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The maker of the 2GIG GC3 and GC3e recommends that all users with a panel approaching 3 years of age replace the backup battery. Initially, the expected battery life was between three and five years. With the recent notice Nice, 2GIG's parent company is now suggesting a battery replacement ahead of schedule.

Apparently, swelling has been observed in some of these panels' lithium-polymer batteries. The manufacturer notes that some minor swelling is normal, but based on the notice it sounds like some batteries may be swelling beyond what is normal.

Once you open up the GC3/GC3 panel to access the battery, Nice is also warning not to puncture the battery upon removal. Do not use any type of sharp object to remove the battery. Puncturing the battery could allow dangerous chemicals to spill from the casing. Once the battery is removed, please follow local guidelines with regard to the proper disposal of lithium-ion batteries.

It is also recommended in this notice to do a firmware upgrade of your 2GIG GC3 or GC3e alarm panel at the time you replace the battery. The latest revision for these panels is

Reading through the firmware release notes, it does mention that the latest firmware update includes the addition of battery testing, and conditioning, as well as a status indicator for battery replacement. So, we will double down on the advice to update your panel's firmware. This revision also includes compliance with UL 985 edition 6. This standard requires that the panel recognize batteries that can no longer provide battery backup for at least 5 minutes worth of alarm signaling. When the panel recognizes that the battery lacks this capacity, it will alert the user of a low battery and the battery should be replaced at that time.

The 2GIG GC3 and GC3e use the same firmware beginning with revision 3.2.3. If you already have revision 3.2.1 or higher, then you can find all updates on the GC3e firmware update page. Older revisions may require a stepped approach to upgrading and cannot be updated all-at-once. You can find the older firmware versions on the GC3 firmware update page.

You must update to the base build of each revision, and then you can skip to the latest build of that revision. The base of each version is 3.0.x then 3.1.x, then 3.2.x. If you have an earlier revision and attempt to update directly to 3.2.1, your panel will very likely be damaged and will have to be replaced. Updating over the air using Alarm.com can help with this process, as their server should only allow you to update in the proper order.

GC3/GC3e firmware updates can be sent by your alarm dealer. When the update can be sent using WIFI at the panel, there is usually no charge, though different dealers may have different policies on this. An upgrade that has to be sent using cellular data will incur a fee, which will likely be passed onto the user by the dealer. Alarm Grid always passes these fees along with no markup. We recommend that you update using the USB port at the top of the panel. We have written detailed instructions on updating the firmware using the USB port to make this process easier to accomplish.

If your panel is approaching or past the 3-year mark, it is best to be proactive and purchase your new GC3/GC3e battery today. Then make sure to install the latest firmware, as recommended.

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Alarm Grid is here with a video recap as usual! We only have a few videos this time around, and all feature yours truly. But don't worry, as we have some more videos featuring Jorge and Jarrett on the way soon. But for now we hope you enjoy these videos from October 28th. Let's take a look!

Duress Code Function On the 2GIG GC2e

I explain how the duress code works on the 2GIG GC2e Security System. The duress code feature is useful if you have a system that is monitored with central station service. When you enter the duress code, a secret alert is sent to the central station to indicate that you need help right away. Nothing appears on the GC2e Panel, so it's a great way to discreetly request immediate assistance. The duress code is hard-coded to user slot 8 on the GC2e.

Different Alarm Types On Security Systems

I explain how there are different types of alarms on security systems. The alarm types that can occur on a security system include burglary/intrusion alarms, police panic alarms, life-safety alarms, and auxiliary alarms. The response provided by a central station operator will depend on what type of alarm occurs on the system. For example, a very different response is warranted for a life-safety alarm like a fire alarm or CO alarm, than what is needed for a burglary/intrusion alarm.

How an Alarm System Backup Battery Works

I explain the purpose and function of a backup battery on a security system. The backup battery keeps the system running when AC power is lost due to an electrical outage or the plug-in transformer being disconnected. The battery slowly stores power while the system is running on AC power. That way, it is ready to activate as soon as primary power is lost. Batteries vary in terms of how long they can keep a system running. Some batteries can maintain alarm system power on their own for at least 24 hours.

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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
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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