Cellular Alarm Communicators Posts

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Hi DIYers! Unfortunately, we have to keep this news brief, as we are currently preparing for ISC West 2019 in Las Vegas, NV. But a new dual-path communicator from Resideo for their VISTA Systems is now available. Presenting, the all-new Honeywell LTE-IV Verizon LTE Dual-Path Communicator!

The Honeywell LTE-IV uses a hardwired ethernet cable to connect a VISTA Panel to an IP network. If the internet goes down, it will have the ultra-fast and reliable Verizon LTE Cellular Network as a backup. Either way, the system will remain connected with the AlarmNet 360 Servers and the Total Connect 2.0 Service.

This release is huge, as this is currently the only dual-path communicator for a VISTA System that can connect with an LTE Network. Before this, the VISTA Panels had to rely on the Honeywell LTE-XV and Honeywell LTE-XA modules, which had no IP capabilities. Now with the Honeywell LTE-IV, VISTA owners have a dual-path LTE option that will keep their system connected for many years to come!

Note that the Honeywell LTE-IV connects with the Verizon LTE Network. We expect a similar AT&T communicator to be released at some point. You can purchase the Honeywell LTE-IV from the Alarm Grid website. If you have any question, please email support@alarmgrid.com or call (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Alarm Grid will post more information about the Honeywell LTE-IV as it becomes available.

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A couple of weeks ago, we learned that AlarmNet announced an end date for activating 3G and 4G cellular communicators. Now Alarm.com has followed suit by announcing that they will no longer allow 3G activations starting June 30, 2019. Future activations must use LTE communicators.


Both AT&T and Verizon have made it clear that LTE and eventually 5G communication is the way of the future. They are beginning the process of phasing out their older 3G networks in favor of faster and more advanced technology. AT&T has publicly stated that their 3G network will be shutdown in February 2022. The shutdown for the Verizon CDMA Network is expected to occur around this time as well. Users should start preparing for the long-term now by getting LTE communicators for their systems.

If you have an Alarm.com 3G Cellular Communicator, you must activate it by June 30, 2019, or else it will not work. If you deactivate your Alarm.com 3G Communicator after this date, you will not be able to reactive it. Reactivating a communicator is considered the same as a new activation. If you have a 3G communicator that is already activated, then it will continue to work as long as the associated cellular network is kept in service. But once the network is shutdown, the communicator will stop working.

Any customer who has an Alarm.com 3G Communicator should get it activated as soon as possible to avoid missing the cut-off date. Customers who want to prepare for the long-term should obtain an LTE communicator. This may mean upgrading to a new alarm panel. To activate a communicator or to learn about the options available to you, please email support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Note: Verizon stopped allowing activations for all CDMA communicators starting on December 22, 2018. More information about this can be found here.

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Alarm Grid has recently learned that the Honeywell 3GL, the longtime cellular communicator for the LYNX Touch Panels, has officially been discontinued. This leaves the Honeywell L5200 with no available cellular communicator. However, the newer LYNX Touch Systems still have cellular options.

Honeywell 3gl alarmnet cellular communicator for the l5200 and l

The Honeywell 3GL was a cellular communicator that connected with the AT&T 3G Network. It was previously sold as the Honeywell 4GL. But Honeywell smartly changed the name, as it misled many people into believing it was a 4G communicator. The 3GL was compatible with the L5200, L5210 and L7000 Alarm Systems. As for the L5210 and L7000, there are still cellular communicators available, specifically the LTE-L57A and LTE-L57V. Please note that the L5210 and L7000 must be running Firmware Version 9 or higher to support one of these LTE communicators. More information on this is available here.

With the discontinuation of this module, the Honeywell L5200 now has no available cellular communicator option. Users of the L5200 who want to receive cellular monitoring should strongly consider upgrading to a newer system, such as a Honeywell Lyric Controller. This is Honeywell's newest wireless security system, and it has multiple cellular options available.

Please note that this news does not affect L5200 Systems that are already using an active 3GL Communicator. Any communicator that has already been activated will continue to function as normal. Additionally, if a user is able to find an existing 3GL or GSMVLP5-4G from somewhere else, then we can still activate it for cellular monitoring service with their L5200 System.

One alternative option for L5200 users without a cellular communicator is to go the WIFI-route instead. The system will support the L5100-WIFI module, which will allow the system to connect with a local WIFI network. Although WIFI is not as reliable as cellular service, it can be a good option if a user simply does not want to upgrade their panel. This is also a great option for Honeywell L5100 users, as that system also has no cellular radio in current production.

Finally, the ILP5 is still available for purchase, and it provides hardwired ethernet capabilities for any LYNX Touch Panel. But please note that a LYNX Touch cannot support both the ILP5 and a cellular communicator since they use the same port. Once a Honeywell LYNX Touch System is using IP or cellular communication, it will be capable of being used with the Total Connect 2.0 service.

The following table outlines all of the communicators available for the Honeywell LYNX Touch Systems and their compatibilities with each of these panels:


GSMVLP5

3GL

GSMVLP5-4G

LTE-L57A

LTE-L57V

ILP5

L5100-WIFI

Network AT&T 2G AT&T 3G AT&T 4G AT&T LTE Verizon LTE Wired Ethernet WIFI
Available Discontinued Discontinued Discontinued Yes Yes Yes Yes

L5000

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

L5100

No

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

L5200

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

L5210

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

L7000

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

If you have any question about this news, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for further assistance. You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or you may call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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As the sunset for 3G cellular networks is quickly approaching, Alarm Grid has some important news regarding support for Verizon's 3G CDMA network. This news affects both the Alarm.com service and Honeywell's AlarmNet server.

As of today, June 1st, 2018, Verizon will no longer activate Alarm.com CDMA cellular communicator SIM cards as they prepare for their CDMA network sunset. If the Verizon SIM card is already activated, which is done during manufacturing, Alarm.com will still allow the account activation to go through.

However, if a communicator is manufactured and never activated with Alarm.com, or if it's activated with Alarm.com but then cancelled, the Verizon SIM will eventually become deactivated. Therefore, it's possible that a CDMA module you already have won't be able to be used if it's not currently active with Alarm.com.

If you have an existing Alarm.com CDMA communicator with a different monitoring company, it can still be "recycled" and brought over to a new alarm company, as long as the communicator is re-activated with the new monitoring company soon after it's cancelled by the existing monitoring company.

Any existing Alarm.com CDMA communicator that is already active with Alarm.com will continue to work for the time being, but will be sunsetting soon.

If you need to purchase a new cellular communicator for an Alarm.com panel, we recommend one of the following options:

Please see this guide to upgrade the GC2 communicator, and this guide to upgrade the GC3 communicator. Also see 2GIG GC2 Firmware Update Instructions Using UPCBL2 and How to Upgrade GC2 Firmware Using a Cable for more information.

2gig ltev a gc3 alarm dot com verizon lte communicator for 2gig

Starting June 30th, 2018, Honeywell AlarmNet CDMA cellular communicators that were manufactured before March 1st, 2018 can no longer be activated. If you have an AlarmNet CDMA communicator that was manufactured before this date, you must activate it by June 30th.

At that time, it will also be impossible to bring a Honeywell CDMA radio from one monitoring company to another. AlarmNet CDMA communicators that were manufactured after March 1st, 2018 can be activated until December 22nd, 2018. Any AlarmNet CDMA communicator that has already been activated will continue to work until the CDMA network is shutdown.

If you need to purchase a new cellular communicator for a Honeywell Alarm System, we suggest buying an LTE module. Alarm Grid recommends the following options based on system type:

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

Additionally, if you have a CDMA communicator that has not been activated, you will no longer be able to return it to Alarm Grid for a refund. We will not be taking any CDMA returns as of today. Our company stopped selling CDMA communicators roughly three months ago, and we have been preparing for the 3G sunset for quite some time.

Cellular service providers have already discontinued support for their 2G networks, and they are currently preparing to do the same for their 3G networks. This includes the Verizon 3G CDMA network. Instead, cellular service providers are shifting their focus to their newer and more advanced 4G and LTE networks. If you need to upgrade an alarm system to cellular, you should purchase an LTE module if possible.

Remember, existing CDMA communicators that have already been activated can still be used for the time being. These modules will continue to work until the CDMA network is discontinued. At that point, any CDMA cellular module will need to be replaced and upgraded to a newer communicator.

If you have any questions about this news, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Edit (6/8/18): This blog post previously stated that as of June 1st, no Alarm.com CDMA module that wasn't currently active with Alarm.com service could be activated on a new Alarm.com account, which has changed since it was written. It has been edited to reflect the correct information.

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With the recent release of the LTE-L57V for the L5210 and L7000 Systems, there is now a viable LTE cellular communication module available for all of the most popular Honeywell Alarm Control Panels. Whether you own a Lyric, LYNX Touch or VISTA panel, there is an LTE communicator for you!

The current LTE options are as follows:

Please note that for the Honeywell VISTA 21iP, there is currently no "snap-on" LTE module like that of the AT&T 3G/4G based VISTA-GSM4G. In order to use the Honeywell LTE-XV communicator with the VISTA 21iP, the "internal communications" jumper on the board must be set to the bottom two pins. Make sure to power the system completely down before making this adjustment. The communicator must then be installed as an external radio-like wiring on a VISTA-20P. By adjusting the jumper in this way, the integrated ethernet port for the VISTA 21iP will be disabled. However, this is not a huge concern. LTE cellular connectivity is extremely reliable, and it provides communication speeds that are comparable to that of IP. So even though IP connectivity will no longer be accessible, it is a worthwhile sacrifice to obtain LTE service over older cellular technologies like 3G and CDMA. Remember, LTE service is widely recognized as being the single best communication path available for modern alarm systems.

By releasing these new communicators, Honeywell has made it very clear that LTE cellular communication is the way of the future. This news is also important for users of the Verizon CDMA Network. AlarmNet (Honeywell's cloud server) has stated that new CDMA activations will no longer be permitted after June 1, 2018. This includes cancelling an existing CDMA account and then trying to reactivate it later. Anyone hoping to use CDMA with their Honeywell System must get the communicator active before it's too late. Verizon has promised that CDMA support for existing equipment will remain active until their CDMA network is shutdown. After that, the communicator will need to be upgraded.

All of the current LTE communicators for Honeywell Systems are available for purchase on the Alarm Grid website. We'll be sure to keep you updated with any news regarding additional Honeywell LTE communicators that are released in the future. We do not have any exact timelines for the release of a Verizon LTE module for the Lyric, nor AT&T LTE for the Lynx Touch and VISTA panels. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@alarmgrid.com.

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AT&T has been announcing a deprecation of the 2G radios for a number of years. At midnight January 1, 2017, the network was turned off.

If you're one of the many Americans who has a 2G alarm system, and you've been caught flatfooted for one reason or another, Alarm Grid is here to help. For those who upgrade their 2G radio programmed to a different company's service to a new radio, Alarm Grid will provide 2 months of free monitoring.

If you have a bf error showing on your panel or a Check 103 error, we have some great FAQs explaining what you need to do to fix the error. Additionally, below, you will find a guide explaining how to go about fixing the problems. Generally you will need to replace your radio - a move that is dependent on the type of system you have. The following alert is on our FAQs pertaining to this issue, and will walk you through what you need to do to upgrade.

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When we launched Alarm Grid in 2012, we sold Honeywell equipment exclusively. We have been very slow to grow our selection because their products have proved to be so reliable. We absolutely love Honeywell. And while we're proud to have expanded our offerings to 2GIG systems and Simon communicators, our primary offering continues to be Honeywell focused.

Last year, when we added 2GIG's systems to our offerings, we also launched alarm.com at the same time. While Honeywell's products have always been coupled tightly with AlarmNet's interactive offering, Alarm.com powers the interactive services for most of the other brands. And while we believe strongly in the Total Connect product, Alarm.com has done an amazing job of offering a bit more flexibility to their offering meaning that a lot of end users prefer the Alarm.com software.

So what's a DIYer to do if they want Honeywell hardware and Alarm.com software?

Alarm.com has just released the System Enhancement Module (SEM) which allows end users to attach the unit to their wired Honeywell system (e.g. VISTA 20P, VISTA 15P) and use the Alarm.com software. Significantly cheaper than the Total Connect communicator the iGSMV4G or GSMV4G, the SEM gives the systems cellular monitoring capabilities to anyone who wants them. Additionally, the SEM provides more options to end users regarding their choice of network, currently available for LTE and CDMA.

What's more, the SEM gives end users the ability to take advantage of some incredible Z-Wave functionality that previously would have required the purchase of the VAM or the Tuxedo. Simply, for a cost of $155.99, an end user can now take advantage of everything these systems have to offer.

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Alarm Grid has reduced the price on almost all of our VISTA GSMs!

Our best selling dual path unit, the iGSMV4G has gone from $239.99 to 190.99. If you need the upgrade chips, the iGSMV4G-TC2, has gone from $252.99 to $199.99. A 20% reduction across the board. It is now the same cost to go dual path with an upgrade chip as it would be to do GSM only!

The GSMV4G was $213.99 and is now $187.99 (12% reduction). If you need the upgrade kit, the GSMV4G-TC2, it's gone from $239.00 to 199.99, a 16% reduction in price.

The at-the-panel communicator has seen a big reduction as well. While we generally try recommend the GSMV4G units to any new customers since they do not require you to do a power calculation, there are people who prefer to use a device that goes on the panel itself. For you, the GSMX4G or the upgrade kit the GSMX4G-TC2 are the perfect option - not to mention the GSMX series communicators is seeing our biggest price reduction. From 200.99 to 141.99 for the GSMX4G, and from 213.99 to 154.99 for the GSMX4G-TC2, the units have been cut in price by 29% and 28% respectively.

These options are great for anyone who wants to add a little bit extra security to their system for a modest amount of money. For those who aren't sure whether they want to add cellular monitoring to their system, but definitely want to be monitored over IP in the short term, rather than purchasing the 7847i, which is the IP communicator option for VISTA panels, the iGSMV4G will allow for single path monitoring as well as dual path monitoring thus allowing maximum flexibility to any alarm system owner.

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The iGSMV4G is the dual path monitoring communicator for the VISTA series panels (except the VISTA 21iP which uses the VISTA-GSM4G). Until recently, the iGSMV4G could only be used as a dual path communicator or as a cellular communicator. But since the upgrade to 2.12, the communicator now has the ability to be used as an IP-only communicator as well.


So why would anyone want to buy a dual path communicator if they want just IP monitoring or just GSM monitoring? Very simple. The VISTA 20P, 15P, and 10P cannot be setup to run both a GSMV4G and the 7847i - the cellular and IP communicators respectively. Until now, an user must pick either one path or two. The only way to switch from one path to two if it's something an user would want to do in the future, was to replace the entire communicator.

But not anymore!

Now, for $139.99, an user can purchase the 7847i, which will lock them to IP. Or, for an extra $70, the user can add the option to add GSM at some point in the future should they want to. For those who think there is even a slight chance that they might want to use the cellular communication pathway, the new and improved iGSMV4G is a great choice.

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Back in January of 2013, we discussed the compatibility issues with earlier revisions of the VISTA-21iP alarm system with the VISTA-GSM4G. Traditionally, Honeywell creates a new firmware revision to clearly mark which panels are compatible with specific features. In this case, we found out that revision 3.13 had some panels that supported the 4G communicator and others that did not.

At the time, we explained that Honeywell started tagging the panels with stickers that read, "Supports VISTA-GSM4G." Although Honeywell offers PROM chip upgrades for the VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P there are no PROM upgrades for the VISTA-21iP. The update meant that VISTA-21iP owners without this sticker would need to upgrade their entire alarm panel in order to integrate 4G cellular connectivity.

 The biggest factor in this discussion is the "2G sunset." AT&T announced that they have already started phasing out their GSM 2G cellular network. The kicker is that every 2G cell tower in the nation will be upgraded by the end of 2016. This may have seemed far way but it is only around the corner. So this discussion relates to any VISTA-21iP system owner using cellular communication; not just those looking to upgrade to a faster 4G communicator. The original post seemed like a doomsday if your panel did not have the sticker. Well think again...

Now for the good news! The VISTA-GSM4G is considered an internal communicator for the VISTA-21iP. It is designed to be used as a backup to the built-in IP communicator. However it can be used as a stand alone cellular communicator as well. The important thing here is that the VISTA-21iP supports external Honeywell communicators as well.

The GSMV4G is an external cellular communicator which can be used with any VISTA-21iP revision. If you plan to use the internet as your primary communication path with cellular as secondary, you can use the iGSMV4G instead. In order to tell your panel to use an external communication path you need to disable the internal communications by physically moving a jumper pin on the board. 

There is an "Internal IP/GSM Jumper" that is in the 'on' position by default. This jumper powers the internal communicators: Internet communicator on the panel, the VISTA-GSM4G or both if you have a dual path setup. The jumper is located just beneath the RJ-45 jack which can be found on the top left side of the board. In the 'on' position, the panel powers the internal communicators. In the 'off' position, the panel cuts off power to the internal comm paths.

If you would like to use an external communication path like the iGSMV4G you must power down the system and move the jumper to the 'off' position. Doing this will shut down both the IP and GSM internal communication paths. So if you were already using the on board IP communicator simply disconnect the ethernet cable from the panel and land it on the iGSMV4G!

Similar to a wired keypad, external communicators require a 4 wire connection to the panel's ECP bus which is located on terminals 4-7 on the VISTA-21iP. There is a power connection on terminals 4 and 5 on the panel and a data connection on terminals 6 and 7 on the panel. Although the communicator is already connected to ECP power, it still requires an AC power connection on terminals 1 and 2 of the communicator.

The GSMV4G and iGSMV4G are shipped with their own Honeywell 1361 AC transformer. You can wire the communicator directly to the transformer or you can use a shared transformer with the panel. If you do the shared transformer setup, you need to swap in the beefier 1361 that comes with the communicator. Simply swap the wired connections over to the new transformer. Then land terminals 1 and 2 from the communicator on terminals 1 and 2 on the panel. You can land them in parallel, right on top of the existing connections to the transformer. 

We have made available detailed instructions for installing the iGSMV4G. The wiring is exactly the same for the GSMV4G. The only difference is that you need to connect an Ethernet cable on the RJ-45 port on the iGSMV4G. 

We've already begun to see an increase in people with the older non-4G capable VISTA-21iP panels asking us for upgrade opportunities. We don't like being the bearers of bad news and having to tell those people that they need an entire new alarm control panel and a new cellular communicator so we have begun offering this as a less expensive alternative to upgrade to 4G cellular communications.

While Honeywell engineers didn't design the original VISTA-21iP panel with the option to support the future VISTA-GSM4G communicators, the flexible design of the 21iP, which allows for an internal or external communicator means that their oversight won't have to cost you anymore than the price of a new external 4G communicator.

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