Ademco manuals, as well as those for most any other brand of alarm system, are available online from a variety of sources. Most of these are free resources that anyone can access, allowing you to download a copy of almost any alarm manual you might need.
Do you have a system other than Ademco, like DSC, GE, Brinks, or another brand? See my Alarm System Manuals page.
Before visiting any potential manual source, you should check the model number of your panel. Most Ademco systems operate and program in similar ways, but there are differences depending on the specific model. Trying to navigate through instructions or programming using the wrong manual can be very frustrating, and could cause you to alter the system operation in unexpected ways.
If you already know your Ademco 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…
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
When you find your panel model number, select the link, choose which manual you want, and select "Download".
Ademco/Honeywell manuals at Panelguides.com.
For other brands of alarm, see my alarm system manual sources page.