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Last week, it was announced that the in-person event for ISC West 2020 has been cancelled. An all-virtual event will take place from October 5 - 7 in its place. An in-person event for ISC West 2021 is tentatively scheduled for March 23 - 26 next year at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, NV.


Originally, ISC West had been scheduled for March 18 - 20. Due to health and safety concerns, it was pushed back to July 20 - 22. It was then postponed again to October. Postponing it any further would cause significant conflict with ISC West 2021. Therefore, it was ultimately decided to just have everyone stay home.

Will Wise, Vice President of event organizer Reed Exhibitions said, "While we are very disappointed to not be able to meet face-to-face this year in Las Vegas, we look forward to continuing to help the ISC West community engage via digital programs, resources and connections. Our team, along with our valued venue partner, Sands Expo and Venetian, is working on detailed planning and protocols for ISC West 2021, which will take place March 23-26, 2021."

While we're disappointed that the event is cancelled (who doesn't like a trip to Vegas???), we're sure that the virtual event will still be informative, and we look forward to covering it so that you know what is coming in the security industry. We will have all the coverage on this blog like always, so stay tuned!

Remember, if you have any questions about alarm monitoring or security systems in general, then you should email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Earlier this week, we talked about the new look that will be coming to Apple HomeKit with Apple iOS 14. Well we have more exciting news regarding Apple HomeKit, as it appears that HomeKit-compatible cameras will soon be gaining facial recognition capabilities. This is super exciting stuff!


According to Apple, the face detection feature will be used to identify family members and make sure that there are no unidentified individuals inside the house. If the camera sees a face that it does not recognize, then the user can get an alert through HomeKit regarding the activity. We're sure that this could also work quite well in a small business environment.

As this is a very newly announced feature by Apple, we're not sure whether or not facial recognition will be available for any HomeKit Camera, or if it will only work with certain camera models. We also have no timetable as for when this new feature will be available, though we have heard possibly September. You would need to check with Apple support to receive more specific information.

Unfortunately, Alarm Grid does not offer any Apple HomeKit Cameras at this time. However, we do offer the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, which offers a great HomeKit integration. Many users will use a Lyric with Alarm Grid monitoring service, while setting up a separate network of HomeKit Security Cameras for video surveillance. This is certainly a viable option.

Another, though admittedly less robust, option is to get a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System with Alarm.com Security Cameras. Although these cameras are not equipped with facial recognition, they do have powerful Video Analytics features to keep your home or business safe. And the IQ Panel 2 has a built-in camera that uses facial recognition for disarm photos.

Although we don't have much information on the HomeKit Camera Face Recognition feature right now, please stay tuned to our blog, as we will be updating as we learn more. And like always, you can reach out to us for information about our monitoring plans by emailing us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Apple HomeKit will soon be getting a new look to go along with the upcoming Apple iOS 14. This new, refreshed look brings a side-bar to the left-hand side of Apple HomeKit. The functionality should remain largely the same as the current version. But you're sure to love this sleek, new look!


As you know, we are big fans of Apple HomeKit when paired with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. By pairing your Lyric System with your Apple HomeKit Network you can control the system from pretty much anywhere using Siri Voice Commands. We have a guide to setting up the Lyric with HomeKit, which you can view here. We also recommend checking out this other guide to setting up HomeKit Automations.

As you can see above, the new look for Apple HomeKit will feature a new side-bar on the left-hand side to make navigation a bit easier. This layout will better utilize the space available on the iPad. However, we still expect the general principles to using Apple HomeKit to remain the same. It's nice to see that Apple hasn't totally overhauled Apple HomeKit, but they are changing it up enough to keep things fresh. From the picture shown at the top of this post, it looks great!

This new HomeKit look won't be arriving until Apple iOS 14 is available. Unfortunately, we don't have a firm release date available quite yet. It is our understanding that it will come out sometime in September. You would need to check with Apple for more info. However, we can assure you that the Apple Home App will automatically update once iOS 14 is installed on your Apple device. Until iOS 14 is out, you'll just have to wait patiently for the time being.

Like we said, we really don't know too much about what Apple is planning for their iOS 14 release. But we can say that we are really excited about the new "change" coming to HomeKit. If you want to learn more about using the Lyric with HomeKit, or if you are interested in our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: We have learned that this new look for HomeKit for Apple iOS 14 will only be visible for the Apple iPad. The Apple iPhone version of HomeKit will not be getting the same makeover.

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Resideo (formerly Honeywell) has made a change to Total Connect 2.0 that now prevents Sensor Activity for motion sensors from being displayed in the Activity Log. The purpose of this change is to prevent the TC2 Activity Log from being flooded with "Sensor Open" events from motions.


If you aren't aware, the Activity Log on Total Connect 2.0 shows various activity affecting a Honeywell Security System. This includes sensor open and close events. Previously, motion sensor activity (namely, the sensor detecting movement) could be displayed in this Activity Log. However, Resideo found that many users had setup activity logs for motion zones without realizing what the feature really did. They were therefore flooding their TC2 Activity with "Sensor Open" and "Sensor Close" events as they walked around their property in the disarmed state.

To curb this issue, Resideo has disabled the Sensor Activity toggle switch on Total Connect 2.0 for all motion detection sensors with the Response Type of Interior Follower. This makes it impossible to enable Sensor Activity logging for motion sensors with the Interior Follower Response Type, meaning that motion sensor activity will no longer be displayed in the activity log. In addition, the sensor will not be displayed on the TC2 security card when faulted. The user must access the Sensors List to see the faulted motion sensor zone.

Most users will likely not mind this, as they wouldn't want to have the activity logs for their systems constantly being flooded with motion sensor activity. And fortunately, there are a couple of workarounds for this issue if you do want to be alerted regarding motion sensor activity on a particular sensor. Arguably the easiest solution is to change the Response Type for a motion sensor from Interior Follower to Interior w/ Delay.

The similar Response Type of Interior w/ Delay does not have the same restriction regarding Activity Logs as Interior Follower. The only major change with Interior w/ Delay is that it will always trigger an Entry Delay countdown, rather than an immediate alarm if the motion sensor is the first zone faulted while the system is in an Armed Away state. For more information on Honeywell System Response Types, please see this helpful FAQ.

Another option if you just want to be notified regarding sensor activity is to manually create a notification for the Interior Follower Motion Sensor within Total Connect 2.0. Luckily, we recently made an FAQ that outlines this very process. It will teach you all about text and email notifications for Total Connect 2.0. If you want to take a look, you can check it out here. We also recommend checking out this other guide that is more specific to Sensor Open/Close and Sensor Left Open Notifications.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer and you need any additional help setting up your motion sensor for alerts, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have learned that DSC PowerSeries NEO Systems and the Alarm.com ADC-CSVR126 Commercial Stream Video Recorder have new updates available. Both updates are quite minor. The PowerSeries NEO update (Version 1.36) can be requested from ADC. The ADC-CSVR126 update will be pushed automatically.


You may recall last week that there was an update for PowerSeries NEO Communicators. Well this one is for the NEO panel itself. It includes a minor fix related to the operation of interconnected smoke and heat detectors and their visual verification feature. Alarm Grid customers can contact us to push the upgrade from Alarm.com. If the update is sent across cellular, then a small fee may be charged by Alarm.com, and will be applied to your next bill.

As for the Alarm.com ADC-CSVR126 Commercial Stream Video Recorder, its new update merely updates the certificates the device uses with the Alarm.com platform. End users should not notice any change in the device's performance. Updates will be pushed down automatically over time, but you can also have the update pushed down manually if desired. No charge is required to do so. For reference, the new firmware is Firmware V4.1.10.190628.

The best way for an Alarm Grid customer to request one of these updates is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. And if you are interested in becoming an Alarm Grid customer with access to Alarm.com, please check out our monitoring page We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you recall last year, we made a post about a loyal Alarm Grid customer naming his cat after our company. Well, we're a bit early this time around, but it's a slow news day and all, so we figured we'd take the time to wish Alarm Grid (the cat) a happy 1st birthday! We hope it's purr-fect!


Alarm Grid the Cat lives with loyal Alarm Grid customer Brett in Philadelphia, MS. Brett has been an Alarm Grid customer since 2015, and we are thrilled that he continues to choose us for monitoring service. We take great pride in keeping all of our customers protected and safe, including Brett and his family. Thank you Brett for choosing Alarm Grid the company!

Brett says that he isn't exactly sure of Alarm Grid the Cat's official birthday, only stating that it is around "mid-June". Our post last year was from June 21st, so we're probably a bit early here. But we didn't want to forget this special time. We also recommend checking out last year's post that is linked above so you can see just how much Alarm Grid the Cat has grown. She's getting to be a big girl! We're sure that Brett and his family are taking great care of her.

If you want to receive monitoring service like Brett and Alarm Grid the Cat, make sure to check out our monitoring page to learn more about our monitoring plans. And if you decide to name your pet or child after us, feel free to shoot us an email at support@alarmgrid.com. We might consider posting a blog about the honor! Our team checks new emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has learned that a firmware update for the Honeywell 6290W Touchscreen Keypad is available. Honeywell 6290W Firmware Update 2.01.028.0002 corrects an issue where the keypad Disarm screen does not automatically appear when the Honeywell VISTA System goes into its Entry Delay.


Resideo never made a public announcement about Firmware Update 2.01.028.0002, so it's possible that it may have already been out for a little while. However, we only just heard about it the other day. Although the change it makes is relatively minor, having the Disarm screen automatically appear when the system is in its Entry Delay should make things more convenient for end users. That way, you won't have to manually pull up the Disarm screen when entering the premises and disarming your system. We recommend upgrading to the latest firmware as soon as possible if you haven't already.

Firmware updates for the Honeywell 6290W are provided automatically over-the-air (OTA) from the Resideo AlarmNet360 Servers. They are not pushed down manually, so there is no need to contact us to request the update. However, you must enable WIFI and enable Remote Upgrading for the keypad in order for the update to be automatically sent down. Once the 6290W has checked-in with the AlarmNet Server, the update will be put into a queue and pushed down as soon as possible. This usually occurs within 24 to 48 hours of the keypad checking-in. Alarm Grid recently uploaded a document that shows the process for enabling WIFI and Remote Upgrading, which you can view here.

As a quick reference, WIFI is enabled by pressing the Settings icon (the gear) on the main screen, followed by "System WIFI". From there, toggle the WIFI option, and select the desired WIFI network. Enter the network's password, and click on Connect. Once the process is complete, return to the home screen by clicking on the picture of the house. Next, enable Remote Updating by clicking the Settings icon again and choosing System Info. Click on the Enable Remote Upgrade option to turn on the feature. You can then return home.

Remember, the Settings icon for the keypad looks like .

If you are monitored by Alarm Grid and you need additional assistance enabling OTA updates, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check for new emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: After the update is pushed down to the keypad, it will only be applied once the system is in a disarmed state with no faulted zones and no trouble conditions, including low battery or AC power loss. The update will also be delayed if the system is in programming mode or if there is a zone in alarm memory. The keypad will reboot as part of the update process.

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Alarm.com has announced that Firmware Update 189G is now available for DSC PowerSeries NEO Dual-Path Communicators. Both the DSC TL880LEAT N AT&T & IP Dual-Path Communicator and the DSC TL880LTVZ N Verizon & IP Dual-Path Communicator can receive the new update from the Alarm.com servers.

Dsc hs2016nk powerseries neo alarm control panel 16 zones

Firmware Update 189G provides multiple stability fixes, and it resolves some issues that have been known to affect DSC PowerSeries NEO Communicators. It is recommended that anyone using a DSC PowerSeries NEO with a dual-path communicator for use with Alarm.com has the update pushed down to their system as soon as possible. Any DSC PowerSeries NEO System with a DSC TL880LEAT N or a DSC TL880LTVZ N can receive the update. This includes the DSC HS2016NK, the DSC HS2032NK, the DSC HS2064NK, and the DSC HS2128NK, which are all sold by Alarm Grid.

As is the case with any Alarm.com Firmware Update, there may be a small fee to push this update down to your panel. This fee is applicable if the update is forced to be sent across a cellular network. If you are monitored by Alarm Grid, then we will simply add the fee to your next monitoring bill. If your NEO System is properly configured for both IP and cellular, then the update should be sent across the internet, and no fee should be applied.

Remember that this update is for the Alarm.com Dual-Path NEO Communicators only. The update is not for the cell-only communicators. If you have either the DSC TL880LEAT or the DSC TL880LTVZ (the non-N models), then you do not need to request this update. If you have a DSC PowerSeries NEO System that is monitored by Alarm Grid and you aren't sure which communicator you have, then you can email us, and we will be happy to check.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer with a DSC PowerSeries NEO System and one of the Alarm.com Dual-Path Communicators, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com to request the firmware update. Please make sure that your NEO System is powered on and connected with Alarm.com servers so that the update can be pushed down successfully. Our support team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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There have been ongoing reports that a recent batch of Encore FireFighter FF345 Smoke/CO Audio Takeover Modules are unable to interface with Honeywell Panels. We believe that this issue is temporary and that future batches will not have this problem. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Encore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover moduleIf you aren't familiar with the FF345, it is a smoke detector and CO detector listening module that actively listens for the distinct sound of an activated smoke detector or carbon monoxide sensor. Any high-voltage or conventional smoke detector that produces the corresponding Temporal 3 sound, as well as any CO detector that produces the Temporal 4 sound, can be used with the FF345. By enrolling the FF345 with your system and installing it within six (6) inches of your existing smoke detector or CO sensor, you can indirectly "takeover" the existing unit and have it operate as a true life-safety sensor on your system.

Normally, the FF345 operates on the same 345 MHz wireless frequency as the Honeywell 5800 Sensors. This makes it compatible with the Honeywell Lyric, the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, any Honeywell VISTA Panel with an added wireless receiver, the 2GIG Panels, and the 345 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Recent reports have indicated that a new batch of FF345 sensors is not compatible with the aforementioned Honeywell Panels. We also believe that compatibility with the 345 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus may be affected, though this has not been tested or confirmed. Our understanding is that these sensors will still work just fine with the 2GIG Panels, including the 2GIG GC2, 2GIG GC2e, 2GIG GC3, and 2GIG GC3e.

Alarm Grid is currently having conversations with the manufacturer and our suppliers to determine a solution to this problem. We understand that many of our customers rely on FF345 devices to takeover existing hardwired smoke detectors and CO detectors. This problem is of great concern to us, as we strive to provide our customers with a simple and effective solution for integrating life-safety sensors with their systems. We will provide further updates as we learn more.

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About a month ago, Alarm.com started a special demand response program for Baltimore Gas & Electric customers who use Alarm.com for smart thermostat control. We are now proud to say that a similar cost-savings program is now open to customers of LA Dept. of Water & Power (LADWP).


Demand response programs, such as the one between ADC and LADWP, are designed to help mitigate demand for electricity during peak hours. Alarm.com customers who enroll in this new program can earn valuable rewards, including credits that go towards their energy bills. These savings will be in addition to the cost-saving benefits of owning a smart thermostat in the first place. This program is virtually identical to the previous partnership between Alarm.com and Baltimore Gas & Electric, which you can read about here.

By enrolling in this program, you will be allowing LADWP to make small temperature adjustments to any smart thermostat that has been enrolled with your Alarm.com account. These temperature adjustments are expected to be very small and only occur during peak demand hours, such as during a hot summer afternoon, when nearly everyone is expected to be running an AC system. This program is completely optional, and no additional equipment is required. You just need to be both an LADWP customer and an Alarm.com customer with a smart thermostat enrolled on your system.

All Alarm.com customers who use one or more smart thermostat devices with their accounts should soon be receiving a notification about this new programming through both the Alarm.com website and mobile app sometime in the near future. This will include information on getting started. If you sill have any additional questions about this program, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. You might also want to contact your energy provider directly to see if there are any similar demand response programs available in your area. We look forward to hearing from you!

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