June 2015 Archives

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Honeywell told us when they released the most recent overhaul of the Total Connect 2.0 platform that they were going to move to a more active production schedule. And it seems they are finally moving in that direction, which is excellent. releases are still less often than we would like, but once a month is better than once every year or two.

The current versions for Android and iPhone are 3.1.6 and 3.1.5 respectively. In this release, Honeywell is touting the following features:

  1. Arm or disarm your security system
  2. Turn lights off or on
  3. Adjust thermostat temperature
  4. Unlock or lock doors
  5. View live video and recorded clips from your Honeywell Total Connect cameras
  6. Wi-Fi signal strength indicators for Honeywell Total Connect cameras
  7. Create and control automated scenes for convenience and energy savings
  8. Create users and manage their security system user codes
  9. Language support for: Latin American Spanish, French Canadian, Brazilian Portuguese
  10. Receive email and text alerts about selected events in your home or business, such as extreme temperature changes, motion detected in restricted areas, movement of valuable items, and more.
Perhaps the most notable change in the app i the language support. Total Connect is being made available to a more global audience, which is something that is reflected in our user base. We have more than 10 different countries represented among our customers. If you're not in the US and you would like to use Total Connect to monitor your home, while central station monitoring is not available to you, more than likely you can use the features of TC 2.0 to accomplish what you want so long as you have a Honeywell security system and an internet connection.
In addition, this release quashes more than 50 known bugs, which makes the app much more usable. If you were using TC 2.0 during it's last release, you will know how amazing that is since it wasn't as smooth as many would have liked.


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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 $199.99. 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 199.99, 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!