Julia Ross Posts

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A convenient option when using a 3G or CDMA radio on a VISTA panel was the ability to share a single transformer for both devices. This was possible because both units used AC power. The new LTEM-PA and LTEM-PV communicators use a DC transformer, so attempting to share will cause issues.

The Resideo LTEM-PA and LTEM-PV dual-path communicators are a part of the new ProSeries lineup. In addition to these communicators, the Honeywell Home PROA7 and Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and the Resideo PROA7C and Resideo PROA7PLUSC help to make up the ProSeries. These products may seem to make strange bedfellows, but the modular design shared by the All-in-One (AiO) panels and the stand-alone communicators is no accident. With some modules, such as the LTE communicators being shared between the two product lines. This is one reason why the LTEM-PA and LTEM-PV use DC power, rather than AC.

It's a natural assumption to make, thinking that since the older communicator from a particular manufacturer was an AC step-down transformer, the new communicator would employ a similar design. But in this case, that assumption can get you into a lot of trouble. Attempting to keep the original transformer from the 3G or CDMA communicator in place, and just connecting the LTEM-PA or LTEM-PV in place of the older one, can damage the VISTA panel, the transformer, or both.

The symptoms seen by Resideo Tech Support, when this mistake has been made are as follows:

  • The transformer is damaged. Once this occurs, the VISTA panel will show an AC loss condition. Naturally, the next step is to replace the bad transformer with a good one. This can lead to the second symptom that has been seen.
  • The VISTA board is damaged. Once the damaged transformer is replaced with a new one, feedback on the panel's power circuit causes one or more of the diodes on the VISTA board (above terminals 1 and 2) to become damaged. This can cause a burning smell and may even cause the panel to catch fire in a worst-case scenario.

In the image below, you can see a damaged diode. This area of the printed circuit board is just above Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 on a VISTA panel.


It is possible for the LTEM-PA or LTEM-PV to receive power from the panel so that only one transformer is required in the setup. However, the power comes from the 12 Volt DC auxiliary power output, not the transformer. You can see how to properly configure that setup in this helpful FAQ.

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Alarm Grid announced in December that some Qolsys Panels, namely older IQ 2 and 2 Plus panels with AT&T LTE communicators, require a firmware update before the AT&T 3G Sunset this month. Alarm.com has been pushing those updates, but some panels still need the update, and time is running out.

As noted in December, Alarm.com has been automatically pushing the firmware update to those panels that need it. However, in order to get an update Over-the-Air (OTA) a Qolsys panel MUST have a connection to WIFI. That means if you have an older Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus with an AT&T LTE communicator built in, and your panel doesn't have a connection to WIFI, you may need to get a WIFI connection. At least long enough for the firmware update to come through. If you don't, and if your panel is one of the ones that requires this update, it will stop communicating via AT&T LTE Cellular soon after February 22, 2022.

AT&T doesn't have one big switch that they can turn off and then, "Voila, 3G is no more!" So, just because your system is still able to communicate on February 23, that doesn't necessarily mean that your panel doesn't require the firmware update. In addition, some panels will only need an update to the cellular firmware while other panels will need a panel firmware update first, followed by the cellular update. For this reason, it is best to connect your panel to WIFI and allow the Alarm.com server to connect and determine which updates, if any, need to be applied.

In order to make it as easy as possible to get a panel connected to WIFI, Alarm.com has made it possible to connect the panel to WIFI remotely using the Alarm.com customer app. To use the app to connect the panel to WIFI, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the app, completing any 2-factor authentication that may be necessary.
  2. Go to the 'Security System' card.


  3. Tap the Gear icon in the upper right.


  4. Select 'Panel WIFI'.

  5. From this point, there are two options:
    • If the network to be used is already connected to another device on the account, such as a video camera, it will display under a prompt for 'Access Ready Networks'. Since that device already has the network credentials, the panel can use those same credentials to connect to the same network.
    • If the WIFI network is not already connected to another device, then you should see a prompt that says 'Additional networks available to your panel'. Select the network, and then enter the proper password where indicated.



  6. Once the WIFI network is selected, and the password has been entered, if applicable, press 'Connect'.

  7. If you don't see your network, press 'Rescan' or tap, 'Don't see your network?', then follow the provided steps to add the device to the network manually.

If your panel simply doesn't have an option to connect to traditional WIFI, then you may need to briefly use your cell phone as a wireless hotspot, and contact your alarm dealer to ask them to manually push the update to your panel while you're onsite. Alternatively, you can visit our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update Page and download the update files to an SD Card, then follow the instructions listed on the page for updating via SD Card.

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Alarm Grid's distributor now has the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 in white available with the 345 MHz receiver in both the AT&T and Verizon versions. The same panel, in black, will soon be available. This panel supports both the legacy 345 MHz 2GIG and Honeywell RF sensors and the DSC PowerG sensors.

If you're looking to upgrade from a panel with either 2GIG or Honeywell 345 MHz sensors, or maybe a combination of both, then you should check out the Qolsys IQ Panel 4, now available, with support for these older wireless sensors. The IQ Panel 4 is an upgrade from the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with a newer OS, more memory, and a faster processor.

At the center of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 is a Qualcomm MSM8953 chipset with an 8-core Qualcomm SnapDragon Processor. It has 16 GB of NAND Flash memory. The base operating system is Android 9. By comparison, the IQ Panel 2 and 2 Plus used Android 5.1 as a base, with a quad-core processor. These updates in hardware and software for the IQ Panel 4 mean that it has tons of expansion capability, with the hardware and software to support it. Updated hardware supports updated software as well as new features. Expect lots of updates to this system, much of it based on customer feedback.

There are other updates too. The front-facing camera has been upgraded from 5MP to 8MP. In addition to a higher resolution, the camera also has a wider 120° viewing angle allowing it to capture more context with disarm images and peek-ins. The vertical tilt angle of the camera can be manually adjusted by the user to dial-in the best angle for disarm photos based on the height of panel users.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 has support for up to 128 zones, using PowerG and/or Honeywell or 2GIG 345 MHz RF sensors. This makes it the perfect replacement for an older Honeywell or 2GIG system with working sensors still installed. PowerG sensors, manufactured by DSC, are fully encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption and are also supported on every version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. They have an open-air range of up to 4,000' (1219m) when used with this panel. And in the unlikely event that you still have a range issue, there are PowerG Repeaters available to boost the range.

The Newest IQ Panel 4 Versions and Kits, now available from Alarm Grid:

Each of the unencrypted kits listed above includes the Versa-2GIG Door/Window Sensors. In the 3-1 kits, there are three (3) of these, in the 10-1 kits there are ten (10). These kits also include one (1) DSC PG9914 PowerG PIR motion sensor. The encrypted kits listed above contain either three (3) or ten (10) DSC PG9303 PowerG Door/Window Sensors, and one (1) DSC PG9914 PowerG PIR. The 3-1 kits are a great start for installations in apartments and small homes, while the 10-1 kits are great for larger homes and small businesses.

With its 700-Series Z-Wave Plus V2 controller, up to 137 Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, and Z-Wave Plus V2 devices can be integrated with the system. This includes Lights, Locks, Thermostats, Water Valves, and Relays. When purchasing new Z-Wave devices, always choose devices with the latest version of Z-Wave supported by the controller whenever possible. Doing so will provide the best possible user experience. Older and newer Z-Wave devices can be installed on the same network, as long as the user is aware of the limitations when such a configuration is used. Up to 242 users are supported on the IQ Panel 4 with one (1) Dealer Code, one (1) Installer Code, and 240 users with the role of Master, User, Guest, or Duress applied to each.

As a quick reminder, the IQ Panel 4 has either a Verizon or AT&T LTE cellular communicator built in. Be sure when purchasing your panel that you choose the carrier that has the best possible signal in the installation area, regardless of what carrier your personal cell phone may use. And when choosing a plan from Alarm Grid to use with your IQ Panel 4, remember that you will need a plan that supports Cellular Alarm Communication. That will be either a Gold or Platinum Plan (Self or Full). If you don't want to take advantage of the Alarm.com app or webpage features, then you can also choose our Cellular Alarm Monitoring plan, which includes Central Station Monitoring, with no remote control capabilities.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 is a panel that's truly ready for the future. Qolsys has taken all the feedback they received with their IQ Panel 2, addressed the few inefficiencies and form factor issues, and have really come out with a nearly perfect offering. When coupled with Alarm.com, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 is a formidable tool in keeping your loved ones and your belongings safe.

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A recent blog post about the looming AT&T 3G Sunset contained an error. We mentioned in that blog that the ingenious Resideo Cellbounce, a 3G to LTE converter, does not support Total Connect 2.0. That is incorrect. As long as the original 3G device supports TC2, the Cellbounce also supports it.

This misinformation has been updated in the original post, but for those who may have already read it, we wanted to also briefly touch on it here. In brief, the Resideo Cellbounce is a plug-and-play device. It plugs into a standard 110 Volt AC outlet and should be mounted within 25' (7.6m) of the working AT&T 3G Communicator. The Cellbounce connects to the 3G communicator, and to an AT&T LTE network. Once those connections have been made, it acts as a bridge, receiving the 3G information and transmitting it through the LTE network.

AT&T has committed to supporting the Resideo Cellbounce unit until at least the end of April, 2025. It is possible that support may go beyond that date, but the contractual obligation ends on May 1. Since the Cellbounce is plug-and-play, anyone can install it. An Installation Professional is not required. Though, it is important to note that the Cellbounce should not be powered on until after the information has been added to the customer account by the alarm dealer.

The Cellbounce will arrive in a box with a Serial Number and an IMEI number printed on it. This information must be provided to the alarm dealer so that they can attach the unit to the proper customer account. This step must be performed BEFORE the Cellbounce is powered on. Once power is applied, within a few minutes the Cellbounce will connect to the existing communicator and to the LTE network. LEDs on the unit will signal when these connections take place. From there it's just a matter of testing to be sure signals are going through successfully. Just be sure to put your system on test with the monitoring station prior to beginning this process.

The Resideo Cellbounce is only compatible with AlarmNet AT&T 3G communicators. The existing communicator must be registered and working. This means it can't be in a comm failure condition. Adding a Cellbounce to a communicator that is in comm failure will not correct that issue.

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Recently Alarm.com announced the release of several new cameras for their Pro Series Video Camera collection. With a dome, bullet, and turret option available, there is sure to be an Alarm.com camera to meet your needs. All offer 1080P resolution, are Indoor/Outdoor, with many more features.

Alarm.com ADC-VC847PF:


The Alarm.com ADC-VC847PF is a 1080P, Indoor/Outdoor Varifocal Dome Camera. A unique feature of nearly all of these new cameras is that they offer a motorized varifocal lens. This feature allows the user to remotely adjust the cameras field of view (FoV) as well as focus, without sacrificing video quality. The VC847PF comes with the option of installing with a white or dark gray (shown above) mounting base. It has an IP66 rating, which means it is waterproof and dust-tight, perfect for use outdoors or in industrial environments.

The ADC-VC847PF supports Power over Ethernet (PoE). This is not a WIFI capable camera, it must have a wired connection to a network. But, with PoE, you can run both network and power through a single Cat5e cable. Some routers and/or switches support PoE, but others do not. If your current networking equipment doesn't support PoE, you can use a PoE injector instead. The power requirement is 12 VDC ± 10% or PoE (IEEE 802.3af), 10 W.

This camera supports 24/7 recording using a compatible MicroSD card (not included) a Commercial Stream Video Recorder (CSVR126), or both. This is in addition to any clips that are uploaded to Alarm.com cloud storage. It supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), an IR night vision range of ~95' (30m) and many more features. You can see the full specifications in the Data Sheet or by clicking the product link above.

Alarm.com ADC-VC838PF:


The Alarm.com ADC-VC838PF 1080P Indoor/Outdoor Varifocal Turret Camera has many of the same features of the VC847PF, but in a turret style. It too has a motorized varifocal lens which allows remote adjustment of FoV and focus by the end-user. The VC838PF is a PoE camera, using a single Cat5e cable to carry both ethernet and power to the camera. The power requirements are listed as 12VDC ± 10% or PoE (IEEE 802.3af). The IEEE 802.3af standard is an intelligent standard. This means that the devices that use it actually communicate with one another about power. The device receiving power tells the device supplying power how much is required.

The ADC-VC838PF also supports HDR, and has excellent IR night vision, with a range of ~95' (30m). It offers image adjustments of Flip, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, and Exposure. It also supports 24/7 recording using either a compatible MicroSD card, Commercial Stream Video Recorder (CSVR126),or both. This is in addition to uploaded clips to Alarm.com cloud storage. You can read the full specifications in the Data Sheet, or by clicking the product link above.

Alarm.com ADC-VC827P:


The Alarm.com ADC-VC827P is the only one in this group of cameras that doesn't have a motorized varifocal lens. That means there is no remote FoV or focal adjustment capability on this camera. It is a 1080P, Indoor/Outdoor Dome Camera, just like the ADC-VC847PF, and aside from the varifocal lens, their specs are nearly identical. The angle adjustments available on this model are Pan: 0° to 350°; Tilt: 0° to 55°; Rotation: 0° to 180°. The VC827P supports PoE (no WIFI) and the power requirements are listed as 12VDC ± 10% or PoE (IEEE 802.3af), 9.5 W. With its IP66 rating, it is waterproof and dust-tight and like the ADC-VC847PF it comes with a white (shown above) or dark gray mounting base. You can read the full specifications in the Data Sheet, or by clicking the product link above.

Alarm.com ADC-VC728PF:


The Alarm.com ADC-VC728PF is a 1080P Indoor/Outdoor Varifocal Bullet Camera. As you may have gathered by now, when the model number of the camera ends in PF, the camera includes the motorized varifocal lens feature. That is true in this case. Traditionally, bullet cameras have been somewhat unsightly. They often have a metal shroud covering them to protect them from damage. The damage in question could be anything from vandalism to sunlight. They get their name because of their long profile. They are also sometimes called lipstick cameras.

The ADC-VC728PF is an attractive version of a bullet camera. Its dimensions are 6.8" L x 3.0" W x 3.0" H (17.4cm L x 7.5cm W x 7.5cm H). It's almost small enough that it doesn't qualify as a bullet camera. But then, what would you call it? This camera has all the same great features of the rest of the cameras in this list. It has an Ingress Protection rating of IP66, so it's waterproof and dust-tight. The remote varifocal adjustments available are focal length, manual focus adjustment, and autofocus. It supports 24/7 recording via compatible MicroSD card, Alarm.com Commercial Stream Video Recorder (CSVR126) or both. And this is in addition to any clips that are uploaded to the Alarm.com cloud.

This is a PoE camera, so it does not support WIFI, only a wired ethernet connection. It also uses the PoE IEEE 802.3af standard, and the power requirements are 12 VDC ± 10% if using a PoE injector. The VC728PF weighs just 19.1 Oz. (540g). For full specifications, you can read the Data Sheet, or click the product link above.

In addition to the cameras above, we've also added two accessories used for mounting the cameras. These mounting bases act as adapters, adapting the camera's base to fit a standard, third-party mounting base. The ADC-VACC-MNT130 fits the ADC-VC847PF and the ADC-VC838PF. The ADC-VACC-MNT110 fits the ADC-VC827P, ADC-VC728PF, and the ADC-V724 1080P Outdoor WIFI Camera w/2-Way Audio.

What do you think about the new camera offerings from Alarm.com? Their camera hardware, as well as their video service offerings just continue to improve. We think it's very impressive. Drop a comment down below and let us know how you feel about them, or anything else security related you might have a burning desire to discuss. We always look forward to hearing from you!.

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We are in the midst of a strange confluence of events. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on both manufacturing and supply chains, with both sub-assembly parts and product delivery being affected. Add to that the AT&T 3G/4G GSM sunset and you'll have a good picture of where we are today.

We've known about the AT&T sunset for some time. We've written about it in this blog on numerous occasions. Alarm Grid implemented an email campaign to proactively remind our customers who needed an upgrade not to wait until the last minute. But there will always be people who want to wring every last bit of usefulness out of their current product, before upgrading to a new one. I don't blame them, really. But the strange confluence of events I mentioned earlier may find those folks scrambling to upgrade at the last minute.

Security communicator manufacturers, including Resideo, and Alarm.com are doing everything they can to bridge the gap between supply and demand. They are introducing new product lines, with alternatives to standard LTE such as those that use the LTE Cat-M1 network. Resideo has introduced the LTEM-PA and LTEM-PV and they are beta testing the LTEM-IA for future release. The benefit of these products is that they provide nearly the same experience as the previously released LTE products, but either due to happenstance or good planning, components for these products are readily available, so while other LTE products are on backorder, these units are plentiful.

Alarm.com also has a series of LTE Cat-M1 System Enhancement Modules (SEM), including the Alarm.com ADC-SEM300-VT-AT-M (coming soon) and the ADC-SEM300-VT-VZ-M which is available for purchase now. Both of these SEMs are compatible with the Honeywell VISTA product line (with the exception of the VISTA-128 and VISTA-250 panels). They allow compatible VISTA panels to communicate using Alarm.com, and to work with the Alarm.com remote control features. These are dual-path communicators that also have a Z-Wave plus controller built in. Alarm.com will soon have the ADC-SEM210-PS-AT-M and the ADC-SEM210-PS-VZ-M. These dual-path communicators with Z-Wave Plus controllers will support the older DSC Power Series panels (PC1616, PC1832, PC1864 all version 4.20+).

Perhaps the most intriguing "Bridge the Gap" product available currently is the Resideo Cellbounce. This product has some limitations, it only works with AT&T 3G communicators, it only works in states within the contiguous US (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico), and it can only be installed with a communicator that is currently still registered and active on the AT&T 3G network. If the communicator is in comm failure, this condition has to be resolved before a Cellbounce can be added. There are some other limitations too, such as it can't support Total Connect 2.0, (CORRECTION: It CAN support TC2 as long as the original AT&T 3G communicator supports it.) But be sure to read the full product description linked above before deciding to purchase.

The Cellbounce is a plug-and-play device. Anyone can install it, so no installer visit is required. It can work with any Honeywell or Resideo AT&T 3G communicator. The Cellbounce is installed within range, which is 25' (7.6m), of an existing, registered AT&T 3G communicator. The Alarm Dealer will need the Serial Number and IMEI Number from the Callbounce unit. These can be found on the box the device comes in.

Important Note: Provisioning must take place on the AlarmNet360 server BEFORE the Cellbounce unit is powered on.

Once the Cellbounce has been provisioned, it should be powered up using an unswitched outlet, not a power strip. From there, the Cellbounce does all the heavy lifting. On one hand, it reaches out and finds an LTE signal, on the other, it reaches out to the existing 3G communicator and locks on to it. Once both of these connections have been made, any time the 3G communicator sends a signal, the Cellbounce captures it and transfers it to the LTE network. AT&T has promised that the Cellbounce units will continue to function until at least Q1 2025. This should give any Cellbounce users plenty of additional time to upgrade. There are a limited number of Cellbounce units available, so if this sounds like an attractive option for you, order yours today. Don't get left behind!

Sunset Graphic courtesy of AlarmNet360:


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Freezing and water damage accounted for 29.4% of Homeowner's Insurance losses by cause in 2019*. From 2015 - 2019, the weighted average cost per accident year was $11,000* for freezing and water damage. Only fire and lightning damage was more costly. But flood damage can often be avoided.

At this time of year, with the worst of winter still ahead of us, our thoughts always turn to incidents of flooding which are caused predominantly by freezing temperatures. In many instances, homeowner's insurance companies want proof that there is both freeze and flood protection in a dwelling as a condition of insurance, or in order to provide the best available rate. With just a few added sensors and tweaks, your existing alarm system can help you prevent freezing and flood damage. Below we'll outline some products and strategies that can help.

To properly protect against this type of damage, it is helpful to know when the temperature in a building drops low enough to cause concern. There are many sensors that can assist in this, and in many cases, a sensor may perform double duty. There are motion detectors that also have built-in freeze sensing, as well as smoke, heat, and combination sensors. Here's a list of just a few, and the systems they are compatible with:

Product Description Compatibility
Honeywell 5808W3 Smoke/Heat/Freeze Sensor.
When programmed (Loop 3), activates when temp drops below 41℉ (+5℃)
Compatible with any Honeywell 5800 Series Receiver, including VISTA panels with a separate receiver added, 2GIG panels, and Qolsys panels** with the 345 MHz SRF Receiver. Honeywell ProSeries Panels require a PROTAKEOVER module.
Honeywell 5821 Wireless temperature and water sensor.
To monitor for both Cold and Flood detection, use the integrated temp sensor plus an FP280 or 470PB.
Loop 1 = Cold (for temps below 45℉ (+7.2℃) for more than 10 minutes)
Loop 3 = Flood
Set Dips 1 = OFF and 2 = ON
Compatible with any Honeywell 5800 Series Receiver, including VISTA panels with a separate receiver added, 2GIG panels, and Qolsys panels with the 345 MHz SRF Receiver. Honeywell ProSeries Panels require a PROTAKEOVER module.
2GIG SMKT8e-345 Wireless Encrypted Smoke/Heat/Freeze sensor
Low Temp sensing = Loop 3
Senses low temperature when the temperature drops below 40℉ (+4.4℃). Restores when the temperature rises to 45℉ (+7.2℃)
Compatible with 2GIG GC2e, 2GIG GC3e, and 2GIG Edge only
2GIG SMKT8-345 Wireless Smoke/Heat/Freeze sensor
Low Temp sensing = Loop 3
Senses low temperature when the temperature drops below 40℉ (+4.4℃). Restores when the temperature rises to 45℉ (+7.2℃)
Compatible with any 2GIG panel, Qolsys 345 MHz version, and Honeywell Lyric (Version MR3+) and ProSeries with PROTAKEOVER
Winland TA-40 Wired Fixed Temperature Freeze Alert. Fixed temperature alert when the temperature drops below 39.2℉ (+4℃) Compatible with any Normally Closed wired zone input.
Qolsys IQ Temp-S Wireless S-Line Encrypted 319.5 MHz Temp Sensor.
Low Temp sensing when the temperature drops below 40℉ (+4.4℃)
High Temp sensing when the temperature rises above 100℉ (+37.7℃)
Compatible with Qolsys and Interlogix panels that support 319.5 MHz wireless sensors.
2GIG FT6e-345 Wireless encrypted Flood and Temp Sensor.
Loop 1 = Flood Sensing
Loop 2 = High Temp (95℉ (+35℃) for three (3) minutes or more.
Loop 3 = Freeze Detection (41℉ (+5℃) or lower for three (3) minutes or more.)

Compatible with 2GIG GC2e, 2GIG GC3e, and 2GIG Edge panels only.
2GIG FT6-345 Wireless Flood and Temp Sensor.
Loop 1 = Flood Sensing
Loop 2 = High Temp (95℉ (+35℃) for three (3) minutes or more.
Loop 3 = Freeze Detection (41℉ (+5℃) or lower for three (3) minutes or more.)
Compatible with all 2GIG panels, Qolsys panels that support 345 MHz sensors, Honeywell Lyric panels (Version MR3+), and ProSeries Panels with the PROTAKEOVER.
DSC PG9905 Wireless Encrypted PowerG Temp Sensor.
Temperature threshold is set in panel programming
Compatible with all Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, all Qolsys IQ Panel 4, and DSC PowerSeries Neo panels and PowerSeries Pro panels with a PowerG transceiver added.
2GIG FT1-345 Wireless Flood and Temp Sensor.
Flood = Loop 1
High Temp = Loop 2
Low Temp = Loop 3
For flood, probe must be shorted by water for 3 minutes, and restores once short is removed for 3 minutes.
High Temp setpoint is 95℉ (35℃).
Low Temp setpoint is 42℉ (5.5℃)
Compatible with all 2GIG panels, Qolsys panels that support 345 MHz sensors, Honeywell Lyric panels, and ProSeries Panels with the PROTAKEOVER added.
Qolsys IQ Temp Wireless 319.5 MHz Temp Sensor.
Low Temp sensing when the temperature drops below 40℉ (+4.4℃)
High Temp sensing when the temperature rises above 100℉ (+37.7℃)
Compatible with Qolsys and Interlogix panels that support 319.5 MHz wireless sensors.

With any of the low-temperature sensing devices above, you can be alerted to dangerously low temperatures within a building. Alerts can come in the form of an email, text, or push notification from either Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0, a call from the monitoring station, or both. With a Z-Wave or WIFI thermostat you can adjust the temperature when the HVAC system is working, or contact an HVAC service technician when it isn't.

Some of the devices listed in the table above combine freeze and flood sensing into a single unit. Of course, avoiding the presence of water in a location where it shouldn't be is optimal, but in some cases, it may not be possible. Flooding isn't always the result of freezing water pipes. With a flood sensor, you can be alerted to these situations and then take action accordingly. Alarm Grid offers a variety of both wired and wireless flood sensors. Some are listed above. Those and others can be found here.

If you can't control what's happening with the temperature in a location, then the next step in avoiding flood damage is controlling the flow of water. If you have a water shut-off valve within the building, then a Z-Wave water valve is just the thing you need to save the day (and a good deal of money). Once you receive a notification that a freeze condition is possible, or that a flood situation is underway, with Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 service, you can either set up a scene to automatically shut off the water within the premises, or you can manually log in and do so remotely.

Product Description
Qolsys S-Line IQ Water Valve Kit

Qolsys IQ Water Valve - Install Guide
Qolsys IQ Flood-S - Quick Install Guide
This kit comes with a Z-Wave 700 Series Water Valve and 319.5 MHz Water Sensor (Qolsys IQ Flood-S, see in table above).
The water valve is a retrofit servo that fits 1/4 turn ball valves. It can be used on pipes from 1/2" to 1 1/4". It does not require installation by a plumber.
Qolsys PowerG IQ Water Valve Kit

DSC PG9985 - Install Guide
This kit comes with a Z-Wave 700 Series Water Valve and a PowerG Encrypted Water Sensor (DSC PG9985, see in table above).
The water valve is a retrofit servo that fits 1/4 turn ball valves. It can be used on pipes from 1/2" to 1 1/4". It does not require installation by a plumber.
Alarm.com ADC-SWM150 Smart Water Valve and Meter

User Guide
In the USA can fit up to 1" water main distribution pipes.
This smart water valve, when used with Alarm.com can help you track water usage in addition to allowing you to control the flow of water.
This device should be installed by a licensed and insured plumber.
The Smart Water Valve plus Meter has a backflow preventer. It is not recommended that it be installed directly on the water heater's main suply line.
Alarm.com ADC-SWV100 Z-Wave Plus Water Valve

Install Guide
Can fit up to 1" water main distribution pipes.
Be sure to install this unit downstream from the indoor main water shut-off valve. Observe all plumbing codes and ordinances and obtain a proper permit for installation. Installation by a licensed and insured plumber is advised.
This device is made by Alarm.com, but should work with any Z-Wave Controller.
Leak Intel Leak Gopher LGZW-1

Install Guide
3/4" Z-Wave Water Shut-off Valve.
This valve should be installed downstream from the main indoor water shut-off.
It is advised to have this unit installed by a licensed and insured plumber for best results.
Should be compatible with any Z-Wave Controller.
When installed, ON may indicate that water is OFF, while a status of OFF for the water valve, may indicate that the water is ON.

With a combination of freeze and flood sensors, and a Z-Wave Water Valve, you can anticipate potential low-temperature flooding issues, be alerted to non-freeze-related flooding issues, and either automatically or manually turn off the water before damage occurs. Check with your homeowner's insurance agent to see if there are any discounts available on your policy if you add freeze and/or flood protection with an automated water shut-off option. You may be surprised at how quickly this equipment can pay for itself, even if you never have to use it.

*Statistics are taken from the Insurance Information Institute at iii.org.

**Qolsys Panels come in a variety of versions. All IQ Panel 2 Plus and IQ Panel 4 versions support PowerG wireless sensors. Then in addition, there are versions that support 319.5 MHz wireless, including S-Line Sensors. There are also versions that support 345 MHz wireless and 433 MHz wireless. When purchasing a Qolsys panel, or a sensor that will be used with a Qolsys panel, be sure to match the receiver type with the sensor type. Panels that support 319.5 MHz come in a box with a Gold stripe. Panels that support 345 MHz sensors come in a box with a Silver or Gray stripe, and those that support 433 MHz sensors have a Red stripe on the box.

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We told you in 2020 how the Total Connect 2.0 app for Android could support Google Assistant voice commands. This feature allowed you to use your voice to control your system, but only through your phone. Now, the ProSeries panels, including the PROA7PLUS, can fully support Google Assistant.

What this meant back then was that there was nothing to download. Once the feature was enabled on your phone, a blue microphone icon would appear at the bottom of the Total Connect 2.0 app screen. When you pressed it, you could use your voice to check system status, and to arm or disarm the system. Now, with the latest Total Connect 2.0 release, you can actually set up TC2 within Google Home, and control your system from any Google Home capable device you have connected to your account.

Another improvement is the fact that this functionality is now available to both Android and iOS users. On either platform, make sure you have the Google Home app and then follow the steps to configure the Total Connect 2.0 skill within it.

Below is the Google Home App as seen in the Apple App Store:


The ProSeries panels include the Honeywell Home PROA7 and Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and the Resideo PROA7C and Resideo PROA7PLUSC. Currently, these are the only Total Connect 2.0 compatible panels that support the improved Google integration. If you have one of the ProSeries panels, coupled with a Total Connect 2.0 account and you would like to take advantage of voice commands through Google Assistant, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home App, then click the [Plus (+)] Icon at the top left of the main screen.
  2. Select, [Set up Device].
  3. Select [Works with Google].
  4. Search for [Total Connect] then select it.
  5. Use your Total Connect 2.0 login credentials to log into TC2 from the skill.
  6. Read the User Agreement and if you agree, press [Allow].
  7. Be sure the Security System icon is selected, then press [Connect].
  8. Click the [Pencil Icon] to assign the system to a room, then choose which room you'd like to add it to.
  9. Hit the [Back button] repeatedly until you reach the Home screen.
  10. You should now be able to query Google for system status, as well as arm the system to Away, Stay, or Night and Disarm the system using Google Assistant.

Important Update: We now have a full FAQ with a walk-through on how to set up the Google Home feature. This FAQ is applicable whether you're setting Google Home up using an Android or an iOS device running the Google Home App.

Voice control of automation devices is not yet available unless the automation is achieved through a scene tied to system arming or disarming. For example, if you have a scene that turns on the porch light when the system is armed to Away, and you use the Google Assistant to arm in this mode, then the porch light will come on once the system is armed.

Total Connect 2.0 also supports integration with Amazon Alexa, and has for a while now. The configuration is very similar between the two services. One difference between them is that Amazon Alexa is compatible with more different panel types. Most of the Honeywell Wireless All-in-One panels support it. This means that in addition to the ProSeries panels, the Lyric, Lynx, and even the VISTA panels all support being used with Amazon Alexa. As long as the panel is tied to a Total Connect 2.0 account.

To integrate Total Connect 2.0 with Amazon Alexa for voice control of any of the above panels, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Alexa App and search for the Total Connect 2.0 skill.
  2. Click [Enable]
  3. You will be prompted to enter your Total Connect 2.0 login credentials. Enter them, then hit [Login]
  4. You will see a User Agreement, read through it, and if you agree click [Allow].
  5. Make sure the Security System icon is selected, then click [Connect].
  6. A screen should appear showing "Total Connect 2.0 has been successfully linked".

Once the above steps have been completed, log into the Total Connect 2.0 app and go to the Profile Page. Under the Access section, be sure that your user code has been saved and synched with the panel. If this isn't done, Amazon Alexa won't function properly. In the past, we've made FAQs for integrating some different panels with Amazon Alexa. You can find links to those FAQs below:

How Do I Connect My Lyric Alarm System to Alexa?

How Do I Connect My VISTA-21iP to Alexa?

Resideo Official Instruction Sheet on Integration

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If you read our blog regularly, you know that certain Qolsys IQ Panel 2 systems that use the AT&T LTE 4G network require an update to the communicator. Without this update, these cellular units will stop communicating after the 3G Sunset. On January 10, these updates will begin automatically.

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 panels that use an AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator will need a firmware update prior to the AT&T 3G sunset, which is scheduled to occur on 02/22/22. Without this update, these panels will lose their connection to the cellular network and could leave the alarm system with no communication path. The update can be performed over WIFI, or by using an SD Card.

For those panels that have a WIFI connection, Alarm.com will begin to automatically push the update on Monday, January 10, 2022. Once these updates begin, they will continue from 8 am - 8 pm seven (7) days per week until all are completed. Some panels will require both a panel firmware update and the cellular communicator update. The Alarm.com server will determine the panels that fall into this category and will perform the updates in the correct order automatically. Once the update has been applied, the panel will reboot as part of the update process. This is normal.

If a WIFI signal is available in the location where the panel is installed, but the panel is not currently connected to it, there are a few different ways to get the panel connected:

  1. Locally: The connection can be made at the panel using the touchscreen. Instructions for connecting to WIFI locally can be found here.
  2. By the dealer, remotely: Alarm.com dealers, like Alarm Grid, can use the Partner Portal to connect the panel to WIFI. This is found on the Partner Portal website under the Signaling/Broadband Settings.
  3. By the end-user, remotely: Starting on 12/13/21, Alarm.com has enabled a tool that allows an end-user to connect the panel to WIFI through the Customer Alarm.com App or Alarm.com Website.

If you would like to go ahead and perform the update on your own, and you need to connect the system to WIFI first, from the customer's Alarm.com app click on Menu > Manage Devices > Select the 3-dots icon next to the panel's name > Select Device Settings > Select Panel WIFI. From there you can either choose an existing camera to copy that device's WIFI settings or select the SSID and complete the authentication process by entering the proper password. Once the connection to WIFI is made, the communication path will be changed from Cell-only to Dual-Path.

Panels that are on version 2.3.0 or lower must be updated to a minimum of 2.3.1 or higher before applying the communicator firmware patch. Panel firmware updates on panels that have a WIFI connection can be performed locally from the panel with a Patch Tag or can be completed remotely by the alarm dealer via Alarm.com's Partner Portal. Once the panel's firmware is on a compatible version (see the link in the paragraph below) the cellular firmware can be installed using the patch tag: ATT3GSunset

For panels that have no WIFI connection available, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 can be updated locally using a MicroSD Card. The upgrade files, as well as instructions on how to perform the local upgrade, are available on Alarm Grid's Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update page. Both the panel firmware files and the ATT3GSunset patch can be downloaded from there.

This issue only affects AT&T LTE Cellular units. Verizon cellular units are in no way affected. This update is required because early Qolsys AT&T units used a provisional VoLTE Firmware Version. This later changed when VoLTE was fully released and because the difference between the two firmware versions didn't affect a panel's ability to send signals via cellular, no action was required at that time. AT&T realized that the upcoming sunset would have a detrimental affect on these early communicators and alerted Qolsys and Alarm.com of the required update.

If you are unsure whether your panel requires the update or not, contact your alarm dealer. They can verify whether or not your panel requires the panel update as well as the cellular update. This version information is only available when checked through the Partner Portal Website, and is not available from the Alarm.com Customer App or Website. You can read the full Qolsys Technical Service Bulletin regarding this upgrade here.

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Alarm.com continues to improve the user experience with its service. They made swapping a communicator or a whole system easy when it comes to backing up and restoring users and zones. But until now, all Z-Wave devices had to be excluded then re-included on the new panel. That is changing.

An important thing to remember is that currently, not all Alarm.com compatible Z-Wave Controllers support backing up and restoring the Z-Wave network. The following modules are the ones that support this feature as of this writing:

Panel Minimum Original Module Version Minimum Current Module Version
DSC PowerSeries Neo 187j 191a
DSC PowerSeries PRO 187e 189e
Interlogix Concord 4 187e 189e
Interlogix NX 187a 189b
Interlogix Simon XT/XTi/XTi-5/XTi-5i 191c 191f
SEM DSC PowerSeries 187i 189e
SEM Honeywell/Ademco VISTA 187d 189b

As you can see from this list, it's the communicators manufactured by ADC, that have the Z-Wave controller built into the communicator that currently support this new feature. Hopefully, this list will grow to include the Qolsys and 2GIG alarm panels.

At this time, the backup and restore of a customer's Z-Wave network can only be performed by the alarm dealer through either the Partner Portal, or the Mobile Tech App. The end-user can't perform these steps. A Z-Wave network backup occurs automatically about eight (8) hours after a device is either added to, or removed from, the Z-Wave network. The backup takes about five (5) minutes, plus two (2) to three (3) minutes for verification purposes. The amount of time the back process takes is not dependant on the number of devices that are paired with the Z-Wave Controller.

To backup a Z-Wave Network on a compatible device using the Alarm.com Partner Portal (Website) perform the following steps:

  1. Login to the Portal. Using your Alarm.com dealer portal login credentials, log into the Partner Portal, completing any 2-factor authentication required.
  2. Pull up the account. Find the account whose Z-Wave network you would like to back up.
  3. Navigate to equipment. Click on the Equipment menu option on the left side of the screen. Then click on Z-Wave Devices.
  4. Backup the network. Under Advanced Z-Wave Commands click Backup Network. Stay on the network backup page to monitor the status of the backup. Once backed up, the backup will be verified, then the process will complete.

A backup is usually performed in order to prepare to move as much of the panel/module programming from the existing system to a new module. This could be due to an upgrade, or due to the replacement of an existing module that is determined to be malfunctioning.

Once a backup has been made, the next step is to restore the backed-up information to the new module or system. To restore backed-up Z-Wave information to a new module during a module swap, via the Alarm.com Partner Portal, perform these steps:

  1. Power down the existing module. Power down the panel and remove the existing Alarm.com module from it.
  2. Swap the module. Log into the Alarm.com Partner Portal, then find the customer account. In the Customer Information section, choose Swap Module. Enter the new module's serial number into the appropriate location on the module swap screen. If there is a specific reason for the swap, enter this info in the Swap Reason field.
  3. Restore Z-Wave Network. Click on the option to Restore Z-Wave Network then click Submit.
  4. Install new module. Install the new Alarm.com module into the panel (while still powered down). Power up the panel and module.
  5. Perform a Communication Test Perform a communication test from the panel using the new communication module. The process for sending a test signal will differ from one panel to another. Check the Installation Instructions for the new module, it should provide instructions on how to perform this test.
  6. Monitor the process. You will automatically be taken to the Z-Wave Network Restore page. Monitor the progress of the restore until it is complete. The process of a full module swap, including restoring panel information as well as Z-Wave devices can take 25 minutes or longer. Be patient and allow the process to complete.

What do you think of this new feature from Alarm.com? If you have ever had to replace a Z-Wave Controller in a robust Z-Wave network and had to exclude, then include all the devices in the new module along with re-programming all schedules and scenes, you will appreciate this feature. Leave a comment below and tell us about your experiences with this type of situation. We enjoy hearing from our readers.

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