Honeywell VISTA: Power Down Instructional

Here you’ll learn how to power down your Honeywell VISTA system to begin the Total Connect 2.0 upgrade process.

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Upgrading to Total Connect 2.0 will unlock a range of new and desirable features for your Honeywell VISTA home security system. But, before you can get into the technical process of upgrading your PROM chip to allow Total Connect 2.0 to work, you’ll need to know how to power down your home security system.

The video explains that to power down your alarm control panel, you’ll need to locate the transformer that’s providing power to the system. For many people, this process is easier said than done, since that transformer isn’t necessarily located near the alarm control panel, and it could be plugged into an outlet anywhere in the home, or even the garage or attic.

For example, if you’ve recently purchased a new home with an existing alarm system and you’re unfamiliar with the system, you may have to do some serious hunting to locate where your transformer is plugged in.

The power transformer is tan in color, just like the alarm control panel, and it features either two prongs and a ground, or just two prongs. The purpose of this transformer is to step down the 120 volts of power being provided by the wall outlet to 16.5 volts, which is what the system needs to power itself.

The transformer provides that power to the first two terminals on the control panel’s circuit board. From there, the remaining terminals on the circuit board provide DC power to all of the different aspects of your alarm system, including your keypad, alarm sensors, and siren.

Once you’ve unplugged the transformer, you’ll notice that your system is still on. This is because home security systems are equipped with a battery backup which continues to power the system in the event of a power outage to ensure that your alarm is still working. As the video explains, you’ll need to disconnect your system’s battery to disconnect the system from power fully.

As you’ll see in the video, instructions are provided for how to disconnect one of your battery’s terminals to kill power to the system completely. For older batteries, removing one of the terminals can be a bit more difficult, and you’ll have to wiggle the spade connector back and forth as you pull the terminal back to detach the lead from the terminal.

As Sterling explains, you only need to disconnect one of the leads from the terminal; there is no need to disconnect both leads. You can double-check that your system is completely powered down by ensuring that your alarms keypad is no longer working. As long as you see no display on the keypad, you can rest assured that power has been completely disconnected.

It’s critically important that power is completely disconnected before you proceed with the next steps in the upgrade process. If you attempt to manipulate your system’s PROM chip while power is still provided to the system, you could irreparably damage the system.


The first thing you want to do to do your prom upgrade is to power your system down. So let's talk about how these systems are powered. They are powered from a wall transformer plugged into a standard wall outlet. You're going to have either two prongs with a ground or simply just a two-prong plug-in power supply, and this will be plugged into an outlet in your home.

While it can be difficult to find your control panel, finding this guy can be even harder. We've seen this plugged in on the ceiling of a garage next to a garage door controller. Sometimes they're run up into the attic.

Sometimes they're run through the wall into a completely different room from where you'll find this control panel. So you really have to hunt and find this plugged into an outlet somewhere in your home and unplug it from the wall. This is how your panel gets power. You've got your 120 volts coming into your outlet. And this transformer is stepping down that 120 volts from the wall to 16.5 volts, which is used for the system.

It's an AC transformer. And it's powered off of terminals one and two on the panel. And then the panel acts as a big power supply to provide DC output for anything that gets power from this panel, such as a keypad, a siren, a four-wire motion detector, a wireless receiver, or your alarm communicators.

So once you've found this, you unplug it. You'll notice your keypad still stays powered on. Your display will still be on. That's because these systems are smart enough to give you battery backup so if you lose power to the house, this system will still work.

So the next thing you have to do to fully power the system down is to disconnect your battery. So we've got our sealed lead acid battery, which sits right in the bottom of the cabinet. On the top, you've got a black and a red spade connector, and they simply slide off.

Sometimes if they're old, you have to kind of wiggle side to side as you pull away. And you don't have to worry about disconnecting both. One lead off has disconnected power fully to the system once you have your transformer disconnected.

At this point, you'd want to look and make sure that your keypad has no display. That's your indication that you have fully powered down the system. You really want to make sure you have it fully powered down before you ever try to touch or extract your prom chip.