This is the testing I perform to check if an Optima XM alarm panel is defective, or if it is the wiring. This article is very similar to my earlier Optima XM – Constant Tamper article, but I’ve simplified it. This article is generally the same for most panels, but I get a lot of readers asking about Optima panels, the XM & XM6. If your panel seems to be misbehaving, follow these steps: NOTE: The terminal numbers here are for the XM 4 zone panel, they will NOT match for the XM6.
1. Power down the panel by isolating the mains. Normally there is a fused spur (there should be if the engineer that fitted it really knew what he was doing), so just pull the fuse holder out. If the battery is connected and good, the Power LED will go out, but Day will still be illuminated. If the battery is completely dead and/or needs replacing, the Day LED will go out. If unsure, the 2nd step below will definitely confirm, as you might get a rude awakening!
2. Remove the screw securing the panel cover. Now, if your battery is good, the alarm will now go into a full blown alarm condition, as you’ve opened the panel tamper connection by removing the cover. Silence it by entering your code. The Tamper LED will be lit. This is normal. If the system does nothing, your battery is shot, and now would be a good time to replace it while you’re on the job!
3. Make a note of what each Zone is what (Zone 1 front door contact, Zone 2 Living Rom PIR etc) and using the wiring diagram I’ve provided below, disconnect the following sets of cables from the terminal block, and place a wire link across each of the Zones, PA, and Tampers:
A) The 4 Zone cables (6 if you have an Optima XM6, it is a 6 Zone panel, the XM is 4), terminals 1 to 8. Jumper each zone with a wire link.
B) The PA cables (Personal Attack, they’re panic buttons) if fitted, from terminals 9 to 10. Place a wire link (jumper) across the terminals. If the PA terminals are unused, they will already be jumpered with a factory link. They MUST be jumpered if not fitted with panic buttons, otherwise a Tamper fault will result as it is open.
C) The Tamper cables (the tampers from PIR’s, door/window magnets, impact sensors etc will be wired in series to the two wires connected here, usually with a terminal block), from terminals 11 to 12. Screw in a wire link across the terminals.
D) The Extension Speaker and Strobe terminals (13 to 16) can be left alone, there may not be a strobe fitted to the bell box depending on your setup. The Extension Speaker is the speaker in the panel case, we need it connected to hear keypad and exit/entry tones from the panel. DO NOT JUMPER the Strobe terminals if no strobe is fitted or you remove the cables, you’ll cause a short, the Strobe line is a voltage rail not pulse!! The Bell & Strobe fuse (in the diagram below) will blow if the Bell or Strobe terminals are shorted, so, don’t do it!!
E) Disconnect the Tamper Return and 0 Volts terminals from terminals 17 to 18 (T & A), and screw in a wire jumper across them. These are the terminals for the bell box tamper switch. It may not be fitted and may already be jumpered, but it NEEDS to be jumpered if not fitted or the wires removed, otherwise constant Tamper will result, as with the two Tamper terminals earlier.
4. All other cables can be left as they are. The 12v +ve & Trigger -ve terminals (19 & 20) are for the Bell, this can be left connected. The +13v & -Output terminals (21 & 22) are the power rail supplying PIR’s, normally your PIR’s power lines are connected to this, and their Zone wires connected to Zone terminals.
5. Having done this, make sure the appropriate terminals are jumpered correctly (triple check and double check!!), close the panel cover (to close the panel tamper switch), replacing the screw, then POWER up! You can use either battery or mains, it’s up to you, it doesn’t matter. The alarm will start going off, inputting your code should bring you to Day mode. If not, re-check your jumper links.
6. If you’re in Day mode, now you can start re-wiring the system one zone at a time until the problem reappears. When the problem re-appears, if it does, check zone wiring and any PIR/magnet tampers, the biggest causes.
Remember that Zone 1 is Timed, which starts the entry tone. Normally the main premises entrance door magnets are wired here. Zone 2 is a Time Inhibit zone, which means if you come in through the front door, and have to go through another zone like a PIR to get to the panel, the PIR would be wired to Zone 2 and held off from causing an alarm, so the entry tone carries on. Otherwise the PIR in the living room would trigger the alarm immediately not giving you time to get to the panel! All other Zones are Immediate zones, which trigger the alarm immediately.