Is My Honeywell VISTA-20P Keypad Alphanumeric?

Your Honeywell VISTA-20P Keypad may be Alphanumeric. The best way to determine this is to enter programming. If you access programming on an Alphanumeric Keypad, you will get the full message "Installer Code 20". If you enter programming on a non-Alphanumeric Keypad, you will just get "20".


In order to control a Honeywell VISTA System while on-site, you will need a compatible wired keypad. The keypad itself is not an alarm control panel. Instead, it is merely giving commands for your system to follow. These commands can include arming and disarming the system, making various programming changes, changing user codes, or more.

One thing you will definitely want to know is whether your keypad is Alphanumeric. This is because you should only make deep-level programming changes with an Alphanumeric Keypad. The reason for this is because only an Alphanumeric Keypad will display the complete menu options as you go through programming. If you try to make major programming changes with a non-Alphanumeric Keypad, you will be operating blindly. As a result, it will be very easy to mess up and make mistakes. This might cause you to accidentally make your panel entirely unusable.

The easiest way to determine whether or not your keypad is an Alphanumeric Keypad on a Honeywell VISTA System is to simply enter programming. You can do this with the following command:

[Installer Code] + [800]

Remember that the default Installer Code for a Honeywell VISTA System is 4112. If you have your Installer Code at the default, this command will be [4112] + [800]. Please note that if you enter an invalid Installer Code, then nothing will happen. Additionally, if you are locked out of programming, and you make a valid entry, then you will get a long error tone. If you are locked out of programming and need to get back in, please consult this FAQ.

If you successfully enter programming, you will get one of two possible messages. You will either get "Installer Code 20" or just "20". The message "Installer Code 20" indicates that you have an Alphanumeric Keypad. Some examples of Alphanumeric Keypads include the Honeywell 6160, the Honeywell 6160RF, and the Honeywell 6160V. After you make this determination, you can press [*99] to exit programming. Always use the [*99] command to exit programming. Never use any other command than [*99] to exit programming.

Below is a picture of a Honeywell 6160, an Alphanumeric Keypad:

Honeywell 6160 alphanumeric alarm keypad

The other message you might get upon successfully entering programming is just "20". If that is all you get, then you have a non-Alphanumeric Keypad. This is commonly referred to as a Fixed English Keypad. Although you can use this keypad for basic functions like arming and disarming, it is strongly recommended that you do not attempt to use this keypad for making deep level programming changes. Examples of Fixed English Keypads include the Honeywell 6150, the Honeywell 6150RF, and the Honeywell 6150V.

Below is a picture of a Honeywell 6150, a Fixed English Keypad:

Honeywell 6150 fixed english alarm keypad with function buttons

There is also a third keypad type that you may encounter with a Honeywell VISTA Alarm System. This is a touchscreen keypad. This type of keypad will look considerably different from a push-button Alphanumeric or a push-button Fixed English Keypad. You can usually determine if a keypad is a touchscreen keypad just by looking at it. Examples of touchscreen keypads for VISTA Panels include the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch and the Honeywell 6280.

One important thing to note is that you can actually access a special Console Mode on a touchscreen keypad to have it operate as an Alphanumeric Keypad. This is very useful for making deep programming changes. To access Console Mode on a touchscreen keypad, make the following entries from the main keypad screen:

Security > More Choices > Console Mode

Below is a picture of a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch, a Touchscreen Keypad:

Honeywell tuxedo touch wifi talking color graphic touchscreen alarm keypad

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