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The Alarm Grid team is proud to announce some very exciting news fresh off our journey to Las Vegas at ISC West. For those already familiar with our DIY platform you will be happy to hear that our existing alarm system brands, Honeywell and 2GIG have made some giants leaps in technology. We would like to welcome those that are new to our DIY community! ISC West is a larger than life convention with incredible innovation announcements from our core alarm brands. Where to start? Let's start with our foundation, Honeywell.



Honeywell makes excellent alarm equipment but there is steep competition now when it comes to software on Total Connect 2.0. Ahem, Alarm.com... Thankfully Honeywell came through at ISC West and showcased their new line of HD AlarmNet security cameras. Yes, HD cams that will tie in with your existing TC account. Check out our Lyric HD camera press release.

Another product that Honeywell released at ISC is the 5800COMBO. The first wireless heat, smoke and CO detector that will communicate with any 5800 series receiver. That means the Lynx Touch series, Lyric series and any VISTA series panel with a compatible 5881 RF receiver. Similar to the 5808W3 the heat detector utilizes both fixed temperature (135F degrees) and rate-of-rise heat detection (15F degrees within 1 minute) along with a photoelectric smoke detector. The integrated CO detector makes this combo unit the ideal multi-functional device. Since it does not use the SiX series RF technology it is not encrypted. Honeywell plans on releasing a SiX combo detector at some point in the future. Check out our blog post: 5800COMBO Wins SIA New Product Showcase Award


Those with a Lyric Controller should be psyched to learn that the Samsung Smartthings Z-Wave hub is now compatible as a secondary controller. There are some very unique features to the way the Lyric and Smart Things hub interact as a “primary” and “secondary” controller. The Lyric seems to be learning into SmartThings as a virtual primary of sorts. That is a word I just made up by the way. The point is that the Lyric can be learned into the hub and all devices are shifted to it. The difference is that the Lyric can still include devices after it is paired and shift these automatically to the SmartThings hub. Normally "secondary" controllers can control devices from a primary but only the primary can learn devices. The relationship between the Lyric and SmartThings breaks this general rule. If you have a Lyric and are looking for a more advanced platform to expand your automation this may be the one for you! We have a FAQ on how to pair them on our website.


Enough about Honeywell. Nortek the parent company of 2GIG made some lofty announcements at ISC. We will briefly touch them here and get up some more details FAQs and blog posts shortly. First off, the GC3 has had more firmware updates in the past couple months than it has since the release! Exciting stuff already available and even more to come...

Firmware version 3.0.1 and 3.0.2 are officially available. V3.0.1 added support for the XCVR3-GC3 900MHz transceiver and the IMAGE2 Alarm.com image sensor. While this was exciting the 3.0.2 now supports future LTE communications, Schlage Z-Wave door locks and local WIFI technology. The LTE communicator has not been released yet. We will blog post when we have it available. Should be soon! "Local" WIFI in this case means that it will speak locally to a touchscreen keypad but not offer remote communications to a server. The touchscreen keypad is called the SP1 and it is a slim tablet design that will offer simple security control. It is slated to be released this summer. We will be getting up the V3.0.2 firmware on our website ASAP!

Rumors of a 3.1.0 firmware release are the real buzz. The DW40 push button bypass door sensor will begin logging bypass events with this update. More importantly, broadband WIFI support and a larger fully functional touchscreen keypad that supports full security features and automation control as well. This will be called the SP2 and seems to be the exact same physical design as the GC3 panel. It even has the cellular door which will never be used. They must have done this for production cost efficiency purposes. Although it could have just been a GC3 at ISC West since they did not have the plastics made yet. Who knows. The SP2 will be a sweet addition to the Go!Control family nonetheless.


(Top: SP2 Bottom: SP1)

We got our eyes on two completely new alarm system platforms from 2GIG. The Rely and Vario systems will offer two new vertical business models. The Rely panel will perfectly suit customers looking for an affordable, simple cellular alarm system. It is fully wireless and supports up to 14 of the 2GIG 345MHz wireless sensors (No 5800 series Honeywell like the GC panels). The Vario is a wired, bus based alarm system that supports up to 4 partitions. Prox tag keypads looks super slick! This will be more of a commercial system but will certainly be good for pre-wired residential environments as well.


Honestly Alarm.com has released so many products and third party integrations in the past couple of years I was little disappointed by their announcements at ISC West 2017. The flip side to that coin is the approach of other dealers to announce new products that do not reach the market for another year. I may prefer Alarm.com's strategy to simply push market technologies at full speed all year long. Release products when they are ready regardless of conventions like ISC. With all that said, Alarm.com does have some fun new toys.

Alarm.com currently offers water management tools in the form of flood protection and Z-Wave water valve control. However they announced adding irrigation control now. The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller and the Rain Bird Irrigation Controller will be offered into the long list of third party integrators. Yes you will be able to schedule your irrigation from your security app from across the world. Alarm.com is relentlessly tackling every vertical market and inviting them into their ecosystem. The final result is an incredibly versatile offering for customers with a wide range of different protocols, technologies and brands.

Alarm.com also announced a partnership with Legrand's On-Q smart audio system. Yes they are now involving AV! Hoping for a Sonos integration in the future. My hopes were not met with any solid responses so don't get your hopes up for anything too soon. Anyways the Legrand integration offers the first audio device to be immersed into automation scenes. Set schedules or build rules to trigger the audio in your home or business. The Legrand system utilizes a network of twisted pair cable like CAT5 or CAT6 to connect the different amps and peripheral speakers. This makes it easy to install with a prewired home.

Lastly the Alarm.com team showed us the new slimline doorbell camera. Manufactured by SkyBell this product fits a specific need for those with small spaces to replace an existing doorbell. The existing SkyBell HD is already available and due to its larger size offers a1080P resolution. The new slim design bumps it down to 720P but it still looks great.

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Last week Honeywell released a new critical firmware update (01.03.06549.482) for the Lyric security system:


The update addressed some known bugs on the system and added enhanced functionality to the system as well.

Improved SiX Performance

The Lyric is Honeywell's newest all-in-one wireless touchscreen security system and while it works with the older Honeywell 5800 wireless sensors, it also works with new SiX Series sensors. The SiX Series sensors are one of the main advantages of the Lyric system as they are bi-directional to the panel and also encrypted on their wireless signaling making them much more reliable and secure compared to the existing 5800 Series sensors.


One of the main improvements the new MR3 firmware provides for the Lyric is improved performance of the SiX devices. Once your Lyric is upgraded to the new firmware, it will proactively check the RF environment throughout the day to ensure all of your SiX devices are on the proper RF channel so that your sensor communications stay consistent even if you are adding new wireless technology to your home.

2Gig Wireless Sensor Support

While most people would use Honeywell 5800 or SiX Series sensors with their Lyric system, the new firmware also unlocks the ability to program 2Gig security sensors to a Lyric. 2Gig is another security system manufacturer and 2Gig systems work with Honeywell 5800 Series sensors and 2Gig sensors. Up until this firmware release, no Honeywell system would work with 2Gig sensors though so now the Lyric allows someone with an existing 2Gig system installed to be able to just change out the main all-in-one wireless panel to a Lyric without having to buy all new sensors as well.

LTE Cellular Communications

Prior to the new firmware, the Lyric supported WIFI communications without any extra modules needed. Also, if someone wanted cellular backup to the WIFI communication path which provides for a more reliable form of alarm communication that still works if and when the internet is offline or unavailable, the Lyric supported the AT&T Lyric-3G communicator and the Verizon Lyric-CDMA communicator. Now, with the new firmware, the Lyric will support LTE cellular communicators as well. We are in beta program for an AT&T LTE module that should be released soon and we expect a Verizon LTE module to be coming as well. LTE is a newer, faster cellular network compared to the networks that the Lyric-3G and Lyric-CDMA communicators use and should provide greater long term longevity if and when AT&T and Verizon ever discontinue their respective HSPA and CDMA-1X networks.

Solved LKP500 Keypad Bugs

While you can control the Lyric system from the Lyric touchscreen and from mobile devices, the system also supports a wireless keypad called the LKP500:


The addition of an LKP500 (or multiple LKP500s as the Lyric supports up to 8 wireless keypads) provides another fixed spot in the home that you can arm and disarm your system from as well as being able to see system status and hear zone chime alerts. Unfortunately, there was a known issue where the zone assigned to an LKP500 keypad would report a low battery even when no low battery problem existed. Honeywell has solved that issue and the fix is part of the MR3 firmware release. While Honeywell didn't have documents issues on another issue with the LKP500, we did have a small number of users also report a high pitched tone emanating from the LKP500 when arming to stay mode, during the exit delay countdown. This issue seems to have been solved with the latest firmware release as well.

General Bug Fixes

In addition to the enhancements detailed above, the new MR3 firmware also addressed some other Lyric system bugs that Honeywell didn't detail so we encourage all Lyric system users to update to the latest firmware even if none of the improvements listed above matter to you.

How to Update Firmware

You can request a firmware upgrade by asking the company that monitors your Lyric to send the firmware down remotely of you can run the firmware update yourself by pressing Security > Tools and entering your system's Installer Code followed by hitting Update firmware. Once you hit the Update firmware button, we suggest backing out to the home screen and then waiting awhile for it to process. Once it's done, the system should reboot and then you can confirm by pressing Security > Tools > enter Master Code > Advanced > System Information and verifying that the Rev. number on the top line shows the latest firmware version (01.03.06549.482).

Your Lyric system does need to be on a certain version to have the option to update from the panel so if you can access programming mode but you don't see the Update firmware option, your system will need to be updated remotely by your alarm monitoring company.

We applaud Honeywell for continuing to enhance the functionality of the Lyric system and we are excited about even more enhancements that should be coming with future firmware updates as well.

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AlarmNet is experiencing an outage and it’s causing alarm panels to send a communication error.

Some panels may show a Check 103 error or a bf error.

Once the outage is over, your alarm panel should return to it’s normal state

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If you've noticed some weird Total Connect 2.0 behavior starting yesterday morning and going throughout the day yesterday, it's because Honeywell had an issue with their AlarmNet servers that lasted from 8:30AM to 9:30AM EST.

The issue did not affect all Honeywell AlarmNet customers but if you had reports from the central station about an E353 trouble or saw error messages on your keypad about a Check 103 LRR or 103 trouble, that was most likely caused by the server issues.

It seems that any commands sent from TC2 during the time the servers had the problem may not have gone through, and any commands initiated from the local keypad did not report properly to TC2 at that time. Once the issue was resolved, the server had a back log of TC2 alerts that hadn't gone out and then the servers started releasing all of the back logged alerts/events.

This caused some people to get TC2 alerts that their system was disarmed when it in fact was still armed. We realize how inconvenient that can be as an alert telling you that your system was disarmed when no one is home can be very disconcerting.

We wanted to use this Honeywell server error as a chance to explain the Total Connect 2.0 "virtual keypad" feature so that everyone understands how that works, and in case of future server errors, may be able to avoid running home to verify if a system is armed or disarmed.

On the Total Connect 2.0 "front end", you'll see a system status showing if the system is armed or disarmed. Unfortunately, that status is reported from the servers and can sometimes be wrong (depending on panel communication issues or server issues). However, if you understand how the virtual keypad works, you will have a way to know for sure if your system is armed or not. On the totalconnect2.com website, you'll find the option for the virtual keypad under the Security module.

You can see in the picture below that the word Keypad is hovering over the actual keypad icon. That's just because we had our mouse hovered over the keypad when we took the screen shot to highlight where the icon is displayed.


If you hit that button, it pulls up a new screen and actually initiates a live connection to the system. You'll first see a screen showing the virtual keypad and the display on the keypad will read "Connecting..."

After a minute or so, the live connection to the system will be established, and you'll see the keypad screen update to the actual system status.


As this is a live connection to the system, as opposed to the "front end" TC2 status which was just the last status that was reported to the servers, there's no way for this status to display anything other than the real system status.

If you ever receive an arm/disarm signal from the system to your TC2 account that doesn't seem to be accurate, check the virtual keypad and you'll know for sure what the system is doing. If you do see your front end TC2 status different than the live keypad connection, just initiate a set of arm and disarm (if you are currently disarmed) or disarm and arm (if you are currently armed) commands which should bring the front end status back up to date.

The virtual keypad can also be initiated from the mobile app as well. Using the Security tab in the app, you simply click the word Keypad in the top right to initiate the connection to the virtual keypad.

That will take you to the "connecting" screen:


and then after a minute or so, you'll see the true live system status:

Your TC2 account's front end should not ever be out of sync with the true system status with any kind of regularity, but understanding how to use the virtual keypad in cases where you suspect it may be out of sync will give you the confidence to know what the true system status is, and then you can use the virtual keypad to fix the front end yourself.

One last important note is that if your system is offline, meaning the AlarmNet communicator your system is using (IP, cellular or both) is fully offline, when you try the virtual keypad connection, you'll end up on a screen that looks like this on the totalconnect2.com website:


and like this on the Total Connect 2.0 mobile app:


You'll notice that it stays on the "connecting" screen for much longer than usual in these instances. If you ever get to this message, you'll need to troubleshoot your communicator's connection as the error is an indication that your system is currently offline.Your TC2 front end can be showing the wrong state if the system is offline as the server's only know the last state of the system before it went offline.

We hope this information helps make your experience with using Total Connect 2.0 an easier process and as always, feel free to contact us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions about Total Connect 2.0.

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

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

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

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Happy Holidays! And whatever holiday you celebrate, we hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

Alarm Grid is taking today off.

Everyone is at home all snug in their beds. If there's something you need, call the central station instead! Or perhaps, if you need something they just can't do, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com, and on Monday when we're back, we'll promptly get back to you.

We hope that the holidays treat you all well. That you're safe and secure. And that the holidays end for you with lots of stories to tell. Perhaps when we're back, the next time you call, you can tell them to us. We'll listen to them all. :)

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Honeywell has discontinued the 5811 sensor and magnet. This popular sensor is the unit that has always been sent out with our most popular kits. It has been replaced by the Honeywell 5800MINI, a smaller, slightly sleeker device with a number of added benefits and improved range.

While not as common in the field as the 5816, the 5811s have, to date, been the contact that anyone looking for a small profile unit have purchased. And while not as thin as the 5820Ls, which are perfect for applications where a window has a very small lip, the discreet 5811 sensors are a well-loved mainstay of the Honeywell line. We are sad to see them go, but are excited about the new 5800MINIs that have replaced them.

For those ordering kits, our images show the old sensor. You will, however, from now on, be receiving the 5800MINIs. We'll be replacing the product shots in short order, but for now, please be aware of the change.


Unfortunately, for those looking to replace old 5811 sensors with new 5811 sensors, we are completely out of stock as is Honeywell. The new 5800MINIs should suffice.

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The Alarm Grid team is going to be enjoying the holiday. If you are in need of service, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com.

As usual, Alarm Grid's monitoring partner, CMS will be open through the Thanksgiving holiday, and will make sure that your homes are being looked over while you are gone. You can reach the central station by calling the Alarm Grid main phone number, and dialing "1".

If you're in charge of cooking this year, don't forget to turn off your oven. And if you're one of the intrepid souls who is deep frying your bird, do it safely. While we have confidence in our life safety devices like the 5808W3 or the 5809, our hope is that you never ever ever need to use them.

Oh, and before I forget, here at Alarm Grid, we are thankful that you have given us the opportunity to protect your home and family. Thank you for being part of the Alarm Grid family. And we hope that next year, when this holiday comes back around, that you are still here.

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The 6150 series keypads have always been the non-programming version of the 6160s. Mimicking many of the features, the 6160s allow users many of the same functions the 6160s have minus the simple programming. They are usually used as a companion keypad, for that reason. The 6160 used to program, the 6150 used as the peripheral keypads.


The 6150V, the voice annunciating version of the 6150 has been discontinued. For those who are after a voice annunciation option, the 6160V is the replacement that will work on a VISTA wired security system.

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The IPCAM-WOEXT is being kicked to the curb. This useful unit was an extension cord for Honeywell's popular Alarmnet outdoor camera. But as Honeywell is slowly upgrading their line of cameras, everything is changing. And while this piece has been one of the simplest ways to get an extra bit of range from your electrical outlet to the camera, it is not going to be with us in short order.

At this time, Honeywell has not indicated whether the part is going to be replaced by anything new. But we suspect that once it is gone, it will be gone for good. It is a piece that is included in the IPCAM-WO box, though that may come to an end as well. We shall know very soon. Though we suspect it is going to continue to be included in the camera box, and not available on its own.

For those who need it, now is a good time to pick one up. We have a few left, and as supply gets exhausted, the cords will be doled out on a first come first serve basis.

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