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Beginning on December 6, and continuing through December 31, 2021 Alarm Grid customers who subscribe to Alarm.com video service can capture a picture of Santa Clause as he visits their home. Not all cameras have the ability to capture images of Santa, but Alarm.com has a few cameras that do.

The following cameras offered by Alarm.com are capable of capturing Santa's image:

Any Alarm Grid customer with one of the cameras listed above and a monitoring plan that includes video has the ability to take advantage of this rare opportunity to see the big man in action. There are limits to this technology, though. The only way you can see Santa is through a still image captured within a screenshot. He moves so quickly, you can't possibly catch him in an actual video clip.

The ability to grab an image of Santa is only available through the Alarm.com Customer App, not through the web page. In order to support this feature, iOS users must be on version 4.17 and higher of the app, while Android users must be on version 4.15.1 and higher. The Alarm.com app is available as a free download through the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

To use this feature, log into the app using the proper credentials, completing any two-factor authentication that you may have setup. Once you're logged in, click on the menu icon in the upper left (≡) then tap Video from the list of menu items. Select the live video feed of any of the compatible cameras listed above that you may have associated with your account. Click the Santa icon available near the top of the live stream:


This is when the magic happens! The first time you click on the icon, a pop-up window will show you how to capture the proper image for your situation. For cameras and images in full light, Santa may appear in color. If the image is captured at night, then Santa may appear in black and white. Once you have the image, you can either choose to share it, download it, or both.

It's that simple! This magic "Santa Filter" is only available until the end of December. After that, we'll have to wait until next year to see if this particular Holiday Magic will be available again then. Alarm Grid customers with a Platinum Plan (Self or Full) or with a Stand-alone video plan can take advantage of this opportunity.

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Local Alarm Mode, also called Demo Mode, is a way for an alarm dealer to demonstrate the full features of the panel without having to register it to an AlarmNet360 account. However, while in this mode, panel communications can't be configured. A panel in this mode can seem to be broken.

Alarm Grid has seen several of the Honeywell Home PROA7, Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, Resideo PROA7C, and Resideo PROA7PLUSC panels recently that have either arrived with Local Alarm Mode enabled, or have been put into this mode during initial setup. Once Local Alarm Mode has been enabled, it is impossible to configure the panel communication settings until Local Alarm Mode has been toggled off.

Local Alarm Mode is a valuable tool that has been made available to alarm dealers so that they can demo these new panels for a customer in spite of the fact that the panel isn't associated with an account. This was particularly important when the panel was first introduced because there was no local programming. For those early panels, until the ProSeries panel was registered, it couldn't do much unless Local Alarm Mode had been enabled.

This was a great tool at the time for alarm dealers, but for DIY customers, it doesn't offer much in the way of benefits. Now that the panel has local panel programming available, there really is no reason for an Alarm Grid customer to want to use this feature. Whether the panel arrived with this feature enabled, or the feature was enabled during programming, once the customer decides to have the system monitored, whether self monitored, or with central station monitoring, Local Alarm Mode should be disabled.

To check to see if Local Alarm Mode is enabled or disabled, choose the Menu icon (≡) at the bottom center of the Home screen. Select Tools > Installer Code (default is 4112) > Local Alarm Mode. The feature can then be toggled OFF if it is enabled. If it was enabled and you toggle it off, you'll see a confirmation screen, click on the "YES, DISABLE" option.

If you've been using the system with Local Alarm Mode enabled, and you have signed up for alarm monitoring with Alarm Grid, be sure to toggle this feature OFF as soon as possible. Depending on which monitoring plan you sign up for, activation of your account may begin immediately after sign up, and having this feature enabled at that time can cause delays. This is particularly true of the Self-Monitoring options. If you signed up for a central station monitoring plan, just be sure to disable this feature prior to your activation appointment.

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DEAL 1: FREE MONITORING FOR 3 MONTHS WITH PURCHASE OF $50 OR MORE

Want alarm monitoring at a great price? How about free? If you are buying more than $50 in product today, sign up for monitoring, and we'll give you 3 months for free. 3 free fabulous months of monitoring just for ordering between now and Cyber Monday. We think that when your three month trial is up, you'll stick around because the service is so, stinkin' good. Make sure that you use the same email address when you purchase as you do when you sign up for monitoring. This is for new customers only.

If you want to figure out which monitoring plan you need, call us at 888-818-7728!

Normally: $10-45/month | Black Friday Price: $0 for 3 months

Check out Our Monitoring Plans

DEAL 2: $71 Off Lyric Alarm Systems w/ 24 Hour Battery

The Lyric Alarm system is the workhorse of the Resideo line. It's a beautiful system with Homekit integrations and an incredible set of functions. It works with both 5800, 2GIG, & SiX protocol sensors. We are knocking $50 off of the price from today until Cyber Monday.

Normally: $270.99 | Black Friday Price: $199.99

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DEAL 3: $10 off Garage Door Controllers for LYNX & Lyric Systems

Your Lyric or Lynx alarm system is capable of controlling the garage door. Did you know that? It is easy to install this garage door controller and program to the system to make it work as well. We can help you do it! Take control of your garage door today with the 5877GDPK.

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DEAL 4: 10%-Off All Smoke Detectors

We hope we're not too late! The Thanksgiving holiday is a day past, and some of you, we know, have scary ideas about cooking turkeys. Well, it's never too late to be prepared. We want to make sure that your security system has fire detection for next year's scary idea. Protect your home, family, and all of your things when you purchase a smoke, fire, or combo detector that is compatible with your security system. Combine it with the free monitoring for 3 months in DEAL 1, and we can call the fire department for you in the case you wake up one day smelling smoke.

Discounted Products

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DEAL 5: 10%-Off All CO Detectors

Carbon Monoxide is the silent killer. We have the solution, a not so silent, screaming loud alarm system compatible CO detector. When you purchase a CO detector that is compatible with your security system, you'll be protecting your family from one of the scariest threats homeowners face.

Discounted Products

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DEAL 6: $20 off Doorbell Cameras

Your packages are sitting ducks! And when is a better time to change that than right now, before the holiday season.

Get a compatible camera for your home to watch over the front stoop. Make package thieves think twice before taking the holiday gifts you got for your loved ones.

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DEAL 7: 5%-Off All Orders Over $50

If you're looking at the great deals above and you're thinking to yourself, "there's nothing here for me," this deal's for you! We're giving 5% off all orders over $50. For those excited by the offers above, I know you're wondering, "What about me? Do I get 5% off in addition?" The answer is YES! Of course you do.

Today's savings are off the hook!

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From all of us at Alarm Grid, Happy Thanksgiving! We send you good wishes for a healthy and happy day with your friends and family. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or just Giving Back we hope you stay safe and warm. Be sure to arm your security system, and lock your doors.

We at Alarm Grid understand the importance of spending time with loved ones, so we will be closed on Thanksgiving to give our employees the opportunity to celebrate. Of course, our central monitoring stations will both be available to handle any alarm signals that may be sent by our customer's systems. If you need to contact the monitoring station, to report a false alarm or put your system on test, you can call Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS) at (888) 818-7728 and choose Option [9]. This is the process for customers inside the United States.

If you are a Canadian Alarm Grid customer, then you will contact Rapid Response, our monitoring partner in Canada at (800) 932-3822. Remember, when you call you will be asked for your name and address, and to verify your false alarm password or phrase. Providing the wrong information, or the Duress Password will result in a police dispatch.

If you have a support question, or need to make adjustments to your account, the monitoring station won't be able to assist you with that. In that case, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com with your request and we'll get back with you as soon as possible when we return to the office on Friday, November 25.

As we begin the 2021 holiday season, we give thanks for our health, our employees, but most of all for our wonderful customers. It is truly our pleasure to help you keep your family and your property safe and secure.

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Update 11/26/21:

On Tuesday of this week, Resideo announced an update meant to fix this issue. Apparently, it fixed the portion of the issue where all Automation Syncs were failing, but did not address the issue with being unable to control Z-Wave Devices remotely.

There is something of a workaround for this portion of the issue at this time. During the TC2 session where a successful Automation Sync occurs, you can control Z-Wave devices remotely. Once you end that TC2 session and begin another one, you will lose that ability. So, for now, if you need to control a Z-Wave device remotely, perform a sync, and once you see in the Activity Log that the Automation Sync was successful, you will be able to control Z-Wave devices until the current TC2 session ends. Stay tuned and we will provide further updates as this issue is resolved.

Original Post:

In the last couple of weeks, Alarm Grid has noticed several customers with VAM and Tuxedo Keypads (all versions) having trouble syncing Z-Wave devices with Total Connect 2.0. This prevents newly added Z-Wave devices from showing up in TC2, though local control at the device is still available.

This issue doesn't seem to affect Total Connect 2.0 accounts associated with AiO (All-in-One) panels such as the Lyric Controller and the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. Accounts with these panel types should be working fine. It is unknown exactly what the problem is, and there is currently no workaround available. We've been in touch with Resideo and Honeywell Home and they are aware of the problem, but there is no Estimated Time of Resolution (ETR) for a fix.

You can continue to add and remove Z-Wave devices locally at the VAM or Tuxedo. But any changes that are made locally at the Z-Wave controller will not be synced to Total Connect 2.0. This means that any device deleted locally will continue to show up in TC2, and any device added locally will not show up in Total Connect 2.0 until this issue is resolved and a successful automation sync occurs.

Any device that currently shows up in Total Connect 2.0, and still exists in the Tuxedo or VAM CANNOT be controlled remotely through TC2. When an attempt to perform an Automation Sync occurs, there is no Automation Sync Failed, or Automation Sync Successful message displayed in TC2 Activity. Status changes from the Z-Wave device to TC2 seem to be coming through fine. It's only the sync process and remote control that seem to be having issues.

Alarm Grid is working with Resideo and Honeywell Home, and as soon as this issue is resolved, we'll post about it here. We posted information earlier this year about the Tuxedo Keypads and VAM Automation Controllers not updating the weather properly. We don't know if this current issue is related to the previous one, but we hope that it will be resolved soon. Stay tuned to our blog for updates.

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Here at Alarm Grid, we recently learned that the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 supports the Qolsys IQ Remote, but only the most recent iteration. Older Qolsys IQ Remotes are not compatible. If you plan to replace a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with an IQ Panel 4, read on to see how you can tell the keypads apart.

As of now, only the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 AT&T LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible version, and the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Verizon LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible version are available. The other iterations of the panel will become available in the next couple of months. The only touchscreen keypad that is currently compatible with these panels is the Qolsys IQ Remote, and only the latest version with P/N QW9104-840, at that. Keypads with a P/N of QW9103-840 or below are not compatible. The sticker showing the part number should be on the back of the keypad.

Below, you can see the back of an IQ Remote with the P/N: QW9103-840. This keypad is not compatible with a Qolsys IQ Panel 4:


Looking at the sticker on the back of the keypad is the first way to easily determine whether the IQ Remote will work with the IQ Panel 4 or not. But, what if the sticker has been removed, or the touchscreen keypad has been mounted to the wall and the back side is difficult to access? There is another easy way to tell whether the IQ Remote you have is the older or newer version.

When the IQ Remote was re-designed, the front-facing camera was moved from the upper right corner to the center of the keypad. This was done, in part to better match the look of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2/2 Plus. Checking the location of the camera is the easiest way to determine whether it is a newer or an older Qolsys IQ Remote.

Below you can see one of the original Qolsys IQ Remotes. You can see that the camera is located in the upper right corner of the keypad.

Below is an image of the newer Qolsys IQ Remote, P/N QW9104-840. You can see the camera has been moved to the front center, and in the upper right corner you can see that a microphone has been added:


Checking the camera location is by far the easiest and quickest way to determine if the IQ Remote you have is compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. It's rumored that a PowerG Touchscreen Keypad is in the works, which, if true will likely make the IQ Remote obsolete given the superior wireless range of the PowerG protocol.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 can support up to three (3) IQ Remotes, but it also supports the use of up to five (5) Wireless PowerG Keypads (WS9LCDWF9, HS2LCDWF9, and HS2LCDWF9ENG) and up to two (2) Hardwired DSC Keypads (HS2LCD, HS2ICN) per DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless translator module. Up to two (2) modules are currently supported per panel, so up to four (4) of the wired keypads can be used. This gives a total of up to 12 remote keypads.

Have comments, questions, suggestions? Leave a comment below and we'll be happy to respond. Our support hours are from 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday - Friday, and our support email is support@alarmgrid.com. We always look forward to hearing from you.

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Now, in addition to Z-Wave and Liftmaster/Chamberlain MyQ garage door integration, Alarm Grid's Alarm.com customers can use Genie Aladdin Connect retrofit kits, and OHD Anywhere Overhead Door kits to integrate control of garage doors through Alarm.com. This is a server-level integration.

The Genie Aladdin Connect and OHD Anywhere Overhead Door kits are retrofit kits that make older garage doors "Smart". They provide a connection to WIFI, that older garage doors would otherwise not have, which enables them to work with their own remote control app and/or with the Alarm.com app. The benefit of integrating with Alarm.com is that it allows a single app to control multiple types of devices. Also, when the garage door is integrated through Alarm.com, it can then be included in automation scenes based on system events, or schedules.

Each retrofit kit can support up to three (3) separate garage door motors. The Genie Aladdin Connect Retrofit Kit Installation Instructions are available here. the OHD Anywhere Quick Install Guide is located here. There is also a Compatibility Guide, showing which older garage door motors are compatible with the OHD Anywhere retrofit kit. For the most part, any older garage door opener made after January 1, 1993, or with safety beams built-in, should be compatible with either of these kits. Conversely, most newer Chamberlain and Liftmaster MyQ garage door motors are incompatible.

For users with pre-existing installations of either the Genie Aladdin Retrofit Kit, or the OHD Anywhere Retrofit Kit, we have an integration guide (both linked above) showing how to add that integration to your alarm.com account. In order to have the option to add a garage door, you will need to have the Garage Door and Gate Control service package add-on enabled by your alarm dealer. For Alarm Grid customers, this will require the Gold Plan (Self or Full) or higher. At the time of activation, let your activator know that you need this service to be enabled.

If you don't yet have one of these kits installed, but you'd like to add one, there is no need to set the device up through the manufacturer's app. The entire setup, including adding the retrofit kit to WIFI, can be accomplished through Alarm.com by your security dealer. They will need you to provide the proper module serial number to them so that they can complete the server-to-server integration. Once it is complete, you'll be able to access the garage door through the Alarm.com app with no need to download any other app first.

What do you think of this integration? Alarm.com is really committed to third-party integration, and they are doing a bang-up job of making these types of services available to their customers. Do you have an older garage door motor that could be upgraded in this way? Let us know what you think in the comments below, we always look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com announced last week that it would begin offering a MicroSD card for use with its cameras that is made by Western Digital. Prior to that time, they offered a card manufactured by Micron. The WD Purple MicroSD card offers a lower price point and higher endurance performance.

The Alarm.com ADC-USD-256GB-WD MicroSD card is designed by Western Digital specifically for the mainstream video market. It offers an excellent balance of price, endurance, capacity, and longevity. This card is being offered by Alarm.com, but it can be used in any video camera that supports the use of a MicroSD card, either for backup, in the event the camera loses its network connection, or for primary recording, such as with the Alarm.com Onboard Recording and Smart View feature.

Alarm.com cameras only support card capacities up to 256GB, which is, I'm sure, why they've chosen to sell only cards with the 256GB capacity. Western Digital actually makes the WD Purple MicroSD cards in capacities from 32 GB to 1TB, as you can see from their Data Sheet. Currently, Alarm Grid is only offering the 256GB capacity cards that are offered through Alarm.com.

The WD Purple MicroSD cards use advanced 96-Layer 3D NAND technology. What this means is that there are 96 layers of NAND Flash memory medium stacked together, forming a 3D shape, sort of like a 96 story skyscraper, but very tiny. There are vertical channels between the layers, allowing communication between them. This architecture allows for less power consumption, greater storage capacity, greater endurance, and the ability to operate in temperatures ranging from -13℉ - +185℉ (-25℃ - +85℃). It also makes them humidity resistant, so they're great for working both indoors and outdoors.

Another feature of these MicroSD cards that makes them perfect for video surveillance use is the Card Health Monitoring feature. With compatible cameras, the camera can send a notification when it's time to replace the card. We're unsure if the Alarm.com cameras support this feature, but we have a request into them to check, and will update this post with the answer.

Update: Per Alarm.com CORE Technical Support, the Alarm.com cameras do not support the Card Health Monitoring feature at this time, but may begin supporting it in the future.

What are you thoughts on this subject? Do you have a camera that supports a higher capacity MicroSD card that you would like to see us offer for sale? Leave a comment below, and if there's interest, we can check into offering these cards in other capacities. Until then, have a great week, and we'll see you soon. Stay safe!

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This week, Alarm.com offers some news. They have a firmware update for the Alarm.com Slim Line II Doorbells. It will be pushed automatically in the coming weeks. They're ready to support the new Qolsys panels. Also, a new MicroSD card will soon be available, made specifically for video devices.

The Alarm.com Slimline II Doorbells that are online and attached to Alarm.com accounts will be receiving a firmware update in the coming weeks. This update will be performed automatically, no input from the customer or the dealer is required. This update, Version 4089, will add compatibility for different internal components. Customers should not notice any change in performance regarding this update.

Alarm.com is ready to support the all new Qolsys IQ Panel 4. Currently, only the PowerG and 319.5 MHz versions of this panel (with either an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE communicator) is available. However, additional versions of these panels, which will support Honeywell and 2GIG 345 MHz wireless in addition to PowerG in an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE version, and then later DSC 433 MHz in addition to PowerG in an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE version, will soon be available. We currently show the panels that are not available as being discontinued, but that will change as soon as stock becomes available. Bookmark the page for your panel, and keep checking back.

Alarm.com is ready for another new Qolsys panel, the IQ Hub. Now, they just need to get some available stock for this panel. The IQ Hub has a lot of the same features as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2, but each version of the Hub will only support one RF frequency. There will be a PowerG version, a 345 MHz version for those who will be replacing a Honeywell or 2GIG wireless panel, a 319.5 MHz version for those upgrading an older Qolsys or Interlogix panel, and a 433 MHz version for users who are replacing an older DSC panel, with an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE version available for each of these "flavors".

Our final bit of news for the week is regarding Alarm.com cameras that support MicroSD cards. Alarm.com was offering a Micron i300 Industrial Memory Card (256 GB capacity) for use with their cameras that support local recording. They have switched to the WD Purple MicroSD Card (SKU: ADC-USD-256GB-WD). This card is less expensive, and with its high-endurance performance is designed for the 24/7 nature of use with surveillance cameras, particularly the Alarm.com cameras that offer Onboard Recording with the Smart View feature. Alarm Grid will soon begin offering this new and improved MicroSD card.

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Qolsys TSB #211022 indicates that the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, PowerG and 319.5 MHz version with any communicator has been discontinued. All kits containing these versions have also been discontinued. The IQ Panel 4 PowerG and 319.5 MHz panel is the appropriate replacement in this instance.

Currently Alarm Grid offers the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Verizon LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible 319.5 MHz Wireless Alarm Panel w/ PowerG, and the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 AT&T LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible 319.5 MHz Wireless Alarm Panel w/ PowerG. Both versions will eventually be offered in Black or White color variations, but at this time only the White variation is available.

This announcement is only for the Interlogix/GE compatible panels that support legacy RF in the 319.5 MHz frequency. The other variations of the IQ Panel 2 Plus, those that support 345 MHz Honeywell and 2GIG legacy RF, and 433 MHz DSC legacy RF sensors are still available at this time. This is because production for the IQ Panel 4 versions of these panels has not yet begun.

Per Qolsys, the IQ Panel 4 PowerG and Honeywell/2GIG compatible panels that support 345 MHz legacy RF sensors are beginning production this week. As supply ramps up, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus that supports this legacy RF frequency will be phased out. We expect this to begin happening in the near future. Production of the IQ Panel 4 for the DSC compatible panels that support 433 MHz legacy RF sensors will begin production in early December, with a similar phase out of those IQ Panel 2 Plus models soon to follow.

As with the IQ Panel 2 Plus, each Qolsys IQ Panel 4 will support PowerG in addition to one (1) legacy RF frequency. In addition to choosing a panel based on the RF frequency to be used, the user will also want to choose the panel with the built-in cellular communicator that will have the best signal strength and quality in the location where the panel will be installed. This can match the carrier for the user's cell phone, but that is not a requirement. When deciding which cellular carrier to choose, base the decision solely on cellular coverage. Billing for the panel's cellular communicator will be included in the monthly monitoring service charges.

The legacy RF frequency built-in to the IQ Panel 4 is intended to make it easy to replace an existing alarm panel from a different manufacturer. By choosing the IQ Panel 4 that supports the wireless frequency for sensors that are already installed in a location, a user can save a lot of money by not having to buy all new sensors. You get the benefit of an all new, feature-rich alarm panel without the expense, not to mention the time and trouble saved, of replacing existing sensors that still work.

Were you thinking of purchasing a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus in the 319.5 MHz "flavor"? If you were, you can purchase the IQ Panel 4 instead. This panel currently has the exact same User Interface (UI) as the IQ Panel 2 Plus, so the user experience will not differ. We expect the IQ Panel 4 to get a facelift in the near future, with the end-user having the choice of whether they want to use the new interface, or stick with the legacy one. The new UI is supposed to be very similar to the Alarm.com layout. If you have any comments, please leave them below. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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