February 2014 Archives

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Wonder what one of our security yard signs look like after an incredibly harsh winter?

This year has been one of the worst in history. But we're proud to say that our signs have faired very well. We were excited to see the following tweet from one of Alarm Grid's many clients:

@alarmgrid signs hold up well in new england winters! pic.twitter.com/7dUvEKlPvJ
— Dave (@flarms) February 9, 2014

Alarm Grid Sign in the New England Snow

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After hearing a story on NPR about a mysterious thief in Key West (which isn't so far from us), I thought it would be appropriate to do a little story for our blog. Like many communities around the United States, Key West's residence who live around the island's graveyard have been getting robbed by a mysterious Apple-product loving thief. The problem has become big enough that the police are even offering a $5,000 reward in exchange for "information that leads to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the recent burglaries in the neighborhood surrounding the Key West Cemetery."

When I heard the story, I felt a little bit like the world's most famous man in tights, Superman, "this sounds like a job for Alarm Grid." If you are a resident in Key West that wants to make sure you are protected against this sort of intrusion, why not think about getting a security system? They are affordable, and with our no-contract monitoring, if you no longer want to be monitored after the thief is caught, you don't have to be.

For something basic, you'll want to make sure your doors and windows are protected. The Honeywell 5816 or 5811 sensors (depending on how much you care about the size) are perfect for that and you'll want the main security panel. If you want to save a little bit of money, you can buy some of these things in kits, like the L5100PK. If you want to step up the security a bit, you might want to consider getting some glassbreak detectors, some motion detectors, and a wireless Honeywell camera or two never hurt anybody.

If you're a Key West resident in need of monitoring and assistance trying to figure out what you might need, give us a call. We'd love to help you protect your property!

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Total Connect 2.0 Navigation OrderAlarmNet has given its Total Connect 2.0 app a much needed update. While the iPhone and Android apps remain largely untouched, the new enhancements give access to the robust functionality of the Total Connect website to both iPad and iPad mini device users. The experience is now more uniformed across the platforms, giving iPad users the ability to do many of the things they were never able to do from the old app: configure the system, make adjustments to Honeywell's cameras, create custom scenes, setup z-wave device behaviors and more.

In addition to these improvements in functionality, Honeywell has given all the apps, including Total Connect for the iPhone, some cosmetic upgrades as well. This enhanced user experience allows the app to take advantage of the phone's landscape rotation capabilities, and Total Connect cameras will be given signal strength indicators so that you can understand the fidelity of their connection to the modem - information that is critical for anyone who wants to make sure that their security system is performing optimally.

The update hasn't been released in iTunes quite yet, but will be getting released within the next few days. If you are one of Alarm Grid's many Total Connect users, be sure to download the app so that you can take advantage of all of its new features.

Total Connect Logo

For those of you who are not using Total Connect, but are wondering what it's all about and whether it's right for you, feel free to use our demo account. The interactive services that Total Connect make available, will allow an user to receive text and email alerts, as well as take control of the security system as a whole. Any of Alarm Grid's monitoring packages that include "interactive services," come with Total Connect.

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Just a little while back, we wrote about how Honeywell had introduced the new Honeywell 6162 and 6152 keypads. These new wired keypads have some awesome new features that make programming a little less confusing, and a little more "GUI" (graphical user interface) based. Honeywell is calling the new programming interface VIP and it is only available to users with VIP compatible keypads if their alarm system has the newest 9.18 PROM chips on their Vista 20P and VISTA 15P circuit boards. Honeywell is shipping the new V20P/V15P panels that have the 9.18 chips already installed for those that are purchasing new systems. However, if you are interested in upgrading an existing system to support the VIP programming, you don't need to purchase an entire new system. We offer a standalone VISTA-20P PROM chip and a standalone VISTA-15P PROM chip that you can use to to upgrade the panel without needing to reprogram any settings. Until this week, we were distributing the older 9.12 prom chips that supported Total Connect 2.0 as Honeywell had not released the standalone 9.18 chips. We are happy to announce that as of this week, we do have the new 9.18 PROMs.

While having an updated, state-of-the-art panel is what everyone wants, getting the 9.18 PROM chip is not necessary for everyone. First, check the revision of your system. Then, here are a few things to consider before you jump in and get the new chip set:

What is different about the new revision?

The only difference so far as we have been told between the 9.12 PROM and the 9.18 PROM is the ability to use VIP programming. So before you jump into a new revision, decide whether the VIP programming is something you want. If you have an old 6160 keypad, the answer is simple. You can't do VIP programming. On the other hand, if you have a 6162 keypad, the VIP programming is something you can definitely make use of if you have the right PROM.

Do I need the 9.18 PROM to use Total Connect 2.0?

Nope! The new 9.18 PROMs do support Total Connect 2.0 service, but any system with at least a 9.12 PROM will support Total Connect 2.0 as well. The 9.18 chips won't give you any added Total Connect features as of yet. We'll let you know if that changes.

Will the old communicators work with the new revision?

Honeywell hasn't made any changes to their communicators. So the 15P and 20P communicators that worked for 9.12 panels will continue to work for 9.18 revision panels: GSMV4G, GSMX4G, 7847i, and iGSMV4G

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