September 2022 Archives

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Qolsys has released Firmware Version 4.2.0 for the IQ Panel 4, and the IQ4 Hub (coming very soon). This is a huge update with lots of new features and bug fixes. In this blog, we'll discuss what to expect from this release. The IQ Panel 4 MUST be on version 4.1.1 to install version 4.2.0.

For those of you with panels that can't access WIFI, we've updated our Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Firmware Updates page with the newest release. In addition, if your panel isn't yet on version 4.1.1, we have that file available too, so you can get your panel completely updated just by visiting our page. Just scroll down the page until you see the green download button for 4.1.1. Instructions on updating are included on the page.

The marquee feature in this release is support for the new Qolsys IQ WIFI 6. This is an all-new, IPv4 and IPv6 capable router purpose-built for security professionals. Out of the box it has three (3) partitions enabled. A Guest partition that is capable of using both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, and the Main partition that also supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The biggest differentiator for the IQ WIFI 6 is that it also has a Security partition. This partition is there to support all of the security system elements that use WIFI. This includes the panel itself, any Alarm.com video devices, and remote keypads that use WIFI in order to communicate with the panel. By putting security devices together on a partition that is controlled by the alarm dealer, WIFI issues for accidental configuration changes made by the end-user are virtually eliminated.

Alarm.com cameras will automatically move themselves to the Security partition if they are initially added to the network on one of the other partitions. The alarm dealer will have access through the Partner Portal and through Mobile Tech to configure and troubleshoot the IQ WIFI 6. The end-user will have access to configuration settings through the end-user website and the Alarm.com app.

The IQ WIFI 6 offers band steering, which causes WIFI devices to switch between the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands. This is an ongoing process that optimizes both speed and reliability for each device on the network. Let's say you're walking through your home, on your smartphone, which is connected to WIFI, and you're surfing the web as you walk. When you're close to the router, 5GHz is likely the best band for you to be using. But as you walk further from the router, 2.4 GHz may become the better option. The IQ WIFI 6 will automatically cause you to switch from 5GHz to 2.4 GHz without you ever even knowing a change took place. Band steering is always enabled on the IQ WIFI 6. That means if you change the SSID for the 2.4 GHz band, the SSID for the 5 GHz band will be changed to match it.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 has an open slot where a new daughterboard can be installed. Qolsys will soon be offering a Zigbee card (QC000E-840) that can be installed in this slot. With the Zigbee card installed, the IQ Panel 4 can support both Zigbee automation devices and Zigbee security devices. There are alarm dealers out there (Comcast Xfinity) who use Zigbee sensors for their proprietary systems. If you have one of these systems and thought you were stuck either staying with your current company or purchasing all new equipment, rest easy. By adding the Zigbee card to an IQ Panel 4, you can replace just the alarm panel, keep your existing sensors, and move to any dealer who supports Alarm.com communication. It just so happens, Alarm Grid is one of those dealers! Firmware version 4.2.0 adds end-to-end Alarm.com support for Zigbee automation devices when the optional Zigbee daughtercard is installed.

This firmware release also prepares the IQ Panel 4 and IQ4 Hub to support Z-Wave 800 Series. At the core of Z-Wave 800 Series are the ZG23 SoC (System on Chip) and the ZGM230S, a module with a ZG23 already connected. Devices using this hardware will have low sleep and active current consumption, with 50% longer battery life than Z-Wave 700 Series. For modules that use coin cell batteries, Z-Wave 800 supports up to ten (10) year battery life. Using the ARM Cortex-M33 microprocessor, Z-Wave 800 delivers ~20% more processing power than the previous Cortex-M4. It can also support Z-Wave Long Range (LR), which has a wireless range of ~1.5 miles.

There is so much to unpack in 4.2.0 that we can't cover it all here. PowerG PIR Cameras, like the PG9934 will now send up to six (6) images to the Alarm.com backend for each device trip during the same arming period. Previously, only images from the first alarm trip were sent. There is a fix for improved WIFI connectivity between IQ Remote Keypads and the alarm panel, basically causing WIFI to toggle OFF and then ON if the remote keypad loses connection to the panel. There is new PowerG Modem Firmware (Version 3.0 / Build 10.87). To see everything that is included in this firmware release, you'll need to read the full Release Notes.

What do you think about Firmware Version 4.2.0 for Qolsys IQ Panel 4 and IQ4 Hub? Are you looking forward to the release of the new panel? Have you been following Z-Wave 800, or is this the first you've heard of it? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think, we always look forward to hearing from our readers. Until next time, stay safe!

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Resideo announced today that users of their Total Connect 2.0 service may currently be experiencing impairment in service. This is as of 1:15 PM Eastern Time today. The services affected are TC2 SkyBell Live Streaming, TC2 SkyBell Clip Replay, and TC2 Video Event Capture.

These services are basically the full range of things you might use a video doorbell for. Bear in mind that TC2 and SkyBell use a server-to-server integration. That means that all the heavy lifting with regard to the SkyBell integration is happening on the SkyBell servers. The TC2 servers are just sending requests back and forth to those SkyBell servers. We don't know if this issue is completely on the SkyBell side of things, or if there is a breakdown in communication between the TC2 servers and the SkyBell servers. If any more information comes to light, we'll share it here.

In the meantime, what we do know is that all other aspects of Total Connect 2.0 service are working as they should. Also, and most importantly, the delivery of alarm signals is not in any way impaired by this temporary situation. We know that the issues began at 1:15 PM ET, and as of now, the outage is still ongoing. If we receive information on an end to this situation, we'll post it here, so stay tuned.

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The Smart Arming feature can be enabled for any residential customer who has an interactive monitoring plan with Alarm.com. Once enabled, the feature can easily be configured using either the customer website or iOS or Android app.

Once configured, the Smart Arming feature will automatically arm the system to the Stay Mode once the occupants of the home have gone to bed. This can be accomplished using a schedule, or by configuring certain door and/or motion sensors to work in conjunction with the feature. You can reach the Smart Arming settings by going to Security, or through the Automation page. The Smart Arming programming is listed as Goodnight for Arming, and Wake Up for Disarming.


For example, you can set the system to Arm Stay at 10:00 PM, or you can set the system to Arm Stay when no activity has been detected for 30 Minutes between 10:00 PM and 11:30 PM (this is just an example, and you can use whatever time frame you want). If you choose the latter option, you then configure which zones you want to apply this logic to.

For the Stay Arming feature, doors, windows, and motions can be used along with the feature. So, once you choose the zones to be used with this logic, if no activity has been detected on ALL of those zones for a full 30 Minutes, and the time is between 10:00 PM and 11:30 PM, the system will automatically Arm Stay. Smart Arming logic is canceled if the system is already Armed Away.

For Disarming the options are similar. You can set the system to Disarm at a specific time, or you can set it to Disarm when motion is detected on certain motion detectors within a specific time window. For example, in our screenshot below, you can see we have our system set to Disarm if the Upstairs Motion detects movement between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM. We also have it set so that if no motion is detected, the system will still disarm at 9:00 AM, which is sort of the best of both worlds.

Notice that only Motion Detectors are now available to tie to the Disarm logic. You don't want someone opening a door to disarm the system. By the same token, be sure that no outdoor motions are configured to work with this automation.


This is an excellent new feature that can go a long way toward preventing false alarms. No more forgetting to disarm the system when you go to let the dog out in the morning. As long as you set it up so that a motion you walk past on your way to the door causes the system to Disarm, you're all set. No more laying in bed wondering if you remembered to set the alarm. Now, as long as you have configured the Goodnight options, you know your system will arm itself based on either a schedule or activity (or lack thereof) combined with a time window.

The following Alarm.com compatible panels support this feature:

Panel Compatible Motion Sensor
Groups (Arm & Disarm)
Compatible Contact
Sensor Groups (Arm Only)
2GIG GC2/e 4, 10, 23 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 23
2GIG GC3/e 4, 10, 23 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 23
2GIG Edge 4, 10, 23 All
DSC PowerSeries Neo/Pro 4, 5, 9, 10 4, 5, 9, 10
Interlogix Concord 15, 17, 18, 20 14, 16
Interlogix Simon XT/XTi/XTi-5i 15, 35 14, 16
Qolsys IQ Panel 2 17, 20, 44, 43, 35 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 25
Qolsys IQ Panel 4 17, 20, 44, 43, 35 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 25
Note: Sensor-based disarming is only available in the Simon XT/XTi/XTi-5i with firmware versions below 193a.

What do you think of this new Alarm.com feature? For that matter, what do you think of Alarm.com's commitment to bringing you new products and features in general? They're doing an excellent job of listening to customers and responding with great new options. Drop us a note in the comments and let us know what you think. We always look forward to hearing from you!

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Verizon plans to shut down its CDMA (3G) network by December 31, 2022. If you have a Verizon CDMA communicator on your system, you need to upgrade by then, or your system may be unable to communicate in the event of an emergency. Alarm Grid is making the upgrade as painless as possible.

We've posted about the AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA sunsets a lot! Verizon CDMA users have been fortunate in that they've had nearly a year longer to update than AT&T 3G users. However, the sunset is drawing near, so those who still have a system with a CDMA communicator should be giving serious consideration to upgrading. If you're not sure how to upgrade, this post provides great information.

If you're concerned about the cost of upgrading, we offer financing through Affirm. From this link, choose "Shop Now" and follow the prompts to apply at check out. If you have any questions, contact us at support@alarmgrid.com if we can be of assistance, we're more than happy to help.

You might wonder why we continue to talk about upgrading your system. It's because we know that cellular alarm communication is the most reliable method of communication available today. Internet, be it Ethernet or WIFI is great. It's fast, and when it's available it makes using services like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 much more fluid. It's also very fast for reporting alarm signals when central station monitoring is in use.

But we all know that an internet connection can be unreliable. Sometimes WIFI just stops working and requires a reboot or other end-user intervention. For most folks, when the power goes out, internet equipment also goes down. This means that even a wired Ethernet connection to the internet can be vulnerable to downtime.

With cellular, those types of issues are much less likely to occur. Cellular providers have all sorts of redundancy built into their networks. So, a loss of power is countered by backup power sources for cellular towers. The spacing of the towers themselves means that in most cases, a cellular device will have a primary tower and at least one backup tower to keep it connected and communicating. Cellular alarm communicators either have their own backup battery or use the battery of the alarm panel they are connected to. So the loss of primary power won't take the communicator offline.

Finally, we'll wrap this up by reminding Alarm Grid customers that waiting until the last minute to upgrade your communicator is a bad idea. We have a finite number of activators, and the holiday season is coming up soon, which will further limit the time we have to get new communicators activated. Upgrading from an older communicator to a new one usually doesn't take quite as long as a new activation, but it does require manual input from one of our activators, so please be mindful of this and schedule your upgrade using our communicator replacement portal as soon as possible.

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Alarm.com is offering a new feature called Perimeter Guard™ proactive defense for their compatible cameras. All that is required to use this feature is a video plan that includes video analytics, a compatible camera, and a video analytics recording rule applied to an appropriate camera.

This new feature is considered a proactive method of defense because when an analytics rule is activated on a compatible camera with the Perimeter Guard™ feature enabled, it causes the camera LED to flash, and a sound to be emitted from the camera's speaker, when supported. This is done to let the potential intruder know that they've been seen and to encourage them to move along to some other location.

The following cameras support the Perimeter Guard™ feature:

Camera Model Firmware Required Behavior Supported
ADC-V724/724X Version 0.6.1.387+ LED and Audio Alert
ADC-V523/523X Version 0.6.1.387+ LED and Audio Alert
ADC-V723/723X Version 0.6.1.387+ LED Only
ADC-VC827P All Versions LED Only
ADC-VC847PF All Versions LED Only
ADC-VC728PF All Versions LED Alert
ADC-VC728PF Version 0.6.3.601+ LED and Audio Alert
ADC-VC838PF All Versions LED Only

The Alarm.com Video Analytics feature must be enabled in order to use this feature. This allows the user to be as sure as possible that it is actually an intruder that is causing the disturbance, rather than a neighbor's pet running loose or some other source of a potential accidental activation. A compatible Alarm.com camera that has been properly calibrated for use with the analytics feature ensures that false activations are virtually eliminated. Once the camera has been calibrated simply create a Video Analytics Rule for the calibrated camera and choose to Activate Perimeter Guard.

In the "Activate Perimeter Guard" section of the recording rule, choose the option or options you want to enable. You can choose to set up a trip wire recording, or a ground zone recording. Refer to the full instructions on setting up video analytics rules that we've linked above for more information on these two (2) different options.

Basically, a trip wire recording allows you to draw a virtual line within the camera's field of view, and if anyone crosses that line while the rule is active, a clip recording is triggered, and the options selected for the Perimeter Guard feature are also triggered. When using a ground zone, the behavior is similar, but instead of an invisible trip wire, you're configuring an invisible space within the camera's viewing area. If someone enters that space and stays for a specified amount of time, a recording and the Perimeter Guard behavior are activated.

Depending on the camera you are using, you have the option to illuminate the LED, and for how long, to have the camera produce sounds, if supported, and to set a delay between alerts. The LED duration options are 3, 5, 10, or 30 seconds. The "Delay between Alerts" options are 30 seconds, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, or 15 minutes. The Audio Alert options are shown in the screenshot below. This feature can be configured using either the customer website or the Alarm.com app.


Once you've selected the options you want for the rule, be sure to Save and then be sure that the "Rule is Active" toggle is enabled at the very top of the rule creation screen. If you ever need to disable this rule, you can easily do so by toggling the rule off, rather than deleting it. Then, when you're ready to use it again, simply toggle it back on.

This is another example of how Alarm.com continues to innovate within the video surveillance space. Particularly when outdoor cameras are used, this feature can go a long way toward not just notifying of a break-in, but discouraging one. For Alarm Grid customers, you will need either our Platinum Plan (Full or Self) or a Stand-alone Video Plan.

If you're activating new video service with us, and you want to check out this feature, be sure to tell your activator that you want to enable Video Analytics. If you're already a video customer and you would like to have the Video Analytics feature enabled for your account so that you can check out this intriguing new feature, drop an email to support@alarmgrid.com and let us know, we'll gladly enable it for you. We pay more for the Video Analytics feature, but we don't charge more for it. This is why we don't simply enable Video Analytics for every video account automatically.

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2GIG strongly recommends that all Edge panels be updated to the latest firmware version, 3.1.1.016. This firmware has a number of new features and bug fixes. New features include Z-Wave siren support and updated remote keypad features. For a full list of updates, read the release notes.


The 2GIG Edge supports a WIFI connection in addition to the AT&T or Verizon cellular communicator that comes built-in. For any Alarm.com panel that is connected to WIFI, OTA (Over the Air) firmware updates that are downloaded to the panel using WIFI are free. However, for those panels that don't have access to WIFI, a firmware update that is sent to the panel via cellular data usually incurs a small fee. Alarm Grid passes this fee on to our customers with no markup, when it is assessed.

But, for a limited time, Alarm.com is offering to update the 2GIG Edge panel automatically with no fees assessed, even when the firmware has to be downloaded via cellular data. That's how important 2GIG and Alarm.com feel this update is. Beginning on Monday, September 12, 2022, Alarm.com will push the latest firmware to all monitored 2GIG Edge panels.

These automatic updates will take place only during daylight hours, and only when the alarm panel is disarmed. When the firmware update is complete, the alarm panel will reboot. This is a normal part of the update process. Additionally, if there are any remote keypads associated with the panel, they will also be updated once the main panel has completed its update. Alarm.com expects the process of updating all 2GIG Edge panels to be completed by the end of October 2022.

If you'd like to go ahead and update your panel immediately, you can access the necessary files for the update on our 2GIG Edge Firmware Update Page. Instructions for updating the 2GIG Edge can be found in this helpful FAQ. Otherwise, do nothing and your panel will be automatically updated OTA by Alarm.com at no charge, in the near future.

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Labor Day has honored the contributions of workers as an official Federal Holiday since the year 1894. As a thank you to our employees, Alarm Grid will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2022, for the Labor Day Holiday. We will not be in the office that day to answer support questions.

But just because we won't be in the office providing technical support, helping to plan new systems, and activating monitoring for new customers doesn't mean that we aren't taking care of our customers. Our monitoring station partners, Criticom Monitoring Service (CMS) and Rapid Response are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to respond to any alarms, troubles, or environmental situations that may arise.

Alarm Grid monitored customers in the United States receive their monitoring service from Criticom (CMS). When your Alarm Grid monitored system sends a signal, it is a CMS operator who receives it and then processes it based on a pre-set list of instructions. Alarm processing may involve sending authorities immediately, or calling the premises and a list of contacts to determine if an emergency exists before a dispatch occurs. Whatever the instructions, the process takes only moments to complete.

If you need to contact CMS, either to put your system on test, or to report that an alarm does not require a dispatch, you can get in touch by calling (888) 818-7728 and choosing Option 9. When you contact them, be sure to have the proper information ready. They will need your name, address, and your false alarm password or phrase. This is very important! If you call either monitoring station during an alarm, and you provide an incorrect password, they will be required to dispatch authorities at that point.

For our Canadian monitored customers, you receive monitoring service from Rapid Response. If you need to contact them you can call (800) 932-3822 and follow the prompts. You should only be contacting them for issues such as putting your system on test, or canceling a potential dispatch due to an accidental alarm. Rapid Response can't provide you with technical support or make changes to your account either, so if you need that type of help, please contact us instead. You can email support@alarmgrid.com with details of what you need and we will respond as quickly as possible when we're back in the office on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

The contributions of workers in building and maintaining both of these great nations cannot be overstated. Alarm Grid wishes you a happy, safe, and relaxing Labor Day! We'll see you back here on Tuesday, September 6 to pick up right where we left off. Until then, we hope you can enjoy this brief respite, you've earned it!

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