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Silent Knight 4720 - how to reprogram the reporting station telephone number via keypad(?)...

tenko000

Oct 26, 2021
1
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Oct 26, 2021
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Hi!

I have a Silent Knight 4720 security system by ITI and Regency 4660R touch pads. This system was installed in 1992 and is original to the house (my childhood home)... and still works great! The telco recently did some tomfoolery which has messed up forwarding the reporting number within the exchange (they were forwarding the old security company telephone number that's programmed in the box to the new one that acquired the old one), which is causing my system to throw trouble alarms since the box thinks it can't contact the reporting station (there are at least a couple dozen in my area that's having the same issue, the security company says). The new security company was out here and had issues trying to figure out how to reprogram their new number in (said it couldn't be done since it's allegedly an earlier version of the 4720)... but from what I can tell, it can be done. I have the installer code... but I cannot find the hex programming manual to get to the place where you put in a the telephone number. Might anyone possibly be able to help me get there via the keypad?

(oh - and the new security company no longer has the 5520 programming software nor the 5540 control box programmers... I guess the 5540s finally wore out and no one wanted to fix them :/ ...)

...and just want to get this out of the way off the bat, to help save time: I've seen posts elsewhere in other threads by some others, asking people having problems with a similar systems as to why they just don't upgrade to a newer system. Well, one - the thing still works / is very robust and the second is that my parens have had newer, modern systems at their new house replaced at least once in the last 15 years due to failures (along with additional component failures on the newest system) - in the time this house has only had one (they just don't make stuff like they used to).

So anywho, any help would be greatly appreciated :) . Thanks much to anyone for taking time out for this in advance ^^ !!!
 

ChosunOne

Jun 20, 2010
483
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Jun 20, 2010
Messages
483
Tenko, sorry to take so long to get back to you, but I had to do a lot of homework in my spare time before replying. I was a pretty experienced Alarm Tech by ‘92 until I retired about 10 years ago, but I never came across the Silent Knight 4720 Control Panel. My best guess is that they just weren’t widely marketed in the D.C. area, although the Silent Knight brand is widely known, mostly for their fire alarm panels.


I found this Installation manual on Google,
https://manualzz.com/doc/1965230/silent-knight-4720-installation-manual

And it looks like a pretty impressive Alarm Panel, with features that were cutting edge in ‘92. In fact, it looks like more than most homes need, unless they’re pretty large & elaborate homes (separate independent spaces for servants’ quarters, with partitioned access capability, etc); and that may be why I never saw one. Some users buy ‘way more Panel than they need, in order to get certain features they want.

After studying the Installation Manual---I couldn’t find a separate Programming Manual, but many manufacturers include programming instructions in the Installation Manual, and it looks like they did that here---and I think I could program one of these if I had one in front of me, to fidget and do trial-and-error with, to see that what I think I need to do is in fact what I need to do. These manuals are not written for DIYers, and assume a pro’s understanding (and sometimes intuition) of how these systems work. But it looks like I could get through it with a little experimentation.

All this is assuming that the manual I found is the manual for your system. If you have a different manual, this would be the time to mention it---and give me a link, or pic of the manual you’re working from.

I am puzzled: Looking at the linked manual, it looks like all the instruction I need to change the phone number is on:

Page 11, Section 7, “Using the 4724 Built-In Programmer”, which lets you use the Alphanumeric Touchpad. And,

Page 15, Figure 4: Built-In Programmer Menu Structure, with attention to section 7, “Accounts” ←(this refers to your Panel’s account number that IDs your panel to the Central Station Receiver, NOT to your billing account. You do NOT want to change this when you’re changing the phone number) and then the Central Station phone number. (I think! I can’t be certain, since I’ve never worked on one of these, but the programming feels like ITI’s, and I’ve programmed plenty of ITI panels. Like I said, I’d have to have the panel in front of me and try it to be sure.)

The puzzling part is your mention of needing to know hexadecimal programming…? I’ve done programming in binary, octal, and hexadecimal; but for panels made prior to ‘92, and prior to Alphanumeric keypads. I don’t see any mention of it in the manual I found, so maybe we aren’t looking at the same manual…? All the panels I programmed from the mid 80’s on, just had you arrive at the programming slot and then enter the (decimal) phone number through the number keys on the keypad. I actually can’t remember any time I had to use Hex to program a phone number.

You might need it to change the account number if there’s an alphabet letter in it, but you don’t want to change the account number if you’re just changing the phone number. Unless your Central Station has told you that you now have a new account number; in which case this would be the time to mention that.

IF you manage to change phone number, but the Panel still doesn’t reach the CS: As a troubleshooting tech, I can’t eliminate other possibilities why your panel’s calls aren’t going through. I know your dealer’s tech(s) told you it was the phone company’s snafu, but when I’m faced with a problem, I like to do my own troubleshooting---especially since your alarm company has an incentive to sell you a new Panel & Keypads.

There are several reasons your Panel might not be able to communicate with your Central Station:

  1. If your phone line has been “upgraded” to VoIP, anywhere along the route between you and the CS. VoIP works fine for voice, but alarm panels need a POTS (Plain Ol’ Telephone Service) line to be reliable. On many, many panels, sometimes the Report goes through and sometimes it doesn’t, and triggers a Com Fail Trouble. Alarm Panels just don’t like VoIP---it doesn’t have the fidelity needed to transmit reports reliably in most transmission formats.

  2. Your Panel may be transmitting in a report format no longer supported at your new CS. If it’s programmed to report in Contact ID (aka Ademco Contact ID), then that isn’t the issue. But some earlier formats might have been phased out with the CS move. See Page 33, Table 8: Reporting Formats, to see which format your 4720 is programmed to use.

In either case, it might be worth your while to get a lineman’s butt set off eBay or Amazon, clip it onto your Panel’s Tip & Ring phone terminals, and listen in to what happens when your Panel tries to call the CS.

Before it dials, you should hear the familiar POTS buzz. If you’re hearing anything else, then you probably have VoIP or similar. But if the Panel is able to reach anything, you might hear continual ringing, or a voice answering, or nothing. If you hear the other end pick up and a series of chittering/twerping/chattering sounds, then you might be reaching the CS but the CS Receiver and your Panel can’t understand each other, hence Comm Fail.


I applaud you for trying to keep this 4720 Panel in service. It has long annoyed me when alarm dealers sell new “upgrades” to their customers that the customers didn’t need; and which sometimes don’t even address the problem that the customer was having.


Please let us know if you’re able to program what you need in the panel. I’m intrigued, now that you’ve brought the SK 4720 to my attention.
 

ChosunOne

Jun 20, 2010
483
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Messages
483
Tenko, if you're still paying any attention to this forum:

There's a forum dedicated to DIY alarm advice, with techs familiar with panels that I'm not familiar with. They're your best bet for finding answers to your questions.
https://www.doityourself.com/forum/electronic-home-security-systems-alarms-devices-87/

At the time of my posting, I thought that forum was down or gone, but since then I found that my own URL link seems to have been corrupted. I see now that the forum is still up. Sorry I wasn't able to give you the link earlier.
 
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