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Hi DIYers! We've learned that a new update to Total Connect 2.0 lets users enable a "Privacy When Disarmed" feature on their HD Cameras. This prevents the cameras from recording and capturing video clips while the system is Disarmed. It will then operate as normal when the system is Armed.

The Privacy When Disarmed feature is great for users who don't want to be bombarded with notifications that appear when their camera activates while they are around. This feature will automatically put the camera into Privacy Mode whenever the system is Disarmed. Once the system is Armed, the camera will exit Privacy Mode and begin operating normally. Many users don't need their camera to record and capture clips while their system is Disarmed, but having to go in and manually toggle the Privacy Mode option every single time can be inconvenient. Now there's an effective solution available!

Each Honeywell HD Camera can be set with the Privacy When Disarmed feature individually. There is currently no way to enable the feature for all the cameras at once. So if you want to use it with all your cameras, you must enable the option for each of them. Additionally, the feature right now turns off Privacy Mode for both Arm Stay and Arm Away settings. We're hoping that a future update will allow the option to be set for only Arm Away Mode. After all, we expect that some users won't want their camera to be taken off Privacy Mode after Arming Stay and remaining inside the building.

Before we get started demonstrating the feature, we do want to note that iOS users may need to log out of the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App and log back in for the change to be implemented. But it should function normally from there on out. In our example, we will be using the app on an Android Phone.

Start by opening the Total Connect 2.0 App and logging in. Then select the Cameras tab:



We will be demonstrating the feature with our camera "B parking lot". Press the three dots next to the camera to access its advanced settings. Then toggle on the "Turn on camera privacy when security is disarmed". You will be backed out to the previous screen. However, you will notice that the camera's privacy option is still disabled, even if the system is currently in a Disarmed state:




But then try Arming (Away or Stay) and then Disarming from the App. When you navigate back to the Cameras tab, you will notice that Privacy Mode has been enabled automatically. Also the image preview will not be available:



Then if you Arm Away or Arm Stay, you will notice that Privacy Mode has been automatically turned off:



We will be sure to provide you with any additional updates regarding Total Connect 2.0 as we learn more information. If you're an Alarm Grid monitored customer and you have any questions, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 to during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. If you would like to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring and how you can start using Total Connect 2.0, please check out our monitoring page. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We hear from customers all the time wondering how they can improve upon their existing security setup. Even if you already have a good alarm system, there are still things you can do to make it even better. Here are 5 ways for you to improve upon your home security system:

1. Take advantage of Z-Wave. Most alarm systems today have some way of supporting home automation. Z-Wave is one of the most popular smart home protocols around, and it has been thoroughly embraced by many alarm manufacturers. To get started, find out whether or not your system has a built-in Z-Wave controller. The Honeywell Lyric Controller. 2GIG GC3. 2GIG GC2 and Qolsys IQ Panel 2 all come with one installed. Meanwhile, the Honeywell LYNX Touch and Honeywell VISTA Panels can have a module added separately. From there, you can add Z-Wave devices like lights, locks and thermostats to expand upon your setup. All Z-Wave devices can be controlled remotely using an interactive service platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. They can also be set up to activate with certain system events or on a schedule. For example, you can have your lights turn on and have your smart thermostat activate automatically as soon as you return home and disarm your system!



2. Install security cameras. If you want to truly know what is happening in your home at any time, there is simply no alternative to security cameras. If you already use Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0, then getting a robust and reliable security camera setup is easier than you would think. You just need to upgrade to a Platinum-level monitoring plan and start including the cameras with your network. Alarm Grid offers both Alarm.com Cameras and Total Connect Cameras for you to use in your home. Many of these cameras can be simply rested on a desk or table so that no tools are needed for installation. If you do choose to mount your camera, all the hardware comes included, and the process is super easy. It's even possible to view these security cameras remotely by checking Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 from your mobile device. And if your camera captures any clips, you'll be sure to know about it thanks to text, email and push alerts!



3. Add a second keypad. A second alarm keypad can be a great for your to more easily operate your security system from a second area of your house or property. This is a very common practice for homes with multiple entrances, since a user will often want to quickly disarm from wherever they enter. Other users might put a keypad in their master bedroom so that they can conveniently set their system to Arm Stay mode before going to sleep. A security system in the bedroom is also a great way to quickly and discreetly activate a silent panic alarm if you hear an intrusion downstairs. Some keypads like the 2GIG SP1 and the Qolsys IQ Remote can perform automation functions as well. This is great if you want to quickly control or check the status of your devices without having to walk to your main panel. Larger properties might even include third or fourth keypads as well!



4. Upgrade your communication path. The communicator is often seen as the unsung hero of an alarm system. After all, a system needs some way of reporting out in the event of an alarm. A faster communication path means a quicker response from the central monitoring station. This can be absolutely crucial in an emergency. You might also notice that your smart home devices respond a little bit faster as well. In other cases, it isn't about increasing speed, but rather improving reliability. Adding a cellular communicator will allow your system to send outbound signals even when there is a power outage. It is also a known fact that cellular service is usually a lot more consistent than an IP connection, which can sometimes go down for seemingly no reason. Users in rural areas might also consider using a cellular antenna or an amplifier to further improve upon their cellular signal strength so that signal reach their destination reliably every single time. Whether you're adding a new communicator or replacing an older CDMA communicator with an LTE model, a communicator upgrade can be arguably the most important investment you make for your system!

5. Enroll a key fob. Do you find yourself racing to disarm your system as soon as you return home? Do you want a quick way to arm your system without having to pull up Total Connect or Alarm.com? If so, then a key fob might be the perfect solution for you. These compact devices can be attached to a key ring and stored in a pocket or purse for easy access. Many users attach their security key fobs to their car keys so that all their keys are in one convenient spots. Just a press off a button can disarm your system or set it to either Arm Stay or Arm Away mode. You can even program a key fob to trigger an immediate panic, and some systems will let you use key fob button presses to activate smart scenes. And if that weren't enough, many key fobs will let you program more than four inputs by using dual-button presses. You can even give each regular system user their own personal key fob so that you know who used the system last!

If you need help finding ways to improve your security system, please reach out to us! We love helping our customers get the best security systems possible. You can reach us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you and showing you all the great options available!

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Hi DIYers! As you may know, backup batteries represent one of the most important components for any alarm system. These devices keep the panel running during a power outage so that the user stays monitored. This is crucial in case an emergency occurs while the electricity is out.

A backup battery for an alarm system works by continuously storing a charge while the system is running on plug-in transformer power. If the power goes out, then the backup battery will have power ready to keep the system running for as long as possible. Once the system loses both battery power and plug-in power, it will shut-down entirely. For that reason, batteries are just a temporary solution. But they are still extremely useful for short-term outages.

Batteries are actually very easy to work with, and they can be quickly swapped out and replaced by any DIY user. Most wireless panels use a special type of battery pack that plugs into the system board. The user can simply unplug the old battery and then plug-in the new one. Hardwired panels generally use larger batteries, that can usually be identified as a black box inside the metal enclosure. Just disconnect the wiring from the old one, and connect it to the new one. Please note that many hardwired panels can also use a shared transformer when using an alarm system communicator. More information is available here.

A big thing to understand about batteries is that they do not last forever. As a battery is used inside an alarm system, it will very slowly lose its ability to store a charge. Its maximum capacity will gradually begin to decrease until it is unsuitable for use. At that point, the user will need to get a replacement. A user will know that this is the case because a low-battery trouble condition will appear on their system.

Remember though that not all low-battery warnings are a sign of a dead battery. If this warning appears after a power outage, it could just mean that the battery needs time to restore its charge. Once the battery charge reaches a sufficient level, the condition should clear on its own. We recommend waiting at least 24 hours with the system running on continuous AC power to see if the problem goes away. If it does, then the battery still has some life remaining.

It also never hurts to be prepared and keep an additional backup battery or two in a safe area. That way, when your current battery reaches the end of its lifespan, you can quickly replace it with a new one. Since the new battery won't have a charge, it will take it awhile to regain power. But eventually, the battery should work just like a new one. Additionally, most of the batteries for hardwired panels have universal connector terminals, and you can actually keep them continuously charged with a Battery Tender device. Keeping multiple charged batteries around is great for users who live in an area where extended power outages may occur.

When looking for a new battery, you'll want to make sure it is compatible with your system. We have many of our batteries and their compatible systems listed below:

Battery Compatible Systems
Notes
2GIG BATT1X 2GIG GC2 Provides 4 to 6 hours of backup power.
2GIG BATT2X 2GIG GC2 Up to 24 hours of backup power.
2GIG BATTERY GC3 2GIG GC3 Standard backup battery for GC3.
DSC SCWBATTERY DSC Impassa Up to 24 hours of backup power.
Honeywell LCP500-4B Honeywell Lyric Controller Up to 4 hours of backup power.
Honeywell LCP500-24B
Honeywell Lyric Controller
Up to 24 hours of backup power.
Honeywell LYNXRCHKIT-SC Honeywell LYNX Panels Up to 4 hours of backup power.
Honeywell LYNXRCHKIT-HC Honeywell LYNX Panels
Works longer than standard capacity battery.
Honeywell LYNXRCHKIT-SHA Honeywell LYNX Panels
Up to 24 hours of backup power.
Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Rated at 6V, 2.1Ah.
Qolsys IQ Battery Qolsys IQ Panel Will not work with IQ Panel 2.
Qolsys IQ2 Battery IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Up to 24 hours of backup power.
UltraTech 1240 Hardwired Panels Rated at 12V, 4.5Ah
UltraTech 1270 Hardwired Panels Rated at 12V, 7.0Ah

If you have any questions about batteries or if you need help choosing a battery, don't hesitate to reach out to us! You can email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! There was a recent report that revealed the 10 United States cities where property crime levels are the highest. Anyone residing in these cities might want to consider purchasing a security system. This information is also great for those with vacation or investment properties.

2gig gc3pk lte v a wireless security system w slash verizon lte The report measured the number of property crimes that occur in each city for every 1,000 people. It used statistics from 2017, which is the most recently released data from the FBI. Any burglary or larceny was considered a property crime for the study. Motor vehicle theft was not included in the report, as the intention was to provide catered results for homeowners, renters and investors. Only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included.

The 10 cities with the highest property crime levels were:

  1. Springfield, MO
  2. Salt Lake City, UT
  3. Spokane, WA
  4. Little Rock, AR
  5. Albuquerque, NM
  6. Memphis, TN
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Chattanooga, TN
  9. St. Louis, MO
  10. Baton Rouge, LA

Of course, this report isn't meant to scare anyone, and it's a well-known fact that robberies and home invasions can occur anywhere. But it never hurts to know the statistics for your city. Taking steps to prevent property theft is the best thing you can do as a homeowner, renter or investor. One of the most effective methods for keeping your home and your loved ones safe is to install a security system.

If you're looking into a new security system, you might want to consider Alarm Grid monitoring services. We are a DIY security company that puts the customer in control. Nearly anyone can install their own alarm system with just a little bit of help online or over the phone from one of our trained security experts. Customers purchase all the equipment outright, and it is theirs to keep if they ever decide to leave Alarm Grid at a later time. Every system we support is non-proprietary, and it can be taken to a new company if that is what the customer wants.

Alarm Grid also offers no added fees. This means no installation fees, no activation fees, and no cancellation fees. Customers are always free to cancel before their next monthly bill if they are relocating or if they no longer wish to use our services. There are no contracts, and the only thing keeping our customers with us is the excellent quality of our service. As an Alarm Grid customer, you only receive the very best, and you are always in control.

We invite you to check out our monitoring page by checking the orange "Alarm Monitoring" button at the top of this page. If you have any questions about us, you are always welcome to reach out to us. The best way to make sure we see your message is to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We also accept phone calls at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you meet all your security needs!

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Hi DIYers! If you're looking to get started with home security, we urge you to make sure your system has a cellular communication path. This is the best way to ensure that your system remains monitored and protected at all times. All you need is the right communicator and monitoring plan.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

When it comes to alarm monitoring, cellular communication is the undisputed champion. This is due in large part to its exceptional reliability. Do you ever notice how the WIFI in your home or at work goes out from time to time. This almost never happens with cellular. Even lost calls really only occur in spotty coverage areas or due to changes in location. As long as you get good coverage and your system stays put, you can be sure that service will almost never go down.

With the widespread availability of cellular networks, almost everyone in the country receives strong cellular service in their area. If you are ever unsure, you can always check various coverage maps offered from cellular service providers. And even if you do live in a rural area with poor service, you may still be able to get the results you want using a cellular amplifier. Not only will this boost signal strength for your security system, it will also help you receive better cell service in general while you are at home.

One of the most important benefits of having cellular monitoring is that it will keep your home protected when the power is out. This is especially useful for those who live in areas with inclement weather that may frequently cause electrical outages. Cellular service does not require electricity, and it does not use a router. This is why your cell phone continues to work when the power is out. The same cannot be said for internet, which often goes down when the power is out. Most people don't have battery backup for their at-home WIFI routers.

Nearly all alarm systems use some type of backup battery setup. This keeps them running even when the power is out. But it's only useful if the system can still communicate outward. Cellular communication makes this possible. Just imagine if the power was out and an intruder were to break into your home. With cellular service, you will know you're protected.

Cellular communication also provides all of the same benefits that are offered by IP. It is relatively fast, and it supports interactive service platforms like Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0. A user can access these services on their smartphone to arm and disarm their system, check current system status, and to control smart home devices. And fast communication speeds mean that any remote commands will go through nice and quickly. You can even add a cellular communicator to a panel that already supports WIFI to achieve an extra reliable dual-path communication setup!

You may be wondering what you need to get cellular communication for an alarm system. Well really it's as simple as having an alarm system with a cellular communicator and an appropriate alarm monitoring plan. Some panels, like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 come with one already installed. Others, like the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, need to have one added separately. If you decide to go with Alarm Grid Monitoring, you will want to make sure you choose a Gold-level plan or higher.

But you don't have to design a cellular security system on your own. The fantastic support at Alarm Grid is here to assist. We'll help you choose the perfect system and equipment for your needs so that you have proper peace of mind. Just send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you design an effective and reliable security system with cellular communication!

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Hi DIYers! We know it has been awfully chilly out there lately. We thought it would be a good time to talk about freeze sensors and the benefits they provide. These devices are strongly recommended for anyone who lives in a colder area who wants to make sure their home is kept temperate.

Honeywell 5821 wireless temperature sensor and water sensor exte

Also called temperature sensors, freeze sensors alert a security system when the ambient temperature falls below a certain threshold. Usually, this is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, the user can take proper action to prevent their pipes from freezing. Remember, water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and serious damage can occur if nothing is done in time. There are all sorts of horror stories of this happening while people are away for the day or on vacation.

Freeze sensors are particularly useful when used with an interactive service platform, such as Total Connect 2.0. These services will provide you with mobile alerts so that you will know if a situation occurs while you are away. Nearly every panel we sell can connect with one of these services. You just need the right communicator and monitoring plan.

While there are some standalone temperature sensors, freeze detection is often a secondary feature on a device. In fact, you might already have a device with freeze detection capabilities in your home and not even know it! The feature is commonly found on smoke detectors and flood sensors, so it never hurts to find out if your existing devices can also do freeze detection. For multi-function devices, freeze detection will usually operate on a specific Loop Number, and a unique system zone for freeze detection must be programmed.

Qolsys iq temp temperature sensor for low %3c40 and high %3e100 temp

If you're in the market for a new freeze sensor, you have plenty of options to choose from. The main thing to keep in mind is whether or not the device will work with your security system. If you are looking for a wireless sensor, then it must communicate at a compatible frequency. If you go the hardwired route, then your system must be able to support hardwired sensors. You might consider getting a smoke detector or a flood sensor that also includes the freeze detection function.

If you have a Honeywell or 2GIG System, then you likely use 345 MHz Sensors. The Honeywell 5821 is a convenient option for reliable freeze detection. You can also add a probe to have the 5821 Sensor double as a flood sensor. If you want a combination smoke and heat detector with freeze detection built-in, you might consider a Honeywell 5808W3.

For Interlogix Systems and the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2, you will want a 319.5 MHz Sensor. The Qolsys IQ Temp is a viable option. There's also the Interlogix TX-E611, which doubles as a flood sensor. For users also looking for a smoke, the Interlogix SDX-135Z also provides freeze detection.

If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or a DSC PowerSeries Neo, then your system supports PowerG Sensors. In that case, you might go with the DSC PG9905. This sensor will offer the impressive range of PowerG, as well as extremely secure 128-bit AES encryption.

For users who want to go the hardwired route, the best bet is often to go with a smoke detector that includes the feature. We often steer customers towards 2-wire smokes, since they are easier to set up. A good option is the System Sensor 2WTA-B, which also includes a built-in sounder.

Users who are having trouble deciding on a freeze sensor can always reach out to Alarm Grid. We are happy to help you find the perfect device for your needs. You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at why one-go-all-go smoke detectors can help ensure that everyone in the building is alerted during a fire. Simply put, a one-go-all-go smoke detector will cause all of the other compatible smoke detectors on the system to activate at the same time.

Dsc fsb 210bt 2 wire addressable photoelectric smoke and heat de

Having all the smokes in your home activate at the same time can be crucial for ensuring that everyone is alerted in the event of a fire. This is especially true for larger homes that need several smoke detectors for complete coverage. Most alarm systems can have some type of interconnected one-go-all-go smoke detector network. However, implementing this feature properly can be difficult, and it requires additional equipment and wiring. Another important thing to remember is that the one-go-all-go feature is best achieved by using the same detector model across the network.

For those with wired alarm control panels, there is often a way to achieve a one-go-all-go setup using hardwired smokes. This is possible with both 2-wire smokes and 4-wire smokes, but both require the proper equipment. Many wired panels offer a way to conveniently reset the zone used for 2-wire smokes after a fire alarm has been cleared. This is needed for getting the smoke detectors to stop sounding and to reset the detector so that it can trip again, if necessary.

For the Honeywell VISTA Panels, all 2-wire smokes must go on zone 1. This zone will automatically reset, and power will be briefly dropped to the smokes after the alarm is cleared. Multiple 2-wire smokes are wired together in parallel, with an end of line resistor (EOLR) for wiring supervision. A good 2-wire smoke detector to use is the System Sensor 2WTA-B, which also includes a built-in sounder.

System sensor 2wta b 2 wire smoke detector with fixed heat and s

Unlike 2-wire smokes, 4-wire smokes have less restriction regarding where they can be wired. In fact, a 4-wire smoke on a Honeywell VISTA System will generally go on any hardwired zone, except for zone 1. Again, the smokes can be configured for a one-go-all-go setup, but this will require additional equipment and wiring. This also allows the smokes to take up fewer systems zones, as they can all use the same zone and programming settings.

One downside to using 4-wire smokes is that they often require additional resources to work properly. In order to get a 4-wire smoke to stop sounding, power to the device must be dropped. But unless the system has a built-in relay, this cannot be done without additional hardware. This can require an external relay, and possibly an additional power supply as well. Proper operation will also require an end-of-line power supervision relay to check whether or not power to the smokes has been interrupted. If you do decide to go the 4-wire route, the System Sensor 4WTA-B is a good option.

System sensor 4wt b 4 wire smoke detector with fixed heat sensor

More recently, certain wireless smoke detectors also offer one-go-all-go functionality. Honeywell really took the initiative here by making their Lyric SiXSMOKE Sensor a one-go-all-go device. This sensor is exclusively compatible with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, and provides a very easy way to achieve a robust one-go-all-go setup. One-go-all-go is also compatible with the new Honeywell SiXCOMBO, which also offers heat and CO detection.

Honeywell sixsmoke front wireless smoke slash heat detector for

If you have a different wireless system than the Lyric, then there might still be way to attain a one-go-all-go setup. In most cases, this will require using 4-wire smokes with a compatible wireless transmitter. The transmitter will need to be able to support Normally Open (NO) life-safety devices with an end of line resistor. However, this is not possible for every wired-to-wireless converter.

Additionally the standard equipment for any 4-wire smoke is also required. This includes a relay, power supply and resistor. One transmitter that will work for this application is the Honeywell 5817CBXT. This module is part of the Honeywell 5800 Series, and it will work with nearly any alarm system that accepts the 345 MHz wireless frequency. Remember, the transmitter or converter must communicate at a frequency accepted by the alarm control panel.

Honeywell 5817cb wireless commercial sensor

Additionally, Qolsys recently released the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F for 319.5 MHz systems. This is a 16-zone wired to wireless converter that is great for bringing over hardwired sensors to a newer wireless system. Zone 16 on the module is a Normally Open loop specifically designed for 2-wire smokes. The loop will support up to ten 2-wire smoke devices, which are wired in parallel with an end-of-line resistor. This revolutionary module represents the first way to bring 2-wire smokes over to a wireless all-in-one system. The necessary resistors come included with the module.

Qolsys iq hardwire 16 s qs7131 840

Additionally, if you have an existing network of high-voltage smokes, you can integrate them into a wireless system using a takeover module. These are devices that listen for the unique temporal sound of an activated smoke detector. If the existing smoke detector network is one-go-all-go, a single takeover module can accommodate the entire network. Alarm Grid offers takeover modules that operate at the 319.5 MHz (Interlogix/GE and Qolsys), 345 MHz (Honeywell and 2GIG) and 433 MHz (DSC) wireless frequencies. That way, you can conveniently take an exiting high-voltage smoke network and start using it with your new wireless security system!

If you need help choosing smoke detectors for a one-go-all-go setup, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! We can help you determine the perfect fire-protection devices for your security system. You can send an email to support@alarmgrid.com, or you can call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We have a quick product highlight for your today. We're taking a look at the 2GIG IMAGE3. This is an image sensor module for a 2GIG GC3 that doubles as both a motion detecting sensor and camera. It sends four high-quality images to Alarm.com upon activation for easy viewing.


Motion sensors are great for users who want to easily confirm break-ins, without having to invest in security cameras. Just last week we took a look at the Qolsys Image Sensor. Now we're looking at the 2GIG version. Really, this device is pretty similar, but it works with the 2GIG GC3 instead. Please note that you will need 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 installed in the system to support the module, and the GC3 System needs to be running Firmware Version 3.0.1 or higher. Also keep in mind that any Alarm Grid customer will need a Gold-level Plan or higher.

The 2GIG IMAGE3 knows to produce images when its motion sensor is activated. This is a PIR motion sensor that responds to the changes in infrared energy that occur with movement. The device also includes IR night vision so that it can detect motion and capture images in the dark. It will produce four images when activated, and they can quickly be viewed remotely through Alarm.com. This is possible both through the Alarm.com Website and the Alarm.com Mobile App on Android and iOS Devices. A user can even have Alarm.com send them email and text alerts so that they are sure to be notified.

The images produced by the 2GIG IMAGE3 have a 320 x 240 resolution, and they are full-color. The sensor has a battery life of three years. An LED light on the sensor provides assistance with setup and general troubleshooting. Overall, this is a very convenient sensor for anyone who want to quickly confirm intrusions, without having to worry about false alarms.

You can buy the 2GIG IMAGE3 from Alarm Grid right now. Get one to improve the protection and security and your home!

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Hi DIYers! Its time for another Alarm Grid video recap. This time, we're covering the videos released from January 15th thru 25th. We have 10 new videos this time from Joe, Jorge and Jarrett. Check out our newest support videos, as we help you learn how to use your security system!

Adding a Siren to My LYNX Touch Panel Using The 5800RL

Joe shows users how to add a hardwired siren to a Honeywell LYNX Touch System by using the Alarm Grid LYNX-EXT Kit. This kit is built around the Honeywell 5800RL Wireless Relay, which allows the hardwired siren to communicate with the panel wirelessly. The kit includes everything a user needs, except for the actual siren and any necessary wiring. The kit is compatible with the LYNX Touch Systems, as well as the Honeywell VISTA Series Panels.


Using the SiX Programming Feature on a Honeywell Lyric

Jorge demonstrates the SiX Programming Feature used with a Honeywell Lyric Security System. This feature allows users to quickly and conveniently batch enroll Honeywell SiX Series Sensors with the Honeywell Lyric. All the user has to do is put the Lyric System into its SiX Programming Mode and power on the sensor to auto-enroll it. From there, the sensor's settings can be configured. If the sensor is new, then you can power it on by releasing the battery tab.


Making a Honeywell Panel Work With Alarm.com

Jorge talks about how some Honeywell Alarm Control Panels can be set up to work with the Alarm.com Platform. The only only Honeywell Panels that can do this are the Honeywell VISTA Series Panel. This is accomplished by adding an Alarm.com System Enhancement Module to the VISTA Panel. This module also doubles as a cellular communicator for the system. A good SEM for a VISTA System is the ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ. This communicator works with the Verizon LTE Network.


Disabling Auto-Stay Arming on a 2GIG GC3

Jarret goes through the process of disabling the Auto-Stay Arming feature on a 2GIG GC3 System. With Auto-Stay Arming enabled, the system will revert Arm Stay Mode when Arming Away if no entry exit zone is activated during the exit delay period. If a user wants to set their GC3 System to Arm Away Mode, they must either activate an entry/exit zone during the exit delay period or disable this option from within system programming.


Disabling Auto-Stay Arming on a 2GIG GC2

Jorge demonstrates how to disable Auto-Stay Arming on a 2GIG GC2 System. There are many cases where a user needs to set their system to Arm Away Mode to test their interior sensors. But a user might experience confusion when their system goes to Arm Stay Mode instead. The reason this is happening is because Auto-Stay Arming is enabled within system programming, and they are not faulting an entry/exit zone during the exit delay period.


Adding a Siren to My Lynx Touch Panel Using the Lynx-WEXT

Joe shows users how to add a hardwired siren to a LYNX Touch using the Alarm Grid LYNX-WEXT Kit. Unlike the LYNX-EXT Kit, which uses a wireless power relay, the LYNX-WEXT Kit provides a hardwired relay that connects with the panel through a physical connection. When an alarm occurs, the relay will direct power to the siren to have it activate. The relay will then cut siren power once the alarm is cleared to get it to stop sounding.


Disabling Auto-Stay Arming on a Honeywell Vista

Jorge demonstrates how a user can disable Auto-Stay Arming on a Honeywell VISTA Security System. This option is found from within panel programming. A user will need to enter programming using the system's Installer Code and provide the appropriate programming field. The default Installer Code is 4112. Once the Auto-Stay Arming option has been disabled, a user will be able to set the system to Arm Away Mode without having to activate an entry/exit zone.


Disabling Auto-Stay Arming on a Honeywell Lyric

Jarrett shows users how to disable Auto-Stay Arming on a Honeywell Lyric Controller. The purpose of the Auto-Stay Arming feature is to prevent false alarms when a user sets their system to Arm Away. If a user arms their system Away, but they don't activate an entry/exit zone, then it can be logically assumed that the user is still inside the building. In that case, it is very likely that user will activate an interior sensor and cause a false alarm. Auto-Stay Arming prevents this from occurring.


Creating an Automation in Apple HomeKit

Jorge shows the process for creating an Automation in Apple HomeKit. This is very important for Honeywell Lyric Security System users who want to have HomeKit Scenes activate when they perform certain functions on their panel. For example, a user might want to have a specific HomeKit device activate whenever they Arm their security system. The only way to do this is to create an action-based Automation in HomeKit and set the Lyric as the trigger.


Disabling Auto-Stay Arming on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jarret walks users through the process of disabling Auto-Stay Arming on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Normally, a user would want to keep Auto-Stay Arming enabled so that a user does not accidentally cause a false alarm by setting their system to Arm Away when they meant to choose Arm Stay. But disabling Auto-Stay Arming can be very useful when testing, as the user will not have to open and close an entry/exit zone whenever they go to Arm Away.

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Hi DIYers! We know that many users take on the task of setting up their own hardwired security system. We think this is great, as it really lets a DIY user get to know their alarm panel. But there are some extra tools we recommend for setting up a wired system. One of which is a voltmeter.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

All alarm systems require electricity for basic operation. But this electricity is used for more than just powering the panel. Various equipment like sensors and keypads will also require power. With hardwired systems, the peripheral equipment will actually draw power from the panel. Not only is the system's plug-in transformer powering the panel, it is also keeping its many devices running as well. If the electricity goes out, the panel should also have a backup battery to ensure that everything remains powered.

The important thing to understand is that plugging in a transformer does not suddenly supply an infinite amount of electricity for an alarm system. There's a limit to how much power a system can provide. Each transformer can only provide a limited amount of current. There are also current limiting devices like fuses and breakers that are built into each of the output circuits on a system. These are used to prevent things like the bell circuit, the battery charging circuit and the auxiliary power circuit from allowing enough current through to damage the system. If you try to add too many devices to a system, you may find that they will not work properly. Worse yet, if you don't use the specified transformer and other manufacturer-specified peripheral devices, you could cause serious damage to the system.

For smaller applications, this is not usually a major concern. But as you add more powered devices to an alarm system, the chance for overload becomes greater. You may need to add a second power supply, along with an additional transformer and battery. However, you shouldn't be working blindly. Using a voltmeter with the ability to read current (technically a multi-meter) is very important for knowing the current load and making sure that the current power supply is adequate.

A voltmeter works by applying a known amount of current and resistance to a circuit. Ohm's Law tells us that if you know any two of three values (voltage, current or resistance), you can then calculate the third value. A hardwired zone on an alarm panel works largely in the same way. Voltage, along with a small amount of current, is fed through a zone circuit. Based on the Ohm's Law principle, if you know the amount of voltage being applied, and you know the amount of current being applied, you can then calculate the amount of resistance that is present on the circuit. This is how a zone with an end-of-line resistor works. When you make a zone Normally Open or Normally Closed, you simplify things even further. If current is flowing, the zone is open. If current is not flowing, the zone is shorted or closed. Without a voltmeter, troubleshooting wired zones becomes much more difficult. The voltmeter doesn't even have to be a big expensive model. It just needs to provide basic function.

Also keep in mind that many system problems occur due to electrical issues. Having a voltmeter on hand can save a user a lot of hassle in troubleshooting. We hear of users all the time who don't know why their system isn't working, only to find that it is because they aren't supplying enough power. Performing a simple check with a voltmeter can help you discover an issue that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. For that reason, everyone with a wired panel really should invest in an inexpensive voltmeter or multi-meter.

If you're just beginning to consider purchasing a panel, and you don't want the hassle of worrying about wired zones, then a wireless system may be a better option. Wireless sensors operate strictly on battery power, and a user won't have to worry about overloading circuits. We generally recommend wireless systems for DIY users in general, as they are much easier to use and install. But if you do decide to go the hardwired route, or you already have a working wired system, we certainly recommend you keep a voltmeter on hand!

If you're an Alarm Grid customer, and you need help using a voltmeter to check your system, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We are happy to help monitored customers get their systems up and running and perform any necessary troubleshooting. We invite you to check out our monitoring page for more information. If you ever need help, you can send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you!

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