Honeywell VISTA-21iP Posts

Posted By

If you are just beginning the process of looking for an alarm system, answer these really simple questions, and you'll be well on your way to finding what works for you.

1) Do you want a wired or wireless alarm system?

Honeywell L5100

We highly recommend going wireless. Our two biggest selling wireless systems are the L5100 and the L3000. Both of these systems are great. The only differences between them really, is that the L5100 has a beautiful touchscreen that the L3000 does not and the L5100 can be used as a home automation controller as well as a security system.

On the wired side, our best selling units are the VISTA 21iP and the VISTA 20P. The difference between these two systems is that the 21iP has a built-in IP module, and the 20P requires that you purchase one (the 7847i) separately. After you've done your research, if you are excited about the VISTA panels, but like the benefits that a wireless system can offer you, you can add a 6160RF keypad with integrated wireless receiver to your VISTA panel and turn it into a wireless system.

2) How many doors and windows do you want to protect?

Honeywell 5811Honeywell 5816

If you need three or more door and window sensors, and you have decided that a wireless system is for you, check out our L5100PK and L3000PK. They are the most cost-efficient way to get the sensors and system you want. If you need additional sensors, you can add more 5816s or 5811s. The 5816s are thick and boxy, the 5811s are thin like a wafer. Both are good, but we a lot of users prefer the look of the 5811s.

If you want wired door and window sensors, we have tons of those. Look through our selection, and pick the ones that you like best. They all work well, and each of them perform a slightly different function.

3) How many motion sensors do you need?

Honeywell 5800PIR-RES

A lot of people do not install motion sensors. They are a good way to add an extra layer of protection, but oftentimes, the door and window sensors are good enough. If you just need one motion sensor, the kits I wrote about earlier are great. If you need more, the kit is still good, but you'll need to grab some more 5800PIR-RES motion detectors individually.

4) What kind of communication do you want your panel to use?

If you add alarm monitoring to your system, when a sensor is tripped, your security panel will send a signal somewhere. Now, if you have Total Connect service, it will go to AlarmNet and send you an email and / or a text. If you are connected to a central station, it will also go there.

How does the signal get from your panel to the central station or AlarmNet?

Good question. The signal can be delivered in three basic ways. First, you can have your system use your land line to report the alarm signals to the central station. All Honeywell systems, wireless and wired, have a built-in phone dialer so nothing additional is needed. That said, no one has a traditional phone line anymore. Also, you can't get Total Connect using a phone line. Therefore, other communication pathways are more popular. If you don't want to use the phone line, the most popular communication pathway is over the internet. While the L5100 can be hooked up through ethernet with the iLP5 module, the more common way to hook up an L5100 to the internet is by using the L5100-WIFI module. The L3000 needs the 7847i-L for internet monitoring and the VISTA panels use the similarly named, but very different 7847i. The L3000 and VISTA panels do not have a WIFI option and require an Ethernet cord to be strung to the router. The final communication pathway is over cell towers. Basically, when you purchase one of Alarm Grid's monitoring plans that include Cellular Communications, you are buying an AT&T cell phone plan for your system. We handle the SIM card activation and billing so you don't have to worry about a separate cell phone bill. Your system will then send out a signal using the wireless GSM network (which is often regarded as the most reliable pathway). The L5100 requires a GSMVLP5-4G to accomplish this, the L3000 needs a GSMVLP4G installed, and the VISTA panels need either the GSMV4G or the GSMX4G (see our FAQ on these communicators if you want to understand the difference between the two), unless it is a VISTA 21iP which requires the VISTA-GSM4G.

It may come as a surprise for anyone who is just starting their search, but those are really the four basic questions you need to ask yourself. Once you have taken inventory of your door and window sensors, motion sensor needs, whether you want your system to be wired or wireless, and what sort of communication pathway you think sounds most attractive give us a call or chat with us. We'd love to help you.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

We have already talked about the phase out of AT&T's 2G cellular network, but if you haven't read our previous article about the new GSMX4G and GSMV4G cellular alarm communicators, then you may not know that all existing AlarmNet cellular alarm communicators will become obsolete by the end of 2016.

Here at Alarm Grid, we urge everyone looking for a new cellular alarm communicator to only invest in 4G capable communicators. AT&T has formally announced that they will have completely dropped support of the 2G cellular network by the end of 2016. As cellular data use increases, AT&T has to find ways to add new throughput to their most advanced networks. One easy way to expand that throughput is to cannibalize their older and slower 2G network. As it is extremely rare to find a cellular phone in use today that still uses the 2G network, AT&T has no problems sacrificing the older 2G network to make the newer 4G network bigger and faster. Unfortunately, the alarm industry will be affected by the discontinuation of the 2G network as nearly all cellular alarm communicators in existence today use the 2G network. Since the difference in speed between the 2G and the 3G or 4G network wasn't needed when transmitting alarm signals, cellular alarm manufacturers never bothered to upgrade their communicators to support the faster networks. Now however, all alarm companies must act and act quickly. While the end of 2016 is the formal end of the 2G cellular network, certain areas of the country will lost 2G support well before 2016.

For most people, upgrading to the newer cellular network will be as simple as swapping their existing communicator to a newer communicator that has 3G and 4G support. Unfortunately, for everyone that invested in Honeywell's VISTA-21iP alarm control panel, the change to 4G cellular alarm communications won't be so easy. The VISTA-21iP is a great security system because it has a built-in internet alarm communicator.

While internet alarm monitoring is fast and inexpensive, it is not as reliable or secure as cellular alarm communications. Therefore, the VISTA-GSM was available as a snap-on module to the VISTA-21iP to provide an integrated back up cellular communication path. For some reason, Honeywell's engineers did not design the new VISTA-GSM4G to be backwards compatible with existing VISTA-21iP security systems. Therefore, all people that have dual path alarm monitoring using a VISTA-21iP and the VISTA-GSM cellular communicator will have to replace both their VISTA-GSM communicator AND their VISTA-21iP alarm control panel if they want a system that is supported by the 3G/4G cellular network.


We are fully aware of the burden this will place on people looking to upgrade to the future of cellular communications and we will do everything we can to help those people that are left having to replace their system and their communicator. If you have a VISTA-21iP and you are wondering if it is compatible with the VISTA-GSM4G cellular add on, you will have to look at your VISTA-21iP circuit board. If there is a sticker that says "SUPPORTS VISTA-GSM/4G" then it is compatible. Without that sticker, your system will not accept a new VISTA-GSM4G. We are not sure of the exact date that Honeywell began manufacturing the new VISTA-21iP panels, and the model and revision number are the same, but we do know that it was sometime in November. Chances are, unless you got your VISTA-21iP from a reputable source in the past month or so, your system will not support the 4G cellular communicator.

Of course, here at Alarm Grid, we only ship brand new VISTA-21iP panels that have the sticker and do support the VISTA-GSM4G. If you have questions about upgrading your VISTA-21iP, please call us today.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Honeywell has an excellent interactive service called Total Connect. With a compatible AlarmNet alarm communicator and the Total Connect service, you are able to remotely control your Honeywell security system from a computer or from a free app on an iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ or Blackberry® device. It's great when you leave and can't remember if you armed the system or if you have to let someone in and don't want to give them your alarm code. 

Of course, the value of the service lies in the ability to control the system from anywhere at anytime. Unfortunately, ever since Apple released their new iOS 6.0, some Total Connect users have experienced problems using the Total Connect 2.0 app from their iPhone. With the release of iOS 6.0, Total Connect 2.0 wasn't the only app that has had problems. Apple has publicly acknowledged that the new software has caused some issues and they rolled out a very quick update with iOS 6.0.1 to try and fix most of the problems. Even with that fix, some Total Connect 2.0 users are still experiencing problems.

It's unfortunate because an otherwise great application with overwhelmingly positive reviews, is now down to only 2.5 stars on the iTunes store. If you look at the reviews, you can see all of the negative reviews are in the past couple of months since iOS 6.0 was released. Everyone seems to be experiencing the same issue. The app will work once properly, but then if you log out, the app crashes and closes upon any subsequent log-ins. While Honeywell recommends upgrading to the newest version of the Apple iPhone software (iOS 6.0.1) and if that doesn't work, doing a backup and restore of the phone, there are people that are still experience the same issues after doing those fixes. AlarmNet's app developers are working on a fix and hopefully will have an app update out soon. 

However, in the meantime, we seem to have figured out a way to stop the app from crashing. When you first log into the app, the security screen is displayed that allows you to arm or disarm your system. Along the bottom of the app, there is a button that says 'Security' with an open lock icon, an 'Events' button with an icon of a triangle with an exclamation point in it and a 'More' button with three dots. When you press the 'More' button, there are some options for changing settings. The 'Message Center' allows your AlarmNet dealer to send you new updates. The 'View Preferences' option allows you to change the default Total Connect 2.0 screen when you first log-in. The 'Navigation Order' option allows you to change the available buttons along the bottom of the app. It seems that by changing the navigation order is what is causing the issue. Our Total Connect 2.0 app works perfectly every time we do a fresh download of the app. As soon as we edit the navigation order and then log out, the app crashes every time we try to log back in.

Therefore, for anyone having issues with a crashing Total Connect 2.0 app, please don't edit the navigation order if you want to avoid problems. We are sure Honeywell and AlarmNet will have an update soon that will restore the app to full working condition, but hopefully this fix can alleviate some headaches in the meantime.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

While wireless security systems like the L5100PK LYNX Touch are easier to install then traditional wired security systems, there are some applications where the LYNX Series control panels will not be the right fit. When you have an older existing wired security system and you want to upgrade it to take advantage of today's  technology, the VISTA-21iP-6160KT is a great choice. 

The VISTA-21iP-6160KT includes a VISTA-21iP alarm control panel and a 6160 alphanumeric alarm keypad. You can use the VISTA-21iP control panel to replace any existing wired security system and the 6160 will provide a keypad that you can use to program and control the VISTA-21iP. If you need additional alarm keypads because your existing wired system has more than one keypad, you can add any of the Honeywell wired alarm keypads. Every Honeywell security system needs at least one alphanumeric alarm keypad to access the more advanced programming menus. The 6160 that is included with the VISTA-21iP-6160KT will provide you with ability to program the system but you can use regular fixed English alarm keypads like the 6150 for places in your home that you'd want regular system control. 

The VISTA-21iP is different than most wired alarm control panels, because it has a built-in AlarmNet internet alarm monitoring communicator that you can use to get central station monitoring. The VISTA-21iP is also compatible with AlarmNet's Total Connect interactive service. By signing up for an alarm monitoring plan that includes Total Connect, you will be able to remotely arm and disarm your VISTA-21iP from any computer or iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ or Blackberry® device. You can also setup the VISTA-21iP to send you instant emails and/or text message notifications when different security system events occur. 

You can save over $100 by designing your new wired security system around the VISTA-21iP-6160KT instead of ordering the VISTA-21iP alarm control panel and the 6160 alarm keypads separately. Call us at 888-818-7728 to speak with a security expert who can advise you on which security products to add to your VISTA-21iP-6160KT so that you can get the perfect security system for your property.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments