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The Z-Wave Alliance was created in 2005. Put together by a group of home automation product manufacturers, the alliance sought to standardize technology and manufacturing practices to create competitive products but with a certain amount of uniformity. Separate, but relatively equal.

Think of it like a Big Mac. If you buy a Big Mac at a McDonald's Restaurant in Montana, and I buy a Big Mac at a McDonald's Restaurant in Kentucky they will basically be the same. Reliably the same. The people who made my Big Mac and those that made your Big Mac have probably never met, the money paid for these sandwiches went to different places, the price paid may differ, but because a Big Mac follows a standard assembly and preparation if I pull up to a McDonald's anywhere in the USA I can reliably expect that when I order a Big Mac I know what I'm going to get.

In May 2005 Z-Wave (300-Series) was released and soon became widespread. In March, 2013 Z-Wave Plus (500-Series) was introduced, offering better range between hops, better power management, which translates to longer battery life, and more memory which translates into more features like the ability to add S2 128-bit encryption. In April, 2019 the Z-Wave Alliance began promoting enhanced certification for Z-Wave Plus V2, with the 700-Series Chipset. They continue to improve upon the original standard, so Z-Wave Plus V2 will offer even more of the things that made Z-Wave Plus popular. Greater wireless range, longer battery life, and where Z-Wave Plus supported S2 security 128-bit encryption, Z-Wave Plus V2 mandates it. And every time there is an advance in the technology, equipment with the new version is backward compatible with equipment on the older version, albeit with the older versions feature limitations.

Check out the chart below for a comparison between the three (3) current iterations of Z-Wave Technology. Z-Wave Long Range is on the horizon, but I chose to leave it out of this comparison chart. We'll have more information about the newest Z-Wave offering at a later time:

Z-Wave Technology Comparison

300 Series 500 Series 700 Series
Hardware Platform
CPU/MCU Optimized 8051 CPU Core Optimized 8051 CPU Core ARM® Cortex M4
CPU/MCU Speed 16 MHz 32 MHz 39 MHz
Memory 2 kB 16 kB 64 kB
Flash Memory 32 kB 128 kB 512 kB
Operating Ambient Temp -15 to 85℃ (5 - 185℉) -10 to 85℃ (14 - 185℉) -40 to 85℃ (-40 - 185℉)
Power Consumption
Active Power Use 36 mA 35 mA 12.5 mA
Sleep-Mode Power Use 2.5 μA 1 μA 1 μA
Coin Cell Compatible No No Yes
Max Battery Life 1 year 1.5 years 10 years
Wireless Security
Network Key Optional Mandatory Mandatory
AES 128-bit encryption No Optional Mandatory
ECDH No Optional Mandatory
S2 Security No Optional Mandatory
SmartStart No Optional Mandatory
MiM Attack Prevention No Optional Mandatory
Wireless Performance
Output Power DBM [TX] -2.5 dBm +2.5 dBm Up to +13 dBm
Range Sensitivity [RX] -102 dBm / -98 dBm Down to -103 dBm w/SAW filter -97.5 dBm
Wireless Speed 9.6/40 kbit/s 9.6/40/100 kbit/s 9.6/40/100 kbit/s
Max Wireless Range Outdoors (Direct) Up to 100m (328') Up to 150m (492') More than 200m (656')
Max Wireless Range Outdoors (With Hop/Repeat) Up to 400m (1,312') Up to 600m (1,968') More than 800m (2,624')
Max Wireless Range Indoors (Direct) More than 30m (98') Up to 75m (246') Up to 100m (328')
Max Wireless Range Indoors (With Hop/Repeat) More than 120' (393') Up to 300m (984') Info not available
Z-Wave Specific Features
Z-Wave Plus No Yes Yes
Z-Wave Plus V2 No No Yes
Backward Compatibility Yes, w/100 Series Yes, w/100 - 300 Series Yes, w/100 - 500 Series
Network Wide Inclusion No Manufacturer specified Yes
Explorer Frames No Yes Yes
Advanced Route Diversity Calculation No Yes Yes
FLiRS (Beaming wake-up) Optional Optional Mandatory
OTA Z-Wave Firmware Updates No Optional Mandatory
Original Release Date May 2005 March 2013 April 2019

I know that Z-Wave is a really cool, easy, and inexpensive way to automate things in a home or business, but I didn't get a sense of just how impressive it is until I was putting together this chart. It's really very cool! There were a few features mentioned in the chart that I wasn't particularly familiar with, so I'm going to define those a little further below:

FLiRS (Beaming wake-up) - This feature has to do with Z-Wave devices that use battery power only, like all door locks, and some thermostats. FLiRS stands for Frequently Listening Receiver Slave (Not Forward Looking Infra-Red, like I thought). Basically, a battery powered Z-Wave device alternates between sleep mode and partially-awake mode. When it is partially-awake it is listening for a beam signal. If a Z-Wave controller (or another Z-Wave device, if the signal has to hop) has network traffic for the battery-powered device, it sends a beam. When the device partially wakes and hears the beam, it wakes immediately and communicates with the device that sent it. If the device partially wakes up and there's no beam signal, then it goes fully back to sleep. This can happen from once per second, to four (4) times per second, depending on how the device was manufactured. If not for FLiRS, Z-Wave door locks would probably not exist due to issues with battery life.

Explorer Frames - Explorer frames have to do with the way information is routed. When a new Z-Wave Plus device is being included to the network, it sends out a whole bunch of explorer frames. When an existing device sees an explorer frame, it resends it with its own Node ID added to the original information. At some point, some of these explorer frames reach the Z-Wave controller. When the controller receives them, it can see exactly which nodes on the network the explorer frames touched. This information is then used to route future traffic for the new device. As network devices are used, this routing information will likely change, but this is a basic explanation of what Explorer Frames do.

Network Wide Inclusion - Network Wide Inclusion (NWI) allows a device to be added to the network even if it's not within range of the Z-Wave controller itself. It makes use of Explorer Frames to do this. Before NWI and Explorer Frames, you often had to include a new device right next to the controller, then carry it to the location where you actually wanted it to be installed, and then cross your fingers and hope that it would work. If it didn't then you likely added another Z-Wave device somewhere between it and the Controller. With NWI, if your network is robust enough, you should not have to do that. It's always a good idea when laying out your network to start with devices closest to the controller, add those to the network, and then work your way out from there. As you can see from the chart above, NWI and Explorer Frames were added in Z-Wave Plus with the 500 Chipset, so any original Z-Wave devices won't support this type of inclusion.

What do you think of the evolution of Z-Wave? Are you ready to buy some devices and start automating? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We look forward to discussing this and any other security and automation topics you might like to add. Is there something you'd like to see us cover in our blog? If so, let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to bring you the information you're looking for.

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It seems every week we're reporting a new feature being rolled out by Alarm.com. They recently added remote Duress Code programming through the Alarm.com app or website. Alarm.com must first enable this feature for the dealer, then users will have access if their panel supports the feature.

Before any Alarm.com user can start configuring codes remotely, the alarm dealer for the customer account must have this feature enabled. If the feature is not showing up when a user attempts to remotely program the Duress Code, contact the Alarm.com dealer and ask them to enable it. They may need to contact their Alarm.com Sales Representative to get the feature enabled.

Next, be sure that the alarm panel being used supports this feature. We have an FAQ on how to set up this feature via the Alarm.com Website and another FAQ on how to set up this feature using the Alarm.com App. Both of these FAQs have a list of compatible panels, and advise if a single or multiple codes are supported by the panel.

The way a Duress Code works is simple. If a system user is forced to interact with their alarm panel in any way, though this will usually involve disarming the system, if the Duress Code is used, then in addition to performing the security system function a silent signal is sent to the monitoring station alerting them to the fact that the system user is under duress. They are being forced to do something against their will. The monitoring station will receive this signal and then process it according to the customer's pre-stated wishes, and their own policies regarding duress situations.

The key element to the use of a Duress Code is the ability for someone who is not onsite to receive the signal and immediately take action. If the security system is not monitored by a trained 24/7 monitoring station employee then the Duress Code might just as well not exist. It may be possible to send a text, email, or push notification to someone outside the home or business, but there's a good chance that person may never see it, or may not understand what they're seeing. If there is any concern that a duress situation might occur, then central station monitoring is the best way to protect the people you love.

And finally, one thing I nearly forgot to mention above, an Alarm.com dealer cannot program a Duress User for a customer through their panel programming portal. Only the Admin Alarm.com Account user, the homeowner or business owner, is allowed to affect these codes remotely. So, what do you think about this new feature? Do you like the idea of being able to control system Duress Codes remotely? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. We always enjoy hearing from our readers. That's all for now, stay safe out there.

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Qolsys released the Qolsys IQ WIFI last week. The IQ WIFI supports dual-band (2.4GHZ and 5GHz) WIFI and can be used as a stand-alone router. It can also be installed in parallel with an existing network. This provides a separate secure WIFI connection for security devices such as cameras.

WIFI is about as common these days as home phones with a traditional copper line (POTS or Plain Old Telephone Service) were from the 1960's through the early 2000's. However, the adoption of WIFI networking has seen some challenges that were not really an issue when using POTS. Namely, the end-user installation and configuration aspect of WIFI networks, as well as issues with getting, and then staying, connected to them. The security industry has embraced WIFI in a big way in recent years, therefore security system users have felt the pain created by these challenges.

For this reason, Qolsys has introduced the Qolsys IQ WIFI. The IQ WIFI is a mesh-capable controller and agent system. Up to eight (8) devices can be supported per network. One IQ WIFI will connect to the modem, router, or switch via a wired ethernet cable. This IQ WIFI will become the controller for the mesh network. Then, up to seven (7) additional IQ WIFI units acting as Agents can be added for a total of eight (8) devices. This allows a user to blanket virtually every nook and cranny of the home or business with a safe and easily configured WIFI connection. If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus with firmware version 2.6.0 or later, the network can be configured right from the panel's touchscreen. The range between IQ WIFIs is approximately 130 ft. (39.62 m) with a coverage area of approximately 1,500 square feet (139 square meters). Wireless IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz and IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz frequencies are supported.

The Qolsys IQ WIFI can be used as a stand-alone router. Each one contains a WAN port, a LAN port, and a barrel connector for power. Each one also has a WPS button. If your ISP provides you with a combination Modem/Router device, connect the WAN port of the IQ WIFI to one of the available ethernet ports on the Modem/Router. From there you can use the IQ WIFI as a wired or WIFI router. For wired devices, connect directly to the LAN port on the IQ WIFI. If you have more than one wired device to connect, connect a multi-port switch to the IQ WIFI LAN port, and then connect your other wired ethernet devices to the switch. As an alternative, connect the WAN port on the IQ WIFI to an existing router or switch, and then using this device as the Controller, build a parallel WIFI mesh network(s) out from there.

Up to seven (7) additional IQ WIFI devices can be added as Agents to create a mesh network that is as strong as you need it to be. This allows you to run a separate WIFI network inside your home or business that is virtually invisible to anyone attempting to hack in from the outside. Another attractive feature of this type of configuration is the ease of replacing the Internet facing hardware. Any time you need to swap out the main modem or router, all you do is swap out the existing hardware, then connect the Qolsys IQ WIFI acting as the Controller to the new piece of equipment. All of the WIFI devices that have been configured to connect through the IQ WIFI will keep their current configuration. There is no need to go around to each WIFI device and enter new credentials. This is particularly welcome when you have WIFI equipment, such as fixed-mount cameras, that may be installed in multiple and difficult to reach locations.

In many cases, security devices can only use the 2.4GHz WIFI band. When the SSID for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz are the same, this can cause issues for those devices that don't support both frequencies. We've seen this in many instances with the Honeywell Lyric. By allowing the user to separate the two bands, achieved by changing the SSID on one or both of them, you can make sure that any device that needs to use only one band or the other can find and then remain connected to the proper WIFI network. It may seem counter-intuitive to think that a Qolsys product could help to stabilize the WIFI connection for a Resideo or Honeywell alarm system, but it is absolutely possible.

When Qolsys first talked about this device, they called it the Qolsys IQ Router. Since then, they have updated the name to Qolsys IQ WIFI and they plan to release a separate device called the Qolsys IQ Router2, or possibly the IQ WIFI6 later in the year. This will be a more robust device supporting both WIFI and potentially another technology such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, or maybe even PowerG. We look forward to hearing about many more new products to come! What do you think of the Qolsys IQ WIFI? Leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you.


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The police department in Sandy Springs, GA is one of several that adhere to a policy of Verified Response when it comes to burglar alarms. They require proof that a crime has occurred before they will respond. Proof can come in one of several forms, which we will be discussing here.

Different police jurisdictions define verified response in different ways with different verification criteria. In some jurisdictions, a second burglar alarm activation on a different zone within the same address occurring within a certain period of time qualifies as verification. For others, there must be audio, video, or onsite verification before the police will respond. In Sandy Springs, GA, the latter type of verification is required. The full Alarm Dispatch Guidelines for Sandy Springs, GA can be found here.

This is not to say that the City of Sandy Springs or any other police department that otherwise requires verification won't respond to any type of alarm without proof of an issue at the site. For most jurisdictions, if there is a Panic, Duress, Hold-up, Medical, CO, Elevator or Fire alarm, the requirement for verification is waived and immediate dispatch can be requested. But, at least in the case of Sandy Springs, if authorities respond and there is no evidence of criminal activity or any other emergency, then false alarm fees will apply.

Furthermore, if a monitoring station employee requests public safety dispatch on an alarm based on audio or video proof that a crime is occurring or has occurred, then Sandy Springs requires that they submit proof of verification within 24 Hours of the dispatch request. Failure to do so will incur additional fines! Proof can either be described to the monitoring station employee by the end-user after checking their cameras or other means of verification, or it can come from the monitoring station employee themselves having reviewed audio or video evidence. The burden of proof has been placed squarely on the monitoring company.

If a customer has an alarm system that uses Audio Alarm Verification, sometimes referred to as 2-Way Voice, then the monitoring station can use this to verify if an unauthorized individual is onsite. In the case of Sandy Springs, silence does not count as proof of an issue, the monitoring station dispatcher must hear footsteps, talking, sounds of rummaging, or other proof of an issue at the site. If the customer has video surveillance, either the customer, or in some cases the monitoring station, can use the video system to verify if an alarm is an actual break-in. The customer may even have a friendly neighbor who is willing to receive a notification from the alarm monitoring company and will go and check things out for them and report back.

However, not every monitoring company will support 2-Way Voice. Currently at Alarm Grid, we don't support this option. And not every customer wants to blanket their property with security cameras. Some properties are too large, or too far away from neighbors to make relying on a neighbor a viable option. In these cases, the best option may be to employ a guard service.

In the past few years, Alarm Grid has partnered with a company called Vet Sec to provide an onsite guard response to monitored locations in jurisdictions such as Sandy Springs. Vet Sec employs guards, in most cases these guards are unarmed or they may be armed with non-lethal weapons (tasers). Once an alarm occurs, the monitoring station will contact Vet Sec, rather than the local police department. A single guard will respond and check the location for signs of a break-in or any other criminal activity, such as vandalism. If evidence of a crime is found, they will notify the monitoring station and wait up to 30 minutes for a key holder and the authorities to arrive. In exchange, they charge a fee for this site visit. The price may vary by location. In most cases, the police should respond within 30 minutes, but if it takes longer for them to arrive, and the customer or other key holder wants the guard to wait with them, then additional fees may apply.

There are several great things about this service. For one, just like with Alarm Grid monitoring, there is no contract so a customer can cancel at any time. Also, this is a "pay as you go" service, so a customer is only billed if a guard actually responds to their monitored location. The fees are billed to Alarm Grid and are then applied to the customer's monthly monitoring fee on the next automatic bill date. Alarm Grid does not markup this fee, we simply pass the fee along to the customer. What we pay, you pay.

Areas in the United States where Verified Response is Required:

State City Guard Service Available?
Alaska Cantwell No
Delta Junction No
Fairbanks No
Galena No
Healy No
Nenana No
Northway No
Tok No
Arizona Surprise No
California Fontana Yes
Colorado Fort Collins No
Golden Yes
Georgia Sandy Springs Yes
Michigan Detroit Yes
Nevada Henderson Yes
Las Vegas Yes
North Las Vegas Yes
Golden Yes
Oregon Eugene Yes (Within City Limits Only)
Washington Bellingham Yes
Burien Yes
Wenatchee No
Kent (Commercial Only) No
Yakima Yes
Seattle (Recommended, not Required) Yes
Wisconsin Milwaukee Yes
Golden Yes
Utah Salt Lake City Yes
Golden Yes

Please keep in mind that this list is something that may evolve with little notice. It may be difficult to keep the list 100% accurate, but we will do our best. There have actually been a few places where the police department tried using verified response, and then changed their mind due to increases in property crime. San Jose, CA is one that comes to mind. It was reported in 2019 that they had decided to change their policy and move away from requiring verified response.

You may have noticed that the list above didn't feature any locations from our neighbor to the north. There are a couple of places in Canada that require a version of verified response. Winnipeg, Manitoba, and London and Toronto, Ontario have all adopted a more lax definition of this type of verification. In all three of these locations, the police department will accept two or more activations of two or more separate burglary zones as a form of verification. Currently, Alarm Grid does not offer a guard service in any of the Canadian provinces. If this changes, we'll be sure to update this blog post.

So, of course the burning question is, "How much does it cost?" For most locations the charge is $45 per site visit. There are a few locations where the price differs. In Sandy Springs, GA, the price is $68 per site visit. In Albuquerque, NM customers currently pay $57.07 per visit, and in Eugene, OR the price is $60 per site visit.

What do you think of the Verified Response Policy recently implemented in Sandy Springs, GA? Is it overdue, or overreach? Tell us what you think in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you. Stay tuned to our blog for more exciting security industry news. If you need help figuring out what system you have in the house you just moved into, or you're looking to upgrade an existing system, or to install one for the first time, reach out to us via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here Monday - Friday from 9 am to 8 pm Eastern. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The year 2020 was about as tough as a well-done $2 steak. I hope never to have another one like it. On the other hand, 2021 is shaping up to end on a high note. One of the high points begins today. After skipping last year, Reed Exhibitions will hold ISC West live this year in Las Vegas.

In years past ISC West, the largest trade show associated with the safety and security industry, has been held in the spring. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 show was postponed in March, then postponed again in April, canceled in June, and ultimately held as a virtual-only event in October. We began 2021 with the show being postponed from the traditional spring dates, to July 19 - 21. There was also a comprehensive list of Health and Safety guidelines that those who will attend in-person are expected to follow. This year's show is being billed as a "hybrid" exhibit, with both in-person booths, and virtual events.

Finally, the time has come for the show to begin. Alarm Grid has opted to participate in the virtual-only portion of the show this year. We've reached out to our most popular vendors, and hope to be presenting exciting information on upcoming new products. So far, what to expect from the virtual show has remained pretty well hidden. Whatever we learn in the next few days about upcoming releases and new products, we will share here on our blog, and on our Youtube channel.

How about you, are you planning to attend ISC West this year? If you aren't going to the show, but wish you were, what burning questions would you ask? Personally, I'd like to get the inside scoop on chip shortages this year, and when we may be able to expect the shortages to ease. Qolsys, 2GIG, and Resideo (Honeywell) have all released new products in the recent past, do they have anything else new up their sleeves? We'll be looking for this information, and whatever we learn, we'll pass it along. Stay tuned!

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Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus users will be pleased to learn that a new firmware update is available! Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.6.1 can be downloaded via patch tag right now. Alarm Grid recommends that IQ2 and IQ2+ users download the update at their earliest convenience.

Important Note: For those looking for the 2.6.1 Firmware File needed to update the panel using an SD Card, we will make that file available as soon as possible. Qolsys has not yet posted it. However, when the SD Card method is used, the panel will still need a WIFI connection, and active monitoring in order to be sure the panel updates properly. For this reason, unmonitored systems should not attempt this update method unless the user is absolutely sure the "Firmware2" update is not needed on the system. For those who need the "Firmware2" update, it is recommended that the Patchtag method of updating discussed below be used.

Before we get into how to download Firmware Version 2.6.1, we would like to discuss what the new update includes. This isn't a particularly loaded update, but it still includes some new features, plus some important fixes and general system improvements. For those reasons, updating at your earliest convenience is advised.

There is a new Sensor Group for motion sensors, that being Sensor Group (45) - Away/Stay Instant Non-Follower. This is just like Sensor Group (15) - Stay Instant, except that the new Sensor Group (45) will still have the system go into alarm if the sensor is faulted while the system is armed away or armed stay, even if an Entry/Exit Zone is faulted first. With the old Sensor Group (15), the system will not go into alarm if the sensor is faulted after (following) an Entry/Exit Zone. In other words, if you fault a sensor with Sensor Group (45) while the system is in its Entry Delay countdown, an alarm will occur, but if you do the same with Sensor Group (15) when the system is in its Entry Delay countdown, no alarm occurs.

For SD Card upgrades, there will be an auto-push of the "Firmware2" Patch from Alarm.com, assuming that the patch hasn't already been applied. This patch prevents certain IQ2 Panels from automatically rebooting at times. You can see more information about the Firmware2 fix from this prior blog post. The only other new feature release from the 2.6.1 release is that the IQ2 is now compliant with BS-8243 Standards in the United Kingdom.

All other changes for the IQ2 in 2.6.1 are general system improvements. As listed below:

  • Fixed an issue regarding SRF Sensors, outlined in TSB 210705. This issue prevented legacy SRF sensors from communicating with the IQ2 properly following an AC power loss condition. More information on the issue can be found here.
  • Stability improvements to dual-path communication with Alarm.com.
  • Improved push notification of message center messages while on Photo Frame screensaver.
  • Improved boot-up after performing a software update.
  • Improved doorbell camera streaming and push alerts when the panel is in the lock screen.
  • Alarm.com backend now shows username when arming/disarming from PowerG Keypads.
  • Corrected issue with an improvement from 2.6.0 so that silent and audible panics triggered from the panel are able to properly report as different CID codes to the central station.
  • Corrected issue from 2.6.0 involving daily & weekly communication tests with central station.

With that out of the way, let's explain how to apply the update! Like all of the other recent updates, users on Firmware Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1 will need to stage upgrade to 2.5.3 first before upgrading to 2.6.1. But if you are on 2.5.3 or higher or on less than 2.5.0, then you can go right to 2.6.1. And as always, your system must be on at least 2.0.1 for any firmware update to be applied.

To get started applying the update, make sure your IQ2 or IQ2+ is plugged in and that its battery is charged. Your system must be connected to WIFI and actively monitored so that Alarm.com can determine if the Firmware2 update is required, and then send it to the panel via WIFI if it is. Begin from the main screen of the system. Press the small grey bar at the top. Pick Settings > Advanced Settings > enter the Installer Code if prompted (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.6.1 (must be entered exactly as shown) > OK > Upgrade Using Network. The update should then go through. Once it begins, do not touch the panel screen.

Remember, it will usually take about five (5) minutes for the update to be completed. You can then check the Software Version in the About Menu under the Software tab. This is good for confirming that the 2.6.1 Firmware Update went through as intended.


Please leave a comment down below with your thoughts on Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Version 2.6.1. Don't hesitate to let us know about your experience with the panel or the firmware update. We want to hear your honest opinion and assist with any issues. Like always, stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

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Qolsys recently released a service bulletin describing an issue with certain IQ Hardwire 16-F units. This issue affects both the small enclosure and large enclosure versions. Under certain circumstances, affected units can signal a false tamper/tamper restore message for connected zones.

Qolsys TSB #210708, which was released on July 8, 2021, describes this issue, and the corrective action Qolsys is taking to remedy the problem. They do not provide a lot of information regarding what "conditions" bring about this behavior. We have asked for more detail, and if more information is forthcoming, we will provide updates here in our blog.

Rest assured that only a certain number of these devices are affected, and we will provide users with the necessary information to determine if they have one of these units. Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F units that were manufactured outside of the window in question are not affected and should not exhibit this behavior.

How to determine if your Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F small enclosure (SKU: QS7133-840) is affected:

On the unit itself, or on the box that the unit came in, check the Revision Sticker. This will appear as a bar code on the sticker and will be marked with SN: and DL: If the 4th character of the SN, moving from left to right, is a "C" then the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F small enclosure should be returned/replaced.

How to determine if your Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F large enclosure (SKU: QS7134-840) is affected:

On the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F large enclosure, the way you determine the revision is the same, but the revision information is different. On these units the revision to be on the lookout for is "B" rather than "C". This sticker should also appear on the unit itself as well as on the box that the unit comes in. Since these devices come from the factory with an enclosure, the sticker may be on the enclosure rather than the printed circuit board. When reading the sticker, the 4th character when viewing the SN from left to right is "B" on affected units. See the example below:

Qolsys has pulled back available affected stock to correct this issue. Units that may have been affected, but have since been pulled back into manufacturing and reworked or replaced, will sport a sticker that says "TEST OK".


If you purchase a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F that falls within the Revision range discussed above, but the item has a "TEST OK" sticker affixed somewhere on the packaging or the unit itself, then you do not have to worry about this issue. If you purchased a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F prior to the date that this notice was released, and your device falls within the revision range discussed above, then you should contact your distributor to discuss replacing the unit. Per Qolsys, you should do this even if you haven't observed the behavior described in this Technical Service Bulletin.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer, and you purchased an affected unit from Alarm Grid, you can contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here Monday - Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. If you prefer to speak to us by phone, you can reach us at 888-818-7728. It is our pleasure to assist you with any and all of your alarm needs. Stay safe!

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Welcome back from 4th of July! We have had a busy past couple of weeks at Alarm Grid since our last video recap. This time, we have seven (7) new videos to show you, including five (5) with Jorge and two with myself. We cover the PROA7PLUS, 2GIG Edge Cameras, and 2GIG GC2 Firmware Updates!

2GIG Edge: Alarm.com Cameras that Support Live Streaming

Jorge explains which Alarm.com Security Cameras can be streamed directly to a 2GIG Edge Alarm Panel. Most of the newer Alarm.com Cameras can be used in this way. In order for this to work, a camera must be paired with the same Alarm.com account used with the 2GIG Edge, and it must be enabled for panel streaming from the Alarm.com website or mobile app. Cameras can be streamed from the Smart Home Menu on the 2GIG Edge.

2GIG Edge: Alarm.com Cameras that Support 2-Way Audio via Live-Streaming

Jorge teaches users about two-way audio playback when live-streaming security cameras on the 2GIG Edge. While nearly all Alarm.com Cameras can be used for video streaming on the 2GIG Edge, only a smaller selection of cameras can be used for live audio streaming. Really, it's mostly the indoor residential cameras that do audio streaming. Most of the Alarm.com Commercial Cameras that support Power over Ethernet (PoE) and all Alarm.com Outdoor Cameras do not support two-way audio, as they typically do not have built-in microphones.


2GIG Easy Updater Tool: Updating

Jorge explains how to update the 2GIG UPDV Easy Updater Tool that is used to update the firmware on a 2GIG Go!Control GC2 Security System. The Easy Updater Tool contains the firmware update for the GC2 System. If the firmware on the Updater Tool is outdated, then you must update the Updater Tool by following the process outlined in this video. The current downloaded firmware on the Updater Tool will be displayed across the device screen when power is applied. This will let you know if you need to updater the Updater Tool.


2GIG GC2: Updating Using the Easy Updater Tool

Jorge teaches you how to use the 2GIG UPDV Easy Updater Tool to update the firmware on a 2GIG Go!Control GC2 Alarm Panel. After you have updated the firmware on the Updater Tool itself, you can then use the device to update the firmware on the GC2 Panel. Updating to the latest firmware version will ensure that you can use all of the released features for the system and that all of the latest hardware is supported. The LTE communicators for activating with Alarm.com and alarm monitoring will require a certain firmware version.


Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS: Delete a Zone

Jorge shows you how to delete a zone on a Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS or other ProSeries Alarm System. When you delete a zone, the associated sensor will no longer be programmed with the system. You would need to re-enroll it in order to continue using it. For the encrypted PROSIX Sensors and SiX Sensors, after deleting the sensor, you will then be able to enroll it with a new ProSeries Panel, provided that the sensor received the deletion signal from the panel. When deleting PROSIX and SiX Sensors, be sure the sensor is powered on and within range of the ProSeries Panel at the time of deletion.


Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS: Add a User Code

I show you how to add a new user code to a Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS Alarm System or other ProSeries Panel. All of the ProSeries Systems support up to (96) total user codes, so you should have no trouble giving everyone in your household or office their very own code to use when controlling the system. After you have added a user code, you can then go back into user settings to configure automatic Bluetooth disarming and Z-Wave lock functionality for the user.


Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS: Clear a Tamper Error

I show you how to clear a tamper error on a Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS or other ProSeries Security Controller. A tamper error occurs when the red tamper button on the back of the ProSeries Controller isn't held down properly. This is usually because the system has been taken off its backplate, or it isn't mounted on its backplate properly. Once you get the panel back on the backplate, you can then acknowledge the tamper condition by entering the system's Master Code when prompted.

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If you are looking for an affordable and effective way to monitor your home and see what's going on while you are away, then image sensors might be worth exploring. When used in conjunction with security systems, image sensors offer great function and convenience, all for a low price.


The simplest way to describe an image sensor is as a motion detection sensor combined with a still-picture camera. Unlike security cameras that capture full-motion video footage, most image sensors will only produce non-moving images. These are some of the most interesting and unique devices that you can use with a home alarm system. While image sensors certainly aren't for everyone, many end-users take full advantage of these peripherals and what they have to offer. Overall, image sensors can go a long way towards rounding out your security system and helping you get the most out of it.

Perhaps the best way to use image sensors is as alarm verification devices. If you live in a jurisdiction where verified response is required, then using image sensors is often the only option you can use to verify an intrusion, short of upgrading to full video monitoring service. Depending on the image sensor and system you are using, you may be able to achieve a setup where captured image sensor pictures are sent to the central station for immediate review. A trained operator can review the images and use them as sufficient proof of a crime in progress and use that as grounds for requesting emergency dispatch. You should check your local alarm codes and ask your monitoring company if verified response is enforced in your area. .Alarm Grid monitored customers can email us at support@alarmgrid,com. We respond to emails during our regular business hours of 9 am to 8 pm ET M-F.

You might be wondering why image sensors aren't more popular than they already are. While image sensors sound excellent in theory, and they often meet those high expectations in practice as well, they are somewhat quirky devices that can present a unique set of challenges. That's also not to mention that some image sensors have notable limitations and restrictions in how they can be used. This shouldn't scare you away from using them, but you should understand that you may have to overcome some obstacles to achieve the setup you want. And also understand that some systems cannot support image sensors in any fashion.

One thing to consider with image sensors is that they are always two-way communication devices. You might call them bi-directional sensors. With image sensors, it's not as simple as the sensor sending a signal to the alarm panel. The panel also needs to send signals to the image sensor. For example, if an alarm is triggered on the system, then the system needs to be able to tell the image sensor that an alarm has occurred, and the image sensor needs to capture a photo of the scene. Then the image sensor needs to turn around and send the image to the panel so that it can ultimately be distributed to an interactive security notification platform, and potentially the central station, and the end-user. The bi-directional communication is also what makes it possible for an end-user to request image sensor photos in real-time, when supported. Because of this, many alarm panels cannot support image sensors unless a specific image sensor transceiver module is added to facilitate two-way communication. And for some panels, image sensor support isn't even possible, as no compatible image sensors and/or image sensor transceivers exist for the panel.

Now that we have talked about image sensors in general, let's start exploring some of the specific models. To make this a bit more simple, we will try and focus on different options available on a panel-by-panel basis. Just like with regular sensors, image sensor support depends on which panel is being used. We will start by addressing the fact that most of the Honeywell Alarm Panels don't support image sensors, though there is an exception. The Honeywell Lyric, the Honeywell LYNX Panels, and the Honeywell VISTA Panels all lack image sensor support.

Interestingly though, the Honeywell Home and Resideo ProSeries Panels - PROA7PLUS, PROA7PLUSC, PROA7, and PROA7C - all have a fairly unique image sensor option in the Honeywell Home PROINDMV. This is the only image sensor presented in this blog that can be set to capture full-motion video (10 fps) or still motion images (320x240). Captured video and images can be viewed at the panel under Panel Camera History, with the ten (10) newest captures being available for viewing. Captured footage is also sent to Total Connect 2.0 for remote viewing. At the time of this writing, the PROINDMV is the only image sensor available for use with TC2. This also makes it the only image sensor we offer that can be used with an IP-only monitoring plan. We're sure that Resideo is also working on a way to make captured video and photos visible to central station operators, but we haven't heard of such a feature being set up just yet. There is also a downside to the PROINDMV in that you cannot use it to request video and/or images. In other words, no peek-in function is available for the PROINDMV, at least not at this time.

Moving onto the Alarm.com Security Systems, pretty much all of the most popular systems have some image sensor option available. It seems that Alarm.com has really embraced this technology and made it possible for almost all users to start using image sensors. We will start with the PowerG Image Sensors, which are some of the most popular image sensors we offer. As PowerG already operates using two-way communication, PowerG Image Sensors do not require any special modules or add-ons for support. You just need a system that supports regular PowerG Sensors, such as a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or a DSC PowerSeries NEO with an added PowerG Transceiver. And even better if you have an IQ2+ you will be able to view captured images from the alarm panel, in addition to viewing them from Alarm.com. One limitation however is that these image sensors will only capture images when they specifically trigger alarms on the system. Alarms caused by other zones will not result in the PowerG Image Sensors producing photos. There are currently two (2) PowerG Image Sensors, those being the DSC PG9934P Indoor Image Sensor and the DSC PG9944 Outdoor Image Sensor.

All of the other image sensors used with Alarm.com Systems require some type of hardware add-on for the panel. Sticking with Qolsys, adding the Qolsys IQ Card-IS to the original IQ Panel 2 will make it possible to enroll the Qolsys QZ81030-840 Image Sensor with the system. Technically, you can also add the IQ Card-IS to a newer Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, but doing so will require it to "steal" the internal antenna used by the PowerG Daughtercard. This will result in the system having virtually zero useful wireless range with Power Sensors. As a result, anyone with an IQ Panel 2 Plus is strongly discouraged from going the route of the IQ Card-IS and QZ81030-840 combo, and just get PowerG Image Sensors instead. But if you do have an original IQ2, then using a QZ81030-840 with an IQ Card-IS is a great option.

The 2GIG Alarm Panels also support image sensors, but only if an image sensor module add-on has been added to the system. Starting with the 2GIG GC2 and its successor, the 2GIG GC2e, both systems can support the 2GIG IMAGE1 Image Sensor after a 2GIG XCVR2-345 Image Sensor Module has been added and installed. Unfortunately, for 2GIG GC2e users, adding the 2GIG XCVR2-345 will take away the system's ability to support 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors. We have heard rumors in the past that a 2GIG XCVR2e-345 Image Sensor Transceiver Module would be specifically manufactured for the 2GIG GC2e so that the system could support both image sensors and encrypted sensors simultaneously, but it's looking increasingly likely as of late that such a release may never see the light of day. Even then, the 2GIG IMAGE1 is an older device, and it isn't known for producing the most detailed images. Still, for alarm verification purposes, it usually gets the job done. Both the IMAGE1 and the XCVR2-345 are still available on our website.

Moving onto the 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e, both of these systems support the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 Image Sensor Module, to allow 2GIG IMAGE2 and 2GIG IMAGE3 Image Sensors to be paired. Don't let the need for the XCVR3-GC3 scare you away. The module is extremely affordable and very easy to install. It just uses a 4-wire connection with the system board, and it hangs out the back of panel. Unlike the issues experienced with the GC2e, adding the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 to a GC3e will NOT take away the panel's ability to support 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors. Furthermore, the supported image sensor devices for the XCVR3-GC3 are newer, and they are known for producing clearer images than the earlier IMAGE1. The 2GIG IMAGE2 is still relatively basic with its 320x240 QVGA resolution. But the 2GIG IMAGE3 really shines with its 640x480 VGA resolution, thereby making it one of the best image sensors on the market. These image sensors can be set to automatically produce images during alarm events, and a user can even manually request images using the "peek-in" feature on Alarm.com. All things considered, image sensor support for the GC3 and GC3e is surprisingly robust, and in our opinion, quite underrated. These really are some of the best alarm systems available for image sensor support, and we think more GC3 and GC3e users should take advantage of images sensors and what they can bring to one of these systems.

Unfortunately, we have to end this post with the sad story of image sensor support on the 2GIG Edge. While the 2GIG Edge has made a huge splash in the security industry, representing one of the most exciting panel debuts we have seen of late, image sensor support for the system is basically non-existent. To elaborate, the 2GIG Edge supports the same image sensor module add-on as the GC3 and GC3e, that being the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3, and it remains very easy to install, using the same 4-wire connection as before, and just hanging out the back of the panel. Once added, you can pair the 2GIG IMAGE3 Image Sensor with the Edge, but the 2GIG IMAGE2 is unsupported. We're glad that 2GIG chose the "better" of the two image sensors to work with the Edge, but we're still a bit surprised that the IMAGE2 can't interface with the Edge and the XCVR3-GC3 combo. Fortunately, just like with the 2GIG GC3e, adding the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 to the Edge will not eliminate the system's ability to support 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors.

However, and this is a big deal, the 2GIG Edge with 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 will only see the 2GIG IMAGE3 as a standard motion detection sensor. In other words, the Edge cannot receive any of the captured images from the IMAGE3. And since the Edge can't get the captured images, it therefore cannot forward them to Alarm.com and/or the central station. This makes the 2GIG IMAGE3 nothing more than a fancy motion sensor for the Edge. It's super unfortunate, and one of the saddest things to learn about the 2GIG Edge. There is a ray of hope though. 2GIG has stated that this behavior between the Edge and IMAGE3 is not intentional, and they are working on a firmware fix to provide true image sensor support for the Edge in the future. No ETA for a fix is currently available, but we are hopeful that the 2GIG Edge will one day be able to carry on 2GIG's legacy of having some of the best image sensor support in the industry. For more information, we have a blog on the limitations of the 2GIG Edge in regards to image sensor support, which you can view here. And you can certainly expect Alarm Grid to provide an update once image sensor support for the 2GIG Edge has been fixed and made to work as intended.

We hope that this post has opened up your mind towards adding image sensors to your security system. They really are some useful and handy devices when set up properly. Users in verified response jurisdictions who aren't quite ready to make the jump to video cameras and the more expensive monitoring plans that come with them can often get started with image sensors at very little cost. And with a bit of testing and configuration, yours can truly be great and help you keep your home safe. If you have any thoughts or questions about image sensors, please leave them in a comment down below. We are eager for some fun and enthusiastic discussion about image sensors and what they can offer for home security. And don't forget to keep checking the Alarm Grid Blog, as we will have some more great topics to cover and discuss in the near future.

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We have a quick and easy blog post for you today, this time covering local zones on Honeywell Home and Resideo ProSeries Alarm Panels - the PROA7PLUS, PROA7PLUSC, PROA7, and PROA7C. Local zones cannot trigger intrusion alarms to alert the central monitoring station for emergency dispatch.

Almost anyone who gets a security system will want to get it monitored so that they can receive automatic emergency dispatch if an intrusion occurs while they are away. However, you might also have some zones of your home or office where you want a "local", on-site alert to activity, and you also want to have Total Connect 2.0 alerts set up for the zone, but you don't want the central station to be notified to an alarm that occurs from the zone. Today, we're sharing a tip for achieving that type of functionality for a zone on a ProSeries Panel.

One thing to note is that if you are familiar with the Response Types for the Honeywell Lyric, then many of the same "rules" apply. This makes perfect sense, as the Honeywell Lyric is the predecessor system to the still relatively new ProSeries Control Panels. But having said that, many of the Response Types found on the Lyric were never brought over to the ProSeries Panels. Maybe they will be introduced in a later ProSeries Firmware Update, but we have no way of knowing if that will happen. Regardless, it can be a bit more challenging to set up "local" zones on the ProSeries Systems due to their more limited selection of Response Types. Nonetheless, we have a cool tip that we would like to discuss.

If you have a zone that you want to produce a local Chime and/or Voice Annunciation at your ProSeries Panel, as well as any of your PROWLTOUCH or PROWLTOUCHC Touchscreen Keypads, but you also don't want the zone to be able to cause any alarms or alert the central station, then you can set the Device Type to "Other" and the Response Type to "Garage Monitor". But before you set the Device Type to "Other", go and set the Chime setting first. The reason why you want to set the Chime first is because that setting becomes locked and unable to be changed after you set the Device Type to "Other". Whatever Chime setting you have set will be locked in and applied. By setting the Chime first, you can have a custom Chime setting, rather than the default option of Disabled when you set a "Garage Monitor" Response Type. With "Garage Monitor" set, your panel and keypads will announce the faulted zone and make whatever Chime sound is set for local alerts. You can also set up notifications from Total Connect 2.0 for this zone. Meanwhile, you can rest easy in knowing that this Garage Monitor Zone will never be able to cause an alarm on your system or result in the central station being notified. This is truly a local zone with the ultimate customization!

This ties-in with some other general tips. When you set the Device Type as "Other", all of the Response Types become available, though there are some PROSIX Sensors that may not allow for this type of programming. Also, the Device Type of "Other" is not spoken aloud when set. In other words, if you have Zone Descriptor 1 set as "Bedroom", the panel won't speak "Bedroom Other" if you have "Other" as the Device Type. It will just say "Bedroom", and nothing more. This is good to know, as if you're ever having trouble getting the desired Response Type to be made available, then setting "Other" as the Device Type can be the trick to getting the option you want. Just be careful when working with certain types of PROSIX Sensors, as they can be a bit more restrictive.

Do you have any topics you would like to see us cover on the ProSeries Panels, or on any other of our favorite security systems? Leave a comment down below, and let us know. We might just discuss it in a future blog. As for now, we hope that this simple trick helps you get the most out of your Honeywell and Resideo ProSeries Systems. Local zones are really useful in certain situations, and knowing little tips and tricks like this one that we covered today can really open up the door for more ways on using your security system. Anyway, that's all for today. Please stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security news and helpful tips on using your system. We're always happy to help, and you can expect more great content from us coming soon!

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