July 2014 Archives

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Today we executed step 1 of building our new DIY video lab! We will be adding some heavy duty, locking casters to turn our faux wall into a mobile video lab. You say 'green screen' we say 'wall on wheels.' 

This means more nitty, gritty DIY installation videos using real sheetrock cut-ins. Who knows, we may even break out some cable snaking tricks that will save you time and aggravation. The beauty of the faux wall is that we can offer realistic installations on a true surface! 

As the Alarm Grid DIY community grows we plan to offer simple, professional techniques and solutions for all your alarm system needs. Be sure to check out our Youtube channel for the latest and greatest details on everything Honeywell! 

https://www.youtube.com/user/AlarmGrid

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If you love Honeywell's wireless security systems as much as we do, then you will likely be very excited by all the new kits that we've posted. All of these systems are easily installed, for any DIYer. While most of the time, these units are installed on the wall as we showed how to do in our L7000 installation video as well as our older L5100 installation video (the L5100 is the same size as the L5200 and their to-the-wall installations would be exactly the same), for those still worried about the ease of installation there are ways to make it very very simple. For the L5200, there is a desk mount, and the L7000, we are told, will have one out very soon.

It's also worth noting that because the traditional Honeywell model has always been to distribute these systems through an installer, they have generally assumed that the installer would have a giant spool of wire when performing the installation. As a result, there is no cable between the transformer and the system itself. This can be easily fixed with the addition of the LT-Cable to any system. That said, let's take a little tour through the numerous kits that are available for the new LYNX Touch wireless security alarm systems.

Finally, don't forget that these systes can all be turned into home automation controllers using the L5100-ZWAVE module which can be installed on the left-most edge connctor.

Dual Path Kits

Dual path security systems are generally considered the most secure system you can buy. An often cited problem of the older security systems is that they were connected to phone lines which were susceptible to being cut by the most resourceful thieves. Nowadays the systems can be connected by much safer means, such as over IP or the wireless cellular networks. The problem with IP, however, is that the pathway is susceptible to the same problems that the old phone lines had - WIFI can be cut if a thief is determined enough. Cellular security systems, on the other hand, are nearly impossible to disrupt. Generally it takes an emergency of epic proportions to make security systems go down. A dual path security system allows a system owner to take advantage of the up-time of a cellular network, but in the rare case that that network went down, the WIFI pathway is there to back it up. Likewise, while WIFI is generally very reliable, the cellular system will ensure that uptime is something close to 99.9%. The only disadvantage is that monitoring a system with the cellular security pathway is going to cost a little bit more each month.

Generally, for those concerned with the added security who want to take advantage of 4G communication, we recommend also using the IP pathway since it costs no more to add save for the fixed cost of the communicator itself.

There are two L5200 kits that are now available with both the L5100-WIFI communicator and the new 4GL communicator. They are named L5200PK-WIFI-4G and L5200PK10-WIFI-4G. The only difference is that one comes with three 5811 wireless door and window sensors, and the other comes with 10.

Likewise, the L7000 has the L7000PK-WIFI-4G and the L7000PK10-WIFI-4G. Like the L5200's kits, the only difference between these two kits is the number of sensors. Then again, I'll stop mentioning that since in every kit set, there is a 3-sensor version and a 10-sensor version. And since this is a blog about security systems, I'll do my best to make it less boring than it already is. :)

Kits with ONLY the 4G Communicators

As with the dual path kits, these kits can take advantage of the security available to users of the 4G, cellular networks. 


These kits are the L5200PK-4G and the L5200PK10-4G. With only one communicator, they are a bit cheaper than the dual path kits. Their use of cellular makes them incredibly secure, though they lack the redundancy of kits that contain the IP communicator. If you are trying to save a little money but also want the most security you can get out of your system, consider these systems. Because the LYNX Touch series is modular, you can easily upgrade the system to be dual path later.

The L7000PK-4G and the L7000PK10-4G are wonderful systems that take advantage of the L7000's capacity for numerous zones and larger screen interface. For anyone who needs a great system that can be expanded with numerous Total Connect cameras, or tons of sensors, these L7000 security system kits are the perfect place to start.

Kits with ONLY the WIFI Communicators

While not quite as secure as the GSM pathway, monitoring a system by IP communicator is adequate for most homeowners. With the L5200 and the L7000 security systems, the iLP5 is available for those interested in hardwiring the system to a router. But with wireless where it is today, the L5100-WIFI allows a system to reliably connect to a local WIFI network.

The L5200PK-WIFI and the L5200PK10-WIFI use the WIFI pathway for communicating with a central station. This Total Connect 2.0 capable system's monitoring is included as the base package for all of our available systems.

These L7000 kits are the L7000PK-WIFI and the L7000PK10-WIFI. Using the IP connectivity for the L7000 will give it the ability to use Total Connect 2.0, which will allow an user to arm and disarm from anywhere in the world. While all the communicators will allow this, the L5100-WIFI is the most economical way to build a system capable of using the interactive options.

Kits With No Communicators

If you're looking for a kit with no communicators, just to use as a local sounder, or because you are replacing an old L5100 and are just planning on using the communicators you already have (since the GSMVLP5-4G works with the L5200). Alarm Grid has three kits with the L5200 security system available. these kits are named the L5200PK, the L5200PK-5811, and the L5200PK10. Each comes with a Honeywell L5200 security system and the various sensors depicted in the units' picture.

For those who want a little bit more system, Alarm Grid's L7000 kits can also be purchased without a communicator. If you are looking to upgrade from an older system, it's important to note that the GSMVLP5-4G does not work with the L7000. In order to take advantage of cellular communication with the L7000, you must install a 4GL communicator, in which case one of the cellular security systems listed above is probably the better option.

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Honeywell 4GL

The new Honeywell 4GL communicator released from Honeywell is an updated 4G communicator made specifically for the Honeywell L7000 security system. To date, Honeywell's GSMVLP5-4G has been the cellular communicator for the LYNX Touch units. And while the GSMVLP5-4G will work inside of the L5200 security system, that older communicator will not work int he new, bigger L7000 systems.

Because the 4GL works for both the L7000 and the L5200 we will be shipping it with all kits for both units as soon as our supply of GSMVLP5-4Gs is exhausted. In the meantime, the L5200 kits will come with the older communicator.

If you have the older Honeywell L5100, the GSMVLP5-4G isn't going away any time soon. So if you are interested in upgrading your system to take advantage of all that the cellular communication pathway has to offer, you will be able to do that for the foreseeable future as. Just make sure to get the right communicator for your system.

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Happy 4th of July Alarm Grid! And Happy Birthday America!

We just wanted to relay the message: we're Closed Today.... Too Busy Being All Patriotic....

We wish you all the best of health. Stuff yourself with hot dogs, wave flags, and shoot rockets off in your back yard (if you're in a state where it's legal). Just be safe and follow the rules!

Remember, if you are getting the itch and work on your panel today, call the central station and put your panel on test. THE CENTRAL STATION IS ALWAYS OPEN. So if you need them, feel free to call our main line, (888-818-7728) and press 1. A friendly, helpful operator will pick up right away. For those of you who are having fun instead of working on your security system, toast a beer (or diet coke if you're me) to America and eat a hot dog.

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If you're just down from yesterday's loss by America's World Cup soccer team, maybe this news will help cheer you up! Honeywell has finally released its award winning L7000 to the public, after tantalizing the DIY community with little previews since early November 2013. If the L5200's roaringly successful debut is any indication, the L7000's release is likely to be met with unprecedented eagerness by alarm system enthusiasts.

Just coming off winning the ESX's "Best in Show" award, the L7000 may be the most impressive security system released to date by any company ever. The L7000 is really very similar to its one month old predecessor, the L5200. But for its large 7-inch display, ability to handle many more zones, and the fact that it's capable of monitoring up to 4 cameras (the L5200 can monitor only one), the L7000 is the slightly souped up version of an already impressive line of wireless security panels.

"While the L5200 is the system most people need, the L7000 is perfect for DIYers with big homes, or needs that are outside of the scope of the L5200," said Joshua Unseth, Alarm Grid's director of marketing. "We have made all the resources available for these units, so that anyone who wants to install the system on their own can do it very easily."

Alarm Grid's free resources have become well-known among security system enthusiasts. The Alarm Grid videos are given regular mentions in Amazon reviews and are regularly cited by customers as the impetus for choosing Alarm Grid. Unseth says that, along with their comprehensive list of frequently asked security system questions, the rich set of resources Alarm Grid provides is their biggest source of leads. "We believe that giving away everything that a consumer needs to know about their security system is the best way to build trust with consumers who are rightly mistrustful of this industries."

Alarm Grid's President, Sterling Donnelly said, "The L7000 security system might be new, but we have spent the last several months using it, testing it, and troubleshooting it. As consumers begin working with this new piece of equipment, they will quickly see how valuable having our resources at their fingerprints is." That said, Donnelly emphasized that Honeywell seems to have invested a lot into understanding the user experience. "Honeywell designed a panel that is easy to use, and hard to set up incorrectly. We don't anticipate consumers having many problems using the L7000. It's interface is the same as the L5200, and consumers have found that system to be both simple and reliable."

Honeywell's standards for equipment manufacturing are well-known, and the L7000 is no different. UL listed, the panel boasts every security feature under the sun including Advanced Protection Logic (APL), the ability to stream Total Connect cameras live over the local WIFI network using the l5100-WIFI modules and more. The system's flash upgradeable, just like the L5200, which makes the panel resistant to future updates. "This might be the most important change Honeywell has made to these systems, with regard to cost," said Donnelly. "While hardware limitations are always frustrating for users when a new product comes out and obsoletes an old product, Honeywell seems committed to making sure their consumers are able to continually update their panel for new features. Ultimately, this is good news for anyone putting a Honeywell panel in their house."

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Alarm Grid is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Maryland Under License #107-1961.

Alarm Grid is honored to monitor homes in Maryland. Maryland's state regulations regarding home security are onerous, so we are glad to be done with the process of getting licensed in the state.

While having a license to operate in the state of Maryland is necessary for effectively performing central station monitoring for municipalities within the state, many of those municipalities, including counties and cities themselves, have ordinances that require additional efforts in order to make sure that your system is in compliance.

We do our best to make sure that we are in compliance with each of the individual municipalities, but there are over 9,000 throughout the United States, so occasionally, the information in our municipal database is outdated. It is your responsibility to check the regulations in your local area, though we do our best to help. If you find that some of the information that we have posted is incorrect, please let us know by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will make the proper updates right away.

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