DIY Security Systems Posts

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Hi DIYers! We're hitting you with a video recap, this time covering January 28th thru February 7th. It has been a couple of weeks since we have last done this, so we have many new videos this time. Your boys Joe, Jorge and Jarrett are all back and ready to help you learn to use your system!

Using the Qolsys IQ Siren with a 2GIG Alarm System

Jorge shows users how to use the Qolsys IQ Siren with a 2GIG GC3 Alarm System. This Z-Wave siren produces sounds of up to 105 dB, and it features a built-in strobe light to provide a visual indication of an alarm. It also has an integrated backup battery so that it will work even when the power is out. This is an easy-to-use siren that is great for boosting the volume of a 2GIG Security System, as well as many other alarm control panels that work with Z-Wave.


Disabling Auto-Stay on a Honeywell LYNX Touch

Chipper Alarm Grid Team Member Jarrett demonstrates how to disable the auto-stay arming feature when using a Honeywell LYNX Touch Alarm System. Auto-Stay Arming has the system automatically revert to Arm Stay Mode when Arming Away if no entry/exit zone is activated during the exit delay countdown. If you want to put your LYNX Touch System into Arm Away Mode, you must either disable this feature or open and close an entry/exit sensor during the exit delay countdown.


Why Can't I Use Z-Wave Security Sensors With My Alarm System?

Jorge talks about how Z-Wave security sensors cannot be used with security systems supported by Alarm Grid. Z-Wave technology is great for use with smart home automation, and we have many systems that support Z-Wave lights, locks and thermostats. However, the Z-Wave communication protocol still isn't considered to be reliable and consistent enough to support security applications. For that reason, most alarm system manufacturers specifically design their security panels so that they cannot use or support Z-Wave security devices.


Changing the Master Code Using the Installer Code on a Honeywell Lyric

Jarrett walks users through the process of changing the Master Code by using the Installer Code on a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. From the Installer Tools Menu, there is an option for resetting the Master Code back to its default of 1234. The user can then use the default Master Code to access the Users Menu and change the Master Code to a different four-digit code of their choosing. The Installer Tools Menu should be easy to access with the system disarmed since most users keep their Installer Code at the default of 4112.


Using the Smart Areas Feature on the 2GIG GC3

Jorge demonstrates the Smart Areas feature on a 2GIG GC3 Alarm System. This feature allows the system to support partitioning. In this case, the partitions are referred to as "Smart Areas". The system will support four distinct Smart Areas after the feature has been enabled from within system programming. After enabling the feature, a Smart Areas menu option will appear on the main system screen. Please note that your GC3 System must be running firmware version 3.2 or higher to support the feature.


Streaming Alarm.com Cameras to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Joe shows users how they can stream Alarm.com Security Cameras directly to their Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This feature is only compatible with certain ADC Camera models. You will need to enable the feature within Alarm.com for this to work. In addition to streaming video, some camera models will also allow your to stream live audio on the panel as well. Please note that your IQ Panel 2 System will need to be running firmware version 2.2.1 or higher to support this feature.


How to Safely Remove an iControl from an Existing System

Joe walks users through the proper procedure for removing an iControl module from a Honeywell VISTA Panel. There have been many users who have removed iControl modules from their systems, only to find out later that their keypads do not function properly. This can be prevented by following the correct steps when removing an iControl device. The proper procedure involves powering down the VISTA System before removing and reconnecting the keypad cable to the ECP bus afterwards.


Is Monitoring Required to Use Home Automation with the Interlogix Simon XTi-XTi-5

Jorge talks about how alarm monitoring service is required to use smart home automation with an Interlogix Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5 Alarm System. The reason that these systems require alarm monitoring for home automation is because the Alarm.com Cellular Communicator is actually also the Z-Wave controller. The cellular communicator must be installed and activated with Alarm.com for Z-Wave functionality to work on the system. A user can then control their Z-Wave devices from the panel or through the Alarm.com website or mobile app.


Finding the Serial Number on a Honeywell 5800PIR-RES

Jorge mentions the possible ways to find the Serial Number on a Honeywell 5800PIR-RES Motion Sensor. The easiest option is to check a sticker on the back of the sensor that lists the Serial Number. If the sticker has been removed, you can also auto-enroll it to the panel. The Serial Number will be displayed on the screen after you have learned it in. This can also be useful for confirming that the Serial Number on the sticker is correct.


Honeywell Panels Compatible With the SEM

Jorge explains which of the Honeywell Panels will work with an Alarm.com System Enhancement Module (SEM). An SEM is a cellular communicator that allows a Honeywell System to work with the Alarm.com service. This is rather unique because Honeywell Systems would normally work with Total Connect 2.0 instead. The SEM devices will work with any of the lower VISTA P-Series Panels, as well as their First Alert equivalents. These modules also include built-in Z-Wave controllers for smart home functionality.


Updating the Firmware on a Vista-P Alarm System

Joe covers the process for updating the firmware on a Honeywell VISTA Series System. This is done by replacing the PROM chip. The PROM chip can be identified as a small black chip on the system board. Upgrading to a new one can be necessary for unlocking certain features. You should always make sure to power down the system entirely whenever you are replacing the PROM chip. Alarm Grid sells VISTA-15P PROM Chips, VISTA-20P PROM Chips and VISTA-21iP PROM Chips.


Bonus: Alarm Grid Intro Video

Okay, so this isn't really a video to help you use a security system. But it is a nifty introduction montage that our video team put together. Many of the Alarm Grid techs and employees are featured, including Jorge, Jarrett, Joe, Dylan and Bryce. I even make a brief appearance! We're very proud to have helped many people get the most out of their security systems. If you're a monitored customers and you ever need further help, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Also make sure to like us on YouTube, and subscribe for further updates!

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Hi DIYers! We've learned that a new update to Total Connect 2.0 lets users enable a "Privacy When Disarmed" feature on their HD Cameras. This prevents the cameras from recording and capturing video clips while the system is Disarmed. It will then operate as normal when the system is Armed.

The Privacy When Disarmed feature is great for users who don't want to be bombarded with notifications that appear when their camera activates while they are around. This feature will automatically put the camera into Privacy Mode whenever the system is Disarmed. Once the system is Armed, the camera will exit Privacy Mode and begin operating normally. Many users don't need their camera to record and capture clips while their system is Disarmed, but having to go in and manually toggle the Privacy Mode option every single time can be inconvenient. Now there's an effective solution available!

Each Honeywell HD Camera can be set with the Privacy When Disarmed feature individually. There is currently no way to enable the feature for all the cameras at once. So if you want to use it with all your cameras, you must enable the option for each of them. Additionally, the feature right now turns off Privacy Mode for both Arm Stay and Arm Away settings. We're hoping that a future update will allow the option to be set for only Arm Away Mode. After all, we expect that some users won't want their camera to be taken off Privacy Mode after Arming Stay and remaining inside the building.

Before we get started demonstrating the feature, we do want to note that iOS users may need to log out of the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App and log back in for the change to be implemented. But it should function normally from there on out. In our example, we will be using the app on an Android Phone.

Start by opening the Total Connect 2.0 App and logging in. Then select the Cameras tab:



We will be demonstrating the feature with our camera "B parking lot". Press the three dots next to the camera to access its advanced settings. Then toggle on the "Turn on camera privacy when security is disarmed". You will be backed out to the previous screen. However, you will notice that the camera's privacy option is still disabled, even if the system is currently in a Disarmed state:




But then try Arming (Away or Stay) and then Disarming from the App. When you navigate back to the Cameras tab, you will notice that Privacy Mode has been enabled automatically. Also the image preview will not be available:



Then if you Arm Away or Arm Stay, you will notice that Privacy Mode has been automatically turned off:



We will be sure to provide you with any additional updates regarding Total Connect 2.0 as we learn more information. If you're an Alarm Grid monitored customer and you have any questions, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 to during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. If you would like to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring and how you can start using Total Connect 2.0, please check out our monitoring page. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We hear from customers all the time wondering how they can improve upon their existing security setup. Even if you already have a good alarm system, there are still things you can do to make it even better. Here are 5 ways for you to improve upon your home security system:

1. Take advantage of Z-Wave. Most alarm systems today have some way of supporting home automation. Z-Wave is one of the most popular smart home protocols around, and it has been thoroughly embraced by many alarm manufacturers. To get started, find out whether or not your system has a built-in Z-Wave controller. The Honeywell Lyric Controller. 2GIG GC3. 2GIG GC2 and Qolsys IQ Panel 2 all come with one installed. Meanwhile, the Honeywell LYNX Touch and Honeywell VISTA Panels can have a module added separately. From there, you can add Z-Wave devices like lights, locks and thermostats to expand upon your setup. All Z-Wave devices can be controlled remotely using an interactive service platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. They can also be set up to activate with certain system events or on a schedule. For example, you can have your lights turn on and have your smart thermostat activate automatically as soon as you return home and disarm your system!



2. Install security cameras. If you want to truly know what is happening in your home at any time, there is simply no alternative to security cameras. If you already use Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0, then getting a robust and reliable security camera setup is easier than you would think. You just need to upgrade to a Platinum-level monitoring plan and start including the cameras with your network. Alarm Grid offers both Alarm.com Cameras and Total Connect Cameras for you to use in your home. Many of these cameras can be simply rested on a desk or table so that no tools are needed for installation. If you do choose to mount your camera, all the hardware comes included, and the process is super easy. It's even possible to view these security cameras remotely by checking Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 from your mobile device. And if your camera captures any clips, you'll be sure to know about it thanks to text, email and push alerts!



3. Add a second keypad. A second alarm keypad can be a great for your to more easily operate your security system from a second area of your house or property. This is a very common practice for homes with multiple entrances, since a user will often want to quickly disarm from wherever they enter. Other users might put a keypad in their master bedroom so that they can conveniently set their system to Arm Stay mode before going to sleep. A security system in the bedroom is also a great way to quickly and discreetly activate a silent panic alarm if you hear an intrusion downstairs. Some keypads like the 2GIG SP1 and the Qolsys IQ Remote can perform automation functions as well. This is great if you want to quickly control or check the status of your devices without having to walk to your main panel. Larger properties might even include third or fourth keypads as well!



4. Upgrade your communication path. The communicator is often seen as the unsung hero of an alarm system. After all, a system needs some way of reporting out in the event of an alarm. A faster communication path means a quicker response from the central monitoring station. This can be absolutely crucial in an emergency. You might also notice that your smart home devices respond a little bit faster as well. In other cases, it isn't about increasing speed, but rather improving reliability. Adding a cellular communicator will allow your system to send outbound signals even when there is a power outage. It is also a known fact that cellular service is usually a lot more consistent than an IP connection, which can sometimes go down for seemingly no reason. Users in rural areas might also consider using a cellular antenna or an amplifier to further improve upon their cellular signal strength so that signal reach their destination reliably every single time. Whether you're adding a new communicator or replacing an older CDMA communicator with an LTE model, a communicator upgrade can be arguably the most important investment you make for your system!

5. Enroll a key fob. Do you find yourself racing to disarm your system as soon as you return home? Do you want a quick way to arm your system without having to pull up Total Connect or Alarm.com? If so, then a key fob might be the perfect solution for you. These compact devices can be attached to a key ring and stored in a pocket or purse for easy access. Many users attach their security key fobs to their car keys so that all their keys are in one convenient spots. Just a press off a button can disarm your system or set it to either Arm Stay or Arm Away mode. You can even program a key fob to trigger an immediate panic, and some systems will let you use key fob button presses to activate smart scenes. And if that weren't enough, many key fobs will let you program more than four inputs by using dual-button presses. You can even give each regular system user their own personal key fob so that you know who used the system last!

If you need help finding ways to improve your security system, please reach out to us! We love helping our customers get the best security systems possible. You can reach us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you and showing you all the great options available!

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Hi DIYers! As you may know, backup batteries represent one of the most important components for any alarm system. These devices keep the panel running during a power outage so that the user stays monitored. This is crucial in case an emergency occurs while the electricity is out.

A backup battery for an alarm system works by continuously storing a charge while the system is running on plug-in transformer power. If the power goes out, then the backup battery will have power ready to keep the system running for as long as possible. Once the system loses both battery power and plug-in power, it will shut-down entirely. For that reason, batteries are just a temporary solution. But they are still extremely useful for short-term outages.

Batteries are actually very easy to work with, and they can be quickly swapped out and replaced by any DIY user. Most wireless panels use a special type of battery pack that plugs into the system board. The user can simply unplug the old battery and then plug-in the new one. Hardwired panels generally use larger batteries, that can usually be identified as a black box inside the metal enclosure. Just disconnect the wiring from the old one, and connect it to the new one. Please note that many hardwired panels can also use a shared transformer when using an alarm system communicator. More information is available here.

A big thing to understand about batteries is that they do not last forever. As a battery is used inside an alarm system, it will very slowly lose its ability to store a charge. Its maximum capacity will gradually begin to decrease until it is unsuitable for use. At that point, the user will need to get a replacement. A user will know that this is the case because a low-battery trouble condition will appear on their system.

Remember though that not all low-battery warnings are a sign of a dead battery. If this warning appears after a power outage, it could just mean that the battery needs time to restore its charge. Once the battery charge reaches a sufficient level, the condition should clear on its own. We recommend waiting at least 24 hours with the system running on continuous AC power to see if the problem goes away. If it does, then the battery still has some life remaining.

It also never hurts to be prepared and keep an additional backup battery or two in a safe area. That way, when your current battery reaches the end of its lifespan, you can quickly replace it with a new one. Since the new battery won't have a charge, it will take it awhile to regain power. But eventually, the battery should work just like a new one. Additionally, most of the batteries for hardwired panels have universal connector terminals, and you can actually keep them continuously charged with a Battery Tender device. Keeping multiple charged batteries around is great for users who live in an area where extended power outages may occur.

When looking for a new battery, you'll want to make sure it is compatible with your system. We have many of our batteries and their compatible systems listed below:

Battery Compatible Systems
Notes
2GIG BATT1X 2GIG GC2 Provides 4 to 6 hours of backup power.
2GIG BATT2X 2GIG GC2 Up to 24 hours of backup power.
2GIG BATTERY GC3 2GIG GC3 Standard backup battery for GC3.
DSC SCWBATTERY DSC Impassa Up to 24 hours of backup power.
Honeywell LCP500-4B Honeywell Lyric Controller Up to 4 hours of backup power.
Honeywell LCP500-24B
Honeywell Lyric Controller
Up to 24 hours of backup power.
Honeywell LYNXRCHKIT-SC Honeywell LYNX Panels Up to 4 hours of backup power.
Honeywell LYNXRCHKIT-HC Honeywell LYNX Panels
Works longer than standard capacity battery.
Honeywell LYNXRCHKIT-SHA Honeywell LYNX Panels
Up to 24 hours of backup power.
Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Rated at 6V, 2.1Ah.
Qolsys IQ Battery Qolsys IQ Panel Will not work with IQ Panel 2.
Qolsys IQ2 Battery IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Up to 24 hours of backup power.
UltraTech 1240 Hardwired Panels Rated at 12V, 4.5Ah
UltraTech 1270 Hardwired Panels Rated at 12V, 7.0Ah

If you have any questions about batteries or if you need help choosing a battery, don't hesitate to reach out to us! You can email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! If you're looking to get started with home security, we urge you to make sure your system has a cellular communication path. This is the best way to ensure that your system remains monitored and protected at all times. All you need is the right communicator and monitoring plan.

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

When it comes to alarm monitoring, cellular communication is the undisputed champion. This is due in large part to its exceptional reliability. Do you ever notice how the WIFI in your home or at work goes out from time to time. This almost never happens with cellular. Even lost calls really only occur in spotty coverage areas or due to changes in location. As long as you get good coverage and your system stays put, you can be sure that service will almost never go down.

With the widespread availability of cellular networks, almost everyone in the country receives strong cellular service in their area. If you are ever unsure, you can always check various coverage maps offered from cellular service providers. And even if you do live in a rural area with poor service, you may still be able to get the results you want using a cellular amplifier. Not only will this boost signal strength for your security system, it will also help you receive better cell service in general while you are at home.

One of the most important benefits of having cellular monitoring is that it will keep your home protected when the power is out. This is especially useful for those who live in areas with inclement weather that may frequently cause electrical outages. Cellular service does not require electricity, and it does not use a router. This is why your cell phone continues to work when the power is out. The same cannot be said for internet, which often goes down when the power is out. Most people don't have battery backup for their at-home WIFI routers.

Nearly all alarm systems use some type of backup battery setup. This keeps them running even when the power is out. But it's only useful if the system can still communicate outward. Cellular communication makes this possible. Just imagine if the power was out and an intruder were to break into your home. With cellular service, you will know you're protected.

Cellular communication also provides all of the same benefits that are offered by IP. It is relatively fast, and it supports interactive service platforms like Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0. A user can access these services on their smartphone to arm and disarm their system, check current system status, and to control smart home devices. And fast communication speeds mean that any remote commands will go through nice and quickly. You can even add a cellular communicator to a panel that already supports WIFI to achieve an extra reliable dual-path communication setup!

You may be wondering what you need to get cellular communication for an alarm system. Well really it's as simple as having an alarm system with a cellular communicator and an appropriate alarm monitoring plan. Some panels, like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 come with one already installed. Others, like the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, need to have one added separately. If you decide to go with Alarm Grid Monitoring, you will want to make sure you choose a Gold-level plan or higher.

But you don't have to design a cellular security system on your own. The fantastic support at Alarm Grid is here to assist. We'll help you choose the perfect system and equipment for your needs so that you have proper peace of mind. Just send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you design an effective and reliable security system with cellular communication!

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Hi DIYers! We know it has been awfully chilly out there lately. We thought it would be a good time to talk about freeze sensors and the benefits they provide. These devices are strongly recommended for anyone who lives in a colder area who wants to make sure their home is kept temperate.

Honeywell 5821 wireless temperature sensor and water sensor exte

Also called temperature sensors, freeze sensors alert a security system when the ambient temperature falls below a certain threshold. Usually, this is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, the user can take proper action to prevent their pipes from freezing. Remember, water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and serious damage can occur if nothing is done in time. There are all sorts of horror stories of this happening while people are away for the day or on vacation.

Freeze sensors are particularly useful when used with an interactive service platform, such as Total Connect 2.0. These services will provide you with mobile alerts so that you will know if a situation occurs while you are away. Nearly every panel we sell can connect with one of these services. You just need the right communicator and monitoring plan.

While there are some standalone temperature sensors, freeze detection is often a secondary feature on a device. In fact, you might already have a device with freeze detection capabilities in your home and not even know it! The feature is commonly found on smoke detectors and flood sensors, so it never hurts to find out if your existing devices can also do freeze detection. For multi-function devices, freeze detection will usually operate on a specific Loop Number, and a unique system zone for freeze detection must be programmed.

Qolsys iq temp temperature sensor for low %3c40 and high %3e100 temp

If you're in the market for a new freeze sensor, you have plenty of options to choose from. The main thing to keep in mind is whether or not the device will work with your security system. If you are looking for a wireless sensor, then it must communicate at a compatible frequency. If you go the hardwired route, then your system must be able to support hardwired sensors. You might consider getting a smoke detector or a flood sensor that also includes the freeze detection function.

If you have a Honeywell or 2GIG System, then you likely use 345 MHz Sensors. The Honeywell 5821 is a convenient option for reliable freeze detection. You can also add a probe to have the 5821 Sensor double as a flood sensor. If you want a combination smoke and heat detector with freeze detection built-in, you might consider a Honeywell 5808W3.

For Interlogix Systems and the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2, you will want a 319.5 MHz Sensor. The Qolsys IQ Temp is a viable option. There's also the Interlogix TX-E611, which doubles as a flood sensor. For users also looking for a smoke, the Interlogix SDX-135Z also provides freeze detection.

If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or a DSC PowerSeries Neo, then your system supports PowerG Sensors. In that case, you might go with the DSC PG9905. This sensor will offer the impressive range of PowerG, as well as extremely secure 128-bit AES encryption.

For users who want to go the hardwired route, the best bet is often to go with a smoke detector that includes the feature. We often steer customers towards 2-wire smokes, since they are easier to set up. A good option is the System Sensor 2WTA-B, which also includes a built-in sounder.

Users who are having trouble deciding on a freeze sensor can always reach out to Alarm Grid. We are happy to help you find the perfect device for your needs. You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at why one-go-all-go smoke detectors can help ensure that everyone in the building is alerted during a fire. Simply put, a one-go-all-go smoke detector will cause all of the other compatible smoke detectors on the system to activate at the same time.

Dsc fsb 210bt 2 wire addressable photoelectric smoke and heat de

Having all the smokes in your home activate at the same time can be crucial for ensuring that everyone is alerted in the event of a fire. This is especially true for larger homes that need several smoke detectors for complete coverage. Most alarm systems can have some type of interconnected one-go-all-go smoke detector network. However, implementing this feature properly can be difficult, and it requires additional equipment and wiring. Another important thing to remember is that the one-go-all-go feature is best achieved by using the same detector model across the network.

For those with wired alarm control panels, there is often a way to achieve a one-go-all-go setup using hardwired smokes. This is possible with both 2-wire smokes and 4-wire smokes, but both require the proper equipment. Many wired panels offer a way to conveniently reset the zone used for 2-wire smokes after a fire alarm has been cleared. This is needed for getting the smoke detectors to stop sounding and to reset the detector so that it can trip again, if necessary.

For the Honeywell VISTA Panels, all 2-wire smokes must go on zone 1. This zone will automatically reset, and power will be briefly dropped to the smokes after the alarm is cleared. Multiple 2-wire smokes are wired together in parallel, with an end of line resistor (EOLR) for wiring supervision. A good 2-wire smoke detector to use is the System Sensor 2WTA-B, which also includes a built-in sounder.

System sensor 2wta b 2 wire smoke detector with fixed heat and s

Unlike 2-wire smokes, 4-wire smokes have less restriction regarding where they can be wired. In fact, a 4-wire smoke on a Honeywell VISTA System will generally go on any hardwired zone, except for zone 1. Again, the smokes can be configured for a one-go-all-go setup, but this will require additional equipment and wiring. This also allows the smokes to take up fewer systems zones, as they can all use the same zone and programming settings.

One downside to using 4-wire smokes is that they often require additional resources to work properly. In order to get a 4-wire smoke to stop sounding, power to the device must be dropped. But unless the system has a built-in relay, this cannot be done without additional hardware. This can require an external relay, and possibly an additional power supply as well. Proper operation will also require an end-of-line power supervision relay to check whether or not power to the smokes has been interrupted. If you do decide to go the 4-wire route, the System Sensor 4WTA-B is a good option.

System sensor 4wt b 4 wire smoke detector with fixed heat sensor

More recently, certain wireless smoke detectors also offer one-go-all-go functionality. Honeywell really took the initiative here by making their Lyric SiXSMOKE Sensor a one-go-all-go device. This sensor is exclusively compatible with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, and provides a very easy way to achieve a robust one-go-all-go setup. One-go-all-go is also compatible with the new Honeywell SiXCOMBO, which also offers heat and CO detection.

Honeywell sixsmoke front wireless smoke slash heat detector for

If you have a different wireless system than the Lyric, then there might still be way to attain a one-go-all-go setup. In most cases, this will require using 4-wire smokes with a compatible wireless transmitter. The transmitter will need to be able to support Normally Open (NO) life-safety devices with an end of line resistor. However, this is not possible for every wired-to-wireless converter.

Additionally the standard equipment for any 4-wire smoke is also required. This includes a relay, power supply and resistor. One transmitter that will work for this application is the Honeywell 5817CBXT. This module is part of the Honeywell 5800 Series, and it will work with nearly any alarm system that accepts the 345 MHz wireless frequency. Remember, the transmitter or converter must communicate at a frequency accepted by the alarm control panel.

Honeywell 5817cb wireless commercial sensor

Additionally, Qolsys recently released the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F for 319.5 MHz systems. This is a 16-zone wired to wireless converter that is great for bringing over hardwired sensors to a newer wireless system. Zone 16 on the module is a Normally Open loop specifically designed for 2-wire smokes. The loop will support up to ten 2-wire smoke devices, which are wired in parallel with an end-of-line resistor. This revolutionary module represents the first way to bring 2-wire smokes over to a wireless all-in-one system. The necessary resistors come included with the module.

Qolsys iq hardwire 16 s qs7131 840

Additionally, if you have an existing network of high-voltage smokes, you can integrate them into a wireless system using a takeover module. These are devices that listen for the unique temporal sound of an activated smoke detector. If the existing smoke detector network is one-go-all-go, a single takeover module can accommodate the entire network. Alarm Grid offers takeover modules that operate at the 319.5 MHz (Interlogix/GE and Qolsys), 345 MHz (Honeywell and 2GIG) and 433 MHz (DSC) wireless frequencies. That way, you can conveniently take an exiting high-voltage smoke network and start using it with your new wireless security system!

If you need help choosing smoke detectors for a one-go-all-go setup, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! We can help you determine the perfect fire-protection devices for your security system. You can send an email to support@alarmgrid.com, or you can call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We have a quick product highlight for your today. We're taking a look at the 2GIG IMAGE3. This is an image sensor module for a 2GIG GC3 that doubles as both a motion detecting sensor and camera. It sends four high-quality images to Alarm.com upon activation for easy viewing.


Motion sensors are great for users who want to easily confirm break-ins, without having to invest in security cameras. Just last week we took a look at the Qolsys Image Sensor. Now we're looking at the 2GIG version. Really, this device is pretty similar, but it works with the 2GIG GC3 instead. Please note that you will need 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 installed in the system to support the module, and the GC3 System needs to be running Firmware Version 3.0.1 or higher. Also keep in mind that any Alarm Grid customer will need a Gold-level Plan or higher.

The 2GIG IMAGE3 knows to produce images when its motion sensor is activated. This is a PIR motion sensor that responds to the changes in infrared energy that occur with movement. The device also includes IR night vision so that it can detect motion and capture images in the dark. It will produce four images when activated, and they can quickly be viewed remotely through Alarm.com. This is possible both through the Alarm.com Website and the Alarm.com Mobile App on Android and iOS Devices. A user can even have Alarm.com send them email and text alerts so that they are sure to be notified.

The images produced by the 2GIG IMAGE3 have a 320 x 240 resolution, and they are full-color. The sensor has a battery life of three years. An LED light on the sensor provides assistance with setup and general troubleshooting. Overall, this is a very convenient sensor for anyone who want to quickly confirm intrusions, without having to worry about false alarms.

You can buy the 2GIG IMAGE3 from Alarm Grid right now. Get one to improve the protection and security and your home!

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Hi DIYers! We know that many users take on the task of setting up their own hardwired security system. We think this is great, as it really lets a DIY user get to know their alarm panel. But there are some extra tools we recommend for setting up a wired system. One of which is a voltmeter.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

All alarm systems require electricity for basic operation. But this electricity is used for more than just powering the panel. Various equipment like sensors and keypads will also require power. With hardwired systems, the peripheral equipment will actually draw power from the panel. Not only is the system's plug-in transformer powering the panel, it is also keeping its many devices running as well. If the electricity goes out, the panel should also have a backup battery to ensure that everything remains powered.

The important thing to understand is that plugging in a transformer does not suddenly supply an infinite amount of electricity for an alarm system. There's a limit to how much power a system can provide. Each transformer can only provide a limited amount of current. There are also current limiting devices like fuses and breakers that are built into each of the output circuits on a system. These are used to prevent things like the bell circuit, the battery charging circuit and the auxiliary power circuit from allowing enough current through to damage the system. If you try to add too many devices to a system, you may find that they will not work properly. Worse yet, if you don't use the specified transformer and other manufacturer-specified peripheral devices, you could cause serious damage to the system.

For smaller applications, this is not usually a major concern. But as you add more powered devices to an alarm system, the chance for overload becomes greater. You may need to add a second power supply, along with an additional transformer and battery. However, you shouldn't be working blindly. Using a voltmeter with the ability to read current (technically a multi-meter) is very important for knowing the current load and making sure that the current power supply is adequate.

A voltmeter works by applying a known amount of current and resistance to a circuit. Ohm's Law tells us that if you know any two of three values (voltage, current or resistance), you can then calculate the third value. A hardwired zone on an alarm panel works largely in the same way. Voltage, along with a small amount of current, is fed through a zone circuit. Based on the Ohm's Law principle, if you know the amount of voltage being applied, and you know the amount of current being applied, you can then calculate the amount of resistance that is present on the circuit. This is how a zone with an end-of-line resistor works. When you make a zone Normally Open or Normally Closed, you simplify things even further. If current is flowing, the zone is open. If current is not flowing, the zone is shorted or closed. Without a voltmeter, troubleshooting wired zones becomes much more difficult. The voltmeter doesn't even have to be a big expensive model. It just needs to provide basic function.

Also keep in mind that many system problems occur due to electrical issues. Having a voltmeter on hand can save a user a lot of hassle in troubleshooting. We hear of users all the time who don't know why their system isn't working, only to find that it is because they aren't supplying enough power. Performing a simple check with a voltmeter can help you discover an issue that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. For that reason, everyone with a wired panel really should invest in an inexpensive voltmeter or multi-meter.

If you're just beginning to consider purchasing a panel, and you don't want the hassle of worrying about wired zones, then a wireless system may be a better option. Wireless sensors operate strictly on battery power, and a user won't have to worry about overloading circuits. We generally recommend wireless systems for DIY users in general, as they are much easier to use and install. But if you do decide to go the hardwired route, or you already have a working wired system, we certainly recommend you keep a voltmeter on hand!

If you're an Alarm Grid customer, and you need help using a voltmeter to check your system, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We are happy to help monitored customers get their systems up and running and perform any necessary troubleshooting. We invite you to check out our monitoring page for more information. If you ever need help, you can send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we wanted to show you a YouTube video review of one of our Lyric Kits made by Gabe from Security Baron. Gabe checks out each component of our Lyric AT&T-LTE 3-1 Kit. The kit includes a Lyric Panel, LTE communicator, 3 VERSA Contacts, a Honeywell PIR Motion and an LT-Cable.


We think this is a tremendous video, and we would really like to thank Gabe and Security Baron for putting it together. We certainly encourage all our customers to do unboxing videos just like this so that they can share their Alarm Grid experience with others. It makes us very proud to know that many people out there are making great use of our products.

In order to provide better information for our customers, we would like to go through and make some small notes on what was stated in the video. Although the video was super informative, we still can offer some further insight on the equipment that was presented.

First, the wireless door and window contacts featured in the video were actually VERSA-2GIG Door and Window Sensors. VERSA is the same company that manufactures the famous Honeywell 5800MINI Sensors. The VERSA Sensors are exactly the same as the 5800MINI Sensors, but they are available at a much lower cost. Those particular VERSA Contacts will work with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, as the 2GIG Go!Control and 2GIG GC3 Systems. Alarm Grid gets these sensors direct from VERSA to provide the lowest possible price for customers.

Versa 2gig honeywell lyric and 2gig compatible sensor pow

The VERSA Sensors are uni-directional devices that only send signals to the alarm system. They are not protected by any wireless encryption, but this is not a major concern for most users. However, Alarm Grid also offers a very similar kit that features encrypted door and window contacts. That kit provides Honeywell SiXMINICT Door and Window Contacts instead of the VERSA-2GIG Contacts. The bi-directional SiXMINICT Sensors use 128-bit AES encryption for added wireless protection.

The motion sensor shown in the video was a Honeywell SiXPIR Motion Sensor. This sensor works by using passive infrared (PIR) technology to detect the changes in infrared energy that occur with movement. Whenever a person or large object comes within the sensor's field of view (FOV), it will detect its energy signature and alert the security system. Just like the SiXMINICT Sensors, the SiXPIR Motion Sensor also uses bi-directional 128-bit AES encrypted communication. For optimal performance, the SiXPIR should be mounted at a height of between 7 and 9 feet.

Honeywell sixpir lyric smart sensor motion

The power cable that is shown is called the Honeywell LT-Cable. This handy accessory comes pre-prepared, and a user will not have to strip any wires to power on their Lyric Panel. By using the LT-Cable, the entire power-up process can be completed with just a simple screwdriver. Alarm Grid includes this cable with many of our system kits to make things easier for DIY users.

Not specifically mentioned in the video is the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A Cellular Communicator. This module is inserted into the side of the Lyric Panel, and it allows the system to communicate with the AlarmNet Servers through the AT&T LTE Network. Cellular communication is perfect for alarm systems because of its fantastic reliability and super fast speeds. By using this communicator, the Lyric System will be immediately capable of using a dual-path setup with both cellular and WIFI.

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

In the video, it is noted that the Lyric System works with Apple HomeKit. This is one of the best features of the Lyric, and pairing the system with HomeKit is very easy. By using the platform and a compatible HomeKit Hub, such as an iPad or Apple TV, a user can control their HomeKit devices remotely using their iPhone. We would also like to mention that the Lyric is compatible with Amazon Alexa through Total Connect 2.0.

For clarification, you can only stream live video on the Lyric Panel using a legacy Honeywell IP Camera. You cannot stream video directly from the panel using a newer Honeywell HD Camera, such as the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2 mentioned in the video. Instead, these cameras can only be streamed through the Total Connect 2.0 service.

For DIY users, we also recommend adding a Honeywell LCP500-DK Desk Mount. This device will allow the user to install the system without having to mount it to the wall. Instead, it can be conveniently rested on any sturdy table or desk. You can also mount the wireless sensors using double-sided foam tape. This will let you complete the entire installation process with nothing more than a screwdriver. You don't need to drill any holes or use any power tools!

Honeywell lcp500 dk lyric controller desk mount

The Honeywell Lyric is not the only alarm control panel offered from Alarm Grid. We also offer many great systems from other companies like Qolsys and 2GIG. Our website also features a wide-selection of pre-packaged wireless system kits to fit a user's unique needs. All of the systems we offer are perfect for pairing with our alarm monitoring services, which start at as little as $10 per month. We can even takeover many existing systems so that users can get started without having to purchase new equipment.

If you want to learn more about Alarm Grid, or if you need help planning a security system, we invite you to reach out to us. The best way to contact us is to send a quick email to support@alarmgrid.com and let us know what you are looking for. If you would prefer to speak with us by phone, you can call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you meet your security needs!

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