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Alarm Grid is thrilled to offer the brand-new Resideo Tuxedo Keypad! This sleek and modern keypad serves as a touchscreen controller for your Honeywell VISTA, while also providing Z-Wave Plus home automation capabilities. This will truly bring out the full potential of your VISTA Panel!


The new Resideo Tuxedo represents the third generation in the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Series. The original Honeywell Tuxedo Touch, the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch WIFI, and the Honeywell VAM have all been discontinued to make room for the new Resideo Tuxedo. While we are a little sad to see these classic products be sent off to the "product graveyard", we are extremely excited about this brand-new keypad and what it brings to the party.

If you are familiar with the Honeywell 6290W Touchscreen Keypad that came out last September, then you will be pleased to learn that the new Resideo Tuxedo offers the exact same look and user interface (UI). In fact, the only difference between the two is the fact that the Tuxedo offers Z-Wave Plus functionality, while the 6290W is just a keypad for controlling the VISTA. With the Tuxedo, you get all of the same security functions from the 6290W (e.g. arming, disarming, bypassing zones), as well as awesome new home automation controls.

The great thing about a touchscreen keypad like the Resideo Tuxedo is that it can make your system much less intimidating and easier to control. This can be especially important for new users who are not used to working with a security system, especially one that uses a classic numeric keypad that requires specific knowledge to operate. The Tuxedo is easy to navigate, and the full-color menus can give a new user confidence in controlling their system. Most experienced users also appreciate touchscreen keypads just due to their overall ease of use.

You certainly have a great deal of automation devices that you can pair with the Resideo Tuxedo. Nearly any Z-Wave device can integrate with the keypad. You can add Z-Wave lights so that it looks like you're home while on vacation. A Z-Wave door lock can be helpful for letting your friend inside without getting up from the couch. And a Z-Wave thermostat can help you save a ton of money in energy costs, while still keeping your home comfortable. The unit supports up to 232 Z-Wave devices, so you're highly unlikely to run out of room. We recommend using exclusively Z-Wave Plus devices to build the strongest network possible.

WIFI connectivity returns to the new Resideo Tuxedo. The keypad uses its WIFI connectivity for communicating with Total Connect 2.0. You can access TC2 to control your programmed automation devices remotely from a mobile app or web browser. The WIFI connection is also how firmware updates are applied to the Tuxedo Keypad. You can alternatively use a wired ethernet connection instead of wireless WIFI, but come on, who's gonna do that? Just be aware that the Tuxedo is not an AlarmNet Communicator. You will still need a separate alarm communicator for your VISTA System and a monitoring plan to access Total Connect 2.0.

And there are many other features and specifications that we love about the new Tuxedo. This keypad and automation controller boasts a 7-inch screen with a 480 x 640 resolution. The thin-film-transitor (TFT) LCD screen is backlit, so you will have no trouble using it at night. Other features include voice and chime, a weather display, the ability to live-stream security cameras, Console Mode, a digital picture frame, and more!

You can buy the new Resideo Tuxedo Keypad from Alarm Grid right now. We are sure that you will love using this robust and powerful keypad in your home or office. It really has a nice modern look that can fit in nicely with any decor. This is truly a great way to improve upon a VISTA System. If you have any questions about the Tuxedo, or if you want to learn more about alarm monitoring, contact us via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email during our business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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One of the biggest benefits of alarm monitoring service is that most plans include access to an interactive monitoring and automation platform for controlling your system and smart home automation devices remotely. This is extremely convenient, and it can offer you great peace of mind!

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Most Alarm Grid monitoring plans will include access to either Total Connect 2.0 (TC2) or Alarm.com (ADC). TC2 is for Honeywell and Resideo Alarm Systems, while ADC is for systems from other manufacturers, such as Qolsys, 2GIG, and DSC. For TC2, your system can use an internet communicator, a cellular communicator, or dual-path communication with both internet and cellular. But a panel using ADC must have a cellular communicator that is activated and registered. IP (internet protocol) connectivity is optional for Alarm.com.

Before buying a system and/or communicator, you should consider which monitoring plan is right for you. In order to control your automation devices through an interactive platform, you must have monitoring plan of Silver or higher. Keep in mind that anyone using Alarm.com will have a Gold Plan or higher, as Gold is needed for cellular connectivity. You can choose between central station plans for automatic emergency dispatch, and self plans where it is up to the end user to request help. This guide will tell you all about our monitoring plans.

The real fun begins once you have the right system, communicator, and monitoring plan. By accessing Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, you can control your system remotely by using a convenient app on your phone, or by opening a web browser. It is also possible to check the status of your system or an automation device, which is great if you forgetful and forgot whether or not you took proper action before leaving home. Some of the situations where this may be convenient can include:

  • Making sure you armed your system before leaving.
  • Turning ON your front porch lights if you're arriving home late.
  • Checking to see that you locked your front door before heading out.
  • Turning OFF your thermostat to save money while you're away.
  • Making sure your garage door is closed if you forgot.

Alarm Grid offers many smart home automation devices that allow for easy integration with a security system. Most notable are Z-Wave devices. The great thing about Z-Wave is that the smart home protocol integrates very nicely with most of the security systems we support. It is super easy to build a robust and reliable Z-Wave network of interconnected devices. Most of the new wireless systems we sell will readily support Z-Wave devices right out of the box.

We understand that this can be a lot to wrap your head around all at once. That is why we're here to help! We invite you to contact us so that we can help you plan the ideal alarm system and automation network for your home. The best way to reach us is to either email our team at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our planning team will be happy to help you every step of the way in building your new state-of-the-art system. We look forward to hearing from you!

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According to a recent report, most Americans have yet to embrace smart home technology. Just 35% of US households have at least one smart home device. Needless to say, adding some automation devices to your home can really put you ahead of the game and make your life more convenient.

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The recent study included smart home devices such as security cameras, smart doorbell cameras, smart lighting devices, smart controllers, smart door locks, smart garage door controllers, smart thermostats, and more. The findings state that security cameras represent the most popular smart home item, as they are used by 15% of households. But doorbell cameras are showing the fastest growth, as their use has increased by 64% in the past year.

It should also come as no surprise that the study found high income homes more likely to feature smart home devices. Specifically, it was found that households with an annual income of $150,000 or higher are the most likely to own a broad portfolio of smart home devices. While it's true that smart home devices are generally seen as "luxury items", they are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible to more households than ever before.

While we suspected that the prevalence of smart home devices would be somewhat lacking, we did not expect the figures to be this low. It's clear that there is still much potential for the growth of the smart home industry. With about 65% of households reporting no smart home devices, we are sure that many people could really make their lives more convenient by adding just a few. Security-oriented devices like cameras can also provide major benefits.

What many people don't realize is that smart home devices are actually more accessible than ever. They aren't only restricted to the wealthy. Most middle class households can also get started with home automation. And it doesn't mean you need to deck out your entire house with smart home devices. Many users start small. Maybe you would just add some smart lights to an important room, or you could install a camera to monitor the entrance.

Alarm Grid offers many security systems that feature outstanding smart home integrations, such as the Honeywell Lyric and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. And with the right monitoring plan, you can even control your smart devices remotely from virtually anywhere in the world. Whether your smart home plans are big or small, we're here to help you get started. There are all sorts of possibilities when you explore the exciting world of smart home automation!

If you want to learn more about how you can create an affordable and effective smart home to make your life more convenient, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. Also check out our monitoring page to learn more about the services we offer. If you decide to email us, then keep in mind that our hours for responding via email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you build a convenient smart home that you and your family will love!

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Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory UL is currently working to revise the UL-827 Standard for Central Station Alarm Services. This is being done to better accommodate remote workers amid the pandemic. The changes will ensure that remote operators can perform their duties effectively.


Because of the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic, many central monitoring stations are continuing to have their operators work from home. UL is making changes to their UL-827 Standard to ensure that consistent provisions and protection measures are always enforced, regardless of whether an operator is working from home or at a monitoring center.

If you are unfamiliar with UL-827, it refers to the strict standards that a central monitoring station must meet in order to receive UL certification. The official central station partner of Alarm Grid, Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS), is UL certified. CMS will be required to comply with these new provisions once they are put into effect. CMS is extremely diligent about these matters, and we would imagine that they have already begun taking steps towards complete compliance with new UL mandates.

The revisions to UL-827 are still a work in progress, and no mandate has been finalized as of yet. However, we do have eight (8) mandates that are virtually guaranteed to be put into effect. We have the essence of these 8 mandates outlined below:

  1. Off-site monitoring will be permitted when there is a disruption event.
  2. Off-site monitoring will be discontinued within (14) days of the disruption event being declared over.
  3. While off-site monitoring is in effect, some staff will remain at the central station to maintain and support necessary equipment, such as receivers, automation systems, emergency generators, etc.
  4. Remote operators will remain connected with the central station using a secure pathway that uses at least 256-bit AES encryption.
  5. A central station must enforce multi-factor authentication for remote operators to access its network and automation system.
  6. Any remote operator workstation must not be used for personal use. It will remain the property of the monitoring company.
  7. Remote operator workstations must be set aside in a separate area of the home to not allow any unauthorized viewing and/or distraction of remote operators.
  8. Remote operators and on-duty managers will maintain continuous communication while off-site monitoring is in effect.

Not every issue regarding the matter has been fully addressed. UL is still working to address matters concerning standby power, wired vs. wireless connectivity between the remote operators and the central station, and issues regarding approval from the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). We believe that these new mandates will go into effect as soon as UL works out the details.

Although these protection measures were drafted in light of the COVID-19 health pandemic, they were also written in such a way that they can be enforced in the event of any other disruption that prevents operators from all gathering at a central station. We appreciate the insight taken by UL in that regard, as we are certainly in the midst of uncertainty.

Alarm Grid supports these measures that UL is set to introduce. We take great pride in ensuring our monitored customers that they will always receive the same level of protection and security. We understand that monitoring centers like CMS cannot safely operate with their full staff on-site during these times. The changes will help to guarantee that consistent measures are in-place, regardless of whether a trained central station operator is working from home or at the monitoring center. We applaud UL for quickly taking the initiative during these times.

As a monitoring provider, we want our customers to feel completely comfortable and confident with the central station services we offer. Providing peace of mind to end users is always one of our top priorities. If you have any questions or concerns regarding central station monitoring, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We would love to answer any questions that you might have. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We're here with another video recap! There are eight (8) new videos for you to check out this week. Once again, I took the role of appearing in all the videos. We hope to have some familiar faces returning soon! But for now, let's take a look at what our video team has been up to.

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Deleting a Wireless Zone from a Simon XT

I show you how to delete a wireless zone from a Simon XT Security System. The Simon XT uses 319.5 MHz wireless sensors, and it has forty (40) zone slots available. By accessing the Sensors Menu of Programming, you can delete any wireless zone that has been set up with the system. You can then enroll a new sensor in that open zone slot if needed. Keep in mind that the zone must be rebuilt from scratch if you decide to re-add the sensor back to the system.


Deleting a Wireless Zone from a Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5

I show you how to delete a wireless zone from a Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5. The Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 are essentially the same as the Simon XT, except for the fact that these two panels have built-in touchscreen keypad. Both the Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 have forty (40) available wireless zones, and they both use 319.5 MHz wireless sensors. If you delete a zone from the Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5, then you can reuse the zone with a new sensor.


Disabling Exit Sounds on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to disable Exit Delay sounds on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The IQ2 makes Exit Delay sounds for false alarm prevention. The idea is that if you accidentally Arm Away the system, then the Exit Delay sounds will alert you to the situation so that you know to either leave the building or cancel the arming session. But if you find Exit Delay sounds to be bothersome or annoying, there are a couple of different options for muting these sounds.


Cover Tamper Causes the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 to Make Strange Noises

I explain why the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 will make an usual noise every thirty (30) minutes. The reason why this happens is because the panel is not positioned on its back mounting plate properly. It can be a bit tricky to get the panel on the back plate properly, but once you do, the sound should stop occurring. If you absolutely cannot get the panel positioned on the back plate, then you do have the option of disabling tamper cover notifications in programming.


Manually Extending the Exit Delay Time On IQ2

I show you how to manually extend the Exit Delay countdown time on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 for a single arming session. When you Arm Away on the IQ2, the Exit Delay timer will go into effect. You must then leave the building or cancel the arming session within the exit delay time limit. If you press the green +60 button, then the Exit Delay will be extended by sixty (60) seconds. You can only do this once per arming session. Pressing the button again will do nothing.


Permanently Extending the Exit Delay Time On IQ2

I show you how to permanently extend the Exit Delay countdown time on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. By permanently extending the Exit Delay, you will have a longer amount of time to vacate the building every time you Arm. The system will use either the Normal Exit Delay setting or the Long Exit Delay setting depending on what zones you have programmed with the system. If you have at least one zone with Sensor Group 12 - Entry/Exit Long Delay, then the system will use the Long Exit Delay setting.


Installing a Honeywell 7847i on a VISTA P-Series Alarm Panel

I show you how to install a Honeywell 7847i on a VISTA P-Series Security System. The Honeywell 7847i is an IP communicator that allows a compatible panel to connect with the Resideo AlarmNet Servers for monitoring service. If you want to use Total Connect 2.0 with your system, then you must be running Firmware Version 9.12 or higher on a VISTA-15P or VISTA-20P. You can determine the firmware by checking the PROM Chip. No version of the VISTA-10P will work with Total Connect 2.0.


Installing a Honeywell 7847i On a VISTA TURBO Panel

I show you how to install a Honeywell 7847i on a Honeywell VISTA TURBO Panel, such as a Honeywell VISTA-128BPT or a Honeywell VISTA-250BPT. The most common reason why someone will choose to use an IP-only communicator is because they want monitoring costs to be as low as possible. IP monitoring is less expensive than cellular monitoring because no cellular service fees are incurred. But keep in mind that an internet outage will take your panel offline if you rely strictly on IP communication for your system.

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2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e users have some new options available, as two (2) new products have been added to the growing 2GIG eSeries Lineup. These are the 2GIG TAKE1e-345 Wired to Wireless Converter and the 2GIG TILT1e-345 Tilt Sensor. Both products are available now from Alarm Grid.

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If you are not yet familiar with the 2GIG eSeries Sensors, they offer a more secure wireless connection than the non-encrypted 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors. By utilizing wireless encryption, the 2GIG eSeries devices are nearly impossible for potential intruders to disrupt or takeover wirelessly. This can provide added peace of mind for end users. Just keep in mind that the 2GIG eSeries Sensors will only work with the 2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e. They are not backwards compatible with the older 2GIG Panels, like the 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC3.

The 2GIG TAKE1e-345 Encrypted Wireless Takeover Module is a wired to wireless converter that is primarily used when upgrading to a GC2e or GC3e from an older wired alarm panel. When setting up the 2GIG TAKE1e-345, it is recommended that you keep the existing panel in place. This is because the TAKE1e-345 will draw power from the exiting panel, as the unit does not come with its own power supply. Once the device is set up properly, your existing wired sensors will be able to communicate with your GC2e or GC3e across an encrypted wireless protocol.

The 2GIG TILT1e-345 Encrypted Tilt Sensor is a tilt sensor designed primarily to monitor garage doors. The device works by sending an alert signal to the panel whenever the unit is tilted more than 45 degrees. Normally, the TILT1e-345 is mounted vertically on top of a garage door. When the garage door is opened, the sensor will shift to a horizontal position. This will trigger the sensor and tell it to alert the panel. Other potential uses for the 2GIG TILT1e-345 include use on mailboxes, pet doors, and hinged crawl space doors. Really, any structure that opens vertically can make use of the sensor.

Both of these great sensors are now available from Alarm Grid. If you have any questions about the 2GIG TAKE1e-345 or the 2GIG TILT1e-345, or if you want to learn more about how you can monitor your 2GIG GC2e or 2GIG GC3e, then please contact our team by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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False security system alarms have been a hot topic in Georgia lately. A recent court ruling upheld the decision to allow the city of Sandy Springs, GA to charge monitoring companies for false alarms. Now, it appears that the city of Lawrenceville is looking to take similar action.

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Reports indicate that officials in Lawrenceville, GA are currently working with a third-party company to build a registry of all alarm systems in the city. This will include all alarm systems used in Lawrenceville homes and businesses. From there, an ordinance will be developed, with the goal of "cutting down on false alarms".

Specific details regarding such a proposed ordinance are not available at this time. However, it has been said that the ordinance would be designed to "bring revenue to the city". It is fair to expect that the proposed ordinance would include fines for causing false alarms, as well as fines for failing to register a system. It's also possible that Lawrenceville may take a page from nearby Sandy Springs, GA and invoke fines against monitoring companies.

As a general rule, Alarm Grid is against charging fees for permits to operate security systems. These fees only make it more difficult for users to lawfully install alarm systems to protect their homes and businesses. We understand the need to register alarm systems for false alarm prevention purposes. But charging fees makes the process harder for end users. Instead, we propose free system permits for those operating alarm systems responsibly.

Even worse is when a local jurisdiction charges a monitoring company for a false alarm caused by an end user. Any responsible monitoring company should give its customers the resources and tools they need to prevent false alarms. When a false alarm occurs, it is almost always due to a mistake made by the end user. Charging a monitoring provider for the actions of an end user is unfair. In recent times, both Tennessee and Iowa have passed laws to prevent local jurisdictions from charging monitoring providers.

Alarm Grid does not take false alarm prevention lightly. It does not make us look good as a monitoring provider if our customers are repeatedly causing false alarms. The last thing we want to do is waste the time and resources of local jurisdictions. That is why we strive to educate our customers so that they understand how their systems work and how to properly prevent false alarms. We know that most false alarms are innocent mistakes, and most users are not seeking to actively cause false alarms. We urge jurisdictions like Lawrenceville to consider these aspects.

From what we can tell, Lawrenceville, GA is looking into this matter very seriously. It is our hope that if and when they do pass an ordinance that it is fair for both end users and alarm monitoring providers. In our view, this should include no-cost permitting. If fines for false alarms are also included in the ordinance, then they should be reasonable and offer a no-fee warning for an initial false alarm. Additionally, no false alarm fines should be charged against the monitoring providers who are ultimately not the ones controlling the systems.

For more information on preventing false alarms, we strongly recommend checking out this helpful guide we wrote. It offers various tips and guidelines for preventing false alarms on security systems. If you have any further questions or concerns about preventing false alarms, or if you are wanting to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring service, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has learned that Johnson Controls has acquired the remaining stake of Qolsys. Johnson Controls now fully owns Qolsys. The press release from Qolsys states that all key Qolsys leaders and founders will remain at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters in San Jose, CA.

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Jeff Williams, President of Global Products for Johnson Controls said of the acquisition:

"Qolsys has grown from a startup to a leading security platform provider with over 4,000 dealers and service providers worldwide. Johnson Controls sees long-term opportunities to bring Silicon Valley innovation and culture to our broader cloud-enabled IoT solutions in building management, fire and HVAC businesses... The opportunity to acquire Qolsys allows Johnson Controls to achieve operational efficiencies and scale across our global markets."

Johnson Controls had already owned the majority of Qolsys. This latest acquisition now puts the entire company under the ownership of Johnson Controls. In addition to Qolsys, the Johnson Controls banner also includes the likes of DSC, Bentel, Visonic, PowerG, and Tyco. The company has certainly assembled an extensive collection of security products and namesakes. Now with Qolsys fully under their control, their expansion should only continue.

As part of the move, Qolsys CEO Dave Pulling will transition to the role of Vice President and General Manager of Global Intrusion Products for Johnson Controls. According to Pulling, Johnson Controls will remain committed to serving existing Qolsys users, while also setting their sights on potential global growth. As for the Qolsys namesake, it shouldn't be going anywhere, and it will continue to represent various panels, sensors, and accessories.

Interestingly, the bottom of the press release from Qolsys hints at a "fourth generation IQ Panel", with a very vague release date of 2021. The press release states that the Fourth Gen IQ Panel will feature a "Qualcomm Chipset with support for AI, M2M, and Next Generation Connectivity". This is the first we've heard about a 4th-gen IQ Panel, but it really sounds like exciting news. We don't have any other details about a 4th-gen Qolsys IQ Panel at this time, but we will definitely keep our eyes open for more news.

Qolsys is currently known for their state-of-the-art IQ Panel 2 Plus. The company is set to release the lower-cost Qolsys IQ Hub later this year, which will represent the "third gen" in the IQ Panel lineup. Also on the roadmap for Qolsys is the upcoming Qolsys IQ Router. And last month's release of the DSC PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter was big news for many Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus users. It goes without saying that the company has been frequently making some big waves in the security industry.

Alarm Grid has frequently praised Qolsys Panels for their intuitive designs and simple user interfaces (UIs). We have found that the IQ Panel 2 serves as a great option for new users who aren't necessarily accustomed to, or experienced in, operating alarm systems. We hope that this will continue for Qolsys, even as they are now operating fully under the Johnson Controls banner. Many end users appreciate having easy-to-operate security systems greet them in their homes and businesses. Our hope is that Johnson Controls and Qolsys do not lose sight of that vision.

If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, or any other security product from Johnson Controls, or if you want to learn more about monitoring service, please send an email to our team at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have learned that Qolsys has released a fix for the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware for the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. With this fix, the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware is once again available for download for any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus running System Firmware Version 2.4.2 or higher.

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The saga regarding Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03 for the IQ Panel 2 has been ongoing for quite awhile now. For anyone who isn't fully in the loop, we will provide a brief recap of the events.

In September of last year, Qolsys released IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.4.0. Any newly manufactured IQ Panel 2 Plus System with 2.4.0 or higher pre-installed would have the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already pre-installed out of the box. Those with an older IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System that had been upgraded from a lower system firmware version would need to separately update the Z-Wave firmware for the system if they wanted to use the associated features.

To be clear, updating the Z-Wave firmware on an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus is optional. The 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware only provides the Smart Start feature for enrolling compatible devices via a scanned QR code, and it upgrades the panel's automation security protocol from S0 to S2. If a user doesn't need and/or doesn't care about these features, then skipping the update is fine. Unlike panel firmware for the IQ2, the system's Z-Wave firmware isn't as important to have on the latest version. Many users chose to skip the update entirely. And that remains the case now. If you do not want the update, then you do not need to apply it.

Later, in July 2020, Qolsys discovered problems with Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03. Once this happened, Qolsys took the associated patch tag off the network so that it could no longer be downloaded. But now that Qolsys has corrected the associated issues, the update is once again available for download. Anyone who performs the upgrade now will download an updated version of the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware to the panel. This updated version does not have the problems and issues that were associated with the earlier version, even though they are both referred to as Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03.

Of course, there are some users who still have the faulty version of the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware on their panels. For these users, the problem can be corrected by performing a system firmware update for the IQ Panel 2. In other words, upgrading to the latest system firmware (2.5.2) with the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already installed will update the panel's Z-Wave firmware from the faulty version of 6.81.03 to the newly updated version that has the fixes applied. Users who were already running 2.5.2 at the time they applied the faulty Z-Wave firmware patch, will need to wait for the next firmware release to fix the problem. According to Qolsys, their IQ Panel 2 System Firmware Version 2.5.3 will be made available later this month. More information on IQ Panel 2 System Firmware can be found on this helpful page.

We understand that this may be a bit confusing, so we have broken IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus users into three (3) categories. Find the bold statement below that applies to you, and follow the corresponding instructions. It may also be helpful to check and see whether or not your IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03. To do this, press the small grey bar at the top of the main screen, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > About > Z-Wave. You should see the current Z-Wave Firmware listed.

1. My IQ Panel 2 is NOT on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03.

If your IQ Panel 2 is not on Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03, then that tells us two things. For one, it means that the panel was originally manufactured with a system firmware version of less than 2.4.0. Second, it also means that no updates to the system's Z-Wave firmware have ever been applied.

Since you haven't updated the Z-Wave firmware for the system before, you can apply the update as normal. You will be downloading the newly updated 6.81.03 that has the proper fixes applied. Please see this helpful FAQ for more information about applying the patch tag.

Remember, your IQ Panel 2 must be on at least System Firmware Version 2.4.2 to apply the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware. If your system is not on a high enough firmware, then now is a great time to update to the latest system firmware version, which is Version 2.5.2. Alternatively, you might choose to wait a few weeks for System Firmware Version 2.5.3, since it's coming so soon.

Another option is to just skip the Z-Wave update entirely. The older "pre-6.81.03" Z-Wave firmware versions are very stable, and they generally work great. All you are getting by updating the Z-Wave firmware is access to the Smart Start feature and an upgrade for your system's Z-Wave Security Protocol (from S0 to S2). If you do not care about these updates, then you can simply take no action.

2. My IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03, but I'm not on the latest System Firmware 2.5.2.

Your panel is on Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03 either because it was manufactured that way, or because a Z-Wave firmware update was manually performed. In either case, the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware Version your system is running is flawed, and we strongly advise applying a fix. There is no way to "downgrade" to an older Z-Wave firmware, so you must apply the newly fixed 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware to the panel.

Luckily, Qolsys made it very easy to fix the issue for users in this situation. All you need to do is update the system firmware to the latest version. By updating to System Firmware 2.5.2 with the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already installed, the appropriate fix will be applied so that your system's Z-Wave firmware will work in the proper manner. We recommend checking our IQ Panel 2 Plus System Firmware Updates Page for more information.

3. My IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03, AND I'm already on System Firmware 2.5.2.

Since your system is already on the latest firmware, you cannot perform a firmware update to fix the issue. Any user in this situation will not be able to take any action towards fixing their faulty Z-Wave firmware until Qolsys releases IQ Panel 2 System Firmware Version 2.5.3. Once 2.5.3 is available, you can download that Z-Wave firmware, and the updated 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware will also be automatically applied at that time. Qolsys says that System Firmware 2.5.3 will be made available later this month. Alarm Grid will post an update blog once 2.5.3 is available, so make sure to stay tuned.

UPDATE: Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Version 2.5.3 is now available! Please see this blog post for more information.

We understand that this is a lot of information to take in for a relatively simple issue. If you need any clarification regarding the issue, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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It's Monday again, and it's time for another Alarm Grid video recap! We have six (6) new videos for you. Five (5) feature the DSC PowerSeries NEO, while the last one covers the Honeywell LTE-IA and LTE-IV Communicators for VISTA Systems. All videos feature yours truly. Let's check them out!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Adding a DSC HS2TCHP Touchscreen Keypad to a DSC PowerSeries NEO

I show you how to add a DSC HS2TCHP Touchscreen Keypad to a DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System. Adding a touchscreen keypad like the DSC HS2TCHP to a system can be more inviting and easier for end users to understand than a traditional numeric keypad. The DSC HS2TCHP connects with the same on-board panel terminals as any other keypad for the system. Remember to power down your NEO Panel completely before adding a keypad or making any other hardware changes.


Adding Hardwired Zone to DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System

I show you how to add a wired sensor to a DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System. As a hardwired alarm panel, the DSC PowerSeries NEO can used wired sensors with no extra add-ons being required. All wired zones on the NEO will use end of line 5.6k ohm resistors, which are color coded green-blue-red-gold. This includes wired zones that are not actively being used with the system. New wired sensors will be connected with the panel, and the appropriate Zone Definition will be set at the corresponding zone.


Program a Wireless Zone to a DSC PowerSeries NEO

I show you how to add a wireless sensor to a DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System. The NEO cannot support wireless sensors right out of the box. Instead, a wireless transceiver must be added to the system. The NEO supports PowerG Transceivers that will allow you to use PowerG Wireless Sensors with the system. The advantage to using wireless sensors is that they are much easier to install than wired sensors. This is because you will not need to run wires for wireless sensors.


Enrolling a PowerG Sensor to a DSC PowerSeries NEO

I show you how to add a PowerG Sensor to a DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System. This will require that a PowerG Transceiver is added to the system, such as a DSC HS2LCDRF9 N Keypad or a DSC HSMHOST9 Standalone Transceiver. PowerG Sensors are widely seen as some of the best wireless sensors in the security industry. This is because these sensors offer a wireless signal range of up to 2km in an open air environment, and they utilize military grade 128-bit AES encryption for exceptional security.


Delete a Zone From a DSC PowerSeries NEO

I show you how to delete a zone from a DSC PowerSeries NEO. This process differs depending on whether the zone is wireless or hardwired. For a wireless zone, you are clearing the sensor from the system so that it is no longer recognized. For a wired zone, you are merely changing the Zone Definition for the associated wired zone to [000] for Null Zone. Deleting a zone from a DSC PowerSeries NEO will open up the zone so that it can be used with a different sensor.


Installing a Honeywell LTE-IA or LTE-IV Communicator to a VISTA-21iP System

I show you how to add a Honeywell LTE-IA or a Honeywell LTE-IV to a Honeywell VISTA-21iP Security System. The LTE-IA and the LTE-IV are dual-path communicators that use both IP connectivity (wired ethernet) and LTE cellular connectivity. When adding one of these communicators to a VISTA-21iP, you must first disable the internal IP communicator for the system. This is done by re-positioning the white jumper to the bottom two (2) prongs. Make sure to power down the panel before re-positioning the jumper and installing the communicator!

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