Powermax Alarms

Designing Your Powermax System

Designing your Powermax system is a comparatively easy task.  Usually the easiest way is to start with one of the pre-enrolled kits and then add any extras you require.

The Control Panel

The Visonic Powermax range comprises four control panels, each of which is briefly described below.  All four control panels are operationally very similar, and all four have the following features.

For a more comprehensive description of the available features, read the installation and user manuals for the particular control panel - see the 'Manuals Menu'.

Siting The Control Panel

Before you decide which control panel you are going to fit, consider how you wish to operate the alarm.

All three control panels have an on-board keypad which is normally only used in the initial programming of the system.  Once the system is programmed the alarm can be set/unset using the wireless key-fob (20 metre range), or the Proximity Tag on the Powermax 'Pro' and 'Complete' models.  Although this means that the control panel can be hidden away, it should still be accessible in case special setting functions are required - omitting a zone is an example.  In the Case of the Powermax 'Pro' and 'Complete' models, if the Proximity Tag function is used then obviously the panel will have to be readily accessible to those users holding Tags.

Powermax Plus Control Panel

This is the 'original' control panel around which the system was designed.  The control panel is not a great-looker, but as mentioned above the panel can be hidden away.  There are other disadvantages with this panel compared to the Complete and Pro models.

  1. The transformer is an external unit which can make siting the panel in an on-view position a little messy.
  2. If you want to fit a GSM module this is also an external item, again with its own transformer.  The GSM module for the Powermax Plus is also considerably more expensive than the GSM modules for the Complete, Express and Pro panels.
  3. There is no wireless internal sounder available, - although the panel itself does have a sounder in-built.
  4. The panel can only use the one-way key-fob MCT234.

Powermax Complete Control Panel

The Complete control panel is operationally very similar to the Plus control panel.  The panel itself is better looking and has the power transformer fitted internally and requires a connection to the mains electricity supply.  It is preferable to connect to the mains vial an unswitched fused spur, but a plug and lead can be used.  The GSM module is also fitted internally and take its power from the control panel.  The internal sounder MCS720 can be enrolled to the system.

If you want hard-wired zones and/or hard-wired sounders, then the plug-on expander has to be fitted.

The panel can use the one-way MCT234 or the two-way MCT237 keyfobs.

The latest Complete panels support partitioning and has a built-in Proximity Reader which can read the standard proximity tags or the new Mini-Tags.

Powermax Pro control Panel

Again, the basic operation of the Pro panel is similar to the Plus and Complete panels.

The Pro panel has been designed to be on-view.  It incorporates a proximity reader - a tag is presented within an inch or two of the panel to set/unset the panel.  The proximity tags can be used as a cheaper alternative to the wireless key-fobs.

The panel can use the one-way MCT234 or the two-way MCT237 keyfobs.


Powermax Express control Panel

The Express panel is a very neat looking panel with an internal transformer. The best kit value-wise is with the GSM module pre-installed.

Choosing the Panel/Kit

As previously mentioned, the easiest way to start is to choose one of the pre-enrolled kits.  The contents of the kits are shown under the product listings, but are also summarised below.

Powermax Plus Quick Fit kit

1 x Powermax Plus Control Panel
1 x MCS730 wireless sounder - Note; the kit is available without the MCS730 sounder which allows the Mains-powered sounder (MCS730AC) to be added.
1 x Door/window contact (MCT320).
2 x Next K9-85 Pet friendly wireless PIR
2 x MCT234 wireless keyfobs

Powermax Complete Quick Fit kit

1 x Powermax Complete Control Panel
1 x MCS730 wireless sounder - Note; the kit is available without the MCS730 sounder which allows the Mains-powered sounder (MCS730AC) to be added.
1 x Door/window contact (MCT320).
2 x Next MCW PIR or K9-85 Pet friendly wireless PIR
2 x MCT234 wireless keyfobs
2 x Mini proximity tags

Powermax Pro Compact Kit

1 x Powermax Pro Control Panel
1 x Door/window contact (MCT320). 
1 x Next K9-85 pet friendly wireless PIR
1 x Proximity Tag

Powermax Express Kit (GSM)

1 x Powermax Express Control Panel
1 x GSM 350 - pre-installed with SIM card and £5 Credit
1 x GSM Antenna
2 x Next MCW PIR (Pet and Standard lenses supplied)
1 x MCT320 Low-profile Magnetic contact
1 x MCT237 two-way keyfob


All four Control Panels can accept up to 28 wireless detectors and hard-wired detectors connected to the 2 hard wired zones (NB:  Complete panel needs the expansion module, Express panel has 1 hard-wired input).

The level of protection you require is specific to your needs.

A simple system might comprise PIRs in the vulnerable ground floor rooms, a magnetic contact on the front door and a PIR on the landing of the first floor.

Further protection may include adding PIRs to first floor rooms - especially where there is easy access via a low roof, and/or the addition of extra door/window contacts or vibration detectors to cover windows.

Large areas of glass can be covered by break-glass detectors.

In addition, smoke and gas detectors can be added as required.

The transmission range of the detectors is approx 100 metres (line of sight).  If you think that this may be insufficient, then a repeater can be installed between the detector and panel.


The normal signalling methods are by audible external and internal sounders with a strobe in the external sounder.  The panels also automatically dial remote telephones via the PSTN (landline) to deliver speech or text messages.  In addition to the built-in PSTN dialler, a GSM Dialler can also be fitted.  The GSM uses a standard SIM card (pay as you go is preferred) and can be used in conjunction with the PSTN dialler.  Note;  if you are going to fit a GSM dialler then you should choose the Complete or Pro models - the GSM is significantly cheaper and is also fitted inside the panel.

The Powermax Plus Control Panel supports up to two wireless external sounders (MCS700 or MCS710).

The Powermax Complete and Pro Panels support up to a maximum of two sounders from internal (MCS720) or external sounders (MCS700, MCS710, or MCS730).

The Powermax Plus and Pro models can connect to a hard -wired external or internal sounder.  The complete model can also be connected to a hard-wired external or internal sounder by using the expansion card.

Operating the Alarm System

All four models have an on-board numeric keypad which is used to programme the system and can also be used to set/unset the system.

The simplest way to set/unset the system is by using the remote keyfob (MCT234 or MCT237 - Complete, Express and Pro only).  The Pro and Complete models can also be set/unset using the proximity tags.

The wireless keyfobs have a range of about 20 metres (line of sight).  Where this is insufficient a Remote Keypad (MKP150) or Remote Commander (MCM140) can be fitted which both have a range of about 100 metres (line of sight).

All four models can be remotely controlled via the PSTN dialler or GSM dialler.




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