How to Install and Code a Wireless Alarm System

Updated on May 3, 2018

My Wireless Alarm System

Picking the Best Wireless Alarm System and Installing It

My husband and I just bought a home. We thought it was in a pretty good area with quite neighbors. If you were surprised unpleasantly like we were or if are ready to get away from that alarm monitoring company that charges $30 a month or even $10, here's what I learned from buying and installing a wireless alarm system.

Table of Contents

Below is a table of contents of the different topics and tutorials included on this page. Unfortunately, HubPages doesn't not support jump-to code, so the page will reload. The links are in order, so scrolling through the page might be faster.

  1. What You'll Get
  2. Alarm Features
  3. Things to Know Before Your Buy
  4. What to Do Before You Program the Alarm
  5. How to Go to Setup Mode
  6. Coding the Entry Sensors and PIRs
  7. Programming the Remote Controller
  8. Setting the Clock
  9. Attaching the Wired Speaker
  10. Video Guide for Alarm Programming
  11. Advanced Settings/Siren Management

Are Generic Alarms Worth It?

After this recent experience, I can say that I'm a big fan of generic security systems from China. I know, Chinese products don't have an awesome reputation, and I thing these systems are worth it. Way worth it!!

What's in the Box?

Here's a brief comparison. One popular company that advertises a lot on the internet offers a basic system with 1 base control, 1 keypad, 1 wireless entry system, 1 pet-immune motion detector and 1 "free" keyfob remote. If you ask me, they have some nerve calling that remote "free" when the package costs over $200.

For less than $100 on eBay, I got a much more robust wireless security system with the following pieces.

  • 1 base control unit with an integrated siren and voice prompts
  • 2 pet immune infrared (PIR) motion detectors
  • 8 magnetic entry sensors for door and windows
  • 4 "free" keyfob remotes
  • 1 tiny wired siren that blasts 110 decibels, which is 25 dbs louder than the competitor's more expensive system

Wireless Alarm Features

Here are a few of the features that you'll get with a wireless alarm.

  • Battery backup in case of a power outage or power cut
  • Add extra sensors easily with wireless coding, since its generic you can add all sorts of items, including smoke detectors, gas alarms and more.
  • Sends an SMS or phone call in case of a trigger
  • Can call or text six numbers and
  • Supports wireless and wired sensors and speakers
  • The system can be armed and disarmed with a remote control
  • There are home and away settings
  • Each sensor is numbered to tell you where the trigger occured
  • Wireless add-ons are easy to program, and the system supports up to 99 sensors.

Security Quiz

Why are You Installing a Security System?

See results

Before You Buy

Here are a few things that you should do before you buy.

1. Should the alarm call the police? Ask your local police department if they will respond to an automated call from an alarm system.

2. Never program you alarm system to call 9-1-1. If permitted by your local sheriff or police force, have the alarm system call the non-emergency number.

3. What about false alarms? Because false alarms are so common, some police departments will charge you to respond to an alarm call. Ask first. In some cases, you will have to pay after the police have responded to several alarms.

4. Have the alarm call you. Consider having the alarm call your cell phone or send a text message. This can help you rule out false alarms first.

5. Self-monitored alarms are cheap, you retain full control over the unit and you may be able to reach the police faster than a monitoring company. Remember that security companies must call you first before they can call the police.

6. Decide how many sensors you need in your home. With infrared motion detectors, you can use fewer entry sensors. Entry sensors are recommended for all doors and windows that are accessible from the ground or a deck as well as windows that are protected by motion detectors.

7. Wireless security systems are sold in kits. I have a small home that's less than 800 square feet, but I found that most of the packages were way to big or too limited. I ended up purchases a larger kit than I wanted because the price was lower than some of the more limited bundles.

8. Chose your connection. Wireless security systems can make calls via a land line (PSTN), a cell connection with a GSM SIM card (this is the type that I bought) or WiFi (these are considerable more expensive and most have GSM backup anyway. Many models have dual connectivity, such as WiFi and SIM card or PSTN and GSM.

My Comparison of Popular Security Systems

Monthly Cost
Initial Cost
$0-$99 Depending on System
6 Months Money-Back
$0 or $14.99-$24.99
Free DIY, Plus Cost of Equipment
60 Days Money-Back, 3-Year Warrranty
3- or 5-Year
Basic Return Policy
Scroll to see the entire chart. Early termination fees do apply for contract plans. For ADT, the termination fee is usually more than $500.

A Generic Self-Monitored Alarm

Yescom GSM Home Keypad Security Burglar Alarm System Kit 99 Wireless and 8 Wired Zones White 17 Pcs
Yescom GSM Home Keypad Security Burglar Alarm System Kit 99 Wireless and 8 Wired Zones White 17 Pcs

This generic wireless alarm system is just like the one that I purchased. I looked at dozens of systems and had a hard time finding the right one. I didn't think that I needed 8 entry sensors, but this large package was a better value than some of the more stylish and smaller kits.

You'll see that some of the systems use the same based but have a different siren and other slightly different accessories. This one is exactly the same. I highly recommend it, and I'm pretty sure that it comes with the same unforgivably pathetic user manual!


Getting Started

When you receive your security system, you will need to program all of the sensors, keyfobs and accessories. As most customers point out, the English translations in the manual are pretty much worthless. The best section of the pamphlet is the last page where there is a table that shows all of the programming codes.

Before you get started, connect the AC adapter into the back of the control panel, and plug the AC adapter into the wall. This will power up the display.

Number the Zones

Each sensor must be programmed as a zone. If the alarm is triggered, the base unit will tell you which zone was activated, so your sensors should be numbered in some type of logical order.

To keep things straight, number all of your sensors before you code them wireless. I used a piece of masking tape, but you could also a sticker or simply write on the back with a Sharpie.

Don't Forget to Number Your Sensors

Numbering the sensors helps you keep track of which ones have been programmed and makes it easier to place them around your home.
Numbering the sensors helps you keep track of which ones have been programmed and makes it easier to place them around your home.
Type 6666# to enter setup mode.
Type 6666# to enter setup mode.

Go to Setup Mode

Before you code the sensors, you'll need go into set-up mode by entering the default administrator password, which is 6666. Type 6666 on the keypad followed by the '#' key. This key combination will be used each time that you program a sensor or change a setting.

The unit's voice prompt will say "Please enter instruction." Then, you can enter a code for one of the tasks.

To exit the setup mode press:

* #

(star, hash)

Program Codes for Wireless Entry Sensors and PIRs

The code for programming PIRs and entry sensors is 23 .To program a PIR motion detector or a magnetic entry sensor, type 6666#. Then, type 23 followed by the sensor number. Then, hit the "#" key.

The sensor number must be two digits, so 8 would be 08. The lowest number is 02 and the nighest number is 99.

To program sensor 08 type the following string.


You will hear the voice prompt say "Please enter instruction."

Then, type 2308#

The voice prompt will say "Detector coding." The sensor number will be displayed in the middle of the screen, and you will see a detector icon at the top of the display.

If you're coding a PIR, turn it on now. If the process is successful, the voice prompt will say "Coding complete."

Setup Tips

Once you're in set up mode, you can enter commands without the 6666 prefix. Look for dashes on the screen, and enter your instructions.

Common Codes for Programming the Alarm Host

Remote Control Programming
Press Any Remote Key to Confirm
Sensor Programming
XX=Sensor Number 02-99
Clock Setting
Add Two Dights for Yr, Mo, Day, Hr, Min
Siren Ring Time
XX=Minutes 00-15
Change Default Password
XXXX=4 Digit Password
Require Code to Arm or Disarm
40[1] or [0]#
Code Required=1
Siren Management
XX=PIR Number, PIR Won't Trigger Alarm for Home Arm

Install the batteries in your entry sensors

The PIRs should come with batteries installed because they have an on/off switch, but you will need to put the batteries in your entry sensors.
The PIRs should come with batteries installed because they have an on/off switch, but you will need to put the batteries in your entry sensors.
Move the magnetic component away to program the sensor. Here the base in detecting sensor 10.
Move the magnetic component away to program the sensor. Here the base in detecting sensor 10.

How to Code a Magnetic Entry Sensor

Entry sensors use the same code as wireless PIRs and motion detectors, but the process for triggering the sensor and completing the coding is a little different.

First, you need to put the batteries in the sensor. I pried the back of with a flat-head screw since it was really on there. The +\- marks were tricky to see, so you can just line the negative pole of the battery up with the spring if you don't see any markings.

Some entry sensors have a little round button on the front for testing the unit. Mine did not have this feature either way, you can follow these steps.

First, line the narrow magnetic piece up with the sensor.

Next, type in 6666#.

Then, type 23[XX] with XX being your sensor number.

When the voice prompt says "Detector coding" pull the the magnetic strip away from the sensor. A light should display on the sensor and you should hear the message "Coding complete."

If your sensor has a button on the front, you can simply press it.

The code for programming your remote is "21"
The code for programming your remote is "21"

Coding the Remote Controller to Your Security System

Remote controllers aren't numbered like the sensors are, sothe process is a little bit easier.

  1. Type the usual 6666#
  2. Then, type 21#
  3. After the voice prompt, press any button the remote controller.

You can now arm and disarm the system with one button.

Other Features on the Remote

Aside form the arm and disarm buttons, your remote as an emergency alarm/panic button, which displays a lightning bolt icon. There is also a mute icon, which activates your at-home alarm settings. In this mode interior sensors, such as PIRs, won't trigger the alarm.

Setting the Clock on Your Alarm System

The code for setting the time and date on you control panel is 48.

So, you will type the following string of numbers.



Now, you will enter the year, month, day and the time in hours and minutes in one string.

So, if you're programming the alarm at 1:07 p.m. on the fourth of July, 2016, this is what you'll enter.

16 (the last two digits of the year) 07 (the month in a two-digit format) 04 (the day, also in two digits) 13 (the hour in a 24-hour format) and 07 (the minutes)

So that would be 481607041307#. When you return to the main display, it should show the correct date and time.

Installing the Wired Speaker

The speaker connects to the control panel with two wires.
The speaker connects to the control panel with two wires.

Attaching the Wired Speaker

Wireless security systems are great and very popular because they are super easy to install. Attaching one wired speaker is pretty easy too. If you've ever put together a stereo, this is about the same.

To install the speaker, you will need a small screwdriver to loosen the screw on terminals (BZ- and BZ+).

The speaker has two wires, one is black (negative) and one is red (positive). The positive wire will go in the BZ+ terminal and the the black wire will go into the BZ- terminal. The wire won't go all the way in, so don't worry about it.

Next, tight in the screws, and gently tug on the wire to make sure that the connection is secure.

Finally, cover your ears and test the alarm.

Wired Speaker Diagram

The red wire is positive and connects to BZ+. The black wire is negative and connects to BX-. Other terminals can be used to connect wired sensors.
The red wire is positive and connects to BZ+. The black wire is negative and connects to BX-. Other terminals can be used to connect wired sensors.

Watch This Video Before and During Setup!

This is the best video that I've seen for setting up this type of alarm system. These instructions will make it much easier to program the various sensors, and it will help you decipher the user manual to complete more advanced settings.

A Super-Helpful Video for Setting up A Generic Wireless Alarm System

Advanced Settings/Siren Management

After I completed the basic settings, I tackled some more advanced instructions, such as defining the sensor types and adding instructions for which sensors should be activated for a home arming and away arming.

Programming Eight Sensor Types

Let's start with the sensor types. If your smoke alarm goes off, you don't want to receive a regular alarm notice. Defining the alarm types tells you exactly what's going on at home. An icon will also pop up on the display if one of these alarm types is activated. These system supports these options.

  1. SOS/Panic Button
  2. Smoke Alarm
  3. Gas leak
  4. Door lock
  5. Hall alarm
  6. Window Alarm
  7. Balcony or deck alarm
  8. Perimeter

To program the alarm type, enter this code

60, sensor number [XX], single-digit alarm type [1-8] and #.

Repeat the process for all of the sensors that you're labeling.

Home and Away Arming

This wireless alarm system can protect you from intruders while you're home or away. Naturally, you don't want the alarm going off every time your spouse has a midnight snack. The default is to activate any time that motion or activity is detected.

The system supports four siren options for home and away arming. Each wireless sensor can be programmed independently based on the following siren codes.

0. The detector will never trigger the alarm (I'm not sure why you'd want this one, but it's available.

1. The sensor will trigger the alarm when the system is armed.
2. The sensor will only trigger the alarm when you're away from the home.
3. The sensor will trigger the alarm at all times, I believe even if the system isn't alarmed.

Here's how to complete the programming.

1. Enter programming mode by keying in 6666#

2. Key in 26#

3. Enter the zone number assigned to the sensor (2-99)

4. Enter the desired code (0-3) followed by the # key.

How to Set Up Your SMS Alert Number

To program your SMS phone alert settings, enter the setup mode and submit your information using the following instructions.

1. Key in 6666#

2. Enter 49 or 50 followed by # (you can assign two alternate phone numbers)

3. Input your 10-digit mobile phone number using the numeric keypad only starting with +1 (xxxxxxxxxx)

4. When you're finished, hit the # key. The system will let you know that programming is complete.

How to Delete an SMS Phone Number Alert

If you've changed your phone number, made a mistake or would like to put in a different phone, complete these steps.

1. Key in 6666# to enter the setup mode.

2. Enter the code, either 49 or 50, followed by the # key to override the current settings.

3. Program your new number.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2016 QuiltFinger

Tell Me About Your Security System!

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    • profile image


      25 hours ago

      I need help. Have a GSM asystem. Produst Model TA-500-GSM-0. Try as I may cant set it up on HOME ALARM. 6 P.I.Rs. Instruction Book tells me to enter set up state ie 6666#2602(zone)2(type)# paring each P.I.R. each time. I do this for the full 6 P.I.Rs. Increasing the zone each time, and setting the type of of alarm as the home system requires.

      So on the Remote Controller press the home button ( its got a lightning sign on it) . The host shows 'Home' but the PIRs set off the alarm.

      What am I doing wrong? Help.

      Works fine in away alarm.

      I also have a YALE alarm. You can walk test this one. Cant see an instruction to do this on the GSM, but when in disarm and you activate a P.I.R. the host flashes a red light on the SET indicator.

    • profile image

      Nick Stone 

      3 weeks ago

      Thanks for the content.

      My system is going off at random with the fault code 01

      What is 01 ( As I have only programmed 02 and above)

    • profile image

      randy hoch ( ) 

      5 weeks ago

      I purchased a GSM PSTN LCD Display Voice Wireless Home Alarm Security Burglar System SMS the alarm will not sound but the system

      calls my phone Please Help. thanks randy

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      I need help setting up the system I don’t know if I’m doing it right

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      Hi i have a wireless gsm but the problem im having is when i plug the wired siren it keeps chirping eventhough i try everything. Is there a code for the wired siren.

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Hi i just got the device the wireless work will but the wired motion sensor and fire detector are not working and w lost the Manuel is there any programming for the wired zone

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      What batteries do the sensors use?

    • profile image


      9 months ago


    • profile image


      9 months ago

      You can send to me the manual

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      I am unable to understand the installation manual. Can you supply or inform me of a supplier of a manual in English I will understandThanks..Adress..58 Glebe Road Whitburn West Lothian EH47 0AZ

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      How do I input the simcard pincode? Thanks in advance!

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      On my gsm alarm system it won’t let me pair the pir sensors it’s done the door ones fine I’m programming them to the book but it makes no difference

    • profile image


      15 months ago from Yorkshire, England

      How do I pair a wireless smoke detector? Also does anyone have a manual in proper English for this alarm please?

      Many Thanks, Gerard

    • QuiltFinger profile imageAUTHOR


      16 months ago from Tennessee


      It depends on how you program the sensors. There are three options for each sensor.

      1. Alert all the time

      2. Alert when at-home

      3. Alert when away

      There's a fourth option to never alert, but that doesn't make sense.

      I will update my directions to provide this info.

      Thank you so much for commenting. I appreciate your interest, and I'm sorry that I wasn't notified of your comment sooner.

    • QuiltFinger profile imageAUTHOR


      16 months ago from Tennessee

      @davidsuefletcher and @Glenn Jarman

      I've updated my instructions for you to include instructions for programming or removing an SMS number. Thank you both for commenting. I'm sorry that I didn't see your messages sooner.

    • QuiltFinger profile imageAUTHOR


      16 months ago from Tennessee

      @Alan W

      Hi there,

      I believe that this alarm system can only activate/deactivate the peripheral sensors. It only separates your door/window sensors and infrared detectors. So I don't believe that it chirps like some home alarms do.

    • QuiltFinger profile imageAUTHOR


      16 months ago from Tennessee

      @lino lopes

      Oh gosh, that sounds awful. I don't think that you can change the default language. Maybe you can exchange it if the seller sent you the wrong item.

    • QuiltFinger profile imageAUTHOR


      16 months ago from Tennessee

      @Kev Sorry, I don't think that there's a way to adjust the volume.

    • QuiltFinger profile imageAUTHOR


      16 months ago from Tennessee

      @Vincent D'Ambra

      Sorry, I don't believe that they can be hard-wired together. You'll have to arm each section separately.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      How to turn volume down/up on the panel

    • profile image

      lino lopes 

      20 months ago


      i buy one of these and the language is German , how can i get the language in English ? can you help me ?thanks.

    • profile image

      Alan W 

      20 months ago

      Is there a way to set this to chime when a door is opened and the alarm is disabled?

      Also, when I set to "Home" the alarm does not sound if open a door etc. any idea?


    • profile image

      Glenn Jarman 

      21 months ago

      I can not get my SMS # or my alarm # programmed. Help please

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      could you please tell me how i put my mobile number into the system so i can receive texts and calls

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      Hi i have a wireless gsm but the problem im having is when i plug the wired siren it keeps chirping eventhough i try everything. Is there a code for the wired siren.

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      Hi is there a entry and exit zone or do all the zones have a time delay

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      Thanks a lot for that :)

    • profile image

      Best instruction by far 

      2 years ago

      Best instruction by far

    • profile image 

      2 years ago

      how do you arm using a text message on ur phone

    • profile image 

      2 years ago

      how much is a full kit for wireless cameras

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This unit accept 10 sec voice recording. Do you know under which condition this voice recording is heard after host sounds alarm? When the unit call the preset numbers will it announce the voice reconding message?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Why my gsm system does not work?

    • QuiltFinger profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Tennessee

      Hi there Helen,

      Thanks for your question. You need to purchase a separate wireless glass break sensor. It looks like they are $6 on eBay directly from China. These basic sensors that I have are magnetic, so they only trigger the siren when the magnets move apart on your window or door. I decided that I didn't need that function since a burglar would most likely open the door to move anything out. It should be easy to program and add the glass sensor. Good luck!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Great blog, easy to understand. Thank you. One question plz..Would the sensors work if glass break instead of window or doors open? Thank you in advance

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      thank you great


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