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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!

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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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We have some important security news out of Iowa. A new statewide law now prevents local jurisdictions from fining alarm monitoring companies for false alarms caused by end users. Only end users can now be fined. The legislation was signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on June 30, 2020.

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According key language within the newly enacted law, a local jurisdiction can no longer fine or penalize a monitoring company for any of the following occurrences:

  • False Alarms
  • Emergency Dispatch Resulting from a False Alarm
  • Permits Relating to Monitoring Service and/or System Installation

Regular readers of the Alarm Grid Blog may recall a very similar law being put into place last year for the state of Tennessee. Alarm Grid approves of these protection laws, as we provide all our central station customers with the resources and tools they need to prevent false alarms. As long as end users operate their systems carefully, false alarms should not occur.

Unfortunately, not every jurisdiction agrees with the principle of protecting alarm companies against false alarm fines. Sandy Springs, GA was recently in the headlines for the decision of the US Appeals Court to uphold the city's policy of fining monitoring companies. At Alarm Grid, we find laws that punish monitoring providers to be an ineffective solution in stopping false alarms. Most false alarms are innocent mistakes, and they are not intentionally caused by end users. So when we see protection laws like those that have been put into place by the states of Iowa and Tennessee, it's certainly some well-appreciated good news.

As an alarm monitoring company, preventing false alarms is always one of our top concerns. We never want our customers and end users to inconvenience or waste the resources of their local authorities. That is why we put together some handy content in the prevention of false alarms. We strongly recommend reviewing and following this guide to help ensure that false alarms do not occur on your security system.

If you have any questions about alarm monitoring service or false alarm prevention, please reach out to us! We are happy to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. Remember, preventing false alarms is a team effort that involves both the alarm company and the end user. We take responsibility by doing our part to provide you with the all of resources and tips you need to stop false alarms. The best way to contact us is to email 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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Alarm Grid noticed a new addition to the AlarmNet360 platform for alarm dealers. There is now a banner counting down to the end of the respective AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA network shut downs. It's another indication that the 3G Sunset is indeed a very pressing matter in the alarm industry.


If you are not familiar with the 3G/CDMA Sunset, it refers to quickly approaching dates at which the AT&T 3G Cellular Network and the Verizon CDMA Network will be permanently shut down and deactivated. Other cellular service providers also have their own dates for when they will decommission their older networks in favor of faster and more reliable LTE and 5G cellular networks. But for the alarm industry in the United States, the AT&T and Verizon shutdowns are particularly important, as many alarm systems rely on communication through these networks.

According to the banner shown on AlarmNet360, the AT&T 3G Sunset is set to occur after January 31, 2022. Likewise, the Verizon CDMA Sunset, according to the banner, will occur after December 31, 2022. We want to make it very clear that Alarm Grid is NOT stating that these are "official" dates for the respective network shutdowns. This is just what AlarmNet is displaying on their dealer portal. But it is our understanding that these dates are accurate and very important for end users to consider.

When a cellular network is shut down, any device communicating across that network will stop working. This includes many cellular alarm monitoring communicators that security systems depend upon for providing trustworthy and effective monitoring service. Inevitably, there will be many homes and businesses that fail to make the proper transition and get left behind during this period of adjustment. Our goal is to ensure that this happens to as few Alarm Grid customers as possible.

In preparation for the 3G/CDMA Sunset, AlarmNet has stopped allowing activations for these older cellular modules. Similar measures have also been taken by Alarm.com. But just because new activations are no longer permitted does not change the fact that there are many existing communicators out there.

Alarm Grid has promised to continue providing support for these modules as long as possible. We know that there are many people who aren't necessarily in a position to purchase a new communicator and/or an entirely new alarm panel right away. We're doing our best to accommodate everyone. But once an associated cellular network is shut down, there is nothing we can do. This is completely in the hands of the cellular service providers, and it is entirely out of our control. We fully understand the need to decommission older networks in favor of better technology, and we know that cellular service providers are making these decisions in the best interest of everyone involved. But we need to urge our customers. Do not get left behind.

The 3G/CDMA Sunset is not something to take lightly. There will be some homes and business that do not get the memo and/or decide to not take any action. They will be left vulnerable and unprotected. That is an unfortunate reality of the situation. But you do not need to let that happen to you or those around you. Most systems will allow you to replace an existing 3G or CDMA Communicator with a newer LTE communicator.

The term LTE stands for "Long-Term Evolution". Cellular service providers like AT&T and Verizon are planning to keep their LTE networks active and in-service for many, many years into the future, possibly even decades. The LTE networks will serve as a reliable backup for the new 5G networks, for which the infrastructure is still being rolled-out. Even as cellular technology continues to evolve and change, the LTE networks will remain as a stronghold, keeping millions of security systems monitored and protected. Cellular service providers will not let their LTE infrastructure go to waste. These networks will be there for your home or business when you need them the most.

If you haven't upgraded to LTE yet, please contact us. We will help you explore your options so that you can make an informed decision. Depending on your current equipment, you might only need to buy a new communicator. Others will need to replace entire alarm panels. Our technicians can provide more detail once we know exactly what you are working with. We understand that it might be difficult or impossible for you to purchase new alarm system equipment right now. That's fine. You still have time. But time is running out. You need to start preparing and thinking about these things now. That's why AlarmNet has slapped a giant banner marking the countdown dates. Take action now, if possible, so that you aren't racing to make an upgrade at the last minute.

For Alarm Grid customers it is important to note that, in most cases a communicator replacement will require that you work with one of our trained technicians. In some cases, this can be done without an appointment, but in many cases an appointment will be required. So please, also keep this in mind when you're planning to upgrade your equipment. If everyone who needs an upgrade waits until the last minute, the wait for an available appointment time may get longer than usual.

The best way to contact us regarding any questions or concerns you might have about the 3G/CDMA Sunset is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Please let us know about the security system equipment you currently have so that we can provide the most comprehensive and complete support possible. We may even ask for pictures of your panel and/or communicator so that we can help you to the best of our ability. Remember that our support hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and ensuring that your security system is kept monitored for many years to come!

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After much anticipation, the DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter is finally available! End users now how a reliable option for taking existing hardwired security and life-safety sensors and interfacing them with a security system that supports PowerG Wireless Sensors.


Wired to wireless converter modules for wireless security systems are nothing new. Hardwired sensors connect with wired to wireless converter modules. The converter then sends wireless signal to the panel on behalf of the connected wired sensors. The wired sensors can then be programmed to wireless zones on the system. As far as the system is concerned, the wired sensors at the converter module are no different than wireless sensors.

How the DSC PG9WLSHW8 differs from prior wired to wireless converters is that it transmits wireless signals across the PowerG wireless protocol. PowerG uses Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology to prevent RF jamming, with the communication signals constantly switching between frequencies from 912 MHz to 918 MHz. In addition to using FHSS technology, PowerG Sensors also take advantage of military grade 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security. This makes these sensors some of the most secure wireless devices in the industry. Any hardwired sensor connected with the DSC PG9WLSHW8 will utilize this same level of security and protection.

But PowerG Sensors offer more than just top-grade security. They also offer incredible wireless range. Depending on the system being used, a PowerG Sensor is able to communicate from up to two (2) kilometers (km) away in an open air environment. This capability also applies to the DSC PG9WLSHW8. With perfect, direct line-of-sight, you can have the converter module up to 2km away from certain compatible panels and expect the signals to go through reliably. That is perfect for large buildings, including hospitals, warehouses, schools, and more. You would be very hard-pressed to find another wireless sensor lineup with the same communication range capabilities as PowerG.

There are all sorts of possible applications for the DSC PG9WLSHW8 Wired to Wireless Converter. But at this time, the module can only be used with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Security System. All versions of the IQ Panel 2 Plus can support the DSC PG9WLSHW8. Please be aware that the IQ2+ has a smaller antenna than the other PowerG Systems, so its wireless range is limited to roughly 2,000 feet in open air. The other very important note is that the "other" PowerG Security Systems will NOT support the converter at this time. DSC says that support for these systems will be added later. These other potentially compatible systems include the DSC Iotega and the DSC PowerSeires NEO with an added PowerG Wireless Transceiver.

But there is so much else about the DSC PG9WLSHW8 that makes it such an exciting piece of equipment! Namely, the unit has four (4) programmable outputs (PGMs) for connecting relay-triggered devices. The second programmable output (PGM2) is particularly notable, as you can connect up to (18) 2-wire smoke detector units at this location. Alternatively, you can also use 4-wire smoke detectors and wired CO detectors are regular zone inputs for the unit. The PGMs are also useful for connecting wired sirens, as the unit provides a supervised bell output of 12V @ 700mA. And installers will really appreciate the fact that the module allows for end-of-line resistor (EOLR) value learning from 1k to 10k ohm resistors. Both single-end-of-line (SEOL) and double-end-of-line (DEOL) resistor wiring is supported.

One final and very important note about the DSC PG9WLSHW8 is that stock for the item is currently severely limited due to the ongoing pandemic. It's possible that if you order the PG9WLSHW8, you might be put on a waiting list for the item, as our manufacturers try and keep up with constant demand for products. If you do end up buying the DSC PG9WLSHW8 while it is back-ordered (BO), then our team will contact you at our earliest convenience to let you know about the situation. If you do decide to cancel the order due to it being back-ordered, then your debit or credit card will be refunded for the entire cost of the order.

If you have any questions about the DSC PG9WLSHW8 or about alarm monitoring in general, then please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a great email to use if you want to find out if the DSC PG9WLSHW8 or any other product sold by Alarm Grid is currently in-stock or back-ordered. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Just weeks after their last update, Alarm.com is already touting a new mobile app version for both Android and iOS. This time, it's Version 4.14. It will offer some new features and stability fixes. Users should upgrade as soon as possible once available. The update should be released soon.


The main upgrade featured in Alarm.com Mobile App Version 4.14 involves the Alarm.com Doorbell Cameras. Specifically, these are the SkyBell ADC-VDB101 and SkyBell ADC-VDB102 Round Doorbell, as well as the SkyBell ADC-VDB105 and SkyBell ADC-VDB106 Slimline Doorbell. Mobile App Update 4.14 adds new actions to the Doorbell Call Menu within the app. This will allow users to more quickly respond to visitors.

Through the Doorbell Call Menu, users will be able to adjust their lighting devices, control their garage doors, and even arm their systems. Previously, the Doorbell Call Menu only allowed users to disarm their systems and operate Z-Wave door locks. We expect that this increased functionality will prove to be very useful for end users who have video doorbells set up for use with the Alarm.com.

And like always, a new update should provide general stability improvements and a more consistent end user experience overall. That is why we recommend updating to the latest version as soon as it is available. Alarm.com tends to have somewhat of a delay between announcing new app updates and actually releasing them. Don't be surprised if Version 4.14 isn't released for several days from now.

If you have any questions about Alarm.com, or if you are interested in starting Alarm.com monitoring service, please reach out to us! We would be happy to help you get started with your own Alarm.com Security System for your home or business. The best way to contact us is to email 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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Alarm Grid is back with another video recap, this time covering videos from July 21st thru July 24th. The highlights this week include a classic video from Jorge, as well as the start of a new video series where I teach you how to set up the DSC PowerSeries NEO. Let's check out the videos!

Connecting a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch to WIFI

Jorge shows you how to connect a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch to a local WIFI network. The Tuxedo Touch uses an internet connection for sending and receiving Z-Wave signals from Total Connect 2.0. It is important to understand that the Tuxedo Touch is not actually an AlarmNet Communicator for facilitating monitoring service. Its internet connection is merely for automation purposes and displaying the current weather forecast. Without a reliable internet connection, the current status of Z-Wave devices on TC2 cannot be updated.


Powering the DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System

I show you how to provide power to a DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System Primary power comes from a 16.5VAC, 40VA transformer. Since AC power is being used, polarity does not matter when connecting wires to the module. We recommend using 18-AWG, 2-Conductor wire for this job. But if you have existing wire lying around, then that should work fine, as long as maximum wire run limits are observed. The PowerSeries NEO also receives backup power from a connected battery.


Add Wired Keypad to DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System

I show you how to add a wired alphanumeric keypad to a DSC PowerSeries NEO Alarm System. The first keypad you add to your NEO Panel should be a wired alphanumeric model for programming purposes. In particular, we recommend using the DSC HS2LCDRF9 N for this purpose. That model includes a built-in PowerG Transceiver so that you can begin adding wireless PowerG Sensors with your system. The initial keypad allows for one-touch enrollment, while additional keypads must be added through the initial keypad.



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Many users consider adding keypads to their alarm systems so that they can control their systems from multiple on-site locations. And for wired panels, at least one keypad is required for on-site operation. Today, we will briefly cover some of the alarm keypads that you might encounter.

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First, it is important to understand that a keypad is NOT an actual alarm system. It is merely an input and output device for an alarm system. A user will input commands through the alarm keypad. The system will also provide information about security panel status through the keypad. Nearly all keypads will provide basic functionality, such as arming and disarming and bypassing zones. Some more advanced keypads may offer additional capabilities, such as system programming and performing home automation functions.

If you have a wired system, then you will absolutely need at least one keypad. This is because the panel will need some means for on-site operation. When adding your first keypad to a wired system, it is usually recommended that you get an alphanumeric keypad with a built-in wireless receiver. Alphanumeric means that the keypad will display full language text, which is important for successfully programming the system. Having a built-in wireless receiver will allow you to start pairing wireless sensors with the system, which will give you more flexible installation options. Examples of alphanumeric keypads with integrated wireless receivers include the Honeywell 6160RF for Honeywell VISTA Systems and the DSC HS2LCDRF9 N for DSC PowerSeries NEO Systems. For additional keypads, you should just use standard keypad models, without integrated wireless receiver modules.

But for a wireless system, adding a keypad is almost always optional. This is because a wireless panel is consider "all-in-one", and you can control the system directly from the panel itself. Some wireless panels like the Honeywell Lyric and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus have built-in touchscreen controllers for this purpose. Other wireless panels like the Honeywell LYNX Plus L3000 have a less fancy, but still perfectly functional, numeric touchpad for this task. Most wireless system users don't bother adding an external system keypad.

That being said, you can still choose to add a keypad to a wireless system if you want. The benefit to adding a keypad is that you will have an additional physical device for controlling your system while you are on-site. This can be very useful if you have multiple entrances for coming and going, such as a front door, back door, and garage door. You might also consider putting a keypad in an easily accessible location, such as by the bed in your master bedroom so that you can conveniently operate your security system from that location as well.

Many systems will provide you with multiple keypad options to choose from. Depending on your needs, you may be selecting between a numeric touchpad keypad and a touchscreen keypad. A numeric touchpad keypad is operated by pressing various buttons on the device to enter specific codes and command sequences. These keypads are relatively basic, but they can be convenient for performing simple system functions. On the other hand, a touchscreen keypad will provide a colorful touchscreen display with intuitive menu icons. This can be more cheerful and inviting for someone who isn't used to operating an alarm system. The downside with a touchscreen keypad is that they are often much more expensive than numeric touchpad keypads. And it's also important to understand that your selection of keypad choices may be limited based on the panel you are using.

But before you navigate our site to start purchasing new keypads for your system, you should really consider if you actually need one. The most common alternative to a secondary system keypad is an interactive service platform that can be accessed through your phone or a web browser. If your system is monitored, then there's a good chance that you already have access to one of these platforms. Most Alarm Grid monitored customers have access to either Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, depending on the system they are using. Both platforms can be conveniently accessed remotely to offer the same functionality that you would get from a physical on-site keypad. So instead of going to your secondary system keypad, you might just pull up your phone to access Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com and control your system from there! Check out our monitoring plans to see which ones offer access to these exciting platforms.

Another option is to get a key fob for your system. A key fob is a small handheld device that enrolls with a security system wirelessly to perform various inputs and commands. You can easily carry a key fob around in your pocket or purse, or you can put it on a key ring for easy access. Then, with a press of a button, you can arm or disarm, trigger an automation device, or activate an alarm on your system. Key fobs are often more limited than fixed-location keypads, but they can be very convenient for performing quick commands. Just make sure to not lose your key fob. The devices are quite small, and they can easily become misplaced or lost. The same usually cannot be said for a keypad mounted on your wall!

If you are interested in learning more about alarm system keypads, or if you want to find out which keypads are compatible with your system, then we are happy to help! We offer a wide selection of keypads for use with many types of security systems. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. If you are trying to determine system compatibility, then you may want to include a picture of your panel so that we know what brand and model you are working with. Remember that our hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have heard reports lately of RF supervision troubles on 2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e Systems, particularly for zones set up with encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors. Upon further testing, we have learned that eSeries Zones configured with incorrect Equipment Codes can cause supervision trouble.

2gig pir1e wireless encrypted pir motion detector

Equipment Codes are somewhat of a unique quirk for 2GIG Security Systems. This numeric code identifies the model number of the wireless sensor that is being used. It should not be confused with the sensor's Serial Number, which is unique for each individual sensor. You set the Equipment Code when programming a new zone. Alarm Grid has helpful guides available for programming a GC2e zone and programming a GC3e zone.

The following table contains the current list of eSeries Equipment Codes:

Product Name Equipment Code
2GIG eSeries Smoke Detector (USA) 2058
2GIG eSeries CO Detector (USA) 2860
2GIG eSeries Tilt Sensor 2061
2GIG eSeries Flood Sensor 2065
2GIG eSeries Shock Sensor 2066
2GIG eSeries Repeater 2067
2GIG eSeries Translator 2068
2GIG eSeries Water Sensor 2070
2GIG eSeries Thin Door/Window Contact 2862
2GIG eSeries Recessed Door Contact 2863
2GIG eSeries Glass Break Detector 2864
2GIG eSeries Pet-Immune PIR Motion Sensor 2869
2GIG eSeries Takeover Module 2873
2GIG eSeries 4-Button Keyfob Remote 2866

Before the rise of 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors, the Equipment Code setting on a 2GIG System was largely seen as a formality. The general practice was to find the corresponding sensor if available, but generally not worry about it very much if you couldn't match it exactly. Some third-party sensors do not have their own Equipment Codes, and an "equivalent" is usually selected instead. For example, the Honeywell 5800MINI and the VERSA-2GIG can both just use the Equipment Code for "Existing Door/Window Contact", rather than finding an exact match.

But for the 2GIG eSeries Sensors, the Equipment Code selection is actually very important. Failing to set the exact corresponding equipment code can result in the system displaying an RF supervision loss trouble condition for the associated zone. This trouble is typically used to identify that the system has lost communication with the sensor, due to either the sensor powering down from a dead or missing battery, or the sensor being taken out of wireless range. But it seems that the GC2e and GC3e cannot properly supervise a 2GIG eSeries Sensor with an improper Equipment Code. More information can be found in this FAQ.

Missing Equipment Codes are more common for third-party sensors not produced by 2GIG. For a 2GIG Sensor, you should almost always have a direct Equipment Code selection available. And the 2GIG eSeries Sensors are still quite new, so 2GIG made sure to put in Equipment Codes specifically for each of these sensors. However, you may be unable to find an Equipment Code for a brand-new eSeries Sensor if your 2GIG System isn't on the latest firmware version. Adding support for new sensors is a major part of most 2GIG Firmware Updates. You can view our GC2e Firmware Page here, and our GC3e Firmware Page here.

If you need any help programming a GC2e or GC3e wireless zone, then make sure to check out the programming FAQs we linked earlier. Alarm Grid monitored customers can also receive additional free support by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a great email to use if you are interested in signing up for new monitoring service. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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A small town in Texas may become the latest location to begin enforcing alarm system permits. Buda, TX, located south of Austin, TX, is considering a new ordinance that would require local residents and business owners to pay for permits to operate monitored security systems in city limits.

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The proposed ordinance includes fees for applying for alarm permits, as well as listed penalties for causing false alarms and/or operating a system without a permit. According to the proposal, a residential alarm permit would cost $25, while a commercial alarm permit would cost $50. Government and educational locations would be exempt from these fees. Similar alarm system policies currently exist in nearby San Marcos, TX and Kyle, TX.

The false alarm penalties mandated by the proposed ordinance are rather relaxed. The first three (3) false alarms within a 12-month period would result in warnings, provided that the user has a system permit. The fourth and fifth false alarms for a registered system within a 12-month period would each result in a $50 fine. The sixth and seventh false alarms for a registered system within a 12-month period would each result in a $75 fine. Any eighth alarm and beyond for a registered system within a 12-month period would result in a $100 fine. And any alarm from an unregistered system would result in a $250 fine.

The ordinance also lists some exemptions for fines and fees:

  • The false alarm was an "act of God".
  • The false alarm was the result of the telephone (POTS) company.
  • The false alarm was caused by a power outage of longer than four (4) hours.
  • An alarm dispatch was not the result of a false alarm.
  • The law enforcement response did not occur within thirty (30) minutes of the dispatch request.

Alarm Grid understands the need for certain jurisdictions to mandate and enforce security system permits. Preventing false alarms and preserving the resources of local emergency services is something we take very seriously. But it is also important to consider that these permits and mandates can make it harder for users to protect their homes and businesses. We ultimately hope that Buda, TX does not decide to pass this ordinance, but we will lawfully comply with whatever decision is made.

When you sign-up for monitoring service with Alarm Grid, we always make sure to check for such policies in your the local area where the system will be used. We want all of our customers to use their systems legally and within the guidelines of any mandates set within the confines of their local jurisdictions. We also work to empower our customers and help them understand their systems so that they can prevent false alarms. Alarm Grid customers are also encouraged to check out this guide on false alarm prevention.

For more information about signing-up for monitoring service and false alarm prevention, 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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