X10 Security System DS12A Door Window Sensor

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  • X10 brand model number DS12A.
  • For use with the X10 wireless security systems.
  • Sets off the alarm when a protected door or window is opened.
  • Requires 2 AAA batteries (not included) which can provide up to 1 year of operation.
  • For indoor use only. RF transmission range allows it to be placed up to 100 feet from the security system console. In real world conditions, it would be about half that.
  • Color is white. Mounting screws and double sided foam tape for the magnetic contact is included.
  • You can view the instructions online in PDF format by clicking here.
  • Shipping weight for one: 4 ounces.

This is the X10 brand door/window sensor model DS12A for use with any X10 wireless security system base receiver (PS561, SC1200, or DC821) or can be added to any X10 wireless system (DS7000, SC1200, DC8700, SS5400, SS5402). Also works with some of the Radio Shack wireless security systems. When a door or window is opened, the sensor sends an RF signal back to the security console setting off the alarm.

These sensors are first initialized into your security systems console so that they can be recognized. A random code is automatically generated during set-up, which uniquely identifies each sensor. The security console logs-in each of these random codes as the next zone in sequence. These are self checked every 90 minutes for proper operation.

The magnetic switches are the NC (normally closed) type that are more secure than the (NO) normally open type. If a would be intruder were to cut the wire, this would set off the alarm instead of disabling the sensor. Has an internal MIN/MAX switch so that it can be set to allow a delayed alarm if you use it for a door sensor or an instant alarm if used as a window sensor. If you arm your system in the delayed mode and the switch on the sensor is set to MAX, you are allowed a 30 second delay to enter before the alarm sounds. A handy feature so that you can have time to disarm the system upon entering the house without a security remote in hand. Set it to MIN for the alarm to sound instantly.

When the security system is not armed and set in the RUN 2 mode (PS561), the console will sound a pleasant chime each time a protected door or window is opened letting you know someone has entered. Also, the zone indicator on the console will light up.

My own comments about the DS12A

The biggest problem with the new DS12A is that half of the contacts are mounted internally. This means you have to mount the sensor itself so it lines up with the second half which in some installations is impossible. There is a screw terminal inside that you can connect separate magnetic contacts if the standard installation won't work. Also, these are ridiculously difficult to open without breaking or severely marring them up. I found the easiest way is to pry them open from the bottom by inserting a small flat screwdriver between the top and bottom of the sensor. I understand wanting to keep the sensor secure, but come on...

It might be because these are the very first production of the DS12A. Maybe the newer ones have been improved to open more easily--I do not know.

Class of X10 home automation device:
Security Door/Window Sensor