Alarm.com ADC-SEM300-VT-AT Posts

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Alarm.com continues to improve the user experience with its service. They made swapping a communicator or a whole system easy when it comes to backing up and restoring users and zones. But until now, all Z-Wave devices had to be excluded then re-included on the new panel. That is changing.

An important thing to remember is that currently, not all Alarm.com compatible Z-Wave Controllers support backing up and restoring the Z-Wave network. The following modules are the ones that support this feature as of this writing:

Panel Minimum Original Module Version Minimum Current Module Version
DSC PowerSeries Neo 187j 191a
DSC PowerSeries PRO 187e 189e
Interlogix Concord 4 187e 189e
Interlogix NX 187a 189b
Interlogix Simon XT/XTi/XTi-5/XTi-5i 191c 191f
SEM DSC PowerSeries 187i 189e
SEM Honeywell/Ademco VISTA 187d 189b

As you can see from this list, it's the communicators manufactured by ADC, that have the Z-Wave controller built into the communicator that currently support this new feature. Hopefully, this list will grow to include the Qolsys and 2GIG alarm panels.

At this time, the backup and restore of a customer's Z-Wave network can only be performed by the alarm dealer through either the Partner Portal, or the Mobile Tech App. The end-user can't perform these steps. A Z-Wave network backup occurs automatically about eight (8) hours after a device is either added to, or removed from, the Z-Wave network. The backup takes about five (5) minutes, plus two (2) to three (3) minutes for verification purposes. The amount of time the back process takes is not dependant on the number of devices that are paired with the Z-Wave Controller.

To backup a Z-Wave Network on a compatible device using the Alarm.com Partner Portal (Website) perform the following steps:

  1. Login to the Portal. Using your Alarm.com dealer portal login credentials, log into the Partner Portal, completing any 2-factor authentication required.
  2. Pull up the account. Find the account whose Z-Wave network you would like to back up.
  3. Navigate to equipment. Click on the Equipment menu option on the left side of the screen. Then click on Z-Wave Devices.
  4. Backup the network. Under Advanced Z-Wave Commands click Backup Network. Stay on the network backup page to monitor the status of the backup. Once backed up, the backup will be verified, then the process will complete.

A backup is usually performed in order to prepare to move as much of the panel/module programming from the existing system to a new module. This could be due to an upgrade, or due to the replacement of an existing module that is determined to be malfunctioning.

Once a backup has been made, the next step is to restore the backed-up information to the new module or system. To restore backed-up Z-Wave information to a new module during a module swap, via the Alarm.com Partner Portal, perform these steps:

  1. Power down the existing module. Power down the panel and remove the existing Alarm.com module from it.
  2. Swap the module. Log into the Alarm.com Partner Portal, then find the customer account. In the Customer Information section, choose Swap Module. Enter the new module's serial number into the appropriate location on the module swap screen. If there is a specific reason for the swap, enter this info in the Swap Reason field.
  3. Restore Z-Wave Network. Click on the option to Restore Z-Wave Network then click Submit.
  4. Install new module. Install the new Alarm.com module into the panel (while still powered down). Power up the panel and module.
  5. Perform a Communication Test Perform a communication test from the panel using the new communication module. The process for sending a test signal will differ from one panel to another. Check the Installation Instructions for the new module, it should provide instructions on how to perform this test.
  6. Monitor the process. You will automatically be taken to the Z-Wave Network Restore page. Monitor the progress of the restore until it is complete. The process of a full module swap, including restoring panel information as well as Z-Wave devices can take 25 minutes or longer. Be patient and allow the process to complete.

What do you think of this new feature from Alarm.com? If you have ever had to replace a Z-Wave Controller in a robust Z-Wave network and had to exclude, then include all the devices in the new module along with re-programming all schedules and scenes, you will appreciate this feature. Leave a comment below and tell us about your experiences with this type of situation. We enjoy hearing from our readers.

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If you use an Interlogix Alarm System with Alarm.com, then you can expect a firmware update for your system's LTE communicator. The firmware update will be automatic, and no action will need to be taken. Interlogix Simon Panels, NetworX Panels, and Concord4 Panels will receive the update.

If you haven't upgraded to an LTE communicator yet, then make sure to do so as soon as possible. The 3G Sunset is going to occur on January 31st, 2022 for AT&T and December 31st for Verizon. If you are not aware of the 3G sunset, then please read this blog to get acquainted. This upgrade is very important to ensure that you do not experience a loss of service.

We want to mention that each firmware update is just a general update designed to improve the user experience. Each update is being pushed down automatically, at no cost to the user. No action is needed on your end, just have your system online and connected with the Alarm.com servers, and everything will be taken care of.

Please note the update according to your Interlogix System:

  • Interlogix Concord4 - Firmware Update 189d
  • Interlogix NetworX - Firmware Update 189a
  • Interlogix Simon XT, XTi, XTi-5, XTi-5i - Firmware Update 191f

Additionally, if you use a Honeywell VISTA System with an Alarm.com SEM (not AlarmNet or Total Connect 2.0), then you will also be getting a pair of automatic system updates. All VISTA Systems using Alarm.com SEMs will receive the SEM VISTA 187i Upgrade and the 1.61 Firmware Upgrade. Again, both updates are automatic, and they are being provided at zero cost.

That's all the news for now. If you have any of the aforementioned systems on Alarm.com, then you can expect the automatic firmware update. If you are monitored by Alarm Grid and you are having any trouble with your system, please email support@alarmgrid.com. Please keep in mind our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F.

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Alarm Grid is offering new Alarm.com System Enhancement Modules (SEMs) for Honeywell VISTA P-Series Alarm Panels. The ADC-SEM300-VT-AT (AT&T LTE & IP) and ADC-SEM300-VT-VZ (Verizon LTE & IP) are both available now. They provide reliable alarm monitoring and Z-Wave Plus capabilities.

If you aren't familiar with Alarm.com System Enhancement Modules (SEMs), they are basically cellular communicators that allow hardwired alarm panels to connect with the Alarm.com servers. The reason why SEMs for Honeywell VISTA Systems are so interesting is because normally these Honeywell-manufactured Alarm Panels are used in conjunction with the Resideo AlarmNet Servers and the Total Connect 2.0 Security Notification and Automation Platform. With an SEM, you can take control of your Honeywell VISTA Alarm Panel and instead have it communicate with the Alarm.com servers and the Alarm.com platform. Alarm Grid customers can choose from a variety of alarm monitoring plans to use with SEMs, including our Gold and Platinum Level Plans (Self & Full) and our Cellular-Only Plan. You can learn more about all our monitoring plans in this comprehensive blog post.

When you break-down what Alarm.com offers versus Total Connect 2.0, both platforms are remarkably similar. However, there are some cases where a user may prefer to go with Alarm.com over Total Connect 2.0. The biggest reason why we can think of is that the user wants to take advantage of the robust selection of Alarm.com Security Cameras. If you compare the selection of Alarm.com Cameras versus the Total Connect 2.0 Camera Selection, then it's clear that Alarm.com is (at least for now) the hands-down winner. Even if you aren't using security cameras in your setup, maybe you want a better integration with the Alarm.com Smart Water Valve, or maybe there's an Alarm.com Demand Response Program in your area that you want to take advantage of. In any case, if you have a VISTA P-Series Panel (e.g. VISTA-10P, VISTA-15P, VISTA-20P, VISTA-21iP, VISTA-21iPLTE), then an Alarm.com SEM will give you the option of using their services instead of AlarmNet and TC2.

When you compare the new "300-Series" SEMs with the previous VISTA SEMs, the ADC-SEM210-VT-AT and the ADC-SEM210-VT-VZ, the new ones have a couple of advantages. For one, the new 300-Series SEMs utilize much lower power consumption at just 230mA. The new modules also have the ability to be used without an external power supply, which was required with the older modules. In the setup without an external power supply, all of the power is supplied from the panel. However, you can still use an external power supply with the new SEMs if you do not have 230mA available from your panel. Also, the new 300-Series SEMs have new externally-facing LED status lights that are easier to read when needed.

Just like the prior editions, the new ADC-SEM300-VT-AT and ADC-SEM300-VT-VZ offer ultra-reliable connectivity across both an LTE cellular network and internet service using a wired ethernet connection. In addition, the new SEMs also return with Z-Wave Plus functionality, thereby allowing you to build a robust and complete smart home network around your security system. If you have been wanting to setup smart devices around your Honeywell VISTA Alarm System for use around the Alarm.com Security and Automation Platform, then these new SEM devices are perfect for the job at-hand. They are available right now and ready for use with Alarm Grid!

Do you have any thoughts about the new Alarm.com 300-Series SEMs, the ADC-SEM300-VT-AT and ADC-SEM300-VT-VZ? Would you consider switching over your Honeywell VISTA System to the Alarm.com Platform from Total Connect 2.0? Or maybe you're already happy with using your VISTA System with its current LTE cellular communicator? Let us know your thoughts in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. We always make sure to cover new product releases and the latest security system news, so make sure to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Home Security Blog for more great content coming soon!

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