How Do I Upgrade My Honeywell VISTA's Version?

You can upgrade your Honeywell VISTA's version by replacing the prom chip on the panel's circuit board with a newer version. Common reasons for replacing the prom chip and upgrading the VISTA panel include accessing Total Connect and taking over the system from another monitoring company.

Prom chips are used as the primary method for upgrading a Honeywell VISTA panel. Whenever a prom chip upgrade is made, the VISTA system will become capable of new functions and capabilities. Some of these upgrades can be extremely important for getting the most out of a VISTA system. Vista-15P and Vista-20P panels must have a prom chip with version 2.0 or higher in order to support chip upgrading.

One of the most important reasons for making a prom chip upgrade on a VISTA panel is to connect the panel with the Total Connect service. Total Connect is Honeywell's interactive service that allows a user to access their system remotely using their smartphone. By doing this, a user can disarm their system, check the status of their sensors and control Z-Wave devices from almost anywhere in the world.

The VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P are only compatible with Total Connect if their prom chip version is high enough. These panels will only be able to connect with this service if they are running version 9.12 or higher. Meanwhile, a VISTA-21iP version 3.13 or higher can access Total Connect, but an older version can not be chip upgraded to add this functionality, and would need to be replaced. Additionally, a VISTA-10P will never be able to access Total Connect, even when using its highest prom chip.

Complete the following steps to replace the prom chip on a Honeywell VISTA:

1. Identify the current prom chip. Before purchasing a new prom chip, you should check your current prom chip to make sure that it needs to be replaced. The prom chip is a black chip that is located near the center of a VISTA panel's circuit board. This can be seen in the following picture:

In most cases, the reason for making an upgrade is either for accessing Total Connect or taking over a system. If you are trying to access Total Connect, you should look at the current prom chip's version. This can be seen in the last few digits. After the panel's model is displayed (e.g. WA15P, WA20P, etc.), you will see a dash, followed by the version number. In the picture below, you can see that this VISTA-15P is running on version 9.18:

2. Obtain a new prom chip. Prom chips are available for specific panels. There are prom chips for VISTA-15P systems, and there are prom chips for VISTA-20P systems. It is also possible to upgrade your VISTA panel's prom chip with a prom chip that is not made for that particular system (e.g. using a VISTA-15P prom chip on a VISTA-20P system). However, it's usually best to get the prom chip that is designated for the system in question. Remember, if you are trying to access Total Connect, a VISTA-15P or VISTA-20P system will require version 9.12 or higher.

3. Remove the current prom chip. Power the system down before attempting to remove the prom chip. With the system completely powered down, use a thin object, such as the metal portion of a binder clip, pull off each corner of the prom chip, and then pull it straight up from the panel.

4. Apply the new prom chip. Press the new prom chip into place in the same location as the previous prom chip, with the writing uprght. Make sure that it clicks into place. You can then power on the system, and the prom chip upgrade will be automatically applied.

The video below will show you how to upgrade a prom chip on a Honeywell VISTA panel:

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Can I put a new 20P chip to replace my 15P chip on my 15P board? I would like to upgrade it to get more key fob zones as well as the total connect. My current chip is a WA15P-3.1 (from 2005).

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