April 2021 Archives

Posted By

You might be checking your calendar because it's Friday, and this is a video recap, and we usually save those for Mondays. Well we had four (4) videos from earlier this month that we never managed to recap, so we figured why not now? The topics today are VISTA Panels and the Tuxedo Keypad.

Honeywell VISTA System: Factory Defaulting

I show you how to Factory Default a Honeywell VISTA Security System. This process is very simple. You just get into programming with the command [Installer Code] + [8] + [00], with the default Installer Code being 4112. You can press [*97] to perform the default. The panel will beep three (3) times to confirm. You should also press [*96] to default the panel account and Computer Station ID (CSID). You can then press [*99] to exit programming. You can perform the default on an Alphanumeric Keypad, a Fixed English Keypad, or a Tuxedo Touchscreen Keypad in its Console Mode.


Honeywell Home Tuxedo: Local Scenes Using Sunrise & Sunset

I explain how you can create local smart scenes on a Honeywell Home Tuxedo Keypad to be set with time-based triggers for the local sunrise or sunset time. In the upper-right corner of the main Tuxedo screen, there is a weather display. If you click on this, then you can set the ZIP Code for the keypad. The Tuxedo will use this ZIP Code and its WIFI connection to get the daily sunrise and sunset time for any scenes set to trigger that way. If the Tuxedo loses its internet connection, it will just use the last recorded sunrise time and sunset time.


Honeywell Home Tuxedo: Setting Up Web Server & Remote Access

I show you how to set up web server access so that you can control the Tuxedo Keypad from a web browser. After setting up the feature by entering a username and password into the designated section of the Tuxedo, you can enter the Tuxedo IP Address into the web browser of an IP-connected device to access a login screen. The device used must be on the same network as the Tuxedo Keypad. Provide the username and password that you set up at the Tuxedo. This will open an interface resembling the old style Tuxedo Touch, and you can use that you control the Tuxedo and the connected VISTA.


Honeywell Home Tuxedo: Web Interface Cannot Include/Exclude Z Wave Devices

I explain that you cannot include or exclude Z-Wave devices when accessing the Tuxedo Keypad from a web browser, also known as the Tuxedo Web Interface or Tuxedo Virtual Interface. Although you can perform almost all of the same commands from the virtual Tuxedo Web Interface as you can from the Tuxedo Keypad itself, you cannot add or remove Z-Wave devices. This is because the necessary menu option for adding and removing Z-Wave devices is not present inside the Tuxedo Virtual Interface. You can only add and remove Z-Wave devices by interacting with the actual Tuxedo Keypad itself.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hey Alarm Grid Blog Readers, just a quick update. We wanted to let you know that we (finally) got our 2GIG Edge set up in the video room, and we will have some new videos covering the panel coming out soon. If you have been waiting to see the Edge in action, the time is coming soon!


We have a small amount of content already available for the Edge. We got up FAQs covering the processes for resetting the Installer Code, resetting the Master Code, and factory resetting the system, and we're sure that we'll have some more FAQs uploaded real soon, along with videos to accompany them.

If you have any requests for the 2GIG Edge, leave them in a comment down below, and you might just see it become reality. Or if you don't let us know what you want to see, then we'll just go and decide for you! Either way, we are planning some great content coming soon. And if you haven't seen our blog about 2GIG Edge Facial Recognition, then go and check that out. Like I said, it's a real quick post today, but we figured it was okay to get the hype train rolling. Get ready for Edge videos and content coming soon!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

With the 2GIG Edge now available, users have access to some features we have never seen before in home security. One feature that really stands out is the system's facial recognition capabilities. This is the first ever panel from Alarm Grid to support facial recognition disarming!


The 2GIG Edge facial recognition feature is set up when you go to configure a user for the system. You can also configure it for the Master User, which is likely what you will want to do, along with changing the code away from its default of 1111. This is probably one of the first things you will do after getting the 2GIG Edge Security System, so consider this to be a bit of a starter's guide as well.

And don't forget that the feature is totally optional to use. If you don't want your 2GIG Edge System storing your "facial biometrics", then you don't have to. But if you do decide to set up the feature, we'll tell you right away, it works very well, and it's super convenient. It is also important to mention that all facial biometric information is only stored locally at the panel. This information is neither shared nor stored with Alarm.com in any fashion. Up to ten (10) users on a single 2GIG Edge Panel can be set up with the Facial Recognition feature, so do keep that in mind if you have a large number of users set up with your 2GIG Edge. But with that of the way, let's get started setting up the Facial Recognition feature on the 2GIG Edge!

What you need to do is access the User's Menu. Begin by clicking the Settings Icon (the gear) in the bottom-right corner. Then provide the Master Code (default 1111) or the Installer Code (default 1561). Then choose Users. And just like that, you are in the Users Menu.


You can click the Add User button in the bottom-right corner to create a new user. But if you haven't configured the Master User yet, then that's what you should do first. To configure the Master User, just click on the pencil icon next to it. You will be taken to the menu where you can adjust a variety of different settings.


From here, you can set a custom Display Name if you want a more personalized touch than "Master User". But today, we're going to focus on the facial recognition feature. You can see that it is disabled by default, so you should go and enable it by setting the toggle bar to green. And once you do, you will be greeted by the Facial Recognition Disclaimer Screen. Read through it, and assuming you agree, then click the Agree button in the bottom-right. You have to scroll all the way through it, or else you won't be able to click the Agree button, as it won't be illuminated.


Then you will need to capture your facial profile. You start by pressing the Begin button. You will need to position your head into the outlined box. Then once it recognizes your face, the outline will turn green. You will be asked to look to the right, and it will detect the movement. Then you will be asked to look to the left. Again, the movement will be detected. Oh, and when you go to do this yourself on your own 2GIG Edge, you don't need to have your phone in the photo. I was just trying (with varying degrees of success) to capture the moment in a series of photos. If you just complete the process normally as 2GIG intended, it's very easy.

You want to be very careful when capturing your facial profile - definitely more careful than me trying to pull double-duty by trying to take photos of the process at the same time! Make sure your face fits as nicely in the outline as possible. Feel free to move your head closer or further away from the panel if you need to. Then, when asked, turn slightly to the right, and then slightly to the left, and you will be all done! It only takes a matter of seconds. You will get the "Congratulations" message, and the feature will be in effect. And if you feel concerned that maybe you did a shoddy job, you can always reconfigure your 2GIG Edge Facial Profile later on. If you find that the system is having a tough time recognizing your face, then repeating this process (and doing it carefully) can make all the difference.


Once you click Next, you will be taken to a screen where you can choose to watch a tutorial video about how the Edge uses facial recognition. It may be helpful for you to get the very most out of the feature. Or you can skip it if you feel like this guide is sufficient. But you will still need to take an "Avatar" photo. Again, I'm a one-man team, so I tried to take a photo of myself trying to take a photo of myself (I never thought I'd write that sentence). Considering the circumstances, I think my "Avatar" turned out pretty nice!


If you're satisfied with your appearance, you can choose Use This Image. Or if you're a perfectionist, feel free to Retake Photo. If you decide that you can't take a good photo to save your life, then you can choose to Skip the step. But after that, facial recognition will be ready to go. If you did this for the Master User, you can even use facial recognition to get into Master-level programming. Whenever the system needs a code, the panel camera will activate. You just position your head, look left and right (like you're suspicious), and you will get in. Now the real question - can I take a photo of myself passing a facial recognition test?

Disclaimer - I cheated. That shot above is actually a video frame. The "User Master User Recognized" message only appears on the screen for a split-second, much too fast for an amateur self-cameraman like me to take a proper photo. But let's focus on what really matters here. This feature actually works VERY well. You can see it recognized me quite easily. And don't worry about it being a security risk. NOBODY else in the Alarm Grid Office could disarm with my facial profile. We had someone else try. They don't have the same "facial profile" as me, so the Edge wouldn't acknowledge them. But my face is able to trigger it quite easily.

You can use facial recognition to arm, disarm, and even enter into Master-level programming when a code is needed. Just be careful to set up your "facial profile" properly, and the 2GIG Edge will take care of the rest. If you have any thoughts on the feature, please share them down below in a comment. And stay tuned for more content from Alarm Grid coming soon!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

If you are familiar with ISC West in any capacity, then you know that the 2021 edition certainly won't be be like any of the previous tradeshows. In a post-COVID world, it's fair to expect some new policies to be put into place. And ISC West is no exception. Get ready for sweeping changes.

For those who haven't been keeping up with the news, the 2020 edition of ISC West was pretty much non-existent. While it's true there was a virtual-only event, we really didn't get much out of it. Manufacturers didn't seem excited about the virtual-only event either. And when we checked it out, there really wasn't much we could cover. ISC West has always been recognized as an iconic Las Vegas event, and it just didn't adapt well to the virtual format.

But for 2021, ISC West is being marketed as a "hybrid" event. Basically, it means that the show will go on in Las Vegas, but with some strict guidelines in place. Sure, there will be some online content to cater to those who refuse to attend a massive public gathering, as well as those who can't afford to put their personal health into jeopardy. But if the all-virtual 2020 ISC West was any indication, I wouldn't expect the "virtual" offerings to light the world on fire. ISC West is about the Vegas experience. It's about the manufacturers putting their best stuff forward and offering an interactive in-person event. And while there will inevitably be some policies meant to protect everyone involved, the fact is that this will probably be the largest security conference since ISC East 2019.

First and foremost, we should applaud the folks at ISC West for even attempting a conference like this in 2021. No, this ISC West definitely won't look or feel like the previous gatherings from 2019 and earlier. Some people will stay home. Almost everyone will be more on their toes. Nobody knows truly what to expect out of a global tradeshow in a post-pandemic world. But that hasn't stopped the organizers from trying.

And so, for ISC West 2021, being held at the Sands Exposition and Convention Center from July 19 thru 21, some guidelines have been released. We can't say that we're surprised, but having seen the chaos and crowds associated with previous editions, we can't even begin to picture what ISC West 2021 will look like. The one thing working in this event's favor is that some otherwise annual attendees will undoubtedly opt-out, stay home, and try to get the most out of whatever virtual offerings are available.

But for those who are willing to put on a brave face (and facemask) for attending the largest gathering of who's who in the security industry, here are the guidelines put out by ISC. And we will say right away, we expect these policies to be very strictly enforced. ISC West is put on by some of the smartest guys and gals in the room. They wouldn't risk the health and safety of the security industry leaders if they didn't think they could do it properly. So while the event has already been pushed back from its original March 23 thru 26 schedule, here's what will be in store for the July 19 thru 21 affair.

  • Facemasks: Required. This should come as absolutely no surprise. Facemasks will be mandatory for everyone on the ISC West floor. This applies to everyone - all attendees, vendors, manufacturers, hosts, no exceptions. Furthermore, ISC West is not allowing any face coverings with valves, bandanas, neck gaiters, or masks of "unpermitted" materials. ISC also specifically outlaws "mesh materials", face coverings with holes, significantly damaged face coverings, and "costume" masks. At a minimum, face coverings must fit properly and snugly, and they must fully cover a person's nose and mouth, and secure under the chin. You can review the ISC West Face Covering Guidelines in full detail here.
  • Temperature Screenings: Mandatory. You aren't getting on the floor without a temperature screening. And if you register above 100.4°F, then sorry, you will be turned away. Again, this isn't a surprise. We're talking about a group of individuals putting out the latest and most advanced security equipment that mankind has to offer. Somewhere along the way, we picked up a few thermometers as well. People will be screened, and people who have a fever won't be permitted inside. It might be wise to pack a small personal thermometer in your luggage to take your own temperature before trying to enter. And if you don't feel well, then please, don't risk it for everyone else. We know ISC West is exciting, but there has to be a cut-off point. And that cut-off is 100.4°F.
  • Enhanced Sanitation: Reed Exhibitions, the group organizing ISC West, is working to enhance the sanitation standards for ISC West 2021. Attendees are being asked to remain responsible for their own hygiene and cleanliness. Reed Exhibitions recommends that everyone washes their hands for at least twenty (20) seconds at a time with soap and warm water. This should be done frequently. Wash your hands. Use sanitizer. The new normal.
  • Physical Distancing: You have likely heard of social distancing by now, and this is strikingly similar. Reed Exhibitions has adjusted the show's "layout", and exhibitors are being required to "promote physical distancing". Attendees are being asked to maintain a physical distance of at least six (6) feet between each other. As someone who attended a pre-COVID ISC West, this is the hardest guideline for me to picture. Personal space was a precious commodity at previous gatherings, and you had to accept being in the close quarters of others. How exactly "physical distancing" will go down at ISC West 2021 is tough for me to imagine personally. Just try your best to keep your distance, and if someone says you're too close, politely respect their wishes and back up. It's for health and safety.
  • Distance Marking & Signage: To promote the physical distancing requirements, Reed Exhibitions is putting up floor and distance markings. Additionally, "operational adjustments" may occur throughout the event (aka, on the fly) as needed to "ensure the health and safety of all attendees". This is a nice way of saying, expect the unexpected, and that the rules may change at any time. If you've seen those "six feet" distance markers at a department store, it will likely look similar at ISC West. Again, this is in the best interest of everyone involved. Do your best to keep a distance and protect the safety of yourself and others.
  • Hands-Free Greetings: Another policy that should come as no surprise. Don't shake hands. Don't hug. Don't even fist bump. Hands off! Just smile and wave, from six or more feet away.
  • Registration is Open: That's right, you too can get on board for the adventure that will be ISC West 2021. It's certainly going to be like nothing we have ever seen before. And believe me, none of these rules and guidelines are meant to scare anyone. If you have a normal, healthy immune system, then you should feel completely safe and comfortable at ISC West 2021. Like I mentioned earlier, the brightest minds from the security industry are coming forth to put on this incredible, once-a-year event. Just keep your distance (and your facemask on), and everything will be fine.
  • Summer Time: Okay, this is my own personal addition, but you may have noticed the event is in July, which is one of the hottest months in the Northern Hemisphere (which is where the United States happens to be located). And you may also notice that Las Vegas, NV is a literal desert. Yes, the event will be inside in an air-conditioned building. But I can tell you now, this will be a hotter ISC West than previous years. This isn't a springtime affair. This is in the dog days of summer, in the desert. Be careful with your health, and try not to get caught outside for an extended period. It's hot out there, and we don't want anyone suffering from heat stroke. Plan accordingly, stay inside when possible, and stay hydrated.

ISC West is quickly approaching! In less than three (3) months all the (brave) faces of the security world will be coming together to try to bring back some semblance of normalcy. Yes, it will be different, but together we can make it a success. Share your thoughts in a comment down below. We'll see you in July. And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for updates until then. Despite all of the rules, safety guidelines, and important regulations, it's still the biggest and brightest convention of the year! It's okay to get a little hyped and excited. We're looking forward to it, and you should too. Until then, stay safe, stay clean, and practice your best socially distant greetings. Let's all get ready for the safest ISC West ever!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted

There is an issue affecting all versions of the Honeywell and Resideo Tuxedo Keypads and VISTA Automation Modules (VAMs). This is a server issue causing the displayed weather forecast to not update. Resideo has not provided an ETA for a fix. Alarm Grid will update when more info is made available.

Update: Alarm Grid has learned that the issue is only affecting old style Tuxedo Touch Keypads, including the Tuxedo Touch WIFI and the original Tuxedo Touch with ethernet connectivity, as well as Honeywell VAM devices when accessed through a web browser. The issue is NOT affecting newer Honeywell Home Tuxedo and Resideo Tuxedo Keypads, as was initially reported. Keep in mind that these new-style Tuxedo Keypads may only update weather once per day, so the displayed last update time might still seem off. But if you click the refresh button in the bottom-left corner of the weather display screen, then it will still update. As the issue is relatively minor and only affecting old style devices, it's possible that Resideo may put off applying a fix for a while. Again, we promise to provide an update if any new information is made available. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the issue.

UPDATE: As of October 31, 2021, the TUXWIFIW, TUXWIFIS and VAM will no longer support the Weather, or the Sunrise/Sunset scheduling feature. Read more here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Qolsys has released the long-awaited Firmware Version 2.6.0. This will be the base version for the Qolsys IQ Hub and will allow users to configure the new IQ WIFI Mesh Router from the touchscreen of the IQ Panel 2. These are only a couple of the new features. This is truly an exciting update!

We've been talking about the Qolsys IQ Hub, well, forever, it seems. But honestly, it's been "coming soon" for over a year now. We are so glad that the wait is almost over. The Qolsys IQ Hub will truly be a DIY dream. Qolsys has taken a "see no green" approach to this panel, meaning there is no reason to open the panel fully, so you should never see the green printed circuit board (PCB). It won't even have screw terminals! The battery will be easily end-user replaceable with a minimum of "deconstruction" to the alarm panel itself. Some of the best features of the IQ Panel 2/2+ will be available in this new panel, such as Bluetooth disarming, and Alarm.com Camera Streaming at the panel.

A couple of things have been removed though. It will not have a built-in camera, nor will it offer 2-way voice capability. The IQ Hub is meant to be a slightly less expensive alternative to the IQ Panel 2 or 2 Plus, and to the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 that we should be seeing later this year. Initially, the IQ Hub will support PowerG Wireless Sensors, but later, there will be 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, and 433 MHz options available. Each IQ Hub is intended to support only one (1) RF frequency.

You might be saying, "I thought this was a blog about Firmware Version 2.6.0?" Well, it is. But the fact that we have Firmware Version 2.6.0 available now means that the full release of the Qolsys IQ Hub won't be far behind. The Qolsys IQ Hub is scheduled for a Q2 2021 release. Aside from all the new features and improvements for the IQ Panel 2 Plus itself, another exciting capability that is added in this firmware release is the ability to control and configure the new Qolsys IQ Router through the IQ Panel 2 or 2 Plus Touchscreen.

The Qolsys IQ Router is also slated for release in Q2 of 2021. This is a mesh router system that will support up to eight (8) nodes, and both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. What's great about this product is that it allows a user to create a WIFI subnet inside their regular network. Any devices that use WIFI can be attached to the network, not just security devices, and multiple nodes (up to 8) can be added to strengthen the mesh network. If you change internet providers or even just internet equipment, you simply unplug the IQ Router from the existing router, plug it into the new router, and all of the WIFI devices will remain connected to the WIFI sub-network without having to reconfigure any of them. These are two upcoming products associated with the release of Firmware Version 2.6.0 that we're really looking forward to.

Below you'll find some of the additional new features supported on Firmware Version 2.6.0:

New Features:

  • Support for DSC hardwire keypads (HS2LCD, HS2ICN) via the CORBUS on the PowerG Hardwire to Wireless Translator (PG9WLSHW8) with Firmware V 1.1. Also added new PGM system triggers for Police, Fire, Aux & CO emergency.
  • Support for DSC NEO Wire-Free Keypads HS2LCDWFx, HS2LCDWFxENG.
  • Support for new V4 PowerG Daughter Card.
  • Panel now supports remote Z-Wave Smart Start integration from Alarm.com.
  • This update includes the critical firmware2 fix that resolves an issue where certain panels would automatically reboot with previous firmware applied.

Fixes & Improvements

  • Added a setting to allow the panel to send 1 or 10 images taken by PowerG Image Sensor Cameras (PG9934P, PG9944, NEXT CAM, PG2, NEXT CAM K9-85 PG2, BW-IRC, BW-IPC, TOWER CAM PG2, BW-ODC) during an alarm event to Alarm.com. Previously, ten (10) images were stored locally at the panel, but only the first image was sent to Alarm.com.
  • Added a setting allowing alarm dealers to select a specific time for Communication Tests to be sent to the monitoring station. If no selection is made, the time will be randomized.
  • Added a setting for detection direction on PG9902 Outdoor Curtain PIR. Users can choose left to right, right to left, or both.
  • Added the ability to disable PowerG activation LED on devices that have one in order to conserve battery.
  • Added Partition support for EN Grade 2 Panels.
  • Improved 700-Series Z-Wave performance on UK & EU Panels.
  • Bluetooth Disarm now available for UK & EU Panels.
  • Added language support for Spanish (Spain), French (France), Finnish, and Polish.
  • Added support for European date format: DD.MM.YYYY.
  • Improved cellular strength matching between Panel and Alarm.com for Latin America.
  • Silent and Audible Panics now report separate CID codes to central station.
  • Duress Alarm and Silent Police Panic can now be dismissed from Alarm.com.
  • Improvements to PowerG Wireless keypad functionality (WS9LCDWFx).
  • Keyfob arming now follows the Auto-Bypass setting on the panel.
  • Duress codes from KP-140 & KP-141 now transmit to Alarm.com.
  • Corrected an issue where a PG9905 Temperature Sensor would send double alarms for the same event.
  • Fixed an issue related to virtual device integration on the panel, which includes Liftmaster Garage Door control from the panel UI, and Solar Integration from Alarm.com. See TSB 201026 for additional details.

Into each life, a little rain must fall. It's not all good news, although, this is more of an inconvenience than actual bad news. Because Firmware Version 2.6.0 also contains the important firmware2 fix, it must be downloaded and installed from the Qolsys Server. The server has some logic built-in that allows it to tell if the panel being updated requires the firmware2 fix, or not. For this reason, much like Firmware version 2.5.5, Qolsys is not making this firmware file available for download. This means that Alarm Grid can't host it on our site.

What this means for the end-user is that in order to get 2.6.0, your panel must have a WIFI connection. Once it does, you have two ways in which you can get the firmware. You can request it from your alarm dealer, and they can push the update to your panel from Alarm.com. This will be a free update. As long as your panel has WIFI 24/7, this is a simple and no-fuss way to get your panel updated. Just remember, if for some reason your panel loses WIFI, the update won't go through. Alarm.com will not allow the panel to be updated via a cellular-only connection. You can also follow the instructions below to request the update via Patch Tag.

If your panel happens to be in an area where there is no WIFI, maybe it's a hunting or fishing cabin, or a second home where WIFI is not readily available, then you may be able to use your cell phone as a mobile hotspot and fool the panel into thinking it's connected to WIFI. The amount of data in this file is about 250 MB according to Qolsys. Alternatively, you may be able to move the panel to a spot that has WIFI available just long enough to perform the upgrade. In a situation like this, you need to be in control of when the update begins, so in this case, you would want to use the "Patch Tag" method of updating. To do so, once your panel has a WIFI connection, do the following:

Follow these instructions after making sure your panel is on version 2.0.1 or higher. If the panel is on 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, the user must first update to 2.5.3 before running the update for 2.6.0:

  • Touch the small gray bar in the center at the top of the Home screen on the panel.
  • Touch “Settings”
  • Touch “Advanced Settings”
  • Enter a valid Installer or Dealer Code (defaults are 1111 and 2222 respectively)
  • Touch “Upgrade Software”.
  • Touch “Patch Tag” and enter: iqpanel2.6.0 then touch “OK”.
  • Important: If you need to install 2.5.3 prior to this update, the Patch Tag for that version is: iqpanel2.5.3. Run that update before running the Patch Tag for 2.6.0.
  • Touch “Upgrade Using Network”. If the panel is connected to WIFI, the system will begin downloading the update, it will be installed when the download completes. Once the update begins Do Not Touch The Screen! The update will take about five (5) minutes, and the panel will reboot as a part of the process. When the panel returns to the home screen and the Green LED at the right lights, the process has completed.

What do you think about the new Qolsys firmware, and the new products they have in the pipeline? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Is there a security topic you'd like to see us discuss? If so, leave a comment and we'll be happy to cover any security-related topics of interest. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid has two (2) new items available for purchase. The Honeywell Home PROWIFI Card and the Qolsys QR0050 Backplate The PROWIFI is for any PROA7PLUS or PROA7 and their Resideo equivalents. Both accessories are available now to help you get the most out of your security system.

Remember that the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC both include a WIFI card by default. But if yours becomes lost or damaged, or if you have a PROA7 or PROA7C without a WIFI card, then you can add a PROWIFI to provide your panel with WIFI connectivity. Just note that, unlike the PROWIFIZW, the basic PROWIFI only offers WIFI functionality, not Z-Wave.

As for the QR0050-848, this is just a basic wall-mount that you can use to secure the system to the wall, or you can attach the included IQ Stand to reset it on a desk or table. This is the same accessory that comes bundled with the IQ Pane 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus, so it is great to purchase if yours becomes lost or damaged.

We know this is a short post, but stay tuned for more news coming soon. And as always, leave a comment down blow with your thoughts. See you next time!

Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

When it comes to determining whether or not an existing Alarm.com SkyBell Doorbell Camera can be used with Alarm Grid Monitoring Services, the answer isn't always clear cut. Today, we're checking out one model in particular and explaining how it can potentially be used with Alarm Grid.

First, we want to be very clear that one particular model sold on our website - the Alarm.com SkyBell ADC-VDB105X Slim Line II - is absolutely compatible with Alarm.com. You may also see this marketed as the TRIM II Doorbell Camera. Either way, this model will work with Alarm.com and Alarm Grid. You can pair a single SkyBell device with your Alarm.com account event if you don't have true video surveillance service, or you can have the device count as an Alarm.com Security Camera. More info can be found in this FAQ outlining Alarm.com Clip Limits.

Where potential confusion arises is from a different, unrelated SkyBell model called the SkyBell TRIM II PRO, which is our main focus today. This "PRO" model is not designed to be used with Alarm.com when service is provided from Alarm Grid. Instead, this PRO model is produced exclusively for use with ADT Alarm Monitoring Services. This PRO model is not usually sold on the open market, and you are only likely to have one if you or your home's previous owner had a doorbell camera installed professionally by ADT.

To make matters a bit more confusing, the compatible non-PRO model that we offer on our website looks exactly the same as the SkyBell TRIM II PRO from the front. You can only see the difference on the product label, which reads "TRIM II PRO", so if you see that, then you have the ADT version. You can refer to the picture below for a reference.


Interestingly, while Alarm.com says that the TRIM II PRO should not work with any non-ADT monitoring account, we have found that some of our monitored customers have been able to successfully set up these devices with our services. But the success rate is not perfect. Sometimes they work, and other times they do not. Unfortunately, we have yet to determine a reliable pattern. But regardless, the main takeaway here is that if you switch from an ADT Dealer to a non-ADT Dealer, such as Alarm Grid, then you may discover that your existing SkyBell Camera will no longer work. This is something you should look out for if you find that you have a TRIM II PRO device.

In any case, if you are switching away from ADT or an ADT authorized dealer to a new alarm company, then you should not immediately toss your existing SkyBell TRIM II PRO Doorbell Camera. There is a chance that you may be able to get it to work with your new monitoring company, even if Alarm.com says that it is for use with ADT only. We cannot guarantee success, as we have seen these models fail to switch over, but we can say that we at Alarm Grid will do everything in our power to make it work before recommending a replacement.

If we do determine that a replacement is needed, then the equivalent model to get is the Alarm.com SkyBell ADC-VDB105X or the ADC-VDB106X Slim Line II. The big thing to note is that this version does not have "PRO" in the title. This is the version that will always work with Alarm Grid Monitoring Services, when it is new out of the box. Remember that the Alarm.com SkyBell devices should never be set up with the native SkyBell App, or a different interactive platform like Total Connect 2.0. They are for use with Alarm.com only.

Anyone needing a new doorbell for use with Alarm Grid Monitoring Services should look for the SkyBell TRIM II Doorbell Camera or the SkyBell Slim Line II Doorbell Camera. Both of those names refer to the same product. You may also see it listed as ADC-VDB105X for the Satin Nickel Model, or ADC-VDB106X for the Bronze Model. It is unlikely that you would ever see the SkyBell TRIM II PRO or the SkyBell Slim Line II PRO for sale, as that model is only installed professionally by ADT. But if you do come across one, you should keep in mind that it isn't intended for use outside of ADT Monitoring Service, and it may not work with Alarm Grid. Also, if you are still exploring your doorbell camera options, then you may also consider the Alarm.com ADC-VDB770, which many consider as being the best doorbell camera currently on the market.

Hopefully, this provides you with some good insight on what to do if you find that you have an existing Alarm.com SkyBell Video Doorbell. It's possible that you may be able to continue using your existing model with Alarm Grid. It never hurts to at least try. If you have any thoughts of experiences on the SkyBell Doorbell Cameras, please feel free to share them down below in a comment. We would love to hear your thoughts. And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security system news and stories coming real soon!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid sends big congratulations to Rapid Response Monitoring Services! The central monitoring station has won the 2021 Excellence Awards for Manager of the Year (Johnathan Rainbow) and Support Person of the Year (Michelle Quattrini). Nice job Rapid Response, and keep up the good work!

The Excellence Awards are hosted by The Monitoring Association (TMA). These awards recognize and honor the very best central monitoring stations and the dedicated personnel who keep them operating. A well-run central station is a vital part of alarm monitoring service, and we're super proud of Rapid Response for walking away with two (2) huge awards!

Jonathan Rainbow of Rapid Response was named as the sole 2021 Manager of the Year, while Michelle Quattrini of Rapid Response tied for 2021 Support Person of the Year. Both individuals have been recognized for their significant contributions to the alarm monitoring industry and their distinct level of professionalism. Alarm Grid congratulates both of these individuals, and we hope they continue their work into the following year and beyond.

All Alarm Grid customers who receive central station service in Canada are covered by Rapid Response Monitoring Services. Our primary central station partner for monitored customers in the United States, Criticom Monitoring Services, has many of the same certifications as Rapid Response. Both Criticom and Rapid Response are certified as being UL Listed and FM Approved. Whether you are covered by Criticom or Rapid Response, you have a dedicated team of committed operators on your side, and they are ready to step in whenever an alarm occurs on your monitored security system.

Again, we send our heartfelt congratulations to Johnathan Rainbow, Michelle Quattrini, and everyone else at Rapid Response Monitoring Services for their success! We expect to see both Rapid Response and Criticom Monitoring Services receive awards and accolades in the future. Please share any thoughts you have about our central station partners in a comment down below. And of course, stay turned to our blog for more alarm system news coming real soon!

Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

If you have one or more Alarm.com Cameras set up for onboard recording using an installed SD card, then there is a new Alarm.com webpage you may want to check out when accessing ADC from a web browser. The new SD Card Information Page will show details about the SD card inside your camera.

For those unfamiliar with Alarm.com Onboard Recording, it basically allows a compatible Alarm.com Security Camera to store its captured video footage to a Micro SD card that is on-board the camera device. You can then access the footage remotely from the Alarm.com website or mobile app. The feature really became popular after the Alarm.com ADC-SVR122 Streaming Video Recorder was discontinued. At this time, the cameras that support the feature include the ADC-V515, the ADC-V523, and the ADC-V723.

The new SD Card Information Page can be very useful for anyone using the Alarm.com Onboard Recording feature. The page shows all of the critical details for the SD card that is installed inside one of the compatible Alarm.com Cameras. This may include how much storage space is available for footage. You can also use the page to reformat an SD card, which you might need to do if the SD card was previously used inside a different device.

You can only access the SD Card Information Page if you have the Onboard Recording Feature enabled for your Alarm.com account and you have at least one compatible camera set up to use the feature, with a Micro SD card installed. Also note that you can only access the page from the Alarm.com website. It is not found within the Alarm.com Mobile App. To access the page, login to the Alarm.com website, and choose Video, followed by Settings, and then SD Card Information.

Have you tried out the Alarm.com Onboard Recording Feature yet? If you have, please leave a comment down below to let us know what you think of the feature. Also, do you think the SD Card Information Page will come in handy? Let us know in a comment down below. We will be back with more security system news soon, so keep checking the Alarm Grid Blog!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments