How Do I Program the Alpha on My VISTA Panel?
Alpha programming can be accessed in two ways - through zone programming or through *82 menu mode. When adding a zone to an existing system, programming alpha along with the zone works well. But during initial setup, using *82 after zone programming is completed will make the process easier.
- Plan the descriptors. Vista panels have a vocabulary of over 200 pre-defined words. The Vista-15P, Vista-20P and Vista-21iP also allow up to 10 custom words to be created. Decide what descriptors you plan on using beforehand. Proper planning will allow you to use the alpha descriptors wisely.
- Enter Programming. Follow these instructions to enter programming on the Vista panel.
- Enter Alpha Descriptor programming. Once in programming, press [*82]. You'll be prompted, "Program Alpha? 0=No, 1=Yes". Press , then [*]. You'll then be prompted, "Custom Words? 0=No, 1=Yes". If you have Custom Words to add, press , followed by [*].
Enter Custom Words. At the "Custom ??" prompt, enter the custom word number 01 - 10 that you wish to program. The cursor will move to the first position of the 2nd line and flash.
Using the ASCII character chart from the programming guide (found at the bottom of page 11), begin building a word. While in this mode, the  key will move the cursor one space to the left,  will move one space to the right, and  will save the word and take you forward to program the next word, if desired.
To enter a letter, press [#] plus the 2-digit number corresponding to the character. For example, [#65] will enter the letter A. If this is the letter you wish to enter, press  to move to the next available letter space. Continue in this fashion until the word has been created. Zone descriptor words have a 10-character limit. Once the last character has been programmed, instead of pressing , press  to save this word. Then move on to the next word. Once all of the custom words have been programmed, press  at the "Custom ??" prompt.
- Program the Alpha. When you press 00 at the "Custom ??" prompt, you will be taken back to "Program Alpha 0=No, 1=Yes". Press . Again, you'll be prompted "Custom Words? 0=No, 1=Yes". Press . The first programmed zone, along with its current descriptor, will be displayed.
- Select a zone. If the displayed zone is the one you'd like to program, press [*] plus the zone number. For example, If Zone 01 is displayed, and this is the zone whose descriptor you'd like to program, press [*01]. You will now see a flashing cursor. If you want to program the descriptor for a different zone, press [*] plus the 2-digit zone number. You will see a screen showing you the current descriptor for that zone. Press [*], plus the zone number again, to edit the descriptor. This will give you a flashing cursor.
Enter descriptor words. Once in the edit screen, use the vocabulary list in the programming guide linked above to create a zone descriptor. While in this mode,  will move the cursor one word to the left.  will save the current word and move forward to the next word within this zone.  will save the descriptor and move forward to the next zone. Up to 3 descriptor words can be entered per zone.
Press [#] plus the 3-digit number that is associated with the word you want to use. For example, [#085] will enter the word "Front". If this is not the word you want, press [#] plus a different 3 digit number until the correct word is displayed. If this is the word you want to use, press  to move the cursor to the right in order to allow for entry of the 2nd descriptor word. Press [#057] to enter the word "Door". If you make a mistake, press  to move the cursor to the left one word, then re-enter.
The custom words that you have you created will become available alpha descriptors. Custom Word 01 corresponds to vocabulary word 245, custom word 02, corresponds to vocabulary word 246, and so on. It is recommended that you write these down to keep track of them.
Exit programming. Once programming is completed, at the zone number prompt, press *00 to exit alpha descriptor programming. This will put you back into regular programming. Press *99 to exit.
Note: The above steps are the same ones you would use when programming an alpha descriptor from within zone programming. The last prompt in zone programming is "Program Alpha 0=No, 1=Yes". If you press , the rest of the programming is exactly the same as the process detailed above.
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