Why Did My Panel Report Code E903 "Start FW"?

Your communicator reports Code E903 "Start FW" because it is currently receiving a firmware update. This message lets the monitoring station know that the firmware update process has begun. During this time, you should maintain power to your alarm system and wait for the update to complete.

The E903 Start FW message is reported by a Honeywell VISTA Panel to indicate that the system has started receiving a firmware update. It does not mean that anything is wrong with the system. During the update process, the user should make sure that the alarm system remains powered on and connected to the network. The panel will need to communicate with the network for the update to go through.

As the update takes place, other messages may also be reported by the system. For example, the message E339 Power on Reset indicates that the communicator for the system was reset. This is a normal part of the update process. It may take awhile for the firmware update to complete. The duration of time it takes depends on the connection speed of the communicator and the type of firmware update that is being provided. In some cases, the entire process may take longer than one hour.

You will know that the firmware update process is finished because the message R903 "Complete FW" will be reported to the monitoring station. After this, the user can continue using the system as normal. Any changes that were made during the firmware update process will automatically go into effect, and the user will not have to make any changes to their alarm system.

As the update process is taking place, the Vista panel's keypad will continue to show a normal display. While the update is being downloaded, the system remains operational. It will only go "offline" for a very brief period of time during the "Power on Reset" phase of the process.

If you are wondering whether or not your AlarmNet communicator is using the latest firmware version, you can contact Alarm Grid online or over the phone and ask us. In some situations, Honeywell may push an automatic firmware update for a panel. If this is the case, we will usually make a blog post about this update so that users can know what to expect. Check our blog regularly for more information.

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