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Hi DIYers! Today, we are reviewing the Encore FireFighter FF345 and the Interlogix SLX-AD-T3 takeover modules. These are both listening devices that are used with life-safety sensors. They allow end users to easily integrate any existing life-safety sensors with their alarm systems.


Obviously, a sensor can only work with a system if the system is able to detect signals that are sent out from the sensor. For many existing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, they may not be able to communicate successfully with a panel. This is often because they are hardwired building smoke detectors that aren't designed to integrate with a newly installed system. Or they could be standalone, battery-powered devices that do not send out wireless communication signals for communicating with a wireless receiver. In any case, these devices are unable to integrate with an alarm system through a conventional method.

However, a takeover module like the FF345 or the SLX-AD-T3 will allow these devices to be used as a part of a complete alarm system. The user will not need to change their existing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in any way. Instead, they can simply install an FF345 or an SLX-AD-T3 next to any existing life-safety sensor. They can then program the FF345 or the SLX-AD-T3 as though it were a regular life-safety sensor that is compatible with their system.

When their smoke detector or their carbon monoxide sensor is activated, it will still produce a sound to alert anyone in the building. The way that the FF345 and SLX-AD-T3 work is that they actively listen for this specific type of sound. Once the FF345 or SLX-AD-T3 hears the sound and realizes that the life-safety sensor has been activated, it will send an immediate alert to the panel. The system will then respond in the same way as if a programmed life-safety sensor had been activated. If the user is monitored with a central station, this will usually mean automatic emergency dispatch.

Whether a user gets the FF345 or the SLX-AD-T3 will depend on what type of system they have. If their system supports 345 MHz sensors (e.g. Honeywell, 2GIG), they will get the FF345. If their system supports 319.5 MHz sensors (e.g. Interlogix/GE, Qolsys), they will get the SLX-AD-T3. But both sensors will provide the same great type of functionality and reliability.

Both the FF345 and the SLX-AD-T3 can be purchased from the Alarm Grid website. Get one to provide top-quality fire and carbon monoxide protection for your home or business.

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Hi DIYers! Our YouTube Channel uploaded a sound clip that mimics the sound of breaking glass. This sound clip can be used to test various glass break detectors for proper function. This includes both external glass break sensors and the internal glass break sensor for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2.


Although this might just sound like a generic glass break effect, it was actually specifically designed for testing glass break sensors. It includes both the low-pitched "thud" of an object striking against the glass, as well as the high-pitched "shattering" sound that is most commonly associated with breaking glass.

In order to test one of your glass break sensors, start by putting your system on test mode with the central station. Next, pull up the YouTube clip on your phone, and set your phone's volume to its highest setting. Then play the clip in its entirety while you are within the detection range of your glass break sensor. If successful, the sensor will send an alert to the control panel to let it know that it has been activated. You might want to test the sensor from multiple locations to make sure that it will properly respond to glass breaking from different directions.

Keep in mind that if the glass break sensor does not activate during testing, it does not necessarily mean that your glass break sensor isn't working properly. It may just need to have its settings adjusted, or you may need to change its location. Also, it's very important to mention that we recommend using a conventional glass break simulator, such as a Honeywell FG701 or an Interlogix 5709C-W if possible. This sound clip is only alternative option if a user has no other way of testing their sensor. Although the clip should work well, it will not work as effectively as a legitimate testing device.

We hope this clip will be helpful for users who need to test their glass break sensors. If you need any help, please contact us at 888-818-7728 M-F from 9am to 8pm EST or email us any time at support@alarmgrid.com.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the Honeywell Lyric C1. This is an affordable and effective security camera that makes for a solid addition to any home. It is very easy to set up, and it offers 720P HD streaming in real time. Overall, the C1 is a great camera for basic indoor use.

Honeywell lyric c1 wifi indoor 720p hd total connect security ca

The Honeywell Lyric C1 is part of the Honeywell Lyric HD Camera Series. These are are the latest cameras designed for use with Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 interactive service platform. They are great for anyone with a Honeywell Panel and access to Total Connect who wants to get started with security cameras. Although the name "Lyric" implies that these cameras are designed for use with the Honeywell Lyric Controller, they also make great additions for the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels and Honeywell VISTA Series Panels. The user just needs access to Total Connect 2.0 and an alarm monitoring plan with video surveillance.

Although there is no way to view the live feed for the camera right from the panel, a user can access the live feed from Total Connect 2.0. This includes both the website version and the mobile app version for Android and iOS devices. The mobile app functionality is particularly impressive, as the user can pull up their Android or Apple smartphone and view the live feed for their Lyric C1 from virtually anywhere in the world! This is ideal for a person to get a quick view of their home while they are away.

Out of the Honeywell Lyric HD Cameras, which also includes the 1080P Lyric C2 and the outdoor Lyric OC1, the Lyric C1 represents the most affordable option. It is a 720P HD camera designed for indoor use. While it can be mounted to a wall, it can also be conveniently rested on a table or a desk. As a result, no tools are needed to install this camera. The user just needs to pair it with their Total Connect account. This simple process is outlined in this helpful FAQ.

Some features for the Lyric C1 include its 135° viewing angle and its night vision range of 16.5 feet. It is best-suited for small to medium sized rooms where it will be able to pick up any activity that occurs in dark settings. Many self-monitored users will set up the device near a smoke detector so that they can see if there truly is a fire in their home before contacting the fire department. It can also be useful for determining it an intruder is really present after a motion sensor has been triggered. Indeed, there are many fantastic possibilities from this simple, yet effective camera.

The Lyric C1 is available for purchase from Alarm Grid right now. Get started with video surveillance or expand upon your current camera lineup with this affordable, yet surprisingly robust, home security camera!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the VERSA-2GIG and VERSA-GE Door and Window Contacts. These are actually both Honeywell 5800MINI Sensors that have been reconfigured to communicate at different frequencies. They offer an affordable solution for monitoring doors and windows.

Versa 2gig honeywell lyric and 2gig compatible sensor powThe VERSA-2GIG, VERSA-GE and 5800MINI all provide the same operation that a user would expect out of any standard door and window contact. The device functions using a sensor and an included magnet. The sensor should be mounted on the stationary portion of the door or window frame. The magnet should be mounted on the moving part of the door or window, within a half-inch of the sensor. Both can be mounted using screws or with double-sided foam tape. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will result in an internal reed switch inside the sensor being activated. The sensor will then know that the door or window has been opened, and it will send an alert to the security system.

The main difference between the VERSA-2GIG, VERSA-GE and the 5800MINI is the frequency at which each sensor communicates. The 5800MINI communicates at the 345 MHz frequency that is used with all Honeywell 5800 Series Devices. This makes it compatible with all Honeywell Systems (with compatible wireless receivers) and 2GIG Systems. The VERSA-2GIG operates at a similar frequency, but it is more like the 2GIG Sensors. The device will work with 2GIG Systems and the Honeywell Lyric Controller after receiving firmware update MR3. Both the 5800MINI and the VERSA-2GIG will work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughterboard. As for the VERSA-GE, it operates at 319.5 MHz. This makes it compatible with the Interlogix/GE Systems and any Qolsys System with a 319.5 MHz Daughterboard. This includes the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus with 319.5 MHz Daughterboard.

The only other difference between the two VERSA Sensors and the Honeywell 5800MINI is that the VERSA Sensors program in as Loop 2, while the Honeywell 5800MINI programs with Loop 1 when used as a contact. Also, the VERSA Sensors cost significantly less than the 5800MINI. This makes the VERSA Sensors the preferred option if both sensors are compatible with their system. Other than that they are the same sensor. Both devices measure in at 2.2"L X 1.0"W X 0.25"H. This makes them extremely discreet and unobtrusive once installed. And of course, the VERSA Sensors are extremely easy to program in with any compatible panel.

Versa 2gig honeywell lyric and 2gig compatible sensor powBoth versions of the VERSA Sensors - the VERSA-2GIG and VERSA-GE - are available for purchase right now. And for users of a Honeywell LYNX Touch or Honeywell VISTA, the 5800MINI is still available as well. You can get all of these excellent sensors from Alarm Grid. Protect the doors and windows your home with these versatile and reliable sensors!

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With the looming threat of Hurricane Michael and the recent events of Hurricane Florence, we sometimes hear concerned reports from customers wondering if their home or business will remain monitored during an emergency. We want all our customers to rest assured that they absolutely will.

The reason that we can guarantee active monitoring service for our customers is thanks to our partner Criticom Monitoring Services and the three central stations that they operate across the country. Criticom runs monitoring stations in Florida, New Jersey and California. If one station ever goes down due to an emergency or a natural disaster, the calls will be automatically rerouted to one of the other stations. Regardless of which CMS Station receives an alert, the local authorities in the customer's area will always be notified in the event of an alarm. The only requirement is that the panel can successfully send out communication signals. As long as the panel is communicating reliably, CMS will receive the alert every time.

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There's a good reason we chose CMS as our monitoring partner. They provide the most dependable and most reliable monitoring services in the country. We don't cut corners by working with a company that only operates from one location. With their three locations, Criticom will continue to operate. Should one location go down, the other two will be there to pick up the slack. There was even a precedent for this in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Northeastern part of the country. Although the CMS location in New Jersey was put out of commission for a few days, the offices in Florida and California were there to make sure that all of the people they protect day-in and day-out continued to receive the highest-level of monitoring services that they have come to expect.

We know that the Hurricane Season can be a nerve-wracking time for many people. Even if a storm doesn't strike your home or business, you never know if it could strike your monitoring company. But with Alarm Grid and Criticom Monitoring Services, there's no need to worry. However, you can do your part as well. Make sure you sign-up for a cellular monitoring plan so that your system utilizes the most reliable communication possible. Remember, unlike WIFI, cellular service doesn't go down as soon as the power goes out. It's also a good idea to keep multiple backup batteries on hand. If your home is hit by a storm and you experience an extended power outage, you will need the backup batteries to keep your system running. Many people in hurricane-prone areas keep a generator on hand to run important equipment, such as alarm systems, refrigerators, phone chargers and more.

Don't let hurricane season take away your peace of mind. Alarm Grid and Criticom are here to keep you safe at all times, even through a dangerous storm or disaster.

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Hi DIYers! We have another product highlight for you today. We're taking a look at the DSC PG9994 Wireless Outdoor Motion Sensor. This motion detector is part of the PowerG lineup, and it operates at 915 MHz. This makes it compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Alarm Systems.

Dsc pg9994 powerg 915mhz wireless outdoor motion detector

The PG9994 operates much like any other passive infrared (PIR) motion detector. It takes a base reading of any infrared energy in the area. Movement in the area will cause a change in infrared energy. The PG9994 is designed to detect this energy change and alert the security system when it occurs. The sensor offers various functions and features to reduce false alarms, while still being able to detect human intruders with exceptional precision. Since it is an outdoor sensor, the PG9994 is prepared to stand up to any rain, wind, dust or high temperatures that may be present in the local area. It is truly the perfect motion sensor for use in harsh conditions.

Inside the PG9994 are eight individual PIR sensors, and each sensor acts as a quad detector. This allows the sensor to properly recognize when a human is present, as opposed to another source of motion like a swaying tree branch. The device also uses advanced motion analysis to to consider the time, amplitude, background temperature and speed of any motion that is detected. This allows it to better distinguish between humans and other possible motion sources. The device provides pet-immunity for small animals weighing up to 40 pounds when it is mounted properly.

To reduce false alarms caused by sunlight and other infrared sources, the PG9994 makes use of a reflective, nickel-based surface. This serves as a useful optical filter against any white light that may be present. Meanwhile, the device also uses mirror optical capability to achieve an extended detection range and increased sensitivity when needed. Additionally, the unique V-Slot technology of the PG9994 makes it nearly impossible for any intruders to disable the device. The PG9994 also includes a tamper switch for alerting the system if anyone tries to open the sensor.

As a PowerG Sensor, the DSC PG9994 will work from a maximum distance of up to 2 kilometers away in open air. Plus, 128-bit AES encryption will make it nearly impossible for others to perform any wireless hacking attempts on the sensor.

The PG9994 is available for purchase from Alarm Grid now. Monitor your property with this powerful and versatile PowerG Sensor!

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Hi DIYers! We would like to announce that the Honeywell LTE-XA AT&T LTE Communicator for Honeywell VISTA Alarm Systems is now available for purchase on our website. This is the perfect solution for Honeywell VISTA users who are unable to get reliable Verizon LTE service in their area.

Alarm Grid already offers the LTE-XV for connecting a VISTA Panel to the Verizon LTE Network. But now, the LTE-XA Communicator presents users with an alternative option for getting their system monitored. This is very important for VISTA users who live in areas where Verizon service isn't the best. Now they will have the option of connecting with the AT&T LTE Network instead.

As an LTE communicator, the LTE-XA will provide fast transmission speeds and highly consistent communication with the AlarmNet360 servers. This communicator also allows the system to function with the Total Connect 2.0 service. A user can access this platform to arm and disarm their system, check the current status of sensors, control Z-Wave smart home devices and more. Please note that an appropriate alarm monitoring plan is needed.

Alarm Grid also offers the LTEXA-TC2 Upgrade Kit. This kit includes both the LTE-XA Communicator and the latest VISTA 15P and 20P PROM Chips for supporting the module. Any VISTA System that is not running firmware revision 9.12 or higher needs a PROM chip upgrade in order to be used with the Total Connect 2.0 service. With this kit, the system will receive the necessary upgrade, and it will obtain fast and reliable LTE communication from AT&T.

It is important to mention that there is currently no way to get dual-path (IP and cellular) communication on a VISTA System using LTE communication. Although dual-path is always the preferred option, a standalone LTE cellular radio will still provide consistent and reliable monitoring service for the user. And the user will receive the benefit of having the system remain monitored even as older cellular networks are slowly phased out. With LTE, a user is taking steps to future-proof their system.

Both the standalone LTE-XA Radio and the upgrade kit with PROM Chips are available now. Get your VISTA System connected for top-quality alarm monitoring services!

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Hi DIYers! Today we're taking a look at a classic Honeywell 5800 Series Sensor. The Honeywell 5820L Wireless Slim Line Door and Window Sensor is known for being one of the easiest to use and effective contacts around. Its slim profile makes it ideal for use with sliding doors and windows.

Honeywell 5820l super slim wireless door and window sensorThe 5820L provides the same function as virtually any wireless door and window sensor. But its long, thin profile makes it perfect for certain applications. The way that the sensor works is fairly standard. The sensor has an integrated reed switch, and it is installed alongside a separate magnet that comes included. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor and cause the internal reed switch to activate. The sensor will then send an alert to the alarm system. As a 345 MHz sensor, the 5820L will work with most wireless Honeywell and 2GIG Panels. It will also work with the new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz daughtercard.

What separates the 5820L from other 345 MHz contacts is its slim profile. This makes it exceptional for use with sliding doors and windows where a smaller sensor is needed. Even better is that the sensor is extremely easy to install by mounting it with double-sided foam tape. This means that no drilling or nails are needed to securely mount the sensor. And since the device uses a single AAA battery with an average battery life of 10 years, keeping the 5820L powered is a breeze. The one downside to the sensor is that it features are relatively short wireless range of about 150 feet. But a user can effectively double this range to 300 feet with the use of a Honeywell 5800RP Wireless Repeater.

The Honeywell 5820L is available for purchase from Alarm Grid now. Protect your sliding doors and windows with this versatile sensor!

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Hi DIYers! Since its inception in 2012, Alarm Grid has prided itself in being the premier no-contract option for home security. We believe that the no-contract model provides a better experience and greater flexibility for customers. Let's take a look at why no-contract monitoring is ideal.

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No-contract alarm monitoring is exactly what it sounds like. It means that the customer is not locked into any contract, and they are free to terminate their monitoring service at any time. Alarm Grid also does not charge any fees for cancelling service. The only thing keeping a customer with us is the simple fact that we provide the best monitoring service and customer support at a fair price. If a customer no longer wants to receive monitoring service, or if they find another company who they believe can do it better, they can leave whenever they would like. It's this level of freedom and versatility that has helped make Alarm Grid what it is today.

At first glance, an alarm monitoring contract might not seem like a big deal. A customer might think that they can just wait out the duration of their contract and then take their system to a different alarm monitoring company later. Unfortunately, it isn't always this easy and simple. Some monitoring contracts can run for several years, and the only way to escape the alarm contract is usually to pay a potentially costly cancellation fee. Plus, many alarm companies use proprietary equipment that can only be used with that particular company. Or they may refuse to release the communicator or provide the Installer Code for the system if the customer leaves. Even if you received the panel for free, it might not do any good if the system only works with that company. Recently, we have even heard of monitoring contracts specifically stating that the company would not be legally required to release the communicator even after the alarm contract expires!

However, Alarm Grid does not play these games. The equipment that we offer is all non-proprietary. It can be used with any alarm monitoring company that is willing to register it. We also encourage our customers to use the default Installer Codes for their systems so that they are empowered. They won't get locked out of programming, and they will be able to take their system to a new monitoring company if they choose to do so. And if a customer ever does decide to leave Alarm Grid, we will absolutely release the communicator for their system so that it can be easily reused. This is your system, not ours. You are free to do whatever you would like with it.

The one thing Alarm Grid will never do is trap its customers. We know that our service is the best, and we don't need to force our customers to stick with us. If an Alarm Grid customer wakes up one day and realizes that our service isn't for them, they are free to leave. We won't hold it against them. But they won't have that level of freedom with alarm monitoring companies that use contracts.

Make the smart choice. Choose Alarm Grid no-contract monitoring so that you are in control of your monitoring service. We're sure that you'll love what we have to offer. And if you don't, then you can leave at no cost. Please check out our monitoring page for more information about our no-contract monitoring plans.

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Hi DIYers! We are excited to announce that Lutron Smart Lighting Devices are now available for purchase on the Alarm Grid website. Lutron is one of the leaders in smart lighting and home automation. Their products are perfect for users who want to achieve an automated home lighting setup.

Lutron uses its own smart wireless communications protocol that is different from WIFI and other home automation signals like Z-Wave. The Lutron signal is specifically designed to not interfere with these communication signals. We have found that the Lutron wireless protocol is one of the most reliable and consistent signals for use with smart lighting and home automation. These devices can truly make a user's life easier, giving them complete and total control of their lights.

The centerpiece of a Lutron Smart Lighting System is the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge. This is what makes remote access and control possible for a Lutron device. All Lutron Lighting Devices will integrate with this central hub for access and control. Some of the smart home assistants and platforms that can be used with Lutron include Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Nest and Sonos. Whenever a command is sent out through one of these platforms, it will first pass through the Lutron Bridge before being forwarded to the specific device. Voice commands for Lutron Devices are possible when used with Apple HomeKit, Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Some of the Lutron Devices that can connect with the Lutron Smart Bridge include the Lutron In-Wall Light Dimmer Switch for hardwired lights (no travel wire required) and the Lutron Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module for lamps and floor lights. These devices can all be controlled remotely from virtually anywhere using the Lutron App or Apple HomeKit. They can also be operated by on-site users by using a Lutron Pico Remote. There's also an audio Pico Remote specifically designed for use with Sonos Sound Systems. And with the Lutron App, a user can even have their lights activate based on the Geofencing location of their smartphone!

By using a Lutron System with a Honeywell Lyric Controller (MR7 firmware update required) and Apple HomeKit, a user can even have their Lutron Devices activate with certain security events. For example, a might have all of their Lutron Smart Lights set to turn on when they return home and disarm their Lyric Alarm System. This is the best way to integrate a Lutron Smart Lighting System with a home security system.

Please note that Lutron integration with Alarm.com is only possible with the L-BDGPRO2 Smart Bridge PRO. If you are looking for the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge PRO 2 that can integrate with Alarm.com, it can be purchased here.

Lutron Products are available now on the Alarm Grid site. Obtain a robust and complete smart lighting setup for your home!

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