Setting up Visonic PowerMax Pro w/ GSM

Well, I see why so many people complain about setting up Visonic units.. The manual is completely useless!  So, here are the notes I took along the way because.. DAMN.. it shouldn’t be this hard.


You should also already have mapped out your sensor locations and decided on the names/types/etc.  I’m installing this unit in a warehouse, so the built in names don’t really match what I am looking for.  Front Door and Garage Door are usable to me, but I’m planning to use the dual serial port module to rename the text of the custom 1-5 to better match what I am looking for.  I am also turning off the notifications for every zone, as I don’t want this thing talking all day long.


So, I opened the box, installed the battery, ribbon cables , plugged it into the wall, and closed the unit back up.  First step is to change the installer code.

>> = Next


Press Next till you get “User Setting” and press OK.  Enter 1111 for the user password.  Press Next till you get “Installer Mode” and enter 9999.

1. New Instl Code, do this now.  Change the installer code to something you will remember, or write it down.

To enroll a door/window sensor:

2. Enrolling (OK)

2.1 Next to “Enroll Sensors” (OK)

2.2 “Set Sensitiv.” (OK)

2.3 “higher sensitiv” (OK)

2.4 “Zone No: — ” Pick a zone without a box after it, or pick a zone with a box and press (OK) to delete it.

2.5 “Transmit Now”  Open the door/window sensor transmitting unit.  I don’t mean remove the magnet from the side of the unit, I mean unscrew the cover and open it.  This will transmit to the Power Max Pro unit and enroll the sensor.  Close it back up.


Now, do that for all your sensors.  Once that is complete, we can go into each zone and define the type and name.  So, go back to the installer menu using the “HOME” picture button and select “3. Define Zones”.


3. “Define Zones” (OK)

3.1 Next to “Zone No:  01” (OK)

3.2 “Z01: TYPE –” (OK)

Choose the zone type.  Here is a quick overview of the important ones:

– Fire

Used for smoke detectors, this type is always active and sounds the siren and calls out whenever triggered.

– Flood

Used for flood detectors, this type is also always active but doesn’t sound the siren, but does call out.

– Interior

Interiror types are basically the inside of the building.  These types are not active when in “Home” mode to allow people in the building to walk around without triggering the alarm, but are active in “Away” mode to secure the interior.  Most of your motion detectors will be this type.

– Inter-Follow

The only interior sensors that should be this type are the ones from the entry/exit point (front or back door) and the visonic unit.  The purpose of this type is to give a pathway from the entry/exit point to the visonic unit to turn off the alarm.

– Perimeter

Most of your door/window sensors should be this type.

– Perim-Follow

Like Inter-Follow, they are “not active” during arming/disarming of the system to allow you to enter/exit the building before sounding the alarm.


3.3 “Z01: NAME” (OK)

You can refer to the manual for the list of available names.  Pick the ones closest to the purpose of the zone you are assigning it to.  I’ll be talking about the custom 1-5 later after I have renamed them using the serial port software.


3.4 “Z01: CHIME” (OK)

Now, because this is going to be in a warehouse, I am setting all of the Chimes to “chime off”.  For a house, if you wanted to know when someone entered or exited a front/back door, you have two additional options.  “melody-chime” which plays a tune and “zone name-chime” which says the name of the zone that was triggered.  So, if you want to know that someone opened the front door, it will say “Zone Name, Zone Type”.  For example, “Back Door, Emergency”


NOTE: Whenever plugging or unplugging any modules, be sure to remove power and the battery backup!


PowerMaster Remote Programmer..  More good stuff..

Login screen:

Username: visonic

Password: powermax


Both all lower case.


I can’t find the download code anywhere in the manual.  Nor can I find an option in the menu and launching the software just comes back with “Error: The PowerMaster hasn’t been detected”.  No matter what port I plug it into.




So, I fire up my favorite terminal program putty, choose serial, leave it at COM1 and 9600.. and click Open:

Plugged into the first port, I just get a bunch of XXXXXXXX across the screen.  Launching the software states it can’t find the powermaster.  Plugging into the second port,  I get a bunch of text scrolling real fast, like AT+COPS, AT+CREG, etc..


I do some googling and people are saying that if you have the GSM module installed, it disables port 2 and if you have the powerlink module installed, it disables port 1.  Now, I don’t have the powerlink module, so port 1 should be fine.. BUT, I pulled the GSM module and plugged into port 1.  On putty, I’m still getting the X’s  but now they are spaced like X X X X instead of together.


After fiddling with it for a while, I plugged the GSM module back in, plugged into port 1 (PL/PC) and am back to the XXXX without spaces in putty.  I fired up the software again, and it appears to find it.  More googling says the master download code is AAAA.  Clicked on “New” entered AAAA for the code and clicked “Login”.


The panel displays “DOWNLOADING” and fields have been populated.  The first thing I noticed is that the terms seem to be backwards (at least, to me).  Normally, I sit on a PC and I upload data to a server and download data from a server.. But, in this case, it is the opposite.  You upload data to your PC and download data to the panel.  Whatever.


So, now that I have UPLOADED the current config to my computer, I see all the parameters I have configured so far, such as the master installer code.  So I know the data is good.  At this point, I will save my setup.


To customize the zone names, while logged in, select “Communications” and then Customize Zone/Sensor Names.  Select each custom zone, type in the new name and click “Send”.  That’s it.


Now, go to your Zone Definitions config screen and change the name to your customized names.  If you are having your panel talk, you will need to record the zone names in the “9. Define Voice” in the Installer Menu.