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GE IS-TS-0700 No Wifi Signal Solved

February 9, 2013 2 comments

I am going to apologize in advance for not having any pictures to better explain what I did to restore Wi-Fi on the GE IS-TS-0700.  When I started this process I figured on zero chance of success.  I don’t want to repeat this process out of fear of screwing up my TS.

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT ATTEMPT ON YOUR TS UNLESS DEVICE IS OUT OF WARRANTY.  DOING THIS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY.

I purchased a cheap GE-IS-TS-0700 on eBay for about 30 bucks.  ADT offers this same device for 200 dollars +/- depending on the vendors price point.  The device is brand new however, the original OEM packaging showed signs of an impact.  It did not appear the device itself had suffered any damage.

To add a touchscreen to your ADT Pulse system, you need to connect the TS to the intra-net port on the ADT IHub 3000.  You then go to the portal, system tab and select the option to “manage devices.”  From there you select “add touchscreen.”

Looking at the TS I noticed the MAC address listed on the TS in the “about” area was different than the MAC address listed on the back of the hardware.  Odd.  I also noted there was NO Wi-Fi signal with a Wi-Fi status listed as “failure.”  In the settings area the wifi signal strength showed no bars and was simply a red outline.  I was not sure if this was due to the TS not being made part of the network or if this was due to a malfunction within the device.

I was unable to add the device to the network using the MAC address on the back of the hardware.  Using the MAC address listed in the settings area, I was able to join the TS to the network.  Once the TS was physically disconnected from the IHub it ceased to function.  Wireless signal strength was ZERO and Wi-Fi status in the “about” area indicated a failure.  Hitting the “reset” button defaulted the TS to its original setting however, it did not fix the Wi-Fi issue.  Power-cycling the TS while holding down the “home” key did give the option to restore factory defaults.  Doing this failed to download any new firmware and seemed to cause a failure loop as the device looked for an IP address.

Calling ADT Pulse technical support was non-productive.  They offered to send a tech out to take a look.  I doubted the tech could help.  I asked if there was an option to update the TS firmware.  They were not sure and again came back with a Tech option.

A tech I am familiar with showed up.  She is very good.  However, she confirmed what I believed.  The Wi-Fi was not working on the device and there was no option to fix it with her training and equipment.  I had hoped she could physically connect via the USB port on the TS to possibly re-install missing factory firmware.

At this point I decided to open up the TS.  Flipping it over you will see a number of tiny screws along the outside perimeter of the TS.  I removed all the screws and gently removed the back panel.  This rear panel is connected to the main body by the DC connection.  I raised the panel toward the DC connection so I would not have to disconnect the rear panel from the main body.  On my TS the Wi-Fi heat sink and module is directly above the Ethernet port.  If you are looking at the rear of your TS it would be attached to the main body in the upper right corner.

Everything appeared to be ok.  I did note the MAC address listed on the Wi-Fi module matched the MAC address listed on the rear of the TS.  This shot down my theory that perhaps somebody had tried to hack the TS and replace the firmware with something different.  I had theorized the different MAC address was a residual value from a clone attempt.

Closer examination revealed the power connection to the wireless module appeared to be slightly loose.  It is a four pin connection.  I believe it was a black, red, white and green wire?  (I should have taken pics!….I know…sorry)  The connection is obvious.  The power to the Wi-Fi module connects closest to the Ethernet port and runs behind a silver panel covering the main board of the TS.  I gently pushed this power cord tighter at both connection points.

Before securing the rear panel I powered up the TS.  A small green LED on the Wi-Fi module lit.  This LED is not visible when the TS is assembled.  The MAC address on the back of the panel and listed in the “about” area now matched the MAC listed on the hardware.  Wi-Fi signal strength was listed as full despite not being connected or joined to my network.  No error messages were listed in the Wi-Fi status area.

I re-attached the rear panel and successfully joined the TS to the network.  It would appear the power cord to the Wi-Fi was knocked off causing the issue.  It is also possible (and less likely) removing the rear panel caused some sort of reset to the Touchscreen system.  The “alien” MAC address listed is probably a default for the Ethernet port?

Problem solved.   Again, don’t do this unless you find yourself with an out of warranty, non-ADT supplied GE IS-TS-0700.

Carbon Monoxide Automation Tip

January 30, 2013 Leave a comment

A tip for those of you who have a  as part of your ADT pulse system.

Having a Carbon Monoxide monitor on your ADT Pulse system opens a variety of options.  Using the ADT automation feature available with Pulse, the user can set up events to occur if the device is tripped.  Setting up automations to turn on lights in bedrooms and hallways leading to a door is a good option.  The effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can lead to confusion.  Hopefully, the light coming on and the alarm going off will shake you out of your impaired condition.

If you have door locks, an automation to “unlock” the door is advisable.  This will allow emergency personnel to enter the residence, assuming you have ADT monitoring your carbon monoxide detector.

I have tweaked my system with an appliance module as a garage door opener.  I have set up an automation to open the garage door in the event carbon monoxide is detected.  I go over how to set up a garage door opener on the ADT Pulse system in THIS blog post.  Automations are set up in the “automations” tab on the web portal.  A finished rule will look something like the below:

CO2This rule or automation has the ADT Pulse sytem opening the exterior garage door and turning on a kitchen light in response to an activation of the carbon monoxide monitor.  I have other lights that turn on in this situation but you get the idea.

You might be tempted to set up an automation to turn on bathroom fans and other exhaust type devices to clear the carbon monoxide from your home.  You could cause a back-draft into your house and actually make the problem worse.  Tight houses may experience this as these fans blow exhaust, lowering the pressure in the house, furnace venting could be disrupted.

If you have a z-wave thermostat controlling your natural gas heat, turning off the heat in response to a carbon monoxide alert might be prudent automation to set up.   You should not assume your furnace as the source until verified by a professional.

As always, get the heck out of the house and call the professionals.

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