June 2021 Archives

Posted By

In an effort to reduce false alarms, the city of Asheville, NC has revised existing policies regarding security systems. Central station operators responding to alarms in Asheville must now use Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) before dispatching. New fines and fees have also been introduced.

Asheville has had an alarm ordinance in-place since at least 2002. The newly revised ordinance was passed unanimously by the Asheville City Council during a recent meeting on June 22. No comment was made by the council in response to the unanimous passing of the revised ordinance. However, some local police representatives at the meeting spoke out in favor of the revised ordinance. For a complete look at the revised policies, you may review this staff report uploaded by the city of Asheville.

As part of the revised policies, the use of ECV is now required before a central station operator is permitted to dispatch the authorities in response to an alarm. This means that an operator must make a minimum of two (2) attempts to contact the end-user for alarm verification purposes before they can request that local Asheville authorities visit the scene. The use of ECV is not required for fire alarms or user-triggered panic alarms. It is also not mandated in cases where it has already been confirmed that a crime has been committed.

According to representatives of the Asheville Police Department (APD), the use of ECV reduces false responses by 40%. A report produced by the APD states that local Asheville authorities responded to more than 15,600 burglar alarms from January 2018 to May 2021. Of these, burglar alarms, 97% of them were concluded to be false. This equates to 15,132 false alarms. While those figures might seem very high at first glance, the reality is that many other jurisdictions also report similar issues. One example can be seen in Panama City, FL.

In addition to mandating the use of ECV, the city of Asheville has also introduced new fines and fees in relation to false alarms and the general use of alarm systems. Anyone who wants to legally operate an alarm system in the city must obtain a permit, at a cost of $25. This permit must then be renewed annually, at a cost of $10 per renewal.

The revised ordinance also carried over existing fines and penalties in relation to the misuse of alarm systems. Any registered user is basically given a warning for their first two (2) false alarms in a calendar. But any third or subsequent false alarm is deemed a "public nuisance", and a user will be charged fines of $50 for their third, fourth, and fifth false alarms within that time period. From there, the sixth and seventh false alarms will result in $100 fines, the eighth and ninth false alarms will result in $250 fines, and any tenth and subsequent false alarms in a single calendar year will result in $500 fines.

In situations where a user is found to be more than thirty (30) days late in paying a fee or fine will be fine an additional $25 as a late fee. A user may formally appeal any fine, though this will result in an "appeal hearing fee" of $50. This fee will be reimbursed in the event that the appeal is upheld. All appeals must be submitted in writing and filed in the police chief's office within ten (10) days of a fine being issued.

Furthermore, the city may elect to formally suspend all emergency service responses to any user responsible for more than ten (10) false alarms in a calendar year, as well as any user who is more than ninety (90) days behind on any alarm-related fee or fine. In order to have services reinstated, a user must have their alarm system formally inspected, receive training on the use of alarm system, complete an online alarm awareness class and test, and pay all outstanding fees and fines, plus a reinstatement fee of $50.

Overall, it's easy to understand why the Asheville City Council would feel compelled to toughen their policies against alarm systems. When roughly 97% of alarm responses are deemed to be the result of unnecessary false alarms, it makes sense to feel a bit frustrated. Perhaps even more unfortunate is the fact that most jurisdictions throughout the United States likely experience similar problems and issues in regards to false alarms.

However, policies like these often make it more difficult for responsible, law-obeying citizens to obtain and operate security systems. The truth is that the vast majority of security system users do not cause excessive false alarms. It's usually a very small minority of system users who ruin it for everyone else. At Alarm Grid, we believe that the best solution is to train alarm system users so that they can operate their equipment responsibly and not add to a growing problem. We do our part by training our monitored customers in the responsible operation of security systems and false alarm prevention. We strongly encourage every security system user to review our guidelines for preventing false alarms. Following those tips will go a long way towards easing the burden placed on police forces and discouraging local jurisdictions from taking the matter into their own hands by enacting policies like this one in Asheville, NC.

Fortunately, the policies in Asheville seem to be reasonable for the most part. Giving users warnings for the first two (2) false alarms caused in a year is appreciated. Mistakes happen, and usually the embarrassment of causing even just one (1) false alarm is enough to make a user extra cautious moving forward. On the other end of the spectrum, the fines for causing excessive false alarms - particularly the $500 fine for every tenth and subsequent alarm beyond that - are some of the most extreme that we have ever seen. But that being said, we totally understand the reasoning here. A user who is causing that many false alarms in a one-year period is clearly not operating their system in a responsible manner. Punishing such end-users for this reckless and careless behavior can certainly be argued as fair. Also, while we're never fans of charging users fees for basic system registration, the $25 initial fee and $10 annual renewal fee isn't worth getting upset over.

What we would like to see as part of any alarm ordinance policy enacted by Asheville, NC, or any other jurisdiction for that matter, is some protection against monitoring companies like Alarm Grid. The formal staff report put out by Asheville outlines the responsibilities and duties expected of alarm companies, and it doesn't mention fining them in any way. But on that same note it doesn't mention any specific protections for monitoring providers. We have seen some states enact specific laws that prevent local jurisdictions from levying fines and fees against monitoring companies. For example, Tennessee signed such a law in 2019, Iowa started enforcing one last year, and Georgia's new policy from earlier this year put an end to a controversial situation in Sandy Springs, GA, where alarm companies were being fined by the city.

Do you have any thoughts on the revised alarm policy in Asheville, NC? Does your city have any similar provisions put in place. Would such provisions discourage you from getting your home or business monitored. Share your thoughts in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security news and updates coming soon!

Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid is proud to offer a pair of new accessories for Honeywell Home PROSIXMINI2 Door and Window Sensors. We have 10-packs of replacement covers available in Brown (MINIBRNPK) and Black (MINIBLKPK), and 10-packs of replacement magnets, also in Brown (MINIMAGBRN) and Black (MINIMAGBLK).

If you aren't familiar with the Honeywell Home PROSIXMINI2, it is one of the leading door and window sensors for the Honeywell Home and Resideo ProSeries Alarm Panels. The sensor is known for its compact size of 2.9"L x 1.15"W x 0.75"D (73.66mm x 29.21mm x 19.05mm), its long-lasting battery life of at least 7 years, and its extended wireless range of more than 500 feet in an open-air environment. Like all PROSIX Series Sensors, the PROSIXMINI2 uses 128-bit AES encryption for advanced wireless security and protection.

Normally, the PROSIXMINI2 is only available in a White color option. Many users find this a bit disappointing, as the surface-mounted sensor will stick out very noticeably on darker brown or black doors and windows. With these replaceable covers and magnets, you can make a PROSIXMINI2 Sensor and its accompanying magnet Brown or Black in color. This can be very nice for achieving a more aesthetically pleasing installation. Just keep in mind that these replacement covers and magnets do not include any actual PROSIXMINI2 Sensors. These are just Brown and Black covers for existing PROSIXMINI2 devices and replacement magnets that can be used instead of the stock White magnets that are bundled with PROSIXMINI2 Door and Window Sensors.

Each replacement cover includes three (3) parts. These are the front cover for the sensor, the front cover of the magnet, and the back casing for the magnet. The back casing is basically the magnet's "backplate", as it is the portion that you mount to the door or window frame using either screws or some double-sided foam tape adhesive. All you have to do is remove the existing stock White front sensor, and replace it with the new Brown or Black cover. Then just do the same for the magnet's front cover and back casing.

Meanwhile, the replacement magnets are just like the original White stock magnets, only in a different color option. They can be split into three (3) components, those being the mounted backplate, the actual magnet inside, and the front cover that makes up most of the magnet's appearance. For best results, the magnet should be placed on the moving portion of the door or window, directly next to the main sensor on the door or window frame. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor, thereby releasing the sensor's internal reed switch. This will cause the sensor to send a fault signal to the ProSeries Alarm Panel and trigger a system response. When installing, remember to observe the sensor's maximum magnet spacing gap of 1.15" (29.21mm) on non-metal surfaces. Please note that while the magnet is specifically designed for use with PROSIXMINI2 Sensors, it could really be used with any surface-mounted door and window sensor that is of a similar size. To see all the replacement magnets offered by Alarm Grid, please check out this page.

At this time, we are only offering 10-packs of the Brown and Black replacement covers, as well as 10-packs of the Brown and Black replacement magnets. We are not offering single PROSIXMINI2 Replacement Covers or single PROSIXMINI2 Replacement Magnets at this time. This may be something we would consider offering in the future, but for now, these accessories can only be purchased in quantities of ten (10). Additionally, we are also not offering Brown or Black variants of the PROSIXMINI2 Sensor at this time. If you want one of these sensors in a Brown or Black color option, the best solution we can currently offer is to get a PROSIXMINI2 in the regular White variant, and then get a 10-pack of replacement covers in the desired color. Of course, this will leave you with nine (9) extra sets of covers, so it may not be exactly ideal, but it is still a viable option nonetheless.

Do you think you will use these Brown and Black sensor covers and magnets in your home or business. And what do you think of the PROSIXMINI2 Sensor in general? Please share your thoughts in a comment down below. And don't forget to keep checking the Alarm Grid Blog for more security news, product updates, and helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of your alarm system coming soon!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

We have a quick and easy blog post for you today, this time covering local zones on Honeywell Home and Resideo ProSeries Alarm Panels - the PROA7PLUS, PROA7PLUSC, PROA7, and PROA7C. Local zones cannot trigger intrusion alarms to alert the central monitoring station for emergency dispatch.

Almost anyone who gets a security system will want to get it monitored so that they can receive automatic emergency dispatch if an intrusion occurs while they are away. However, you might also have some zones of your home or office where you want a "local", on-site alert to activity, and you also want to have Total Connect 2.0 alerts set up for the zone, but you don't want the central station to be notified to an alarm that occurs from the zone. Today, we're sharing a tip for achieving that type of functionality for a zone on a ProSeries Panel.

One thing to note is that if you are familiar with the Response Types for the Honeywell Lyric, then many of the same "rules" apply. This makes perfect sense, as the Honeywell Lyric is the predecessor system to the still relatively new ProSeries Control Panels. But having said that, many of the Response Types found on the Lyric were never brought over to the ProSeries Panels. Maybe they will be introduced in a later ProSeries Firmware Update, but we have no way of knowing if that will happen. Regardless, it can be a bit more challenging to set up "local" zones on the ProSeries Systems due to their more limited selection of Response Types. Nonetheless, we have a cool tip that we would like to discuss.

If you have a zone that you want to produce a local Chime and/or Voice Annunciation at your ProSeries Panel, as well as any of your PROWLTOUCH or PROWLTOUCHC Touchscreen Keypads, but you also don't want the zone to be able to cause any alarms or alert the central station, then you can set the Device Type to "Other" and the Response Type to "Garage Monitor". But before you set the Device Type to "Other", go and set the Chime setting first. The reason why you want to set the Chime first is because that setting becomes locked and unable to be changed after you set the Device Type to "Other". Whatever Chime setting you have set will be locked in and applied. By setting the Chime first, you can have a custom Chime setting, rather than the default option of Disabled when you set a "Garage Monitor" Response Type. With "Garage Monitor" set, your panel and keypads will announce the faulted zone and make whatever Chime sound is set for local alerts. You can also set up notifications from Total Connect 2.0 for this zone. Meanwhile, you can rest easy in knowing that this Garage Monitor Zone will never be able to cause an alarm on your system or result in the central station being notified. This is truly a local zone with the ultimate customization!

This ties-in with some other general tips. When you set the Device Type as "Other", all of the Response Types become available, though there are some PROSIX Sensors that may not allow for this type of programming. Also, the Device Type of "Other" is not spoken aloud when set. In other words, if you have Zone Descriptor 1 set as "Bedroom", the panel won't speak "Bedroom Other" if you have "Other" as the Device Type. It will just say "Bedroom", and nothing more. This is good to know, as if you're ever having trouble getting the desired Response Type to be made available, then setting "Other" as the Device Type can be the trick to getting the option you want. Just be careful when working with certain types of PROSIX Sensors, as they can be a bit more restrictive.

Do you have any topics you would like to see us cover on the ProSeries Panels, or on any other of our favorite security systems? Leave a comment down below, and let us know. We might just discuss it in a future blog. As for now, we hope that this simple trick helps you get the most out of your Honeywell and Resideo ProSeries Systems. Local zones are really useful in certain situations, and knowing little tips and tricks like this one that we covered today can really open up the door for more ways on using your security system. Anyway, that's all for today. Please stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security news and helpful tips on using your system. We're always happy to help, and you can expect more great content from us coming soon!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid would like to make you aware of a possible issue when using a ProSeries Panel (PROA7PLUS, PROA7PLUSC, PROA7, or PROA7C) with an Ubiquiti Wireless Access Point (AP). Connection problems may occur if Auto Optimize is turned ON for the AP. To avoid issues, turn Auto Optimize OFF.

You may recall a similar issue that affected the predecessor panel from Honeywell Home and Resideo, the Honeywell Lyric. In that case, users had to disable the Auto Optimize Network feature for an Ubiquiti UniFi AP in order for a Lyric System to connect successfully. If a Lyric Panel was connected with an Ubiquiti UniFi AP, and then the Auto Optimize feature was enabled on the AP, then the Lyric would lose its WIFI connection with the Ubiquiti device. This would occur even if the Auto Optimize feature was turned ON due to an automatic update for the Ubiquiti AP. It was then later reported that Ubiquiti corrected the issue so that security systems were not booted from the network when the Auto Optimize feature was enabled.

In this case, it is the Honeywell Home and Resideo ProSeries Security Panels that are having issues with the Auto Optimize feature for Ubiquiti AP devices. Reports indicate that if the Auto Optimize feature for the Ubiquiti AP is turned ON, then the system may have trouble maintaining a stable WIFI connection. When the feature is enabled, a ProSeries Alarm Panel may be unable to connect with the network, or it may fail to reconnect with the network if the connection becomes lost. With that in mind, it is advised that you keep the Auto Optimize feature turned OFF for an Ubiquiti Access Point if a ProSeries System is connected. Please refer to the manual for your Ubiquiti AP for more information on how to do this. Alarm Grid has also released a very general FAQ outlining potential WIFI issues for ProSeries Panels, which you can view here.

Don't forget that a ProSeries Panel needs a WIFI card in order to connect with a WIFI network. This can be a Honeywell Home PROWIFI, which is a standalone WIFI module, or a Honeywell Home PROWIFIZW, which doubles as both a WIFI card and a Z-Wave Plus home automation controller. The Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and Resideo PROA7PLUSC both contain a PROWIFIZW from the factory, so no add-on module will be needed. On the other hand, the Honeywell Home PROA7 and Resideo PROA7C do not have a WIFI module pre-installed from the factory, so you will need to add one of the aforementioned units in order to get one of those systems connected to WIFI.

Hopefully this post has helped at least one user in correcting issues between their ProSeries System and their Ubiquiti Access Point. If you have any experience using a Honeywell Home or Resideo ProSeries Security System with an Ubiquiti Access Point, or if you just want to discuss ProSeries Alarm Panels in general, then please share your thoughts in a comment down below. We are always interested to hear what you have to say. And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more helpful news and updates coming soon!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted

Update! 2GIG has corrected this issue on the Edge panel with a Firmware Update. You can read all about it here.

We have some rather unfortunate news for anyone hoping to use an image sensor with the 2GIG Edge. 2GIG has informed us that the system's only compatible image sensor, the 2GIG IMAGE3, will only function as a motion sensor when paired with the Edge. 2GIG says that they are working on a fix.

In order to enroll the 2GIG IMAGE3 Image Sensor with the 2GIG Edge in any capacity, a 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 Module must be installed inside the panel. This unit is what makes two-way communication between the 2GIG Edge and the IMAGE3 possible. Contrary to popular belief, installing the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 inside the 2GIG Edge will not have any impact on the system's ability to support encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors.

However, even after you install the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 and enroll the 2GIG IMAGE3, you will find that the IMAGE3 does not work as an image sensor as intended. Instead, the IMAGE3 will only behave as a standard motion detection sensor, and it will not transmit any captured photographs to Alarm.com. This effectively defeats the main purpose of the device, and you would really be no better off pairing an ordinary motion sensor with the Edge.

When we reached out to 2GIG for more information, we were informed that this behavior is not intentional, and a fix is being implemented to make the 2GIG IMAGE3 operate as a true image sensor when paired with the Edge. While it is believed that the fix will be applied as a firmware update for the 2GIG Edge, this is mere speculation, and it has not been confirmed. We also do not have an expected timeframe for when such a fix will be implemented.

Alarm Grid apologizes to anyone who was hoping to use image sensors with the 2GIG Edge at this time. We are just as hopeful as you are that 2GIG will make a quick fix to the problem so that image sensors may be successfully used with the system as intended. Stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for updates on when the issue is corrected. Also please leave any thoughts you have on the situation down in a comment below. We'll be back with more security updates and news coming real soon!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid has learned that its supplier for Honeywell Home and Resideo ProSeries Panels will have ProSeries Alarm Systems pre-installed with the latest Firmware Version 3.591.92.0 in-stock and ready to ship starting on June 28th. This is is great news for anyone considering these systems!

For reference, the ProSeries Security Panels include the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC, the Honeywell Home PROA7, and the Resideo PROA7C. When these systems were first released, they did not include local programming support, meaning that all system programming, including the enrollment of new sensors, had to be completed remotely by the user's alarm monitoring company. It wasn't until System Firmware Version 3.591.92.0 that Local Programming Mode became available, allowing end-users to program their ProSeries Systems themselves. In addition to Local Programming Mode, the update also introduced support for additional PROSIX Series Sensors, common lobby partition support, local alarm mode, severe weather alerts from Total Connect 2.0, and more. If you would like more information on Firmware Update 3.591.92.0, we strongly encourage you to view this blog on the subject.

It is important to note that just because you order a ProSeries Alarm Panel on or after June 28th does not necessarily mean that the system you receive will have Firmware Version 3.591.92.0 pre-installed. It is possible that our supplier may still have older stock to get rid of first, and they may not begin shipping panels with Firmware Version 3.591.92.0 pre-installed until their older stock has been depleted. We have no control over which stock they decide to ship, so we cannot predict whether the panel you receive will be on the latest firmware or older firmware. You can check the firmware version for your ProSeries Panel after it has been powered on by clicking on the three (3) horizontal bars menu button on the home screen, and then selecting Tools, entering the system's Installer Code (default 4112), selecting System Information, and then clicking on the General field. The panel's installed Firmware Version will be displayed on the screen. Remember, you need Version 3.591.92.0 or higher for local programming support.

If you receive an older ProSeries Alarm Panel without the latest firmware, then it is not the end of the world. Once you get the system activated for alarm monitoring service with Alarm Grid, or with another company, the firmware can then be pushed down over-the-air (OTA) to the ProSeries Panel. Please note that this will require an active internet communication pathway for the ProSeries Panel. The Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and Resideo PROA7PLUSC can readily connect with a WIFI network for this purpose, thanks to the Honeywell Home PROWIFIZW Module that comes pre-installed inside these systems.

But if you have a PROA7 or a PROA7C, then you must add a PROWIFIZW or a PROWIFI to get the system connected to the internet before a firmware update can be sent down. Keep in mind that a ProSeries System cannot receive a firmware update across cellular. This means that it will not be possible to send a firmware update if the ProSeries Panel is using a Honeywell Home PROLTE-A or Honeywell Home PROLTE-V as its only communicator. You must add one of the aforementioned IP communicators and connect the system to a WIFI network for the firmware update to be sent down. Additionally, the system must be activated for monitoring, must have AC power, must have a battery present iin the panel, and must not have an alarm memory condition at the time the firmware update is sent down. If these conditions aren't met the process will fail.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer and you need to request a firmware update for your ProSeries Security System, then you should email us at support@alarmgrid.com to get started. Remember that our business hours for checking and responding to incoming emails run from 9 am to 8 pm ET M-F. If you have any thoughts or personal experiences with the ProSeries Panels from Honeywell Home and Resideo, then please share them in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And remember to keep checking the Alarm Grid Security Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently announced the winners of the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase Awards. We are pleased to say that the 2GIG Edge was named as an Honorable Mention in the field of Smart Home Solutions. Congratulations 2GIG and Nortek for your continued success!

Determined by a panel of experienced judges, the New Product Showcase Awards, also called the NPS Awards, have been presented since 1979. The purpose of these awards is to recognize innovative security products, services, and solutions that benefit the industry and end-users alike. This year, 35 judges determined the award winners in more than 25 product and service categories. 2GIG, along with their parent company of Nortek, was recognized as an Honorable Mention in the Smart Home Solutions Category for the new 2GIG Edge Panel.

It's no surprise that the 2GIG Edge would be recognized for its smart home capabilities. The alarm panel and smart home controller is a force to be reckoned with in terms of automation. It includes a built-in Z-Wave Plus V2 Controller, which is also known as a Z-Wave 700-Series Controller. This represents the latest and greatest Z-Wave technology, as the 700-Series Z-Wave devices can go at least ten (10) years between battery changes, and they support signal hops of up to (200) feet each for extended wireless range.

That's not to mention that all Z-Wave 700-Series devices support the powerful S2 Security Protocol for greater wireless protection. 2GIG has even released a 700-Series Z-Wave Smart Thermostat, the 2GIG STZ-1, that pairs perfectly with the 2GIG Edge Alarm System. To learn more about 700-Series Z-Wave in general, please check out this blog we put out on the subject when the technology was still brand-new. The blog was written before we fully understood the protocol, but it should still do a pretty decent job of explaining it if you are totally unfamiliar with the subject.

As you may know by now, the 2GIG Edge also connects with the Alarm.com platform when the system is monitored. This platform makes it possible to control connected smart devices remotely from anywhere in the world. Any smart device paired with a monitored 2GIG Edge Security System will appear on the Alarm.com platform for remote access. You can then use the Alarm.com Mobile App on your phone to control the connected devices. You can also create powerful Alarm.com Smart Scenes and automations to have the connected devices respond automatically to predetermined system events and/or operate on a set schedule. This is great for saving money on energy bills, while also making your life much more convenient. Alarm.com even allows for geo-fencing through their Geo-Services technology so that smart devices activate once you are within a predetermined radius of your home.

Alarm Grid offers congratulations to 2GIG and Nortek for the continued success of the 2GIG Edge. This system is truly exceeding expectations, and it is one that we think can be a staple in the security and automation industry for many years to come. If you have any thoughts on the 2GIG Edge, please leave them in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

It's time for the Alarm Grid Video Recap! There are five (5) new videos this week. For the first time in awhile, I did not appear in any videos. I'll hopefully be back next week. Instead, Jorge really took over, doing four (4) videos. Julia also made a rare video appearance. On with the show!

2GIG Edge: Pair the 2GIG PAD1-345

Jorge shows you how to pair the 2GIG PAD1-345 Keypad with the 2GIG Edge. The PAD1-345 is a very basic keypad device that has been around since the days of the 2GIG GC2. As a very limited keypad, the PAD1-345 can be used to arm/disarm and trigger system panics. The 2GIG PAD1-345 cannot be used to bypass sensors, and it also does not display system status. Additionally, the PAD1-345 can only control the system partition that is has been assigned, and it cannot "switch" to other partitions.

2GIG Edge: Finding the IMEI Number

Jorge shows you how to find the IMEI Number on a 2GIG Edge Alarm System. When working with a 2GIG Edge, the IMEI Number may also be referred to as the panel's Serial Number. This is an important piece of information that you need when activating the system for alarm monitoring service. It is associated with the panel's built-in cellular communicator, which is registered with Alarm.com as part of the activation process. All outbound signals for the 2GIG Edge are sent through Alarm.com.


2GIG Edge: Connect to WIFI

Jorge explains how to connect the 2GIG Edge to a WIFI network. The 2GIG Edge can use WIFI connectivity as a secondary pathway for communicating with Alarm.com. However, WIFI cannot be the only communication pathway, as Alarm.com requires that a cellular communication path is configured and set up with their servers. Most users will configure the WIFI pathway anyway, as most monitoring providers will not charge extra for internet monitoring, and almost all homes and offices have WIFI readily available.

2GIG Edge: Sending a Cell Test

Jorge teaches you how to perform a cell test on a 2GIG Edge Security Panel. A cell test is performed at the end of the system's activation process, as a way of verifying communication with the Alarm.com servers. You may also perform a cell test at any time after the activation to ensure that the system is still communicating properly. As part of the cell test, the system checks that it can successfully send signals to the Alarm.com servers, and also successfully receive incoming signals from Alarm.com.

2GIG GC2: Updating Firmware Using Updater Cable (UPCBL2)

Julia teaches you how to update the 2GIG GC2 using the 2GIG UPCBL2 Updater Cable. Normally, the easiest way to update a GC2 is to activate the system for monitoring service, and then push down an over-the-air (OTA) firmware update from Alarm.com. But if you have an old GC2 that is not on a high enough firmware version to get connected with Alarm.com, then you must update using the Updater Cable or the 2GIG UPDV Easy Updater Tool. Alarm Grid also has a 2GIG GC2 Firmware Updates Page that you can check out.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

We want to inform 2GIG Edge users, especially those who may install their own system, to a special warning put out by 2GIG. The warning identifies a potential wiring mistake that could result in permanent damage to the 2GIG Edge Alarm Panel. The entire warning put out by 2GIG can be seen here.


The 2GIG Edge receives primary power from the 2GIG AC1 Plug-In Transformer. This transformer is rated at 14VDC, 1.7A. You must add your own alarm wire to complete the connection. Since DC power is being used, proper polarity must be observed, both at the transformer and at the panel. At the transformer, the red wire should connect to positive (+) terminal, and the black wire should connect to the negative (-) terminal.

Then, at the panel, the red wire for positive (+) power should connect to the DC IN+ terminal. The black wire for negative (-) power should connect to the DC IN- Terminal. Or alternatively, if you are using a Honeywell LT-Cable, then you can simply plug the barrel connector in the DC IN Barrel Port. Following this process correctly will help ensure that you do not accidentally damage your 2GIG Edge.

Where the concern arises is that there are actually two (2) sets of terminal blocks on the 2GIG Edge Panel for connecting wires. And unfortunately, 2GIG didn't exactly make it super clear as to which set of labels goes with which terminal block. The best way to figure it out is in the fact that one set of terminal blocks is shorter than the other terminal block set. The set for providing power is the smaller terminal block with six (6) terminals, not the larger terminal block set with eight (8) terminals. You can see this in the image above.

The DC IN+ and DC IN- Terminals, along with the DC IN Barrel Port, are identified as the Power In Terminals. Those are the ports you want to use when providing power, whether you are using traditional alarm wire and you use DC IN+ and DC IN- (making sure to observe polarity) or you have a Honeywell LT-Cable and simply plug into the DC IN Barrel Port. If you do use DC IN+ and DC IN-, then make absolutely sure you are connecting to the terminal block with only six (6) terminals.

The potential problem arises in the other, larger terminal block with eight (8) terminals. This is known as the DCOUT+ Terminal Bock. And to make matters confusing the top two (2) wire terminals on this set have names that may make you think they are used for providing primary power to the system. But in reality, connecting primary system power here could seriously damage the system. These two (2) misleading wire terminals are labeled GND and AUX+, but these are output terminals.

Simply put, you do NOT want to use these terminals for providing system power. Again, the easiest way to avoid doing this is to make sure you are using the smaller terminal block with only six (6) wire terminals, NOT the larger terminal block with eight (8) wire terminals. Of course, if you use a Honeywell LT-Cable and the panel's DC IN Barrel Port, then this isn't really a potential hazard. There is only one barrel port and no way to mix it up.

The lesson of the day here is to be very careful when you are connecting power wires to the 2GIG Edge. Use the DC IN+ and DC IN- Terminals on the smaller block with six (6) terminals. The red positive (+) wire should go to DC IN+, and the black negative (-) wire should go to DC IN-. Or use a Honeywell LT-Cable and the DC IN Barrel Port. Do NOT use the GND and AUX+ Terminals on the larger block with eight (8) terminals. Making that mistake could potentially damage your 2GIG Edge System. Always be safe and smart, and make the correct wiring connections!

If you have any thoughts on the 2GIG Edge, or if you have any personal experience in wiring the system for power, then please feel free to share what you would like in a comment down below. We would love to hear from you! And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more tips and security news coming soon.

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

Comments


Posted By

For anyone watching Samsung SmartThings it's impossible not to notice that the platform has experienced a substantial shift in identity. While the platform was once developed upon physical hardware, that is no longer the case, as SmartThings is now largely built around intangible software.

This change in focus can be seen in multiple facets of SmartThings. The legacy "Classic" SmartThings App has been left behind, and developers have instead put their resources into SmartThings Labs and the recently re-titled Matter initiative, which was previously known as Project CHIP. It's obvious that Samsung still sees value in the SmartThings platform, if only from a virtual aspect. This can be especially seen in Matter, as initial Matter-speaking devices are set to release later in 2021.

But while Samsung clearly has interest in the software side of SmartThings, the hardware side has been relatively quiet. The original 1st-gen SmartThings Hub stopped working nearly a year ago. Meanwhile, Samsung has been attempting to pass the hardware development side to others, as Aeotec has released the first third-party SmartThings Hub. Stock for SmartThings hardware is down, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find basic equipment. What it all suggests is that Samsung wants its focus to be on their SmartThings ecosystem, not on the equipment itself.

To make this possible, Samsung is pushing the SmartThings platform to rely even more heavily on the wireless protocols that allow for connectivity and communication between the different equipment. These wireless protocols include WIFI, Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, and even more obscure wireless networks like Thread, and their own pet-project, Matter. Simply put, Samsung wants to focus on building the smart wireless ecosystem making automations possible, and not necessarily on the sensors and smart hubs that users physically set up and hold in their hands. Apparently its in the intangible aspects of a smart home where Samsung feels they can bring the most value.

SmartThing users often say that the platform is one of the easiest and most proficient ways to design and maintain a smart home. It's obvious that Samsung still views SmartThings as a crucial component of their brand. However, while the SmartThings division was once largely an endeavor of tangible hardware, that appears to no longer be the case. The future of SmartThings as developed by first-party Samsung appears to be that of a virtual focus, in which software development reins supreme. Elsewhere, the actual legwork of building the physical hardware components can apparently be left to whomever will step up in their place.

What do you think about this change of focus for Samsung? Do you think this is a good move for the company to primarily focus on the intangible software components of SmartThings? Do you believe that other third-party companies can properly step-up and handle the hardware development and manufacturing steps of the process in their place? Also are you a fan of SmartThings in general, or do you prefer other smart home automation platforms? Let us know your thoughts in a comment down below. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security and automation discussions coming soon!

Tags: , , ,

Comments