September 2021 Archives

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Qolsys announced several new products at ISC West in August. However, product availability, including for the IQ Panel 4, has been nil. We now have one iteration of the panel that has limited stock available. The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 with Verizon LTE and Interlogix/GE SRF support in White.

The Qolsys Roadmap for product releases got a little rocky this year. We expected the Qolsys IQ Hub in the late Spring, with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 to be released in the late fall. That's understandable with all the things that have been going on. What with the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the recent global chip shortage, we consider ourselves fortunate to be seeing stock on existing products, let alone newly announced ones.

At this time, we have limited stock available on one specific version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. This is the panel with built-in WIFI, a Verizon LTE cellular communicator, and support for both PowerG and Interlogix/GE and Qolsys 319.5 MHz wireless devices with the panel in White. Eventually, there will also be another version with these exact same specifications, but with the panel in Black.

As the rollout continues, and the component availability and manufacturing bottleneck abates, we will eventually see several other variations of this panel become available. You can see a list of all of them below:

Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Variations

SKU Product Description Available Date
IQP4001 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, White Limited Availability Now!
IQP4001BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4004 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4004BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4003 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4003BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4006 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4006BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4002 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4002BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4005 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4005BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022

If you click on any of the links above for products that aren't yet available, they will show up as discontinued on our site. Once they become available, we will blog again, and those links will become live. This way, you can come back to this post at any time and check availability on whichever panel variation you happen to be interested in.

In addition to the options shown above, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 currently uses the same User Interface (UI) as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Eventually they will offer a new look, and users will be able to choose between the new or the existing look. The panel has an 8 MP camera, which can be adjusted for tilt, increased signal range for all wireless cards that are built into the panel, more advanced speakers, three microphones, and many more hardware upgrades.

For those who may not know, Qolsys sought to make it easy to replace an existing panel that uses wireless sensors, without having to replace all of the sensors as well. So if you currently have an older Qolsys panel, or an Interlogix or GE panel, all of which used 319.5 MHz wireless sensors, then you would want to choose the corresponding Qolsys IQ Panel 4 in the color, and with the cellular communicator that best suits your needs.

Honeywell 5800 Series and 2GIG wireless both use 345 MHz wireless sensors. 2GIG has a lineup of encrypted sensors that also operate at 345 MHz, and those sensors will NOT be compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 that supports this frequency, but most other uni-directional 345 MHz wireless devices that work with either of these two product lines should also work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4.

Older DSC panels used wireless sensors in the 433 MHz range. As you can see from the chart, there will also be a version of the IQ Panel 4 that supports these devices. DSC is also the manufacturer of PowerG wireless devices. All of the IQ Panel 4 variations will support PowerG. The idea being, once you replace the older panel, and begin to utilize the older RF sensors with the new Qolsys IQ Panel 4, if you need to replace the older devices, you can choose to replace them with the same older model sensor, or you can replace them with a PowerG version, which supports 128-bit AES encryption, and will have a range up to 4,000 feet with the IQ Panel 4. You can read all about why we love PowerG so much in this earlier post.

Qolsys released an RF Compatibility Document for firmware version 2.6.0. Both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the IQ Panel 4 will use this firmware. This is the base version for the IQP4, so any devices listed on this document as compatible have been tested by Qolsys engineering and are known to work. Uni-directional devices (those that only transmit to the panel, but don't receive any information from the panel) that are not on the compatibility list may or may not work. Bi-directional devices such as the Honeywell 5800RL, 5800WAVE, or 5828 will definitely NOT work.

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Alarm Grid is excited to announce we are now offering certain Qolsys products at a lower price. Price reductions occur from time to time, and we're always happy to pass those savings on to our customers. The products we'll be talking about today cover a wide range of uses. Let's take a look.

The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F: This wired to wireless translator for 319.5 MHz panels sets the Gold Standard for these types of devices. With support for up to 16 wired zones, including one 2-wire smoke zone with up to ten (10) smoke detectors, 500 mA of power for devices such as motion detectors, and a 500 mA siren relay compatible with panels on RF PIC Version 11.1.4.G2 or higher. The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F is one of the most versatile expansion modules we've ever seen.

Qolsys IQ Carbon: The Qolsys IQ Carbon transmits at 319.5 MHz and is compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus as well as older Interlogix/GE Simon panels. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus come in several different varieties, so be sure your panel supports 319.5 MHz wireless sensors before purchasing the Qolsys IQ Carbon. These panels customarily come in a box with a gold edge.


The IQ Carbon should be used in homes with a high chance of Carbon Monoxide gas build-up. CO gas is odorless and colorless, and is formed whenever carbon-based fuels are not burned efficiently. Carbon-based fuels include coal, oil, natural gas, and even wood. Homes with gas furnaces, gas appliances, fireplaces or portable gas heaters should definitely have properly placed Carbon Monoxide detectors.

Qolsys IQ Dimmer: The Qolsys IQ Dimmer is a Z-Wave plug-in on/off dim capable lamp module. It supports 120VAC/60 Hz and operates at 908.42 MHz, the Z-Wave frequency used in the United States. It can support the equivalent of 2.5A, 300W incandescent, 65W dimmable CFL/LED. If you plan to use this device for dimming, be sure that the bulb being used also supports light dimming. Although this is a standard Z-Wave device, rather than Z-Wave plus, it might be useful in a location where you need to add a device where you aren't concerned with range, and you know that the device won't need to act as a repeater. Although this device WILL repeat Z-Wave signals, it will do us using standard Z-Wave limitations.

Qolsys IQ Siren: The Qolsys IQ Siren uses standard Z-Wave technology, allowing a user to easily add a remote siren that produces up to 105dB siren sounds. This device plugs into any standard outlet. It is then paired with the alarm panel. On Qolsys panels, that's all you have to do. Once the siren is paired as a Z-Wave device, it will automatically follow the alarm sounds from the panel by default. The IQ Siren can also be used on other Z-Wave compatible panels, but may require additional programming in order to sound upon alarms on those panels.

Qolsys Image Sensor: The image sensor is a motion sensor with a still camera built-in. This affordable device just got even more affordable! For situations where you want to be able to see what's going on, but you don't want to add a full video system, the Qolsys Image Sensor is perfect. In conjunction with Alarm.com and the right monitoring plan, you can use the Image Sensor to peek-in and see what's going on at your home or business. You can set it up so that you receive an image capture upon the panel being disarmed, or when motion is detected in an area after a long period of inactivity. It's great for making sure the kids got home from school safely, or just to check in on your dog or cat who may be home alone.


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You may have noticed, particularly if you have attempted to purchase an alarm communicator in recent months, that a lot of products are on backorder. This situation is related to the global chip shortage that has recently made headlines for disrupting the automotive industry.

Microchips can be found in just about everything, from ATMs to pacemakers, and in such varied products as smart pens and running shoes. Human beings love to rev up their traditionally low-tech devices in order to improve their usefulness, or at least their perceived usefulness. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chips required to make some of these improvements are currently in short supply.

The automotive industry was both a cause, and a victim, of the global chip shortage. According to TechRepublic.com, due to COVID-19, automotive manufacturers were required to shut down in 2020 along with most other businesses. But rather than take delivery of the chips they'd already ordered, they decided to cancel those orders. Chip manufacturers were forced to either pivot, or get stuck holding the bag.

Fortunately for them, the shutdown meant that a lot of people were now working and attending school from home. The need for both online access and cloud computing went through the roof, as did the sale of computers, tablets, and laptops. Add to this a huge rollout of 5G smartphones and the folks manufacturing and selling chips were recovering pretty well.

Fast-forward to 2021, the automotive manufacturers have gone back to work, but the chip producers who were forced to pivot away from them have not really been incentivized to do what it takes to increase their supply. To do so would require a major investment in building more foundries for chip production, with no guarantee that they would see the necessary return on that investment. The chip manufacturers seem to be saying, "Poor planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on our part." So, as long as demand outstrips supply, we're likely to see shortages of any device that requires a chip. Alarm panels, communicators, peripherals such as expansion modules, the list goes on.

Experts in the chip manufacturing industry have provided various estimates as to when the chip shortage may abate. None of those estimates are within 2021. The CEO's of a couple of chip manufacturers, and an automotive industry insider were quoted in Popular Science this past August saying that they expect the shortage to last into 2022, and most likely beyond that, into early 2023. Until equilibrium is reached between supply and demand, expect to wait for some items, and to pay more for others.

Have you been affected by the global chip shortage? Are you waiting for an item that's on backorder? Leave us a comment and let us know how you're dealing with the shortage, or if you're not bothered by it at all. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a note, start a conversation or just say hello!

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Resideo's Pro Series Products, including the PROA7PLUS with Amazon Alexa built in, the PROWIFIZW, PROLTE-A, PROLTE-V and all of its other peripherals have won CEPro's BEST Award for Best Integrated Security System/Module/Device/Surveillance Cameras system. This is a big win for Resideo.

Each year, CEPro Magazine announces the winners of their BEST Awards at the CEDIA Expo. CEDIA is the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association. It represents professionals in the home automation/smart technology industry. This is the biggest trade show geared specifically toward smart home and automation integrators.

The CEDIA Expo, owned and operated by EmeraldX, LLC. was held in Indianapolis this year beginning on September 1. The 2021 show returned to an in-person format after the 2020 show was canceled due to concerns about COVID-19. Exhibitors and attendees alike were happy to meet in person once again.

The Integrated Security System/Module/Device/Surveillance Cameras award is given in the Control and Automation Category. Some other awards in this segment were for Lighting, Lighting Controls & Accessories, which was won by the Alisse Wall Control which is offered by Lutron Electronics, Motorized Shade Controls & Accessories, which was awarded to Somfy Systems for their PoE Touch Panel Room Controller. There were a number of other categories and winners.

Resideo's Honeywell Home Pro Series Products offer a comprehensive platform to support existing legacy RF sensors using the PROTAKEOVER module (available separately or in one of our kits). With the PROTAKEOVER, a customer can replace an older alarm system that used older wireless technology without having to also replace every single sensor.

This saves both time and money, allowing the customer to concentrate on adding more automation devices, or new sensors in areas that weren't protected before. For example, by not having to replace all of the existing burglary sensors, a homeowner may be able to add smoke detectors or other life safety sensors that are tied to the alarm system where they didn't have this type of protection on the older system. The PROTAKEOVER can support wireless devices from the Honeywell or 2GIG 345 MHz lineup (one or the other, but not both), sensors from the Qolsys or Interlogix/GE 319.5 MHz lineup, and 433 MHz Bosch, or 433 MHz DSC sensors.

The PROA7PLUS comes with the PROWIFIZW already installed. This module adds support for WIFI (802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz only) as well as Z-Wave (908 MHz North American frequency). One of the big differences between the PROA7PLUS and the PROA7 is that the PROA7 does not have a WIFI module installed from the factory. Support for WIFI can be added using the PROWIFIZW, or if Z-Wave is not going to be used, then the PROWIFI can be installed. This modular design means that you will only pay for what you intend to use.

The modular design also means that if a component should fail, only the component needs to be replaced, rather than the entire panel. In the future, when technology changes and either WIFI or cellular technology requires an update, only the modules will have to be replaced in order to keep the panel current. If you've ever had to replace a panel with numerous security sensors, or Z-Wave automation devices, you'll know that this alone makes the Pro Series panels worth considering.

With built-in Amazon Alexa for both the PROA7PLUS panel itself, and the PROWLTOUCH Pro Wireless Touchscreen Keypad you can control the system as well as automation devices using just your voice and the Total Connect 2.0 Skill for Alexa. Some of the Alexa features supported are flash briefings, weather, time, add to calendar, create shopping lists, answer general questions, and more. Some features that are not supported are the ability to read books aloud (Audible) and the ability to place calls or Drop-in to another Alexa device.

Tell us what you think of the Resideo and Honeywell Home Pro Series Panels. Do you think these new panels are worthy of accolades? Have you had an experience with one of these systems that you'd like to tell us about? Leave a comment below, we'd love to hear what you think.


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Entergy Mississippi utility subscribers will soon be eligible to sign up for the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program. The program allows Alarm.com users with a smart thermostat to receive incentives for allowing Entergy Mississippi to adjust their thermostat during peak summer months.

For enrolling in this program, Entergy Mississippi will send subscribers a one-time $50 sign-up incentive. In addition, subscribers who remain enrolled will receive a $25 bill credit at the end of each year that they are enrolled. If for any reason a subscriber decides they do not wish to remain in the program, they can opt out.

To be eligible, users must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Entergy Mississippi residential customer with the electric service in your name.
  • Use an eligible internet-connected smart thermostat for cooling.
  • Allow Entergy Mississippi to make brief, small thermostat adjustments on days of high energy demand.

Once you sign up, it will take about four (4) to six (6) weeks from the time you are accepted into the program to receive the $50 incentive check. The $25 credit at the end of the year will be applied directly to your utility bill. The adjustments Entergy will make are of four (4) degrees or less and will only occur during peak hours of electric demand beginning on June 1 of each year, and ending on September 30. Most customers will never notice a difference in their comfort.

Just about any thermostat that can be used with Alarm.com will qualify to be used with this program. Below is a list of approved thermostats:

Manufacturer Approved Thermostats
ecobee ecobee3, ecobee3 Lite, ecobee4, ecobee Smart, ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control
Emerson Sensi™ WIFI Programmable Thermostat, Sensi Touch WIFI Thermostat
Honeywell Home WIFI Smart Color Thermostat, WIFI 7-Day Programmable Thermostat, WIFI 9000 7-Day Programmable Thermostat, 9000 Smart Thermostat, 7-Day Programmable Smart Thermostat, VisionPro 8000 Smart Thermostat, Round Smart Thermostat, T5+ Smart Thermostat, T6 Pro Smart Thermostat, T9 Smart Thermostat, T10 Smart Thermostat

Eligible users can opt into this program directly from the Alarm.com website when any compatible Alarm.com thermostat is used. Just go to the Thermostat Card after logging into your Alarm.com account. This must be done from the website, it can't be done from the app at the time of this writing. Click the > symbol on the Thermostat card. If you have an eligible thermostat, you should see an option for Give Back, Get Back. Click this option, then click Settings and Notifications and follow the instructions.

If you're not in the Entergy Mississippi market area, never fear. You may still live in an area where the Demand Response Give Back, Get Back program is available. We've written numerous blogs in the past for different areas. Alectra Utilities in Ontario Canada, LA Department of Water and Power in California, Duke Energy of Indiana, and Magic Valley Electric Coop, Delaware Electric, and Wabash Valley, and Baltimore Gas & Electric are just a few of the places whose utilities participate in this program. Alarm.com continues to add partners as time goes on. If you don't yet have a smart thermostat that supports this feature, now may be the perfect time to upgrade to one! Then, by this time next summer, the thermostat will likely have already paid for itself.

What do you think about Alarm.com's Give Back, Get Back program? Is it something you fell is worthwhile? Perhaps you're already enrolled in the program in another market. Leave us a comment below and let us know what your experience has been like. It may seem like a very small contribution toward lowering your carbon footprint and contributing to conservation, but every little bit helps. Until next time, stay safe!


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For some time customers have been reporting issues with the weather feature on the TUXWIFI products from Resideo. Either the weather is blank, or it doesn't update properly. This week, Resideo released a technical bulletin advising that the TUXWIFI product line no longer supports weather.

Alarm Grid first reported on this issue in a blog back in April of this year. At that time, there was some hope that the issue would be resolved, but it appears that is not the case. The older Tuxedo Touch line, the TUXWIFIW and the TUXWIFIS no longer support the weather feature or the Sunrise/Sunset programming feature as of October 31, 2021. Any scenes that were previously created using Sunrise or Sunset as a triggering event will no longer work. According to the notice, the issue has to do with the weather information provider that was originally used.

It should also be noted that these products have been discontinued by Resideo as of July 2020. That means that once stock of these items is depleted, they will no longer be available for sale. Customers interested in a new Tuxedo keypad should look to the Honeywell Home Tuxedo instead. The new, redesigned Tuxedo will continue to support the Weather Feature, including the Sunrise and Sunset scheduling option.

We know this is probably not the news those of you with one of these keypads, and who uses these features, wanted to hear. You can read the full technical notice from Resideo here. Tell us what you think in a comment below. One good thing is that pricing is much more reasonable on the newer Honeywell Home Tuxedo, than it was on the original TUXWIFI. So replacing an older model with a newer version won't be as painful as it would otherwise have been.

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