Honeywell Ademco Vista Intrusion System Tested

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 11, 2017

One of the biggest brands in security holds one of the most common intrusion lines. We bought and tested a Honeywell Vista 15P intrusion panel commonly used in both residential and small business markets.

** *** ********* ****, we ********* * ***** 15P ** *** ********* criteria:

  • ******** ********
  • ****** *** ****** ************
  • ****** ***********
  • **** ** *** ** IP-based ***********
  • *** ******** *******
  • ****** *****
  • ********** *******
  • ****** **************

******, ** ******* *** detail *** ******* *********** to ***** ******* *********** and ***** ******** ********* alarm *******.

*********

*** ***** **** *** some **********, ********** ******** to ***** ***** ********** or *********** *******:

  • ***********:*** ** *********** ********* of ***** *** **** availability ** *** ******, Vista ******* *** ****** toward *** ***-*** ** similar ***** *******.
  • **** ****** *******: ****** **** *** to ****** ** **-**** systems, ***** ****** *** compatible **** * *********** range ** ******* *** system ******* *** ********* options *** *** ******* by ***** * *** basic *****.
  • ************* *****: ***** ******* *** major ** ********** ***** required ** ********* ************ and ********* ***********, *** is **** '*******' *** those ************** **** ***** market ******** ******* ****.
  • *********** ****/**** ******: ***** *** * feature ** *** ******* we ******, ******* ****** in *** ***** **** carry *********** ************** *** features ** ****** ********** fire ***** ******* *** monitoring ** *** **** panel ****** **** ******* multiple ***** **** ********* producers.

**********

*******, *** ***** **** has **** ********* **** are ********* ********* ** the ********* ******:

  • ******* ***********: ***** ***** * default ****** ** *********** the ***** ** ***** non-Honeywell *******, ******** *** appeal *** ********* *** need ** *** ********* with ****** ** ***** surveillance.
  • ** ****** ***: ******* ** ***** subscription-based ************ ** ******* 3rd-party ************, * ***** system *** ** ****** for **** ******* ** notification *** ********** ** tablet ***, ******* ***** difference ******** ** **** DIY ** ***** ***** intrusion *******.
  • ********* ****:** *******, ***** **** supports ********* *******. ******** or ** ***** ******* require ********** ******* **** add **** *** ********** to * ***** ******, while ***** ******* ******* wireless ******* ** *******.
  • ** ********** ***** ******: ****** ** * Vista *****'* ***** ****** (both ********* ***** *** backup *******) ***** **** default ******** ** ****** can ** ******** ***** by ******* **** ********* of ****** ********* ******* notifications ** *** *****'* owner.

Physical ********

***** ***** ****** ******* inside * ***-********* ******** steel *** *********, ********* mounted ****** ** ******* or ***** ******. *** video ***** ***** ** overview.


*** ***** ****** *** into *** **** *********, and *** ********* ** big ****** *** ******** to **** * ****** of ********* ******* *** backup *********. ** ****, while *** *** ********* comes **** * ***** keyed ******* ****, * tamper ****** ** *** fitted ** *******. **** means **** * ****** panel **** ** ****** to **** ******, *** unless * ******* ****** switch ** ******, ** notification ** * ****** event *** ** ********.

**** ** * ******* vulnerability ** *** ***** system, ** ****** ** the *****'* ***** ****** (both ********* ***** *** backup *******) ***** **** default ******** ** ****** can ** ******** ***** by ******* **** ********* of ****** *********. ******* the ***** ******, *** of *****, *** ********** a ******* ****** ****** should ** '**** ********', even *** * *********** install, **** **** * commercial ***.

Hardwired ****

** *** ******** ***** system ** ******, *** panel ******** * ********* zones, ***** ***** ***** panels ******* *, **, up ** * ******* of *** **** ********* panels *** ****.

* *** ************** ** Vista, *** ******* **********, is **** *** ******* and ***** **** ** hardwired ** *** *****. Vista ******** ** ******** or ** ******* ** default, ******* ********* ********** modules ******** ****** *******. *** ***** ***** examines **** ** ******:


*** ***** *** ** tested ******** ** ** 48 ***** ** *** type **** ********* ******* are ****, ***** ***** that ********** ** ******* hardwired ** ******** ***** are ****, ** **** than ** *** ** managed ** *** ******.

Keypad ***********

*********** ***** ****** **** directly ** **** *** the **** ******** ******. This *********** ** ********** and ******** *** ********* learn *** ******'* ****** syntax ************ * **+ **** installation ****. *** ***** **** below ***** ****, ********* the *********** *********** ** even ******** ********** **** ******** ** ********** ** the ******:


***** ****** *********** *** operation **** ** **** manually, ********* ****** * number ** ******* ** configure ***** ** ******** using **************-**** ******* ********. *******, *** ***** cost *** ******** ** use **** ******** ** starkly ********** **** **** DIY ******* **** *** routinely ********** *** ******** via * ********* *******.

No ****** ***

** *******, * ***** system *** ** ****** for **** ******* ** notification *** ********** ** tablet ***, ******* ***** difference ******** ** **** DIY ** ***** ***** intrusion *******. *** **** option *** ****** (******* non-keypad ***** *********) ***** with * ************ ***********'* ************ *******, ********* ** ********** $10 - $** *** month **** **** ******** additional ******** ************* ******* costing ~$*** - $*** each ********* ** ***** and ******** ****.

No ***** ************ ** ****** *******

***** **** ********* * 3rd ***** ******* *** remote *** *******, *********** to ***** ************ *** access ******** **** **** place ******* ** ******** utility. *** *********** *******, monthly ************ ************ ******* proprietary ******** ******* *** basic **** **********. *******, larger ***** ************** (**: Vista *** *** *** series) *** ********* **** Honeywell's ***** ***********, *** more ********** * ********* featured****** ****** ******* *** integration ********.

Alarm *******

** ******** **** **** DIY ******* **** *** 'all-or-nothing' ***** ** ********, Vista ******** * ******** multiple ***** *** **** configurable ***** ******. ********** zones *** ** *********** armed ** ********, ********** sensors ***** *** ** armed/disarmed, *** ******** ******* alarm ***** *** ** configured.

********* ****** * ******** stage *** *******:

  • ****** **** *****
  • ***** ***** *********
  • ***** *********

****** **** *****

*** ******* ****** ******* takes ***** ** *** stages. *****, **** *** 'arm' ******* ** *****, a ***** ***** ****** sounds ** *** ****** with ************ '*** *** exit ***'. **** ****** allows *** ******** ********* to ***** ****** ******* in *** *****/**** ***** are ***** *****, ** to ***** ********** ***** alarm ****** ** ******* through ***** ** *** motion *******.

***** ****** **** * configurable **** ***** ** to ** *******, **** a ******* ***** ****** of *** *******. ** a ******** ***** ******* keypad, **** ***** ***** like ****:

***** ***** *********

****, ***** *** **** delay *** *******, *** system ******* ***** ***** and ****** ***** * sensor ** *********. ** this ***** *****, *** lighted ****** ******* ***** dark, **** **** *** red '*****' ***** ** the ****** **** ** show ******* *****:

***** *********

*** **** ** ***** event ** *********, *** keypad ***** *** ******* immediately ****** ******, ******** up *** ********** ***** type *** **** ******** of *** ****** **** is *********. ** **** systems, ** ******** **** or ***** **** ***** a ****** ******, *** the ****** *******/ ********* messaged ** *** ************ can ** ********** *********** according ** *** ********* zone ** ***** ****.

******** ** *** ********** include * *********** **** alarm **. ********* ********* alarm ************, ** ******** up ******** ******* ***** numbers ** **** ** the *******. *******, *** to *** ****** *********** and ********** ****** ****** custom *************, *** **** typical *********** **** **** be * **** ******** alarm *** **** ************ of *****.

System ******* *** ************

** *******, ********* ***** must ** ********* *** installed ** ********** *******. However, ***** *** ********* of *** ***** *******, Vista ** ****** ********* and **** ********* ** a ******-***** '**** ******', including ****** ************ **** internet *********. ***** **** pricing *** ******** ********* are ********* ** ******** approved *******, ***** ***** and *** **** ****** configurations ** ****** *** easily ** ********* ** DIYers.

******* *********** ******* ** that ******-**** *******, ******* being ******* ******** ** Honeywell, ** ******** ********* through ******** ******** ********* and ********. **** ** a ***** **** ** aspect ** ************, ******, or *********** ***********, ***** are ******** ******* ******** deep ********* ******* ****** and ****** (*** *********** *,**** *,**** *) ******.

System *******

*** ******* ***** ****** we ****** **** ** a ******* ******** ***, the **** ****** ****** of ********** *** *****, that ******** *** **** panel, *********, ***** ***********, Honeywell **** ******, ***** motion ******, *** ****** battery *** ~$***. **** expensive ************** *** ***-****** forms *** ** ********* for~$** ******.

******* *** ***** *******, with *** ****/****** ********, horn, *** ****** ****** in *** **** ****** configurations **** ********* **** less **** $***, ***** places ** ***** ** near ***** ** ******** kitted *** ********* ******************* **** ***~$***.

***** ******* ** ** generally ** *** ***** end ** ***** ***** commercial *******, ********* *********'* own **** ** *********** offerings **** ***, ***, and *****, ******** ********* and ************ ******* ** often******* ********* ** ******* mandatory *******************.

Central ******* ********** *******

***** ****** *** ** centrally ********* ** *** majority ** ******* ******** due ** *** *********** of *********'* ******* ** global *******. ** *******,********* *********** *** ******* ******** and ********* ********* **** no ***** ******** **** in ********** ** *** portion ** ***** ******* and ** **** ** the *****.

**************

** ***** ** **********, Vista ****** *** ** 365, ***, ****, ****, and **** *****, ******** the ***** ********** **** carry *********** **** ***** features *** ***** ********** mandatory ************** ********* ** 864, ***, *** ***.

***** ************** *** ***** written **** ****** ************** to ****** ***** *********** and ********** ************ ** commercial *********, ** ** insurance ********* ** ********* 'approved' ******* **** *** be ******** *** ******* discounts.

Comments (13)

My comment/recommendation for future reviews.

Wall keypads.... there are lots of different once as you will get to know systems such as dsc. Do take them into consideration when you discover ways to program panels and options.

Some keypads have rf build into them some dont.

For visual aspect the function of flap. And any information/ directions given on them for homeowners is BIG plus.

Regarding this review, You missed informing us about buttons (options) available when flap is closed.

Since this is new topic for you and us thank you again going into security aspect of our business.

On the note of how awful it is to program these panels, even if you are using Compass, it's a massive pain to install, there's annoying inconsistencies between panels, and support, as expected of Honeywell, is beyond awful.

Compared to other low voltage systems these (and some access controllers) are expected to last a decade or more and usually do. In a commercial environment these will see 2 or 3 generations of computers, maybe 2 HVAC and 3 lighting platforms come and go and will still code+away and you're good. Ademco's reach is vast.

i see an intrusion class in the works.....

This essentially is cumbersome and requires the installer learn the system's coding syntax and mastering a 40+ page installation book.

Thank you for the honest report. Finally someone has agreed that programming the VISTA line can be a pain in the ass!

Any plans to test out the Lynx Panels? That is a common product for new installs?

The lack of integrations to non Honeywell access control systems is a major weakness as you pointed out. Are there any Honeywell representatives that could respond on whether or not this is something they are looking to change in the future? A follow up question is - has anyone successfully integrated these panels into any third party access control systems?

The Honeywell/ADEMCO panels are some of the easiest to program. Heck back in the day when others systems still have just led lights programming was next to impossible. The Vista 15P is their basic panel they have been selling for years and not designed for the integration that is done now right out of the box. The Vista21IP is the way to go since it has network built in. I grew up on these panels and hated when I had a service call on some of the other panels. DSC was the worst with their tiny screw terminal points.

How does this system connect by default to central stations, POTS?

The communicator module varies by the base system you order. POTS dialers are one of the less common options used these days.

There are a variety of (Alarmnet) Cellular and IP communicator modules you can order them with. (eg: Vista-21iP)

But as for the 15P, it seems like it has a dialer built into the board:

Yes, the test system (Vista -15P) came with a RJ31X jack (image below), but it varies based on the part number purchased. The underlying alarm system is the same.

Yes if you purchase a kit it typically comes with the RJ31X jack and cord otherwise if not it is a $1.50 part.

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