June 2024 Archives

Posted By

Recently, while writing content about the installation of various add-on modules for the PROA7PLUS, I discovered the "Shutdown system" option. Being familiar with Resideo's definition of "Shutdown" I sent an email to support to find out exactly what this button does. The answer surprised me.

I was looking for a better way of powering down the panel for the purpose of adding hardware. Having to disconnect the battery and possibly unplug the DC power adapter is inconvenient and unnecessarily difficult. I was hoping for a menu option that would allow me to power down without physically disconnecting anything.

When you enter the menu options of the PROA7PLUS, PROA7, PROA7PLUSC, or PROA7C you see an option for Tools. If you select Tools, you'll be prompted to enter a code. Once you enter a valid code, and this includes both the Installer Code and the Master Code (4112 and 1234 respectively, by default) you'll then see a list of additional options.

At the bottom of this list is "Shutdown system". I was hoping this was an option to power down the system. Just above it in the menu list is "Reboot System" but rebooting doesn't help when you're attempting to add or remove hardware. Again, knowing Resideo as I do, I was afraid to simply try out the shutdown option, so I sent an email to their technical support to inquire about what this menu option does. I found the answer a little disturbing.

According to support, when you perform a system shutdown the system cannot be armed. Only 24-Hour emergency zones can be activated, and those alarms are local only because the system's communicator is also shut down. The burglary portion of the system is useless in this state. Access to the "Tools" menu is also disabled.

You might wonder, as I did, if the communicator is shut down, and the "Tools" menu is disabled how the heck do you recover from this state? According to technical support, it is still possible to send a command to the system from AlarmNet360. This is called a "Resume System" command. This option can only be performed by your alarm dealer.

My takeaways from this are: If your system is not registered with an alarm dealer DO NOT SELECT SHUTDOWN SYSTEM from the "Tools" menu. Doing so will likely cause your system to be permanently inoperable. It's unclear if an alarm dealer could register a system after the shutdown command has been implemented, and then send the Resume System command. I wouldn't recommend testing it.

For anyone who may have accidentally hit this menu option and who does have a registered system, contact your alarm dealer immediately. Let them know what happened and that you need to initiate a "Resume System" command through AlarmNet360. They should be able to help you get your system back up and running.

If you're an Alarm Grid customer who finds yourself in this position you can email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call 1-888-818-7728. Our support team is here Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 8:00 pm, with the exception of holidays. We will hopefully be able to send the command to Resume System using AlarmNet360.

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


Posted By

During beta testing of the Resideo and Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH touchscreen keypad, the PROWLTOUCHDM desk mount and charging stand offered an LED on top to show when the keypad was properly connected and charging. Resideo removed this feature, apparently in 2020, without informing users.

Of course anything we say about the Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH is also true of the Resideo PROWLTOUCHC. Both keypads are compatible with the PROWLTOUCHDM. The only difference between the two keypads is the branding shown on the front of the product. Honeywell Home products are marketed toward residential use while Resideo branded products are marketed for commercial use.

What makes this situation somewhat perplexing is the fact that the PROWLTOUCHDM still has the LEDs and the ribbon cable internally that would allow the LEDs to be connected to power. There's just no connector on the power board, so the LEDs can never be successfully utilized.

When we first encountered this issue, we thought we'd found a manufacturing problem. We received several different PROWLTOUCHDMs in our office, and they all looked the same inside. All the bits to make it work, minus that all-important connector.

We reported our findings to Resideo technical support. They had no record of a product change. They escalated the inquiry to the product manager and that's how we all found out about the decision to remove this feature, which took place in April, 2020! Any PROWLTOUCH manufactured after April 2, 2020 will not have a working LED indicator.

The date code for this product is only located on the packaging that it comes in. You can see a date in the first image above. There is no date code on the PROWLTOUCHDM itself. So, if you have one of these and you've already thrown away the box, there is no way to check a date code. If you're just buying one, it's likely that it will have been manufactured after April 2, 2020.

You don't lose much with the removal of this feature. It can be a little tricky to mount the PROWLTOUCH to the PROWLTOUCHDM so that it's lined up correctly to properly charge the keypad battery. The LED was nice for allowing the user to be sure it was properly mounted. Otherwise, users likely won't miss it. What are your thoughts on this feature removal? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Posted By

Thinking of taking control of your home security system but worried about the wiring? Don't be! Understanding how to make good wiring connections can help dispel some of the mystery and anxiety surrounding your electronic security system. Here, we'll discuss how to properly use B Connectors.

Here at Alarm Grid, we've helped countless DIYers with all sorts of security system projects. From resolving an annoying issue that their previous security installation company failed to take care of to our co-founder, Sterling literally walking a blind customer through a system activation. Once you decide to take your security system into your own hands, you are officially one of our beloved DIYers. In our videos, when we say, "Hey DIYers..." we're talking to you!

There are many benefits to installing and maintaining your own security system. The benefit most folks immediately think of is the money savings. Many customers come to us because their current security company insists on sending out a technician for an expensive service call, even for minor issues.

But the benefit that I think is most important is familiarity. When you wire, program, and service your own system, you become intimately familiar with it. And when you know your system inside and out, you're more comfortable using it, and are more likely to do so. The best security system in the world is useless if you never arm it.

What I want to discuss today is the use of B Connectors when making wiring connections. B Connectors, beanies, or dolphin connectors make splicing two wires together easy. Dolphin® is a particular brand of B Connector, but its use has become so common that the brand name is now synonymous with all such connectors, like Kleenex® is for facial tissues, or Band-Aid® is for adhesive bandage strips.

These connectors are suitable for use with low-voltage systems because we use smaller wire than high-voltage applications. If you try to put larger gauge wire, or more than a couple of smaller gauge wires together in a beanie, it's probably not going to make a satisfactory and long-lasting connection. But normally, for our purposes in the security industry, beanies work just fine.

There are two (2) variations in B Connectors. They come in a dry format, or with sealant inside the connector. Traditionally, dry is meant for indoor applications, where wet is for outdoor wire. However, the connectors with sealant can be used indoors, and the sealant helps to maintain conductivity between the two wire ends, whether indoors or out. When purchasing these connectors, the dry variety is usually white, while the version with sealant is blue.

When it comes to using a B Connector, the process is simple:

  1. Strip about 1/4" (6.4mm) of the wire coating from each of the two (2) wire ends you want to connect with each other. Twist the stripped ends together.
  2. Insert both stripped ends into the wider opening of the B Connector.
  3. Using an appropriate tool such as strippers, pliers or a crimping tool, compress the B Connector around the two (2) wires. It is recommended that you crimp the entire area where the wires are seated. You may have to clamp down multiple times. These connectors are tough, you will need to squeeze HARD to collapse the center area of the connector and make a satisfactory connection.
  4. Verify that you crimped the wire properly by gently tugging on each of your two (2) wires, making sure they don't come loose. If you have a multimeter or a tone and probe set, you can also verify continuity on the wire you just spliced.

Inside the beanie, there are metal pieces that will pierce the outer coating of the wire when you compress the connector. This helps to ensure a good and lasting connection. B Connectors are superior to wire nuts in security system applications because they have a smaller form factor and do a better job of connecting and insulating the connection. They also provide for a neater appearance. This is important because we're often working in tight spaces.

Tags: , , , , , ,