure the panel is fully powered off. I've tried to press the key combination as fast as 15 seconds after applying power, same result. I have a 20P and 6160 alpha panel. Thoughts on what's going on here?
Happy to assist!
Thank you Sterling and Frank for all your help.
Yes, you can use up to 8 console keypads (in addition to the 4 AUI keypad slots) but you will need each one on a separate address (16-23).
Ok thanks, that's good to know. Assuming I had enough power, would it be possible to add two 6160's as functioning keypads to my current setup? And would they both get an address of 16?
Okay, you can do that by wiring it to the panel (and aux power supply as needed) and then addressing it to the default address of 16.
I'd like to add the 6160 at a door to use as a functioning keypad for arming/disarming, and also for programming.
You can have 5 keypads, you just can't have 5 touchscreen keypads. Are you hoping to have 5 touch screens or are you just hoping to add the 6160 so you can get into programming?
I would have liked to have 5 keypads from the beginning, but was told I could only have 4. Ideally, I'd like to have the 6160 at a door that I wanted the 5th keypad at. I understand that just for programming, I don't need anything but the 6160, but was just wondering if it was worth looking into what was involved and if it was even possible to have 5 keypads at doors.
No, there is no add-on for allowing more than 4 AUIs. I'm confused though. Why do you need more AUI slots? Are you hoping to add more touch screens or do you just want to add the console keypad? You don't need anything extra to add the console keypad.
Ok, thank you. Are there any addons that would allow a vista 20p to have more than 4 ECP addresses, or would that require a different panel? And if a new panel, is there a way to copy all programming over or would I be starting from scratch? Thank you again.
If you have 4 touch screens, you must have an auxiliary power supply already as the panel can't power 4 AUI keypads on its own. As long as you have enough power between the panel and aux power supply to power one additional console keypad, it should be as simple as wiring up a keypad like the 6160 ( ) to the panel. You could even leave this keypad in the panel just for programming purposes. The 6160 draws up to 150mA. The panel puts out 600mA like Frank said and the SMP3 puts out 2.5A. A Tux draws up to 340mA and a 6280 draws up to 270mA. Therefore, you do have enough available power to power an extra keypad as long as you have things wired up properly.
I have one tuxwifi and 3 6280. There is a board in the alarm box that looks like it could be what you are referring too. It's an altronix smp3. Is that what you mean or is that standard? Thank you again.
Which touchscreens do you have? Tuxedo Touch, 6280? I will need that to give you a power calculation. 4 touchscreens is the max due the ECP addresses, not power. The panel's ECP output is 600mA which generally is not enough for even 3 touchscreens. However you can always add an aux power supply. I would imagine that you already have one. Send me the model info on the keypads and confirm if you have an auxiliary power supply.
Thank you. That's what I was afraid of. I was told that the 20p could only have 4 touchscreen keypads and that I couldn't have any additional keypads (even regular keypads) because of how much power the touchscreens use. Is that true, and would I have to disconnect one of the touch to wire the 6160 for programming? Thank you again for your help.
Unfortunately due to the longer boot up sequence on the touchscreen displays, the back door method will not work on those. The only way to get in the back door is to use an alphanumeric or fixed english keypad. I would recommend the 6160: You can just wire it locally at the alarm cabinet and use it for panel programming. The touchscreen displays are not really designed for programming. Although they technically can get you in via the console mode with a valid installer code...
Hello, I only have touch screen keypads. What is the process to get into programming of a Vista 20p? I tried what was written for the regular keypads and nothing seems to happen. Thank you.
The check 103 error is regarding an issue with your internet / cellular communicator and would not be the reason you can't enter programming. What happens when you enter your installer code + 800?
Did you read this FAQ regarding the backdoor method? Have you already tried that? If you are getting a long error tone after trying the back door method that means you are locked out of programming completely. You will either need the installer code or swap in a new panel.
my vista 20p has locked me out how do I get back in???
I canot get in the program mode on my vista 20p iam getting a code check 103
When you say you locked yourself out, does that mean you exited programming with a *98 instead of a *99?
Hi is there a way to get back in to programIng on vista 21ip using tuxedo touch screen . I was adding smokes and by mistake locked my self out .

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