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ISC West, the security industry's largest trade show, was held this week in Las Vegas. This is the first year since the COVID-19 outbreak that the show is being held in person. We didn't attend the show this year, but based on what we've seen, JCI and Qolsys won the ISC West show in 2022.

Qolsys:

IQ Pro

Qolsys, Inc. which was acquired by Johnson Controls in 2020, premiered two brand new products, and reintroduced one more. The IQ Pro Panel is a hybrid wired and wireless system which targets large homes, and medium to large businesses. It combines the reliability of hardwired components with the range and versatility of the DSC PowerG Sensor lineup. The product is planned for release in Summer, 2022.

There is very little information available about the IQ Pro. The Press Release announcing the product, which was released by Johnson Controls, didn't even say for certain that it would be a Qolsys branded product, though with 'IQ' as a part of the name, we assume it will be. This panel will combine elements of the IQ Panel 4 with the DSC PowerSeries Neo, and a little bit of customer feedback thrown in. A couple of things we do know, the IQ Pro will offer the choice of either Ethernet or WIFI connectivity along with LTE. This panel has been designed with Alarm.com for Business in mind, to take advantage of all the extended features offered there.

IQ WIFI 6

The Qolsys IQ WIFI 6 was actually first introduced to us here at Alarm Grid last year. It is a product we thought was going to released then, but it was introduced at ISC West and should be available in Summer, along with the IQ Pro. The IQ WIFI 6 is is a router that uses 802.11 1/b/g/n/ac/ax WIFI-6 technology. It offers dual-end 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz MIMO mesh architecture on a Qualcomm Networking Pro 400 platform. It will integrate with Qolsys touchscreen panels, to allow a user to administer the network from there.

The IQ WIFI 6 will offer four (4) network partitions, including a Guest Network and a dedicated network for the end-user's WIFI devices. Both of these will switch automatically between 2.4 GHz and 5GHz for seamless optimization of WIFI performance. In addition to these partitions, there are two (2) private network partitions to be used by security and/or networking providers. By separating the security, surveillance, and smart home devices from the rest of the network, professional providers can cut down on disruptions caused by user error.

IQ Hub

The Qolsys IQ Hub has actually already been released, in a limited fashion within the last six (6) months or so. Presumably due to supply chain issues, Qolsys has tightly controlled how many of these panels are shipped, but now, based on a press release this week, it seems like they may be looking to perform a wider release. The IQ Hub differs from the IQ Panel 4 in several ways, one of which is that each panel will only support one RF product line. There is a PowerG version with either an AT&T or Verizon communicator. This is the only version that has been released at this time. Soon however, there will be a version that supports unencrypted, uni-directional Honeywell and 2GIG wireless sensors, one that supports unencrypted, uni-directional Interlogix and all Qolsys wireless sensors, and a version that supports uni-directional DSC 433 MHz wireless sensors.

Resideo:

Cellbounce

Resideo and Honeywell Home brought the Cellbounce to ISC West. This device will bridge communicators that work on the AT&T 3G network over to the AT&T LTE network, without having to replace the device. This is a plug-n-play device. It connects to an outlet within range, which is 25' (7.62m), of the existing AT&T 3G communicator, though be sure not to plug the Cellbounce in until it has been configured by your alarm dealer.

It syncs to the 3G communicator, then with the LTE network and any signals sent by the communicator will be picked up and transported via LTE. It even works with Total Connect 2.0, though it does not work with two-way voice. It also only works in the contiguous United States, so Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico residents, the Cellbounce is not for you. There are some other caveats and limitations, so be sure to read our product description carefully before purchasing.

2GIG, Nortek Control:

2GIG Edge

In October of 2021 Nortek Control, the parent company of 2GIG, was purchased by Nice. Nice originated in Italy, with Nice North America handling the US and Canadian segment of the business. This year at ISC West, Nice put their stamp on this relatively new acquisition. In addition to some commercial camera innovations by Linear, Nice/Nortek Control announced during ISC West that they will offer exclusive integration between the 2GIG Edge security panel and the ELAN Home Control platform. The Edge has been out for about a year now. You can read all about it here.

According to their press release, this integration will be supported by the ELAN SC-100 and ELAN SC-300 system controllers running ELAN 8.7 OS (which won't be available until April, 2022). The 2GIG Edge panel requires firmware version 3.1.1.0 or later. Firmware can be pushed through Alarm.com or downloaded. This panel firmware version is not available from 2GIG just yet, but once it is posted, our page will be updated. One of the more convenient features of this integration is the ELAN Control Auto Zone Detection feature. If the ELAN system is setup first, with zone names, once the 2GIG Edge is installed, it can download all zones and zone names directly from ELAN, without having to re-enter the information.


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Today, February 22, 2022 is the official date for the AT&T 3G Sunset. As we've mentioned before, there isn't a big switch that gets turned off and then, "Poof!" no more 3G. If you still have an AT&T 3G communicator, it may continue to work for a while, but there is no way to know how long.

If you're just becoming aware of the AT&T 3G Sunset because you have a security panel that you haven't been paying much attention to for a while, then you probably are seeing some type of error, and possibly hearing some annoying beeping. Some of the more common error messages are shown further down in this post. The thing to keep in mind is that your alarm panel wants to be sure that you know there's a problem. So, if you just press the touchscreen, or press any button on the keypad, that should stop the beeping, at least temporarily.

If you know the arming/disarming code for the system, enter it if prompted on a touchscreen panel, or if you're on a VISTA panel, just enter your 4-digit code and then press the OFF or 1 Key. This will acknowledge the trouble condition and stop the beeping on a more permanent basis, though in some cases, it may come back after a period of time. If you don't know a valid code for the system, then you will likely need to shut down your system by unplugging the transformer and the battery. If you're interested in putting your system into service keep reading to see how Alarm Grid is helping out in this situation.

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of needing to replace an AT&T 3G communicator, but you haven't done so yet, don't panic. The AT&T 3G network is vast and complex. It's not something that you can simply turn off. The process of sunsetting 3G equipment will take a bit of time. So, if after today your 3G communicator still works, you're one of the lucky ones. You've been given a slight reprieve. However, there is no way for us to know how long that reprieve will last, so decide what you're going to do, and do it now.

One ongoing problem that we've seen recently is supply chain issues. Maybe you've been trying to upgrade for the past six (6) months, but the communicator or system you need hasn't been available. Communicator manufacturers have been rolling out LTE Cat-M1 communicators in the absence of available components for standard LTE.

LTE Cat-M1 is the cellular network that was created for Internet-of-Things (IoT) use. It has lower power consumption, better range, and the modems used for it have a smaller form factor. The trade-off is lower bandwidth. However, the amount of data being transmitted by alarm communicators is very low compared to voice and data used for a traditional phone, so the difference in bandwidth isn't noticeable. Happily, the components to make LTE Cat-M1 communicators appears to be readily available, so those communicators have been coming into stock in the past months and continue to become available.

Some of the available AlarmNet LTE Cat-M1 communicators are listed below. These communicators are all compatible with the VISTA panels. The LTEM-PA and LTEM-PV are also compatible with the DSC PC1616, DSC PC1832, and DSC PC1864 and the Interlogix NX Series panels. For the Interlogix NX Series, the PRODCM is also required:

  • LTEM-PA - Dual-path IP and AT&T LTE Cat-M1 communicator with the ability to add a traditional LTE communicator if needed. First communicator to allow non-Honeywell panels to use Total Connect 2.0.
  • LTEM-PV - Dual-path IP and Verizon LTE Cat-M1 communicator with the ability to add a traditional LTE communicator if needed. Along with the LTEM-PA can allow non-Honeywell panels to use Total Connect 2.0.
  • LTEM-XA - AT&T LTE Cat-M1 Communicator for VISTA Panels.
  • LTEMXA-TC2 - AT&T LTE Cat-M1 Communicator for VISTA Panels. Includes upgrade chips for VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P panels, allowing them to support Total Connect 2.0.
  • LTEM-XV - Verizon LTE Cat-M1 Communicator for VISTA Panels.
  • LTEMXV-TC2 - Verizon LTE Cat-M1 Communicator for VISTA Panels. Includes upgrade chips for VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P panels, allowing them to support Total Connect 2.0.
  • LTEM-IA -COMING SOON - AT&T LTE Cat-M1 Communicator with RJ45 Port for Ethernet. Currently in Beta.
  • LTEM-PIA - AT&T LTE Cat-M1 Communicator with RJ45 Ethernet port. Listed for UL-985 Household Fire.
  • LTEM-PIV - Verizon LTE Cat-M1 Communicator with RJ45 Ethernet port. Listed for UL-985 Household Fire.

Some of the available Alarm.com LTE Cat-M1 communicators are listed below. Compatibility is listed with each communicator:

  • Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-AT-M - COMING SOON - Dual-path AT&T LTE Cat-M1 and ethernet capable communicator for use with legacy DSC Power Series panels (PC1616, PC1832, PC1864).
  • Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-VZ-M - COMING SOON. - Dual-path Verizon LTE Cat-M1 and ethernet capable communicator for use with legacy DSC Power Series panels (PC1616, PC1832, PC1864).
  • Alarm.com ADC-SEM300-VT-AT-M - COMING SOON. - Dual-path AT&T LTE Cat-M1 and ethernet capable communicator for use with Honeywell VISTA (non-polling loop) panels (VISTA-10P, VISTA-15P, VISTA-20P, VISTA-21iP manufactured in 2005 or later).
  • Alarm.com ADC-SEM300-VT-VZ-M - Dual-path Verizon LTE Cat-M1 and ethernet capable communicator for use with Honeywell VISTA (non-polling loop) panels (VISTA-10P, VISTA-15P, VISTA-20P, VISTA-21iP manufactured in 2005 or later).

Panel Cellular Communicator Trouble Condition Messages

If you are affected immediately by the AT&T 3G shutdown, you may see one of these error messages on your system:

  • Check 103 ####: - You may see this on a non-polling VISTA panel, such as the VISTA-20P, but only if you have an Alpha Keypad like a 6160. The #### will be a 4-digit number. It may be 4005, which indicates that the communicator has lost connection with AlarmNet. The exact 4-digit code will depend on whether there are any other trouble conditions existing on the communicator at the time the message is displayed.
    *If you have a VISTA panel, choose from any of the communicators listed above for VISTA panels. The VISTA-21IPLTE can use the LTE-21V. The only way to update an original VISTA-21iP is to add an external communicator and disable the internal one. The prior link is an FAQ on how to do just that. The same rule about possibly downgrading to an IP only plan mentioned under the bF message applies here too.
  • bF, or it may look like 6F: - This is supposed to be a bF, which stands for Backup Failure, as in backup communicator. This message means the same thing as Check 103, but will be displayed on a non-alpha keypad like a 6150. If this is the only type of keypad you have, then this is all the information the panel and the communicator can give you. If you get this message after 02/22/22 and your AT&T 3G Communicator has been fine until then, you're not one of the lucky ones. You should look to upgrade your communicator ASAP. *Or, if you have a dual-path communicator and an IP connection is available near it, you could downgrade to an IP only plan for now, and upgrade to LTE at a later time. Just bear in mind, if you go IP only, when the internet is out, your panel's ability to communicate is out. This is usually the case during power outages. The above rule about upgrading the communicator under the Check 103 message also applies here.
  • Fault 103: - This may also show as a Check 103, then display as a Fault 103 after you silence the panel. This is what you see on the Honeywell L3000 panels when there is a problem with the communicator. Losing connection due to the 3G Sunset would cause this error code. There is not a good IP only option for the L3000 currently available. You can use a 7847-I, but it is a messy installation. You can also use the 7847I-L, if you can find one, they are discontinued.
  • 103 Comm. Trouble: - The Lynx Touch Panels will display something along these lines. The icon and message may differ slightly, but the gist is the same. This is what you'll see on these panels if you're affected by the AT&T 3G shut down.
    • Honeywell LTE-L57A: - AT&T LTE Communicator for Lynx Touch panels. Important! There may be panel firmware revision restrictions with your panel and either of these communicators. Read the product description very carefully to be sure your panel is on the correct version for the communicator you choose. If you need to update the panel, you can do so with the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Update Tool. It is compatible with the L5200, L5210, and L7000.
    • Honeywell LTE-L57V: - Verizon LTE communicator for the Lynx Touch panels. See the Important note above about panel firmware version limitations.
  • ⚠ 950 Comm. Trouble: This is the message displayed on a Lyric Controller if it has a cellular communication path, and it loses contact with AlarmNet on that path. This is what you will see if the AT&T 3G shutdown has caused your communicator to go down. There may be other messages in the status bar at the top of the screen as well, having to do with Comm Failure and potentially other conditions, depending on what's happening with your panel at the time.
    • Honeywell LYRICLTE-A - AT&T LTE Communicator for Lyric. Firmware Revision v01.03.06548.482 or higher required!
    • Honeywell LYRICLTE-V - Verizon LTE Communicator for Lyric. Firmware Revision 1.09 (aka MR9) or higher required!

  • Check 8##, ####: - You may see this message on a VISTA-128 or VISTA-250 panel. Devices connected to the keypad bus can be supervised for a connection to the panel, and for a tamper condition where applicable. The AT&T 3G Communicator can also be supervised for communicator troubles, such as a loss of connection to AlarmNet. If supervision is enabled (and it is not enabled by default) then when the 3G Sunset affects the communicator, the panel will display a Check or Trouble (based on programming) 8 + the 2-digit number of the address. So, if the communicator is assigned to address 03, and supervision is enabled, it will display as a Check or Trouble on Zone 803 plus the 4-digit communicator status code associated with the condition when you have the proper keypad to display it. If the only problem is a loss of network connection, then the 4-digit code should be 4005. Supervision is enabled by enabling the associated 800-zone with a trouble zone type, such as 05, Trouble by Day/Alarm by Night.
  • 2GIG GC2 and GC2e Displays Trouble Icon and beeps 6 Times per minute until the trouble condition is acknowledged: This is the behavior of the 2GIG GC2e and presumable the 2GIG GC2 as well. The Security Screen will show a Yellow button with an exclamation mark and a number. When you press the button, it will take you to the Trouble Display screen where you can scroll through the trouble conditions, and you may click on the communicator trouble then press OK. This will stop any beeping, but the display will continue to show trouble until the condition is cleared. In the case of the AT&T 3G Sunset, this means upgrading the communicator.


    • 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2: - Alarm.com compatible AT&T LTE Communicator for 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC2e. Important! Be sure to check for any panel firmware version requirements associated with either of these LTE communicators for the 2GIG GC2 and GC2e panels.
    • 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC2: - Alarm.com compatible Verizon LTE Communicator for 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC2e.
  • 2GIG GC3 and GC3e Message LED is lit and the panel chimes at ten-second intervals until the condition is acknowledged: The behavior for the cellular communicator losing connection to the AT&T 3G network on a 2GIG GC3 or GC3e depends somewhat on panel programming. In Q30, you set the amount of time that is allowed to elapse with no communication to the server before a trouble condition is indicated. The default is 30 minutes. A 0 in this field disables the supervision feature. The maximum entry is 255 minutes. Q31 also determines whether the radio network failure causes a trouble condition on the panel. This is enabled by default, but if disabled, you will have no visible indication if you are affected by the AT&T 3G sunset. Q32 is radio network failure reports. This is enabled by default and determines whether the panel reports the radio failure to the monitoring station (assuming it is able to do so with the radio down, the panel would need to be utilizing the WIFI communication path for this to be possible.)
    • 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3: AT&T LTE Communicator for the 2GIG GC3 and GC3e panels. The panel must have Firmware Version 3.2.3 or higher to support this communicator.
    • 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC3: Verizon LTE Communicator for the 2GIG GC3 and GC3e panels. The GC3 or GC3e must have Firmware Version 3.1.3 or higher to support this communicator.

Alarm Grid Is Here To Help!

If you're a current Alarm Grid customer and you have purchased an LTE communicator, but haven't switched over to it yet, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. In the subject line, be sure to put "I Need an LTE Upgrade". We'll reach out with further instructions and either a link to schedule your upgrade, or information as to what we need to begin your upgrade. Lyric and Lynx Touch users may be able to get upgraded with no appointment, where a VISTA user may require an appointment as those communicator swaps are a little more intricate.

If you purchase an LTE communicator or an upgrade kit from Alarm Grid, we will credit your monitoring account in the amount of the communicator or upgrade kit. If you purchase more than $150 in product, we'll also offer you free ground shipping, so if you've been thinking of adding a doorbell camera, or other products to your system, now may be a good time. The cost of products not associated with the communicator or system and communicator upgrade will not count toward free monitoring though.

If you have the ability to switch to an ethernet or WIFI connection only, you can choose to do that and your monthly monitoring fee will go down. You can purchase an IP or WIFI communicator strictly for that purpose. You may have that option with your existing panel and you just aren't using it, or maybe you were using dual-path monitoring, but now the cellular portion of your 3G communicator has stopped working. Whatever the case, if your communicator or panel supports the option for an IP-only connection, we will be glad to downgrade your service plan permanently, or until you can get the LTE upgrade. But be aware, Alarm.com customers do not have an option for IP-only monitoring.

If you're not a current Alarm Grid customer, never fear, you can get exactly the same deal as existing customers. If you purchase an LTE communicator from us or a kit with a panel and LTE communicator and you then sign up for monitoring with us, we'll give you credit toward free monitoring in the amount of the purchase for the communicator or communicator and panel. Once again, purchases over $150 will have free ground shipping, but any sensors or other devices that you purchase will not count toward free monitoring.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support hours are Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern. We will help in any way that we can to get you through this transition. Your safety and peace of mind is our top priority.

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Alarm Grid announced in December that some Qolsys Panels, namely older IQ 2 and 2 Plus panels with AT&T LTE communicators, require a firmware update before the AT&T 3G Sunset this month. Alarm.com has been pushing those updates, but some panels still need the update, and time is running out.

As noted in December, Alarm.com has been automatically pushing the firmware update to those panels that need it. However, in order to get an update Over-the-Air (OTA) a Qolsys panel MUST have a connection to WIFI. That means if you have an older Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus with an AT&T LTE communicator built in, and your panel doesn't have a connection to WIFI, you may need to get a WIFI connection. At least long enough for the firmware update to come through. If you don't, and if your panel is one of the ones that requires this update, it will stop communicating via AT&T LTE Cellular soon after February 22, 2022.

AT&T doesn't have one big switch that they can turn off and then, "Voila, 3G is no more!" So, just because your system is still able to communicate on February 23, that doesn't necessarily mean that your panel doesn't require the firmware update. In addition, some panels will only need an update to the cellular firmware while other panels will need a panel firmware update first, followed by the cellular update. For this reason, it is best to connect your panel to WIFI and allow the Alarm.com server to connect and determine which updates, if any, need to be applied.

In order to make it as easy as possible to get a panel connected to WIFI, Alarm.com has made it possible to connect the panel to WIFI remotely using the Alarm.com customer app. To use the app to connect the panel to WIFI, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the app, completing any 2-factor authentication that may be necessary.
  2. Go to the 'Security System' card.


  3. Tap the Gear icon in the upper right.


  4. Select 'Panel WIFI'.

  5. From this point, there are two options:
    • If the network to be used is already connected to another device on the account, such as a video camera, it will display under a prompt for 'Access Ready Networks'. Since that device already has the network credentials, the panel can use those same credentials to connect to the same network.
    • If the WIFI network is not already connected to another device, then you should see a prompt that says 'Additional networks available to your panel'. Select the network, and then enter the proper password where indicated.



  6. Once the WIFI network is selected, and the password has been entered, if applicable, press 'Connect'.

  7. If you don't see your network, press 'Rescan' or tap, 'Don't see your network?', then follow the provided steps to add the device to the network manually.

If your panel simply doesn't have an option to connect to traditional WIFI, then you may need to briefly use your cell phone as a wireless hotspot, and contact your alarm dealer to ask them to manually push the update to your panel while you're onsite. Alternatively, you can visit our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update Page and download the update files to an SD Card, then follow the instructions listed on the page for updating via SD Card.

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Alarm Grid's distributor now has the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 in white available with the 345 MHz receiver in both the AT&T and Verizon versions. The same panel, in black, will soon be available. This panel supports both the legacy 345 MHz 2GIG and Honeywell RF sensors and the DSC PowerG sensors.

If you're looking to upgrade from a panel with either 2GIG or Honeywell 345 MHz sensors, or maybe a combination of both, then you should check out the Qolsys IQ Panel 4, now available, with support for these older wireless sensors. The IQ Panel 4 is an upgrade from the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with a newer OS, more memory, and a faster processor.

At the center of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 is a Qualcomm MSM8953 chipset with an 8-core Qualcomm SnapDragon Processor. It has 16 GB of NAND Flash memory. The base operating system is Android 9. By comparison, the IQ Panel 2 and 2 Plus used Android 5.1 as a base, with a quad-core processor. These updates in hardware and software for the IQ Panel 4 mean that it has tons of expansion capability, with the hardware and software to support it. Updated hardware supports updated software as well as new features. Expect lots of updates to this system, much of it based on customer feedback.

There are other updates too. The front-facing camera has been upgraded from 5MP to 8MP. In addition to a higher resolution, the camera also has a wider 120° viewing angle allowing it to capture more context with disarm images and peek-ins. The vertical tilt angle of the camera can be manually adjusted by the user to dial-in the best angle for disarm photos based on the height of panel users.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 has support for up to 128 zones, using PowerG and/or Honeywell or 2GIG 345 MHz RF sensors. This makes it the perfect replacement for an older Honeywell or 2GIG system with working sensors still installed. PowerG sensors, manufactured by DSC, are fully encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption and are also supported on every version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. They have an open-air range of up to 4,000' (1219m) when used with this panel. And in the unlikely event that you still have a range issue, there are PowerG Repeaters available to boost the range.

The Newest IQ Panel 4 Versions and Kits, now available from Alarm Grid:

Each of the unencrypted kits listed above includes the Versa-2GIG Door/Window Sensors. In the 3-1 kits, there are three (3) of these, in the 10-1 kits there are ten (10). These kits also include one (1) DSC PG9914 PowerG PIR motion sensor. The encrypted kits listed above contain either three (3) or ten (10) DSC PG9303 PowerG Door/Window Sensors, and one (1) DSC PG9914 PowerG PIR. The 3-1 kits are a great start for installations in apartments and small homes, while the 10-1 kits are great for larger homes and small businesses.

With its 700-Series Z-Wave Plus V2 controller, up to 137 Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, and Z-Wave Plus V2 devices can be integrated with the system. This includes Lights, Locks, Thermostats, Water Valves, and Relays. When purchasing new Z-Wave devices, always choose devices with the latest version of Z-Wave supported by the controller whenever possible. Doing so will provide the best possible user experience. Older and newer Z-Wave devices can be installed on the same network, as long as the user is aware of the limitations when such a configuration is used. Up to 242 users are supported on the IQ Panel 4 with one (1) Dealer Code, one (1) Installer Code, and 240 users with the role of Master, User, Guest, or Duress applied to each.

As a quick reminder, the IQ Panel 4 has either a Verizon or AT&T LTE cellular communicator built in. Be sure when purchasing your panel that you choose the carrier that has the best possible signal in the installation area, regardless of what carrier your personal cell phone may use. And when choosing a plan from Alarm Grid to use with your IQ Panel 4, remember that you will need a plan that supports Cellular Alarm Communication. That will be either a Gold or Platinum Plan (Self or Full). If you don't want to take advantage of the Alarm.com app or webpage features, then you can also choose our Cellular Alarm Monitoring plan, which includes Central Station Monitoring, with no remote control capabilities.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 is a panel that's truly ready for the future. Qolsys has taken all the feedback they received with their IQ Panel 2, addressed the few inefficiencies and form factor issues, and have really come out with a nearly perfect offering. When coupled with Alarm.com, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 is a formidable tool in keeping your loved ones and your belongings safe.

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Freezing and water damage accounted for 29.4% of Homeowner's Insurance losses by cause in 2019*. From 2015 - 2019, the weighted average cost per accident year was $11,000* for freezing and water damage. Only fire and lightning damage was more costly. But flood damage can often be avoided.

At this time of year, with the worst of winter still ahead of us, our thoughts always turn to incidents of flooding which are caused predominantly by freezing temperatures. In many instances, homeowner's insurance companies want proof that there is both freeze and flood protection in a dwelling as a condition of insurance, or in order to provide the best available rate. With just a few added sensors and tweaks, your existing alarm system can help you prevent freezing and flood damage. Below we'll outline some products and strategies that can help.

To properly protect against this type of damage, it is helpful to know when the temperature in a building drops low enough to cause concern. There are many sensors that can assist in this, and in many cases, a sensor may perform double duty. There are motion detectors that also have built-in freeze sensing, as well as smoke, heat, and combination sensors. Here's a list of just a few, and the systems they are compatible with:

Product Description Compatibility
Honeywell 5808W3 Smoke/Heat/Freeze Sensor.
When programmed (Loop 3), activates when temp drops below 41℉ (+5℃)
Compatible with any Honeywell 5800 Series Receiver, including VISTA panels with a separate receiver added, 2GIG panels, and Qolsys panels** with the 345 MHz SRF Receiver. Honeywell ProSeries Panels require a PROTAKEOVER module.
Honeywell 5821 Wireless temperature and water sensor.
To monitor for both Cold and Flood detection, use the integrated temp sensor plus an FP280 or 470PB.
Loop 1 = Cold (for temps below 45℉ (+7.2℃) for more than 10 minutes)
Loop 3 = Flood
Set Dips 1 = OFF and 2 = ON
Compatible with any Honeywell 5800 Series Receiver, including VISTA panels with a separate receiver added, 2GIG panels, and Qolsys panels with the 345 MHz SRF Receiver. Honeywell ProSeries Panels require a PROTAKEOVER module.
2GIG SMKT8e-345 Wireless Encrypted Smoke/Heat/Freeze sensor
Low Temp sensing = Loop 3
Senses low temperature when the temperature drops below 40℉ (+4.4℃). Restores when the temperature rises to 45℉ (+7.2℃)
Compatible with 2GIG GC2e, 2GIG GC3e, and 2GIG Edge only
2GIG SMKT8-345 Wireless Smoke/Heat/Freeze sensor
Low Temp sensing = Loop 3
Senses low temperature when the temperature drops below 40℉ (+4.4℃). Restores when the temperature rises to 45℉ (+7.2℃)
Compatible with any 2GIG panel, Qolsys 345 MHz version, and Honeywell Lyric (Version MR3+) and ProSeries with PROTAKEOVER
Winland TA-40 Wired Fixed Temperature Freeze Alert. Fixed temperature alert when the temperature drops below 39.2℉ (+4℃) Compatible with any Normally Closed wired zone input.
Qolsys IQ Temp-S Wireless S-Line Encrypted 319.5 MHz Temp Sensor.
Low Temp sensing when the temperature drops below 40℉ (+4.4℃)
High Temp sensing when the temperature rises above 100℉ (+37.7℃)
Compatible with Qolsys and Interlogix panels that support 319.5 MHz wireless sensors.
2GIG FT6e-345 Wireless encrypted Flood and Temp Sensor.
Loop 1 = Flood Sensing
Loop 2 = High Temp (95℉ (+35℃) for three (3) minutes or more.
Loop 3 = Freeze Detection (41℉ (+5℃) or lower for three (3) minutes or more.)

Compatible with 2GIG GC2e, 2GIG GC3e, and 2GIG Edge panels only.
2GIG FT6-345 Wireless Flood and Temp Sensor.
Loop 1 = Flood Sensing
Loop 2 = High Temp (95℉ (+35℃) for three (3) minutes or more.
Loop 3 = Freeze Detection (41℉ (+5℃) or lower for three (3) minutes or more.)
Compatible with all 2GIG panels, Qolsys panels that support 345 MHz sensors, Honeywell Lyric panels (Version MR3+), and ProSeries Panels with the PROTAKEOVER.
DSC PG9905 Wireless Encrypted PowerG Temp Sensor.
Temperature threshold is set in panel programming
Compatible with all Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, all Qolsys IQ Panel 4, and DSC PowerSeries Neo panels and PowerSeries Pro panels with a PowerG transceiver added.
2GIG FT1-345 Wireless Flood and Temp Sensor.
Flood = Loop 1
High Temp = Loop 2
Low Temp = Loop 3
For flood, probe must be shorted by water for 3 minutes, and restores once short is removed for 3 minutes.
High Temp setpoint is 95℉ (35℃).
Low Temp setpoint is 42℉ (5.5℃)
Compatible with all 2GIG panels, Qolsys panels that support 345 MHz sensors, Honeywell Lyric panels, and ProSeries Panels with the PROTAKEOVER added.
Qolsys IQ Temp Wireless 319.5 MHz Temp Sensor.
Low Temp sensing when the temperature drops below 40℉ (+4.4℃)
High Temp sensing when the temperature rises above 100℉ (+37.7℃)
Compatible with Qolsys and Interlogix panels that support 319.5 MHz wireless sensors.

With any of the low-temperature sensing devices above, you can be alerted to dangerously low temperatures within a building. Alerts can come in the form of an email, text, or push notification from either Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0, a call from the monitoring station, or both. With a Z-Wave or WIFI thermostat you can adjust the temperature when the HVAC system is working, or contact an HVAC service technician when it isn't.

Some of the devices listed in the table above combine freeze and flood sensing into a single unit. Of course, avoiding the presence of water in a location where it shouldn't be is optimal, but in some cases, it may not be possible. Flooding isn't always the result of freezing water pipes. With a flood sensor, you can be alerted to these situations and then take action accordingly. Alarm Grid offers a variety of both wired and wireless flood sensors. Some are listed above. Those and others can be found here.

If you can't control what's happening with the temperature in a location, then the next step in avoiding flood damage is controlling the flow of water. If you have a water shut-off valve within the building, then a Z-Wave water valve is just the thing you need to save the day (and a good deal of money). Once you receive a notification that a freeze condition is possible, or that a flood situation is underway, with Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 service, you can either set up a scene to automatically shut off the water within the premises, or you can manually log in and do so remotely.

Product Description
Qolsys S-Line IQ Water Valve Kit

Qolsys IQ Water Valve - Install Guide
Qolsys IQ Flood-S - Quick Install Guide
This kit comes with a Z-Wave 700 Series Water Valve and 319.5 MHz Water Sensor (Qolsys IQ Flood-S, see in table above).
The water valve is a retrofit servo that fits 1/4 turn ball valves. It can be used on pipes from 1/2" to 1 1/4". It does not require installation by a plumber.
Qolsys PowerG IQ Water Valve Kit

DSC PG9985 - Install Guide
This kit comes with a Z-Wave 700 Series Water Valve and a PowerG Encrypted Water Sensor (DSC PG9985, see in table above).
The water valve is a retrofit servo that fits 1/4 turn ball valves. It can be used on pipes from 1/2" to 1 1/4". It does not require installation by a plumber.
Alarm.com ADC-SWM150 Smart Water Valve and Meter

User Guide
In the USA can fit up to 1" water main distribution pipes.
This smart water valve, when used with Alarm.com can help you track water usage in addition to allowing you to control the flow of water.
This device should be installed by a licensed and insured plumber.
The Smart Water Valve plus Meter has a backflow preventer. It is not recommended that it be installed directly on the water heater's main suply line.
Alarm.com ADC-SWV100 Z-Wave Plus Water Valve

Install Guide
Can fit up to 1" water main distribution pipes.
Be sure to install this unit downstream from the indoor main water shut-off valve. Observe all plumbing codes and ordinances and obtain a proper permit for installation. Installation by a licensed and insured plumber is advised.
This device is made by Alarm.com, but should work with any Z-Wave Controller.
Leak Intel Leak Gopher LGZW-1

Install Guide
3/4" Z-Wave Water Shut-off Valve.
This valve should be installed downstream from the main indoor water shut-off.
It is advised to have this unit installed by a licensed and insured plumber for best results.
Should be compatible with any Z-Wave Controller.
When installed, ON may indicate that water is OFF, while a status of OFF for the water valve, may indicate that the water is ON.

With a combination of freeze and flood sensors, and a Z-Wave Water Valve, you can anticipate potential low-temperature flooding issues, be alerted to non-freeze-related flooding issues, and either automatically or manually turn off the water before damage occurs. Check with your homeowner's insurance agent to see if there are any discounts available on your policy if you add freeze and/or flood protection with an automated water shut-off option. You may be surprised at how quickly this equipment can pay for itself, even if you never have to use it.

*Statistics are taken from the Insurance Information Institute at iii.org.

**Qolsys Panels come in a variety of versions. All IQ Panel 2 Plus and IQ Panel 4 versions support PowerG wireless sensors. Then in addition, there are versions that support 319.5 MHz wireless, including S-Line Sensors. There are also versions that support 345 MHz wireless and 433 MHz wireless. When purchasing a Qolsys panel, or a sensor that will be used with a Qolsys panel, be sure to match the receiver type with the sensor type. Panels that support 319.5 MHz come in a box with a Gold stripe. Panels that support 345 MHz sensors come in a box with a Silver or Gray stripe, and those that support 433 MHz sensors have a Red stripe on the box.

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In 2021 we said goodbye to some products (here's lookin' at you, Qolsys IQ Panel 2) and hello to others. We'll take a look back on 2021 and highlight some of the changes we've seen in the industry. From new Alarm.com cameras to redesigned alarm panels, here's a look back at 2021, as it was.

January, 2021: The new year saw the release of the Alarm.com ADC-V515 Camera. This budget-friendly camera offers 1080p recording with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a 110° field of view. The IR Night Vision feature has a range of ~15 feet. This is an indoor camera that connects to 2.4 GHz WIFI networks, and it supports the full suite of Video Analytics features.

We also said goodbye to the Honeywell 5877 Garage Door Relay. This product works in conjunction with the Honeywell Wireless Alarm Panels, with the exception of the ProSeries panels, to allow automation and remote control of a garage door. We said "Goodbye" to it in January, but we should have said "See you later" because in October we said "Hello" again! Alarm Grid was able to obtain a number of 5877s, and we'll continue to offer it until stock exhaustion. Since Honeywell has decided they will no longer produce it, at that point, it will be "Goodbye forever".

February, 2021: In February, Alarm.com announced the discontinuation of the ADC-SVR122. Although they still offer the ADC-CSVR126 this is a commercial version of the SVR122, and may not be suitable for the average residential user. In lieu of using a Stream Video Recorder, Alarm.com offers the Onboard Recording feature as an alternative to a traditional residential DVR. Click here for a list of cameras that support this feature.

March, 2021: In March, Resideo discontinued the IPCAM-WOC1, leaving their Total Connect 2.0 product with no outdoor camera option. Later in the year, they released a replacement, so TC2 users will have an outdoor camera choice, but until recently the IPCAM-WOC2 was on backorder due to supply chain issues. It is now available for purchase again and ready to ship!

Honeywell Home added the PROA7 panel to the ProSeries Lineup that they released late in 2020. In reality, the Honeywell Home PROA7 and PROA7PLUS are basically the same products as the Resideo PROA7C and PROA7PLUSC, but with different branding on the front of the panel. The PROA7 and PROA7C are "Lite" versions of the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC. The non-plus versions have no front-facing camera for disarm photos and don't support Bluetooth. They will support WIFI and Z-Wave, but don't come with the Honeywell Home PROWIFIZW built-in. For these panels, if you want WIFI, but no Z-Wave, you can choose to add the Honeywell Home PROWIFI module instead. All of the ProSeries panels support the addition of either the PROLTE-A or PROLTE-V LTE Cellular Communicators and the Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER legacy wireless takeover module.

April, 2021: In April, 2GIG released the 2GIG Edge. They teased their newest panel for quite some time, via its own countdown webpage. After a couple of release date changes, on April 1, 2021 it became available. The Edge was an instant sensation, with a number of industry awards in addition to an honorable mention. The Edge has a strong feature set, and comes in both an Edge AT&T LTE and an Edge Verizon LTE version. Dual-path ready, with 100 Zones, 100 User Codes, Z-Wave Plus V2, and Facial Recognition Arming and Disarming, the Edge is an excellent option for a new and modern security system.

May, 2021: With the release of the 2GIG Edge, the GC3e was discontinued upon stock exhaustion. Alarm Grid originally retained some stock of the product, and offered it at an attractive price for a limited time, until our stock was exhausted. The 2GIG GC3e has now gone the way of the dinosaurs. Also in May, Alarm.com announced new support for Ecobee Smart Thermostats via server-to-server integration.

June, 2021: Alarm.com announced the release of some new System Enhancement Modules (SEM) to support the Honeywell VISTA-10P, VISTA-15P, VISTA-20P, and VISTA-21iP panels. These are Dual-Path communicators with lower power consumption than their predecessors, with the ability to be used without an external power supply. The ADC-SEM300-VT-AT uses AT&T LTE while the ADC-SEM300-VT-VZ uses Verizon LTE.

In June, Qolsys also introduced two (2) Smart Water Valve Kits. The Qolsys IQWV908-KIT-PG includes the DSC PG9985 PowerG Flood Sensor coupled with Qolsys' Z-Wave Plus 700-Series Smart Water Valve. With these two products, you can have your system sense a water leak in the early stages, and through an Alarm.com Automation Rule, automatically turn off the water until the issue can be resolved. The PowerG sensor provides exceptional wireless transmitting range. It can work up to 4,000 feet (1219m) away from a Qolsys IQ Panel 4 without a repeater being required, and will work with all variations of that panel.

Qolsys also introduced the Qolsys IQWV908-KIT-SL. This kit includes the same great Z-Wave water valve, but with a Qolsys IQ Flood-S 319.5 MHz flood sensor for use with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 & 2 Plus 319.5 MHz version or Qolsys IQ Panel 4 AT&T 319.5 Mhz version or Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Verizon 319.5 MHz version, or even one of the Interlogix panels that support the 319.5 MHz frequency. This flood sensor will only work with the 319.5 MHz version panels, so be certain which panel you have when ordering.

Resideo and Honeywell Home introduced a firmware update for the Honeywell Home PROA7 and PROA7PLUS, and the Resideo PROA7C and PROA7PLUSC that enabled programming through the panel touchscreen (or via a remote touchscreen keypad, the PROWLTOUCH or PROWLTOUCHC). Many users had been waiting not-so-patiently for this update, particularly DIY users who prefer to handle their own panel programming. Prior to this update, referred to as MR3, only an alarm dealer could program the ProSeries panels and only remotely via AlarmNet360 or via the AlarmNet360 Mobile App.

And finally, in June we discovered that the 2GIG Edge had a limitation with regard to using Image Sensors. Namely, that at the time of the panel's release, the 2GIG IMAGE3 only behaved like any other motion sensor when paired with the panel. It did not provide any alarm images, or the ability to peek in. Fortunately, in August 2GIG released Firmware Version 3.1.0.011, which solved this issue.

July, 2021: Honeywell Home announced in July the addition of the PROSIXRPTR Encrypted Wireless Repeater. Up to two (2) repeaters can be used with each ProSeries system and each repeater increases the range for PROSIX and SiX Series sensors by about 200 feet (60m).

Qolsys released the Qolsys IQ WIFI just ahead of ISC West. This product allows the alarm dealer to control all, or a portion of the customer's network to provide for easier alarm system integration to WIFI, as well as easier remote troubleshooting. Up to eight (8) IQ WIFI devices can be used per network with one (1) behaving as the controller, while up to seven (7) behave as agents. Locally, the IQ WIFIs can be configured using the touchscreen on a Qolsys panel (IQ Panel 2 must be version 2.6.0 or higher).

Z-Wave continued to evolve in 2021, and we began to move up from Z-Wave Plus to Z-Wave Plus V2 products. Z-Wave Plus uses the 500-Series Chipset, while Z-Wave Plus V2 uses the 700-Series Chipset. The 2GIG Edge uses a Z-Wave Plus V2 Chip as does the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. We've received no word on when, or if the ProSeries panels from Resideo and Honeywell Home will move up from the 500-Series Chipset to the 700-Series. You can read about the differences between the versions of Z-Wave here.

August, 2021: August was a sad month for us at Alarm Grid. We lost our beloved, and prolific writer Michael Goris suddenly and unexpectedly. Not only did Michael write about everything having to do with alarms, he was also featured in many of our videos, particularly once COVID-19 hit hard and we couldn't all always be in the office together. We miss you Michael.

Resideo and Honeywell Home announced compatibility issues between certain of their 6160RF keypads and the 5800WAVE or 5800RL products. The issue had to do with the 6160RF not sending correct status information from the panel to the 5800WAVE or 5800RL. This issue affected keypads manufactured between May 26, 2020 and February 18, 2021. You can read the full post about it here to determine if you have a keypad that may be affected.

September, 2021: Resideo and Honeywell Home announced in September that the Weather feature on the TUXWIFIW and TUXWIFIS would no longer be available. This, after they had issues for months with the information for this screen not updating properly. In the final week of December, we received good news that this issue has been resolved and that the weather for these products is now operating as it should!

On another positive note, the Resideo and Honeywell home ProSeries panels won the CEPro Best Product Award. Specifically, they won the award for Best Integrated Security System/Module/Device/Surveillance Camera System. You can read the full announcement here.

October, 2021: In October, Alarm.com announced the release of the Alarm.com ADC-V724 their first outdoor camera that supports 2-way audio. In addition, it supports the full suite of video analytics, and onboard recording, it also supports dual-band WIFI and IR Night Vision with a range of up to 49 feet (15m). This camera came out just in time for homeowners to really mess with the trick-or-treaters in their neighborhood using the 2-way audio feature!

In October we also got a sneak-peek at the new Resideo IPCAM-WOC2, which replaced the IPCAM-WOC1. Briefly, we had a new supply of outdoor cameras that were compatible with Total Connect 2.0, however we sold out pretty quickly. Supply chain issues had this camera back on the unavailable list but as of December, 2021 it is back in stock and ready to ship.

Resideo and Honeywell Home announced in October that with Firmware Version 03.592.107.0 for the ProSeries panels the Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER Legacy RF Receiver module will now support wireless life-safety devices. Although you can now program any supported legacy RF device for life-safety, the Honeywell 5800 Series wireless devices have actually been tested to ETL standards for Residential Fire. This update also brought other exciting features and fixes. You can read all about them here.

November, 2021: This is the sad month we knew would come when the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 was announced earlier in the year. In November, Qolsys announced the End of Life for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus 319.5 MHz panel versions. Users can now purchase the IQ Panel 4 in the 319.5 MHz flavor. As supply chain issues abate, the IQ Panel 4 345 MHz option, and the 433 MHz option will become available, and as they do, their corresponding IQ Panel 2 Plus versions will also be discontinued.

We also discovered in November that the IQ Panel 4 will only support the newest version of the Qolsys IQ Remote. An easy way to tell if you have the newest version of the IQ Remote is to look for the front-facing camera. If the camera is in the top center, you have a newer keypad. If the camera is in the upper-right corner, then you have an older IQ Remote that won't work with the IQ Panel 4. Read our full notice on this information.

December, 2021: In December we received critical notices from both Alarm.com/Qolsys and AlarmNet that a couple of their products will require a firmware update prior to the 2022 AT&T 3G Sunset. For AlarmNet, any Lyric Controller with a LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator installed must be updated prior to 02/22/22. Read the full notice from AlarmNet and Resideo. The Verizon communicators are not affected by this notice.

On the Alarm.com side, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus panels with an AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator also require an update prior to 02/22/22. In some cases, the panel firmware needs to be updated first, before the cellular firmware update can be implemented. Read the full notice on the Alarm.com update requirement. Again, the Verizon versions of these products are not affected.

So that's it, 2021 in a nutshell. As is usually the case, it has been a year full of ups and downs. We have seen a lot of positive change in our industry. The era of COVID-19 has exposed some opportunities in the physical safety world that may not otherwise have been considered without the pandemic having occurred. Touchless doorbells, and biometric system control are just a couple of things that have come to fruition during this time. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see what 2022 has in store for us.

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Qolsys IQ Panel 2 equipment that uses an AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator requires a firmware update prior to the AT&T 3G sunset date of 02/22/22. Without this update, these devices will lose their connection to the cellular network. The update can be performed over WIFI, or by using an SD Card

If a WIFI signal is available in the location where the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is installed, but the panel is not currently connected to it, there are a few different ways to connect:

  1. Locally: The connection can be made at the panel using the touchscreen. Instructions for connecting to WIFI locally can be found here.
  2. By dealer remotely: Alarm.com dealers, like Alarm Grid, can use the Partner Portal to connect the panel to WIFI. This is found on the Partner Portal website under the Signaling/Broadband Settings.
  3. By user remotely: Starting on 12/13/21, Alarm.com is enabling a tool that allows an end-user to connect the panel to WIFI through the Customer Alarm.com App or Alarm.com Website.

In order for the customer to connect their panel to WIFI using the customer app they will click on: Menu > Manage Devices > Select the 3-dots icon next to the panel's name > Select Device Settings > Select Panel WIFI. From there the user can either choose an existing camera to copy that device's WIFI settings, or select the SSID and complete the authentication process. Once the connection to WIFI is made, the communication path will be changed from Cell-only to Dual-Path. This may be useful for panels installed in locations where the building is not always occupied.

Starting on Monday, January 10, 2022 Alarm.com will begin to automatically deploy the firmware update to any WIFI connected panel that has not already received it. The automatic update process will proceed through the queue of needy panels 7 days per week during daytime hours (8am - 8pm panel time). As part of the update, a system reboot will occur.

In some cases, the panel's firmware may require an update before the cellular firmware update can be implemented. Panels that are on version 2.3.0 or lower must update to a minimum of 2.3.1 or higher. Panel firmware updates on panels that have a WIFI connection can also be performed locally from the panel with a Patch Tag, or can be done remotely via Alarm.com's Partner Portal. Once the panel's firmware is on a compatible version (see the link in the paragraph below) the cellular firmware can be installed using the patch tag: ATT3GSunset

For panels that have no WIFI connection available, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 can be updated locally using a Micro SD Card. The upgrade files, as well as instructions on how to perform the local upgrade are available on Alarm Grid's Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update page. Eventually, Qolsys will also make the cellular firmware update patch available for download and install via Micro SD. Once they do, we will also host it on our site. As of 12/10/21, it is not yet available.

This issue only affects AT&T LTE Cellular units. Verizon units are not affected. This issue is occurring because early Qolsys AT&T units used a provisional VoLTE Firmware Version. This later changed when VoLTE was fully released. Since the difference between the provisional firmware and the released version didn't affect a panel's ability to communicate via cellular, no action was required before. If you are unsure whether your panel requires the update or not, contact your alarm dealer. They will be able to verify this information for you, as this information is only available when checked through the Partner Portal Website, and is not available from the Alarm.com Customer App or Website. Read the full Qolsys Technical Service Bulletin here.

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Here at Alarm Grid, we recently learned that the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 supports the Qolsys IQ Remote, but only the most recent iteration. Older Qolsys IQ Remotes are not compatible. If you plan to replace a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with an IQ Panel 4, read on to see how you can tell the keypads apart.

As of now, only the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 AT&T LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible version, and the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Verizon LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible version are available. The other iterations of the panel will become available in the next couple of months. The only touchscreen keypad that is currently compatible with these panels is the Qolsys IQ Remote, and only the latest version with P/N QW9104-840, at that. Keypads with a P/N of QW9103-840 or below are not compatible. The sticker showing the part number should be on the back of the keypad.

Below, you can see the back of an IQ Remote with the P/N: QW9103-840. This keypad is not compatible with a Qolsys IQ Panel 4:


Looking at the sticker on the back of the keypad is the first way to easily determine whether the IQ Remote will work with the IQ Panel 4 or not. But, what if the sticker has been removed, or the touchscreen keypad has been mounted to the wall and the back side is difficult to access? There is another easy way to tell whether the IQ Remote you have is the older or newer version.

When the IQ Remote was re-designed, the front-facing camera was moved from the upper right corner to the center of the keypad. This was done, in part to better match the look of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2/2 Plus. Checking the location of the camera is the easiest way to determine whether it is a newer or an older Qolsys IQ Remote.

Below you can see one of the original Qolsys IQ Remotes. You can see that the camera is located in the upper right corner of the keypad.

Below is an image of the newer Qolsys IQ Remote, P/N QW9104-840. You can see the camera has been moved to the front center, and in the upper right corner you can see that a microphone has been added:


Checking the camera location is by far the easiest and quickest way to determine if the IQ Remote you have is compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. It's rumored that a PowerG Touchscreen Keypad is in the works, which, if true will likely make the IQ Remote obsolete given the superior wireless range of the PowerG protocol.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 can support up to three (3) IQ Remotes, but it also supports the use of up to five (5) Wireless PowerG Keypads (WS9LCDWF9, HS2LCDWF9, and HS2LCDWF9ENG) and up to two (2) Hardwired DSC Keypads (HS2LCD, HS2ICN) per DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless translator module. Up to two (2) modules are currently supported per panel, so up to four (4) of the wired keypads can be used. This gives a total of up to 12 remote keypads.

Have comments, questions, suggestions? Leave a comment below and we'll be happy to respond. Our support hours are from 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday - Friday, and our support email is support@alarmgrid.com. We always look forward to hearing from you.

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This week, Alarm.com offers some news. They have a firmware update for the Alarm.com Slim Line II Doorbells. It will be pushed automatically in the coming weeks. They're ready to support the new Qolsys panels. Also, a new MicroSD card will soon be available, made specifically for video devices.

The Alarm.com Slimline II Doorbells that are online and attached to Alarm.com accounts will be receiving a firmware update in the coming weeks. This update will be performed automatically, no input from the customer or the dealer is required. This update, Version 4089, will add compatibility for different internal components. Customers should not notice any change in performance regarding this update.

Alarm.com is ready to support the all new Qolsys IQ Panel 4. Currently, only the PowerG and 319.5 MHz versions of this panel (with either an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE communicator) is available. However, additional versions of these panels, which will support Honeywell and 2GIG 345 MHz wireless in addition to PowerG in an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE version, and then later DSC 433 MHz in addition to PowerG in an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE version, will soon be available. We currently show the panels that are not available as being discontinued, but that will change as soon as stock becomes available. Bookmark the page for your panel, and keep checking back.

Alarm.com is ready for another new Qolsys panel, the IQ Hub. Now, they just need to get some available stock for this panel. The IQ Hub has a lot of the same features as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2, but each version of the Hub will only support one RF frequency. There will be a PowerG version, a 345 MHz version for those who will be replacing a Honeywell or 2GIG wireless panel, a 319.5 MHz version for those upgrading an older Qolsys or Interlogix panel, and a 433 MHz version for users who are replacing an older DSC panel, with an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE version available for each of these "flavors".

Our final bit of news for the week is regarding Alarm.com cameras that support MicroSD cards. Alarm.com was offering a Micron i300 Industrial Memory Card (256 GB capacity) for use with their cameras that support local recording. They have switched to the WD Purple MicroSD Card (SKU: ADC-USD-256GB-WD). This card is less expensive, and with its high-endurance performance is designed for the 24/7 nature of use with surveillance cameras, particularly the Alarm.com cameras that offer Onboard Recording with the Smart View feature. Alarm Grid will soon begin offering this new and improved MicroSD card.

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Qolsys TSB #211022 indicates that the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, PowerG and 319.5 MHz version with any communicator has been discontinued. All kits containing these versions have also been discontinued. The IQ Panel 4 PowerG and 319.5 MHz panel is the appropriate replacement in this instance.

Currently Alarm Grid offers the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Verizon LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible 319.5 MHz Wireless Alarm Panel w/ PowerG, and the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 AT&T LTE, Interlogix/GE Compatible 319.5 MHz Wireless Alarm Panel w/ PowerG. Both versions will eventually be offered in Black or White color variations, but at this time only the White variation is available.

This announcement is only for the Interlogix/GE compatible panels that support legacy RF in the 319.5 MHz frequency. The other variations of the IQ Panel 2 Plus, those that support 345 MHz Honeywell and 2GIG legacy RF, and 433 MHz DSC legacy RF sensors are still available at this time. This is because production for the IQ Panel 4 versions of these panels has not yet begun.

Per Qolsys, the IQ Panel 4 PowerG and Honeywell/2GIG compatible panels that support 345 MHz legacy RF sensors are beginning production this week. As supply ramps up, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus that supports this legacy RF frequency will be phased out. We expect this to begin happening in the near future. Production of the IQ Panel 4 for the DSC compatible panels that support 433 MHz legacy RF sensors will begin production in early December, with a similar phase out of those IQ Panel 2 Plus models soon to follow.

As with the IQ Panel 2 Plus, each Qolsys IQ Panel 4 will support PowerG in addition to one (1) legacy RF frequency. In addition to choosing a panel based on the RF frequency to be used, the user will also want to choose the panel with the built-in cellular communicator that will have the best signal strength and quality in the location where the panel will be installed. This can match the carrier for the user's cell phone, but that is not a requirement. When deciding which cellular carrier to choose, base the decision solely on cellular coverage. Billing for the panel's cellular communicator will be included in the monthly monitoring service charges.

The legacy RF frequency built-in to the IQ Panel 4 is intended to make it easy to replace an existing alarm panel from a different manufacturer. By choosing the IQ Panel 4 that supports the wireless frequency for sensors that are already installed in a location, a user can save a lot of money by not having to buy all new sensors. You get the benefit of an all new, feature-rich alarm panel without the expense, not to mention the time and trouble saved, of replacing existing sensors that still work.

Were you thinking of purchasing a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus in the 319.5 MHz "flavor"? If you were, you can purchase the IQ Panel 4 instead. This panel currently has the exact same User Interface (UI) as the IQ Panel 2 Plus, so the user experience will not differ. We expect the IQ Panel 4 to get a facelift in the near future, with the end-user having the choice of whether they want to use the new interface, or stick with the legacy one. The new UI is supposed to be very similar to the Alarm.com layout. If you have any comments, please leave them below. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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