2GIG SP2-GC3 Posts

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Alarm Grid is here again with its latest video recap! We have a lot of videos featuring touchscreen keypads this week, though some other topics are covered as well. As usual, Jorge, Jarrett, and yours truly are all represented. Let's check out the latest Alarm Grid videos from the team!

Pairing a 2GIG SP2 with the 2GIG GC3e

Jarrett helps you pair a 2GIG SP2 Keypad with a 2GIG GC3e Security System. Adding the SP2 Keypad will provide you with a secondary on-site location for controlling your GC3e System. You might consider installing it by your front door, by your garage door, by your back door, or in your master bedroom. Remember that the SP2 is for security functions only, and it cannot perform automation commands. The wireless keypad pairs with the GC3e through WIFI or by using an Access Point (AP).


How to Tell If a Keypad Has an RF Receiver Built-In

Jorge explains how you can determine if your alarm system keypad has a built-in RF receiver. It can be easy to confuse a keypad like the Honeywell 6160RF, which has an integrated receiver, with a similar-looking keypad that does not, such as the Honeywell 6160. If you have a hardwired alarm system, then the benefit of adding a wireless receiver is that you will be able to begin pairing compatible wireless sensors with the system. And if your keypad has a built-in receiver, then you won't need to add a standalone receiver unit.


Remove a PG9914 From its Mounting Bracket

Jarrett shows you how to remove a DSC PG9914 PowerG Motion Detection Sensor from its mounting bracket. Like all motion sensors, properly positioning and mounting the PG9914 is very important for achieving the results you want. If it is positioned improperly, then it may cause false alarms, or it may not activate when movement is present in the area. Proper mounting is also crucial if you intend to use the motion sensor for pet immunity. The PG9914 supports pet immunity of up to 85 pounds.


Determining if Your Keypad is Alphanumeric

Jorge explains the difference between an Alphanumeric Keypad like the Honeywell 6160 and a Fixed English Keypad like the Honeywell 6150. Both keypad types are good for arming and disarming and bypassing sensors. But only an Alphanumeric Keypad is good for menu-driven programming. This is because an Alphanumeric Keypad will display the relevant information as you move through the menus. If you try to program on a Fixed English Keypad, you will basically be operating blindly.


Checking the ECP and RIS Address on the Tuxedo Touch

Jorge teaches you how to check the ECP Address and the RIS Address for a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad. These settings are important when you go to set up the Tuxedo Touch with a Honeywell VISTA Security System and Total Connect 2.0. The ECP Address is used for setting up the Tuxedo Touch as a keypad controller on the VISTA System, and the RIS Address is used for setting up the Tuxedo Touch as an automation controller on Total Connect 2.0.


Disarming Using the Tuxedo Touch Keypad

Jorge shows you how to disarm your Honeywell VISTA Alarm System by using a connected Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad. Since the Tuxedo Touch is a wired touchscreen keypad controller for the system, it needs to be able to perform all the standard security functions. These include arming and disarming the system. When you are disarming, you are taking the system out of a secured state so that burglary/intrusion zones are unable to cause alarms on the system.

Bypassing Zones Using a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad

Jorge explains how to bypass zones using a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad. When the zone associated with a sensor is bypassed, that sensor is ignored by the system. In other words, the system will not provide any response if that sensor is faulted. You must bypass or restore any faulted zones prior to arming the system. Bypassing is often preferred over deleting a zone entirely, as you do not have to reprogram a zone after bypassing. You can just unbypass the zone later on and use it as normal.


Providing AC Power to an Alarm System

I explain how AC power is provided to an alarm system. AC power comes from a plug-in transformer that connects to an alarm panel using wire. The transformer takes the high-voltage power provided from the outlet, and it transforms it into low-voltage power that is suitable for powering a security system. The power travels down the wire and reaches the panel. This represents the primary power source for an alarm system. If AC power is lost, then a backup battery can keep the system running temporarily until AC power is restored.

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

Honeywell lkp500 wireless keypad for lyric controller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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