Tyco DSC PowerSeries Neo Intrusion Tested

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 30, 2017

Tyco's intrusion system line, DSC, is one of the most widely installed brands.

Their primary intrusion panel series, PowerSeries Neo, is relatively new to the market since release in 2014, but is already commonly used.

*** **** **** ****** release **** *** ********* and ******** ** ********** systems **** **** **** in ********** *** *** decades?  ** ****** * panel *** ****** ** to **** ***.

** **** ****, ** examined:

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

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

*********

************** *** ******* **** **********, ********** compared ** ***** ***** commercial ** *********** *******:

  • **** ****** *******: *** **** ****** ******** two **** ******** ***** sensors/contacts, ** ******** ****** of *********** ******** *******. The ***** ** ********* is ***** ****** **** most ******* **** ** able ** *** ******** wired ** ******** ****** types.
  • **** ****** ***********:*** ************* ******** **** a ***** ***** ******* keypad **** ******** **** explanations. **** ** ** PC *********** ****** ** used, ************* * *** system ** ****** *** simpler **** **** ****** alternatives.
  • *** ********* ********:***** ********** ******** *** residential ******** ***** ******* in ********* ********** ********* in * **** ****** the *****. *** ********* **** by ******** *** ****** to **** ************/ ** only ******** *** **** the *********, ** ****** that ***** **** ***** and ******* *********** ******.

**********

*******, ***'* ******** *** some ********* **** *** routinely ********* ** *** intrusion ******:

  • ******* ***********: *** ***** *********** options ** ***** ************ systems, *** ** **** integrated ** ****'* *********** access ******* *****, *********** system ****** *** ********* seeking tight ********* ****** ***********.
  • *******:** *** *****-*********** ********* market, *** ** ***** 10% - **% **** expensive *** ****** *** sensors **** *** **** *******.  **** volume ******* *** ** discounted *******, *** *** volume ** ********** ********** will ****** *** ****** prices. ********* ****'* *********** Honeywell ******, *****, *** 2GIG ******* *** $** - $** ******* *** system ****** **** ******* factor ********* ** *****.
  • ** ********** ***** ******: ****** ** * Vista *****'* ***** ****** (both ********* ***** *** backup *******) ***** **** default ******** ** ****** can ** ******** ***** by ******* **** ********* of ****** ********* ******* ************* to *** *****'* *****.

Test ****** *******

*** *** ***** ****** was ************* *** ********* * power ***********, ** *****-************* ******, *** * *** dual-tone *** ** *****.

** ****, ***** **** kit ********* * ********** alarm *****, ** **** not **** **** * PIR ****** ****** ****** with ***** ****** ********* systems, *** ***** ***** contacts ** *******. ***** and ********** **** **** to *** ***** ********* hardwired ** ******** ******* separately.

Physical ********

*** *** ***** ***** we ****** ** ** 8-zone ****** ***** ********* inside * ***** *** enclosure. *** ********* ******** room *** ** ** 32 ******** ** ********* zone *********, *** ***** for *** ** *** 4 - * ** batteries.

*******, *** *** ** not ********* **** * lock, *** *** ***** with * ****** ******, leaving *** **** ******* unit ********** ** ********** tampering. ** ****, ********** cabinet ***** *** **** must ** ***** ** selecting ******** *********, ********* up **** ** ******* or ** ***** ******.

*** ***** ***** ********* the *****:

*** ***** ****** ** non-networked *** ******** ** RJ45 ****, *** ** does ******* *** *-*** serial ********** **** *** be *** ** ******* the ***** *** ** if******** *** *********.

************, *** **** ***** supports ** ** * partitions, * ********** ******* with ******** **** *****, 500 ****** ***** ****** and ** **** *****.  The ***** ****** ** supported **********, *******, *** zones ** ******* **** similar ***********/***** ********** ***** systems *************'* ****** ***** ***.

Options *** *********** ** ********** ********

*** ****** ********* ********* sensors *** ******** ** 8 ***** *** ******** wireless ******* *** ********* to * *** ** 32 ********** *****. 

*******, ***** ******* *** relaxed ******* *********** ****** for residential *******, *** *** resistor *********** ** ********.  While ** ****** ** not ********* *** ********** or ****-******** *********** ********, it **** ******* ** installer * *****, ******* panel ******* *** ********* the **** ************ ******** of ******** ********* ** the ***** ** ***** in *** ***** ** *** ** Line ********* **? ******.

*** ***** ***** ******** this ** ******:

** ****, *** *** panel **** ******** *** option ** ******* *** central ******* ********** ********* if *** ****, ** that * ***** ******* (onsite) ********* ****** *** be **** ******* ********** error ******** ***** *********.

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

*** ****** ******** *********** in *** ***** ****:

  • *** ********: ******-****, **** ******** using * ***** ****** utility ** ****** ** duplicate ************** *** ********** to ******
  • ******: ***** *** '**** manual' *********** ******, ***'* alpha ****** *** ******* are ********* '***** ********' codes **** *** **** to ********** *** ******.

*** ***** ***** ********* and ***** *** *******:

**** **** ***** *** keypad, * ******* * - ** **** *********** ****** **** **** less **** *** **** to ***** *******, *****, and ****. **** ** a ***** ******** ** similar ******* **** ***** **** ***** ***** *** of ********* ***** *** messages *** ******* ***** keypad ********.

*******, ****** ****** ******** use ** '*********', ***** are *********** ******* ****** than *** ***-********* **** of *** ****** ********* to ******* *********** ** commercial ***** ****. *** panels **** ******** ** done *** *** **** attached ******. 

Alarm *******

*** ****** * ********** grade '*** *****' *** 'stay' ** '****' *** conditions **** *** *** be ********* ** *** systems **** *** '***-**-*******' arming ******.

***** **** *** ******* and ***** ******* *** configurable (**** *** ** omitted, ** ********** *** up ** *** ******* of *****) *** **** be ***** ****** *** shortcuts, *** ******* ***** stage ******* **** ** ideal *** **** *********.

*** ***** ***** ***** how * ******* ***** event *****/****** ** *** keypad, ***** ******** *****-**** alarm ************ *** **** labels ** ******:

** *******, ********* ** only ******** **** * user **** ** ******* (which ** **** ****** by *** ******), *** arming ** ******** **** single ****** *******.

************, *** ***** ****** keypad **** ******** **** FAP (****, ********* *** Panic) **** ***** * two ****** ***** *** hold *** ****** ****, medical, ** ****** **********.

 

System ******* 

***** *** ** * dealer-limited *****, ******* ******** are *****, *** *** line ** ********* ********* from ******** ********* ** a ***/****** ******. 

******* *** ******* ********* via ***** '**** ******' channels ** ********* ****** than ****** **** ******* that ******* ****** ********** contract ***********.

** *** ***-****** ******, * 'typical' **** *** ****/******, horn, *** ****** ****** system **** ********* **** ****** $325, ******* ** ***** 15% - **% ****** than ******** ****** *** platforms **** ********** ***** ***** ***~$***.

*******, ** *** ****** markets, *** *** ******* is ********* ****** ** or **** ******* ****** offerings **** *********, ***, and ****, ******** ********* and ************ ******* ** often******* ********* ** ******* mandatory *******************.

No ****** ***

**** ******** * ****, app-based ****** ******* *** DSC *** ****** "*********** *** **" **** ** ********* for *** *** *******. However, ***** *** *** requires ** ********** ******** or ******** ************ ****** and ******* ******* ****, usually ** $**-$** *** month:

Limited ************

** *** ********** *****, DSC ***** ****** *** is******* ** *********** **** Tyco ****** *****************-**** **** ********** *********, *** ********** ********* are ****** ** ***** platforms *** ** ******** within ***.  *** ****** no ******* ***** ************ integration **** ***. *** line ******** ****** ***** ******/*** ******, *** ***** ****** are **** *** ******** via *** *** *** full ********* ** ** video. ***** **** **** * Neo *************, "****** *** ********* ** the ****** **** *** exacqVision ****** (*** ******* controls ********** ** *******), as **** ** ********* alarm ****** ** ********* to ***** ********".

** *** *********** *****, Neo ********** ************ **** ********** ********, *** ***** *** integration ****** ****** ********'* interface.

**** ***** **** *** use *** ** ** integrated ******, ** *** primary ********* ***** ** a *** ** ************ relay ******* ** *** main ***** **** **** permit **** ***** ******* closure ******* *** ** data ** ***** ***** are ****** ** *** panel.

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

*** ****** *** ** centrally ********* ** *** majority ** ******* ********, ans **** *** *** common******  ******* ** [**** no ****** *********] *******.  These ******* *** ****** supported ** ******* ******* providers, **** ** ***** coverage **** ** ********** in *** ******* ** North ******* *** ** most ** *** *****.

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

*** *** *********** *** line ******* *** ******** Commercial ****, *********** ****, and **** ****** **** UL *******, ** **** as *** **-** ********** making ** ********** *** most **** *** ******** intrusion *******.

*******, *** ****** **** carries * ** *********** Fire ****** *** ********* smoke *********, *** ** not ***** ** * commercial **** *****, *** carries * '***** *****' rating.

Comments (10)

Kudos to taking the time to assess this NEO series panel.  Though you did very briefly mentioned there is an option for wireless, but there is no mention that it is the BIGGEST reason why an incumbent alarm company would consider using (switching to) this new platform.

I won't go into all the technical details but speak only from a performance point of view.  This new Spread Spectrum Technology wireless is absolutely outstanding.  Simply - the best in the business.  Its very reliable, easy to deploy, works extremely well in the most challenging environment for wireless and the operating range is something you have to try for yourself to believe.

And no - I do not get paid by anyone to make these comments.  

Please keep up the good works!

Silas Li

From what I have heard, the spread spectrum technology is not new. It is the fact that it is now also integrated with encryption and 2 way. The combination of the 3 is new. I could be wrong on that though.

On that note though, proceed with caution with this equipment as I have had many issues with it. Including range issues, and frequent low batteries in less than 2 years of installation. I have had to drop power to these panels as well due to non responsiveness. Something I have never done with the original power series.

Nightmare stories here: https://ipvm.com/forums/video-surveillance/topics/dsc-power-series-neo-problems

I agree. We have installed DSC systems for 2 decades. We switched to Honeywell last year but prior to that installed about a half dozen NEO systems. 4 of those systems had wireless products and we've had to go back to each of those.  Faulty sensors, loss of network, battery issues... Excellent coverage when they work but not reliable enough IMO. 

We didn't test wireless in this evaluation, but social media complaints specifically about Neo's low profile wireless battery life are pretty common, ie:

"I have installed several dozen Neo systems over the last two years and have had low batteries from the slim line transmitters at an extreme rate. Highly bizarre patterns of low batteries where I will get several in a day on a system or multiple days in a row.

Yesterday I replaced 12 batteries that had accumulated over about a month from an out of town customer that has had this system for less than 2 years.

Sales reps and tech have been no help, these systems are all small residential and small commercial, distances are minimal, some times even line of sight to receiver."

Again, we did not test this yet, but will in the next weeks. I'm only linking this to second the feedback that DSC wireless is problematic and is fairly common feedback.

I just had another low battery come in from the same place you refer to in this quote. Less than two weeks after replacing every battery in the system. 

Hi Brain,

Interesting report, any plans to examine the wireless part including outdoor detectors and PIR camera?

Texecom panels use spread spectrum, two-way, with encryption and also meshing.

Exacq has built an integration to PowerSeries Neo that allows arming and disarming of the system from the exacqVision Client (via overlay controls associated to cameras), as well as receiving alarm events to correlate to video searches.  There is an overview on the Exacq blog here.

Thanks for this feedback.  I'll add it to the report.

Brian, we have the same battery problems with the Thin MK from Visonic PG 302V. sometimes 2 month after installation and often from diffrent indicators. We switched to the normal ones and change all existing MKs in warranty :-(

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