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Qolsys has released the long-awaited Firmware Version 2.6.0. This will be the base version for the Qolsys IQ Hub and will allow users to configure the new IQ WIFI Mesh Router from the touchscreen of the IQ Panel 2. These are only a couple of the new features. This is truly an exciting update!

We've been talking about the Qolsys IQ Hub, well, forever, it seems. But honestly, it's been "coming soon" for over a year now. We are so glad that the wait is almost over. The Qolsys IQ Hub will truly be a DIY dream. Qolsys has taken a "see no green" approach to this panel, meaning there is no reason to open the panel fully, so you should never see the green printed circuit board (PCB). It won't even have screw terminals! The battery will be easily end-user replaceable with a minimum of "deconstruction" to the alarm panel itself. Some of the best features of the IQ Panel 2/2+ will be available in this new panel, such as Bluetooth disarming, and Alarm.com Camera Streaming at the panel.

A couple of things have been removed though. It will not have a built-in camera, nor will it offer 2-way voice capability. The IQ Hub is meant to be a slightly less expensive alternative to the IQ Panel 2 or 2 Plus, and to the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 that we should be seeing later this year. Initially, the IQ Hub will support PowerG Wireless Sensors, but later, there will be 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, and 433 MHz options available. Each IQ Hub is intended to support only one (1) RF frequency.

You might be saying, "I thought this was a blog about Firmware Version 2.6.0?" Well, it is. But the fact that we have Firmware Version 2.6.0 available now means that the full release of the Qolsys IQ Hub won't be far behind. The Qolsys IQ Hub is scheduled for a Q2 2021 release. Aside from all the new features and improvements for the IQ Panel 2 Plus itself, another exciting capability that is added in this firmware release is the ability to control and configure the new Qolsys IQ Router through the IQ Panel 2 or 2 Plus Touchscreen.

The Qolsys IQ Router is also slated for release in Q2 of 2021. This is a mesh router system that will support up to eight (8) nodes, and both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. What's great about this product is that it allows a user to create a WIFI subnet inside their regular network. Any devices that use WIFI can be attached to the network, not just security devices, and multiple nodes (up to 8) can be added to strengthen the mesh network. If you change internet providers or even just internet equipment, you simply unplug the IQ Router from the existing router, plug it into the new router, and all of the WIFI devices will remain connected to the WIFI sub-network without having to reconfigure any of them. These are two upcoming products associated with the release of Firmware Version 2.6.0 that we're really looking forward to.

Below you'll find some of the additional new features supported on Firmware Version 2.6.0:

New Features:

  • Support for DSC hardwire keypads (HS2LCD, HS2ICN) via the CORBUS on the PowerG Hardwire to Wireless Translator (PG9WLSHW8) with Firmware V 1.1. Also added new PGM system triggers for Police, Fire, Aux & CO emergency.
  • Support for DSC NEO Wire-Free Keypads HS2LCDWFx, HS2LCDWFxENG.
  • Support for new V4 PowerG Daughter Card.
  • Panel now supports remote Z-Wave Smart Start integration from Alarm.com.
  • This update includes the critical firmware2 fix that resolves an issue where certain panels would automatically reboot with previous firmware applied.

Fixes & Improvements

  • Added a setting to allow the panel to send 1 or 10 images taken by PowerG Image Sensor Cameras (PG9934P, PG9944, NEXT CAM, PG2, NEXT CAM K9-85 PG2, BW-IRC, BW-IPC, TOWER CAM PG2, BW-ODC) during an alarm event to Alarm.com. Previously, ten (10) images were stored locally at the panel, but only the first image was sent to Alarm.com.
  • Added a setting allowing alarm dealers to select a specific time for Communication Tests to be sent to the monitoring station. If no selection is made, the time will be randomized.
  • Added a setting for detection direction on PG9902 Outdoor Curtain PIR. Users can choose left to right, right to left, or both.
  • Added the ability to disable PowerG activation LED on devices that have one in order to conserve battery.
  • Added Partition support for EN Grade 2 Panels.
  • Improved 700-Series Z-Wave performance on UK & EU Panels.
  • Bluetooth Disarm now available for UK & EU Panels.
  • Added language support for Spanish (Spain), French (France), Finnish, and Polish.
  • Added support for European date format: DD.MM.YYYY.
  • Improved cellular strength matching between Panel and Alarm.com for Latin America.
  • Silent and Audible Panics now report separate CID codes to central station.
  • Duress Alarm and Silent Police Panic can now be dismissed from Alarm.com.
  • Improvements to PowerG Wireless keypad functionality (WS9LCDWFx).
  • Keyfob arming now follows the Auto-Bypass setting on the panel.
  • Duress codes from KP-140 & KP-141 now transmit to Alarm.com.
  • Corrected an issue where a PG9905 Temperature Sensor would send double alarms for the same event.
  • Fixed an issue related to virtual device integration on the panel, which includes Liftmaster Garage Door control from the panel UI, and Solar Integration from Alarm.com. See TSB 201026 for additional details.

Into each life, a little rain must fall. It's not all good news, although, this is more of an inconvenience than actual bad news. Because Firmware Version 2.6.0 also contains the important firmware2 fix, it must be downloaded and installed from the Qolsys Server. The server has some logic built-in that allows it to tell if the panel being updated requires the firmware2 fix, or not. For this reason, much like Firmware version 2.5.5, Qolsys is not making this firmware file available for download. This means that Alarm Grid can't host it on our site.

What this means for the end-user is that in order to get 2.6.0, your panel must have a WIFI connection. Once it does, you have two ways in which you can get the firmware. You can request it from your alarm dealer, and they can push the update to your panel from Alarm.com. This will be a free update. As long as your panel has WIFI 24/7, this is a simple and no-fuss way to get your panel updated. Just remember, if for some reason your panel loses WIFI, the update won't go through. Alarm.com will not allow the panel to be updated via a cellular-only connection. You can also follow the instructions below to request the update via Patch Tag.

If your panel happens to be in an area where there is no WIFI, maybe it's a hunting or fishing cabin, or a second home where WIFI is not readily available, then you may be able to use your cell phone as a mobile hotspot and fool the panel into thinking it's connected to WIFI. The amount of data in this file is about 250 MB according to Qolsys. Alternatively, you may be able to move the panel to a spot that has WIFI available just long enough to perform the upgrade. In a situation like this, you need to be in control of when the update begins, so in this case, you would want to use the "Patch Tag" method of updating. To do so, once your panel has a WIFI connection, do the following:

Follow these instructions after making sure your panel is on version 2.0.1 or higher. If the panel is on 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, the user must first update to 2.5.3 before running the update for 2.6.0:

  • Touch the small gray bar in the center at the top of the Home screen on the panel.
  • Touch “Settings”
  • Touch “Advanced Settings”
  • Enter a valid Installer or Dealer Code (defaults are 1111 and 2222 respectively)
  • Touch “Upgrade Software”.
  • Touch “Patch Tag” and enter: iqpanel2.6.0 then touch “OK”.
  • Important: If you need to install 2.5.3 prior to this update, the Patch Tag for that version is: iqpanel2.5.3. Run that update before running the Patch Tag for 2.6.0.
  • Touch “Upgrade Using Network”. If the panel is connected to WIFI, the system will begin downloading the update, it will be installed when the download completes. Once the update begins Do Not Touch The Screen! The update will take about five (5) minutes, and the panel will reboot as a part of the process. When the panel returns to the home screen and the Green LED at the right lights, the process has completed.

What do you think about the new Qolsys firmware, and the new products they have in the pipeline? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Is there a security topic you'd like to see us discuss? If so, leave a comment and we'll be happy to cover any security-related topics of interest. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Here at Alarm Grid, we try to help as many people as possible with their alarm system. Sure, we hope it will lead folks to choose us for their alarm monitoring needs. But it's also because we're simply helpful people. An alarm in your home or business should help quell fears, not cause them.

We've begun what I think of as "Silly Season". You may be familiar with this term from Nascar, but for us in the alarm industry, this is the time when a lot of home buying and selling occurs. During this time, we get a lot of calls that go something like this, "I just moved into a home with an existing alarm. We haven't been using it, but somehow it got armed, and now it's going off, and I don't know the code to disarm it. Please help!"

Moving into a new home is exciting, but it's also stressful and can be overwhelming at times. So, I've (Ms. Manners) put together this guide to help you, the person who moved out of the home in this scenario, to leave behind your alarm system in a way that's as stress-free as possible for all parties involved.

Ms. Manners Says: Notify Your Alarm Company

If your alarm system is monitored, be sure to notify your alarm company that you are moving out and that the system is staying behind. This may seem obvious, but many people assume that if they stop paying their monitoring fees, the alarm company will know they no longer want service and will cancel it on their own. This is not the case for a number of reasons! There may be contracts involved. There could be liability issues. So for many reasons - not the least of which is it's the polite thing to do - any time you wish to stop monitoring service to a particular address, you should notify the alarm monitoring company as soon as possible.

By notifying the alarm company, you do several things. You give them an opportunity to reach out to the new homeowner and introduce themselves. Hopefully, if you've had a good experience with your monitoring company, you will also put in a good word about them to the new homeowner. Both of these things give the company a leg-up when it comes to courting a potential new customer, and it also gives the new homeowner information based on your real-life experience, not just an advertisement in a new homeowner's mailer.

By notifying the monitoring company, you can also help to prevent any unnecessary dispatching of the authorities to this address. As bad as the scenario above is for the poor, uninformed new homeowner, it's worse for the police, fire, or EMS personnel who may respond to the alarm, which we know is false.

Remember, the person who signed up for the monitoring service at the address in the scenario above no longer lives there. That means the monitoring station is going to be calling people who have no idea what may be going on at this address (which is also an annoyance for the person receiving the call). In this situation, it is likely that the monitoring station MUST dispatch because if they don't (and there is some type of emergency) there may be repercussions for them. A monitoring station is always going to adhere to the adage, "Better safe than sorry." After all, safety is their business.

Ms. Manners Says: Default Users, But Not Zones

When you sell a house and the alarm system with it, you may think it's a good idea to set the alarm system back to factory default to allow the new homeowner a chance to program it as they see fit. Resist this urge! In most cases, what was your Front Door is now going to be their Front Door. What was your Kitchen Window is now going to be their Kitchen Window. John's Bedroom Window may become Jane's Bedroom Window, but this is a pretty simple thing to change and doesn't really call for the entire system to be set back to factory default.

When it comes to user codes, though, it is best to set these back to factory defaults. This will prevent the new homeowner from finding out what codes you used. After all, we are creatures of habit, and there's a good chance you'll use those same codes in your next system. Also, if you set the codes for the Installer and Master users back to their default, the new homeowner should easily be able to find out what they are by doing a quick search online. Then, if they find themselves in the messy scenario discussed above, they'll be able to get themselves out of it. Being able to get yourself out of a jam like this one can do wonders for your self-confidence.

System Manufacturers and their Default Codes

Panel Manufacturer Installer Code Master Code
Honeywell Vista (Non-polling) 4112 1234
Honeywell All-in-One 4112 1234
2GIG GC2 1561 1111
2GIG GC3 1561 1111
Qolsys 1111 1234
Interlogix Simon XT 4321 1234
Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5 4321 1234
DSC Impassa 5555 1234

Use the information in the table above to set the codes in your panel back to their default values. If you don't see your panel listed, you can likely find the information you need with a quick online search. Performing this process is the single most helpful thing you can do for the new homeowner when it comes to the alarm system!

Ms. Manners Says: Leave Behind Good Notes

Any information you know about your alarm system, such as the manufacturer and model, the default installer code, and the default master code - each of which hopefully you have programmed into your panel by this time - will be helpful for the new homeowner. A list of zone numbers and their descriptions is also very much appreciated by a new homeowner. Leave them a note, tucked behind the keypad, or on a kitchen counter. Give them the sequence of keys to enter to disarm the system, or better yet, if you have the opportunity, show it to them, and then leave them a note to back up your demonstration.

If you're willing, leave them your contact information so they can contact you in the event that something unforeseen comes up. This is particularly important if your system is somewhat complex and has multiple home automation features integrated with it. I promise the last thing the new homeowner wants to do is bother you if they can avoid it. Everyone at Alarm Grid has talked with a frantic new homeowner who never even considered contacting the prior homeowner. It's usually something we suggest if we're unable to assist.

Fortunately, in most cases, we are able to assist, and we are happy to do so. This is just one of the many ways we make new friends here at Alarm Grid! I hope that anyone who is preparing to move out of a home and leave behind an alarm system will read this and use these suggestions to prepare.

If you happen to be moving into a home that already has an alarm system, and perhaps the previous homeowner didn't read this post, feel free to reach out to us. We're here Monday - Friday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time. You can reach us via email, or by calling 888-818-7728.

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Total Connect 2.0 users may have recently noticed some Push Notifications showing that certain events originated from "[External] ApiGee". This is the result of an integration that Resideo is configuring. These alerts usually originate from a third-party integration.


Resideo, also known as Honeywell Home, is constantly working to improve the user's Total Connect 2.0 experience. They're working in the background to implement suggested improvements provided by both customers and alarm dealers. ApiGee appears to be one of those integrations. We don't have any details about what expanded features this may include, but the work they are doing in the backend has caused a few odd Push Notifications to be generated.

In most cases, we've seen these push notifications associated with using Alexa in conjunction with the Total Connect 2.0 skill. You probably noticed if you are using Alexa to access and control your system that when you enabled the TC2 Skill you had to provide your Total Connect 2.0 Login and Password. This creates what's called a server-to-server integration. Once the skill is enabled and proper login credentials have been entered, you'll see an option to enable the skill for the alarm panel and automation devices and then the skill is ready to go. If you have multiple locations being used with a single TC2 login you'll only be able to select one location to access using this particular Alexa account.

When you ask Alexa, for example, "Alexa, ask Total Connect 2 what the status of my alarm system is." The server at Amazon uses the credentials you provided at the time you set up the skill to actually log into Total Connect 2.0 and query the system status. This, of course, happens very quickly. Currently, this log-in appears to sometimes be viewed as a user logging in and is therefore triggering a push notification. This will only happen if you have Administration type notifications enabled. Administration notifications include Login, Logout, Login Instlr-Read Only, and so on. However, rather than Alexa's access being logged as the person whose credentials were used for the integration, it is instead being logged as [External] ApiGee.

At the time of this writing, March 3, 2021 at around 6:00 pm, it appears the issue with push notifications may have been resolved. We attempted to cause one of these notifications so that we could obtain a screenshot, but we were unable to do so. It appears that in the Activity screen if you select the icon to Show Admin Logs at the top, you will still be able to see these events being logged. The Admin Logs is the screenshot shown at the top of this post. It's probable that these events are meant to show up here, but were never meant to produce a push notification. Hopefully, this relatively minor issue has been resolved, and whatever this new feature may be, it will be available soon.


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Qolsys recently released a Technical Service Bulletin outlining an issue with the IQ2 and IQ2+ panels and PowerG sensors. In some cases, panels that have just installed either firmware version, or panels running these versions that are rebooted, may lose touch with existing PowerG sensors.

The problem, according to Qolsys, is the encryption key. In some rare cases, either during the reboot after the firmware update, or upon rebooting once the firmware update has been applied, the panel's encryption key can be set back to default. Once this occurs, any PowerG devices in the field that have been programmed into the panel will no longer be able to communicate successfully with the panel.

When this situation occurs, a previously working PowerG device will show status on the panel, and on Alarm.com if monitored, of "Not Networked". It may also show an "!" next to the zone's status on the panel's Home Screen. If this condition is allowed to continue for the full supervisory window of the sensor (24-hours for non-life safety sensors, 4-hours for life safety sensors by default) then each affected sensor will go into supervisory failure at the panel and will show a status of Malfunction when viewed through Alarm.com.

If you see this issue on your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 plus system, you'll need to delete ALL PowerG sensors from the panel, and then re-learn them from scratch. By doing so, a new encryption key will be created and shared with each PowerG device. Once this has been done, all devices should begin working normally again. PowerG devices should be reprogrammed from the panel, not from Alarm.com. This way, full functionality can be verified once programming is complete. It would be best to be sure the panel does not reboot again until the next firmware update, which will resolve this issue. Only PowerG devices are affected by this anomaly, any legacy RF devices using the 319.5MHz, 345MHz, or 433MHz frequencies, and any Z-Wave devices should not be affected by this issue.

If you haven't updated to 2.5.3 or 2.5.4 yet, it is recommended that you update locally at the panel, rather than through Alarm.com. You can find information on updating via Patch Tag or MicroSD card on our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update Page. Sadly, this won't necessarily prevent this issue from happening, but by being onsite at the time of the update, you'll be able to verify proper PowerG sensor functionality on each of your sensors as soon as the update has completed. According to Qolsys, firmware version 2.5.5 will be released in the near future, though an exact date has not been provided. This version will resolve the root cause of this encryption key issue. Any additional future updates will also include the necessary fix.

If you're interested in no-contract, low-cost monitoring, or if you're an Alarm Grid customer (present or future) with questions, you can reach us at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here to check emails M - F from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time. Thanks for reading, stay safe!

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Alarm Grid is updating all of our monitored 2GIG GC2 panels. If the panel has a firmware version older than 1.19.3.1 and it needs a new communicator, then an over-the-air (OTA) update will be pushed to update it to 1.19.3.1 which will support any LTE comm. The update will cause a reboot.

Alarm Grid is committed to making sure none of our customers are left behind when the AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA sunsets occur. Toward this goal, we have decided to proactively push a firmware update to each of our customer's 2GIG GC2 panels that are monitored through Alarm.com. The 2GIG GC2 can be a little tricky to update, and pushing the update OTA is by far the easiest way to accomplish this task.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer who has a 2GIG GC2 panel on Firmware 1.19.3.1 or older with a pre-LTE communicator, you won't need to do anything special. The update will be pushed from the Alarm.com server and should occur automatically the next time your system is disarmed with no trouble conditions. As a part of the update, the panel will perform a reboot, and when it boots back up, it is likely to speak the current status. This is a normal part of the update process.

If you'd like to check the firmware version of your system then follow these steps. The purpose of this particular upgrade is to be sure any customer with a panel that doesn't currently support an LTE communicator will be able to do so. If your system already has an LTE communicator, even if the panel is not on the most recent Firmware, then no update will be sent. This is because you already have a Firmware version that supports the LTE communicator you're using.

Here's a breakdown of the 2GIG GC2 Firmware requirements:

Cellular Module Type Panel Firmware Required
Verizon LTE or VoLTE (2GIG-LTEV-A-GC2)

Note: This communicator is no longer available

1.17+
Verizon LTE CAT1 (2GIG LTEV1-A-GC2)

Note: This module is available only to United States Customers

1.19+
AT&T LTE (2GIG-LTEA-A-GC2) 1.19.3+

As always, if you have any questions the best way to reach us is by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are M - F from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time. We offer no-contract monitoring at reasonable prices and world-class technical support to our monitored customers. We look forward to hearing from you!

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In order to reboot a router remotely using a VISTA P-Series Panel, you will manually activate an output, which will fault a zone. The zone fault will be programmed to activate a Z-Wave switch, which is powering the internet router or modem. A cellular connection is required to do this.

And there you have it, that's how you do it! Just kidding! We're going to cover exactly what you need to do. Alarm Grid had this scenario come up recently and thought it would make a good case study to cover.

First, we wrote an FAQ that covers how to manually control a programmable output through the keypad. But then we thought that putting the FAQ together with information outlining the exact problem that we resolved by using the manual output command might add some much-needed context and show how this command can really come in handy. This also outlines one of the reasons why a cellular communicator is so important to have as a backup to an internet connection!

Let me set the scene: The hero in our case study spends several months each year away from his primary residence. The system installed in this residence is a Honeywell VISTA-20P with a Honeywell Home Tuxedo installed, as well as an LTE dual-path communicator. The Honeywell LTE-IA or the Honeywell LTE-IV are equally suitable for use in this scenario. In addition, any of the compatible automation controllers, such as the Honeywell VAM or the older Tuxedo Touch WIFI, could be used instead of the newer Honeywell Home Tuxedo.

The Problem

While our hero is enjoying his time away, he discovers that his internet connection at home is down. Of course, if he were at home, the first thing he would do, after verifying that his ISP isn't experiencing an outage, is reboot his router to see if the connection comes back up. But he's not at home, and furthermore, there is no one he can send to his home to perform this task for him. Now, since he has a dual-path communicator with the cellular connection enabled and active, he doesn't have to worry that his panel won't be able to communicate a signal if the alarm goes off. He's safe in that regard. However, in addition to the alarm panel's ability to send signals through the internet when it is available, the Tuxedo also uses the internet to provide a communication path to Total Connect 2.0 so that he can control his Z-Wave automation devices remotely. This is a problem, and it's the problem we're here to solve.

Just to recap, we have a VISTA-20P Panel that is working, and it can communicate alarm signals via the cellular path. It can also be controlled via Total Connect 2.0 through the cellular path. We have a Honeywell Home Tuxedo that is working, and it can communicate with the panel through its hardwired keypad bus connection, but it can't communicate to TC2 through the internet. This means there is no way to remotely control Z-Wave Automation devices. Finally, we have an LTE dual-path communicator that is working on the cellular path, but not on the internet path.

The Solution

Basically, what this requires is a way to send a command from Total Connect 2.0 to the VISTA-20P Panel through the communicator's cellular connection. This command must be something that the panel can perform based on an entry from a keypad. In this case, we are going to enter a command via the TC2 keypad that will cause a programmable output to change state. This output is connected to a zone on the panel. When the output changes state, it will fault the zone. Then, based on the programming in a scene, the Tuxedo will turn the Z-Wave Module that is connected and providing power to the router OFF. This will drop power to the router. After a few seconds, another command will be entered through the keypad which will restore the zone, and a second scene will tell the Tuxedo that a restore on the zone causes the Z-Wave module to turn back ON. This will restore power to the router.

Here are the full details for this solution:

The first step in setting this up is making sure that you have an available zone to use as your triggering zone. If you have one of the hardwired zones on the panel available, then you can actually use Output 18, Trigger 2 for this purpose. Any of the hardwired zones 2 thru 8 can be used with this trigger. You can also use Output 17, Trigger 1, but it provides more current than Trigger 2, so we recommend that you save it for other potential uses. If you don't have one of these zones available, then you can use a zone on a Honeywell 4219 or 4229 8-zone expander, but this will also require the use of a relay instead of a trigger. If you are using the 4229, it has two (2) programmable relays built into it. If you are using the 4219, then you will need to add a Honeywell 4204. It is also possible to use a zone input from a wireless zone, such as a Honeywell 5816, along with one of the above mentioned relays.

One reason we love using Trigger 2, Output 18 for this is because it's so simple. Output 18 is already enabled in panel programming location *79, and as long as its programming hasn't been changed from the default, no additional programming is required for the output to work. However, there is still the matter of programming the zone to be used. In our example, we show Output 18, Trigger 2 connected to Zone 03. As you can see in the diagram below, we have connected the trigger to the Hi side of the zone, on terminal 12. As mentioned before, you can use this configuration on any of the Zones 02 thru 08, connecting the trigger wire to the Hi side of the zone. The reason you can't use this on Zone 01 is because the Zone 01 negative is completely isolated from all other negative terminals on the board. In order for the trigger to work to fault the zone, it must be common to the zone negative when the trigger is activated.


If you need to use a relay instead of the trigger, you will need to wire the relay to the zone so that when you turn the Relay ON, it faults the connected zone, and when you turn the Relay OFF, it restores that zone. The way this must be done will depend on the type of zone it is being connected to. When using a 5816 with the input terminals, you will need to wire one terminal of the transmitter to the relay's Common (C) and the other terminal to the relay's Normally Closed (NC). If you're using an expansion zone on a Honeywell 4219 or Honeywell 4229, then the wiring used for this zone, and whether or not an End-of-Line Resistor (EOLR) is used, will depend on how the rest of the zones on that expander are configured, as well as on the age of the expander. Earlier versions required an EOLR for each zone, while newer versions provide an option not to use the EOLR, based on the setting of a dip switch. The important thing to know here is that when a 4204 or 4229 relay is OFF, it has continuity between Common (C) and Normally Closed (NC). When it is ON, it has continuity between Common (C) and Normally Open (NO).


With the output wiring out of the way, we can move on to programming the zone. We're not going to go through the entire zone programming process. You can find information about how to program a zone on a VISTA-20P Panel in this FAQ. The two important things to know when it comes to zone programming are the Zone Type and the Hardwire Type. The Zone Type should be set to Zone Type 23, No Alarm Response. This Zone Type was specifically created to allow the panel to activate outputs based on a zone's change of state. Basically, Zone Type 23 allows the panel to recognize that a fault and/or fault restore has occurred on a zone, without it having to display a fault for that zone, or take any other action with regard to the zone itself. Zone Type 23 will never show a fault, and it will never cause an alarm condition. The Hardwire Type should be set to Normally Open (Entry 2 when prompted). Again, see the FAQ linked above for full details on zone programming. The Hardwire Type programming of Normally Open is specifically meant for use with the trigger connection shown above. If using a relay instead of a trigger, the Hardwire Type or Input Type setting may need to be different, depending on your wiring configuration, and the zone number.

The next step is to pair the Z-Wave module with the Honeywell Home Tuxedo. As always, we recommend that you first Exclude or Remove the Z-Wave device using the Tuxedo, before attempting to Include or Add the device. The reason we always recommend doing this is because devices are often joined to a Z-Wave network at the factory as part of Quality Assurance (QA). In many cases, once the device has been successfully joined to the test network, it is never cleared, and is simply packaged and sold as it is. Once a Z-Wave device has been paired with a network, it holds onto that network information until it receives a command telling it to forget the old network so that it can join a new one. The process of Excluding or Removing, is what tells a Z-Wave device to forget the old network. It's fortunate that any Z-Wave controller can tell any Z-Wave device to forget its old network!

A word about which Z-Wave module to use. You can use either an in-wall switch, or a plug-in module. If your Z-Wave Automation Controller supports Z-Wave Plus, then we always recommend using a Z-Wave Plus device. Although any Z-Wave controller can support just about any Z-Wave module, a Z-Wave Plus module loses its Z-Wave Plus attributes, including extended range and battery life, when used with an older Z-Wave controller. We like the idea of using a plug-in module, as it allows you to easily move your router if you begin to have range or interference issues.

Once the Z-Wave module has been learned into the Tuxedo, VAM, or Tuxedo Touch WIFI you then need to create a scene which will tell the module to turn OFF when Zone 3 (or whatever zone you choose to use) is faulted. You will need to program a second scene to tell the same module to turn ON when Zone 3 is restored. The easiest way to perform this programming is through Total Connect 2.0. We like to program scenes using the website, the examples that follow will assume that is how the scenes are being setup.

After logging into Total Connect 2.0, choose the menu option for scenes. If you do not see this option, contact your alarm dealer, and be sure that your account is properly configured, and that your monitoring plan includes access to Automation. For Alarm Grid customers, this would be our Silver Plan (Self or Full), or higher. After clicking on Scenes, choose Create Scene.


This will take you through a scene creation wizard. The first step is to name the Scene. This should be something easy to distinguish from other scenes, such as "Router Off". After choosing Continue, you will see where you can choose how the scene will be triggered. In our case, we want Triggered by a device, and when we expand this option, we then want to expand the section titled Sensors. Under Sensors, we see Zone 3, which we have named Router. When we expand this option, we can choose that this scene will activate when Zone 3 is Open (faulted) or Closed (restored). We intend to turn OFF the Z-Wave device when Zone 3 is faulted, so we will choose "When it is open".


After choosing which zone(s) you want to trigger the Z-Wave device, you will be taken to Step 3 of the scene creation wizard. In this step, you will choose which device (or devices) you want to control, and whether you want them to turn ON or OFF. This is our Router OFF scene, so we set our action accordingly.

Now that we have created an initial scene, in order to add the second scene (the one that will turn the router power back on) we need to click the + symbol in the upper right of the Scenes screen.


The programming for this scene will be almost identical to the first scene. We still want to trigger by device. The device is Sensor 3, which we named ROUTER, and we want the Z-Wave device to be turned ON when Sensor 3 is Closed, meaning the fault on the zone is restored. Here's the summary for the second scene.


That is the end of the programming and wiring for this solution. The final step is for our hero to manually activate Trigger 2, Output 18 through the keypad screen in Total Connect 2.0. Do this by entering the following command:

4-Digit Code + [#] + [7] + [18]

By entering this command, we're telling Output 18, Trigger 2 to activate. When it activates, it connects to ground. This ground is common to the Lo side of Zone 3. This causes a short on the zone (which is why we programmed it as Normally Open), which in turn causes it to fault. The fault on Zone 3 causes the Z-Wave device being used to power the router to turn OFF, powering the router down.

After around 20 seconds, our hero should enter the following command to restore Zone 3:

4-Digit Code + [#] + [8] + [18]

By entering this command, we are telling Output 18, Trigger 2 to deactivate. When it deactivates, the trigger disconnects from ground. This opens the circuit on Zone 3, causing it to restore from a faulted condition. This in turn causes the Z-Wave device being used to power the router to turn it back ON, powering the router back up. Once more, keep in mind that this option is only available because the customer in question, our hero, chose to use a dual-path communication method. If he had chosen to use an IP only connection, there would be no way for him to initiate the keypad command through Total Connect 2.0 that gets this ball rolling.

If you happen to be using a relay instead of the trigger output, there will be a few minor tweaks that you will need to make to this process. One of those tweaks will be the output number that you will use when performing this command. The FAQ that we linked in the second paragraph above goes into more detail on how to set this up using a relay, including covering the programming required in programming location *79.

If you need further assistance using this setup with a relay, feel free to reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our technical support staff are available M - F from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern. We will have some closures soon due to the holidays, so pay attention to our blog for information about when those will be. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Reed Exhibitions has announced new dates for the 2020 ISC West show in Las Vegas. The event will now be held July 20 - 22, 2020. The show will still take place in the Sands Exposition Center. Information about registration for the event will be sent out as soon as more details are available.

Alarm Grid plans to have a team on the show floor, bringing you news, including video and interviews from some of the top vendors on site. As the show dates draw nearer, we'll provide more information on what you can expect from our coverage. If you can't make it to the show and you have a burning question about upcoming products or services from your favorite security vendor, put them in the comments. We may ask your question on camera at the show!

In the meantime, please follow the recommended precautions to avoid the Coronavirus. According to the CDC you should take these precautionary measures to avoid becoming sick or making others sick:

Take Steps to Protect Yourself
  • Clean hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, in particular after you've been in a public place. Do so also after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If you can't wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol content. Cover your hands completely, and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Avoid contact: Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick. If COVID-19 is spreading in your area, keep your distance from other people. This is especially important for the very young, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
Take Steps to Protect Others
  • Stay home: If you are sick, stay home. Contact your doctor or hospital and follow their instructions when seeking treatment.

  • Cover Coughs and Sneezes: Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze. Use a tissue when available, if no tissue is available, use the inside of your elbow. Avoid using your hands, and if you must use your hands, be sure to wash thoroughly immediately afterward. See the note above for proper handwashing technique.

  • Wear a facemask: You should only wear a facemask if you are sick and you must come in contact with other people. If you can't wear a facemask, such as those people who have trouble breathing, do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes. Suggest that others around you wear a facemask. If you are not sick, you do not need to wear a facemask, unless you are caring for someone who is sick. Facemask supplies may be depleted, and should be reserved for those who are sick, or those who are caring for others who are sick.

  • Clean and Disinfect: Commonly touched surfaces should be disinfected daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, car door handles, and steering wheels. Most EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. You can also make a bleach solution of 1/3 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Check bleach to be sure it is not past the expiration date. Also, be sure to use bleach products in a well-ventilated area. New products that claim to be effective against viruses and that are EPA-registered are also expected to be effective against COVID-19. Be sure to follow the manufacturers recommended use instructions when using these products.
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With Total connect 2.0's December update, Honeywell continues to take both end-user and dealer feedback seriously to improve the platform. In this release, there are improvements in loading speed, multiple changes to the way panel and Total Connect users are handled, as well as the reintroduction of the Night Stay Arming option in both Lyric and Lynx panels, and the addition of Custom Arming in the Lyric panels.

Here's the splash screen for the December update. It outlines all the updates and improvements included with this release. This screen will come up when you first log in to the website after the update, but you can always access it from the About Screen in TC2 by following the "What's New in this app" link. This is also where you can provide feedback directly to Honeywell regarding the page.
What's New Splash Screen

The user administration section is now more streamlined, allowing you to view current or all location's users, as well as add users to any or all locations, for multi-location accounts, from a single screen. The process of adding a user is now menu driven, making it much simpler

New Menu Driven User EditingAdd User Prompts

In the security screen, on Lyric and Lynx Touch panels, you now have the option to Arm Night Stay, if there are any interior zones on your system programmed with Night Stay enabled. On Lyric panels, you also have the option to choose Arm custom. When you do, you'll be presented with a screen showing all available zones. Any zones you select with a check mark will automatically be bypassed, with the rest being armed. Security Screen with Night Stay and Arm Custom
You can choose whether or not you want the system to provide you with an Entry Delay, once armed. The panel will always provide an Exit Delay. Keep in mind that even though you may be bypassing all motion detectors, the panel considers this an "Away" arming, and will sound the Exit Delay beeps, if enabled. The panel does know the difference between arming via Total Connect 2.0, and arming via the keypad, so Auto Stay arming logic will not apply in this situation, as it would if you custom armed through the Lyric panel itself.
Arm Custom

Notification edits are now much easier to perform, and can be done directly from the Notification List page. You can still toggle a notification on or off quickly and easily, but you can also add a new notification Group from a drop down menu, and you can click on the name of the Notification Event to access an Edit screen, where you can change the name of the notification, shown as the subject of the notification message when it's received, add additional groups, then set those groups to also receive this notification, and so on. The Save option will only be available if information is changed on this screen.Edit Notification

I'm glad to see Honeywell is taking input from both dealers and end-users seriously, and I look forward to seeing more improvements in the future. What do you think about the new features and improvements to Total Connect 2.0? What other changes would you like to see? Let us know in the comments section!

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Recently, Honeywell re-launched Total Connect 2.0 with a new, sleeker user interface. The new site, which leaves Flash behind, and uses HTML5 instead, has a more modern look and is, somewhat uncharacteristically, a truly collaborative undertaking on Honeywell's part.

As TC2 is updated, Honeywell provides an "About" screen showing version information, and a "What's New in Total Connect 2.0" link. When you click the link, you get a list of recent additions and fixes, as well as a link to provide feedback directly to Honeywell. They seem to be taking this feedback to heart, and continually make improvements based on customer suggestions.

The new user interface is much cleaner than the original. Gone is the dark blue background, with the cartoonish icons. One of the great things about HTML5 is that you can access the TC2 site from just about any browser, on any device, including Windows mobile devices. This wasn't possible on the flash based site, and since there was no app for Windows phones or tablets, users with these devices couldn't take advantage of all that Total Connect 2.0 has to offer.

Another improvement is the fact that both the web page, and the iOS app, offer the same capabilities. You can admin users from both the web page, and the app. You can sync zones and automation devices from either location. The Android app does seem to lag a bit behind the iOS version. There are a few things you can't do on it that you can do from the web site. The good news is, you can log into the web site from the browser on your phone, making it a non-issue.

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