How do I program a Honeywell VISTA-20P alarm system?
The mechanics of programming a Honeywell VISTA-20P are not very intuitive. Also, the VISTA-20P programming guide is written for an experienced alarm installer and not for an end user so, even with the help of the guide, programming a VISTA-20P can be a frustrating experience. That is why, here at Alarm Grid, we help explain the programming steps in a way that is simple and easy to understand. (Please note that the programming guide for the VISTA-20P alarm control panel is the same guide used for the VISTA-15P alarm control panel, so you can use the following information for programming a VISTA-15P as well.)
Before taking on the task of programming a VISTA-20P alarm control panel, you must first ensure that you have the proper alarm keypad for the job. Unfortunately, most alarm installation companies usually install a Honeywell 6150 fixed English alarm keypad, as it is less expensive than the Honeywell 6160 alphanumeric keypad. The 6150 is perfectly fine for arming and disarming your VISTA-20P security system, but because it has no alphanumeric display, it cannot be used for the more complicated zone programming options. Therefore, if you only have a 6150 alarm keypad, we do not recommend trying to access the *56 zone programming sub menu. You will not have the alphanumeric display that shows you which section of programming you are in and therefore, a single key error can leave you making unintended programming changes. You can use the 6150 for basic security system programming changes, but please use a 6160 keypad for zone programming.
To enter programming on a VISTA-20P alarm control panel, you can either enter your 4-digit installer code followed by  or, if you don't know your installer code, you can power the VISTA-20P down (remove battery backup and transformer) and then press [*] and [#] together within (50) seconds of powering back up. This is the "backdoor" method of entering programming. Most alarm companies change the default installer code of  to something different and they do not provide you with the installer code, so if your VISTA-20P was installed by someone else, you will most likely need to use the "backdoor" programming method. You will know that you have successfully entered programming because the keypad will display '*20" (6150) or "Installer Code 20" (6160).
Once you are in the programming mode of the VISTA-20P, you can review current entries by pressing [#] followed by the (2) digit data field. After pressing the [#] and the (2) digit data field, the current entry will be displayed with each number shown as a (2) digit display, with a single beep after each digit, and 3 beeps after the final digit. For example, if you are viewing the installer code by pressing [#20], and the installer code is set to default, the keypad will flash '04' (beep) '01 (beep)', '01 (beep)', '02' (beep, beep, beep) which equates to the default installer code of . You cannot make data field changes if you are using the [#] command. If you want to make a change, you will need to press the [*] key followed by the (2) digit data field. After pressing [*] and the field number, you will be taken to that field and you can enter a new value. After a value is entered, and a data field has been filled, the keypad will beep (3) times and automatically take you to the next sequential data field. In some areas, such as the phone number field, you may not fill the data field. In this case, you can press [*] after your final entry to let the panel know the entry is complete, you can then press the next 2 digit data field number to move to that field. Finally, after completing all of your programming changes, you will need to press [*99] to exit programming. Pressing [*99] saves all entries and takes you back to the normal keypad display, and allows you to re-enter programming using Installer Code + 8 + 00.
With an understanding of how to program a Honeywell VISTA-20P alarm control panel, you should be able to use the VISTA-20P programming guide to walk you through the various data fields so that you can successfully program your VISTA-20P security system. If you need any help in programming your VISTA-20P please call Alarm Grid at 888-818-7728.
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