Cellular Alarm Communicators Posts

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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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Honeywell 4GL

The new Honeywell 4GL communicator released from Honeywell is an updated 4G communicator made specifically for the Honeywell L7000 security system. To date, Honeywell's GSMVLP5-4G has been the cellular communicator for the LYNX Touch units. And while the GSMVLP5-4G will work inside of the L5200 security system, that older communicator will not work int he new, bigger L7000 systems.

Because the 4GL works for both the L7000 and the L5200 we will be shipping it with all kits for both units as soon as our supply of GSMVLP5-4Gs is exhausted. In the meantime, the L5200 kits will come with the older communicator.

If you have the older Honeywell L5100, the GSMVLP5-4G isn't going away any time soon. So if you are interested in upgrading your system to take advantage of all that the cellular communication pathway has to offer, you will be able to do that for the foreseeable future as. Just make sure to get the right communicator for your system.

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Keep moving. Nothing much to see here... except a lower price Honeywell's super popular GSM communicators. These Honeywell cellular communicators are used on a majority of Honeywell's wired security systems, including the 10P, the 15P, the 20P and more.

We are lowering the price from $229.99 on the GSMV4G to $213.99 (-7.4%), and the GSMX4G from $224.99 to $200.99 (-11.9%). The GSMX4G-TC2 was $237.99 and will now be $213.99 (-11.1%), and the GSMV4G-TC2 will now be priced at $226.99, down from $252.99 (-11.4%).

Ultimately, these are small changes. But we want to make sure that we are giving you the best deal that we can possibly offer on all of our products. A home security system is a wonderful luxury that gives all of its owners the peace of mind that can only come from knowing that your property and family are safe and secure. The cellular pathway is the most secure available in consumer grade security systems. So we're glad to be able to offer these communicators at such a great price.

If you're in the market for a home security system and all of this is just a little bit over your head, just pick up the phone and give us a call. We will gladly explain the difference between a GSMV4G and an iGSMV4G or any of the other communicators you're interested in learning about.

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AlarmNet's family of 4G cellular alarm communicators is finally complete! First we got the GSMVLP5-4G cellular communicator for the L5100 LYNX Touch wireless security system. Then the GSMX4G and GSMV4G cellular communicators that work with the VISTA Series alarm control panels came next. After a bit of delay, the iGSMV4G was released and brought the first communicator that used internet communications and 4G cellular communicators all in one device. Now, with the eagerly awaited release of the iGSMHS4G dual path communicator, there is a 4G cellular communicator that meets UL's strict line security requirements. The iGSMHS4G is the last 4G cellular communicator to be released but like the old saying, last is not least with this device!

Boasting the most secure alarm communications available today, the iGSMHS4G makes use of two communication paths and is supervised by AlarmNet servers every 200 seconds. If a signal is not received after 200 seconds go by, the AlarmNet servers will send out a ping to the iGSMHS4G. If that ping is not received back successfully, a communication failure signal is generated so that your central station can let you know there is something wrong with your security system.

Banks, jewelery stores and government facilities typically require an alarm communicator that meets the high security communication designation. While waiting for the iGSMHS4G, these facilities have had to live with using the older iGSMHS to meet the high security requirements. Unfortunately, as the 2G cellular network is nearing retirement, the people at these facilities that require the most secure alarm communications have been left wondering which day their iGSMHS would stop working. Now, with the iGSMHS4G, those people no longer have to worry. They can confidently upgrade to the iGSMHS4G knowing their Honeywell security system will be connected to police response when needed!


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Ever since AT&T announced that they would be discontinuing their 2G cellular network, Honeywell security system owners have been eagerly waiting for a new 3G / 4G dual path alarm monitoring communicator. While the 7847i internet alarm communicator provides a sole path internet solution and the GSMX4G and GSMV4G devices provide an option for cellular communications, AlarmNet has been lacking a 4G capable dual path option to round out it's fleet of alarm communicators.

A LYNX Touch security system could use both an L5100-WIFI internet communicator and a GSMVLP5-4G cellular communicator for dual path alarm monitoring and a VISTA-21iP with an added VISTA-GSM4G module was available as well, but for anyone with a VISTA-15P or VISTA-20P security system, there hasn't been a good dual path option up until now. Considering the VISTA-20P is arguably the most popular security system in America, there were a lot of people relying on the discontinued iGSMV, wondering when their cellular back up would stop working. Now, all of those people can upgrade to the iGSMV4G with confidence knowing that the 2G / 3G / 4G capable device will continue to provide industry leading alarm communications for their systems for many years to come. 

At the same time, anyone that has been holding off on signing up for monitoring service because they couldn't decide between the faster internet alarm monitoring path and the more reliable cellular path can now order the iGSMV4G without having to make that decision. With both an internet and cellular alarm communicator built into one device, the iGSMV4G brings together the advantages of both communication paths. The internet communicator is the primary path and provides the added speed of IP communications for anyone that has Honeywell's Total Connect service. With an iGSMV4G, your Total Connect remote control commands and instant email and text messages notifications will come through faster than if you just have a cellular alarm communicator. At the same time, there is a back up cellular communicator ready to take over if the less reliable internet path fails for any reason.

Honeywell has not released a Total Connect 2.0 upgrade kit for the iGSMV4G but we anticipate that will be coming soon. In the meantime, if you want to add dual path alarm communications to your VISTA Series control panel and you also want to upgrade your system to be compatible with Total Connect 2.0, you can add a PROM chip upgrade to your iGSMV4G order. There is a chip upgrade available for the VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P panels so that you can bring your system up to speed with the latest technologies without having to change out any equipment or reprogram your entire system!

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We are proud to announce the release of the long awaited GSMVLP4G cellular alarm communicator for the L3000 LYNX Plus wireless alarm system!

The GSMVLP4G replaces the discontinued GSMVLP. While Honeywell has been focusing on the more advanced security systems, like the L5100, in their bid to replace all 2G cellular alarm communicators with 4G compatible communicators, they finally got around to releasing the GSMVLP4G. Now, all L3000 owners have a cellular alarm monitoring communicator that will work well into the future. Before the release of the GSMVLP4G, the GSVMVLP was the only option for cellular alarm communications using the L3000 security system. Unfortunately, as the GSMVLP is a 2G cellular communicator, it will no longer work at the end of 2016. In fact, certain areas of the country have already lost 2G cellular coverage and therefore GSMVLP's in those areas are already obsolete. If you have a GSMVLP installed currently, and you have experienced issues with your cellular alarm communications, please give us a call today so we can help you with an upgrade to the GSMVLP4G.

All of Honeywell's AlarmNet cellular alarm monitoring communicators are powered by AT&T's powerful and, most importantly, reliable cellular network. A cellular alarm communicator connects your security system to a central station with a wireless cellular communication path. Cellular alarm communicators are the safest and most reliable form of alarm communications because there is no physical wire that can be cut to defeat the system.

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