[RELEASE] Visonic Powermax Alarm

Sorry I am not a smartthings developer myself so haven’t looked into it… I can only guess there’s an API with some interoperability between old and new. Maybe anyone else here has experience with how to migrate more features to the new app?

Sure, but if you have another device that you use and works well with custom code then please let me know. It’s much easier to go from a template or example when there are no docs.

Not sure if that’s what you mean - by I have a Sensibo (smart air-con controller) that has a community based device handler and seems to have all sorts of advanced custom options in both old and new app:

DH: https://github.com/EricG66/SmartThingsPublic/tree/MSA-635-1/devicetypes/ericg66/sensibopod.src

Hope this helps!



Can you post a screenshot of what it looks like in the new app please? The page only shows how it looks in the old app…

Thermostats do have some nice features in the new app for sure, and they are built in by default if you identify the device as a thermostat. But I’m curious about the custom bits that are showing. Can pm me then maybe please as it’s totally off topic.


I have set up a dedicated instance of HA with only the alarm panel and the mqtt sniffer tracking it. Will report.

Has anyone tried to remove the 868 module, and used it on another device like a Arduino or so? :slight_smile: I know it’s quite off-topic, however, almost every discussion about the Powermax, points to this thread - so, i’ll try and ask here.

That’s an interesting question! Neither I nor anybody else here has done that afaik.

How come you want to remove it? To interface directly with the sensors while making use of the encryption that Visonic has implemented? I expect you would need a good logic analyser to back calculate what comms happens between the main CPU and the wireless board…

Yes, sort of :slight_smile: First of all, i got the Powermax from a family-member. She remember the PIN for the normal things, but not the “Installer”-pin.

I’ve setup my WeMos and so, but, the devices for the Powermax, are not anynear close to “match” our apartment. Therefore, i need to change zones and so…

The Powermax (at least the one i got), is not anything close to new anymore, and i would like to use the devices for RFLink, instead of having the Powermax running.

You can take a look at my question right here:

The 868 modules are quite expensive, so that why i thought to hook it up to my Arduino (and RFLink), which are already working as it should :slight_smile:

But you can just do a factory reset and put the installer code back to the default 5555, or 1111, or occasionally 9999… Plus a remote commander module would allow you to hide the control panel out of the way, and have a much more subtle keypad device near the door. But I’ll drop convincing you now!

I’ll have a read of your post anyway as I’m curious! Though not sure debugging the protocol will be easy by any stretch of the imagination!

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You have a point. But RFLink should be able to use most of the sensors.

However, i did reset the alarm today, and defined my four sensors and two remotes, and managed to disable all the “report”-features, so i could try and arm and disarm it - and it’s working!

However, i found the connection to my ESP a bit unstable. But i’m not sure if it’s a network problem. A few of my other ESP devices have the same problem - but other are rock stable, so maybe it’s a problem with the libs (and maybe even specific versions or it), in the compiled firmware. Guess i need to see, what can do about that.

I was actually looking for a functional alarm, but, i wanted to reuse the sensors. However, with a working alarm… i guess my thoughts are changed - at least until i hear something from the other quy on domoticz.com :slight_smile:

Glad its working a bit…!

The only thing I can think of is checking the Wemos position to ensure it gets a decent enough path to your router. I have had my Wemos installed for 3 years now and Ive not had to restart it ever, apart from while Im testing new firmware. Current uptime is 45 days on my most recent firmware.

What part is unstable? The Wemos webpage or the ST integration with the Wemos? Sometimes ST doesnt deal with complex home networks very well, and it rarely works if you have different subnets/VLANs/… Would possibly suggest reflashing the device just to make sure it flashed properly first time around, maybe that would help. There are also good and bad Wemos boards for sure, some are built well and others built on super-budget, perhaps that could be something you are struggling with?

Either way, interested to see whether you progress with desoldering the RF boards, I just think you will discover a MASSIVE project sat behind what could be simple in concept! Visonic do not build their alarms with much standardisation between panels, so even two Powermax Completes (i.e. same version) might be very different in build/design with huge variances in firmware aswell (especially between different international markets).

Good point, when we talk about the module itself. However, i can see that the sensors itself, are supported by RFLink.

I’m actually a Home Assistant user, but just found this thread to be a bit more popular.

My problem is with the webside. It’s “hanging” in some responses, and i won’t think about a situation, trying to disarm the alarm, and nothing happend, due to a fallout. I can’t remember if it’s original WeMos, or yet another china-copy. So… Maybe i should give it a try, with another WeMos.

Currently i’m facing a problem, with connection to my MQTT broker, but i’ve submitted an issue on Github. (After settings is defined > saved, nothing happens after reboot. It’s not stored in memory, for some reason. And it doesn’t connect to my broker)

What browser are you using when configuring? Is it saving other settings? I have not seen ‘Save Settings’ fail before so perhaps there is just something dodgy with your Wemos board, or the reflash is needed as there is a patch of memory not working. That might be especially relevant if you are finding the Wemos webpage hangs, since the only time I observe delays is after it has been rebooted (it can take several minutes to finish the full enrol process with some alarms).

MQTT is indeed a very different protocol to the discussion on this thread, so I wont sideline it too much. But the major MQTT libraries are known to have problems with home-assistant based MQTT brokers and the latest ESP core. I have a few debug builds that I am testing with @mykep - but these builds would just make the connection between ESP and broker more reliable, not making the ESP dashboard more reliable.

Also, the closest voltage on the Powermax header pins is 3.75V. This does work with 3.3V ESP boards, but over time I have found that it damages the ESP and they eventually stop working reliably (sample size of 1), its annoyingly close in terms of voltage, but not quite close enough. Especially as I dont think the 3.75V is totally stable as the ESP varies its current requirements (while transmitting data). Its also annoying that most level shifters require >0.7V difference in order to drop the voltage, but 0.7V would give some undervoltage errors.

I’ve moved on to esp-link and integration with Home Assistant:

Check here, for more details:

I really like that it’s a direct connection to HA :slight_smile:

WiFi Settings and all other settings are stored in a different way, so you cant connect the dots. Also the Powermax will drop the connection after every Wemos reboot, so you need to enrol after every reboot, alarm details are not saved between reboots as it would be pointless. The Wemos should be so reliable that reboots are as rare as once in 6 months (or even rarer than that).

If none of your settings are saving between reboots of the Wemos I suggest you have a dodgy Wemos or have not flashed it correctly. I also dont know where that USB cable goes but make sure it isnt plugged in anywhere as it says on Github, it can either break the Wemos, or the alarm, or just stop things working. Finally I cannot see, in that photo, where you have plugged in the power cables into the Powermax, but I dont remember the pins being right next to each other…

Thanks for all the inputs! Good point, regarding the settings. And also, the settings.

What is required, to trigger the enrol? As pr. my understanding, it’s triggered, if it’s enabled in the settings - right? Maybe i just faced that part of the problem, due to the alarm was still booting up or so, at the time of the ESP turned on, too.

The devices is connect to 5v out, so that part should be fine :slight_smile:

I did flash the chip with esptool.py, as i normally would use for ESP-devices. Normally i’m starting with erase, and then flash. Last time, i did the following steps:

sudo esptool.py --port /dev/ttyUSB0 erase_flash
sudo esptool.py --port /dev/ttyUSB0 write_flash --flash_size 1MB --flash_mode dout 0x00000 PowerMaxEsp8266.ino.bin

And it went like it should, with no errors reporting.

There’s no connection to the USB-port. I would just like to have the option in the future, if i need to flash another firmware to it. But if it’s required to not have it connected to the alarm, while reflash, i guess i can just remove the cable… :slight_smile:

I’m not sure, what the next steps should be. Maybe i should try and reflash the ESP-chip…

The firmware is built so you can do web flashing through the Wemos webpage. As I said, be VERY careful about connecting to the Wemos USB with the alarm powered on. Enrol happens automatically for some panels and manually for others. Once you have got it paired then it should reliably stay enrolled.

I dont think I really understand what problem you are facing now other than the settings not saving after reboot. If thats the only problem then why not flash another module and confirm that it doesnt suffer from this problem (it wont be connected to the alarm, but should still work for saving settings and rebooting). You limit the flash size to 1MB in your command, but I don’t think that is large enough to enable the web updating space and the SPIFFS for file storage. Have a look at my github for instructions on flashing.

Good luck!

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Just got my wesmos (thanks Chris for the quick delivery!) and wondering how to connect it to my PowerMax Complete board (UK, DC power supply inside).

I am not actually sure where the RX/TX connections, the unlabled connections on the left look like what I was expecting, but it is not labeled as RS-232, so I am unsure if I should connect here or to the dual RS-232 ports?

I was also wondering if there is anywhere I could get a 12 V connection from as there doesn’t appear to be one on the board. The Expander module would come with one, so I guess there should be a 12 V + GND in there somewhere?

Appreciate any help with this!

Oooh another PCB layout, I think they challenge themselves to re-design the PCB every week!

All locations are based on orientation of the photo (given the silkscreen printing seems to point in all sorts of directions I dont know what other direction would be correct!). I cant tell exactly where the top left ribbon cable is going under the PCB (near where it says PM COMPLETE in silkscreen printing), I assume to the buttons and display on the front of the Powermax?

Given my assumption is correct then you are correct, the bottom left 10pin connection is where you should connect to RX/TX. Normally it is labelled PC IP/BBA/COMP or something similar but for some reason yours isnt! That said you can use the standard layout and it will work best for you.

For power I suggest the easiest thing would be to connect the Wemos power cable into the cable from the power supply unit (i.e. 12V DC input). That way you can easily match 12V and GND based on red/black cables and no worry about damaging anything. If not then I will do some digging on the expander interface to find 12V there. Normally one of the blue screw terminals will say 12V but you only seem to have a GND one as you have less hardwired zones than normal.

Hope that helps

Hey, so I decided to update the firmware for the first time in like 8 months (I’m not sure why now to be honest, it was working fine!) And now MQTT isn’t working properly. Are downloads available for older firmware versions?

Edit: by not working properly, I mean MQTT just stops working after a while randomly. Have to restart it and it seems intermittent.