PowerG Pet Friendly Motion Sensors Posts

Posted By

You have likely heard us talking about the benefits of PowerG Sensors at one point or another. Today, we figured we would break down the benefits of these sensors and explain why we like them so much. Let's take an in-depth look at PowerG Sensors and all of their wonderful benefits.

PowerG Sensors were originally designed for the hardwired DSC PowerSeries NEO Systems. By adding a compatible transceiver unit to your PowerSeries NEO, the system will be able to support PowerG Sensors. Johnson Controls, which you may know as the parent company of DSC, took the technology associated with PowerG Sensors, and brought it over to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This move was not a major surprise, as Johnson Controls also had partial ownership over Qolsys at the time, and Johnson Controls has since bought out Qolsys entirely.

The addition of PowerG support for the IQ2 marked the beginning of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, which is how the system is still marketed and sold today. PowerG support is also available for the DSC Iotega, though that panel has largely flopped due to its lack of local end user programming. Today, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus represents the most popular panel for supporting PowerG. All versions and variants of the IQ Panel 2 Plus support PowerG Sensors, and their exceptional performance makes them the go-to choice for IQ2+ users who want equipment with the best versatility and protection.

Starting with the range, PowerG Sensors can be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus when they are used in an open air environment. By open air environment, we are talking about a perfect setting with a direct line of sight, and no obstacles between the sensor and the alarm panel. Most homes and businesses do not provide the ideal, "open air" environment, as there are usually walls and metal appliances present. When you see us mention that 2,000 feet open air range, take that with a grain of salt, because in practice, the range is likely a bit less. But still, we can undoubtedly say that PowerG offers arguably the best wireless range in the security industry. Even if its nominal range isn't quite as far as its "open air range", it is still a very powerful signal that can help you overcome the range issues that other sensor lineups may experience. It is great for use in detached garages, barns, multi-building complexes, and even just large industrial buildings.

To make matters even better, there is also a PowerG Repeater, the PG9920. This device will effectively double the range of any PowerG Sensor and help you overcome range limitations caused by thick walls and other obstacles or signal disruptions. The repeater works by taking the signal sent out from any PowerG Sensor and sending it out a second time with just as much power and force as when it was first sent from the original sensor. By strategically placing the repeater, it's theoretically possible to double the useful wireless range of these sensors. That would mean that they can be used from up to 4,000 feet away from the IQ2+ in an open air environment. And if your building is particularly large, you may even have repeaters going away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus System in different directions, including up and down in building stories above or below.

But PowerG Sensors offer more than just an impressive wireless range. They are also known for their exceptional security. This is thanks to their military grade 128-bit AES encryption. To put this as simply as possible, the PowerG Sensor and the panel share a unique encryption key at the time of pairing. The sensor must provide this encryption key to the panel whenever it transmits a signal. Additionally, the panel must then provide a return response with the encryption key as verification in order for the command to go through. In the past, we have referred to this two-way communication process as a "digital handshake". Because of this encrypted pairing process, a PowerG Sensor actively knows whether or not it is currently paired with a panel. You may need to factory default a PowerG Sensor before you can pair it with a new system.

PowerG Sensors also take proactive measures against RF jamming. When a wireless sensor communicates with an alarm panel, it does so at a certain wireless radio frequency (RF). When we talk about RF jamming, we are referring to any malicious technique that prevents wireless signals from reaching their intended destination. This is accomplished by blocking the receiver with a stronger signal at the same wireless frequency as the device that is legitimately trying to communicate with it. When this is done on an alarm system, the system doesn't receive the incoming signals from faulted sensors, and no action is taken during a security breach or an unfavorable environmental condition. Early wireless sensors did not take this into account, and this made RF jamming an effective way to defeat an older wireless system.

The way that PowerG Sensors overcome RF jamming techniques is through a process called Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS). This process involves splitting the RF bandwidth into multiple channels. Each independent channel represents a unique radio frequency for wireless communication to occur. The transmitter (the PowerG Sensor) and the receiver (the alarm panel) both agree on a set of channel hopping sequences that will take place. These sequences are encrypted and time-based for them to occur seamlessly. Since the transmitter and the receiver are both synchronized, they can switch between channels very rapidly. A potential intruder would never be able to re-tun an RF jamming device to keep up. In the case of the PowerG Sensors, the frequency hops occur between 912 MHz and 918 MHz. There are 50 different unique frequency channels that are used, and frequency switches occur 64 times per second. More information on FHSS is available here.

One other benefit of PowerG Sensors that we have never discussed previously is their Adaptive Transmission feature that helps them conserve battery life. This is why you will often see a PowerG Sensor with a very long expected battery life, sometimes more than ten (10) years). Adaptive Transmission involves two-way communication between the PowerG Sensor and the alarm panel. The alarm panel will tell the PowerG Sensor how well its signal is being received. The PowerG Sensor can then adapt its outgoing signal so that it reliably reaches the panel, without expending too much energy. The sensor and the panel regularly exchange this information so that the ideal amount of energy is always used in signal transmissions. This saves battery life in the long run.

We have also found that PowerG Sensors are extremely easy to enroll and they offer the reliable and effective performance that you should expect out of your security system. We wholeheartedly recommend them for use on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, as well as any other compatible alarm system. It is expected that the upcoming Qolsys IQ Hub will also be able to utilize PowerG Sensors, so look forward to using PowerG Sensors on that panel once it is available.

For now, if you have any questions about PowerG Sensors or the systems that support them, or if you are interested in signing up for new alarm monitoring service, then please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We'll be available to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Posted By

If you're using a newer wireless security system, then you will definitely want to explore the encrypted sensor options that we offer! Encrypted sensors are virtually impossible to hack, and they can make your security system even more secure. There are many great options available.

Honeywell sixminictpk5 a 5 pack of sixminict encrypted wireless

As you know, a home security system or a business security system is an investment you make for the protection of yourself, your property, and those around you. A proper system should also give you peace of mind and make you feel safe. It doesn't do you any good if an intruder manages to defeat your system. But with encrypted sensors, that is extremely unlikely to ever happen.

If you aren't familiar with encryption, it refers to techniques for encoding data and signals so that only authorized individuals and/or equipment are able to access the information. When it comes to wireless alarm systems, encrypted sensors send protected signals that can only be accessed, received, and interpreted by the authorized panel.

When wireless systems first rose to prominence, they rarely, if ever, used encryption. This made many people wary of wireless security panels, and they felt more secure using wired ones. The lack of encryption wasn't seen as a fatal flaw, as an intruder would have to be extremely savvy and really know what they're doing to defeat even a non-encrypted sensor. To this day, many people feel totally comfortable and safe using non-encrypted equipment. Remember, most intruders don't have the knowledge to beat wireless sensors, even if they aren't using encryption.

But there are the rare, professional criminals who do take the time to extensively study security equipment, and they develop techniques for beating non-encrypted devices. This is very uncommon, but it's not unheard of. And if you aren't using encrypted sensors, then you are leaving yourself open to this small risk. Whether or not that means outfitting your system with all-new encrypted sensors, or even upgrading to a different system that is capable of supporting encrypted sensors is up to you. We just want to make you aware of your options.

Today, we're going to briefly look at some popular wireless systems and explore their encrypted sensor options, as well as their non-encrypted sensor lineups. This will help you learn more about your system, or one you are considering for purchase.

Honeywell Lyric Controller

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

The Lyric represents the first the first encrypted panel from Resideo, formerly known as Honeywell. The system has its very own lineup of encrypted sensors called the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors. The lineup is a bit limited, as its lacking options like an outdoor door and window sensor and a curtain motion sensor. But the good news is that these sensors are extremely secure with their military grade 128-bit AES encryption.

You can supplement your SiX Series Sensors on your Lyric System with devices from the Honeywell 5800 Series. These sensors are not encrypted, but the lineup offers more diverse selection than the SiX Series lineup. You could consider using encrypted sensors for the most vulnerable parts of your home or office, while using non-encrypted 5800 Series devices for areas where it isn't as important. The non-encrypted 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors are also compatible with the Lyric once the system is on Firmware Version MR3 or higher.

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

There are some outstanding encryption options available for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, regardless of which version you have. Any IQ Panel 2 Plus System can readily support DSC PowerG Sensors. Not only do these sensors have an outstanding wireless range of up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus, they also utilize military grade 128-bit AES encryption and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology.

And if you have the 319.5 MHz Version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you can also pair Qolsys S-Line Sensors, which use rolling code encryption. This rolling code encryption isn't quite as secure as the encryption used by PowerG Sensors, but it still does a good job of keeping your system protected. The S-Line Sensors will also utilize encryption when paired with the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2. The original IQ Panel 2 cannot use PowerG Sensors.

In terms of non-encrypted options, each IQ Panel 2 Plus can support one of three (3) non-encrypted radio frequency signals. The available options are 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, and 433 MHz, and it is dependent upon which version of the IQ Panel 2 Plus you buy. Again, it is certainly possible to mix encrypted sensors with non-encrypted sensors on the same system. But with the diversity and selection of the PowerG lineup, you probably won't need to look outside too much.


2gig gc3e wireless encrypted alarm panel

The big highlight when the 2GIG GC3e was introduced was its ability to support encrypted sensors. While it took a little while before its encrypted sensor lineup became available, we were very pleased with the result. The 2GIG eSeries Sensors use highly secure encryption to keep your system protected. It also seems that 2GIG is regularly expanding upon this lineup, as we have been seeing new eSeries Sensors hit the market it recent times. All of the 2GIG eSeries Sensors are compatible with the GC3e, as well as its little brother, the GC2e.

With the GC3e, you also get access to the Honeywell 5800 Sensors and the 2GIG 345 MHz lineup. Just like with the Lyric, there is a bit more of a diverse selection of non-encrypted sensors available for the 2GIG GC3e. You can definitely set up a mixture of encrypted and non-encrypted sensors to meet the needs of your business. But with new 2GIG eSeries offerings continuing to become available, you shouldn't have much trouble building a fully encrypted 2GIG Security System.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

If you are looking to set up an encrypted security system, then Alarm Grid is here to help! We can let you know if your existing system has any encrypted sensor options available. We can also help you determine if you are currently using encrypted devices or if your existing sensors are non-encrypted. Many users have trouble determining. Either way, we'll help you make an informed decision so that you can get the most out of your monitoring service. If you want to reach us, please email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Posted By

Hi DIYers! We know that many of you out there have pets. Many of us at Alarm Grid do as well! We know that trying to use a security system with a pet can present certain challenges and difficulties. Today, we're going to show you that using an alarm system with a pet is actually quite easy!

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 3 1 kit wireless alarm system 3 door s

For the most part, you can use your alarm system and sensors with pets exactly the same as you would if you did not have pets. There are really only a few things you need to consider and perhaps do differently. By taking these few precautions, you are sure to improve your experience of using an alarm system with a pet!

Pet-Immune Motion Sensors

Honeywell 5800pir res wireless pet immune motion detector close up

Most sensors can be used around pets without any issue. The only real exception is for motion sensors. Pets give off the same infrared (IR) energy that humans do. As a result, they can easily set off a motion sensor if they get within its field of view (FOV). But you probably don't want your system going off just because your pet has walked in front of your motion sensor.

Luckily, alarm manufacturers have considered this problem. That is why they created pet-immune motion sensors. A pet-immune motion sensor works by only "looking" in the areas where a human would be walking upright. The areas closer to the ground where a pet would walk are not "seen" by the motion sensor. In practice, this works pretty well, just as long as everything is set up correctly.

It is very important to understand that pets can still activate pet-immune motion sensors. If the pet manages to get within the sensor's FOV, then it will be the same as if a human intruder walked past. The key is to position your pet-immune motion sensors so that your pets cannot get in their FOV. For example, you don't want your motion sensor to be facing furniture that your pet could climb upon to activate the sensor!

You must check and make sure that the motion sensor you are planning to use is "pet-friendly" or "pet-immune". Not every motion sensor offers this feature. Motion sensors that do will list a weight limit for how small of pets can safely avoid setting off the sensor. Make sure that your pet is within that limit! Also, you will want to use any pet-immune motion sensor on the lowest possible sensitivity setting.

Dealing With Loud Sounds

Qolsys iq siren z wave siren for qolsys iq and iq panel 2 qz2300

Many pet owners are concerned about the loud sounds associated with security systems, especially sirens. These users are afraid that activating their system will upset or scare their pets. It is true that many security systems have the power to be some of the loudest devices in your homes. But fortunately, there are a few things you can do to avoid scaring your dog or cat.

One loud sound that systems will make is during entry and exit delays. Most panels will continuously beep after Arming Away to let you know that you need to leave the building immediately. And then they will do the same during the entry delay to let you know that you need to Disarm before the countdown expires. These noises can be bothersome or troubling to a small animal.

But there are ways around these issues. Many panels like the Honeywell Lyric Controller offer a "Silent Exit" option so that no annoying beeps are made during the exit delay countdown. And as for the entry delay, you can overcome that by just using the Alarm.com Mobile App or the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App to Disarm from your phone before you enter the building. A key fob would work as well.

Some pets may be disturbed by Chimes and Voice Annunciations that occur when zones are faulted. This is an easy solution, as most panels will allow you to turn off or disable Chime and Voice. Another option is to turn down the system volume so that your pet is not bothered when a sensor is activated. Do whatever works for your dog or cat.

And of course there are sirens. If you don't want a siren to activate during an intrusion alarm, then you can set them to silent on your panel. Any alerts and notifications will still be sent out like normal, but your pet won't have to hear the siren. Of course, if someone has broken into your home, then your pet will likely know about it anyway! And remember, life-safety alarms (fires and CO) must be kept audible.

Please note that Alarm Grid always recommends using audible intrusion alarms, as they are important for scaring off intruders. But that can be difficult if you have a pet in the household. Sometimes the best thing to do is to set the siren (bell) timeout to be as short as possible so that the siren shuts off quickly. You might also install a small "doggy door" so that your pet can escape the loud noise if this happens.

However, you will still need to test your sirens from time to time. This is a very important part of testing your system. For these situations, it may be best just to take your pet away during the testing process. You could have your spouse or kids take them on a walk or car ride while you complete the test. Remember to put your system on test mode with the central station before you do this! And keep in mind that you will still need your pet when walk testing your motions!

Updating the CMS Document

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensor

An often overlooked aspect of using a security system with pets is to make sure the central monitoring station document is updated. This applies to any pet owner whose alarm monitoring plan includes central station service. You will want to make sure the notes for your location mention any pets that will likely be on the premises.

When an operator at a central station contacts any emergency rescuers, they will relay whatever information is on the document. You should make sure that all family members (including your pets!) are listed on this document. This way, they will know to check and make sure that everyone got out of the building in case of an emergency. This is a particularly good idea for systems with fire and carbon monoxide sensors!

Updating your central station document is easy. Just contact your alarm monitoring company and have them make the changes. You can also contact the central station directly and have them review any documents or information that they have on file. Remember, you will need to provide your false alarm password to do this. For Alarm Grid customers, changes to the dispatch instructions will need to be directed to us at our support email or via telephone, rather than directly to the central station operator.

We're Here to Help!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

If you have monitoring service from Alarm Grid, then we are happy to help you make sure that your security system is ready for your pets. We would love to talk with you and help you with everything you need. Alarm Grid customers can email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728. Remember that our office hours are 9am to 8pm ET M-F. And if you aren't monitored, please reach out to us so we can help you explore your options. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , ,