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Ademco Manuals

How to Find and Download Manuals for Ademco, Brinks/Broadview, DSC, GE, and Many Others

Ademco manuals, as well as those for most any other brand of alarm system, used to require just a quick visit to This terrific resource was discontinued in early 2017, but Ademco and other manuals are still available as free pdf downloads from several great websites.

If you know your Ademco, DSC, GE, or other system model number, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on one of the highlighted links.

If you need help finding the model number, or aren’t sure which manual you need, read on…

Finding your Ademco Model Number

Ademco alarm panels, as well as most other brands, normally have the model information on a sticker inside the lid of the main panel box. This is not the keypad used to arm and disarm; instead, look for a tan metal box about 16” square. It will probably be tucked away in a closet or laundry room, and may or may not have a locking lid.

If you don’t have a key, look on top of the panel. Or, check the “catch-all” drawer in the kitchen. It will be smaller than a house key, with teeth cut on only one side.

Once the lid is open, locate the panel information. Ademco has been making alarm equipment for a long time, so there are many, many different models.

Older models include the 4100 series (4140XMP, 4150, 4110) and the 5100 series (5110XM, 5120XM).

Another older line is the Via series (Via-16, Via-30, Via 30PSE).

Newer products are in the Vista series (Vista 10SE, Vista 15P, Vista 20P).

Ademco manuals, Ademco alarm systems

Which Manual do You Need?

Before downloading anything, decide what Ademco manuals you’re looking for. Most Ademco alarm systems will have at least two manuals available. Here is what to look for:

Ademco Installation Manual

These Ademco manuals will usually contain "Install" in the title or file name. This is everything an alarm technician or do-it-yourselfer would need to install the panel, connect it to power, a phone line, and other alarm devices. Wiring information for keypads, zone expanders, and optional modules is also included.

The "Install" file may also contain programming information (see below). Technical specifications are also listed, along with a wiring diagram of the panel.

A Vista 20P schematic diagram is shown below, as an example. For details on how to use it, see Ademco Vista 20P Wiring Diagram.

Ademco Manuals Vista 20P Wiring Diagram

Ademco Manuals, Ademco installation manual

Ademco Security User Manuals

Look for "User" in the file name or title. User manuals provide instructions on how to arm, disarm, bypass zones, etc. with all current keypads that are compatible with that system. Keypads that come out later may have an addendum to the user manual, explaining their operation.

Ademco Manuals, Ademco security user manuals

Programming Manuals

Look for "Program" in the file name. This document contains everything you might want to know (and probably lots that you don’t!) about programming the system. This includes entering zone definitions, account number, dialer information, master codes, etc.

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Unless you’re doing the installation yourself, you can safely skip this file. If you are going the DIY route, this is the single most important file you’ll need.

Even after a system is installed, programmed, and working, the programming guide is necessary when making any future changes to the system. The center section of many Ademco manuals contains sheets intended to be filled out by the installer, with every programming item listed. The factory default values are shown, along with boxes to record any changes.

Some panels don’t have a separate programming manual, and you won’t see any "Program" file listed. In that case, download the "Install" file; programming information should be included there.

Ademco Manuals, Programing home security system

Downloading Ademco Manuals

Click on the highlighted download link below. The site will open in a new window. After downloading your manual, closing the window will bring you right back here.

Find your panel model number in the "User" or "Installation" list, click the link, and your manual will open as a PDF document.

Go to
Download Ademco Manuals.

For other brands of alarm, see my alarm system manual sources  page.

Confused by home alarm pricing? Get the inside scoop on home security prices from an experienced alarm professional.

Need help programming codes? These articles can help:

Do you have an older system that's starting to have problems?

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