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UPDATE 3:00 PM EST 02/22/24:

The nationwide AT&T outage has been resolved and all affected users, including alarm communicators, have been restored to normal operation. AT&T is still investigating the cause of the outage, and no concrete information is yet available. If a forensic analysis is made public, we will comment on it in a separate post.

Both AlarmNet and Alarm.com show that service for customers with AT&T communicators has been fully restored. If you have an AT&T communicator that still seems to be offline, attempt to power cycle the device.

Always put a monitored system on test with the monitoring station before performing any kind of maintenance.

For most stand-alone communicators, you can do this by unplugging the battery and the primary power supply, waiting about 30 seconds, and then powering back on by plugging the battery, and then the power supply back in. If your communicator gets its power from a VISTA alarm panel, like the LTEM-XA, then power cycle the entire system. Power down by unplugging the panel's battery and transformer. Power up by plugging in the transformer first, and then the battery.

For older All-in-One systems, like the LynxTouch panels, you'll need to power cycle the entire system. Do this by opening the panel and unplugging the battery, then unplugging the transformer. When powering back up, plug the battery in first, then the transformer.

The PROA7 and PROA7PLUS panels have a reboot option through the Tools Menu. From the Home Screen, tap Menu (≡) > scroll down, tap Tools > Enter Installer Code (4112 by default) > scroll down and tap Reboot.

If you have a Qolsys touchscreen system, be sure to go through the panel's menu to reboot, rather than removing the battery and DC power. Not following the proper power-down or reboot procedure can damage the panel. Tap the gray bar at the top of the screen, then tap Settings > Advanced Settings > Enter Installer or Dealer Code (1111 or 2222 respectively, by default) > Panel Reboot ().

ORIGINAL POST:

A nationwide outage, beginning this morning at approximately 3:30 AM, is affecting both mobile phones and alarm communicators. The outage seems to be limited to AT&T, though there were early reports of issues with T-Mobile also. According to T-Mobile, their service is working normally now.

AlarmNet has posted this notice on the AlarmNet360 page:


Alarm.com has posted this notice:


It is important to note that this is a carrier outage, not an AlarmNet, Total Connect 2.0, or Alarm.com outage, meaning this is not something Resideo or Alarm.com can resolve. As new information becomes available, we will update it here. As an AT&T Subscriber in the Louisville, KY area, I can report that I have no cellular service at this time. AT&T recommends that their wireless users take advantage of WIFI calling wherever possible, until this issue is resolved.

This outage does potentially affect your ability to remotely control your system, to receive notifications from your system, and your system's ability to report alarm and other signals to a central station, but only if you have an AT&T communicator tied to the system or have an AT&T Mobile Device and no access to WIFI. To our knowledge, Verizon communicators are unaffected.

If your system reports a trouble condition related to the cellular outage, you can silence any audible alert by acknowledging the trouble condition. For users with touchscreen panels, this will usually involve touching the notification message and then acknowledging it on the next screen.

For VISTA users, a disarm command should be entered. This is accomplished by entering a valid 4-digit user code, and then pressing the 1 or OFF key. Once the outage has been restored, you will need to perform a disarm command again to clear the trouble condition from the display.

Most wired DSC panels indicate a trouble condition by displaying a triangle with an exclamation point inside. Pressing [*] [2] and then viewing the number or numbers displayed will explain what the condition is. A four usually (4) indicates a Comm Failure. You can see information about how to view DSC trouble conditions here. DSC Impassa users can see the Install Guide here. Information about trouble codes is on page 72. You can see a DSC PowerSeries troubleshooting guide here.

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Shooter Detection Systems and its parent company Alarm.com are currently promoting the #TakeAction initiative to advocate for gun safety. In the United States, people are increasingly afraid to go to work, school, church, and even the grocery store.

Shooter Detection Systems (SDS) sensors offer a combination of acoustic listening with infrared (IR) detection. When a shot is fired within a sensor's detection range, the combination of the sound and the infrared signature caused by the muzzle flash cause a signal to be sent. All processing takes place at the sensor, so you don't have to worry that an SDS sensor is "listening in" on your conversation.

They boast a 99.9% accuracy rating with less than 1 false alert in 5 million hours of use. Shooter Detection Systems holds 9 technology patents (so far). Having a system like this in place means that if Heaven forbid, an active shooter situation unfolds, no humans have to call for help, putting themselves and those around them in further danger.

CES is the Consumer Electronic Showcase. It's a trade show, and when it comes to consumer electronics it's THE trade show. At CES-24, Alarm.com and Shooter Detection Systems unveiled an initiative they call #TakeAction. It is designed to help individuals take control of their personal safety by advocating for the installation of an SDS or similar system.

At this site, Shooter Detection Systems offers letter and email templates that will assist individuals in writing to request proactive gun safety measures. There are templates for students to their school administrators, for parents to their child's school, and for employees to write to their employers.

There are also templates for letters or emails from consumers to local businesses. These businesses may include malls, movie theatres, concert venues, churches, or any other place where crowds may gather.

Finally, there are templates available for individuals to write to their representatives in Congress. This letter or email seeks to make members of Congress aware of the type of protection provided by Shooter Detection Systems, and encourages them to promote public gun safety in any way possible. From Congress, this may take the form of safety and security grant funding.

As mentioned above, Alarm.com is the parent company of Shooter Detection Systems. They acquired SDS in late 2020 and there are plans to offer indoor gunshot detection as part of the Alarm.com for Business platform. We don't yet know what will be required to use this service, but as information becomes available, we'll provide it in future posts. Stay tuned!

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Alarm Grid and Alarm.com customers in Ameren, IL can sign up for the Peak Time Savings Program. Once enrolled, you will receive a $50 e-gift card. For each subsequent year you remain enrolled, you will receive a $25 e-gift card. This is another way your smart thermostat can pay for itself.

We've written about the Give Back, Get Back program numerous times in the past. Many different utility companies offer a similar incentive program, and each company has its name for the program. Some offer rebates, others may offer bill credits. The incentive amounts also vary. The information included here is specific to the Ameren, IL program.

To qualify for this incentive, you just need the following:

  • Be a residential electric customer in Ameren, IL, with service in your name.
  • Use an internet-connected, qualifying smart thermostat.
  • Sign up for the program, which allows the Ameren, IL electric company to make small adjustments to your thermostat remotely, during peak usage times.
  • You must not already be participating in a demand response program.

The times when your thermostat is likely to be adjusted are during the hottest days of summer when power demands are at their greatest. This can cause strain on the electrical grid. By signing up for the Peak Time Savings Program, you agree that the electric company can make small adjustments of four (4) degrees or less during these times. These adjustments will last for no more than four (4) hours.

The most likely hours during which an adjustment may occur are between 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. CT, but adjustments could occur anywhere from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. CT. You retain control of your thermostat and can opt out of an adjustment event at any time. In some cases, the thermostat may briefly be adjusted down (cooler) before being adjusted up (conservation) to maintain comfort during the adjustment period.

The thermostats that are compatible through Alarm.com are:

You can sign up for the program by going to this page, and then clicking the link "Enroll Your Smart Thermostat." Once you are accepted, you should receive an email within 60 days of being accepted. The $50 e-gift card will be delivered to your email, so be sure when you sign up, you enter the correct email information.

If you remain enrolled in the program, on the anniversary of your enrollment, you will receive a $25 e-gift card via email for your continued participation. This will occur each subsequent year you remain enrolled. Currently, there is no end date, so this incentive will continue until you are notified otherwise.

It's the middle of winter, but summer will be here before you know it. If you've been on the fence about purchasing a smart thermostat, this may be the perfect time to commit. Signing up for a program like this may seem like a small step, but as they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step and every step brings you closer to your goal. In this case, the goal is energy conservation, and every little step helps.

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Alarm.com recently announced that due to some network changes undertaken by T-Mobile, those customers who currently receive MMS (Multi-Media Messaging Service) notifications with video clips and thumbnails, will soon begin receiving SMS (Short Message Service) messages with links instead.


This only affects Alarm.com customers who use T-Mobile for their mobile phone service. Currently, the change is set to go into effect on January 31, 2024. Those customers who use both Alarm.com and T-Mobile who are on iOS devices with the latest software may not notice a change, as those devices will automatically open the links to offer a preview. However, for customers on Android devices, or iOS devices that are not updated this change will likely be readily apparent.

Alarm.com supports Push Notifications through the Alarm.com app, and they encourage the enabling of Push Notifications for all Alarm.com customers who use smart devices to receive notifications. They are taking steps to minimize the use of MMS messaging regardless of carrier. Those steps are as follows:

  • T-Mobile Customers: As already mentioned, with the changes at T-Mobile, those customers will begin receiving SMS, instead of MMS, messages at the end of January. In these messages, they will receive links to thumbnails and clips, rather than the clip or thumbnail being embedded in the message. Users on updated iOS devices may not notice this change as these devices will open the links automatically. For users with other devices, such as Android phones, the change will be more noticeable.
  • UI Updates. Over the next several months, Alarm.com plans to roll out expanded messaging options within their user interfaces to make Push Notifications the more attractive option for customers. They plan to release new tools that will make the use of Push Notifications even easier to set up and use.

As we mentioned before, Alarm.com strongly recommends that customers use Push Notifications instead of SMS or MMS messaging. There are several advantages to this, including:

  1. In Push Notifications, users are redirected to live or saved clips, depending on whether the clip has been uploaded yet. This allows them to access their content quickly.
  2. Users can pause notifications directly from Push Notifications.
  3. Push Notifications offer unique doorbell sound effects.
  4. As iOS and Android devices continue to evolve, Alarm.com will continue to enhance the features of Push Notifications.

Alarm.com customers who use T-Mobile phone service need not do anything. These changes will take effect automatically at the end of January, 2024. You can read about the different types of customer notifications here. For help setting up Push Notifications, you can read this article.

If you're both an Alarm.com and a T-Mobile customer, we'd love to hear your thoughts on these changes. Give us your opinion on the new format. Do you use Push Notifications, with SMS or MMS as a backup? Does this change your feelings about either Alarm.com or T-Mobile? Start a conversation in the comments below.

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Anyone with a SkyBell Video Doorbell used with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, which is also used with the SkyBell app, be aware. The SkyBell app may prompt you to upgrade to "Gen5." However, upgrading will remove access from all third-party apps. Once installed, this upgrade can't be undone.


The message displayed in the SkyBell app is shown above. As you can see, any SkyBell Trim II, Slim II, Trim Plus, Slim, or HD4.x doorbell will eventually be upgraded to "Gen5," according to SkyBell. This means if you want to use a doorbell that is compatible with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, you will need to begin planning a video doorbell upgrade.

Currently, when prompted in the SkyBell HD App, you have the choice to select "Not Yet." However, this option will eventually be phased out, and the update will be automatically implemented. The exact timeline for this mandatory update is not yet known. This upgrade not only discontinues remote access via Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com but also eliminates compatibility with any local integrations involving Resideo touchscreen panels and keypads. We are still awaiting information regarding the impact of this change on alarm panels and keypads that utilize Alarm.com.

Alarm.com Update: According to Alarm.com CORE Technical Support, they are unaware of the Gen5 update, but since Alarm.com SkyBell doorbells use a proprietary version, and should never be connected to the SkyBell servers or app, this update should not affect their customers.

Alternative Video Doorbell for Total Connect 2.0 Users:

First Alert VX1 HD


The First Alert VX1 HD is the first video doorbell offered by Resideo that is manufactured in-house. It is designed to replace an existing doorbell, so it does require power wiring. The VX1 HD offers dual-band WIFI connectivity using either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Because of its advanced features, a Total Connect 2.0 plan that includes video monitoring is required to use this doorbell camera. For Alarm Grid customers this is either a Platinum Plan (Self or Full) or a Video Monitoring Plan. Each plan can support up to eight (8) cameras, and each VX1 HD counts as one (1) camera.

The VX1 HD is a 5MP camera, it supports 2-way audio and intelligent event detection. This is an advanced AI that can easily tell the difference between people, packages, vehicles, animals, and even loud sounds. This feature will limit unwanted recordings and accidental activations. There is a built-in LED and color night-vision options. It also has a built-in siren feature that can be manually activated to scare away unwanted visitors.

Another great feature of the VX1 HD is Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). We hear High Dynamic Range (HDR) mentioned a lot with Alarm.com cameras, but WDR is slightly different. With WDR, advanced software is combined with the ability to make hardware adjustments to provide the best image possible. Think of aperture iris adjustments and shutter speed control that allow the perfect amount of light to enter the recording. This is particularly important in images that combine very light and very dark areas. HDR also perfects images with high contrast, but it uses software only, without the ability to make hardware adjustments.

The VX1 HD supports three (3) unique options for its field of view. These are tall, wide, or full. Tall optimizes the camera for a portrait-style image, while Wide optimizes the camera for a landscape view. And finally, Full provides the largest possible visual area. There are also selections between low and high video quality. There are many other settings. You can adjust the use of the indoor chime, set how night vision works, and control the doorbell lights, the speaker volume, and the microphone volume.

The VX1 HD can use a mechanical or a digital chime and comes with an adapter for digital chime applications. It also comes with two (2) trim rings (white or grey), a straight and angled mounting bracket, a doorbell release/reset tool, and mounting hardware.

Alternative Video Doorbell Options for Alarm.com Users:

Alarm.com ADC-VDB770

When it comes to Alarm.com video cameras, we're spoiled for choice. The ADC-VDB770 is their flagship video doorbell and is the first manufactured specifically for Alarm.com. Like the VX1 HD, it supports dual-band WIFI (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). It offers full HD recording with 1440 x 1920 video resolution. It boasts IR night vision with a viewing distance of up to 15' (4.5m). The viewing area is also impressive with a 150° vertical and 115° horizontal field of view.

The ADC-VDB770, like the VX1 HD, counts as a video camera when a video monitoring plan is used. If you have a single video doorbell camera, and no other video devices, you can add a single doorbell to an Alarm Grid Gold plan (Self or Full) without upgrading to a Platinum Plan. Just know, that if you already have a Platinum or Video Monitoring Plan, the ADC-VDB770 will count as one (1) when it comes to camera limits.

With High Dynamic Range (HDR), video recorded by the ADC-VDB770 is always crisp and clear. HDR is advanced software that optimizes each image so that it is as clear as possible. This is particularly important in images that have large areas of very light and very dark space. The ADC-VDB770 can work with mechanical or digital chimes. It is a wired doorbell camera and requires power. It should easily connect to an existing doorbell transformer rated between 16-30VAC and 10VA. Alternatively, a 15-30VDC, 8W minimum power adapter can be used. There is an included power module, and it is required in every installation, whether AC or DC power is being used.

The ADC-VDB770 also has an impressive list of available accessories, which you can purchase separately:

  • ADC-VDBA-COVER - Touchless Doorbell Cover that lets guests know not to touch the video doorbell. Used in conjunction with the Video Doorbell Mat.
  • ADC-VDBA-MAT - Video Doorbell Mat that lets guests know to activate the camera by standing on the mat. Used in conjunction with the Touchless Doorbell Cover.
  • ADC-VDBA-PSU-PD - Video Doorbell Wall Power Supply Kit that is used if there is no existing chime circuit, or if the chime circuit is incompatible. Can be used with or without a power module. The device is rated at 16 Volts DC, 1.25 Amps, or 20 Watts.
  • ADC-VDBA-TC - Temperature Collar Accessory that allows the doorbell camera to be safely used in temperatures as low as -40°F. Can be used with or without the Wall Mounting Plate.
  • ADC-VDBA-WP - Wall Mounting Plate that hides blemishes such as missing paint or screw holes. Goes between the wall and the doorbell camera. Dimensions are 5.43"L by 3.43"W.
  • ADC-VDBA-WMK - Wedge Mounting Kit that includes four (4) additional mounting bracket options that are not otherwise included with the ADC-VDB770. These mounting brackets are appropriately named D, E, F, and G. You will ultimately only use one (1) mounting bracket in the final installation.
Alarm.com ADC-VDB750

The ADC-VDB750 replaces the SkyBell ADC-VDB105X. It is a 2MP camera with a 165° horizontal and 145° vertical field of view. It's offered in three (3) colors, white, bronze, and silver. For most mechanical chimes, it doesn't require the installation of a power module, which simplifies installation.

Combined with the ADC-VDB750's excellent viewing area, this doorbell camera also offers 2-way audio, and video analytics for people detection. Unlike passive infrared (PIR) detection, which can be triggered by moving shrubs or holiday decorations video analytics uses software to determine whether an alert should be activated.

This video doorbell also offers an impressive operating temperature range of -58ºF up to 120ºF (-50°C - +48.8°C). It can be powered by an AC transformer rated at 16-24VAC, and 10-40VA or a DC power adapter with a rating of 15-24VDC, 6-20W. It does not have an internal battery. This allows it to be more versatile and compatible with a wider range of temperatures and hardware.

Unlike most video doorbells, the ADC-VDB750 has a programming option for no chime. For installations where no chime is being used, this doorbell camera does not require that a special resistor be installed. For a full list of features and specifications, please click the product link above to be taken to the product description page.

Alarm.com ADC-VDB780B


We'll round out our list of Alarm.com video doorbells with the ADC-VDB780B. This doorbell is unique among all those listed here because it is battery-operated and truly wireless. This doorbell is perfect for those who traditionally might not have a doorbell, such as apartment and condo dwellers, or those in older homes that don't have an existing doorbell, where a retrofit of a wired doorbell isn't possible or perhaps isn't wanted.

At Alarm Grid, we sell the VDB780B as a kit with an Alarm.com wireless chime. Each ADC-VDB780B must have at least one W115C to operate. The ADC-VDB780B-W115C-BNDL gives you everything you need to get a doorbell up and running in a location where no doorbell has ever been installed before. In addition to being a wireless chime, the W115C acts as a WIFI extender, which may come in handy if the ADC-VDB780B is mounted far away from your WIFI access point. The W115C just plugs into any standard outlet.

What sets this doorbell camera apart from all others is the fact that it is completely wireless. The included rechargeable battery is expected to last for up to six (6) months before it has to be recharged. When that time comes, just unlatch the bottom of the doorbell mount, remove the doorbell, and then pull down and separate the battery pack. Now you can charge the battery with the included micro USB cable. The plug-in charger is not included. You will need to provide a 5V/1.5A USB wall charger, similar to what you probably use to charge your cell phone or tablet. A fully drained battery takes about seven (7) hours to fully charge.

As with the other video doorbell cameras listed here the ADC-VDB780B counts as one (1) camera when used with a full video plan such as Alarm Grid's Platinum Plan. If this will be your only video device, then a single ADC-VDB780B can be used with our Gold Plan without requiring a plan change.

The field of view for this camera is also impressive at 160° horizontal, 90° vertical, 175° diagonal, and the 2.12MP camera offers true HD recording at 1920 x 1080 video resolution. It offers IR night vision with a detection range of ~15' (4.8m) 2-way audio, and Alarm.com's video analytics to prevent unwanted or erroneous alerts. One big difference with this doorbell is the fact that it only supports 2.4 GHz WIFI. The same is true of the Alarm.com W115C wireless chime. It can only use, and boost the 2.4 GHz band.

So, SkyBell is taking a step away from security integrators, or perhaps they are trying to become one. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this move pays off, or not, in the future. For those of you who use a video doorbell with your security system, it's good to know you have plenty of options if you find yourself suddenly needing them. Until next time...

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It's that time of year again! The time when you might spot Santa Claus on your Alarm.com video feed as he prepares to deliver Christmas gifts. Of course, the true magic occurs on Christmas Eve, but Santa could drop by at any time between December 4 and December 31. So, be on the lookout!

Alarm.com is always enhancing and expanding its video offerings. For the past few years, its technology has become so advanced that it can capture Santa Clause as he goes about his pre and post-holiday preparation.

Any time between December 4 and December 31, 2023, you may catch a glimpse of the jolly old elf as he scurries about, scoping out the surroundings and getting all of the logistics prepared for the big night. Delivering toys to all the children of the world in a single night requires meticulous preparation!

The only way you can see Santa is if you capture a still image from your video feed. Santa is much too quick to be seen on the video feed itself. Just log into your Alarm.com account, pull up the feed of one of your Alarm.com cameras, and click the Santa icon. You'll see the various Santa poses captured within the feed. Click the one you like best, and then share the image with your family and friends.

In dark settings, Santa will appear in black and white, in lighted areas you'll see him in color. Just be sure you have the latest version of the Alarm.com app installed on your iOS or Android device so that you can take advantage of this rare opportunity. For iOS users, the latest version is 5.2.1. For Android users, the version you see will vary depending on your device. Just check the Google Play store and be sure there are no available updates. Your phone must be on Android 7.0 or higher to support the Alarm.com app.

Of course, only those with a video subscription, and cameras installed will be able to capture Santa Clause in action. For Alarm Grid customers, this will be those on one of our Platinum Plans (Self or Full) or a Video Monitoring Account. If you've been considering adding an Alarm.com video camera to your system now may be the perfect time!

If you don't happen to have Alarm.com video service, but you do use Alarm.com monitoring for your security system, you have another option for tracking Santa as he visits your home. You can set up a Santa Alert for your system. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Designate a sensor. Log into your Alarm.com security account. Tap the Sensors card and choose a sensor that is easy for you to open and close. Change the name of that sensor to something fun. If you have a chimney, you can call it Chimney Sensor. If not, you can name it Santa Sensor, or a similar fun name.

  2. Create a notification. If you don't already have a zone open/close notification set up for the sensor you chose, tap the Notifications menu option, then click the "+ New Notification" icon. Looking at the Standard Notification options, you should see "Sensor Activity." Click on this option.



  3. Complete the notification setup. When you click on the "Sensor Activity" option, you'll be taken to a configuration screen. First, name your notification. Check the box next to the sensor you renamed in Step 1. Configure all the required parameters to ensure you receive a notification when this sensor is opened. Remember, a notification will be sent every time this sensor is opened or faulted, so you probably want to wait until you're ready for Santa to visit, before you set this up. Otherwise, if this is a sensor you use often, you may be inundated with notifications until you set things back to normal. Presumably, you'll do this on Christmas Eve. Be sure you have at least one recipient for this notification enabled. When you've completed the configuration, click "Save."


  4. Create the event. When it's time for Santa's visit, open the sensor you renamed in Step 1. You should receive a notification on your designated device that shows the Chimney Sensor, Santa Sensor, or whatever fun name you gave your sensor has been opened. In the morning, you can show your family proof that Santa Claus visited during the night.

  5. Revert to normal. Once you have your proof, you can reverse the above steps and put your system back to normal. There is no need to delete the notification. You can simply toggle it off, then it will be ready again next year, in case you want to use it again.
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Qolsys, which is owned by Johnson Controls, Inc., the same company that owns DSC, is introducing a new lineup of PowerG automation devices. Currently, they offer a door lock along with a range of wired and plug-in switches. These devices will be supported by the IQ4 panels and the IQ Pro.

I say "will be supported" instead of "are supported" because the firmware required to support these new PowerG automation devices hasn't been released yet. For the IQ Panel 4, IQ4 Hub (PowerG Version), and IQ4 NS (PowerG Version) this is firmware version 4.4.0. For the Qolsys IQ Pro, firmware 4.3.0n is required. These firmware updates should be available later this month for the IQ4 Series panels, and soon thereafter for the IQ Pro.

We've talked before about the benefits of PowerG sensors. The big story with this and all PowerG devices is the transmitting range. Depending on the PowerG transceiver being used you can expect hundreds, and up to thousands, of feet in transmitting range. The PowerG repeaters will also work with these devices, so in the unlikely event you need one, a repeater is available.

Compare that to a Z-Wave Plus device, where you can expect a transmitting range of a couple hundred feet at most. Z-Wave is a mesh network, though, so if you plan to install a large number of devices, you can build out an impressive network using that technology. The problem is if you have a single area you want to automate, and it's not near the rest of your Z-Wave network, you might be out of luck with Z-Wave, but not with PowerG!

The encryption used with PowerG security sensors is also used here, so you get 128-bit AES encryption with FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) which you can read more about here.

IQ Lock-PG:


The IQ Lock-PG (SKU: IQDLK-PGK) is available in three (3) finishes. Shown above from left to right in Satin Nickel, Matte Black, and Oil-rubbed Bronze. This lock is powered by four (4) AA batteries (not included) and with typical use, the battery life expectancy is one (1) year. This estimate is based on six (6) user code unlocking events and ten (10) locking/unlocking events per day. The IQ Lock-PG offers self-handing capability, and the lock motor is noticeably quieter than previous automated locks we've heard.

Unlike some automated locks, the IQ Lock-PG does offer the option to use a key, and two (2) keys are included with it. It has a KW1 keyway cylinder. The IQ Lock logo lights up green when the door is unlocked, and red when it is locked. This provides a nice visual indication of the lock status when the user is returning home or to their business.

Specifications:

  • Operating Temperature: Exterior: -31°F to 150°F (-35°C to 66°C), Interior: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
  • Material: ANSI Grade 2 Certified
  • Compatibility: Compatible with the Qolsys IQ4 NS (No Screen) (PowerG Version), IQ4 Hub (PowerG Version), IQ Panel 4, and IQ Pro panels
  • Technology: PowerG
  • Key Cylinder: Yes (KW1 keyway)
  • Self-Handing: Yes
  • Bolt Type: Motorized/ Standard Deadbolt
  • User Codes: Up to 250 unique users
  • Code Length: 4-10 Digits
  • Batteries: Four (4) AA batteries (not included)
  • Low Battery Alarm: Yes
  • Backset: 2 3/8”/ 2 3/4” Adjustable (60/70mm)
  • Door Prep: 1 1/2” / 2 1/8” (38/54mm)
  • Door Thickness: 1 3/8” ~ 2 1/4” (35-58mm) automatic adjustment
  • Lockout Mode: Keypad lockout for 3 minutes after 10 entries of invalid user code
  • Certifications: FCC, IC, ANSI BHMA A156.36 Grade 2, UL10C (20min Fire Rating)
  • IP Rating: Exterior assembly: IP54
  • Operating Humidity: Exterior: 100% condensing Interior: 20% – 95% non-condensing

IQ Switch-PG:

Next up is the Qolsys IQ Switch-PG (SKU: IQSWH-PG). This is an in-wall on/off switch without dimming. It can replace any standard in-wall switch to add automation capabilities to the circuit. With PowerG technology built-in, you will be able to automate devices in areas you may have thought impossible before. Have an outbuilding that you thought was too far away for automation? With PowerG, that goal may be well within reach depending on how far the building is located from the compatible panel.

Before removing the old switch and replacing it with the IQ Switch-PG, be sure the breaker is turned off. Failure to do so may cause damage to the switch and to you! This is a hardwired switch, which will be connected to 120V, so we do recommend that you have a qualified electrician perform the wiring.

Specifications:

  • Technology: PowerG
  • Power: 120V at 60Hz
  • Maximum Load: Incandescent 600W, CFL/LED 300W
  • Current: 5A Max
  • Standby Power Consumption: <1W
  • Wiring: 16 AWG (direct wire connection)
  • Noise: 24dB at 20cm Max
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 140°F (-20°C to 60°C)
  • Weight: 4.09 oz (116g)
  • Operating Humidity: 0% – 85% non-condensing

IQ Dimmer-PG


The Qolsys IQ Dimmer-PG (SKU: IQDMR-PG) is also an in-wall switch, with dimming capabilities included. As with the IQ Switch-PG, this device can replace any existing 120VAC switch that fits within its specifications to add remote control and automation capabilities.

Another attractive feature for this and all of the new hardwired PowerG switches and sockets is that they come with a screwless faceplate. This provides a clean, modern look. Currently, they are only available in white. If you prefer a more traditional look, the screwless faceplate can be removed and there are screw holes for a traditional faceplate. This may also come in handy if you have multiple switches in a line and require a double-gang or triple-gang setup.

Some Important Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Compatible with the Qolsys IQ4 NS (PowerG Version), IQ4 Hub (PowerG Version), IQ Panel 4, and IQ Pro panels
  • Technology: PowerG
  • Power: 120V at 60Hz
  • Maximum Load: Incandescent 200W, CFL/LED 100W
  • Current: 1.67A Max
  • Standby Power Consumption: <1W
  • Wiring: 16-10 AWG (terminal block connection)
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 140°F (-20°C to 60°C)
  • Weight: 4.83 oz (137g)
  • Operating Humidity: 0% – 85% non-condensing

IQ Smart Socket-PG:



The Qolsys IQ Smart Socket-PG (SKU: IQSKT-PG) is an in-wall socket with two (2) sockets that can be controlled individually. By replacing a standard in-wall socket with the IQ Smart Socket-PG you gain the ability to individually control the devices plugged into each outlet from the panel's touchscreen, or from the Alarm.com app or webpage.

Using rules and scenes, you can create automation scenarios to turn devices on or off based on other events that occur on the system, or based on a schedule. With the Smart Rules Builder, available on Alarm.com, you can easily create automation rules to suit your every need.

Specifications:

  • Color: White
  • Tamper Resistant?: Yes
  • Technology: PowerG
  • Input Power: 120VAC at 60Hz
  • Output Load: 120VAC at 60Hz, 15A Total Max Load for both outlets
  • Maximum Load: Total 1800W@120V (Resistive Load)
  • Standby Power Consumption: <1W
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.75 x 1.7 Inches (115 x 70 x 44 mm)
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 131°F (-20°C to 55°C)
  • Weight: 5.57 oz (157.8g)
  • Operating Humidity: 0% – 90% non-condensing

IQ Smart Plug-PG:

The Qolsys IQ Smart Plug-PG (SKU: IQIDP-PG) is an indoor plug-in module. Often referred to as appliance modules, these devices allow you to quickly turn any existing wall outlet into a smart outlet with no electrician required. With its low-profile form factor, you will be able to make one outlet smart without blocking the other outlet in a traditional two-outlet wall plug.

To learn these devices into any of the IQ4 panel lineup, once you have the 4.4.0 firmware installed you'll press the grey bar at the top of the panel screen, go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Enter Installer or Dealer Code (1111 or 2222 by default) > Installation > Devices > Automation > Auto Learn Devices. From there, just power on the PowerG device and it will auto-learn into the system.

Prior to firmware version 4.4.0, the Automation menu option was missing from the Devices screen, so you won't be able to properly learn these devices on older firmware panels. If you attempt to learn any of them as a security sensor, they will likely learn in, but will not operate properly and will need to be removed from sensor programming prior to proper enrollment once the firmware has been updated.

Specifications:

  • Color: White
  • Technology: PowerG
  • Power: 120VAC at 60Hz
  • Output Power: 1800W@120V (Resistive Load)
  • Standby Power Consumption: <1W
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 1.5 x 1.29 Inches (68 x 38 x 33 mm)
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 122°F (-20°C to 50°C)
  • Weight: 2.29 oz (65g)
  • Operating Humidity: 10% – 90% RH, non-condensing

IQ Outdoor Plug-PG:

The Qolsys IQ Outdoor Plug-PG (SKU: IQODP-PG) allows you to take one single outdoor outlet plug, and make two (2) smart outlets out of it. These two (2) outlets will be enrolled as separate automation devices and can be controlled individually.

Here's an example of how this plug can come in handy. Perhaps you used to have your patio string lights and a bug zapper connected to the two plugs of an outdoor outlet. You can now connect the IQ Outdoor Plug-PG to one of the existing available outlets, and plug the string lights and the bug zapper into it. You can automate the string lights to come on at dusk and turn off at a set time. Automate the bug zapper to turn on based on some other criteria, whether it's a schedule, or based on the opening of the patio door. And you still have one of your previously existing outlets available for another device.

Specifications:

  • Color: Black
  • Tamper Resistant?: Yes
  • Compatibility: Compatible with the Qolsys IQ4 NS (No Screen), IQ4 Hub, IQ Panel 4, and IQ Pro panels
  • Technology: PowerG
  • Power: 120VAC at 60Hz
  • Output Power: 1800W@120V (Resistive Load)
  • Output Load: 120VAC at 60Hz, 15A Total Max Load for both outlets
  • Standby Power Consumption: <1W
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 1.5 x 1.29 Inches (68 x 38 x 33 mm)
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 122°F (-20°C to 50°C)
  • Weight: 2.29 oz (65g)
  • Operating Humidity: 10% – 90% RH, non-condensing

At Alarm Grid, we're super excited about the launch of these new automation devices. I believe these will be game-changing, particularly in circumstances where transmitting distance has been a hindrance in the past. I expect we'll see additional PowerG automation devices in the near future.

Hopefully, a PowerG garage door controller, PowerG PGM device, and my personal hope, some PowerG motorized blinds or shades. Stay tuned and we'll let you know when the firmware to support these devices is released. Are you excited about the new PowerG automation products? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. What other automation devices would you like to see in the PowerG lineup?

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Exciting news! Alarm.com has unveiled a new customer app with a fresh look. Faster response times and fewer clicks mean instant access to the data you need. Video and Activity are now conveniently available right from the Dashboard, ensuring quick access to your most vital information.


In addition to the changes and time savings you can see, response times have been improved at the server level as well. Now, instead of clicking the hamburger menu (≡) and then selecting an option, the most commonly used selections, like Video, Activity, and Home, are pinned right at the bottom of the screen.

When you first log in to the app after the update, you'll see a What's New screen that summarizes all the updates.


The Dashboard can be customized so that when you log in, you see exactly what you want, and nothing that you don't. In the example below, Images and Highlights have been removed from the Dashboard. Click and drag the enabled cards to rearrange the order in which they are displayed. To edit the dashboard, click the Home icon, and scroll to the bottom of the screen, then tap Edit Dashboard.


Tapping the Video icon brings you to the video screen where you can see a live view of any camera in your account. You can also see Saved clips, and if you have any cameras enrolled in Onboard Recording you can click the 24/7 option to review selected feeds.


Clicking the gear icon allows you to edit various video settings.


The Activity screen shows you a list of events in chronological order with the newest events at the top. Each day has a Highlights section that provides a brief animated recap of the day's events. Video events provide a thumbnail for quick access to review those items. Use the extensive filter options to find specific items quickly.


Clicking the More option provides you with the options you used to see when clicking the hamburger menu in the upper left.

This upgrade appears to be a significant step forward for Alarm.com. By streamlining the user experience and placing the most pertinent information front and center within the app, overall usability and efficiency are enhanced. As users, we can all appreciate any change that simplifies navigation and reduces the number of clicks needed to access desired features! I am personally excited about this update and how it will make managing our alarms and security systems even more convenient. What are your thoughts on the latest Alarm.com UX update? Feel free to share your opinions and experiences in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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When the ADC-VDB770 was first released, one of its newest features was a battery with a warmer. This allows the doorbell to work in colder climates without issues. However, users in hot climates have experienced some issues. So, the doorbell will now ship with a battery-less insert instead.


Installations that use a digital chime require a battery, and will not be able to use the battery-free insert. For those customers ordering a new ADC-VDB770 in July 2023 or later, who will be using the doorbell with a digital chime, you must also purchase the ADC-VDBA-770BAT. This is the battery replacement kit for existing ADC-VDB770 units whose battery has reached its end of life, and for new users who will use a digital chime.

If you will be using a mechanical chime, or the wireless chime available from Alarm.com, then you can install the ADC-VDB770 with the included battery-free insert. It charges quickly, which makes for a quick and easy installation. Users in colder climates may also need to purchase the ADC-VDBA-770BAT to prevent issues associated with extremely cold weather.

The purpose of the battery in the ADC-VDB770 is to power the video doorbell for the short period of time that the button is pressed. During a button press, the power circuit of the video doorbell is shorted, which is what causes the doorbell to chime. If not for the battery (or battery-free insert) the doorbell would lose all power during the button press. For a traditional doorbell, this is not a problem. But for a video doorbell, it is.

The battery-free insert, which will now be shipped with the ADC-VDB770 rather than the battery and warmer, is a capacitor that stores a charge. It provides enough power to keep the video doorbell powered while the button is pressed. However, digital chimes require that the button be pressed for a longer period of time, which is why for those chime types the battery is required.

Customers who had overheating issues with the ADC-VDB770 as it was originally sold, with a battery and heater, usually had the doorbell mounted in a location where it got lots of direct sunlight. The battery-free insert is currently not available for individual sale, but this may change in the future. If it does, we'll let you know. For now, if you have an original Alarm.com ADC-VDB770 and the battery is at its end-of-life you will need to replace it with the ADC-VDBA-770BAT.

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The Alarm.com App can now be used directly from a car's touchscreen display via Android Auto™. Most cars made in 2018 or later can support the Android Auto™ feature. For some cars, a wired USB connection may be required, while others can take advantage of the feature wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Both Android Auto™ and Apple Carplay™ are meant to help you use your phone more safely while driving. By moving certain controls from the phone to the vehicle's touchscreen, you can take care of necessary phone interactions without having to actually look at the phone. In many cases, voice commands can be used, rather than having to look at and touch the screen. This promotes safety by reducing distracted driving.

Alarm.com can now take advantage of this safety-enhancing feature and work with Android Auto™. At this time, the Alarm.com App does not interface directly with Apple Carplay™ We currently have no word on when, or even if, it ever will. Whether your vehicle requires a USB connection or can interface via Bluetooth will vary per vehicle year and model.

It's simple to get started with this integration. All you need is a commercial or residential Alarm.com account, a compatible Android phone, and either a vehicle or an after-market stereo system that supports Android Auto™. Just login to the Alarm.com app, and connect the Android phone using Android Auto™. If this is your first time connecting to Android Auto™ you may need to check the phone's display for a permission message.

From there, you will be able to run the Home and Away scenes from the car's touchscreen. You can also see the status of your garage doors, open or close them, and receive important system notifications. These notifications may include pending alarms, alarms, arming reminders, and geo-fence-related events.

There are three (3) types of notifications you may receive when using Alarm.com with Android Auto™. They are Alarm.com notifications, Head Unit notifications, and Notification Center notifications:

Alarm.com Notifications:

This type of notification will include pending alarms, alarms, arming reminders, and location-based notifications such as garage door left open, sensor left open, and panel left disarmed among others.

Head Unit Notifications:

Head Unit notifications will appear on the touchscreen, even if the user is not logged into the Alarm.com Android Auto™ interface. This notification will likely appear as a banner at the top of the display. It will show the notification, along with an action and a dismissal icon.

For example, the notification may show that the garage door has been left open with an icon allowing you to close it, or an X to dismiss the notification. Head Unit Notifications will only provide the primary action as an option for dealing with the notifications. If you view the same notification in the Notification Center, there could be a primary and a secondary action option.

Notification Center Notifications:

Notification Center notifications provide slightly more information. In this screen, you may see up to two (2) different action options with text to explain what each available action is. For example, if the notification is that the system was left disarmed, you may have the option to arm it either Away or Stay. Whereas, on the same Head Unit notification, you will only be given the option to arm Stay (the primary action).

To get to the Notification Center, click the notification icon on the lower right side of the car's touchscreen. Use the arrows, or flick to scroll through the available notifications. Some notifications will not have any type of action associated with them. Others may have one (1) or two (2) different options to choose from.

The table below shows the different types of notifications and the primary action associated with that notification if there is one. Only the arming reminder notification offers a secondary action:

Notification Primary Action Secondary Action
Arming Reminder Arm Stay Arm Away
Garage Door Left Open Close NA
Lock Left Unlocked Lock NA
Pending Alarm/Alarm NA NA
Sensor-Based Notifications NA NA

Alarm.com constantly strives to find new ways to improve its product. This latest integration aims to keep you safe both at home and on the road. We're standing by to see what new feature they come up with next. I'm sure we won't have to wait long!

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