Honeywell VISTA: Arm Stay Instant, Arm Away Max

Frankie explains the features of Arm Stay Instant, and arm away max on a wired, Honeywell security system.

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The different kinds of panel arming give na end user great flexibility. These two settings let an end user disable the delay entry period, which is usually undesirable, but at times is exactly what an end user wants. The arm stay instant will completely eliminate an exit delay. The arm away feature usually has a delay in case there is one party who wants to leave while others are staying home. In this case, arming stay, instant, will disable any motion detectors while arming the perimeter zones. The Arm Away Max feature will arm away, enabling the motions, and will eliminate an entry delay. In this video, Frankie explains to end users how they can use these two features with their wired, VISTA systems.


Hi, DIYers. This is Frank at Alarm Grid here, and today we're going to discuss how to arm stay instant, and arm away max. These are two settings that allow you to disable the entry delay period on your alarm system. This can make it more secure when you're leaving for vacation, or if you're arming at night and you want to eliminate your entry delay period.

So what you're going to do is enter your user code, generally your master code or any sub-user, followed by the instant or max key. Armed instant is the same as armed stay, so it'll disable any motion detectors that are set to an interior follower or interior with delay response type. The only difference is it will eliminate your entry delay. So your exit delay period will still go through, you'll have your general 60 seconds on the way out, or whatever your exit delay selection is set to. So it will not be instant at the moment in which you arm it. But it will be instant in the sense that once the exit delay expires, if someone enters even through one of your entry points, one of your entry delay doors, it'll be instant alarm.

So this is useful, again, if you're arming at night, maybe if you're arming away when you're leaving on vacation and you can use a key fob or Total Connect to get back in the home, you don't need that entry delay. Basically it just makes it more secure when you're leaving the home long-term or if you're going to bed at night.

So what you do is simply enter your code. Ours is 1234 by default. And then instant. What that'll do is it says, arm instant. It'll still be in stay mode and disable any motion detectors, but it'll be in instant with no delay period on the way back in. So you'll still have your 60 seconds to leave, but there'll be no delay on the way in. If you do stay in at night and you forget, and you go to leave in the morning, the alarm will go off. If you are monitored by a central station, you always want to disarm as quickly as you can.

You just enter your code followed by the one key, where it says off. That's the disarm key. If you do that within the first 30 seconds, that generally issues what's called an alarm cancel, which means that the central station will be notified that it was a false alarm. Some central stations will still call to verify that. Most central station by default do not, so if you'd like to have your alarm company call and verify alarm cancels, you should specify that during your activation with them.

Now the other selection for instant arming is max. So we can do 1234 and then the four key for maximum. And you'll hear the loud beeping. That's your delay period. We can go ahead and disarm. And we're back to disarmed. If you were leaving for vacation for a week and you didn't want to worry about the possibility of an intruder getting in and having 30 seconds to damage the system in any way, then you could arm max. And what that does is it arms away, enables all of your motion detectors, and will also have no entry delay, similar to arming instant.

So that's how you arm instant and maximum with away and stay mode on the VISTA panel. Specifically, this 6160V keypad, actually 6160RF keypad, is in use with a VISTA-21iP, but the same measures are for the VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P as well. So if you have any further questions on arming instant, you can reach out to us at, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel.