The keypad is the control center for your alarm system. There are different
styles with different bells and whistles. The numeric keypad has LED's, or an
LCD screen that displays a number to indicate messages to the user. The
alphanumeric keypad has an LCD screen that displays words or sentences
to the user. Then there are the newer touch screen keypads that look similar
to a smart phone, displaying icons, sentences and some will even give the
user voice prompts. The vast majority of the keypads being installed today
are either numeric or alphanumeric. On the DSC panels, these keypads work
identically but the alphanumeric keypad is somewhat easier to understand
and of course a little more expensive.
For example, on either keypad a red light will indicate a memory condition
after an alarm. If you press *3, the keypad will indicate which zone caused
the alarm to be tripped. After pressing *3 on the numeric keypad it will show
you a number, 6 for instance. Next you look at the label inside the lid of the
keypad and see that zone 6 is your back door. On the alphanumeric keypad
you press *3 and the display will read "Back Door".
Another advantage of the alphanumeric keypad is evident if you have a lot of
zones on your system. With the numeric keypad, the list written inside the lid
can get quiet long but with the alphanumeric keypad it simply presents the
information to you on the screen.
If you are considering home automation then you may need to spring for the
even more expensive touch screen keypad. From this keypad you can not
only set your alarm, you can turn on lights, start the sprinkler system, close
the garage door or lock down the building for the night.
SEM Security Systems
a division of Southeast Mobility