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Author Topic: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions  (Read 3565 times)

Offline manicfarmer

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Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« on: March 23, 2016, 07:03:53 pm »
To start I am not asking advice on how to configure my panel but more querying as to whether said configuration is causing strange behavior.  First of all the plugin seems to be working great from what I can tell so hats off to Futzle, great job writing and supporting this plugin.  After finally getting this function I am seeing some strange behavior that I think I now understand.  My assumption is this behavior is the result of how the company setup my system configured my panel.

When I got my system seeing my zones it was a bit of a realization for me as I didn't expect things to work the way they are working.  In my ignorance I thought I could detect what window was opened or what specific door triggered a fault.  None the less, that isn't the end of the world.  What I have observed is that I have multiple windows and doors tied to different zones.  So all I really know is that  specific zone is faulted.  So my first question is can I re-arrange things in different zones according to what makes sense for me.  ie...put all external doors on a zone, put all windows on a zone, etc?  I assume the limitation would start to be the number of zones my panel contains.  My real question about this is whether or not there is any limit to how many sensors I can connect to a zone?

The second thing I am noticing is the nature as to how my zones are armed when my partition is not armed.  When I connected the Caddx I started getting super spammed by the system every time anything would happen.  Motion, windows, doors, any activity would send an email, text message and push notification to the app on my phone.  This resulted in my phone absolutely blowing up ever few seconds as my wife moved around the house.  To fix that I have had to temporarily remove notifications from MCV.  After doing some research on this forum I think the issue is that my zones are all "armed" when the partition isn't armed.  I used the plugin to review event logs from the panel and it is reporting strange things like "burglary" by motion detectors.  I suspect this is because those zones that the motion detectors are connected to are "armed" at the panel.  So what I think is the folks that setup my system did the bare minimum to only make things behave appropriately in regards to partition arming and notifying my monitoring service.  So the panel is complaining that these zones are armed and MCV sees this as an issue as well.  I have somewhat confirmed this is the problem by disarming the zone via the plugin.  It disarms the zone on my panel so I can arm the partition with that zone being faulted.  Additionally I don't get notifications from MCV.  So is my assessment about this correct?  If so I guess I need to get my installer to fix this on the panel side.  I am pretty ignorant to the panel. 

So now that I have this setup I want to try and start doing something with all this.  So I was looking at setting up a scene to arm my home in the evening.  I noticed these giant buttons in the MCV UI about "Home","Away","Vacation","Night".  So I clicked home and noticed that it disarms all my zones.  Hmmmm....that sounds like how things should be when I am at home.  What I noticed though is that it seems to only arm those zones in MCV but doesn't send the command to the panel.  That is a guess because after a few seconds the zones go back to the state they were in before.  And they don't seem to ever bypass when I look at my keypad after clicking the home button.  Should those zones bypass at the controller level when I click the home command on the UI?  I also  noticed that the Home and Night options don't seem to do anything in regards to arming a partition.  Is this how folks are arming their homes remotely?  I noticed I couldn't arm via my mobile app on the phone.  Is there a way to get that working, maybe via a scene or something.  I guess more or less I am querying on how folks are using this to arm their home and interact with the system remotely.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 07:14:51 pm »
Arming your sensors are not coming from arming your panel. Those are different things. And arming your sensors in vera is not going to arm your panel either. This are unrelated items and they exist on any sensor zwave or from the alarm panel. 

Using home and away may work for you, it didn't for me. Somethings I want alerts for when I'm home somethings I do not.

I use PLEG plugin for the logic behind this.

But you can setup home and away to arm and disarm your sensors in vera if you would like. Use scenes or what ever options you would like. Geofence, ping sensor, iphone locator or a combination of more then one to get your home and away setup and working right. 


Offline manicfarmer

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 08:31:10 pm »
Thank you, that is helpful.  I have read users mention PLEG but didn't know what it was.  Looks like it gives you the ability to do some really cool things with scenes.  Going to install and play around.  I am still curious as to what MCV vision is with the Home, Night buttons.  The config I have setup on the buttons indicates it will bypass/arm specific zones but it doesn't work even though I know the plugin can arm/bypass zones with success.  It says it works but then the alarm panel more than likely reports the status of those zones and the UI is updated back to what it was prior to clicking the button.  In essence these buttons do nothing in regards to communicating with my alarm panel.

Offline futzle

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 08:54:11 pm »
The second thing I am noticing is the nature as to how my zones are armed when my partition is not armed.  When I connected the Caddx I started getting super spammed by the system every time anything would happen.  Motion, windows, doors, any activity would send an email, text message and push notification to the app on my phone.  This resulted in my phone absolutely blowing up ever few seconds as my wife moved around the house.  To fix that I have had to temporarily remove notifications from MCV.  After doing some research on this forum I think the issue is that my zones are all "armed" when the partition isn't armed.  I used the plugin to review event logs from the panel and it is reporting strange things like "burglary" by motion detectors.  I suspect this is because those zones that the motion detectors are connected to are "armed" at the panel.  So what I think is the folks that setup my system did the bare minimum to only make things behave appropriately in regards to partition arming and notifying my monitoring service.  So the panel is complaining that these zones are armed and MCV sees this as an issue as well.  I have somewhat confirmed this is the problem by disarming the zone via the plugin.  It disarms the zone on my panel so I can arm the partition with that zone being faulted.  Additionally I don't get notifications from MCV.  So is my assessment about this correct?  If so I guess I need to get my installer to fix this on the panel side.  I am pretty ignorant to the panel. 

If you're new to the plugin then you are probably on UI7.  My advice to ALL users who are on UI7 is to turn off the configuration setting in the alarm panel interface "Toggle zone bypass". If you don't then you will find that the armed state of sensors in the plugin tries to sync with the bypass state of zones in the alarm panel, and you will be miserable.

In UI7 the armed state of a sensor in the UI is something that is defined only by Vera, and has no analogue in the alarm panel.  Bypass state of a zone in the alarm panel is a feature of the alarm panel and has no analogue in Vera.  This means that you can bypass zones from the alarm keypad to control whether the partition sounds your siren when the zone is faulted, and you can arm devices in Vera to control automation and (crucially) those awful notifications.

Don't put too much trust in the Event Log tab.  It faithfully reflects what the panel has logged but the names of events seem to depend on specific versions of Caddx firmware and are often nonsensical.  At least they are consistently nonsensical over time.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 08:54:53 pm »
Thank you, that is helpful.  I have read users mention PLEG but didn't know what it was.  Looks like it gives you the ability to do some really cool things with scenes.  Going to install and play around.  I am still curious as to what MCV vision is with the Home, Night buttons.  The config I have setup on the buttons indicates it will bypass/arm specific zones but it doesn't work even though I know the plugin can arm/bypass zones with success.  It says it works but then the alarm panel more than likely reports the status of those zones and the UI is updated back to what it was prior to clicking the button.  In essence these buttons do nothing in regards to communicating with my alarm panel.

PLEG is a replacement for scenes. It is vera scenes on steroids. Stock scenes don't allow you to do very much when you want this if this or this and this........

For PLEG you need to install two components to make it work. and you should read (search) for the PLEG BASICS PDF file to start.

Back to the Alarm I think your getting confused as you have an alarm but vera alarm and bypass arm things is really made for people who are using VERA and zwave sensors as an alarm. So your thinking one alarm is the other and both are connected but they are not. I never recommend using vera as an alarm and your not but how vera see's it is this.
You can buy a few battery powered z-wave sensors a z-wave siren and then arm and bypass (use home and away) to arm your sensors and vera will set off your siren and send you a push notification.
Right now your looking at that and your trying to use that along with your real alarm and it doesn't really work the way you want it to. Keep the tasks separate and it will make more sense. You your alarm as normal maybe make a scene to arm your actual alarm panel but just think that the arm disarm are for sending you push notifications from VERA not anything to do with arming your actual alarm. Even at that I use pleg to send a notification based on this that and the other not even worring about if the sensor is armed or not. But the armed or bypass could be used as an easy way to turn everything on or off.  If you want to tie everything together then have a scene to disarm all sensors in vera when alarm panel is disarmed. And do the same for arming.

So you can use scenes to tie them together but don't think they are naturally tied together or that's why vera did that. You have a GE plugin, others my have a DSC, Honeywell, or no alarm panel. It's up to you to choose how you want each to work.

I also use VERA Alerts to tailor my alerts to my needs. Custom messages and such.

Offline manicfarmer

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 10:28:46 pm »
If you're new to the plugin then you are probably on UI7.  My advice to ALL users who are on UI7 is to turn off the configuration setting in the alarm panel interface "Toggle zone bypass". If you don't then you will find that the armed state of sensors in the plugin tries to sync with the bypass state of zones in the alarm panel, and you will be miserable.

I'm glad you mentioned this because I forgot to ask that question.  I found you posted that to someone else but when I go to the config section everything is disabled for the most part.  Zone bypass is so I can't deselect that option.  Is there another way to disable zone bypass with a lua script or something?

Offline manicfarmer

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2016, 10:34:08 pm »
Thank you, that is helpful.  I have read users mention PLEG but didn't know what it was.  Looks like it gives you the ability to do some really cool things with scenes.  Going to install and play around.  I am still curious as to what MCV vision is with the Home, Night buttons.  The config I have setup on the buttons indicates it will bypass/arm specific zones but it doesn't work even though I know the plugin can arm/bypass zones with success.  It says it works but then the alarm panel more than likely reports the status of those zones and the UI is updated back to what it was prior to clicking the button.  In essence these buttons do nothing in regards to communicating with my alarm panel.

PLEG is a replacement for scenes. It is vera scenes on steroids. Stock scenes don't allow you to do very much when you want this if this or this and this........

For PLEG you need to install two components to make it work. and you should read (search) for the PLEG BASICS PDF file to start.

Back to the Alarm I think your getting confused as you have an alarm but vera alarm and bypass arm things is really made for people who are using VERA and zwave sensors as an alarm. So your thinking one alarm is the other and both are connected but they are not. I never recommend using vera as an alarm and your not but how vera see's it is this.
You can buy a few battery powered z-wave sensors a z-wave siren and then arm and bypass (use home and away) to arm your sensors and vera will set off your siren and send you a push notification.
Right now your looking at that and your trying to use that along with your real alarm and it doesn't really work the way you want it to. Keep the tasks separate and it will make more sense. You your alarm as normal maybe make a scene to arm your actual alarm panel but just think that the arm disarm are for sending you push notifications from VERA not anything to do with arming your actual alarm. Even at that I use pleg to send a notification based on this that and the other not even worring about if the sensor is armed or not. But the armed or bypass could be used as an easy way to turn everything on or off.  If you want to tie everything together then have a scene to disarm all sensors in vera when alarm panel is disarmed. And do the same for arming.

So you can use scenes to tie them together but don't think they are naturally tied together or that's why vera did that. You have a GE plugin, others my have a DSC, Honeywell, or no alarm panel. It's up to you to choose how you want each to work.

I also use VERA Alerts to tailor my alerts to my needs. Custom messages and such.

Thanks for the clarification.  That makes a lot of sense.  I definitely thought Vera was trying to "arm" "bypass" my zones.  I have a simple scene arm the house, it should shut one of my garage doors if it is open and arm the alarm.  I will read up on PLEG as it looks like the way to handle complex scenes.  Now that I know how to build my own sensors and integrate them into this system I think I will be doing a lot more with scenes finally.  :)

Offline futzle

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 12:16:26 am »
Zone bypass is [ disabled ] so I can't deselect that option.  Is there another way to disable zone bypass with a lua script or something?

You must go (back into) to the alarm panel programming interface (i.e., your keypad), go to program mode, and disable the location bit corresponding to Toggle Zone Bypass.  All of the greyed-out options on the Configure tab are like that.  There's no Lua command to pretend that the bit is turned off (but it's a good feature request).

Offline manicfarmer

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 09:52:04 am »
That seems to have fixed the issue.  I went into Location 211-->Segment 4--> Bit 8 (turned it off) and rebooted the panel.  Turned on Vera notifications and started getting spammed.  I went to the configure tab and confirmed that the zone bypass was off.  Tried toggling a zone and it did nothing so what is up.  Then I thought, maybe despite the fact that they are not synchronizing any longer, the fact that they were left in a state of armed (because that was the state they were in before removing the toggle bypass setting) obviously they are going to still be in a state of armed.  So I clicked the Home button to bypass the zones (which used to result in the panel just updating the status a few seconds later to armed) and now my zones are all staying in the bypassed state.  No more spamming from Vera.  Thanks a bunch.  So does this mean that I have no ability to bypass my zones from Vera now?  That probably isn't an issue but just curious.

Offline futzle

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 06:08:35 pm »

So does this mean that I have no ability to bypass my zones from Vera now?

That's right. Zone bypass is now something that can only be done at the keypad, and Vera has no idea that the concept exists. Note that if a bypassed zone is faulted, it'll still show as tripped in the Vera UI, so you can still do automation based on it being tripped.

You had another question about having multiple sensors wired to the same zone in the panel. You can do this with judicious series/parallel wiring for sensors that are normally closed/open. What you lose is proper tamper detection (which is a big deal for security), and the ability to localize the trip to one particular sensor (which is not a big deal for security but is a big deal for automation). For automation you may want to go so far as to have one sensor per zone. Presupposing that your alarm panel has sufficient zones, of course. There's a Zone Extender card for some models of Caddx alarm panel that can help you to achieve that goal.

Offline manicfarmer

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Re: Caddx Panel Configuration Questions
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2016, 09:37:36 am »
You definitely answered my question about wiring.  I figured that was the case in regards to identifying a specific device that triggered a fault versus knowing it was one of multiple.  One more question which is probably more about my ignorance of this panel.  Mine has 8 zones built in.  After I got it installed I realized my garage doors weren't part of the system and since most of what I own that is worth anything of real value is stored in the garage I wanted that room protected.  Since there was no pre-wiring for the garage door sensors they used wireless.  I didn't think much about it then but I think how that is achieved is because I have a keypad that supports wireless.  I read on here that keypads can hold zone names instead of the panel so my assumption is that some keypads are more than just a communication medium for the panel but also an extension of the panel itself in the sense that it works in conjunction with the panel to achieve certain goals.  In this case perhaps a wireless protocol for communication with the panel that is done through the keypad.  This is mostly assumption based on what I have read.  If that is correct I think my keypad has the ability to let me use more zones with wireless devices.  The reason I mention this is because one of my garage doors is connected to zone 10 which has no physical terminal block on the panel itself.  My thought was I could move my garage door sensors to zones 9,10, and 11 (assuming this is possible) and then that opens up the door for me to leverage a few more zones to get a higher level of specificity regarding what device triggered a fault.  SO I could maybe group windows together in one zone and then if my wife opens the windows to air out the house the AC/heater can shut off instead of us realizing 3 hours later that the air was running with the windows open.  Of course that would require that I get an automated thermostat.  :)