How Do I Turn a Wired Alarm System into a Wireless System?

You can turn a wired alarm system into a wireless system by adding a wireless receiver to the system. This will allow compatible wireless sensors to be programmed. By enrolling wireless sensors with the system, the hardwired panel will function almost no differently than a wireless one.

The defining trait of a wireless system is that it uses wireless sensors. In most cases, the only wire running out of a wireless panel will be the power wire running to the AC outlet. By adding a wireless receiver and using only wireless sensors with the system, it will become essentially no different from a wireless system. The only significant difference is that a wired keypad will still need to be connected with the panel for local operation and control. Please note that a communicator will also most likely need to be added for reliable monitoring services. We recommend using either an internet connection or a cellular communication path. It is also possible to use both internet and cellular for a dual-path setup.

In some cases, like the Honeywell 6160RF, the wired keypad can actually have a wireless receiver built-in. This will allow the accessory to serve dual-roles as both the primary on-site controller and as the wireless receiver for learning-in wireless sensors. There are also standalone wireless receivers that will simply allow wireless sensors to be programmed. An example of one of these is the Honeywell 5881ENH. But keep in mind that there may be a restriction on the number of wireless sensors that can be added based on the capabilities of the added wireless receiver and the panel itself.

If you want to take a wired alarm system and turn it into a wireless system, complete the following steps:

1. Get a wired panel. The wired control panel will serve as the centerpiece for the rest of the setup. It can be any wired system that will support a wireless receiver. The panels in the Honeywell VISTA Series are great options here.

2. Add a wireless receiver. A wireless receiver will be needed to enroll wireless sensors. This can come in the form of a keypad with a built-in wireless receiver, like the Honeywell 6160RF. Or it can come in the form of a standalone wireless receiver, like the Honeywell 5881ENH. Just make sure that the wireless receiver that is used is compatible with the wired panel you obtained in Step 1. Complete the necessary steps to program the wireless receiver to the wired panel.

3. Get wireless sensors. To make the system wireless, you will need to add wireless sensors. The sensors must be compatible with the wireless receiver that was obtained in Step 2. In other words, they must communicate at a radio frequency that can be detected by the receiver. So if you are using a Honeywell 6160RF Keypad or a Honeywell 5881ENH, then you will want 345 MHz wireless sensors. Some great 345 MHz sensors to choose from are those in the Honeywell 5800 Series.

4. Enroll the wireless sensors. The wireless sensors will need to be enrolled with the system in order for them to be used. This is typically done by accessing the installer programming menu through the wired keypad. You will need to know the system's Installer Code in order to do this. If you are using a Honeywell VISTA Panel, the default Installer Code is usually 4112. From there, complete the necessary steps to enroll and program new wireless sensors.

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