Home Security Blog

Posted By

One of Alarm Grid's best partners Qolsys has announced that their upcoming IQ Panels with PowerG support have officially received UL certification. It appears as though the company is currently on track to have these new systems ready for a public release later this summer season.

PowerG is a wireless sensor lineup from DSC. These are state-of-the-art security sensors that boast some highly impressive capabilities and features. They operate at a considerably higher frequency (915 MHz) than most other wireless sensors, meaning that they will not interfere with other devices. The range of these sensors is absolutely insane, as they can operate from nearly half a mile away from the panel when used indoors. The sensor also use 128-bit AES encryption to prevent them from being hacked or spoofed. Needless to say, we are very excited that Qolsys Systems will soon be able to support these sensors.

Qolsys previously announced at ISC West 2018 that a PowerG daughtercard would be made available for their IQ Panel 2. By installing this daughtercard, the system will be able to support PowerG sensors. Qolsys will also likely produce IQ Panel 2 Systems with the daughtercard already integrated, and also possibly other PowerG-compatible systems as well. So far the PowerG lineup includes outdoor PIR motion detectors with integrated cameras, outdoor siren/strobe devices and a door contact with a wired input for long-range expansion.

ISC West 2018 was also when Qolsys announced that they would soon be offering legacy daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2. These daughtercards are available in 319.5 MHz (Qolsys and Interlogix/GE Sensors), 345 MHz (legacy Honeywell and 2GIG Sensors) and 433 MHz (legacy DSC Sensors). Please note that the system will only support one PowerG daughtercard and one legacy daughtercard at any given time.

Alarm Grid will make sure to keep you up to date with any of the latest news regarding Qolsys and PowerG support. Keep an eye on our blog for more information.

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

Comments


Posted By

Not every opening is conveniently located inside the house. A user may also want to monitor openings that are located outside the house. This could include fences, detached garage doors, barns and patio doors. When doing this, the sensor must be able to survive the outdoor environment.

Durability is a much greater concern with outdoor contacts. While most contacts are kept safe inside the home, an outdoor contact is exposed to a much harsher environment. The sensor will need to work in more extreme temperatures, and it will come into contact with water and dust on a regular basis. Needless to say, if a user tries to use a standard contact, it will not last very long.

Luckily, there are special outdoor contacts that are specifically designed to survive in an outdoor setting. These contacts typically function in the same manner as an indoor contact, using a sensor and magnet. The sensor is installed on the stationary portion of the opening, while the magnet is installed on the moving part. The magnet must be placed very close to the sensor in order for this process to work properly.

When the outside door or fence is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will cause a reed switch inside the sensor to activate. The sensor will then send a signal to the alarm system to let it know that it has been activated. When this happens, the system can then perform a pre-programmed response. This could include requiring a system disarm or sending out an alarm to a central station.

One excellent outdoor sensor for this purpose is the Honeywell 5816OD. This is a 345 MHz wireless sensor that will work with any Honeywell or 2GIG Alarm System. It is fully weatherproof, and it can survive temperatures ranging from -40° to 150° Fahrenheit. The sensor will continue to function properly, even in a very dusty or humid environment. For best results, the sensor should be placed within 1.5" of the included magnet when the opening is closed.

Honeywell 5816od wireless outdoor door and window sensor top

You can purchase this sensor from the Alarm Grid website. If you have any questions about using this sensor, you may contact us via support@alarmgrid.com or by calling us at 888-818-7728 between 9am and 8pm M-F.

Tags: , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! Our technical support team has been producing new videos to help others learn how to use their security systems. We've already received great feedback on our videos, and we look forward to making more. Let's take a look at some of the videos that we've released in the past week.

Using Wired Contacts on a 2GIG GC3

Joe explains how to use hardwired contacts with the 2GIG GC3 System. There are a few different ways of doing this. The GC3 actually has built-in support for two different hardwired sensors. If a user needs to use additional wired contacts, they can do so using a compatible wired to wireless converter, such as a Honeywell 5800C2W or a 2GIG TAKE-345. It is also possible to connect the wired contact to a wireless transmitter that will send signals to the panel on the sensor's behalf.


Getting Monitoring for a Self-Installed 2GIG GC3

Joe talks about how it is possible to receive monitoring service for a 2GIG System that has been self-installed. These systems can connect with the Alarm.com interactive service platform by receiving cellular monitoring. This requires a compatible cellular communicator and a cellular alarm monitoring plan. The cellular module includes a serial number that is needed for activating the system. The system will need to be activated by the user's alarm monitoring company in order for the system to receive active monitoring service.


Using the Lyric Alarm System as a Secondary Z-Wave Controller

Joe discusses how the Honeywell Lyric Controller can be used to operate Z-Wave home automation devices. By using the Lyric as a secondary controller in conjunction with a primary Z-Wave controller, the Z-Wave network will be able to perform more advanced functions. When doing this, Z-Wave devices should be learned-in with the primary Z-Wave controller. The Lyric Controller will need to be enrolled with the primary Z-Wave controller in order for this to be possible. The Lyric will then automatically recognize any Z-Wave devices that were programmed with the primary controller.


2GIG GC3: Changing the Installer Code

Jorge talks about changing the Installer Code on a 2GIG GC3 System. This code is set to 1561 by default. We usually recommend keeping the Installer Code at its default so that the user does not become locked out of programming later. However, the code can be changed if desired. This is done by accessing Panel Programming within the Installer Toolbox. The user will need to know the current Installer Code in order to successfully change the code.


The Lyric Alarm System and VISTA Compatibility

Jorge discusses the compatibility between the Honeywell Lyric Controller and the Honeywell VISTA Systems. These are both independent alarm systems, and they do not interact with one another. However, as they are both Honeywell Systems, they use similar sensors, and the same interactive service. Both the Lyric and VISTA Systems can use Honeywell 5800 Series Wireless Sensors, though a VISTA Panel will need an added wireless receiver. They can also both access the Total Connect service. However, a VISTA System will need an added communicator.


WIFI Communication and the 2GIG GC3

Jorge talks about getting a 2GIG GC3 System connected to a WIFI network. The system will need to be running firmware version 3.1 or higher to connect to WIFI. The Network Settings menu can be accessed by providing the system's Installer Code. The password for the network will need to be provided in order to successfully connect. We recommend auto-assigning any IP configurations, though these settings can also be manually configured if needed. The system can only be connected with one WIFI network at a time.


How Do I Program a Honeywell 5877 to My Lyric Controller

Joe talks about how to use a Honeywell 5877 Relay with a Honeywell Lyric Controller. This module allows a garage door to be opened or closed using the Lyric Controller or a synced Total Connect account. The 5877 can be spliced in with a garage door button, or it can be connected to the garage door motor itself. The garage door can then be controlled through the automation section of the Lyric. If a user wants their garage door to operate as a security zone, they will need to add a Honeywell 5822T Tilt Sensor.


Demonstration of the Lyric and Total Connect

Jorge gives a brief overview of the Total Connect service and how it is used with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Once the Lyric is synced with Total Connect, a user can access the service to control their system. The service allows users to arm and disarm their system, control Z-Wave home automation devices, check the status of sensors, view security cameras and more. After the Lyric has been synced, any rules and scenes for Z-Wave devices that are used the Lyric Controller will need to be added and edited through the Total Connect service.


Tags:

Comments


Posted By

As the sunset for 3G cellular networks is quickly approaching, Alarm Grid has some important news regarding support for Verizon's 3G CDMA network. This news affects both the Alarm.com service and Honeywell's AlarmNet server.

As of today, June 1st, 2018, Verizon will no longer activate Alarm.com CDMA cellular communicator SIM cards as they prepare for their CDMA network sunset. If the Verizon SIM card is already activated, which is done during manufacturing, Alarm.com will still allow the account activation to go through.

However, if a communicator is manufactured and never activated with Alarm.com, or if it's activated with Alarm.com but then cancelled, the Verizon SIM will eventually become deactivated. Therefore, it's possible that a CDMA module you already have won't be able to be used if it's not currently active with Alarm.com.

If you have an existing Alarm.com CDMA communicator with a different monitoring company, it can still be "recycled" and brought over to a new alarm company, as long as the communicator is re-activated with the new monitoring company soon after it's cancelled by the existing monitoring company.

Any existing Alarm.com CDMA communicator that is already active with Alarm.com will continue to work for the time being, but will be sunsetting soon.

If you need to purchase a new cellular communicator for an Alarm.com panel, we recommend one of the following Verizon LTE options:

For 2GIG GC3:

For more information on GC3 Firmware Updates, please click here. Also see this guide to upgrade the GC3 communicator.

For 2GIG GC2:

For more information on GC2 Firmware Updates, please click here. Also see this guide to upgrade the GC2 communicator. You can also review the FAQs 2GIG GC2 Firmware Update Instructions Using UPCBL2 and How to Upgrade GC2 Firmware Using a Cable for more information.


2gig ltev a gc3 alarm dot com verizon lte communicator for 2gig

Starting June 30th, 2018, Honeywell AlarmNet CDMA cellular communicators that were manufactured before March 1st, 2018 can no longer be activated. If you have an AlarmNet CDMA communicator that was manufactured before this date, you must activate it by June 30th.

At that time, it will also be impossible to bring a Honeywell CDMA radio from one monitoring company to another. AlarmNet CDMA communicators that were manufactured after March 1st, 2018 can be activated until December 22nd, 2018. Any AlarmNet CDMA communicator that has already been activated will continue to work until the CDMA network is shutdown.

If you need to purchase a new cellular communicator for a Honeywell Alarm System, we suggest buying an LTE module. Alarm Grid recommends the following options based on system type:

Honeywell Lyric Controller: LYRICLTE-V supports Verizon LTE

Honeywell L5210 and L7000 (Firmware 9+): LTE-L57V supports Verizon LTE

Honeywell VISTA Systems: LTE-XV supports Verizon LTE or LTE-IV supports Verizon LTE & IP

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

Additionally, if you have a CDMA communicator that has not been activated, you will no longer be able to return it to Alarm Grid for a refund. We will not be taking any CDMA returns as of today. Our company stopped selling CDMA communicators roughly three months ago, and we have been preparing for the 3G sunset for quite some time.

Cellular service providers have already discontinued support for their 2G networks, and they are currently preparing to do the same for their 3G networks. This includes the Verizon 3G CDMA network. Instead, cellular service providers are shifting their focus to their newer and more advanced 4G and LTE networks. If you need to upgrade an alarm system to cellular, you should purchase an LTE module if possible.

Remember, existing CDMA communicators that have already been activated can still be used for the time being. These modules will continue to work until the CDMA network is discontinued. At that point, any CDMA cellular module will need to be replaced and upgraded to a newer communicator.

If you have any questions about this news, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Edit (6/8/18): This blog post previously stated that as of June 1st, no Alarm.com CDMA module that wasn't currently active with Alarm.com service could be activated on a new Alarm.com account, which has changed since it was written. It has been edited to reflect the correct information.

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

Comments


Posted By

The Alarm Grid office will be closed on Monday, May 28th in observance of Memorial Day. Our support technicians will be unavailable during this time. We will resume our normal business hours on Tuesday, May 29th.

If you require any assistance over the Memorial Day weekend, please email support@alarmgrid.com. Our team will make sure to send you a response as soon as we receive your email on Tuesday. Once we reopen, you may continue to contact us through our support email. You may also call us at 888-818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am-8pm EST M-F.

Alarm Grid would like to thank those who have served and defended our country. We hope that you all have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend, and we look forward to providing you with support in the future.

Tags:

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid has received important information from Honeywell, stating that any Lyric Controller using a WIFI-only communication setup is currently unable to work with an existing Apple HomeKit integration. Additionally, Honeywell has temporarily disabled the ability to activate new HomeKit service for all Lyric Controller Systems.

According to Honeywell, the Lyric Controller Security Systems are experiencing problems with WIFI connectivity when they are used with the HomeKit service. Honeywell is currently taking action to address this problem. The company says these issues should be fully resolved sometime in the third week of June.

Starting on Wednesday, May 23rd, Honeywell will disable all HomeKit features for any Lyric Controller that uses WIFI as its only communication path. This update will come in the form of a panel reboot while the system is in a disarmed state. The update may require up to three minutes to fully complete.

After the reboot, the panel should function as normal, though the HomeKit service will be disabled. Please note that this update is only being applied to Lyric Controller Systems that use a strictly WIFI connection. Lyric Controller Systems that use a dual-path setup with both WIFI and cellular, as well as those that use strictly cellular, are unaffected. Furthermore, Honeywell Lyric Gateway Systems are also unaffected.

Additionally, Honeywell has temporarily disabled the Apple HomeKit feature in AlarmNet 360. This makes it currently impossible to activate HomeKit service for any Lyric Controller System. New HomeKit activations will be possible once Honeywell restores the HomeKit feature sometime in the third week of June. Honeywell says that they plan to release more information regarding the restoration in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions regarding these issues, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 between 9am and 8pm EST M-F. We apologize for any issues that this may cause.

Note: This issue has since been fixed.

Tags: , ,

Comments


Posted By

Qolsys is releasing an automatic firmware update for any IQ Panel 2 that is running firmware version 2.0.6 or lower. This is firmware update 2.1.1, and it is designed to improve the overall stability of the system. The update will be applied on Monday, June 4th, and it will take about 12 minutes to complete.

The panel will then reboot once the update has finished. The update will only be applied when the system is in a disarmed state. Users should not notice any difference to their IQ Panel 2 System after the update has gone through.

If you have any questions about this automatic update, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 between 9am and 8pm EST M-F.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! Today we are very excited to announce that Alarm Grid will now begin selling Interlogix Panels and sensors. Interlogix has offered excellent security products for decades, with their equipment previously being sold under the GE brand. By offering these tremendous panels and sensors, we are providing customers with yet another option in terms of security equipment that they can choose for their home or business.

Interlogix simon xti 5 80 632 3n xt5 front imageAlarm Grid has always taken great pride in providing monitoring support for as many alarm systems as possible. However, we have been strategically selective in terms of the equipment that we offer for sale. This has allowed us to provide comprehensive and detailed support for all of the equipment that we offer. Shortly after Alarm Grid was founded in 2012, we began offering Honeywell equipment because we believed that it was the most accessible for DIY consumers. We later expanded our offerings to include 2GIG equipment and Qolsys equipment as well. Now today, Interlogix represents the fourth major equipment manufacturer to receive full support from Alarm Grid. We can now officially say that we are an Interlogix Dealer.


Customers can browse our site and check out Interlogix panels, sensors and even entire system kits. We view Interlogix Systems as a viable budget and economical option for consumers. The equipment is relatively less expensive, and the panels arrive with fewer bells and whistles than their Honeywell, 2GIG and Qolsys counterparts. However, these systems can be fully upgraded to perform virtually any action or function that is possible with other modern alarm systems. Additionally, Interlogix sensors and peripherals tend to be more affordable than those from other manufacturers. All of this makes Interlogix a fantastic choice for any customer who is looking for a complete and total security setup at a reduced cost.

Interlogix simon xtOur Interlogix offerings will be based around three major alarm systems. These are the Simon XT, Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5. These are all self-contained wireless all-in-one alarm panels that provide support for up to 40 wireless zones. The Simon XT features an integrated push-button keypad and a dual-line ext-based LCD screen. The panel also features quick-access panic buttons in case of an emergency. The touchpad system is surprisingly easy to program, and it offers the full capabilities as the other Interlogix Simon Alarm Systems.


The Interlogix Simon XTi represents an upgraded version of the Simon XT. The Simon XTi provides the complete functionality of the Simon XT, but it includes an integrated 3.5 inch touchscreen controller. This makes navigating the system menus more user-friendly, and it offers a more engaging experience overall. The integrated touch screen also allows users to control any programmed Z-Wave home automation devices directly from the panel itself. Interlogix also products the Simon XTi-5. This system is exactly the same as the Simon XTi, but the Simon XTi-5 features a larger 5 inch touch screen, as opposed to the 3.5 inch touch screen found on the Simon XTi.

Interlogix 60 362n 10 319 dot 5 crystal wireless door slash wind

All of the Interlogix Simon Alarm Systems come with an integrated wireless receiver so that they can readily communicate with wireless sensors. The wireless sensors used with the Interlogix Systems communicate at a frequency of 319.5 MHz. This is the same wireless frequency used by Qolsys sensors. This means that any unencrypted Qolsys sensor (non S-Line) can interface with an Interlogix System. It is also possible to use Interlogix sensors with the Qolsys IQ Panel and IQ Panel 2 Systems. Qolsys owners can certainly turn to Interlogix sensors as a cost-effective option for upgrading their systems


Most customers who purchase an Interlogix System will want to obtain a cellular module upgrade as well. Cellular service for alarm systems is known for its lightning fast communication speeds and its exceptional performance and consistency overall. This type of communication almost never experiences any type of service disruption, and it is not affected by power outages. This outstanding performance and reliability makes cellular communication the gold standard for alarm systems. Installing a cellular module in an Interlogix System is a very quick and easy process that can be fully completed by most end users.

Interlogix 600 1048 xt zx at at and t 3g cellular communicator fInterlogix offers LTE cellular communicators for all of their alarm systems. LTE is currently the fastest and most consistent form of cellular communication available, and cellular service providers have committed to supporting LTE communication for many years to come. For those reasons, we strongly encourage users to choose LTE cellular communicators for their Interlogix Systems. These LTE communicators will provide the best possible performance, and they will ensure that the user's equipment can be fully supported for monitoring well into the very distant future. Customers can choose between LTE service from Verizon, AT&T and Telus (Canada only).


As part of our Interlogix product launch, Alarm Grid will offer full support and guidance for Interlogix Systems and equipment. Users can read dozens of FAQs to help them get started with a new Interlogix System. Our team is also planning on releasing helpful how-to videos for Interlogix Systems in the near future. Additionally, any monitored customer is invited to speak with one of our helpful support technicians online or over the phone for help with using or setting up their Interlogix System. Our team has recently spent time training and learning the intricacies of these systems so that we are fully prepared to help you with any issues that you might experience.

Alarm Grid is very pleased to welcome the Interlogix brand to our growing family. We are sure that Interlogix Systems monitored by Alarm Grid will quickly find their way into homes and businesses everywhere. As always, thank you for choosing Alarm Grid, and we look forward to providing you with industry-leading support in the future.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hey DIYers, have you been checking out the Alarm Grid YouTube Channel? If not, here's a quick recap of what you missed in the past week.

April 29th: How Do I Get Into Programming On My Vista 20P?

Bryce shows the basics of how to access programming on a Honeywell Vista 20P System. In most cases, this is done by entering in the command [4112] + [800], with "4112" being the system's default Installer Code. Bryce also explains the differences between fixed English and alphanumeric keypads, as well as the backdoor method for accessing programming. According to Bryce, an alphanumeric keypad is necessary for conducting deeper level panel programming. With a Fixed English keypad, the programming options are more limited.

April 30th: What is a CKT Error on My 6160 Keypad?

Dylan explains the meaning of a CKT error on a 6160 keypad used with a Honeywell VISTA System. The error means that the keypad is not communicating properly with the VISTa Panel. The reason for this could be poor wiring, improper addressing or defaulting of the keypad or panel. Dylan then shows the proper wiring for the device and the steps for addressing the keypad so that it works properly. The error should clear once the wiring and addressing is correct.


May 1st: Why is my 5800PIR-RES showing a Red flashing light?

Bryce demonstrates the walk test mode on Honeywell PIR Motion Detection Sensors. When the motion sensor is first powered on, it will automatically enter into its walk test mode. While in this mode, the device will show a red LED light whenever it detects motion. The sensor will then exit this mode on its own after 10 minutes. To re-enter walk test mode, simply remove the battery for the device and then re-insert the battery to power it back on.


May 2nd: What is the Best Security System for an Apartment?

Jorge talks about what type of security system is best for an apartment. He recommends using a wireless self-contained security system since they are easier to use and install. He also points out that a desk mount can be used so that they panel does not have to be mounted to the wall. Wireless sensors can be installed using double-sided foam tape to avoid drilling holes. Jorge specifically mentions the Honeywell Lyric Controller and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 as being great options.


May 3rd: When Will the Lyric CDMA Be Phased Out?

Jorge discusses the plans for Verizon to eventually discontinue support for their CDMA network. This important information for anyone who uses cellular communication with their Honeywell Lyric Controller. The CDMA network is still being used with many alarm systems. Starting on June 1, 2018, new CDMA activations will no longer be allowed. Existing CDMA communicators will be grandfathered in to remain active until the CDMA network is shutdown. In order to remain active with the Verizon network, a user will need to upgrade to an LTE communicator.

Tags:

Comments


Posted By

With the recent release of the LTE-L57V for the L5210 and L7000 Systems, there is now a viable LTE cellular communication module available for all of the most popular Honeywell Alarm Control Panels. Whether you own a Lyric, LYNX Touch or VISTA panel, there is an LTE communicator for you!

The current LTE options are as follows:

Please note that for the Honeywell VISTA 21iP, there is currently no "snap-on" LTE module like that of the AT&T 3G/4G based VISTA-GSM4G. In order to use the Honeywell LTE-XV communicator with the VISTA 21iP, the "internal communications" jumper on the board must be set to the bottom two pins. Make sure to power the system completely down before making this adjustment. The communicator must then be installed as an external radio-like wiring on a VISTA-20P. By adjusting the jumper in this way, the integrated ethernet port for the VISTA 21iP will be disabled. However, this is not a huge concern. LTE cellular connectivity is extremely reliable, and it provides communication speeds that are comparable to that of IP. So even though IP connectivity will no longer be accessible, it is a worthwhile sacrifice to obtain LTE service over older cellular technologies like 3G and CDMA. Remember, LTE service is widely recognized as being the single best communication path available for modern alarm systems.

By releasing these new communicators, Honeywell has made it very clear that LTE cellular communication is the way of the future. This news is also important for users of the Verizon CDMA Network. AlarmNet (Honeywell's cloud server) has stated that new CDMA activations will no longer be permitted after June 1, 2018. This includes cancelling an existing CDMA account and then trying to reactivate it later. Anyone hoping to use CDMA with their Honeywell System must get the communicator active before it's too late. Verizon has promised that CDMA support for existing equipment will remain active until their CDMA network is shutdown. After that, the communicator will need to be upgraded.

All of the current LTE communicators for Honeywell Systems are available for purchase on the Alarm Grid website. We'll be sure to keep you updated with any news regarding additional Honeywell LTE communicators that are released in the future. We do not have any exact timelines for the release of a Verizon LTE module for the Lyric, nor AT&T LTE for the Lynx Touch and VISTA panels. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@alarmgrid.com.

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

Comments