DSC PG9934P Posts

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Qolsys recently released a Technical Service Bulletin outlining an issue with the IQ2 and IQ2+ panels and PowerG sensors. In some cases, panels that have just installed either firmware version, or panels running these versions that are rebooted, may lose touch with existing PowerG sensors.

The problem, according to Qolsys, is the encryption key. In some rare cases, either during the reboot after the firmware update, or upon rebooting once the firmware update has been applied, the panel's encryption key can be set back to default. Once this occurs, any PowerG devices in the field that have been programmed into the panel will no longer be able to communicate successfully with the panel.

When this situation occurs, a previously working PowerG device will show status on the panel, and on Alarm.com if monitored, of "Not Networked". It may also show an "!" next to the zone's status on the panel's Home Screen. If this condition is allowed to continue for the full supervisory window of the sensor (24-hours for non-life safety sensors, 4-hours for life safety sensors by default) then each affected sensor will go into supervisory failure at the panel and will show a status of Malfunction when viewed through Alarm.com.

If you see this issue on your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 plus system, you'll need to delete ALL PowerG sensors from the panel, and then re-learn them from scratch. By doing so, a new encryption key will be created and shared with each PowerG device. Once this has been done, all devices should begin working normally again. PowerG devices should be reprogrammed from the panel, not from Alarm.com. This way, full functionality can be verified once programming is complete. It would be best to be sure the panel does not reboot again until the next firmware update, which will resolve this issue. Only PowerG devices are affected by this anomaly, any legacy RF devices using the 319.5MHz, 345MHz, or 433MHz frequencies, and any Z-Wave devices should not be affected by this issue.

If you haven't updated to 2.5.3 or 2.5.4 yet, it is recommended that you update locally at the panel, rather than through Alarm.com. You can find information on updating via Patch Tag or MicroSD card on our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update Page. Sadly, this won't necessarily prevent this issue from happening, but by being onsite at the time of the update, you'll be able to verify proper PowerG sensor functionality on each of your sensors as soon as the update has completed. According to Qolsys, firmware version 2.5.5 will be released in the near future, though an exact date has not been provided. This version will resolve the root cause of this encryption key issue. Any additional future updates will also include the necessary fix.

If you're interested in no-contract, low-cost monitoring, or if you're an Alarm Grid customer (present or future) with questions, you can reach us at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here to check emails M - F from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time. Thanks for reading, stay safe!

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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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One excellent way to expand upon a new or existing Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System is with an image sensor module like the DSC PG9944. This is an outdoor PowerG Image Sensor that can pair very nicely with the Alarm.com platform and all versions of the IQ Panel 2 Plus Security System.

Dsc pg9944 powerg 915mhz out wireless pir motion detector built

If you aren't familiar with image sensors, they are basically motion detection sensors with built-in still motion cameras. When your system goes into alarm, it will take multiple photographs. These photographs are then forwarded to the panel, and then ultimately to an interactive monitoring platform like Alarm.com.

For the DSC PG9944, it starts with it its reliable motion detection. The device features eight (8) internal passive infrared (PIR) sensors, with each using an advanced quad-detection configuration. This helps to ensure that the PG9944 reliably responds to movement, while ignoring potential false alarms. Operating in this manner is crucial for an image sensor device that will typically be used in an outdoor environment.

Being able to use your image sensor in an outdoor setting opens up a world of possibilities for keeping your home safe. Many users will install the PG9944 in a backyard, inside a garage, or even in a barn or shed on the property. These are all locations where you might otherwise have difficulties using standard indoor models. You can expect the PG9944 to work reliably when exposed to rain, dust, heavy sunlight, and extreme temperatures. And the device's IR night vision helps to ensure clear and concise images even during the darkest of nights.

Many Alarm Grid customers will choose to use the DSC PG9944 with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems. We believe that this is a great alternative to using standard Alarm.com Security Cameras. A great aspect about image sensors is that you do not need a video-monitoring plan to use them. In fact, you can start using image sensors on an Alarm Grid Gold Level Plan (Self or Full), which is the standard level plan to start using Alarm.com. More info can be found on our monitoring page.

When the associated system goes into alarm, the PG9944 responds by taking ten (10) consecutive photos. These ten photos are sent to the IQ Panel 2 Plus for local viewing. These images can be easily viewed from the main screen of the IQ2+ by scrolling left or right until you see the other panel photos. Please note that they may be strung-together to appear as a stop-motion video. But rest assured, they are individual photos, and not a video. You can also take manual photos anytime, even if your system is not experiencing an alarm event.

It is also important to note that the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus will send the first of the ten captured images to the Alarm.com platform for remote viewing. Only the first image is sent, and it will be available within the "Panel Camera Images" section of Alarm.com. Please note that this will only occur if the panel is connected with Alarm.com for monitoring and the "Panel Camera Images" feature is enabled for the Alarm.com account. That setting must be enabled by your monitoring company.

Also note that you will need to have the Panel Camera Alarm Image Uploads feature enabled on your Alarm.com account. You must enable this setting from the customer end of the Alarm.com website. Simply log-in to your Alarm.com account using a web browser, choose the Automation section, and make sure the rule is enabled. You can see an example in the image below.


We recommend using the DSC PG9944 if you require an image sensor for outdoor use. However, if you only need a unit for indoor use, then you might also consider the DSC PG9934P. This is another PowerG Image Sensor module that will offer similar performance to the DSC PG9944. But unlike the PG9944, the PG9934P can only be used indoors. This is a great device to use if you want to be able to see what's going on at home, but you don't necessarily want to pay the extra monitoring costs to use Alarm.com Video Cameras.

Both the DSC PG9944 and the DSC PG9934P are available right now from the Alarm Grid website. We recommend them for anyone looking for new image sensor modules for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. If you have any questions about these sensors or any of these other products on our website, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We are taking a look at two very interesting products today. The DSC PG9934P and the DSC PG9944 are the ideal PowerG Image Sensors for use with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Alarm System. They can both send quick and convenient images to Alarm.com upon activation for remote viewing.


When the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System was released, it required a Qolsys IQ CARD-IS to communicate with Qolsys Image Sensors. This is still the recommended image sensor option for those with a standardIQ Panel 2. However, the IQ CARD-IS actually uses the same antenna that is used by the PowerG daughtercard for the IQ Panel 2 Plus. As a result, it is not feasible to use both Qolsys Image Sensors and PowerG Wireless Sensors with an IQ Panel 2 System.

But with the DSC PG9934P and PG9944 PowerG Image Sensors, there now exist viable options for IQ Panel 2 Plus owners. Each device can auto-enroll with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System much like any other PowerG Sensor. Remember, there is a special trick to auto-enroll PowerG Sensors with an IQ Panel 2 Plus. Knowing this technique can save you some frustration when you go to enroll the sensors!

After putting the panel into its wireless enrollment mode, press and hold the learn button on the PowerG Sensor. An LED light will appear after a brief moment, but you should not stop holding the button. Keep it held down, and the light will disappear. Then it will reappear after a brief moment. At that point, you should release the button to auto-enroll. As image sensors, you can add up to five of these devices on a single IQ Panel 2 Plus System. This can be any combination of up to five total PG9934P and PG9944 sensors.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

Both motion sensors function like any standard PIR motion detecting sensor by looking for changes in infrared (IR) energy that occur with movement. But as image sensors, they will take pictures using their built-in cameras. These devices can also be configured to send images upon a panel disarm or during alarm events. Only one image will be sent out at a time with the PowerG Image Sensors.

Any resulting image is first sent to the IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the system forwards the image to Alarm.com. From there, Alarm.com will pass the image to anyone included in the notifications group. The image can be sent through text and email. You just have to configure that notification settings on Alarm.com. More information about setting up this feature can be found in this FAQ.

In order to use the PG9934P or PG9944 with an IQ Panel 2 Plus, the system must be running firmware version 2.3.0 or higher. More information on this firmware update is available here. At this time, Alarm.com recognizes the photos produced by these sensors as "Panel Camera" images. This is the same category of images that the camera on the front of the panel uses when it takes Disarm photos.

We believe that Alarm.com may change this category name during a future IQ Panel 2 firmware update. After all, we expect that users would want a different category for images produced by the panel and images produced by their image sensors. But for now that is the category to look for if you are having trouble finding the resulting images. Also keep in mind that Panel Camera Images must be enabled on Alarm.com for the feature to work. Note that you can also view the images from the panel.

You can see image upload activity in the Events Log on the Alarm.com website, which looks like this:


And below is what the resulting images look like on the Alarm.com website. Note that the image is listed as "Panel Camera", but it is actually from a PowerG Image Sensor.


And if you get the image via text message:


The major difference between the PG9934P and the PG9944 is that the PG9944 is suitable for outdoor use. It is weather-resistant and capable of surviving harsh environments. But the PG9934P is designed for indoor use only, and it will become damaged if exposed to heavy rain, wind or dust. Additionally, the motion sensor for the PG9944 is slightly more advanced than the one used on the PG9934P.

But in principle, these devices function in largely the same manner. Both feature PowerG technology, which includes an extended communication range and 128-bit AES encryption for added security. They also both offer pet immunity options, with the PG9934P being suitable for small animals weighing up to 85 pounds, and the PG9944 being suitable for small animals weighing up to 40 pounds. Keep in mind that mounting location is very important for ensuring proper pet-immunity.

If you would like to learn more about the PG9934P or PG9944, please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. Our team will review the email and get back to you as soon as possible. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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