Product Announcements Posts

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Alarm Grid has reduced the price on almost all of our VISTA GSMs!

Our best selling dual path unit, the iGSMV4G has gone from $239.99 to 190.99. If you need the upgrade chips, the iGSMV4G-TC2, has gone from $252.99 to $199.99. A 20% reduction across the board. It is now the same cost to go dual path with an upgrade chip as it would be to do GSM only!

The GSMV4G was $213.99 and is now $187.99 (12% reduction). If you need the upgrade kit, the GSMV4G-TC2, it's gone from $239.00 to 199.99, a 16% reduction in price.

The at-the-panel communicator has seen a big reduction as well. While we generally try recommend the GSMV4G units to any new customers since they do not require you to do a power calculation, there are people who prefer to use a device that goes on the panel itself. For you, the GSMX4G or the upgrade kit the GSMX4G-TC2 are the perfect option - not to mention the GSMX series communicators is seeing our biggest price reduction. From 200.99 to 141.99 for the GSMX4G, and from 213.99 to 154.99 for the GSMX4G-TC2, the units have been cut in price by 29% and 28% respectively.

These options are great for anyone who wants to add a little bit extra security to their system for a modest amount of money. For those who aren't sure whether they want to add cellular monitoring to their system, but definitely want to be monitored over IP in the short term, rather than purchasing the 7847i, which is the IP communicator option for VISTA panels, the iGSMV4G will allow for single path monitoring as well as dual path monitoring thus allowing maximum flexibility to any alarm system owner.

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The iGSMV4G is the dual path monitoring communicator for the VISTA series panels (except the VISTA 21iP which uses the VISTA-GSM4G). Until recently, the iGSMV4G could only be used as a dual path communicator or as a cellular communicator. But since the upgrade to 2.12, the communicator now has the ability to be used as an IP-only communicator as well.


So why would anyone want to buy a dual path communicator if they want just IP monitoring or just GSM monitoring? Very simple. The VISTA 20P, 15P, and 10P cannot be setup to run both a GSMV4G and the 7847i - the cellular and IP communicators respectively. Until now, an user must pick either one path or two. The only way to switch from one path to two if it's something an user would want to do in the future, was to replace the entire communicator.

But not anymore!

Now, for $139.99, an user can purchase the 7847i, which will lock them to IP. Or, for an extra $70, the user can add the option to add GSM at some point in the future should they want to. For those who think there is even a slight chance that they might want to use the cellular communication pathway, the new and improved iGSMV4G is a great choice.

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The l5210 security system looks a lot like a shrunken down Honeywell L7000, but it has the stripped down features of the L5200. In an effort to consolidate the look of the LYNX Touch units, Honeywell is downsizing the screen to 4-1/3 inches on the new unit, making it compatible with the new low-light AlarmNet camera, and making it compatible with the soon to be announced IPCAM-PT2, which will be the new generation of Alarmnet's pan tilt camera. We're told that it also supports the ZXT 120 IR Thermostat.

Honeywell is calling the L5210, an enhanced version of the L5200. But what it's addition features will be we are not sure of yet. That said, considering the award winning features of the 5200, we are excited to see what is delivered. As to whether Honeywell will continue production of the larger screened L5200, we are also not sure yet.

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Back in January of 2013, we discussed the compatibility issues with earlier revisions of the VISTA-21iP alarm system with the VISTA-GSM4G. Traditionally, Honeywell creates a new firmware revision to clearly mark which panels are compatible with specific features. In this case, we found out that revision 3.13 had some panels that supported the 4G communicator and others that did not.

At the time, we explained that Honeywell started tagging the panels with stickers that read, "Supports VISTA-GSM4G." Although Honeywell offers PROM chip upgrades for the VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P there are no PROM upgrades for the VISTA-21iP. The update meant that VISTA-21iP owners without this sticker would need to upgrade their entire alarm panel in order to integrate 4G cellular connectivity.

 The biggest factor in this discussion is the "2G sunset." AT&T announced that they have already started phasing out their GSM 2G cellular network. The kicker is that every 2G cell tower in the nation will be upgraded by the end of 2016. This may have seemed far way but it is only around the corner. So this discussion relates to any VISTA-21iP system owner using cellular communication; not just those looking to upgrade to a faster 4G communicator. The original post seemed like a doomsday if your panel did not have the sticker. Well think again...

Now for the good news! The VISTA-GSM4G is considered an internal communicator for the VISTA-21iP. It is designed to be used as a backup to the built-in IP communicator. However it can be used as a stand alone cellular communicator as well. The important thing here is that the VISTA-21iP supports external Honeywell communicators as well.

The GSMV4G is an external cellular communicator which can be used with any VISTA-21iP revision. If you plan to use the internet as your primary communication path with cellular as secondary, you can use the iGSMV4G instead. In order to tell your panel to use an external communication path you need to disable the internal communications by physically moving a jumper pin on the board. 

There is an "Internal IP/GSM Jumper" that is in the 'on' position by default. This jumper powers the internal communicators: Internet communicator on the panel, the VISTA-GSM4G or both if you have a dual path setup. The jumper is located just beneath the RJ-45 jack which can be found on the top left side of the board. In the 'on' position, the panel powers the internal communicators. In the 'off' position, the panel cuts off power to the internal comm paths.

If you would like to use an external communication path like the iGSMV4G you must power down the system and move the jumper to the 'off' position. Doing this will shut down both the IP and GSM internal communication paths. So if you were already using the on board IP communicator simply disconnect the ethernet cable from the panel and land it on the iGSMV4G!

Similar to a wired keypad, external communicators require a 4 wire connection to the panel's ECP bus which is located on terminals 4-7 on the VISTA-21iP. There is a power connection on terminals 4 and 5 on the panel and a data connection on terminals 6 and 7 on the panel. Although the communicator is already connected to ECP power, it still requires an AC power connection on terminals 1 and 2 of the communicator.

The GSMV4G and iGSMV4G are shipped with their own Honeywell 1361 AC transformer. You can wire the communicator directly to the transformer or you can use a shared transformer with the panel. If you do the shared transformer setup, you need to swap in the beefier 1361 that comes with the communicator. Simply swap the wired connections over to the new transformer. Then land terminals 1 and 2 from the communicator on terminals 1 and 2 on the panel. You can land them in parallel, right on top of the existing connections to the transformer. 

We have made available detailed instructions for installing the iGSMV4G. The wiring is exactly the same for the GSMV4G. The only difference is that you need to connect an Ethernet cable on the RJ-45 port on the iGSMV4G. 

We've already begun to see an increase in people with the older non-4G capable VISTA-21iP panels asking us for upgrade opportunities. We don't like being the bearers of bad news and having to tell those people that they need an entire new alarm control panel and a new cellular communicator so we have begun offering this as a less expensive alternative to upgrade to 4G cellular communications.

While Honeywell engineers didn't design the original VISTA-21iP panel with the option to support the future VISTA-GSM4G communicators, the flexible design of the 21iP, which allows for an internal or external communicator means that their oversight won't have to cost you anymore than the price of a new external 4G communicator.

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Honeywell has released the newest revisions for the Tuxedo Touch WIFI, and there are some really exciting new additions. The most notable, perhaps, is the much anticipated voice command feature. When announced at ISC, most of us thought that the Tuxedo Touch with Voice control was going to be an altogether new Tuxedo Touch much like the other voice-enabled keypads in the Honeywell wired series like the 6162V. Instead, Honeywell is making the feature available to anyone with a Tuxedo Touch WIFI installed in their home.

For now the feature is pretty limited, but it is neat, nonetheless. Using commands such as "Bedtime," "Evening Time," "Leaving the House," "Returning Home," "Wake Up," and "Cameras," an user can arm the system, control scenes, and summon Zombies....

Ok, maybe not zombies, but the other stuff is all true.

The new revision update has a lot more than just voice capabilities though. Local video recording lets an user record 2 minute videos using the installed SD card. As much video as the card has capacity to store can be put on the system. Perhaps the most value-add feature is the increase in scenes from 10 to 30. Accompanying the increase is the ability to group like-Z-Wave devices, which makes scenes way more powerful and the programming of Z-wave devices much more intuitive and fast (a really good feature if you've ever had to do it.

We are working on some articles on how to install the new update, so check back here in a little while. We will have more information as we get it.

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Honeywell 4GL

The new Honeywell 4GL communicator released from Honeywell is an updated 4G communicator made specifically for the Honeywell L7000 security system. To date, Honeywell's GSMVLP5-4G has been the cellular communicator for the LYNX Touch units. And while the GSMVLP5-4G will work inside of the L5200 security system, that older communicator will not work int he new, bigger L7000 systems.

Because the 4GL works for both the L7000 and the L5200 we will be shipping it with all kits for both units as soon as our supply of GSMVLP5-4Gs is exhausted. In the meantime, the L5200 kits will come with the older communicator.

If you have the older Honeywell L5100, the GSMVLP5-4G isn't going away any time soon. So if you are interested in upgrading your system to take advantage of all that the cellular communication pathway has to offer, you will be able to do that for the foreseeable future as. Just make sure to get the right communicator for your system.

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If you're just down from yesterday's loss by America's World Cup soccer team, maybe this news will help cheer you up! Honeywell has finally released its award winning L7000 to the public, after tantalizing the DIY community with little previews since early November 2013. If the L5200's roaringly successful debut is any indication, the L7000's release is likely to be met with unprecedented eagerness by alarm system enthusiasts.

Just coming off winning the ESX's "Best in Show" award, the L7000 may be the most impressive security system released to date by any company ever. The L7000 is really very similar to its one month old predecessor, the L5200. But for its large 7-inch display, ability to handle many more zones, and the fact that it's capable of monitoring up to 4 cameras (the L5200 can monitor only one), the L7000 is the slightly souped up version of an already impressive line of wireless security panels.

"While the L5200 is the system most people need, the L7000 is perfect for DIYers with big homes, or needs that are outside of the scope of the L5200," said Joshua Unseth, Alarm Grid's director of marketing. "We have made all the resources available for these units, so that anyone who wants to install the system on their own can do it very easily."

Alarm Grid's free resources have become well-known among security system enthusiasts. The Alarm Grid videos are given regular mentions in Amazon reviews and are regularly cited by customers as the impetus for choosing Alarm Grid. Unseth says that, along with their comprehensive list of frequently asked security system questions, the rich set of resources Alarm Grid provides is their biggest source of leads. "We believe that giving away everything that a consumer needs to know about their security system is the best way to build trust with consumers who are rightly mistrustful of this industries."

Alarm Grid's President, Sterling Donnelly said, "The L7000 security system might be new, but we have spent the last several months using it, testing it, and troubleshooting it. As consumers begin working with this new piece of equipment, they will quickly see how valuable having our resources at their fingerprints is." That said, Donnelly emphasized that Honeywell seems to have invested a lot into understanding the user experience. "Honeywell designed a panel that is easy to use, and hard to set up incorrectly. We don't anticipate consumers having many problems using the L7000. It's interface is the same as the L5200, and consumers have found that system to be both simple and reliable."

Honeywell's standards for equipment manufacturing are well-known, and the L7000 is no different. UL listed, the panel boasts every security feature under the sun including Advanced Protection Logic (APL), the ability to stream Total Connect cameras live over the local WIFI network using the l5100-WIFI modules and more. The system's flash upgradeable, just like the L5200, which makes the panel resistant to future updates. "This might be the most important change Honeywell has made to these systems, with regard to cost," said Donnelly. "While hardware limitations are always frustrating for users when a new product comes out and obsoletes an old product, Honeywell seems committed to making sure their consumers are able to continually update their panel for new features. Ultimately, this is good news for anyone putting a Honeywell panel in their house."

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For the consumer looking to get the most out of their security system, the Honeywell L7000 is the most highly anticipated security system ever released by Honeywell. The L7000 is the biggest, most comprehensive system ever issued by the company, and it boasts more features than any consumer security panel has ever contained out of the box. For those reasons, the panel has already won plenty of the industry's most important awards, even being named the winner of ISC's 2014 Best in Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions.

While the L7000 is not yet out, we at Alarm Grid are very excited about the panel, and are eagerly awaiting the day that it is made available to the general public. For those who do not need a 7-inch screen, and do not need the extra camera or zones available in the L7000, the already released L5200 has almost the exact same feature set. It's a little bit smaller, and does not have the capability to monitor as many zones as the L7000, but it is ready to go, and every bit as functional.

That said, for those who are interested in a rundown of the unit, we have prepared a short video describing the L7000's incredible array of features.

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Honeywell VAM

The VISTA Automation Module (VAM) may be Honeywell's most anticipated wired system accessory in years. Previously, those who owned wired systems were stuck paying the hefty price of a Tuxedo Touch WIFI if they wanted to take advantage of Z-Wave capabilities available to Honeywell security system users. The nearly $500 price tag has been a point of criticism for years, as users have flocked to wireless systems such as the L5200 where they can gain access to the convenience of Z-wave home automation with a simple $25 Z-wave ready circuit board that can be installed in seconds. But Honeywell's commitment to making systems more affordable and more DIY friendly seems to have given way to VAM which acts as a simple Z-Wave controller for their VISTA series panels.

If you are one of the numerous customers who have always wanted to take advantage of the home automation advantages of a Z-Wave system, but aren't ready to pay the huge expense of a Tuxedo Touch? Then today is your lucky day! The VAM, which is basically just the guts of the Tuxedo Touch without a screen, will get you where you need to go for a much more affordable price. Get yours today, to unlock the power of your VISTA when enhanced with Z-Wave automation products!

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Although the LYNX Touch has a built-in 95dB siren it never hurts to beef up your audible output in the event of an alarm. Sirens are a great way to scare off intruders and inform any neighboring parties that an alarm event is in progress. Before the release of Alarm Grid's LYNX-EXT external siren kit, compiling the necessary parts for installing an external sounder was complicated and cumbersome. Now you can simply pick up this kit and be on your way to adding sirens to your wireless alarm system. When it comes time to install, check out the LYNX external sounder installation manual which has a detailed wiring diagram. You can also check out our FAQ: How do I add an external siren to my LYNX Touch wireless security system?

The Honeywell 5800RL wireless relay allows you to place the siren power assembly in the included Meir metal cabinet where it is most convenient and effective without any wiring runs back to the panel. The included Honeywell AD12612 auxiliary power supply has a max output of 1.2 amps which can power the brawny Amseco SSX-52S outdoor siren/strobe. You may want to just keep it simple by connecting a bullhorn style siren like the Honeywell 702 in your attic or outside the premises. There is also an included Honeywell 1361 AC transformer and an Ultratech 1240 battery backup unit which will carry low voltage DC to the power supply and keep it from losing power during outages.

Forget piecing together a kit of your own. Pick up an Alarm Grid LYNX-EXT external siren kit today and save your precious time and money!

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