November 2022 Archives

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Hey everyone! Today is "Black Friday," and we have some great deals for you! We have a smattering of stuff we're putting on sale from today until Monday. And below is the list! Don't miss these deals, because they go away as soon as Monday is in the books.

Every order over $50 is getting 5% off!!!!!

All you have to do is fill your cart up, and the discount should be applied.

Garage Door Z-Wave Controllers are $32 off right now (44% off)

Ok, 44% might seem like an arbitrary number to mark something down. But it's not. It's basically as cheap as we're able to put these garage door sensors before we make absolutely nothing on them. We have lots of them, and we want to get rid of them. If you have a LYNXTouch, and you want to add garage door control to your alarm system, there has never been a better time than now!

Buy the 5877GDPK today!

All ProSiX Heat & Smokes are Marked Down $5

Truth, we should have offered you smokes and heats before you cooked that turkey yesterday. That is one of the highest fire-risk days of the year. But you're going to cook a turkey next year too. And not just that, but what about the rest of the days of the year. Protect everything that's precious to you with Alarm Grid's fire safety devices. We just really want all our customers to add smokes and heats to their systems. It costs nothing extra to add them, and if something happens, you'll be happy you did.

Get Pro-SiX Heat Detectors

Get Pro-SiX Smoke Detectors

$50 off Our Most Popular Security System Kit!

Our price on this kit is unbelievable! The ProA7 is our premier security system. It is the best that Resideo has to offer, and the most popular alarm system that we sell. We are selling our base level kit for $50 less than we normally sell it. If you're planning to upgrade an old system or get a new system, there has never been a better deal than this. $382.99 is for this weekend only. We hope that any of you that are thinking of buying a system in the near future take advantage of this deal before it goes away on Monday!

Buy Your 3 Sensor, 1 Motion Kit Today!

3 Months of Free Alarm Monitoring

This offer is for new customers only. We think you'll love our service. We want you to try it for 3 months free. Alarm Grid's service is unlike any other in the industry. For one, you can leave any time you want because we have no contracts. But if you couple that truth with the fact that we have the best service in the industry, you'll hopefully find that leaving isn't really something you ever intend to do. If you're feeling skeptical, that's ok, take 3 months free, try the service, and test our tech team relentlessly while you're with us.

We can't wait to have you on board. Sign up for monitoring today!

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The year 2022 is quickly drawing to a close, with about 30 shopping days left until Christmas. But before we jump ahead to the next holiday, we wanted to take a moment to reflect and give thanks in honor of Thanksgiving. It's one of our favorite holidays, with a simple goal of togetherness.

If you'll be traveling this Thanksgiving, be sure to lock your doors and arm your alarm system. Your system can't do its job until you do your part. If you have smoke detectors connected to your system you should definitely test them regularly. Whether your system is armed or disarmed, smoke detectors are always active when properly configured.

So that our dedicated support and planner staff can celebrate with their families, Alarm Grid will be closed all day on Thursday, November 24, 2022, for Thanksgiving. We'll be back bright and early on Friday, November 25 at 9:00 am. Of course, our monitoring station operates 24/7/365, so for those customers who have chosen full central station monitoring, your system will be continuously monitored by trained operators who stand ready to respond to any alarm you may have.

If you need to contact the monitoring station, either to report a false alarm or to put your system on test, you can call Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS) at (888) 818-7728 and choose Option [9]. This is the process for Alarm Grid customers who reside within the United States. Once an operator answers, you'll need to supply your name, address, and false alarm password.

For our Canadian customers, our monitoring partner in Canada is Rapid Response. They can be reached at (800) 932-3822. Remember, when you call either monitoring station you will be asked for your name and address, and to verify your false alarm password or phrase. Providing the wrong information, or providing the Duress password, will result in a police dispatch.

If you have a support question or need to make adjustments to your account, the monitoring station won't be able to assist you with that. In that case, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com with your request and we'll get back to you as soon as possible when we return to the office on Friday. There can be a bit of a backlog, so please be patient while we catch up.

2022 has been a year for reacquiring a solid footing in the post-COVID-shutdown era. We've dealt with supply chain issues, sudden discontinuation of some products, and name or model number changes in others while manufacturers struggle to meet the demands of their customers, and by extension, our customers. The waters are choppy, and we're navigating them to the best of our ability. We appreciate you staying in the boat with us. We will arrive at the dock together, safely.

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In firmware version 4.1.0 Qolsys added an Input Voltage Test feature to the other system tests already available in the panel. This is a boon to the DIY community, whose users often don't have a multimeter available to check things like input voltage. With this new feature, you can troubleshoot random or recurring AC Loss issues.

If you've been a DIYer in the alarm system community for any length of time, you may know that power issues can be caused by some things that most people wouldn't even think of. The wrong gauge wire, a wire run that is too long, or sometimes a combination of these two things can often lead to power issues. Particularly on the newer touchscreen all-in-one panels. The installation instructions on these panels are very clear about the wiring parameters required to properly power the system, but often people, even professional installers, overlook this information. The result can be nagging power issues that may make you want to pull your hair out!

In the DIY community, this issue can be compounded by the fact that many users don't have the type of equipment for troubleshooting that a professional installer does. Well, the Input Voltage Test feature can help with that. When you run this test, it checks the input voltage at the IQ Panel 4. You may get a different reading each time you run the test, based on the amount of current being consumed by the panel at that moment. In every case, the input voltage should be at least 6VDC or higher. If the panel receives input voltage below 6VDC, it will alert you that the voltage is low, and suggest ways that you can resolve the issue.

You can reach the Input Voltage Test by selecting the gray bar at the top of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 screen, then choosing Settings > Advanced Settings > Entering the Installer or Dealer Code (Default is 1111 and 2222 respectively) > System Tests. When you select the Input Voltage Test, you'll see a screen like the one on the left below:


When you press "Start" the panel will do a real-time check of the input voltage at the panel. Each time you come to this screen and press the start button, a new test is run, and as mentioned above, the reading may vary a bit each time, depending on what's happening on the panel when you run the test. An example of when it would be good to check input voltage is in a situation where the panel has been reporting either an AC Loss, or a low battery condition, either constantly or randomly. One of the most important factors in having a healthy battery is providing good input power, which in turn provides good charging voltage. Often, one of the first symptoms of an input power problem is a low battery report.

There are still situations where a multimeter is helpful and will make troubleshooting much quicker. For example, if the low input voltage is being caused by a bad DC power adapter (the thing you plug into the wall) this test can't determine that. It can tell you that the voltage is too low, but not necessarily why it's too low. It also can't tell you if you have a bad piece of wire between the power adapter and the panel. To determine those things quickly, you still need a multimeter. We sell an inexpensive meter on our site, and you can probably also find one at your local hardware store.

So, while this test doesn't necessarily negate the usefulness of a multimeter, it will provide the DIY user with information that was unavailable to them before if they didn't possess a meter. When you're troubleshooting an ongoing issue, all pertinent information is helpful. Thank you to Qolsys for providing this handy tool!

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Resideo announced today that the final Lynx product still being manufactured is discontinued, effective immediately. Some components required to produce the LynxTouch L5210 panel are obsolete, so the decision has been made to move on. Rest in peace LynxTouch. You were a good product.

I was never meant to be an alarm technician. I went to school for networking, and I had a job doing technical support for an ISP. Then the Dot-com Bubble burst in 2000 and suddenly there was a surplus of qualified candidates for every networking job. The ISP I worked for went out of business, so I knew that there were at least forty other people looking for the same networking jobs I was.

I saw an advertisement for a technical support specialist at Ademco. I studied up on the company, and what it offered. The largest manufacturer of alarm products in North America. Not bad! The main reason I applied was that I knew none of the other people who were also in the process of losing their jobs, would. I figured I could continue looking for networking jobs if I managed to get hired. I went into it actively not wanting the job. I literally said, "I'll probably get this job because I don't want it."

I had an interview and got a tour. They were interested in me because of my networking background. They were about to begin supporting a touchscreen keypad that had an internet connection and most of their alarm technicians were not good with software, computers, or networking. I left the interview thinking, "I probably won't get this job because now I want it."

But I did get the job, and for the first few months, I thought I would fail. I had no electronics background and no alarm panel background. They trained me on downloading software first. For the first week, I bet I didn't say two words all day long during training. At night I went home saying, "What do they mean 'control panel'?!" What everyone else in the world called a download, they called an upload, and vice versa. Eventually, I made it to alarm panel training.

At that time, in early 2001, the Lynx panel lineup was their only wireless all-in-one panel. Its competition was the Simon panel lineup from ITI/Interlogix/GE. Both manufacturers' panels spoke, and both spoke with a female voice. For a person who didn't have any experience with wiring or resistors, it was like an oasis in a desert of hardwired panels. The Lynx could be a bear to program because it didn't have an actual alpha display, but nearly every Lynx panel in use was exclusively using wireless sensors.

I really liked the early Lynx panels. My reasons were selfish. The thing that made it difficult for others wasn't a problem for me. The menu prompts, particularly in zone and output programming, made perfect sense. The feature that made other panels difficult for me, various wiring scenarios, was almost completely absent from the Lynx. Working with Lynx panels gave me the confidence to stick with alarms until I could master the rest of the product line. Also, because a Lynx panel would allow you to record a custom voice descriptor for a zone, you could use it to play some pretty good pranks on fellow technicians.

That was twenty-one years ago. I was so intent on trying to master this technology I didn't have time to look for a networking job. Anyway, I had found a home in this industry. Interlogix shut down its North American alarm operations at the end of 2019. So, the Lynx has outlived its old nemesis the Simon panel. Earlier this year, Resideo announced that it would discontinue the Lynx 3000 and LynxTouch L7000 panels. The L5210 was the final remaining Lynx system, and now it too is discontinued. Forgive me if I get a little misty-eyed and nostalgic. After all, I'm saying goodbye to an old friend.

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