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Hi DIYers! After you sign-up for monitoring service and get your system, you still need to have it activated! This is a one-time process that is used to get your system up and running and communicating properly. We have some tips to make sure that your alarm system activation is successful.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Alarm Grid is a DIY monitoring company. All the support we provide is either online or over the phone. When you sign up for one of our self-monitoring plans, we can usually activate your account remotely, with no one onsite. However, if you sign up for one of our central station monitored accounts, the process is slightly more involved and requires an appointment. Anyone on-site can complete this process, so you can certainly ask a spouse, relative or other roommate to do this on your behalf.

During your activation appointment, you will be on a live phone call with one of our support technicians. The technician will create your account, verify the information you have provided for the monitoring company, and walk you through a test to verify a working system. Our activation appointments are allotted one hour. We know that your time is valuable, so we want to ensure that the process goes smoothly and quickly and results in a successful activation!

The basic premise behind an activation is that you will have a pre-arranged time slot during which an Alarm Grid activator will call you and provide you with one-on-one and focused attention to help program your system to communicate successfully. You will receive information beforehand via email with some basic guidelines to follow. This is designed to help get you ready for your activation. Remember, nobody is going to come out to your home or business. Your Alarm Grid activation will be completed over the phone, and you will be the one working at the panel.

While our team members will certainly do their jobs, you have to do your part as well for the activation to be successful! By following these five tips, you can help us perform our duties more effectively and make the overall process easier for both of us:

1. Be on-site. Although our support is provided over the phone, an activation occurs at the panel or keypad. Security systems cannot be initially setup or programmed remotely. You, or a designee, need to be on-site with the system to complete the activation. If you aren't on-site, we will need to reschedule the activation. There are no exceptions to this rule, and a rescheduled activation is very inconvenient for both of us. Don't think that you can activate your system while you are driving, on a plane, or on vacation. You must be at your home or business directly in front of the panel. All the work will be completed right there.

2. Know your codes. Many panel activations are stalled or terminated because a customer does not know their codes. We have no way of seeing any system codes until the system is activated. You really need to know these codes to complete the process.For an activation, you will need to know the system's Installer Code. This is the system code used for deep-level programming. If the system is brand-new, then the Installer Code is almost certainly at its default. If the system has been monitored before, then a different monitoring company may have changed the code to lock the customer out of programming.

Knowing your Installer Code is crucial as a DIY user. After all, you will want to be able to make your own system programming changes when needed. At Alarm Grid, we work to empower our customers and prevent them from ever being locked out of programming mode. That is why we advise our customers to keep their Installer Codes at the default. If you don't know your Installer Code, trying the default first is always a good option. If that code doesn't work, then you may need to get the information from your prior monitoring company. If they are refusing to provide your Installer Code, then they are holding your system hostage, and you can often threaten legal action!

Keep in mind that some systems offer the option for a backdoor method that can be used to get into programming if the Installer Code is lost. Once you are inside programming, you can change the Installer Code to something you know. However, this process is not possible for every panel. Any backdoor steps should be completed prior to your activation, as it takes up valuable time to complete the process. Alarm Grid offers the following FAQs that cover the backdoor process:

The default Installer Code can usually be determined by the manufacturer of the panel. Keep in mind that there are occasionally some panels that break this norm. The typical default Installer Code and Master Code for various alarm system manufacturers is shown in the table below:

Manufacturer
Installer Code
Master Code
Honeywell
4112 1234
2GIG
1561 1111
Qolsys
1111 1234
Interlogix/GE
4321 1234
DSC
5555 1234

3. Program beforehand. Having to go through and program a panel will slow down any system activation. You really should have most or all of this process completed prior to your scheduled activation slot. Of course, if you have any questions or troubles with programming, then our team is happy to help. But just remember that it gets in the way of our main task of configuring the system. Getting an early start with programming is a great way to start learning your system and setting things up the way you want. This includes things like learning-in sensors and adjusting Entry and Exit Delay timers to your liking.

We offer many FAQs and videos that can help you complete various programming tasks. We also encourage you to use the search bar in the upper-right corner of our website to browse through any content we have created. Also keep in mind that there may be answers elsewhere. You can always search Google or YouTube to see what solutions and guides you come across. We fully understand that the typical DIY user will have a few minor programming questions; that is to be expected. But whatever you can figure out and complete yourself will save trouble and time during your appointment!

4. Listen to your technician. One thing you can most definitely expect during your activation is to receive instructions from your Alarm Grid technician. It is very important that you listen carefully and follow these instructions exactly as described. Your technician is working to get you through the process as quickly and accurately as possible. The steps we provide and the tasks we ask you to complete are given for a reason. We're trying to help you to keep your family, and your property safe. So put on your best listening ears and follow our instructions. Before you know it, you'll be ready to go with a complete security system!

5. Minimize conversation. Our support technicians are all very friendly, and we will gladly listen to you. But just remember that we're here to get a job done within a relatively small time window. We understand that you may be very excited about getting a new alarm system. And if you just moved into a new home, then you most definitely have some interesting stories to tell about the experience. We realize that you probably want to tell everyone about your new house that you've worked hard for. While that's great, it also slows down our activation.

Look, we know that some small talk is to be expected. We enjoy talking with our customers and providing friendly service. That's one of our top-goals. But we also want to move through the process efficiently. If you start getting off-task, then it will not be in the best interest of our activation. While we won't shoot down any customer who wants to socialize, we will be trying to subtly move the process along. You're certainly free to talk with us during your activation, but you may want to save any deep conversations or lengthy stories for a neighbor, your family or your co-workers at the water-cooler. It's nothing personal, we just have a job to do!

Have you signed-up for Alarm Grid monitoring yet? If not, now is a great time to get started. Just click the orange Monitoring button at the top of the page to check out our plans. You can also start browsing our site for a security system to install in your home or business. If you need help planning an Alarm Grid security system, reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We also accept phone calls at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you during your activation!

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Hi DIYers! If you haven't heard yet, a new firmware version for the 2GIG GC3 System is now available. This update provides support for the system's screensaver feature, and it allows video demos to be uploaded to the panel. It also fixes a few minor bugs that were known to cause issues.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenThe firmware update is version 3.2.1.6653. Although the changes it offers are relatively minor, it's still worth downloading for users who want to get the very most out of their GC3 Systems. The biggest change is the addition of the screensaver feature, which will also likely be referred to as the slideshow feature. Users can add personal photos to a USB drive and transfer them to their GC3 System or associated 2GIG SP1 Keypad. They can then arrange these pictures to appear in a slideshow, which will automatically go into effect if the system is left unused for a certain period of time. These options are available in a new My Photos Menu found within System Settings.

Also included in the update is the video demos feature. Although this feature was intended with alarm dealers in mind, there's no reason why it can't be used by end users as well. Users will transfer personal video clips to the panel through a USB drive. They can then use the new Demo Menu option within the Installer Toolbox to add demo videos to the panel. Just like with the slideshow feature, the demo videos can be viewed from both the GC3 System and the 2GIG SP1 Keypad. Both photos and videos are uploaded independently so that a user can have different slideshows and demo videos between their system and their SP1 Keypads.

Other updates included fixed to low-battery indications and problems with the Access Point mode. If you want to download this firmware update, please check our GC3 Firmware Update Page. Download the necessary file, and transfer it to the root directory of a USB drive. You can then insert the USB drive into the top of the GC3 System. Then confirm the update, and provide either the Master Code or the Installer Code (default 1561) to begin. The system will reboot, and the update will be applied. Alarm Grid customers can also ask us to push the update down manually. However, this will include added costs.

If you have any questions about this update please email 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 hearing from you!

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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! There was a recent report that revealed the 10 United States cities where property crime levels are the highest. Anyone residing in these cities might want to consider purchasing a security system. This information is also great for those with vacation or investment properties.

2gig gc3pk lte v a wireless security system w slash verizon lte The report measured the number of property crimes that occur in each city for every 1,000 people. It used statistics from 2017, which is the most recently released data from the FBI. Any burglary or larceny was considered a property crime for the study. Motor vehicle theft was not included in the report, as the intention was to provide catered results for homeowners, renters and investors. Only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included.

The 10 cities with the highest property crime levels were:

  1. Springfield, MO
  2. Salt Lake City, UT
  3. Spokane, WA
  4. Little Rock, AR
  5. Albuquerque, NM
  6. Memphis, TN
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Chattanooga, TN
  9. St. Louis, MO
  10. Baton Rouge, LA

Of course, this report isn't meant to scare anyone, and it's a well-known fact that robberies and home invasions can occur anywhere. But it never hurts to know the statistics for your city. Taking steps to prevent property theft is the best thing you can do as a homeowner, renter or investor. One of the most effective methods for keeping your home and your loved ones safe is to install a security system.

If you're looking into a new security system, you might want to consider Alarm Grid monitoring services. We are a DIY security company that puts the customer in control. Nearly anyone can install their own alarm system with just a little bit of help online or over the phone from one of our trained security experts. Customers purchase all the equipment outright, and it is theirs to keep if they ever decide to leave Alarm Grid at a later time. Every system we support is non-proprietary, and it can be taken to a new company if that is what the customer wants.

Alarm Grid also offers no added fees. This means no installation fees, no activation fees, and no cancellation fees. Customers are always free to cancel before their next monthly bill if they are relocating or if they no longer wish to use our services. There are no contracts, and the only thing keeping our customers with us is the excellent quality of our service. As an Alarm Grid customer, you only receive the very best, and you are always in control.

We invite you to check out our monitoring page by checking the orange "Alarm Monitoring" button at the top of this page. If you have any questions about us, you are always welcome to reach out to us. The best way to make sure we see your message is to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We also accept phone calls at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you meet all your security needs!

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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! 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 necessary 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 wireless smoke slash heat detector for lyric

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! 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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Hi DIYers! We are very excited to announce that Qolsys has released the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F Wired to Wireless Converter. This module replaces the IQ Hardwire 16-S, and it adds the ability to use 2-wire smokes with a compatible wireless system. It features 16 hardwired zone terminals.


The Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F works similar to any wired to wireless converter module. The hardwired sensors will connect directly with the 16-F converter. The converter will then send out a wireless 319.5 MHz signal to communicate with compatible alarm systems. This makes the IQ Hardwire 16-F perfect for users of old hardwired systems who want to upgrade to a newer wireless system. The user will be able to bring all of their old hardwired security sensors to their new system.

The 319.5 MHz signal makes the 16-F compatible with many great systems. These include the Qolsys IQ Panel 2, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with 319.5 MHz Daughtercard, the original IQ Panel and the Interlogix Simon Series Systems. The module will use rolling code encryption when communicating with the IQ2 and IQ2+ Systems. However, the signals will not be encrypted when used with other systems. Please keep frequency compatibilities in mind when purchasing a wired to wireless converter. If you have a 345 MHz system, a Honeywell 5800C2W will work instead. However, that module will not support 2-wire smokes.

The first 15 zone terminals on the IQ Hardwire 16-F are for Normally Open or Normally Closed hardwired security sensors. But the support for 2-wire smokes is what really helps the IQ Hardwire 16-F stand out from other converters. The 16th zone on the module is specifically designed for Normally Open 2-wire smoke detectors. This versatile zone is capable of supporting up to ten 2-wire smoke detectors when they are wired in parallel. Please note that 4-wire smokes and carbon monoxide sensors cannot be used with the IQ Hardwire 16-F.

Alternatively, the zone can also be used with any Normally Open sensor if the user would prefer that instead. Each zone requires a 4.7k resistor wired in parallel (NO) or series (NC). This is true even if the zone is not used. All of the necessary resistors come included with the device. Note that a 4.7k resistor with a 5% tolerance is color-coded yellow-violet-red-gold if you ever need to find a replacement.

The Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F is available for purchase now from the Alarm Grid website. This is a great module for anyone upgrading from an older hardwired system to a new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus. Get the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F now!

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Throughout the years, there have been many security companies that have offered alarm systems that will only work with their monitoring services. These are known as "proprietary systems", and they greatly reduce the freedom and flexibility that a consumer has in choosing a security plan.

There are many tactics that companies use when providing proprietary systems for their customers. One common strategy is to entice users with a "free security system" in exchange for signing-up for monitoring services. Although a free security system certainly sounds exciting, it doesn't give the user very many options if it will only work with that particular monitoring company. If the user wants to use that system, then they essentially become married to that monitoring company. This presents them with very little flexibility in the long-run.

Another common tactic for these monitoring companies is to lock their customers into contracts so that they are obligated to pay for service for an extended period of time. If a user tries to cancel their plan, they might be on the hook for heavy cancellation fees. Then when the contract expires, the user will still not be able to choose a different monitoring company, as their proprietary system will only work with that company. Again, the user is still married to that company if they want to keep using that system. Make sure to always read the terms carefully before signing-up for monitoring service to ensure that you don't lock yourself into a contract. It can be very tricky to get out once you are locked in!

Not all monitoring companies that offer proprietary systems use these tactics. The important thing to remember is that the system will only work with their particular monitoring service. If a user tries to bring that system to a different company, then it will not work. Some companies will even up the game by using proprietary sensors that only work with their system. These sensors cannot be recycled and brought over to a new system, which means a user looking for a new monitoring provider has to start from scratch. Another strategy is to use a proprietary alarm system communicator. In some cases, it is possible to simply replace the communicator so that the system itself can be taken over. But it isn't always this easy.

We strongly encourage everyone in the market for a new security system to obtain non-proprietary equipment. It's very important to conduct proper research beforehand to make sure that you know exactly what you are buying. You should also obtain monitoring service that does not require you to lock yourself into an extended contract. That way, if you are ever dissatisfied with your monitoring company, you can easily take your system to a new company. You will not have to replace your existing equipment, and you will be able to make a seamless transition to a new company.

Alarm Grid only supports non-proprietary systems, and we never lock our customers into contracts. Our customers are free to terminate their service at any time if they believe they can obtain better monitoring services somewhere else. All of the systems we support can easily be taken over by a different monitoring provider if a user decides that switching is in their best interest. While we don't offer any free security systems, we will do our best to perform a takeover of existing equipment if possible. But keep in mind that we cannot do this with proprietary alarm systems, as they will not work with our services. While we would love to takeover existing proprietary alarm systems and equipment, it is simply impossible for us to do so.

If you ever need help choosing or designing a security system, we invite you to send us an email to support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We have a team of security experts who are happy to help you find the perfect non-proprietary alarm system for your needs. We also invite you to check our monitoring page for more information. The entire Alarm Grid team looks forward to providing you with top-quality monitoring service, while also ensuring that you always have the freedom of choice that you deserve as a consumer.

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Hi DIYers! Even though 4G and LTE communication have both been around for quite some time, there is still much confusion associated with these terms. We thought that it would be nice to take the time to cover these terms in a little more detail and explain what they mean for alarm monitoring.

Recently, we came across an article that covers the 4G standard in great detail. The term "4G" is nothing more than a certain standard of wireless communication. The standard was established to avoid confusion as cellular communication speeds reached unprecedented levels. When 4G first came out, there was no established standard. For marketing purposes, cellular carriers and manufacturers were applying the 4G label to devices with widely varying speeds. The standard was established to avoid confusion and to give a more formal definition of what is "true 4G". In order to comply with the 4G standard, a given wireless protocol must meet a certain speed or bandwidth.

Meanwhile, "LTE" is a specific wireless protocol that comes very close to meeting the 4G standard. In fact, before "true 4G" was established, most experts considered LTE to represent 4G speeds. That is why you will commonly hear the term "4G LTE" tossed around. It's really just marketing. Many protocols are allowed to use the 4G label without actually reaching 4G standards. This is because they arrive so painstakingly close that the issue is really overlooked. In reality, very few wireless protocols have actually reached the true 4G standard. Some examples of protocols that have achieved the true 4G standard include LTE-Advanced and WiMAX 2.0.

Long story short, 4G is a communication standard, while LTE is an actual type of wireless communication.

At this time, we do not offer any cellular communicators that operate at speeds that officially meet the true "4G" standards. Despite the name, 4G LTE is not actually up to the true 4G standard, unless it is LTE-Advanced. However, not reaching true 4G speeds is of very little concern for the typical security system. An alarm system only needs to send very small amounts of data at a time. This is no where near the amount needed for more data-heavy activities, such as streaming a movie or real time gaming. Even live streaming for security cameras is still being done across IP networks, which offer faster speeds than cellular networks.

With the extremely small data packets that are used for alarm monitoring, increasing speeds and overall bandwidth will not do much for improving overall user experience. Instead, it's more important to reduce latency, or the delay between signal transmissions. Remember, there is a lot that goes into any system transmission. It must go from the security system, to an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, and finally to either a central station or the end user. If any of these transmissions experiences high latency, then the overall process takes longer. Fortunately, the industry has taken great strides to reduce latency in recent years. We can now confidently say that alarm systems now communicate faster and more reliably than ever before.

In the near future, it's fair to expect the term "5G" to be thrown around as well. Just like with the hype that came from "4G LTE", it's probable that the initial "5G Networks" won't actually hit the true "5G Standard". Keep in mind that this doesn't really have a large effect on alarm systems. Any network that even comes close to 5G will be ridiculously fast for an alarm system. Again, the key is to reduce latency, not necessarily increase speed - though increased speed is never a bad thing.

The introduction of 5G Networks should still bring good things for the security and smart home industries overall. Most notably, it will allow smart home devices to respond even more quickly upon inputting a command. It will also allow for more reliable streaming of security cameras through mobile apps. But it's still safe to assume that 5G communicators will still not be made available for quite some time. However, we are looking forward to the new and incoming technology just like everyone else. We hope that you will continue to join us for the ride as we provide you with the protection and security you deserve.

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