Retrofit kit and smoke detector relay

I’m looking into the wired retrofit kit and ring alarm system.

I understand the reasons that the Ring retrofit kit won’t support typical 4 wire security system smokes. I don’t have 4 wire smokes. I currently have a bunch of first alert smoke detectors with wireless interconnect. When one goes off they all go off. Some are 120v and some are battery.

I have a first alert relay taped onto the wired interconnect. When any of the smokes goes off this is relay is tripped. It can be configured as normally open or normally closed. It is then connected to any zone on an alarm panel, electrically it is no different than a contact sensor. With konnected and smarthings I just reconfigure the zone it is connected to as a smoke detector instead of a door or window.

Will Ring allow me to configure one of the wired zones on the retrofit kit as a smoke detector? I don’t want to use a listner, and don’t want to add a zwave smoke that isn’t part of my interconnected system.

Good question, @Heath! If you have wired indoor and outdoor sirens, wired smoke or CO detectors, wired keypads or other security devices, they are not supported and should not be added to the Retrofit Alarm Kit.

Although you mentioned not wanting to add an Alarm Listener, this would likely be the best solution here. Check out our Community post about the Retrofit Kit for guides, manuals, and FAQs on using/ installing the Alarm Retrofit Kit. Feel free to also share any solutions you find, that might help other neighbors in the Community! :slight_smile:

wired indoor and outdoor sirens, 4-wire smoke or CO detectors, and wired keypads would all be powered devices in a traditional alarm install, I understand why these wouldn’t be supported.

My smoke alarms are connected through a relay that can provide a normally open or normally closed connection. This is not the same as the powered devices listed above. This relay is connected to a panely like any other zone (ie common and zone 2 connections) Electrically this is the same thing as a wired door sensor. It isn’t powered from the panel.

In a traditional alarm system a normal zone would be reprogramed as a smoke zone. In konnected for smarthings you simply reprogram the zone the smoke releay is connected to as a smoke detector.

Does Ring support reconfiguring one of the zones on the retrofit kit to indicated a smoke alarm when that zone is triggered by a contact sensor just like a door? Does it support reprograming the wired zones on the retrofit kit to be anything other than door or window sensors?

Heath, I just came across the same problem. I think you’re correct that an alarm relay would work. I don’t think Ring wants you to do it because there’s 120V wiring involved but if you know what you’re doing with both 120V and low voltage products you should be able to make it work as you suggest. I found a link to this First Alert RM4 installation article showing how to connect a Normally Connected device. It shows lighting a lightbulb using the 120V wire which of course would destroy your Ring Retrofit kit. A better link is for this Kiddie Alarm Relay smartthing installation which just shows the NC, NO, and common contacts. You’d want to connect the common to the ground of the Retrofit kit, and the NC to the other terminal on the retrofit kit. But you will have to check the resistance between NC and common to see if it’s within range as described in the retrofit kit manual. Since the relay is a 120V device it needs to be kept within a junction box. Please let me know if it works for you as I am looking to go this route as well.

On the other hand, many of these hardwired systems are older than 10 years, and you’re supposed to replace smoke detectors after 10 years anyways. You can buy the First Alert ZCOMBO 2-in-1 Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Z-Wave Combo for $40 on AMZN.

For me I have 3 motions and 4 smoke detectors on an old system so it would be over $200 to replace all of them so it would be worth trying.

I just finished wiring a retrofit kit and went through a similar exploration with my legacy heat, smoke, and motion detectors. Bottom line - no. Ring requires that all sensors into the retrofit kit be either a Main Door, Secondary Door or Window - the types typcially used by contact sensors. It is an unfortunate limitation as, in your case, you have a relay so don’t need power. In my case I had power provided by my legacy alarm panel so, as far as ring was concerned, it was a 2-wire normally closed contact.

The issue is not if a sensor activation will be recognized. It will be - since it is simply a contact opening. I did wire up my old motion detectors, powered by the old panel and they worked fine. The issue is how it is treated in Home, Away modes, while the Entry and Delay exit timers are in effect, and finally, if you plan on professional monitoring, what the alarm trigger response is.

After working through many scenarios, I finally decided to keep the retrofit kit for all my wired door/window contact sensors and replace the old active/powered sensors with new, ring compatible sensors.

Heath, I just finished my project and was able to convert all my old smoke, motion, and even legacy wireless devices over to the ring retrofit. I agree that it’s best to go with First Alert Z-wave if you want the fire department to be called when your alarm isn’t on, but actually a lot of people complain about that. I will be replacing my smokes, but this solution allowed me to support legacy motions, fire sprinkler, and many wireless window sensors. I built a circuit to convert my normally open to normally closed but you won’t even need my circuit to support the First Alert / Kidde smoke detector relay - just connect the normally closed contacts to one of the retrofit sensor inputs.

Click or search for “ring alarm retrofit with normally open” on Youtube to see how I did it.

miteeman - Were you able to configure these sensors in ring App as smokes? An earlier reply above indicates that sensors added through the retrofit kit can only be configured as door or window sensors.