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Happy Birthday America!

We know that you are all going to be picnicking and watching fireworks for the next couple days... and so are we. Alarm Grid's offices are going to be closed on Friday the 3rd.

As usual, your accounts are all monitored 24/7. If you need central station services, please call 888-818-7728 (the big blue number at the top of the site), and dial extension 1. If you have any other questions, please feel free to email support@alarmgrid.com. A ticket will be generated and we will get to them as soon as we can.

Have a wonderful 4th of July, celebrate well, and do what your mothers' taught you to do when handling fireworks. Oh... and if you eat a hot dog this weekend, think of Alarm Grid. We'll do our darndest to keep the thieves at bay while you go out and celebrate!

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Alarm Grid has reduced the price on almost all of our VISTA GSMs!

Our best selling dual path unit, the iGSMV4G has gone from $239.99 to 190.99. If you need the upgrade chips, the iGSMV4G-TC2, has gone from $252.99 to $200.99. A 20% reduction across the board. It is now the same cost to go dual path with an upgrade chip as it would be to do GSM only!

The GSMV4G was $213.99 and is now $187.99 (12% reduction). If you need the upgrade kit, the GSMV4G-TC2, it's gone from $239.00 to 200.99, a 16% reduction in price.

The at-the-panel communicator has seen a big reduction as well. While we generally try recommend the GSMV4G units to any new customers since they do not require you to do a power calculation, there are people who prefer to use a device that goes on the panel itself. For you, the GSMX4G or the upgrade kit the GSMX4G-TC2 are the perfect option - not to mention the GSMX series communicators is seeing our biggest price reduction. From 200.99 to 141.99 for the GSMX4G, and from 213.99 to 154.99 for the GSMX4G-TC2, the units have been cut in price by 29% and 28% respectively.

These options are great for anyone who wants to add a little bit extra security to their system for a modest amount of money. For those who aren't sure whether they want to add cellular monitoring to their system, but definitely want to be monitored over IP in the short term, rather than purchasing the 7847i, which is the IP communicator option for VISTA panels, the iGSMV4G will allow for single path monitoring as well as dual path monitoring thus allowing maximum flexibility to any alarm system owner.

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The iGSMV4G is the dual path monitoring communicator for the VISTA series panels (except the VISTA 21iP which uses the VISTA-GSM4G). Until recently, the iGSMV4G could only be used as a dual path communicator or as a cellular communicator. But since the upgrade to 2.12, the communicator now has the ability to be used as an IP-only communicator as well.


So why would anyone want to buy a dual path communicator if they want just IP monitoring or just GSM monitoring? Very simple. The VISTA 20P, 15P, and 10P cannot be setup to run both a GSMV4G and the 7847i - the cellular and IP communicators respectively. Until now, an user must pick either one path or two. The only way to switch from one path to two if it's something an user would want to do in the future, was to replace the entire communicator.

But not anymore!

Now, for $139.99, an user can purchase the 7847i, which will lock them to IP. Or, for an extra $70, the user can add the option to add GSM at some point in the future should they want to. For those who think there is even a slight chance that they might want to use the cellular communication pathway, the new and improved iGSMV4G is a great choice.

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The idea of installing a whole security system all by yourself might seem daunting. Trust us when we say it's not. The Honeywell L5200 security systems are both high quality, and incredibly simple for end-users to install. We've put this nuts to bolts blog post together using our YouTube channel to give you the resources to do everything you need to make sure your system is in order.

Installing the L5200

Making sure that the L5200 is properly installed is the key to a successful installation. If you want to mount it on your wall, follow the instructions on our L7000 installation video (which uses wire track) or our L5100 installation video (wherein Sterling fishes the LT-cable through the wall). Whether you're putting the L5200 on a flat surface using the L5000DM, or mounting it on the wall, the installation is straightforward.

Installing the Communicator(s)

The communicators are simple to put into the system. For those with an iLP5 who did not buy one of our pre-made kits, the installation is simple as well. For the rest of you, the kits come with either the L5100-WIFI, the 3GL, or both. In the following video, Sterling installs the L5100-WIFI into the L5200 security system. As you can see, opening up the system, and mounting it to the board on the right side couldn't be easier.

The 3GL (which at the time of our filming was called GSMVLP5-4G) is about as quick. While Honeywell recommends that it be affixed with screws, the installation should take you no more than a few minutes.

Programming the Sensors

Our kits, for the most part, come with Honeywell's wireless 5811 sensor. Below is a video on programming the 5811 sensor to the L5200 security system.

We do have kits with the 5816s. If you have purchased a kit including some 5816s, the difference in programming is significant enough that it's worth watching the 5816 programming video. The most common issue that end users run into when programming a 5816 is setting it to loop 1 as is commonly done with every other sensor. In the case of the 5816, loop 1 is reserved for when the 5816 is being used as a wired to wireless transmitter. Loop 2, on the other hand, is what one uses when using the 5816 as a traditional wireless security sensor.

The 5800PIR-RES motion detector is the motion sensor that comes with the kits. An excellent motion with pet immunity, the sensor is simple to program and install. In the video below, Sterling explains how to install program the sensor to the L5200.

Finally, the security system comes with a Honeywell 5834-4, 4-button key fob. Programming the key fob is quite like programming all the other sensors, though it is programmed in a section different from the other sensors as you can see in the following video.

Installing the Sensors

The sensors are simple to install. The 5811s can be installed on a door or window with the right amount of lip. In the following video, Sterling installs the 5811s on a double french door.

Motion sensors are a little bit more tricky. While the sensor is programmed, a installation requires 1) a walk-test to ensure that it is installed in a location that will adequately protect a room, in addition to 2) drilling it into a location on the wall. Below we demonstrate the walk-test that should be performed before installation.

Once a walk-test confirms the mounting location is correct, you can install the 5800PIR-RES in a corner mount location.

Following these instructions will help you complete the installation of your L5200 security system.

If you find these videos helpful, we'd love for you to subscribe to our youtube channel.

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Thanks to everyone who waited patiently on Thursday and Friday of last week. We did two days of training on 2GIG and Alarm.com so that we could serve you better going forward. Thanks for tolerating the inconvenience! We can't say it enough, but we have the best customers!

For those who are wondering what the plan is on our end, Alarm Grid is getting ready to sell 2GIG products in addition to the Honeywell products that we have sold and supported since starting Alarm Grid, we are getting ready to add what has become the second most popular brand in home security - 2Gig. 2Gig has pioneered the modern era of security systems. While Honeywell has always been the be-all and end-all of hardware, 2Gig and their relationship with Alarm.com make a deathly combo that rivals the best in home security.

At Alarm Grid, we've always had the desire to sell other systems and panels, however, we have avoided it because of how much emphasis we put on support. Before we send something to you, we want to make sure that our techs know the product that they are helping you with inside and out. That's what last week's two day training was all about. We got all our techs into a room, and had 2GIG and Alarm.com actually fly out to meet us in Florida to train the team.

We will begin selling 2GIG on AlarmGrid next Monday. So let the countdown begin!

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We will be serving you diligently during the next two days (May 28 and 29). But we're admittedly not going to be running at full capacity. We will be running at half capacity all day. So we're asking all of our amazing customers to have some patience. The techs you have come to know and love are doing training during this time so that we can bring you even better, faster service.

Before you call, we would love if you considered first sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We can answer emails more quickly than we can get back to phone calls, especially considering that many of the Alarm Grid techs will be able to check mail during training. If you do call, and no one takes your call, please leave us a message. Rest assured that we will get you in the queue and call you back in the order you called us. Also, we're going to do our best to have the on-site chat channels manned all day. Feel free to use that.

We are going to add 2Gig's GoControl security system and peripheral products over the course of the next few weeks. This expansion from Honeywell-only, will give our customers choice with one of the most recognized (though new) brands in the security space. Like Honeywell's Total Connect, 2Gig is generally intended for use with alarm.com. While we absolutely love the incredible features of Total Connect, Alarm.com is another gerat platform that we are proud to begin offering sometime in the next couple months. Again, for you, that means you will have the choice between two of the best security products in the space.

For 2Gig fans out there who have been anticipating our foray into the much loved brand, we promise that we will be giving it the same sort of love we have given all our previous security systems. FAQsdocumentscompatibility pagesvideos and more are coming! If you have been waiting for Alarm.com + Alarm Grid, you won't have to wait much longer!

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For those of you not familiar with Total Connect 2.0, it is an application in the form of an app on a smartphone or tablet and web version on your personal computer. The service is hosted by Alarmnet which is Honeywell's communications division. Alarmnet prides itself on offering a secure (encrypted), simple way for end users to connect to their alarm systems remotely and receive text and/or email alerts for just about anything that occurs on the system. 

Total Connect has seen several upgrades this year including a new SMS gateway for more reliable text alerts from the largest cellular providers: AT&T, Spring, T-Mobile and Verizon. The newest upgrades have come in the form a complete aesthetic overhaul and several updated features including auto-syncing for the LYNX Touch L5100, L5200 and L7000! This means that any newly added zones will be automatically pushed to Total Connect after you exit programming on the panel. There is also a new wizard for creating "smart scenes" for remote automation. If you are an existing Total Connect user you will need to update the app on your smartphone and tablet in order to experience the new features. The web version on your computer has already been updated and will not require any changes on your computer. 

The most popular feature upgrade is the smart scene automation wizard. The wizard is designed to be more user friendly and walk you through the steps creating a scene for any enrolled Z-Wave devices. This feature requires that you have a Z-Wave controller and are enrolled in the remote automation service. Tap the + icon on the top right of the Automation module on Total Connect. First, name your scene. Then select command(s) for any Z-Wave device(s) you would like to be involved in the scene. The wizard will offer three trigger types: scheduling, rule, and manual execution. If you click "On a recurring schedule" you will be given the option to set a schedule to execute the scene. "Based on another device" is known as a rule. A rule allows you to trigger a scene based on a security system action (i.e. arm, disarm or alarm) or a security sensor fault (i.e. motion detector tripping or door/window opening). The last selection (when you tap it) is designed for manually triggering a scene from the Total Connect app. 

After you update the app on your mobile devices you may notice that the new version supports "Touch ID." For example, the iPhone 5S and 6 models support "Touch ID" which is way to log into apps using your fingerprint. You will need to first enroll your fingerprint by going into Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Here you can scan in your fingertip(s). After you update and launch the new app, you will need to login with your username and password for the first time. When doing so, be sure to enable the "Remember Me" toggle button before logging in. Then you can log out. Going forward, you will be prompted with a pop message with the following when you launch the app: 

Simply press your finger that you already scanned in on the home button. This will launch you directly into the app! 

All in all, we are seeing that Alarmnet is continuing to develop the Total Connect 2.0 platform as they promised. We will continue to see updates that will make the application easier to use with more features that make controlling your alarm system remotely easier than ever. We will be sure to keep you posted as more features develop! 

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Alarm Grid was invited to a great little event that took place during the security industry's most important conference - ISC West. We were excited to get to see the new security system in action, since Honeywell has really taken a different approach to designing the Lyric security panel. Note: in the video you can see that the system is shown to be disconnected from a communicator. That is because the system was not outfitted with a radio at the show.

The more modern design takes the security system out of it's cheap, plastic looking shell, and gives it a more Apple-esque feel. The screen has beautiful buttons, and the system feels incredibly intuitive to use. We aren't sure when it's going to be out, but it sounds like it's going to be released sometime later this year - perhaps 4th quarter, we will let you know as soon as we know anything.

For those of you wondering what the fate of your LYNX Touch security system is going to be, Honeywell assured us that they are not discontinuing the line at all. In fact, all the Honeywell 5800 sensors will work on the Lyric security system. The difference between the new sensors and the old is that the new sensors will work with the Lyric over an encrypted connection. The Lyric is going to be released as the top of the line model, a bit more expensive than the L5200 (soon to be the L5210) or the L7000.

Alarm Grid is collecting emails in order to keep information flowing to any security system enthusiast who wants to be in the know. We'll let you know as soon as we are able to sell the unit, and any public information that Honeywell let's us know about the incredibly, new units. Just put your email in the form below, if you want to be included in the news and updates.

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The l5210 security system looks a lot like a shrunken down Honeywell L7000, but it has the stripped down features of the L5200. In an effort to consolidate the look of the LYNX Touch units, Honeywell is downsizing the screen to 4-1/3 inches on the new unit, making it compatible with the new low-light AlarmNet camera, and making it compatible with the soon to be announced IPCAM-PT2, which will be the new generation of Alarmnet's pan tilt camera. We're told that it also supports the ZXT 120 IR Thermostat.

Honeywell is calling the L5210, an enhanced version of the L5200. But what it's addition features will be we are not sure of yet. That said, considering the award winning features of the 5200, we are excited to see what is delivered. As to whether Honeywell will continue production of the larger screened L5200, we are also not sure yet.

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Back in January of 2013, we discussed the compatibility issues with earlier revisions of the VISTA-21iP alarm system with the VISTA-GSM4G. Traditionally, Honeywell creates a new firmware revision to clearly mark which panels are compatible with specific features. In this case, we found out that revision 3.13 had some panels that supported the 4G communicator and others that did not.

At the time, we explained that Honeywell started tagging the panels with stickers that read, "Supports VISTA-GSM4G." Although Honeywell offers PROM chip upgrades for the VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P there are no PROM upgrades for the VISTA-21iP. The update meant that VISTA-21iP owners without this sticker would need to upgrade their entire alarm panel in order to integrate 4G cellular connectivity.

 The biggest factor in this discussion is the "2G sunset." AT&T announced that they have already started phasing out their GSM 2G cellular network. The kicker is that every 2G cell tower in the nation will be upgraded by the end of 2016. This may have seemed far way but it is only around the corner. So this discussion relates to any VISTA-21iP system owner using cellular communication; not just those looking to upgrade to a faster 4G communicator. The original post seemed like a doomsday if your panel did not have the sticker. Well think again...

Now for the good news! The VISTA-GSM4G is considered an internal communicator for the VISTA-21iP. It is designed to be used as a backup to the built-in IP communicator. However it can be used as a stand alone cellular communicator as well. The important thing here is that the VISTA-21iP supports external Honeywell communicators as well.

The GSMV4G is an external cellular communicator which can be used with any VISTA-21iP revision. If you plan to use the internet as your primary communication path with cellular as secondary, you can use the iGSMV4G instead. In order to tell your panel to use an external communication path you need to disable the internal communications by physically moving a jumper pin on the board. 

There is an "Internal IP/GSM Jumper" that is in the 'on' position by default. This jumper powers the internal communicators: Internet communicator on the panel, the VISTA-GSM4G or both if you have a dual path setup. The jumper is located just beneath the RJ-45 jack which can be found on the top left side of the board. In the 'on' position, the panel powers the internal communicators. In the 'off' position, the panel cuts off power to the internal comm paths.

If you would like to use an external communication path like the iGSMV4G you must power down the system and move the jumper to the 'off' position. Doing this will shut down both the IP and GSM internal communication paths. So if you were already using the on board IP communicator simply disconnect the ethernet cable from the panel and land it on the iGSMV4G!

Similar to a wired keypad, external communicators require a 4 wire connection to the panel's ECP bus which is located on terminals 4-7 on the VISTA-21iP. There is a power connection on terminals 4 and 5 on the panel and a data connection on terminals 6 and 7 on the panel. Although the communicator is already connected to ECP power, it still requires an AC power connection on terminals 1 and 2 of the communicator.

The GSMV4G and iGSMV4G are shipped with their own Honeywell 1361 AC transformer. You can wire the communicator directly to the transformer or you can use a shared transformer with the panel. If you do the shared transformer setup, you need to swap in the beefier 1361 that comes with the communicator. Simply swap the wired connections over to the new transformer. Then land terminals 1 and 2 from the communicator on terminals 1 and 2 on the panel. You can land them in parallel, right on top of the existing connections to the transformer. 

We have made available detailed instructions for installing the iGSMV4G. The wiring is exactly the same for the GSMV4G. The only difference is that you need to connect an Ethernet cable on the RJ-45 port on the iGSMV4G. 

We've already begun to see an increase in people with the older non-4G capable VISTA-21iP panels asking us for upgrade opportunities. We don't like being the bearers of bad news and having to tell those people that they need an entire new alarm control panel and a new cellular communicator so we have begun offering this as a less expensive alternative to upgrade to 4G cellular communications.

While Honeywell engineers didn't design the original VISTA-21iP panel with the option to support the future VISTA-GSM4G communicators, the flexible design of the 21iP, which allows for an internal or external communicator means that their oversight won't have to cost you anymore than the price of a new external 4G communicator.

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