DSC PG9914 Posts

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You have likely heard us talking about the benefits of PowerG Sensors at one point or another. Today, we figured we would break down the benefits of these sensors and explain why we like them so much. Let's take an in-depth look at PowerG Sensors and all of their wonderful benefits.


PowerG Sensors were originally designed for the hardwired DSC PowerSeries NEO Systems. By adding a compatible transceiver unit to your PowerSeries NEO, the system will be able to support PowerG Sensors. Johnson Controls, which you may know as the parent company of DSC, took the technology associated with PowerG Sensors, and brought it over to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This move was not a major surprise, as Johnson Controls also had partial ownership over Qolsys at the time, and Johnson Controls has since bought out Qolsys entirely.

The addition of PowerG support for the IQ2 marked the beginning of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, which is how the system is still marketed and sold today. PowerG support is also available for the DSC Iotega, though that panel has largely flopped due to its lack of local end user programming. Today, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus represents the most popular panel for supporting PowerG. All versions and variants of the IQ Panel 2 Plus support PowerG Sensors, and their exceptional performance makes them the go-to choice for IQ2+ users who want equipment with the best versatility and protection.

Starting with the range, PowerG Sensors can be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus when they are used in an open air environment. By open air environment, we are talking about a perfect setting with a direct line of sight, and no obstacles between the sensor and the alarm panel. Most homes and businesses do not provide the ideal, "open air" environment, as there are usually walls and metal appliances present. When you see us mention that 2,000 feet open air range, take that with a grain of salt, because in practice, the range is likely a bit less. But still, we can undoubtedly say that PowerG offers arguably the best wireless range in the security industry. Even if its nominal range isn't quite as far as its "open air range", it is still a very powerful signal that can help you overcome the range issues that other sensor lineups may experience. It is great for use in detached garages, barns, multi-building complexes, and even just large industrial buildings.


To make matters even better, there is also a PowerG Repeater, the PG9920. This device will effectively double the range of any PowerG Sensor and help you overcome range limitations caused by thick walls and other obstacles or signal disruptions. The repeater works by taking the signal sent out from any PowerG Sensor and sending it out a second time with just as much power and force as when it was first sent from the original sensor. By strategically placing the repeater, it's theoretically possible to double the useful wireless range of these sensors. That would mean that they can be used from up to 4,000 feet away from the IQ2+ in an open air environment. And if your building is particularly large, you may even have repeaters going away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus System in different directions, including up and down in building stories above or below.

But PowerG Sensors offer more than just an impressive wireless range. They are also known for their exceptional security. This is thanks to their military grade 128-bit AES encryption. To put this as simply as possible, the PowerG Sensor and the panel share a unique encryption key at the time of pairing. The sensor must provide this encryption key to the panel whenever it transmits a signal. Additionally, the panel must then provide a return response with the encryption key as verification in order for the command to go through. In the past, we have referred to this two-way communication process as a "digital handshake". Because of this encrypted pairing process, a PowerG Sensor actively knows whether or not it is currently paired with a panel. You may need to factory default a PowerG Sensor before you can pair it with a new system.


PowerG Sensors also take proactive measures against RF jamming. When a wireless sensor communicates with an alarm panel, it does so at a certain wireless radio frequency (RF). When we talk about RF jamming, we are referring to any malicious technique that prevents wireless signals from reaching their intended destination. This is accomplished by blocking the receiver with a stronger signal at the same wireless frequency as the device that is legitimately trying to communicate with it. When this is done on an alarm system, the system doesn't receive the incoming signals from faulted sensors, and no action is taken during a security breach or an unfavorable environmental condition. Early wireless sensors did not take this into account, and this made RF jamming an effective way to defeat an older wireless system.

The way that PowerG Sensors overcome RF jamming techniques is through a process called Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS). This process involves splitting the RF bandwidth into multiple channels. Each independent channel represents a unique radio frequency for wireless communication to occur. The transmitter (the PowerG Sensor) and the receiver (the alarm panel) both agree on a set of channel hopping sequences that will take place. These sequences are encrypted and time-based for them to occur seamlessly. Since the transmitter and the receiver are both synchronized, they can switch between channels very rapidly. A potential intruder would never be able to re-tun an RF jamming device to keep up. In the case of the PowerG Sensors, the frequency hops occur between 912 MHz and 918 MHz. There are 50 different unique frequency channels that are used, and frequency switches occur 64 times per second. More information on FHSS is available here.

One other benefit of PowerG Sensors that we have never discussed previously is their Adaptive Transmission feature that helps them conserve battery life. This is why you will often see a PowerG Sensor with a very long expected battery life, sometimes more than ten (10) years). Adaptive Transmission involves two-way communication between the PowerG Sensor and the alarm panel. The alarm panel will tell the PowerG Sensor how well its signal is being received. The PowerG Sensor can then adapt its outgoing signal so that it reliably reaches the panel, without expending too much energy. The sensor and the panel regularly exchange this information so that the ideal amount of energy is always used in signal transmissions. This saves battery life in the long run.

We have also found that PowerG Sensors are extremely easy to enroll and they offer the reliable and effective performance that you should expect out of your security system. We wholeheartedly recommend them for use on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, as well as any other compatible alarm system. It is expected that the upcoming Qolsys IQ Hub will also be able to utilize PowerG Sensors, so look forward to using PowerG Sensors on that panel once it is available.


For now, if you have any questions about PowerG Sensors or the systems that support them, or if you are interested in signing up for new alarm monitoring service, then please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We'll be available to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Last week, we took a look at three of the best alarm panels in the industry. These were the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the 2GIG GC3e. Today, we are checking out the sensors that you can add to support these systems. Here is our 2020 Security Sensor Buying Guide!

Sensors are accessories that are added to alarm systems to report specific activity. Each sensor has its own job of looking for a certain type of activity in its designated location. All of the sensors on a system communicate with a single centralized panel or hub. This panel is actively listening for any sensor that is triggered due to a potentially important system event. Adding new sensors is perhaps the best way to expand upon an existing system, and they make awesome gifts and stocking stuffers for the security enthusiast in your life.

Broadly speaking, sensors can be split into two main categories, which are security and life safety/environmental. Security sensors look for activity that suggests potentially unauthorized entry into a monitored and protected location, such as a door being opened, movement in a room where nobody is supposed to be present, or a window being broken. Life safety/environmental sensors look for activity associated with unwanted or potentially harmful conditions that affect the well-being of those in the area, such as a flood, an extreme temperature, a fire, or the presence of CO gas. We'll be taking a look at life safety/environmental sensors another time. Today, our focus is on security sensors.

Wireless Sensor Basics


Before we dive into specific security sensors for our top panel picks, we're going to start by giving you some general, generic information that can be applied to any sensor out there. First, understand that this post is focusing only on wireless sensors. These are almost always the sensors chosen for use with wireless alarm systems. Wired sensors can also technically be used with wireless panels but a converter module is almost always needed. Not to mention the fact that wireless sensors are significantly easier to install, especially for DIY users. The only time you will realistically see wired sensors used with a wireless panel is if a user is upgrading from an older wired system and bringing over their old wired sensors, or in new construction where a user wants to integrate the sensors in with the building. But if you're expanding upon a wireless system by getting new sensors, then the new sensors will almost certainly be wireless.

The important thing to remember when choosing wireless sensors for a wireless alarm panel is making sure the sensor is compatible with the system. It doesn't matter if a sensor has all the specs and features if it doesn't work with your panel! The way to determine compatibility is to look at the lineup that the sensor is from. Petty much every wireless sensor out there is part of a larger grouping of sensors that will all have the same compatibility.

To make it easier for you, we have the three panels we mentioned before (well, make that five, as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus actually comes in three versions), and all their compatible sensor lineups conveniently listed. We hope that this sheds some light on your options. The only caveat is that for any panel listed here that supports the Honeywell 5800 Sensors, we must be clear that this is only for the uni-directional sensors with one-way communication in the lineup. Any bi-directional Honeywell 5800 Sensors with two-way communication will not work with any of the aforementioned systems. The bi-directional Honeywell 5800 Sensors are only compatible with the Honeywell LYNX Touch and VISTA Systems, which were not included in our buying guides.

With that out of the way, here are compatible sensor lineups by system:

You will notice that some of the sensor groups listed above are italicized and underlined. That is done to identify the lineups of encrypted sensors. These encrypted sensors have special protection measures put in place to make them more secure and less prone to being hacked or defeated by malicious attacks. Encrypted sensors tend to have more restricted compatibility. They may follow a special enrollment process. Encrypted sensors often use bi-directional communication so that the sensor knows that it is actively paired with the system. Many encrypted sensors may only be paired with a single system at any given time, and the sensor will need to be deleted from its existing system before it will work with a new one.

It's okay to use non-encrypted sensors with your system, especially in zones that are less likely to trigger an alarm, like a second story window. Many users will opt to use a mixture of both encrypted and non-encrypted sensors. Other users feel comfortable using entirely non-encrypted sensors. It really comes down to your level of comfort. Non-encrypted sensors are secure in most situations, and they are still tricky to defeat. But going fully encrypted is recommended for anyone seeking maximum security. One tip if you do decide to go with some non-encrypted sensors is to avoid letting others know what wireless frequency your sensors use or what type of system you have installed. Knowing the frequency and the system being used makes it much easier for a savvy intruder to defeat a sensor.

Door & Window Alarm Sensors


Now that you know some basics that apply to almost all wireless sensors, let's start talking about specific types and models. Door and window sensors will let a system know when a door or window has been opened or closed. These are some of the most basic and easy to use sensors on a security system. These devices work by using a larger sensor portion and a smaller magnet portion. The sensor is placed on or inside the door or window frame, and the magnet is placed on or inside the moving portion of the door or window. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will move away from the sensor. This will trip a metal reed switch inside the sensor, which will tell the sensor to alert the system to the opened door or window. All of the sensors we've listed here follow that same method of operation.

Door and window sensors can be split into two (2) main categories. Surface-mount door and window sensors are mounted outside the door or window and its accompanying frame on the surface. The advantage to surface-mount door and window sensors is that they are very easy to install, and they can usually be mounted using double sided foam tape. But some users may not like how they are visible on the outside of the door or window. If you don't like the appearance of visible surface-mount door and window sensors, then you might instead consider recessed door and window sensors. A recessed door or window sensor is installed inside a door or window and its frame, so that it is hidden and cannot be seen from the outside. Recessed door and window sensors are more difficult and time-consuming to install, because you must drill holes in both the door or window and its accompanying frame. Whether you decide to use surface-mount door and window sensors, or recessed door and window sensors is up to you. Most DIY users and Alarm Grid customers in general will use surface-mount door and window sensors.

Now let's look at some door and window sensors.:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Installation
Notes
Honeywell SiXMINICT

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 200 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES Surface-Mount Premier mini encrypted door/window Sensor for Lyric.
DSC PG9303

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Surface-Mount PowerG encrypted surface mount door/window sensor.
DSC PG9307

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus
2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Recessed PowerG encrypted recessed door/window sensor.
2GIG DW10e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption Surface-Mount Encrypted surface-mount sensor for 2GIG
2GIG DW20e

2GIG eSeries
2GIG GC3e
350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption
Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor for 2GIG
Qolsys IQ DW Mini-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Surface-Mount Encrypted surface-mount sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Recessed Door-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ 2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5818MNL

Honeywell
5800 Series
Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Recessed Non-Encrypted recessed door/window sensor for 345 MHz systems.
VERSA-2GIG

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 345 MHz systems.
VERSA-GE

Legacy GE 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.
VERSA-DSC

Legacy DSC 433 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Non-encrypted surface-mount sensor for 433 MHz systems.

We also want to share a selection of outdoor door and window sensors with you. These surface-mount contact sensors are specifically designed to withstand the conditions of an outdoor environment, including intense rain, wind, dust, and sunlight. You can see them listed below.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Installation Notes
Honeywell 5816OD

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Outdoor contact sensor from 5800 Series.
DSC PG9312

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Surface-Mount PowerG Outdoor Contact Sensor.
2GIG DW30-345

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 350 Nominal Feet None Surface-Mount Outdoor contact sensor from 2GIG 345 MHz series.

Motion Sensors


Motion sensors use passive infrared (PIR) technology to detect movement within the sensor's coverage area. This is done by looking for the changes in infrared (IR) energy that occur when a person, animal, or object comes within the sensor's field of view. Standard motion sensors are typically PIR only. These are appropriately called PIR motion sensors.

Some motion sensors will also use microwave technology in addition to PIR technology. This involves having the sensor send out microwave signals and seeing how the signals bounce off of objects in the area. Movement will change the pattern of these microwave signals, and the sensor will be able to detect this. These motion sensors that use both microwave and PIR are called Dual-Tech motion sensors. The purpose of using both PIR and microwave together is to prevent false alarms. A Dual-Tech motion sensor will only activate and alert the system if both its PIR sensor and its microwave sensor are triggered. A microwave sensor is not vulnerable to the same environmental issues that may cause a false activation on a PIR. You will not find a motion sensor that uses microwave technology without PIR detection, as microwave alone would result in too many false alarms without having PIR to confirm movement.

One feature that you will often see listed on a motion sensor is pet-immunity. A motion sensor that has been set up for pet immunity can be configured to not "look" in the areas close to the ground where pets and small animals walk. Instead, the motion sensor only looks in the areas higher up, where humans move while walking upright. A pet immune motion sensor is not impervious to small animals, and you must position it carefully so that it works as intended. Pet immune motion sensors normally have a weight limit, where animals under that weight limit should avoid triggering the sensor, assuming that the sensor is installed properly. Please note that most pet friendly motion sensors will require you to set the sensitivity for the sensor to the lowest possible setting.

When it comes to motion sensors, mounting them carefully is very important. A motion sensor may cause false alarms on the system if it is not installed properly. These sensors should not be facing any vents, air ducts, ceiling fans, or curtains that may cause the sensor to activate without any movement. If you are using the motion sensor for pet immunity, then it should also not be facing any furniture or stairwells that your pet could use to get within the sensor's field of view. You will likely want to perform a Walk Test of your motion sensor to make sure that it responds properly when movement is present, and does not respond due to other external factors when there is no movement. You should also have any pets participate in the Walk Test to ensure that pet immunity is working properly.

We recommend reading the following FAQs to learn more about motion sensors:

Below are some of the most popular motion sensors for our recommended systems:

Sensor Name Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Coverage Area
Detection Type
Pet Immunity Notes
Honeywell SiXPIR

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 300 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES 40 by 56 Feet
PIR Up to 80 lbs Encrypted PIR Motion for Lyric.
DSC PG9914

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 39 Feet PIR Up to 85 lbs PowerG Encrypted PIR Motion.
DSC PG9984P

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 50 Feet Dual-Tech Up to 40 lbs PowerG Encrypted Dual-Tech Motion.
2GIG PIR1e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption
30 by 50 Feet PIR Up to 55 lbs Encrypted PIR Motion for 2GIG.
Honeywell 5800PIR-RES

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 35 by 40 Feet PIR Up to 80 lbs Non-encrypted residential PIR motion for 345 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5800PIR-COM

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz, IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 60 by 80 Feet PIR None Non-encrypted commercial PIR motion for 345 MHz systems.
Honeywell 5898

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 35 by 40 Feet for Pet Immunity Dual-Tech Up to 100 lbs Non-encrypted Dual-Tech motion for 345 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Motion-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption 30 by 40 Feet PIR Up to 40 lbs Non-encrypted PIR motion for 319.5 MHz systems.

There are also certain outdoor motion detection sensors that are better-suited for use in an outdoor environment. These outdoor motion sensor models are typically more expensive than indoor variants. You can see some of our most popular ones listed below:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Coverage Area
Detection Type
Pet Immunity Notes
DSC PG9994

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Up to 30 Feet PIR Up to 40 lbs PowerG Outdoor PIR Motion Sensor
Honeywell 5800PIR-OD

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 40 by 30 Feet PIR None Honeywell 5800 Series Outdoor Motion, 1st ed.
Honeywell 5800PIR-OD2

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None 40 by 30 Feet PIR None Honeywell 5800 Series Outdoor Motion, 2nd ed.
Optex FTN-RRIX

Legacy Interlogix 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 319.5 MHz Systems
Optex FTN-RR2G

2GIG 345 MHz Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 345 MHz Systems.
Optex FTN-RRDS

Legacy DSC 433 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Up to 16.5 Feet PIR None Optex Fitlink Outdoor Motion Sensor for 433 MHz Systems.

Glass Break Sensors

The last type of security sensors we will be discussing are glass break sensors. These sensors include built-in microphones, and they actively listen for the unique sound of glass breaking. Most of these sensors will need to hear both the high-pitched shattering sound of the glass breaking, as well as the low-pitched sound of an object striking against the glass in order to activate. This design choice is to prevent false alarms caused by similar sounds. Most users will use glass break sensors to monitor windows, but they have also been known to work effectively on protective glass display cases that store valuables, such as what you might find in jewelry stores or gun shops. Most types of glass will work with glass break sensors, though there are some exceptions. For example double and triple pane glass windows won't work reliably. The same is true for coated or "safety" glass. Refer to the manual for the exact glass break detector you are using to determine compatibility.

A single glass break detector can monitor multiple windows or display cases, as long as the glass it is monitoring is within its detection range, which is typically 15 to 25 feet. Any glass that is being monitored must have a direct line of sight with the sensor, with no obstacles blocking the path that sound will travel through. When testing your glass break sensors, it is strongly recommended that you us a glass break simulator. These devices will mimic the sound of the glass breaking and activate your glass break sensors without actually breaking any glass. Remember to refer the instructions of your glass break simulator for more information. When choosing a glass break simulator, it is best to use a simulator from the same manufacturer, if possible. We have a Honeywell Glass Break Simulator and a DSC Glass Break Simulator available on our website. If you get one of the 2GIG Glass Break Sensors mentioned in this buying guide, then the Honeywell Glass Break Simulator is best for testing. Otherwise, just match the manufacturer.

Below are some of our most popular glass break sensors:

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Notes
Honeywell SiXGB

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 300 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES SiX Series Glass Break Sensor for Lyric
DSC PG922

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES PowerG Glass Break Sensor
2GIG GB1e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption Encrypted glass break sensor for 2GIG.
Honeywell 5853

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Non-encrypted glass break sensor for 345 MHz systems.
Qolsys IQ Glass-S

Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz IQ2+ 600 Feet Open Air Qolsys S-Line Encryption Encrypted glass break sensor for 319.5 MHz systems.

Reach Out to Us!


Remember that you can reach out to us with any questions you might have about planning your system and determining sensor compatibility. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a good email to use if you are interested in starting new alarm monitoring service with Alarm Grid. Our team checks for new email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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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Alarm Grid is back with another video recap! We've got some great new videos to help you get the very most out of your security system. As always, we hope that you find the new videos to be informative and helpful. Let's check out the newest tutorial videos from the Alarm Grid team!

Install Honeywell LTE-XA or LTE-XV On VISTA-15P, VISTA-20P, VISTA-21iP

I show you how to add a Honeywell LTE-XA or Honeywell LTE-XV to a Honeywell VISTA P-Series Alarm Panel. The LTE-XA and LTE-XV are cellular communicators used by VISTA Alarm Panels to communicate with the AlarmNet servers. Adding a communicator to a VISTA System is necessary for getting it monitored and set up with the Total Connect 2.0 platform for controlling the system remotely. The communicator will use a 4-wire connection that is made at the panel's ECP bus.


Troubleshooting No Signal issue on Resideo LTE-XA or LTE-XV

In a follow up to the previous video, I show you the general troubleshooting steps to perform when there is no signal on a Honeywell LTE-XA or LTE-XV. As these are cellular modules, an adequate cell signal is required for them to work properly. You might get a lack of cell signal due to the communicator being used too far from a cell tower, a SIM card that needs to be re-seated, or due to a SIM card that is not yet activated.


Checking the ECP and RIS Address On a Tuxedo

I show you how to check the ECP Address and the RIS Address on a Honeywell Home Tuxedo Keypad. Both the ECP Address and the RIS Address are found in the same menu. The Enhanced Console Protocol (ECP) Address tells the panel where to find the Tuxedo as a keypad controller. Setting the ECP is sometimes referred to as addressing the keypad. The Remote Interactive Service (RIS) Address tells Total Connect 2.0 and AlarmNet where to find the Tuxedo as an automation controller.


Enrolling the DSC PG9914 Motion Sensor to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to pair the DSC PG9914 Motion Sensor with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Security System. The DSC PG9914 is a PowerG Sensor, and it can be used with any version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The sensor offers a coverage area of up to 39 feet, pet immunity of up to 85 pounds, a wireless communication range of up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus, and 128-bit AES encryption.


Upgrading a Honeywell Lyric to Use LTE

I show you how to upgrade the Honeywell Lyric Controller to support an LTE communicator. In order to do this, you will need a compatible LTE cellular communicator. The compatible modules include the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator and the Honeywell LYRICLTE-V Verizon LTE Communicator. You will need to get a monitoring plan that includes cellular connectivity, such as an Alarm Grid Gold or Platinum Level Plan. This is necessary for activating the communicator for monitoring service.

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With Father's Day right around the corner (Sunday, June 21st), we thought it'd be a good time to suggest some security and automation gifts to surprise the dad in your life. You don't need to get your dad another neck-tie this year. We've got some neat gifts that dad is sure to love!


The Gift of Security!

If dad doesn't have a security system yet, then he's really missing out. You can have peace of mind in knowing that his home is safe while he's out doing dad stuff like golfing, fishing, or going to a bbq. Maybe your dad thinks he doesn't need security? Well, you could remind him of a big fat insurance discount that he could get by getting his home monitored. That will excite him even more than a weekend trip to the hardware store.

We have lots of great panels available, though the most popular right now are the Honeywell Lyric and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. These are both wireless panels that are very easy to set up, even for the dad who doesn't know his way around a tool-kit. You won't hear any swear words coming out of the work shed when dad goes to set up his new system. And he'll probably want to show it off to all the neighbors.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system


Shopping on a Budget?

Okay, totally understand if you're strapped for cash and can't drop a few hundred dollars on a brand-new security system. But just because you're looking to spend $30 rather than $300 doesn't mean you can't make dad smile. If your dad already has a system, then why not get him a new sensor or two? Door and window contacts are always affordable. Just get a model that works with dad's security system. The VERSA-2GIG and the VERSA-GE are both extremely popular, and they won't break the bank!

Maybe you've already surprised dad with a contact sensor before? You could always check out some motion sensors. These are great for knowing if someone is snooping around the basement or the garage. Again, you want to make sure you get a model compatible with dad's system. Popular options include the Honeywell SiXPIR, the 2GIG PIR1-345, and the DSC PG9914. And if you aren't sure which models will work with your dad's system, just reach out to us, and we'll be happy to help!

2gig pir1 345

Automation Excitement!

If dad already has a wireless system, then chances are that it doubles as an automation controller. You can surprise dad with some new Z-Wave automation devices for him to pair with his system. Lighting devices are always a great choice. Your dad will be able to turn the lights ON and OFF without getting up, and he can create smart scenes for automatic control. And a great thing about smart lights - they don't break the bank!

Your dad might like an in-wall switch as a nice weekend installation project. Some of our favorite in-wall switches include the GE 14318 and the Resideo Z5SWITCH. Or if your dad is not into wiring, you can get him a plug-in lamp module like the GE 28170 or the Resideo Z5DIMPID. And the great thing about these Z-Wave devices is that they are universally compatible and will work with any system that operates as a Z-Wave controller!

Maybe the smart lighting game has already been introduced to dad's house? In that case, you could make his day with a different automation device like a Z-Wave thermostat. Our favorites right now are the Honeywell T6 PRO and the Alarm.com ADC-T3000. Or if you really want to get your dad something a little more unique, then you could try a smart water valve like the Alarm.com ADC-SWV100. This can be very useful in preventing dad from experiencing the headache of a flooded basement or laundry room.

Ge 28170 side of z wave plug in smart dimmer

Help Dad Keep an Eye on the Neighbors

We all know that dads like to know what's going on outside. That is why we'd be foolish not to recommend some outdoor security cameras. These devices are actually easy to install, and they can give your dad a good look at the front lawn while he's tucked away in his man cave. You'll want to consider whether his system supports Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. For ADC, we like the Alarm.com ADC-V723. If dad has TC2, then go with the Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1.

Maybe dad isn't ready to upgrade to video monitoring quite yet? Don't worry! He can still make sure the neighbor kids stay off the lawn with a different type of camera. One popular option is to use a SkyBell Video Doorbell. These can be used without needing to upgrade to a full-on video monitoring plan. There are models for Total Connect 2.0, and others for Alarm.com. Another possibility is to look into the Arlo Cameras that do not use monitoring service through ADC or TC2.

Honeywell lyric oc1 standalone wifi outdoor 1080p hd total conne

The Best Gift of All!

We've saved the best gift idea for last. It isn't something you can hold in your hand, but it's something that every dad will love, even if they have all the security gadgets under the sun. That is the gift of alarm monitoring service! Why not offer to cover dad's monitoring bill for the next year? That is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Talk it over with dad, and when you're ready, the two of you can contact us to make the arrangements. We'll charge your card every month, with no added fees or sudden surprises. Meanwhile, your dad will be able to spend his money on other important things like new golf clubs or something. Oh dads....

If you haven't already, make sure to check out our monitoring page. This will teach you about the different plans offered from Alarm Grid so that you can choose the perfect one for your dad's needs. Once you're ready, shoot us an email at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 to set things up. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our team will be thrilled to help you give your dad the gift of home security! We look forward to hearing from you!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

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We are sometimes asked by users with PowerG Systems if using PowerG Motion Detection Sensors is the best option. And the answer to that question is usually yes. There are some rare occasions where choosing a legacy RF motion detection sensor is preferable, but this is usually not the case.

Dsc pg9914 powerg 915mhz out wireless motion detector

PowerG Motion Sensors are known for their incredible wireless range (up to 2 km from certain system), 128-bit AES encryption and frequency hopping spread spectrum for wireless security, and ability to be easily programmed. They are known for being some of the best sensors in the entire industry. Compatible systems for PowerG Motion Sensors include all versions of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the DSC Iotega, and any DSC PowerSeries NEO with an added wireless transceiver.

As this time, the following PowerG Motion Detection Sensors are sold by Alarm Grid:

Of these devices, the DSC PG9914 is by far the most popular. This is considered the "standard" PowerG Motion Sensor, while the others are used in more specific and unique situations. However, they all offer the great features of PowerG. Assuming that you are just looking for a standard motion sensor for indoor use, the DSC PG9914 is almost always the best option. If you are wondering if you should get a PowerG Motion Sensor, the answer is usually yes.

Keep in mind that if you have a DSC Iotega or a DSC PowerSeries NEO with an added transceiver that PowerG Motion Sensors are the only wireless motion sensors that you can use. The DSC PowerSeries NEO can use hardwired motion sensors, which opens up a whole new world of different possibilities. But for this discussion, we will assume that the user is only considering wireless motion sensors. We will also assume that the user is just looking for a standard motion sensor. We won't dive into the more unique motion sensors such as curtain motion sensors, outdoor motion sensors, or dual-tech motion sensors.

With all things considered the DSC PG9914 is almost always the best motion sensor to use with a PowerG System, assuming that the user is just looking for a basic motion sensor for indoor use. There are a couple of exceptions that may apply if the user has a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. And we will discuss those exceptions in a moment. But for all intents and purposes, going with a PowerG Motion Sensor if your system supports PowerG Sensors is almost always recommended.

If you have a 319.5 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you may consider the Qolsys QS1231-840 IQ Motion-S. The advantage to this motion sensor is that it has a lower price point than the DSC PG9914. However, that is the only real advantage the IQ Motion-S offers. The DSC PG9914 offers a much further wireless range, and its 128-bit AES encryption is more secure than the rolling code "S-Line" offered from the IQ Motion-S. But if communication range and wireless security are not important to you, then you might want the IQ Motion-S instead. Of the PowerG Systems, it only works with the 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus.

Qolsys qs1231 840 iq motion s encrypted motion sensor

For users of the 345 MHZ Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the Honeywell 5800PIR-COM is sometimes preferred over the PG9914. The Honeywell 5800PIR-COM has a coverage range of 60 feet by 80 feet, which is much larger than the 39-foot coverage area of the PG9914. If coverage range is considered the most important factor, then the Honeywell 5800PIR-COM might be the best option. But keep in mind that the Honeywell 5800PIR-COM has a much shorter wireless communication range (200 feet nominal), and it offers no wireless encryption protection. Also consider that the Honeywell 5800PIR-COM offers no pet immunity, while the DSC PG9914 offers pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 85 pounds. Remember, the Honeywell 5800PIR-COM will only work with the 345 MHz version of the IQ Panel 2 Plus.

Honeywell 5800pir com exterior of wireless long range motion det

If you need extra help choosing a motion detector for your system or if you want to learn more about any of our products or monitoring services, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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With a new year comes reduced pricing on many of our great existing products. We have just dropped the prices on 73 of our existing offerings. You can certainly find something great to upgrade your existing system or use with a new installation. Let's check out these awesome products!


Before we go through and list each and every reduced price product, we figured we'd go through and talk about some of the ones that excite us the most. After all, sorting through a list of 73 products is pretty daunting. Our initial "best-of" list may help you find exactly what you're looking for. These products are great if you have an existing system, or if you are building a new system and want to add some cool accessories.

These products are presented in alphabetical order:

Alarm.com ADC-V723 Outdoor Camera


The ADC-V723 is the current flagship outdoor security camera for use with the Alarm.com platform. This simple, yet powerful camera makes the perfect addition to any home or small business. It can capture video at up to 1080p quality, and it makes use of High Dynamic Range (HDR) to improve image depth and luminosity.

Alarm.com T2000 Smart Z-Wave Thermostat

Alarm dot com t2000 smart thermostat


If you are still looking for a smart Z-Wave thermostat, then the ADC-T2000 is an outstanding entry-level option. It conveniently wires in place of your existing thermostat to give you smart control over your HVAC system. It can pair nicely with both the Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 platforms. You just need a compatible Z-Wave hub to get started.

DSC PG9312 Outdoor Door/Window Sensor

Dsc pg9312 wireless powerg outdoor door slash window contact


The DSC PG9312 is the premier outdoor contact sensor for any user with a PowerG-compatible security system. It offers a maximum magnet spacing gap of 1.75", which gives you more flexibility in choosing a location for the sensor and magnet. Like all PowerG Sensors, it offers a wireless range of up to 2 km away from the panel, as well as 128-bit AES encryption.

DSC PG9914 Motion Sensor

Dsc pg9914 powerg 915mhz out wireless motion detector


Anyone with a PowerG Security System looking to add a basic indoor motion sensor should turn to the DSC PG9914. This is a simple, yet effective motion sensor that is great for use in nearly any home or business. It offers a modest coverage area of 39 feet, and the sensor provides pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 85 lbs.

Encore FireFighter FF345 Smoke/CO Listening Module

Encore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover module


The Encore FireFighter FF345 is perfect if you have existing high-voltage smoke detectors that you want to integrate into a 345 MHz wireless system. The module can detect both the Temporal 3 sound of an activated smoke detector and the Temporal 4 sound of an activated CO detector. And if your high-voltage devices are one-go-all-go, then a single FF345 can takeover your entire network.

Honeywell 5822T Garage Door Tilt Sensor

Honeywell 5822t wireless garage tilt sensor


Also for 345 MHz system users, the Honeywell 5822T allows your system to monitor your garage door to see if it's opened or closed. This wireless sensor works great for security and automation purposes alike. You might even create a special smart scene that activates as soon as the 5822T detects that you garage door has been opened!

Honeywell IPCAM-WIC1 Indoor Camera

Honeywell lyric c1 wifi indoor 720p hd total connect security ca


The Honeywell IPCAM-WIC1 Indoor Camera is for anyone with an existing Total Connect 2.0 Video Monitoring service plan that they want to expand upon. This is a simple and straightforward camera that captures video at up to 720p quality. It can be easily rested on a desk or table, and no hard-mounting is required.

Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S Door/Window Sensor

Qolsys iq dw mini s encrypted wireless sensors for iq panel 2 qs


The Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S can be used by anyone with a 319.5 MHz wireless system, including the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus w/ Legacy Interlogix & Qolsys Daughtercard. This is a straightforward door and window contact sensor that makes a nice addition to any compatible system. Its small and compact design allows for a tidy installation.

Please see our complete list of reduced price products in the table below, organized by product type:

Product Type
Products
Alarm Panels (6)
Cameras, Image Sensors, & Accessories (6)
Communicators (5)
Door/Window Sensors (8)
Environmental Sensors (2)
Garage Door Sensors (1)

Glass Break Detectors (5)
Hardwired Zone Expanders (2)
Home Automation & Smart Home (4)

Life-Safety Products (5)
Key Fobs & Panic Buttons (2)
Keypads & Desk Mounts (3)
Motion Sensors (8)
Power Supplies & Relays (2)
Sirens & Speakers (6)
Wireless Converters, Receivers, Repeaters & Translators

If you have any questions about these products or any of the other products on our site, including product compatibilities, please reach out to us. You may also contact us if you want to learn more about our monitoring services. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Or you may call us at (888) 818-7728. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you find the perfect product for your needs!

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Alarm Grid has learned of technical difficulties between certain PowerG Sensors and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. These issues affect the PG9914 Wireless Motion Sensor and the PG9933 Wireless Carbon Monoxide Sensor when used on an IQ2+ System running PowerG Version 80.17.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and Due to this issue, any DSC PowerG PG9914 Wireless Motion Sensor manufactured before August 23, 2018 will not work with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus running PowerG Firmware Version 80.17. This includes any PG9914 running firmware V3.0.5 or V3.0.7. Also, if the first four (4) digits of the Serial Number are less than "3618", then the device is affected.

Below are some pictures of a PG9914 that will not work with an IQ Panel 2 Plus running PowerG Version 80.17:


Additionally, any DSC PowerG PG9933 Carbon Monoxide Sensor manufactured before March 26, 2019 will not work with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus running PowerG Firmware Version 80.17. Any PG9933 manufactured after this date will include a sticker indicating compatibility with the IQ Panel 2 Plus.

If you want to check the PowerG Firmware for your IQ Panel 2 Plus, you can do so from the panel. Start from the main screen. Press the small grey bar at the top. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter the Installer Code (default 1111) > About > PowerG. You should check the Radio Firmware Version.


If you have any questions about these incompatibilities, please reach out to us. The best way to contact us is by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond back as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the DSC PG9914 PowerG Wireless Motion Detector. This is a passive infrared (PIR) motion sensor that uses highly advanced technology to reduce false alarms. But it still offers the reliable performance that you need for your security system.

Dsc pg9914 powerg 915mhz out wireless motion detector

The main operation for the DSC PG9914 takes place through its fresnel and cylindrical lenses. These lenses require no adjustment during the easy installation process. And they are designed with special Target Specific Imaging and Advanced True Motion Recognition to distinguish between human intruders and other sources of motion. A user can rest assured that the device will reliably respond if an intruder is ever present. But it also won't cause false alarms when mounted correctly. Its detection range is rated for sensing motion from up to 39 feet away.

The DSC PG9914 also offers pet-immunity for animals weighing up to 85 pounds. This makes it perfect for users who have pets running around their house. But remember that pet-immunity only works properly when the motion sensor has been mounted correctly. We usually recommend a mounting height of about 7 feet for this purpose. It should also not be facing any objects that a pet could climb upon to get within the detection view of the sensor.

As a PowerG Sensor, the PG9914 has a wireless range of 2 kilometers when used in open air. It also uses highly secure 128-bit AES encryption to prevent any wireless takeover attempts. The sensor is truly one of the most secure wireless motion sensors available today. It operates at a frequency of 915 MHz, making it compatible with the DSC PowerSeries Neo Systems and the all-new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems.

The DSC PG9914 is available from Alarm Grid now. Get one to protect your home!

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