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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.

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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Qolsys IQ Panel 2 equipment that uses an AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator requires a firmware update prior to the AT&T 3G sunset date of 02/22/22. Without this update, these devices will lose their connection to the cellular network. The update can be performed over WIFI, or by using an SD Card

If a WIFI signal is available in the location where the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is installed, but the panel is not currently connected to it, there are a few different ways to connect:

  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 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 user remotely: Starting on 12/13/21, Alarm.com is enabling a tool that allows an end-user to connect the panel to WIFI through the Customer Alarm.com App or Alarm.com Website.

In order for the customer to connect their panel to WIFI using the customer app they will click on: Menu > Manage Devices > Select the 3-dots icon next to the panel's name > Select Device Settings > Select Panel WIFI. From there the user can either choose an existing camera to copy that device's WIFI settings, or select the SSID and complete the authentication process. Once the connection to WIFI is made, the communication path will be changed from Cell-only to Dual-Path. This may be useful for panels installed in locations where the building is not always occupied.

Starting on Monday, January 10, 2022 Alarm.com will begin to automatically deploy the firmware update to any WIFI connected panel that has not already received it. The automatic update process will proceed through the queue of needy panels 7 days per week during daytime hours (8am - 8pm panel time). As part of the update, a system reboot will occur.

In some cases, the panel's firmware may require an update before the cellular firmware update can be implemented. Panels that are on version 2.3.0 or lower must update to a minimum of 2.3.1 or higher. Panel firmware updates on panels that have a WIFI connection can also be performed locally from the panel with a Patch Tag, or can be done remotely 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 Micro SD 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. Eventually, Qolsys will also make the cellular firmware update patch available for download and install via Micro SD. Once they do, we will also host it on our site. As of 12/10/21, it is not yet available.

This issue only affects AT&T LTE Cellular units. Verizon units are not affected. This issue is occurring because early Qolsys AT&T units used a provisional VoLTE Firmware Version. This later changed when VoLTE was fully released. Since the difference between the provisional firmware and the released version didn't affect a panel's ability to communicate via cellular, no action was required before. If you are unsure whether your panel requires the update or not, contact your alarm dealer. They will be able to verify this information for you, as this information is only available when checked through the Partner Portal Website, and is not available from the Alarm.com Customer App or Website. Read the full Qolsys Technical Service Bulletin here.

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Users of the Lyric Alarm System with an LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator installed take note. Resideo has identified an issue where, after the AT&T 3G sunset on 02/22/22, any panel not properly updated will lose its connection with the cellular network. This issue does not affect Verizon units.

The firmware version that resolves this issue is 01.09.07772.494, and it is available now on the Resideo AlarmNet360 servers. The issue at play here is that the AT&T cellular communicator currently falls back on the 3G network when it can't connect to LTE. Once an LYRICLTE-A communicator is registered, it looks for both an LTE signal and a 3G one. Without this critical firmware update, these communicators would continue to look for a 3G signal after the 3G sunset. Being unable to find a 3G signal, they will lose connection and go offline.

Users who find themselves in this situation have a few options. If you are a Lyric Alarm System user with the AT&T LTE communicator installed, you can choose to go ahead and manually update your system now. The system needs to be disarmed and have no trouble conditions present in order for the firmware update to go through, so a manual update allows you to choose a time when it is disarmed and ready. It also allows you to confirm that the update was successful after you see your panel reboot.

Since this is a critical update, AlarmNet will begin automatically updating panels that are affected by this issue starting on December 8, 2021. Since a firmware update can only go through when the panel is disarmed with no troubles, any users with a zone trouble, or a low battery message that they have been putting off correcting, should go ahead and take care of the issue. Once all trouble conditions are clear and the system is disarmed, we recommend that you go ahead and manually perform the firmware update. Instructions for updating are linked above.

If your system is automatically updated, it will reboot as part of the update process, so don't be alarmed if you see this happen. Step 3 in the FAQ on updating the panel linked above shows you how to confirm the panel's firmware version. So, if you see your panel reboot you can verify that an update was successfully completed.

Any Lyric Controller with a LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator that is being installed on or after 02/22/22 will need to be updated to firmware version 01.09.07772.494 via the built-in WIFI communicator before the LYRICLTE-A will work properly. The firmware update should be completed prior to the installation of the LYRICLTE-A. The LYRICLTE-V Verizon LTE Communicator is not affected by this issue. You can read the full notice from Resideo here.


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Local Alarm Mode, also called Demo Mode, is a way for an alarm dealer to demonstrate the full features of the panel without having to register it to an AlarmNet360 account. However, while in this mode, panel communications can't be configured. A panel in this mode can seem to be broken.

Alarm Grid has seen several of the Honeywell Home PROA7, Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, Resideo PROA7C, and Resideo PROA7PLUSC panels recently that have either arrived with Local Alarm Mode enabled, or have been put into this mode during initial setup. Once Local Alarm Mode has been enabled, it is impossible to configure the panel communication settings until Local Alarm Mode has been toggled off.

Local Alarm Mode is a valuable tool that has been made available to alarm dealers so that they can demo these new panels for a customer in spite of the fact that the panel isn't associated with an account. This was particularly important when the panel was first introduced because there was no local programming. For those early panels, until the ProSeries panel was registered, it couldn't do much unless Local Alarm Mode had been enabled.

This was a great tool at the time for alarm dealers, but for DIY customers, it doesn't offer much in the way of benefits. Now that the panel has local panel programming available, there really is no reason for an Alarm Grid customer to want to use this feature. Whether the panel arrived with this feature enabled, or the feature was enabled during programming, once the customer decides to have the system monitored, whether self monitored, or with central station monitoring, Local Alarm Mode should be disabled.

To check to see if Local Alarm Mode is enabled or disabled, choose the Menu icon (≡) at the bottom center of the Home screen. Select Tools > Installer Code (default is 4112) > Local Alarm Mode. The feature can then be toggled OFF if it is enabled. If it was enabled and you toggle it off, you'll see a confirmation screen, click on the "YES, DISABLE" option.

If you've been using the system with Local Alarm Mode enabled, and you have signed up for alarm monitoring with Alarm Grid, be sure to toggle this feature OFF as soon as possible. Depending on which monitoring plan you sign up for, activation of your account may begin immediately after sign up, and having this feature enabled at that time can cause delays. This is particularly true of the Self-Monitoring options. If you signed up for a central station monitoring plan, just be sure to disable this feature prior to your activation appointment.

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Qolsys TSB #211022 indicates that the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, PowerG and 319.5 MHz version with any communicator has been discontinued. All kits containing these versions have also been discontinued. The IQ Panel 4 PowerG and 319.5 MHz panel is the appropriate replacement in this instance.

Currently Alarm Grid offers the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Verizon LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible 319.5 MHz Wireless Alarm Panel w/ PowerG, and the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 AT&T LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible 319.5 MHz Wireless Alarm Panel w/ PowerG. Both versions will eventually be offered in Black or White color variations, but at this time only the White variation is available.

This announcement is only for the Interlogix/GE compatible panels that support legacy RF in the 319.5 MHz frequency. The other variations of the IQ Panel 2 Plus, those that support 345 MHz Honeywell and 2GIG legacy RF, and 433 MHz DSC legacy RF sensors are still available at this time. This is because production for the IQ Panel 4 versions of these panels has not yet begun.

Per Qolsys, the IQ Panel 4 PowerG and Honeywell/2GIG compatible panels that support 345 MHz legacy RF sensors are beginning production this week. As supply ramps up, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus that supports this legacy RF frequency will be phased out. We expect this to begin happening in the near future. Production of the IQ Panel 4 for the DSC compatible panels that support 433 MHz legacy RF sensors will begin production in early December, with a similar phase out of those IQ Panel 2 Plus models soon to follow.

As with the IQ Panel 2 Plus, each Qolsys IQ Panel 4 will support PowerG in addition to one (1) legacy RF frequency. In addition to choosing a panel based on the RF frequency to be used, the user will also want to choose the panel with the built-in cellular communicator that will have the best signal strength and quality in the location where the panel will be installed. This can match the carrier for the user's cell phone, but that is not a requirement. When deciding which cellular carrier to choose, base the decision solely on cellular coverage. Billing for the panel's cellular communicator will be included in the monthly monitoring service charges.

The legacy RF frequency built-in to the IQ Panel 4 is intended to make it easy to replace an existing alarm panel from a different manufacturer. By choosing the IQ Panel 4 that supports the wireless frequency for sensors that are already installed in a location, a user can save a lot of money by not having to buy all new sensors. You get the benefit of an all new, feature-rich alarm panel without the expense, not to mention the time and trouble saved, of replacing existing sensors that still work.

Were you thinking of purchasing a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus in the 319.5 MHz "flavor"? If you were, you can purchase the IQ Panel 4 instead. This panel currently has the exact same User Interface (UI) as the IQ Panel 2 Plus, so the user experience will not differ. We expect the IQ Panel 4 to get a facelift in the near future, with the end-user having the choice of whether they want to use the new interface, or stick with the legacy one. The new UI is supposed to be very similar to the Alarm.com layout. If you have any comments, please leave them below. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Resideo and Honeywell Home have just released Firmware Version 03.592.107.0 for the PROA7 and PROA7PLUS panels. This update allows the PROTAKEOVER module to support 5800 Series life-safety sensors like the 5808W3, 5800CO, and more. In addition, it offers some other features and improvements.

There are four (4) different panels in the Resideo and Honeywell Home ProSeries lineup. The Honeywell Home PROA7, and Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, and the Resideo PROA7C and Resideo PROA7PLUSC. The 03.592.107.0 Firmware Version applies to all of them. The differences between the Resideo versions and the Honeywell Home versions are purely cosmetic. You can find details about that in a previous post.

The biggest news in this firmware release is the addition of life-safety support when using the PROTAKEOVER module. For the Honeywell 5800 Series legacy RF sensors, the use of life-safety sensors such as the 5808W3, 5806W3, 5800CO, and others has actually been ETL tested and passed to the UL Residential Fire standard. When taking over a CO detector, be sure to check the expiration date. CO detectors are usually good anywhere from six (6) to ten (10) years. Life-safety sensors from any of the other manufacturers supported by the PROTAKEOVER, including DSC (433 MHz), Bosch (433 MHz), 2GIG (345 MHz), Qolsys, and Interlogix (319.5 MHz), can be used, but they will not meet the ETL listing requirement.

When life-safety devices are used with the PROTAKEOVER the functionality for Loop 2 becomes automatic. For sensors programmed for Fire, Loop 2 automatically becomes the Maintenance (Clean Me) input. For those programmed as Carbon Monoxide, Loop 2 automatically becomes the End-of-Life input. For this reason, if you use a 5817CB or 5817CBXT, for something such as a wired heat detector input, you MUST strap out the loop 2 input, either with a wire jumper or a resistor, depending on which 5817 you're using, and you cannot use that input for a zone on the system.

Although the addition of life-safety support for legacy RF sensors is the big news in this firmware release, it is by no means the only news. This revision adds the ability to enable or disable on-screen panic alarms. It also adds the ability to program scenes via Total Connect 2.0 that pertain to alarm panel arming and disarming events only. Even if the panel itself doesn't have a PROWIFIZW module installed (Smart Home monitoring plan is still required). Prior to this release, if you had no intention of using Z-Wave devices, but you still wanted to program your system to arm or disarm based on a schedule, you couldn't do so unless you installed a Z-Wave controller in the panel.

Below, we'll list all the added or updated features with an explanation of each:

  • Zone Response Type Enhancement: The Device Type "Other" now offers the option to enable Chime. The PROSIXC2W now supports 24-Hour panic response types including 24-hour Silent, 24-Hour Audible, 24-Hour Medical, & 24-Hour Auxiliary. All Device and Response Types are now available when enrolling wireless zones using the PROTAKEOVER module.
  • LCD Keypad (PROSIXLCDKP) Enhancement: Now, when a Duress Code is entered at the wireless LCD keypad, only the 4-digit code is required. Previously, users would have to enter the 4-digit code + OFF [1].
  • Quiet Time Feature Added: The PROWLTOUCH Keypad now participates in Quiet Time (10:00 pm - 8:00 am). This means that non-emergency Trouble conditions, and Low Battery troubles will not sound the keypad during this time, though they will display. Included in this list are Communicator Trouble, System Low Battery, RF Transmitter Low Battery, RF Jam Trouble, AC Loss, and PROWLTOUCH Supervision Trouble. Sensor Tamper, and RF Supervision will sound. At 8:00 am, if the non-emergency trouble condition still exists, it will sound. This feature is automatic. It cannot be disabled, and the times cannot currently be changed, though that may change in future revisions.
  • Additional PROWLTOUCH Enhancements: While in backlight timeout, if the keypad reconnects to WIFI for any reason, the keypad will not illuminate. Keypad supervision is now defaulted as "Disabled". If a system has PROWLTOUCH keypad supervision enabled, updating to this version will NOT disable it. The Wireless Touchscreen keypad can now only be enrolled when the main panel is not in program mode. This prevents conflicts with the PROSIXLCD which MUST be added through panel programming. An issue has been corrected where, if the keypad locked up, the battery had to be removed and re-installed in order to reset the keypad. The Indoor MotionViewer (PROINDMV) clips can now be played back on the PROWLTOUCH as well as on the main panel.
  • End-user Can Push User Codes to Z-Wave Locks From TC2: Whew, that was a mouthful! Any Total Connect 2.0 Admin user can now create a user code and send it to a Z-Wave lock via either the Mobile App, or the Website. They have the option to both Push the User to the Lock, and allow the Lock Disarm by that User to automatically Disarm the system.

  • Improved TC2 Behavior During a Z-Wave Lock Jam: Previously, when a lock jam condition was displayed, the only option available was to physically go to the lock and toggle the lock position. Total Connect 2.0 now gives you the option to attempt to Lock or Unlock through the app or website.
  • Z-Wave Lock User Code Sync Improvement: In the past, setting the panel user code to match the Yale lock user code would cause issues. This is still not recommended, but the behavior should be improved.
  • Security Scenes Available in TC2 Without PROWIFIZW: There is no longer a hardware requirement that the panel have the Z-Wave Controller installed in order to create TC2 Scenes pertaining to security panel-only scenes. Currently, the security system scheduling is only available for Partition 1, and a plan that includes automation (Smart Home) is still required.
  • Improved Skybell and TC2 Syncing: Some doorbell cameras were having issues syncing with TC2 after the previous firmware update. Those issues should be resolved.
  • Improved PROSIX RF Signal Level Indication: The system now refreshes signal level for PROSIX devices immediately upon entering walk-test mode.
  • Improved TC2 Camera List Sync: In the past, it was sometimes necessary to Sync the panel twice to get an accurate camera list. This has been improved.
  • Partition Master User Enhancements: A Partition Master User can now only see event logs for the partition(s) they are authorized for.
  • Language Corrections: Improvements in translations for both French and Spanish.
  • Cyber Security Updates: Ongoing Cyber Security maintenance, as well as other bug fixes.

This firmware update can currently only be installed via WIFI. Any account communicating via cellular only will need to be connected to a mobile hotspot or other "WIFI" option before it can be updated. The size of this update is approximately 8MB.

This is a huge update with a lot of feature additions and some user-recommended improvements. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about the ProSeries panel and the 3.5 update. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Qolsys announced several new products at ISC West in August. However, product availability, including for the IQ Panel 4, has been nil. We now have one iteration of the panel that has limited stock available. The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 with Verizon LTE and Interlogix/GE SRF support in White.

The Qolsys Roadmap for product releases got a little rocky this year. We expected the Qolsys IQ Hub in the late Spring, with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 to be released in the late fall. That's understandable with all the things that have been going on. What with the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the recent global chip shortage, we consider ourselves fortunate to be seeing stock on existing products, let alone newly announced ones.

At this time, we have limited stock available on one specific version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. This is the panel with built-in WIFI, a Verizon LTE cellular communicator, and support for both PowerG and Interlogix/GE and Qolsys 319.5 MHz wireless devices with the panel in White. Eventually, there will also be another version with these exact same specifications, but with the panel in Black.

As the rollout continues, and the component availability and manufacturing bottleneck abates, we will eventually see several other variations of this panel become available. You can see a list of all of them below:

Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Variations

SKU Product Description Available Date
IQP4001 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, White Limited Availability Now!
IQP4001BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4004 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4004BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4003 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4003BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4006 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4006BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4002 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4002BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4005 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4005BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022

If you click on any of the links above for products that aren't yet available, they will show up as discontinued on our site. Once they become available, we will blog again, and those links will become live. This way, you can come back to this post at any time and check availability on whichever panel variation you happen to be interested in.

In addition to the options shown above, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 currently uses the same User Interface (UI) as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Eventually they will offer a new look, and users will be able to choose between the new or the existing look. The panel has an 8 MP camera, which can be adjusted for tilt, increased signal range for all wireless cards that are built into the panel, more advanced speakers, three microphones, and many more hardware upgrades.

For those who may not know, Qolsys sought to make it easy to replace an existing panel that uses wireless sensors, without having to replace all of the sensors as well. So if you currently have an older Qolsys panel, or an Interlogix or GE panel, all of which used 319.5 MHz wireless sensors, then you would want to choose the corresponding Qolsys IQ Panel 4 in the color, and with the cellular communicator that best suits your needs.

Honeywell 5800 Series and 2GIG wireless both use 345 MHz wireless sensors. 2GIG has a lineup of encrypted sensors that also operate at 345 MHz, and those sensors will NOT be compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 that supports this frequency, but most other uni-directional 345 MHz wireless devices that work with either of these two product lines should also work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4.

Older DSC panels used wireless sensors in the 433 MHz range. As you can see from the chart, there will also be a version of the IQ Panel 4 that supports these devices. DSC is also the manufacturer of PowerG wireless devices. All of the IQ Panel 4 variations will support PowerG. The idea being, once you replace the older panel, and begin to utilize the older RF sensors with the new Qolsys IQ Panel 4, if you need to replace the older devices, you can choose to replace them with the same older model sensor, or you can replace them with a PowerG version, which supports 128-bit AES encryption, and will have a range up to 4,000 feet with the IQ Panel 4. You can read all about why we love PowerG so much in this earlier post.

Qolsys released an RF Compatibility Document for firmware version 2.6.0. Both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the IQ Panel 4 will use this firmware. This is the base version for the IQP4, so any devices listed on this document as compatible have been tested by Qolsys engineering and are known to work. Uni-directional devices (those that only transmit to the panel, but don't receive any information from the panel) that are not on the compatibility list may or may not work. Bi-directional devices such as the Honeywell 5800RL, 5800WAVE, or 5828 will definitely NOT work.

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Resideo's Pro Series Products, including the PROA7PLUS with Amazon Alexa built in, the PROWIFIZW, PROLTE-A, PROLTE-V and all of its other peripherals have won CEPro's BEST Award for Best Integrated Security System/Module/Device/Surveillance Cameras system. This is a big win for Resideo.

Each year, CEPro Magazine announces the winners of their BEST Awards at the CEDIA Expo. CEDIA is the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association. It represents professionals in the home automation/smart technology industry. This is the biggest trade show geared specifically toward smart home and automation integrators.

The CEDIA Expo, owned and operated by EmeraldX, LLC. was held in Indianapolis this year beginning on September 1. The 2021 show returned to an in-person format after the 2020 show was canceled due to concerns about COVID-19. Exhibitors and attendees alike were happy to meet in person once again.

The Integrated Security System/Module/Device/Surveillance Cameras award is given in the Control and Automation Category. Some other awards in this segment were for Lighting, Lighting Controls & Accessories, which was won by the Alisse Wall Control which is offered by Lutron Electronics, Motorized Shade Controls & Accessories, which was awarded to Somfy Systems for their PoE Touch Panel Room Controller. There were a number of other categories and winners.

Resideo's Honeywell Home Pro Series Products offer a comprehensive platform to support existing legacy RF sensors using the PROTAKEOVER module (available separately or in one of our kits). With the PROTAKEOVER, a customer can replace an older alarm system that used older wireless technology without having to also replace every single sensor.

This saves both time and money, allowing the customer to concentrate on adding more automation devices, or new sensors in areas that weren't protected before. For example, by not having to replace all of the existing burglary sensors, a homeowner may be able to add smoke detectors or other life safety sensors that are tied to the alarm system where they didn't have this type of protection on the older system. The PROTAKEOVER can support wireless devices from the Honeywell or 2GIG 345 MHz lineup (one or the other, but not both), sensors from the Qolsys or Interlogix/GE 319.5 MHz lineup, and 433 MHz Bosch, or 433 MHz DSC sensors.

The PROA7PLUS comes with the PROWIFIZW already installed. This module adds support for WIFI (802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz only) as well as Z-Wave (908 MHz North American frequency). One of the big differences between the PROA7PLUS and the PROA7 is that the PROA7 does not have a WIFI module installed from the factory. Support for WIFI can be added using the PROWIFIZW, or if Z-Wave is not going to be used, then the PROWIFI can be installed. This modular design means that you will only pay for what you intend to use.

The modular design also means that if a component should fail, only the component needs to be replaced, rather than the entire panel. In the future, when technology changes and either WIFI or cellular technology requires an update, only the modules will have to be replaced in order to keep the panel current. If you've ever had to replace a panel with numerous security sensors, or Z-Wave automation devices, you'll know that this alone makes the Pro Series panels worth considering.

With built-in Amazon Alexa for both the PROA7PLUS panel itself, and the PROWLTOUCH Pro Wireless Touchscreen Keypad you can control the system as well as automation devices using just your voice and the Total Connect 2.0 Skill for Alexa. Some of the Alexa features supported are flash briefings, weather, time, add to calendar, create shopping lists, answer general questions, and more. Some features that are not supported are the ability to read books aloud (Audible) and the ability to place calls or Drop-in to another Alexa device.

Tell us what you think of the Resideo and Honeywell Home Pro Series Panels. Do you think these new panels are worthy of accolades? Have you had an experience with one of these systems that you'd like to tell us about? Leave a comment below, we'd love to hear what you think.


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2GIG has announced the release of their first big firmware update for the 2GIG Edge. This update adds support for image sensors in the form of the 2GIG-IMAGE3. In order to support image sensors, the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 must be installed. Image sensors can be used without losing any other features.

The 2GIG Edge is a great addition to the 2GIG panel lineup. It has built-in facial recognition, Z-Wave Plus V2 (700 Series) support, up to four (4) Smart Area partitions, Bluetooth disarming, and so much more. One of the disappointing aspects of the panel rollout, is that it didn't support image sensors at the time of its release. That problem is now rectified with the new 3.1.0.011 firmware.

If you have a 2GIG Edge, then there are a couple of ways that you can get your panel updated. Alarm.com is still in the testing phase with this firmware, so it can't be pushed remotely quite yet, but remote over-the-air (OTA) updates will be available soon. Once this form of upgrade is available, you'll need to request the update from your alarm dealer. If your panel has a WIFI connection, the update will be completely free. If your panel connects to Alarm.com via cellular only, then a small fee will be incurred when updating OTA.

If you're an Alarm Grid monitoring customer, you can request the upgrade by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Once the update is available, we'll verify the cost, if any, and if you give the go ahead, we'll push the update to your panel, and pass the cost along to you on your next monthly monitoring bill, with no markup. Remember, there will only be a fee if your panel connects to Alarm.com via cellular only. The cost for this type of update varies, depending on the size of the file to be downloaded. It could be as little as fifty-cents, or as much as a few dollars.

The other way that your panel can be updated is via USB. There is a USB port on the top of the 2GIG Edge. You can download the firmware update files from Alarm Grid here. This is a free download. Use a standard USB drive with at least 1GB capacity, and not more than 16GB capacity. Be sure the drive is formatted using FAT32, and that it has only one (1) partition. The file you download should be saved to the root directory of the USB drive. Full instructions for downloading and upgrading can be found here.

Once the file has been downloaded to the USB drive, remove the drive and take it to the 2GIG Edge panel. The USB port is on top of the panel, covered by a rubber boot. Remove the boot, and insert the drive. A message should appear on the panel, letting you know that an update is available. Press "Update", enter either the Installer Code (default 1561) or Master Code (1111) and the update will then proceed. Be sure the panel has AC power, and that AC power is not interrupted during the update process. The panel will reboot and provide a message letting you know when the update is complete. Remove the USB drive and reinsert the rubber boot.

If you have a 2GIG Edge Remote Keypad, it will be updated by the 2GIG Edge panel, once the panel has completed updating. Be sure the keypad has AC power and that it is connected to WIFI and to the Edge panel. You can verify this by making sure the keypad shows the panel home screen, and the proper panel status. Once the panel has been updated, it should automatically update the keypad. Again, once the firmware has been installed, the keypad will reboot to complete the update process.

In addition to support for image sensors, this firmware also corrects a few known issues regarding WIFI connection problems, and both remote keypad and main panel touchscreen issues. You can read the full firmware Release Notes Here.

So, what do you think about this firmware update? Do you have a 2GIG Edge and want to share your experience with it? Have you been anxiously awaiting image sensor support? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. We always look forward to hearing from you.

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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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