Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus AT&T LTE, Honeywell/2GIG Compatible Posts

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After much anticipation Firmware Version 2.5.3 for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is now available! This update brings support for the PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter, as well as some other new features. Everyone with an IQ Panel 2 is encouraged to download the update as soon as possible.

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Support for the DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter is the biggest new addition for Firmware Version 2.5.3. We covered the PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter extensively in a post last month. But just as a quick recap, the device allows to you to connect hardwired sensors so that they can communicate with the IQ Panel 2 Plus wirelessly across the PowerG protocol. This is an excellent way to upgrade from an older hardwired system, as it can prevent you from having to purchase entirely new wireless sensors.

The PG9WLSHW8 also includes all the benefits of PowerG. This includes a wireless range of up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ2+ in an open air environment, military grade 128-bit AES encryption, and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology for added protection. Up to eight (8) hardwired zones are built into a single converter, and you can use up to two (2) of the PG9WLSHW8 units per IQ2+ System. The unit even offers support for 2-wire or 4-wire smoke detectors, plus a 700mA supervised output for adding a wired siren.


Of course, IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3 includes a huge bundle of other new features and functions. Even if you don't plan on adding a DSC PG9WLSHW8 unit, there are still many other reasons to receive the upgrade. We'll touch on all the other new additions below.

The IQ2 system now has Panel Ambient Noise Detector settings to adjust noise threshold and duration. Qolsys added this feature with MDU settings where noise complaints are a concern. The feature can be used in-place of the panel's built-in glass break sensor. Alarm.com is planning to add back-end support for this feature sometime in the future.

Alarm.com commercial customers will be able to take advantage of their Smarter Business Temperature Monitoring (SBTM) service plan, which is used in conjunction with the DSC PG9905 PowerG Temperature Sensor. The SBTM service plan allows for 24/7 monitoring, real-time alerts, and historical temperature reporting. It is designed with businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, and pharmacies in mind. Alarm Grid customers with Alarm.com commercial accounts can contact us for more information. In addition, the IQ2+ can now display a trouble condition when an external probe is disconnected from the DSC PG9905.


If you use Alarm.com for solar energy monitoring, then you will be pleased to know that IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3 offers the ability to provide information from your solar inverter right on your security panel! Solar inverter units from SolarEdge and Enphase are supported. Please see this prior blog post for more info about Alarm.com Solar Monitoring.

Thinking ahead, Qolsys has made Firmware Version 2.5.3 compatible with future Z-Wave 700-Series daughter cards. The 700-Series of Z-Wave will represent the successor to Z-Wave Plus, also known as the Z-Wave 500-Series. Like all new iterations of Z-Wave technology, the 700-Series will allow for extended range and battery life when used with a compatible Z-Wave controller or hub. We hope to see 700-Series Z-Wave devices enter the market sometime in the not-so-distant future. Qolsys also made improvements to the IQ2 Z-Wave Diagnostics Map when using the Z-Wave 6.81 SDK to include RSSI values, as well as the ability to move automation device on the Diagnostics Map.

Some new 500-Series Z-Wave Plus devices are now supported by the IQ Panel 2. Most notably, these include Z-Wave switches from Eaton. Newly supported models include the RF9601, RF9617, RF9640-N, and RF9642-Z. It's good to see Qolsys increasing their support of compatible Z-Wave devices, and we have heard particularly nice things about the Z-Wave switches from Eaton and Cooper.

You can now disarm from the main IQ Panel 2 during the Exit Delay if the arming session was initiated from an IQ Remote, PowerG Keypad, or key fob device. Qolsys also added three (3) new Sensor Groups for keypads, key fobs, and panic switches. These new Sensor Groups include (3) Mobile Silent, (5) Fixed Silent Auxiliary, and (7) Mobile Silent Auxiliary. These new Sensor Group options should add some more versatility for these devices. And as for the Qolsys IQ Remote Keypad, it now has the ability to pair with IP routers using the Protected Management Frame (PMF) protocol.

Qolsys iq remote ag iq panel 2 remote touchscreen keypad

There are some new changes to the Easy Install Wizard that loads upon booting up the system for the first time. A new drop-down option will allow you to select one of (13) languages for the setup wizard. There is also a new page in the wizard with QR links for you to scan using the camera on your Android or iOS phone to quickly download the Alarm.com Mobile App. Also added to the Easy Install Wizard are new help screens that provide more information on how to pair and test door and window contacts and motion detection sensors.

Some general improvements to the system's PowerG firmware have also been bundled with Firmware Update 2.5.3. The PowerG Modem Firmware is now Version 2.38. There is now support for Fire Trouble and Dirty Detector Trouble on the IQ2 and ADC when DSC PG9936 PowerG Smoke Detectors are used. Proximity tag support is now supported with the Visonic PowerG Wireless Keypads (models KP141 and KP241). And the Alarm.com back end can now show the "Not Networked" status for PowerG Sensors in the Event History. This occurs when a PowerG device is enrolled with the panel, but then fails to complete the network association and goes into RF sensor failure.

There are also some changes affecting certain PowerG Door and Window Contact Sensors. For the DSC PG9309 and DSC PG9312, both the reed switch and the auxiliary input can be disabled during disarm. The same also applies to the auxiliary input on the DSC PG9945. The purpose of this is to extend the battery life on high traffic doors. Additionally, the PG9945 and PG9309 can be learned-in with the IQ2+ twice. One zone will be for the sensor's internal reed switch, which the other will be used with the auxiliary input.

Dsc pg9945 powerg 915mhz wireless door slash window contact


Other miscellaneous features have been added as well. LiveAnswer is now supported on the IQ2 for security cameras with non-standard aspect ratio streaming. New languages of German, Danish, Portuguese, Hungarian, and Romanian have all been added to the IQ Panel 2. The IQ2 will also now provide audible and visual indication of dual-path failures when the EN Grade 2 Setting is enabled. A change to the Swinger Shutdown feature has been made so that once a sensor reaches its Swinger Shutdown limit, a subsequent sensor event will tell the IQ2 to send an event notice to Alarm.com. Lastly, various improvements to the system have been made so that the IQ2 meets the EN50131-1 Standard.

Now that we have covered all of the new features included with Firmware Version 2.5.3, we can cover the process for upgrading your IQ Panel 2. Qolsys did things a little bit different this time. In order to download 2.5.3, your IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus must be running a firmware version between 2.0.1 and 2.4.2. Do not attempt to download 2.5.3 if your IQ Panel 2 is running Firmware Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1. If your IQ2 is on one of those firmware versions, then you must upgrade in stages by upgrading to Firmware Version 2.5.2 first, and then upgrading to Version 2.5.3. More information on upgrading to 2.5.2 can be found here.

If you need to check the firmware version for your panel, click the small grey bar at the top of the screen, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > About > Software. You should see the firmware version displayed. The panel in the picture below is already on 2.5.3.


Once your IQ2 is on a firmware version of 2.0.1 to 2.4.2, or is on Firmware Version 2.5.2, then you can begin upgrading the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3. To begin, make sure your panel is monitored and connected with the Alarm.com servers via WIFI. The panel should be plugged into its AC outlet, and it should not have a low-battery condition.

When ready, you can perform the update by clicking the small grey bar at the top of the screen and selecting Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.5.3 > OK > Upgrade Using Network. Then press OK when prompted. It will take about five (5) minutes for the update process to complete. The panel will reboot as part of the update process.

If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, please reach out to us. Also remember to check out this post to learn more about our monitoring plans for gaining access to Alarm.com. The best way to contact us with questions about the IQ Panel 2 System or alarm monitoring in general is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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It's time for another video recap! There are eight (8) new videos this week, all featuring yours truly. We spent a lot of time working on the 2GIG GC2e again. We also covered the process for backdooring the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, and we touched on the IQ2+. Let's check out the videos!

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Pairing a Z-Wave Device with the 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to pair a Z-Wave device with a 2GIG GC2e Security System. The 2GIG GC2e serves as a Z-Wave Plus controller, which allows you to pair smart home automation devices with the system. Devices can be controlled locally at the panel, as well as remotely from Alarm.com if the system is monitored. There are many types of Z-Wave devices you can use with the GC2e, including lights, door locks, smart thermostats, and more!


Programming a Wireless Zone On a 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to program a wireless zone for a 2GIG GC2e Alarm System. Every sensor used with the 2GIG GC2e will take up at least one zone. The GC2e System has sixty (60) wireless zones available. You can pair sensors from the Honeywell 5800 Series, the 2GIG 345 MHz Series, and the 2GIG eSeries Lineup. We recommend auto-enrolling any new sensor to prevent entering an incorrect Serial Number. Auto-enrolling will also confirm successful communication.


Programming a Key Fob for a 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to program a key fob for a 2GIG GC2e Alarm Panel. A key fob is a small, handheld device that you can use to arm and disarm your system. You can very easily carry around a key fob in your pocket or purse, and they are great for putting on key rings. Popular key fob options for the 2GIG GC2e System include the 2GIG KEY2-345, the 2GIG KEY2e-345, and the Honeywell 5834-4.


Adding & Changing User Codes On a 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to add and change user codes on a 2GIG GC3 Security Panel. The GC2e has (64) user code slots available. You need a valid user code to successfully disarm the system. It is recommended that everyone who uses the system regularly has their own user code so that you can keep track of who uses the system. You can also apply a schedule to a code so that it only works at certain times.


Using the Backdoor to Enter Programming On a Honeywell L5200 or L5210

I show you how to use the backdoor method on a Honeywell L5200 or L5210. The backdoor method involves rebooting the panel and then performing a special sequence of commands as the system reloads. By completing this process, you can get into programming if you were previously locked out. Please note that the backdooring process will not work if the system is currently in an armed state. You will need to disarm the system before you can backdoor.


Getting Back Into Programming On an L7000 If You're Locked Out

I show you how to get into programming on a Honeywell L7000 if you're locked out by using the backdoor method. There are two (2) main reasons why you would become locked out of programming. The first is that the option "NO" was selected at the prompt asking if the installer should be allowed to re-enter programming. Always choose "YES" when exiting programming. The other possibility is that you do not know the Installer Code for the system. Do not change the Installer Code from its default of 4112 to avoid being locked out.


Secure Arming On the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I demonstrate the Secure Arming feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. When Secure Arming is enabled, you must enter a valid user code or the Master Code when arming the system. Normally, the system can be armed without providing a code. Additionally, you must also provide a code if you go to cancel an arming session during the Exit Delay countdown if this feature is enabled. Many parents with small children enable the feature to prevent the system from being armed accidentally.


IQ Panel 2 Exit Delay Increased After Opening Door

I explain why the Exit Delay timer on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus will automatically increase after opening a door. This is due to a false alarm prevention feature called Auto Exit Time Extension. This feature is activated if two (2) Entry/Exit faults are detected during the Exit Delay countdown. When you fault the first E/E Zone after arming, the system assumes that you have left the building. Then when another E/E fault is detected, the system assumes that you have returned. It then gives you an added 60 seconds to exit the building. If you quickly re-entered the premises because you forgot something, this prevents you from having to disarm and then re-arm the system.

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One of the biggest benefits of alarm monitoring service is that most plans include access to an interactive monitoring and automation platform for controlling your system and smart home automation devices remotely. This is extremely convenient, and it can offer you great peace of mind!

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Most Alarm Grid monitoring plans will include access to either Total Connect 2.0 (TC2) or Alarm.com (ADC). TC2 is for Honeywell and Resideo Alarm Systems, while ADC is for systems from other manufacturers, such as Qolsys, 2GIG, and DSC. For TC2, your system can use an internet communicator, a cellular communicator, or dual-path communication with both internet and cellular. But a panel using ADC must have a cellular communicator that is activated and registered. IP (internet protocol) connectivity is optional for Alarm.com.

Before buying a system and/or communicator, you should consider which monitoring plan is right for you. In order to control your automation devices through an interactive platform, you must have monitoring plan of Silver or higher. Keep in mind that anyone using Alarm.com will have a Gold Plan or higher, as Gold is needed for cellular connectivity. You can choose between central station plans for automatic emergency dispatch, and self plans where it is up to the end user to request help. This guide will tell you all about our monitoring plans.

The real fun begins once you have the right system, communicator, and monitoring plan. By accessing Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, you can control your system remotely by using a convenient app on your phone, or by opening a web browser. It is also possible to check the status of your system or an automation device, which is great if you forgetful and forgot whether or not you took proper action before leaving home. Some of the situations where this may be convenient can include:

  • Making sure you armed your system before leaving.
  • Turning ON your front porch lights if you're arriving home late.
  • Checking to see that you locked your front door before heading out.
  • Turning OFF your thermostat to save money while you're away.
  • Making sure your garage door is closed if you forgot.

Alarm Grid offers many smart home automation devices that allow for easy integration with a security system. Most notable are Z-Wave devices. The great thing about Z-Wave is that the smart home protocol integrates very nicely with most of the security systems we support. It is super easy to build a robust and reliable Z-Wave network of interconnected devices. Most of the new wireless systems we sell will readily support Z-Wave devices right out of the box.

We understand that this can be a lot to wrap your head around all at once. That is why we're here to help! We invite you to contact us so that we can help you plan the ideal alarm system and automation network for your home. The best way to reach us is to either email our team at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our planning team will be happy to help you every step of the way in building your new state-of-the-art system. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We're here with another video recap! There are eight (8) new videos for you to check out this week. Once again, I took the role of appearing in all the videos. We hope to have some familiar faces returning soon! But for now, let's take a look at what our video team has been up to.

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Deleting a Wireless Zone from a Simon XT

I show you how to delete a wireless zone from a Simon XT Security System. The Simon XT uses 319.5 MHz wireless sensors, and it has forty (40) zone slots available. By accessing the Sensors Menu of Programming, you can delete any wireless zone that has been set up with the system. You can then enroll a new sensor in that open zone slot if needed. Keep in mind that the zone must be rebuilt from scratch if you decide to re-add the sensor back to the system.


Deleting a Wireless Zone from a Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5

I show you how to delete a wireless zone from a Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5. The Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 are essentially the same as the Simon XT, except for the fact that these two panels have built-in touchscreen keypad. Both the Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 have forty (40) available wireless zones, and they both use 319.5 MHz wireless sensors. If you delete a zone from the Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5, then you can reuse the zone with a new sensor.


Disabling Exit Sounds on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to disable Exit Delay sounds on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The IQ2 makes Exit Delay sounds for false alarm prevention. The idea is that if you accidentally Arm Away the system, then the Exit Delay sounds will alert you to the situation so that you know to either leave the building or cancel the arming session. But if you find Exit Delay sounds to be bothersome or annoying, there are a couple of different options for muting these sounds.


Cover Tamper Causes the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 to Make Strange Noises

I explain why the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 will make an usual noise every thirty (30) minutes. The reason why this happens is because the panel is not positioned on its back mounting plate properly. It can be a bit tricky to get the panel on the back plate properly, but once you do, the sound should stop occurring. If you absolutely cannot get the panel positioned on the back plate, then you do have the option of disabling tamper cover notifications in programming.


Manually Extending the Exit Delay Time On IQ2

I show you how to manually extend the Exit Delay countdown time on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 for a single arming session. When you Arm Away on the IQ2, the Exit Delay timer will go into effect. You must then leave the building or cancel the arming session within the exit delay time limit. If you press the green +60 button, then the Exit Delay will be extended by sixty (60) seconds. You can only do this once per arming session. Pressing the button again will do nothing.


Permanently Extending the Exit Delay Time On IQ2

I show you how to permanently extend the Exit Delay countdown time on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. By permanently extending the Exit Delay, you will have a longer amount of time to vacate the building every time you Arm. The system will use either the Normal Exit Delay setting or the Long Exit Delay setting depending on what zones you have programmed with the system. If you have at least one zone with Sensor Group 12 - Entry/Exit Long Delay, then the system will use the Long Exit Delay setting.


Installing a Honeywell 7847i on a VISTA P-Series Alarm Panel

I show you how to install a Honeywell 7847i on a VISTA P-Series Security System. The Honeywell 7847i is an IP communicator that allows a compatible panel to connect with the Resideo AlarmNet Servers for monitoring service. If you want to use Total Connect 2.0 with your system, then you must be running Firmware Version 9.12 or higher on a VISTA-15P or VISTA-20P. You can determine the firmware by checking the PROM Chip. No version of the VISTA-10P will work with Total Connect 2.0.


Installing a Honeywell 7847i On a VISTA TURBO Panel

I show you how to install a Honeywell 7847i on a Honeywell VISTA TURBO Panel, such as a Honeywell VISTA-128BPT or a Honeywell VISTA-250BPT. The most common reason why someone will choose to use an IP-only communicator is because they want monitoring costs to be as low as possible. IP monitoring is less expensive than cellular monitoring because no cellular service fees are incurred. But keep in mind that an internet outage will take your panel offline if you rely strictly on IP communication for your system.

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Alarm Grid has learned that Johnson Controls has acquired the remaining stake of Qolsys. Johnson Controls now fully owns Qolsys. The press release from Qolsys states that all key Qolsys leaders and founders will remain at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters in San Jose, CA.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

Jeff Williams, President of Global Products for Johnson Controls said of the acquisition:

"Qolsys has grown from a startup to a leading security platform provider with over 4,000 dealers and service providers worldwide. Johnson Controls sees long-term opportunities to bring Silicon Valley innovation and culture to our broader cloud-enabled IoT solutions in building management, fire and HVAC businesses... The opportunity to acquire Qolsys allows Johnson Controls to achieve operational efficiencies and scale across our global markets."

Johnson Controls had already owned the majority of Qolsys. This latest acquisition now puts the entire company under the ownership of Johnson Controls. In addition to Qolsys, the Johnson Controls banner also includes the likes of DSC, Bentel, Visonic, PowerG, and Tyco. The company has certainly assembled an extensive collection of security products and namesakes. Now with Qolsys fully under their control, their expansion should only continue.

As part of the move, Qolsys CEO Dave Pulling will transition to the role of Vice President and General Manager of Global Intrusion Products for Johnson Controls. According to Pulling, Johnson Controls will remain committed to serving existing Qolsys users, while also setting their sights on potential global growth. As for the Qolsys namesake, it shouldn't be going anywhere, and it will continue to represent various panels, sensors, and accessories.

Interestingly, the bottom of the press release from Qolsys hints at a "fourth generation IQ Panel", with a very vague release date of 2021. The press release states that the Fourth Gen IQ Panel will feature a "Qualcomm Chipset with support for AI, M2M, and Next Generation Connectivity". This is the first we've heard about a 4th-gen IQ Panel, but it really sounds like exciting news. We don't have any other details about a 4th-gen Qolsys IQ Panel at this time, but we will definitely keep our eyes open for more news.

Qolsys is currently known for their state-of-the-art IQ Panel 2 Plus. The company is set to release the lower-cost Qolsys IQ Hub later this year, which will represent the "third gen" in the IQ Panel lineup. Also on the roadmap for Qolsys is the upcoming Qolsys IQ Router. And last month's release of the DSC PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter was big news for many Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus users. It goes without saying that the company has been frequently making some big waves in the security industry.

Alarm Grid has frequently praised Qolsys Panels for their intuitive designs and simple user interfaces (UIs). We have found that the IQ Panel 2 serves as a great option for new users who aren't necessarily accustomed to, or experienced in, operating alarm systems. We hope that this will continue for Qolsys, even as they are now operating fully under the Johnson Controls banner. Many end users appreciate having easy-to-operate security systems greet them in their homes and businesses. Our hope is that Johnson Controls and Qolsys do not lose sight of that vision.

If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, or any other security product from Johnson Controls, or if you want to learn more about monitoring service, please send an email to our team at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have learned that Qolsys has released a fix for the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware for the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. With this fix, the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware is once again available for download for any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus running System Firmware Version 2.4.2 or higher.

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The saga regarding Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03 for the IQ Panel 2 has been ongoing for quite awhile now. For anyone who isn't fully in the loop, we will provide a brief recap of the events.

In September of last year, Qolsys released IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.4.0. Any newly manufactured IQ Panel 2 Plus System with 2.4.0 or higher pre-installed would have the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already pre-installed out of the box. Those with an older IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System that had been upgraded from a lower system firmware version would need to separately update the Z-Wave firmware for the system if they wanted to use the associated features.

To be clear, updating the Z-Wave firmware on an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus is optional. The 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware only provides the Smart Start feature for enrolling compatible devices via a scanned QR code, and it upgrades the panel's automation security protocol from S0 to S2. If a user doesn't need and/or doesn't care about these features, then skipping the update is fine. Unlike panel firmware for the IQ2, the system's Z-Wave firmware isn't as important to have on the latest version. Many users chose to skip the update entirely. And that remains the case now. If you do not want the update, then you do not need to apply it.

Later, in July 2020, Qolsys discovered problems with Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03. Once this happened, Qolsys took the associated patch tag off the network so that it could no longer be downloaded. But now that Qolsys has corrected the associated issues, the update is once again available for download. Anyone who performs the upgrade now will download an updated version of the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware to the panel. This updated version does not have the problems and issues that were associated with the earlier version, even though they are both referred to as Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03.

Of course, there are some users who still have the faulty version of the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware on their panels. For these users, the problem can be corrected by performing a system firmware update for the IQ Panel 2. In other words, upgrading to the latest system firmware (2.5.2) with the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already installed will update the panel's Z-Wave firmware from the faulty version of 6.81.03 to the newly updated version that has the fixes applied. Users who were already running 2.5.2 at the time they applied the faulty Z-Wave firmware patch, will need to wait for the next firmware release to fix the problem. According to Qolsys, their IQ Panel 2 System Firmware Version 2.5.3 will be made available later this month. More information on IQ Panel 2 System Firmware can be found on this helpful page.

We understand that this may be a bit confusing, so we have broken IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus users into three (3) categories. Find the bold statement below that applies to you, and follow the corresponding instructions. It may also be helpful to check and see whether or not your IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03. To do this, press the small grey bar at the top of the main screen, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > About > Z-Wave. You should see the current Z-Wave Firmware listed.

1. My IQ Panel 2 is NOT on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03.

If your IQ Panel 2 is not on Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03, then that tells us two things. For one, it means that the panel was originally manufactured with a system firmware version of less than 2.4.0. Second, it also means that no updates to the system's Z-Wave firmware have ever been applied.

Since you haven't updated the Z-Wave firmware for the system before, you can apply the update as normal. You will be downloading the newly updated 6.81.03 that has the proper fixes applied. Please see this helpful FAQ for more information about applying the patch tag.

Remember, your IQ Panel 2 must be on at least System Firmware Version 2.4.2 to apply the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware. If your system is not on a high enough firmware, then now is a great time to update to the latest system firmware version, which is Version 2.5.2. Alternatively, you might choose to wait a few weeks for System Firmware Version 2.5.3, since it's coming so soon.

Another option is to just skip the Z-Wave update entirely. The older "pre-6.81.03" Z-Wave firmware versions are very stable, and they generally work great. All you are getting by updating the Z-Wave firmware is access to the Smart Start feature and an upgrade for your system's Z-Wave Security Protocol (from S0 to S2). If you do not care about these updates, then you can simply take no action.

2. My IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03, but I'm not on the latest System Firmware 2.5.2.

Your panel is on Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03 either because it was manufactured that way, or because a Z-Wave firmware update was manually performed. In either case, the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware Version your system is running is flawed, and we strongly advise applying a fix. There is no way to "downgrade" to an older Z-Wave firmware, so you must apply the newly fixed 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware to the panel.

Luckily, Qolsys made it very easy to fix the issue for users in this situation. All you need to do is update the system firmware to the latest version. By updating to System Firmware 2.5.2 with the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already installed, the appropriate fix will be applied so that your system's Z-Wave firmware will work in the proper manner. We recommend checking our IQ Panel 2 Plus System Firmware Updates Page for more information.

3. My IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03, AND I'm already on System Firmware 2.5.2.

Since your system is already on the latest firmware, you cannot perform a firmware update to fix the issue. Any user in this situation will not be able to take any action towards fixing their faulty Z-Wave firmware until Qolsys releases IQ Panel 2 System Firmware Version 2.5.3. Once 2.5.3 is available, you can download that Z-Wave firmware, and the updated 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware will also be automatically applied at that time. Qolsys says that System Firmware 2.5.3 will be made available later this month. Alarm Grid will post an update blog once 2.5.3 is available, so make sure to stay tuned.

UPDATE: Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Version 2.5.3 is now available! Please see this blog post for more information.

We understand that this is a lot of information to take in for a relatively simple issue. If you need any clarification regarding the issue, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you have a home or business in Canada, and you are looking to receive central station monitoring service, then Alarm Grid is happy to help! Our company is proud to provide service through Rapid Response Monitoring Services (RRMS). We offer many system options for users in Canada.


Rapid Response has been protecting US and Canadian homes and businesses since 1992. The company consists of more than 550 highly trained experts who are dedicated to providing top-quality monitoring service for end users. Alarm Grid has hand-picked RRMS for the protection of our customers in Canada due to their proven success, expertise, and overall reliability.

There are currently two (2) central station locations operated by RRMS. These monitoring centers are located in Southern California (Rapid West in Corona, CA) and New York State (Rapid East in Syracuse, NY). Both monitoring centers are state-of-the-art, and they operate 24/7 for the protection of end users. We are highly confident in their ability to provide outstanding service at all times.

When an alarm or other important system condition is received by RRMS, a trained expert will immediately take action based on what is listed for the end user's monitoring account. This can include requesting immediate emergency dispatch, contacting the end user to make sure that everything is alright, or following other predetermined instructions. RRMS takes special precautions to prevent delays and ensure that help is sent out as soon as possible.

Having two (2) independent monitoring centers provides added redundancy for end users receiving central station service through RRMS. If one monitoring center goes offline for any reason, all incoming signals will be re-routed to the other monitoring center to ensure that end users receive the help that they need. This aspect was essential in Alarm Grid choosing to work with RRMS.

Although the RRMS monitoring centers are located in the United States, they will have no trouble reaching out to jurisdictions throughout Canada and providing necessary assistance. Remember, the exact location of a monitoring center is not very important. What is important is that the monitoring center is able to reliably receive incoming signals and take appropriate action when emergencies occur. And RRMS has that aspect nailed.

It is important to remember that Alarm Grid customers who receive central station monitoring service in the United States will continue to receive service through Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS). We are extremely confident in both our primary monitoring partners CMS for customers within the United States, and RRMS for customers in Canada. To learn more about CMS, we recommend checking out this helpful FAQ.

Of course, a good monitoring station is only one step in the process. You also need a capable security system that can reliably send out signals. And Alarm Grid has that aspect down as well. The options for users in Canada are slightly different than those for users in the United States. We'll cover some of the most popular options below, but we recommend checking this blog post for more complete info on what we can offer for users in Canada.

The ultimate option for Alarm Grid Monitoring Service in Canada is arguably the AT&T LTE Version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The reason why this system works so well is because its built-in AT&T LTE Communicator will roam to the Rogers LTE Network in Canada with no extra charges. And since it also has built-in WIFI, you will get dual-path connectivity right out of the box. Just remember that your will need a monitoring plan that includes cellular service.

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If you are looking to save money with internet-only monitoring, then the Honeywell Lyric is a great option. Unlike the Alarm.com Panels, the Lyric System can connect with the Resideo AlarmNet360 Servers through exclusively internet protocol (IP), without having a cellular communication path set up. This can save you money, as IP-only plans are typically less expensive than cellular plans. But remember, an internet outage will leave you unmonitored!

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Also keep in mind that it is possible to receive alarm monitoring without service through a central station. This is called self-monitoring, and it involves having the end user receive text and/or email alerts when system activity occurs. Using this option it is solely up to the end user to request their own help in an emergency situation. Alarm Grid offers various self-monitoring plans if you do not want to receive central station service through Rapid Response.

If you have any questions about Rapid Response, or if you want to learn more about security panels or alarm monitoring service in general, please reach out to us! The best way to contact our team is to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: If you receive central station service through Rapid Response, make sure to save the phone number (800) 932-3822 in your phone. This the phone number that RRMS will use to call you in the event of an emergency. It is very important that you know that this number is not a telemarketer!

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Alarm Grid has learned that Qolsys has uncovered some issues with their current Z-Wave firmware (6.81.03) for the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. They are currently working on a new patch tag update to replace 6.81.03. However, the new update patch has not yet been made available.

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Qolsys released Z-Wave Firmware Update 6.81.03 to provide the IQ Panel 2 with the Smart Start feature and to upgrade the system's Z-Wave security protocol to S2. Alarm Grid previously covered the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware Version in this prior blog post. Our post specifically focused on the Smart Start feature, but it did provide information on the required Z-Wave firmware version.

Unfortunately, there have been compatibility issues between Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03 and various Z-Wave devices. The only device that we know for sure has experienced issues with the system is the August Smart Lock Pro. But it is certainly possible that other Z-Wave devices may be affected. We have also confirmed that the August Smart Lock Pro will work fine on IQ2 Systems that have not yet had the 6.81.03 Patch applied.

With the issue in mind, we recommend NOT upgrading to Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03. In fact, Qolsys has removed the 6.81.03 Patch Tag from their servers, making it virtually impossible to apply this update. But if you were planning to apply the update using a different method, such as an SD card, please do not proceed with that action. Just hang tight on the current Z-Wave firmware until the new patch is available.

We also understand that many people have already applied the 6.81.03 Patch. We are disappointed to say that there is no way to "roll-back" or "downgrade" the Z-Wave Firmware to an older version. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. But it is our understanding that most Z-Wave devices should not experience any problems on 6.81.03. If your Z-Wave network is still working as normal, then you should have nothing to worry about.

Alarm Grid does not currently have an ETA on when the new Z-Wave patch tag will be made available. However, we expect that it will be fairly soon. Qolsys is usually very quick and diligent about rolling these things out, and we're sure it is a top priority for the. We will post an update blog after the update has been made available. We then recommend upgrading your system's Z-Wave firmware to the new version as soon as you can.

If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or its Z-Wave firmware versions, you can reach us for support@alarmgrid.com. That email is also great if you are interested in starting new monitoring service. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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After our big return last week, we're back in a major way with 12 new videos this week! As our headquarters has only partially reopened, I had to try doing some videos again. But a familiar face has returned. We're sure you're eager to see who. Anyway, here come the new Alarm Grid videos!


Adjusting Z-Wave Device Limits On My Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to adjust the Z-Wave device limits on your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Security System. The Z-Wave device limits determine how many of each Z-Wave device type you can pair with the system. There are limits for thermostats, smart sockets, door locks, lights, garage doors, and "other" Z-Wave devices. The maximum total limit for all devices combined is 152 Z-Wave devices. You will need the Installer Code or Dealer Code (default 1111 and 2222, respectively) to change these limits. Also note that the Z-Wave device limit for Alarm.com is 122 Z-Wave devices.


Upgrading the Z-Wave Firmware for My Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus?

I show you how to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. This is something you may want to do if the system is running a Z-Wave firmware of less than 6.81.03. At that Z-Wave firmware, you unlock the Smart Start feature for quickly adding Z-Wave devices, and you upgrade the system to the S2 security protocol for automation devices. Any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 manufactured with System Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher (upgrading later doesn't count) will already have this Z-Wave Firmware Version.


Overview of the Smart Start Feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I talk about the Smart Start feature that can be used with any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 that is running Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03 or higher. The Smart Start feature allows you to pair Z-Wave devices by scanning a QR code, instead of performing a traditional inclusion/exclusion process. As of June 2020, only a very limited selection of Z-Wave devices from Qolsys, Alarm.com, Eaton, and Danalock are compatible with the feature. But it can save you time if adding a large number of Z-Wave devices.


Using the Smart Start Feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to use the Smart Start feature on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus to add new Z-Wave devices. If your IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03 or higher and you have a compatible Z-Wave device, then you can use the Smart Start feature to add it to the Z-Wave network. Depending on the Z-Wave device, the QR code may be on the packaging or on the device itself. Some may have the code on both the packaging and the device.


How Many Z-Wave Devices are Supported on the 2GIG GC2 or GC2e?

I discuss the Z-Wave device limits for the 2GIG GC2 and the 2GIG GC2e. The classic GC2 has a standard Z-Wave controller, while the newer GC2e has an upgraded Z-Wave Plus controller. Both support the same Z-Wave devices, though Z-Wave Plus devices will get an extended range and battery life when used with the GC2e. The Z-Wave device limit for both systems is 232 Z-Wave devices, though it should be considered that adding a very large number of Z-Wave devices can diminish system performance.


How Many Z-Wave Devices are Supported on the 2GIG GC3 or GC3e?

I discuss the Z-Wave device limits for the 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e. Both of these systems have built-in Z-Wave Plus controllers for building an automation network of smart devices. Just like the "lower-end" 2GIG Systems, the GC3 and GC3e can support a maximum of 232 Z-Wave devices, though usually far fewer are actually used in practice. You should also keep in mind that Alarm.com has its own Z-Wave device limit of 122 devices. This means that only the first 122 Z-Wave devices paired with the system will get pushed over to Alarm.com.


Excluding the Kwikset Z-Wave Lock from the Lyric Controller

I show you how to exclude a Kwikset Z-Wave Lock from a Z-Wave network using a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. Clearing the lock from the network will wipe out all of its residual Z-Wave data. This is normally done before adding the lock to the Z-Wave network, or when you need to delete it from the system. The Lyric can be used to clear the Z-Wave network data in the lock, even if the lock wasn’t paired using the Lyric to begin with.


Including the Kwikset Z-Wave Lock from the Lyric Controller

I show you how to pair a Kwikset Z-Wave Lock with your Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. This will allow you to control the lock from the panel and remotely from Total Connect 2.0 if the system is monitored and set up with the service. Normally, an exclusion process is performed before the inclusion process. Most Kwikset Locks have a simple button that is used for including and excluding. Pressing this button while the system is in its inclusion mode will include the lock into the Z-Wave network.


Excluding a Schlage Z-Wave Lock with the Honeywell Lyric

I show you how to exclude a Schlage Z-Wave Lock from a Z-Wave network using the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. Just like most other Z-Wave devices, an exclusion process is normally performed either before adding the device to the Z-Wave network, or when deleting the device from the Z-Wave hub. For a Schlage Lock, you must access the programming code that is found on a white sticker underneath the lock's main cover. You will need a screwdriver to remove this cover.


Including a Schalge Z-Wave Lock with the Honeywell Lyric

I show you how to include a Schlage Z-Wave Lock to the Lyric's Z-Wave network. A Schlage Lock will follow the same process for inclusion as it does for exclusion. However, you will normally want to exclude the lock first to wipe out any residual Z-Wave data. To include the lock, simply enter the programming code on the lock's sticker, followed by the [0] key while the Lyric System is in the appropriate Z-Wave inclusion mode.


Enrolling a Z-Wave Lock to My Qolsys IQ Panel 2

In his triumphant return, the always fantastic Jorge shows you how to enroll a Z-Wave door lock to your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This is done by putting the IQ Panel 2 into its Z-Wave inclusion mode and then activating the inclusion function on the lock. For most locks, you will want to clear the lock from the network to wipe its residual Z-Wave data before completing the inclusion process. The lock can then be controlled from the panel, as well as from Alarm.com if the system is monitored with access to the service.


Resetting an Interlogix Simon XT to Factory Defaults

This is an update from a previous video shot more than a year ago. Jorge shows you how to reset an Interlogix Simon XT System back to its factory default settings. This will reset the Master Code (1234) and the Installer and Dealer Codes (both 4321), delete any added codes and system zones, and restore all settings and configurations to their default values. It is important to note that if the option for "Phone Lock" in system programming is enabled, then certain settings will not be affected by the default.

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If you are looking for a wireless sensor solution that comes fully integrated into a door or window, then Andersen Doors and Windows might be for you. There are many Andersen Doors and Windows that come with integrated 345 MHz wireless sensors for using with a compatible alarm system.

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The wireless sensors that come built into Andersen Doors and Windows are commonly referred to as Andersen Verilock Sensors. For a complete list of Andersen Doors and Windows that utilize these integrated sensors, please see this FAQ as a reference. While we are specifically using this post to highlight the compatibility between the Andersen Verilock Sensors and the 345 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, there is no reason why you couldn't also use these sensors with a different 345 MHz system, like the Honeywell Lyric or one of the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels.

The 345 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus serves as a great system for the integrated Andersen Door and Window Sensors, specifically due to the fact that the IQ2+ supports a large number of wireless zones (up to 128). This is important because each Andersen Verilock Sensor will typically use two (2) wireless zones for full system operation. One zone (Loop 1) will monitor for the door or window being opened/closed. The other zone (Loop 2) will monitor for the door or window being locked/unlocked. These sensors have a wireless range of roughly 500 feet when used in an open air environment. Remember that obstacles like thick walls and large metal objects can reduce wireless range.


One very important thing to note about Andersen products is that they are typically only sold through licensed Andersen dealers. Alarm Grid cannot sell these sensors directly. Also, Andersen mandates in its terms of service that their integrated door and window sensors only be installed by professional installers who are certified and approved by Andersen. Failure to comply with the Andersen terms of service can result in the warranty for your door or window being terminated. It is strongly advised that you visit the Andersen website and contact a dealer in your area if you are serious about installing these doors and/or windows.

While Andersen does have strict policies regarding the sale and installation of their integrated sensors, they also have an extensive YouTube Channel with lots of informational and how-to videos involving their products. It is truly a great resource for everyone from the DIY weekend warrior looking to complete their own installation, to the professional installer certified by Andersen. We posted a general informational video from Andersen above, but there are plenty more to check out if you are hoping to learn more about these products.

The best complement for Andersen Security Doors and Windows is alarm monitoring service. And that is a job for Alarm Grid! We offer monitoring plans for all needs and budgets so that you can have an automatic response if your Andersen Door or Window detects activity. If you are hoping to get started with Alarm Grid monitoring service, feel free to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our technicians and security planners will be happy to help you get started with monitoring service for your home or business. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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