Qolsys Posts

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We have a short but exciting announcement today, as new Qolsys IQ Smart Water Valve Kits are now available! There are two (2) kits available, including the Qolsys IQWV908-KIT-PG that uses PowerG communication and the Qolsys IQWV908-KIT-SL that uses 319.5 MHz S-Line communication.

Both of these new kits include two (2) components. The centerpiece is a smart water valve that uses Z-Wave Plus V2 700-Series communication technology. This piece of hardware has an adaptive torque output and can be self-installed on most quarter-turn (1/4 turn) ball valve pipes ranging from one-half inch (1/2") to one and a quarter inch (1-1/4"). Wireless communication is kept super secure using the optional Z-Wave S2 Security Protocol, which is supported by most 500-Series and 700-Series Z-Wave controllers.

Some of the best aspects of the Z-Wave 700-Series Qolsys IQ Smart Water Valve include its ability to be used indoors or outdoors (keep out of direct sunlight), it has an adaptive torque rating of up to eight (8) Nm, and its ingress protection rating of IP66, making it both waterproof and dustproof. The water valve is nice and compact at just 14.8mm x 9.6mm x 13.3mm in size, and it weighs a mere 603g. It can be used reliably in temperatures ranging from 14°F to 121°F. Best of all, it can be self-installed, without the need to hire a plumber.

The other component of the kit is a wireless flood sensor that is ideally used in conjunction with the smart water valve. Depending on the kit you choose, you will get either the DSC 915 MHz PowerG PG9985 Flood Sensor or the Qolsys 319.5 MHz S-Line QS5536-840 Flood Sensor. The PowerG option is good if you have any version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or a DSC PowerSeries NEO Panel with an added PowerG Transceiver. Meanwhile, the S-Line variant is good for the original non-Plus Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or even something like a wireless Interlogix Alarm Panel.

The biggest advantage to using the Z-Wave smart water valve and the wireless flood sensor together is that you can create an automated scene to turn the water off in an emergency situation. The way that this works is that when the flood sensor detects liquid, it will send a signal to the centralized alarm control panel. This faulted zone can then be programmed to trigger an automated smart scene that tells the Z-Wave valve to shut off the water supply. This can stop the flooding and potentially save you thousands of dollars in serious damage. If you've ever experienced the devastation of a major flood, then you will realize this importance.

Do you have any thoughts on this new smart water valve and flood sensor combination package from Qolsys? Share your viewpoint in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. It's great to see Qolsys taking such initiative in the field of flood damage prevention. Who knows, maybe Resideo and Honeywell Home or 2GIG and Nortek will release their own smart water valve in the near future (pure speculation). From what we can tell Qolsys really put out a winner here, and we're really excited to see it in action. Anyway, that's all the news for now. Keep posted to the Alarm Grid Blog for more updates in the security and smart home automation world coming real soon!

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With ISC West 2021 quickly approaching, we thought it would be nice to take a quick look at various security manufacturers to speculate about what they might be presenting. Keep in mind, this is purely speculation. None of this is guaranteed, it's just our guess as what we might see.

Before you read about the various security and smart home automation offerings that we might see, make sure to check out our earlier post on the ISC West 2021 Health and Safety Guidelines, if you haven't already. Remember that this year's ISC West runs from Monday, July 19th through Wednesday, July 21st at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, NV. With that out of the way, let's begin discussing some manufacturers.

Resideo

Resideo will certainly want to showcase its new system, the PROA7PLUS. We would expect to see both the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and the virtually identical Resideo PROA7PLUSC showcased prominently at ISC West 2021. You will also likely see its accompanying hardware, including the PROLTE-A and PROLTE-V Communicators, the PROTAKEOVER Legacy Receiver Module, and the PROSIX Series Encrypted Wireless Sensors. All of this aforementioned equipment is already available for purchase.


As for new products, we would be surprised if we didn't see Resideo releasing a new lineup of security cameras, perhaps under the Honeywell Home brand. With the Honeywell IPCAM-OC1 Outdoor Camera being discontinued, the selection of Total Connect 2.0 Cameras is pretty weak compared to the selection of Alarm.com Cameras. As such, a user getting security cameras as part of their system is more likely to choose an Alarm.com System than a Resideo System that is being used with Total Connect 2.0. We're sure Resideo wants to change that, so it would be disappointing if we don't see some new Resideo Cameras.

Lastly, we have heard rumors of a new hardwired system that would essentially replace the Honeywell VISTA Series. This lineup of wired panels is rumored to be named the Honeywell Home PROH8PLUS, and it would be a fully hybrid system able to support both hardwired sensors and wireless sensors, possibly using the PROTAKEOVER Module Legacy Receiver. While there's nothing inherently wrong with VISTA Alarm Panels, we might see Resideo updating their technology a bit, and bringing the hardwired selection lineup to the next level.

Nortek & 2GIG

From what we can tell, Nortek is very pleased with their 2GIG Edge Security System, and it's a fair bet that that 2GIG Edge Alarm Panel will be the main highlight of the 2GIG and Nortek Booth at ISC West 2021. And it's rightfully so, as the Edge is a highly advanced alarm panel with great features like facial recognition and Bluetooth disarming. What remains to be seen if Nortek will decide to roll-out a lineup of 2GIG Edge-exclusive encrypted sensors, perhaps to break away from the existing 2GIG eSeries Sensors that work with the Edge and the older GC2e and GC3e. However, we haven't actually heard anything about new 2GIG Edge Sensors, so that is just pure speculation. That being said, you can bet on 2GIG to heavily feature the 2GIG Edge Alarm System in their booth. If you haven't seen it an action yet, then ISC West 2021 figures to be a great opportunity. The 2GIG Edge and its accessories are currently available for purchase from Alarm Grid.

Qolsys

Qolsys has been secretly working away on some new alarm panels, and we figure ISC West 2021 to be right opportunity for Qolsys to unveil them to the public. The company needs to make a big splash to keep up with household names like Honeywell Home and 2GIG. We can expect to see the new Qolsys Budget Panel, the Qolsys IQ Hub, which we have been expecting for quite some time.


This may also be the chance for Qolsys to unveil their big new flagship alarm panel, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. We are expecting the IQ Panel 4 to be a tremendous juggernaut in the home security industry, as the new alarm system will boast a Snapdragon Chipset running Android 9 Software, and come complete with an 8MP front-facing camera, all-new lifestyle automation pages, and oodles of great features. There's a chance Qolsys might be secretive and keep the IQ Panel 4 tucked away, but we would be pretty sad if we don't get to see it at ISC West 2021. We are hopeful that the Qolsys IQ Panel 4, Qolsys IQ Hub, and Qolsys IQ Router will be made available later this year.

DSC

Digital Security Controls (DSC) has been at the forefront of Canadian Home and Commercial Security for years. But now that both DSC and Qolsys are under the Johnson Controls banner, we may see considerably less of the DSC brand out in the limelight. As security systems are being made "sexier" and flashier to fit-in with a modern home, a bulky wired alarm system like the DSC PowerSeries NEO just isn't suitable for most residential applications. We don't expect DSC to be completely absent from ISC West 2021, but don't be surprised if Johnson Controls is putting Qolsys out on center stage, while DSC may remain more in the background as more of a commercial security option. The PowerSeries NEO and the existing DSC Iotega are both candidates to be featured in ISC West 2021. We have not yet received any word on possible "new" DSC equipment that may be featured.

Alarm.com

Alarm.com always has a prominent showing at ISC West, and we don't expect this year to be any different. However, we aren't really sure what to expect from Alarm.com, if anything new. It's possible that Alarm.com might try to make ISC West 2021 more of a quiet showing. It's likely that the Alarm.com Smart House will return, allowing users to interact with the latest smart home automation and video surveillance offerings from Alarm.com. The ADC platform strives to be a leader in terms of home automation, and they will likely use this ISC West to showcase their complete array of offerings and how their equipment can be used together to create a complete smart home. We are also regularly pleased with all the Alarm.com Video Camera offerings, so it's fair to expect their cameras to make an appearance. We aren't necessarily expecting any new cameras, but we definitely anticipate seeing great devices like the ADC-V523, ADC,V622-WELL, ADC-V723, and ADC-VDB770 Doorbell Camera.

Z-Wave Alliance

You can always bet on seeing the Z-Wave Alliance tucked away in the back corners of the ISC West Showroom Floor. Z-Wave wireless communication has secured itself as the leading protocol in smart home automation, and it continues to dominate for good reason. ISC West 2021, figures to be a huge opportunity for Z-Wave 700-Series Technology to really present itself to the public and showcase its rich capabilities. Z-Wave 700-Series, also being called Z-Wave Plus V2, promised extended wireless range, and a longer battery life of at least ten (10) years. Z-Wave Plus V2 sensors are also required to be built on the Z-Wave S2 Security Protocol, thereby making them more secure than most Z-Wave 500-Series devices.

Of course, the Alarm Grid team will be returning to ISC West 2021, ready to post about the latest security offerings from all the major brands. Be sure to keep-up with the Alarm Grid Blog if you can't make it to ISC West 2021 yourself. We will let you know the latest news for Resideo, Honeywell Home, 2GIG, Qolsys, and more as we attend the event in Las Vegas, NV. Stay tuned for more ISC West 2021, especially as we get closer to the even on July 19th through July 21st. We're super excited, so get ready for more content coming soon.

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Being in the alarm industry, we get to test out some of the newest security systems first-hand. Today, we will briefly discuss three juggernauts in the DIY security realm - the 2GIG Edge, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, and explain why they can all succeed.





Whenever you have multiple companies all putting their best offerings forward to compete in the same field, there is usually the expectation that there will be at least one winner, but also at least one loser. However, in this playing field of three wireless alarm panels, it really appears as though each company has put its best offering forward and presented something distinctly unique that can stand out and succeed in this competitive industry. Simply put, all three of these systems are winners. It was rough getting here at times. There were some mistakes and growing pains along the way. Some were really bad. We can definitely say that it took some perseverance, but we reached a point where our three most prominent security system manufacturers - 2GIG, Qolsys, and Honeywell Home - have all hit their strides. It really is a fantastic sight to behold.

Today, we're not doing an in-depth compare and contrast of these three great systems, nor are we going to provide a definitive "ranking" of these systems. Maybe that can happen another time. What we are going to give you today is just a look at one (1) feature or capability for each system that is not possible for the other two. That is a major reason why we believe all three of these systems will thrive - they each offer something that you aren't going to find or be able to achieve with their biggest competitors. In other words, each system we're discussing today has an important competitive advantage that should keep it relevant for quite some time. Also, note that we're focusing on the positive aspects today. This isn't a wish list, and we're also not going to pick apart these systems to point out any minor flaws or shortcomings. This is just a chance for us to talk about something we like about each system and why we think it's a benefit. Anyway, let's get started. Here is why the 2GIG Edge, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS can all win.


2GIG Edge - Facial Recognition Arming/Disarming


Our impression of the 2GIG Edge is that Nortek really wanted to bring the alarm industry to the future. The system is loaded with advanced features and functions that certainly work to turn heads and bring the wow factor. None of those features more so than the panel's facial recognition arming and disarming capability. Sure, the IQ Panel 2 Plus also has its own facial recognition capabilities, but their system just generates an email from Alarm.com letting you know that the panel didn't recognize the face the last time someone disarmed. Only with the 2GIG Edge can you have the front panel camera scan your face and automatically arm or disarm the system, all without needing to enter a code. Facial recognition arming comes in handy if the Quick Arm feature (Q113) is disabled in order to provide arming/disarming logs. By default, this feature is enabled, which means that the system can be armed simply by pressing the Arm Stay or Arm Away button. This is convenient, but in some circumstances, such as for a business, you may want to know which user is arming and disarming your system, as well as when the system is being armed and disarmed.

The facial recognition feature of the 2GIG Edge differs from the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus in another way. With the Qolsys panel, all of the heavy lifting is done by Alarm.com. The facial profile and recognition processing all occur on the Alarm.com servers. With the 2GIG Edge, the user's facial profile is stored locally on the panel, and facial recognition processing also takes place locally. This means your facial biometric information stays safe within your own network and is never sent out into the cloud. If you're concerned about keeping your facial biometric information private, then this is very important!

On top of that, the feature works shockingly well and consistently when set up properly, and unless you have an identical twin or a doppelganger hanging around, it's not a security risk in any way. This is the kind of feature that you brag about to your friends, as it's actually cool. Plus, once you get used to it and learn how to position your face just right, the feature is super convenient as well. Being able to arm or disarm your system while your hands are full is something you will absolutely appreciate at some point or another. Manufacturers are always looking for ways to futurize their alarm systems. Well, the 2GIg Edge has done exactly that with its facial recognition feature. We recommend checking our prior blog post dedicated to 2GIG Edge Facial Recognition to learn more.


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus - PowerG Sensor Range


As the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is the oldest security system on this list, features that were once exclusive and unique have since been replicated by their competition. That being said, one area where the IQ2+ still reigns supreme is in the wireless range of its PowerG Sensors. With a range of approximately 2,000 feet when used with the IQ2+, you just can't go wrong. Sure, that listed range is assuming a best-case scenario in an open-air environment, with no large metal objects or other obstacles around to cause interference. Still, it blows the other manufacturers out of the water. While we haven't done any of our own testing (that may be a fun experiment for a future blog), the reports we hear from customers seem to indicate that PowerG Sensors on the IQ2+ do indeed offer a noticeably longer transmitting range than what can be achieved with the other panels on this list. We have heard multiple stories of users who have managed to get PowerG Sensors to work in areas such as warehouses and storage facilities where wireless sensors were thought to be completely unviable. If that wasn't enough, there is also the DSC PG9920 PowerG Repeater, which boosts the theoretical maximum wireless range to a distance of up to 4,000 feet!

While all of this doesn't really matter much for most users, as most users don't really need a sensor to work from 2,000+ feet away, the users who do benefit from the extended wireless range find it to be a complete game-changer. Just imagine, an installation that was once only possible with a super complex hardwired polling loop panel can now be achieved wirelessly with the IQ Panel 2 Plus! Not to mention that the PowerG Sensors offer some of the very best protection we have seen, with 128-bit AES encryption and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Technology. We're a bit surprised other manufacturers haven't followed suit and offered something comparable to PowerG. It's not to say that their alternative sensor offerings (e.g. Resideo PROSIX and SiX Series Sensors, 2GIG eSeries Sensors) aren't good devices in their own right, but the DSC PowerG Sensors are still at the top of the food chain... at least for now. As a result, there are still occasional installations where our only option is to recommend the IQ Panel 2 Plus with PowerG Sensors. It's totally cool though, as the IQ2+ remains a great panel that is loaded with tremendous features.


Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS - IP-Only Monitoring Option


We have an honorable mention with the PROA7PLUS. Namely, it's the only one of these three systems with replaceable components, meaning that you won't need to replace the entire panel if something like its WIFI & Z-Wave card or its added cellular communicator becomes damaged. While replaceable components are nice to have, they don't necessarily sell panels like the ability to monitor across internet protocol (IP) only. Although we love getting customers on our Gold Plan, and we can talk about the benefits of cellular monitoring until we're blue in the face, the fact remains that there are some customers who just want reliable monitoring service at a low price. We see it all the time - a customer just wants no-frills monitoring service to get a homeowner's insurance discount and to provide a basic layer of protection over their household. To them, the extra cost associated with cellular or dual-path monitoring isn't worth the benefit of their system staying monitored during internet outages. All we can do is try to give these customers what they want - an alarm panel that will allow them to keep their monitoring costs down. That is what they get with the PROA7PLUS, as it is the only one of these three systems that supports IP-only monitoring.

Technically, it's not the doing of the panel that makes IP-only monitoring possible, but rather it's the monitoring platform. The other panels on this list connect with Alarm.com, which mandates that cellular connectivity is set up on all their accounts. The PROA7PLUS on the other hand doesn't use Alarm.com, but rather it uses AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0. For the most part, Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 are relatively equal, but in a rare area of difference, TC2 allows for IP-only service, while ADC requires a cellular connection. The result is that when a customer comes to us wanting low-cost monitoring, after we explain the benefits of cellular, and they still want IP-only anyway, we go ahead with recommending the PROA7PLUS. That's not a bad thing either, as the system is super sleek, and it offers an incredible mix of great features and reliable performance. Though when it comes to the area where the PROA7PLUS stands out the most, it's the system's ability to be set up for IP-only alarm monitoring service. Unless Alarm.com drops its cellular requirement, or 2GIG and/or Qolsys team-up with another monitoring platform, Resideo and the PROA7PLUS will continue to dominate this market segment. There will always be people wanting monitoring service at the lowest possible price, even if it means giving up cellular connectivity. Luckily for those frugal folks, they have an excellent panel that gives them that option in the PROA7PLUS. That alone gives the PROA7PLUS plenty of opportunity to succeed. Also, just to be clear, a user can always add a cellular communicator to a PROA7PLUS and upgrade to cellular monitoring later on. We have many customers who want to start out on a low-cost plan and then upgrade to a more expensive plan later. That's perfectly understandable, and the PROA7PLUS makes that option possible.


What Do You Think?


We mean it when we say that the Edge, IQ Panel 2 Plus, and PROA7PLUS are all fantastic alarm panels. We might do a ranking someday, but to us, they are all winners. The choice really comes down to your unique needs. If the convenience of arming or disarming using your face is most important, go with the Edge. If you need the extended wireless range of PowerG, go with the IQ Panel 2 Plus. If you want low-cost IP-only monitoring, go with the PROA7PLUS. Each panel has its own advantage. There are also many other talking points that we simply don't have time to get to today. However, you can start your own discussion in the comments below! We would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, viewpoints, and personal experiences. If you have used or tested out any of these panels, then we would love to know about it. Also, our comments section is a great place to ask questions. Maybe we have something that we didn't cover that you would like to learn more about? Our team of experts are happy to help you. Leave a comment below, and we will be sure to reply. Plus, don't forget to stay tuned to our blog for more security news and discussions coming soon!

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Qolsys has released information regarding an issue affecting IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.4 and Firmware Version 2.5.5. The issue affects the Z-Wave Home Automation functionality for IQ2 Systems on those firmware versions. The issue can be fixed by upgrading the system to 2.6.0.

According to Qolsys TSB# 210511, which can be viewed here, Z-Wave devices paired with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System on Firmware Version 2.5.4 or Firmware Version 2.5.5 may occasionally buffer and repeatedly send the same command to the device every thirty (30) minutes. Although it's possible that any Z-Wave device could demonstrate this behavior, Qolsys says that it is most likely to affect the GoControl GD00Z-8-GC Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Opener.

Fortunately, Qolsys also adds that the issue can be easily corrected by upgrading to Firmware Version 2.6.0. If you haven't already, make sure to upgrade to Firmware Version 2.6.0 so that all of your programmed Z-Wave devices work as intended. More information on IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.6.0, including what comes with the update and how to perform the update, can be found in this helpful blog post.

Alarm Grid will provide a future update if we learn anything more from Qolsys. But for now, it can be assumed that upgrading to Firmware Version 2.6.0 will resolve the issue. Remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more updates coming soon!

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Qolsys has released the long-awaited Firmware Version 2.6.0. This will be the base version for the Qolsys IQ Hub and will allow users to configure the new IQ WIFI Mesh Router from the touchscreen of the IQ Panel 2. These are only a couple of the new features. This is truly an exciting update!

We've been talking about the Qolsys IQ Hub, well, forever, it seems. But honestly, it's been "coming soon" for over a year now. We are so glad that the wait is almost over. The Qolsys IQ Hub will truly be a DIY dream. Qolsys has taken a "see no green" approach to this panel, meaning there is no reason to open the panel fully, so you should never see the green printed circuit board (PCB). It won't even have screw terminals! The battery will be easily end-user replaceable with a minimum of "deconstruction" to the alarm panel itself. Some of the best features of the IQ Panel 2/2+ will be available in this new panel, such as Bluetooth disarming, and Alarm.com Camera Streaming at the panel.

A couple of things have been removed though. It will not have a built-in camera, nor will it offer 2-way voice capability. The IQ Hub is meant to be a slightly less expensive alternative to the IQ Panel 2 or 2 Plus, and to the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 that we should be seeing later this year. Initially, the IQ Hub will support PowerG Wireless Sensors, but later, there will be 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, and 433 MHz options available. Each IQ Hub is intended to support only one (1) RF frequency.

You might be saying, "I thought this was a blog about Firmware Version 2.6.0?" Well, it is. But the fact that we have Firmware Version 2.6.0 available now means that the full release of the Qolsys IQ Hub won't be far behind. The Qolsys IQ Hub is scheduled for a Q2 2021 release. Aside from all the new features and improvements for the IQ Panel 2 Plus itself, another exciting capability that is added in this firmware release is the ability to control and configure the new Qolsys IQ Router through the IQ Panel 2 or 2 Plus Touchscreen.

The Qolsys IQ Router is also slated for release in Q2 of 2021. This is a mesh router system that will support up to eight (8) nodes, and both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. What's great about this product is that it allows a user to create a WIFI subnet inside their regular network. Any devices that use WIFI can be attached to the network, not just security devices, and multiple nodes (up to 8) can be added to strengthen the mesh network. If you change internet providers or even just internet equipment, you simply unplug the IQ Router from the existing router, plug it into the new router, and all of the WIFI devices will remain connected to the WIFI sub-network without having to reconfigure any of them. These are two upcoming products associated with the release of Firmware Version 2.6.0 that we're really looking forward to.

Below you'll find some of the additional new features supported on Firmware Version 2.6.0:

New Features:

  • Support for DSC hardwire keypads (HS2LCD, HS2ICN) via the CORBUS on the PowerG Hardwire to Wireless Translator (PG9WLSHW8) with Firmware V 1.1. Also added new PGM system triggers for Police, Fire, Aux & CO emergency.
  • Support for DSC NEO Wire-Free Keypads HS2LCDWFx, HS2LCDWFxENG.
  • Support for new V4 PowerG Daughter Card.
  • Panel now supports remote Z-Wave Smart Start integration from Alarm.com.
  • This update includes the critical firmware2 fix that resolves an issue where certain panels would automatically reboot with previous firmware applied.

Fixes & Improvements

  • Added a setting to allow the panel to send 1 or 10 images taken by PowerG Image Sensor Cameras (PG9934P, PG9944, NEXT CAM, PG2, NEXT CAM K9-85 PG2, BW-IRC, BW-IPC, TOWER CAM PG2, BW-ODC) during an alarm event to Alarm.com. Previously, ten (10) images were stored locally at the panel, but only the first image was sent to Alarm.com.
  • Added a setting allowing alarm dealers to select a specific time for Communication Tests to be sent to the monitoring station. If no selection is made, the time will be randomized.
  • Added a setting for detection direction on PG9902 Outdoor Curtain PIR. Users can choose left to right, right to left, or both.
  • Added the ability to disable PowerG activation LED on devices that have one in order to conserve battery.
  • Added Partition support for EN Grade 2 Panels.
  • Improved 700-Series Z-Wave performance on UK & EU Panels.
  • Bluetooth Disarm now available for UK & EU Panels.
  • Added language support for Spanish (Spain), French (France), Finnish, and Polish.
  • Added support for European date format: DD.MM.YYYY.
  • Improved cellular strength matching between Panel and Alarm.com for Latin America.
  • Silent and Audible Panics now report separate CID codes to central station.
  • Duress Alarm and Silent Police Panic can now be dismissed from Alarm.com.
  • Improvements to PowerG Wireless keypad functionality (WS9LCDWFx).
  • Keyfob arming now follows the Auto-Bypass setting on the panel.
  • Duress codes from KP-140 & KP-141 now transmit to Alarm.com.
  • Corrected an issue where a PG9905 Temperature Sensor would send double alarms for the same event.
  • Fixed an issue related to virtual device integration on the panel, which includes Liftmaster Garage Door control from the panel UI, and Solar Integration from Alarm.com. See TSB 201026 for additional details.

Into each life, a little rain must fall. It's not all good news, although, this is more of an inconvenience than actual bad news. Because Firmware Version 2.6.0 also contains the important firmware2 fix, it must be downloaded and installed from the Qolsys Server. The server has some logic built-in that allows it to tell if the panel being updated requires the firmware2 fix, or not. For this reason, much like Firmware version 2.5.5, Qolsys is not making this firmware file available for download. This means that Alarm Grid can't host it on our site.

What this means for the end-user is that in order to get 2.6.0, your panel must have a WIFI connection. Once it does, you have two ways in which you can get the firmware. You can request it from your alarm dealer, and they can push the update to your panel from Alarm.com. This will be a free update. As long as your panel has WIFI 24/7, this is a simple and no-fuss way to get your panel updated. Just remember, if for some reason your panel loses WIFI, the update won't go through. Alarm.com will not allow the panel to be updated via a cellular-only connection. You can also follow the instructions below to request the update via Patch Tag.

If your panel happens to be in an area where there is no WIFI, maybe it's a hunting or fishing cabin, or a second home where WIFI is not readily available, then you may be able to use your cell phone as a mobile hotspot and fool the panel into thinking it's connected to WIFI. The amount of data in this file is about 250 MB according to Qolsys. Alternatively, you may be able to move the panel to a spot that has WIFI available just long enough to perform the upgrade. In a situation like this, you need to be in control of when the update begins, so in this case, you would want to use the "Patch Tag" method of updating. To do so, once your panel has a WIFI connection, do the following:

Follow these instructions after making sure your panel is on version 2.0.1 or higher. If the panel is on 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, the user must first update to 2.5.3 before running the update for 2.6.0:

  • Touch the small gray bar in the center at the top of the Home screen on the panel.
  • Touch “Settings”
  • Touch “Advanced Settings”
  • Enter a valid Installer or Dealer Code (defaults are 1111 and 2222 respectively)
  • Touch “Upgrade Software”.
  • Touch “Patch Tag” and enter: iqpanel2.6.0 then touch “OK”.
  • Important: If you need to install 2.5.3 prior to this update, the Patch Tag for that version is: iqpanel2.5.3. Run that update before running the Patch Tag for 2.6.0.
  • Touch “Upgrade Using Network”. If the panel is connected to WIFI, the system will begin downloading the update, it will be installed when the download completes. Once the update begins Do Not Touch The Screen! The update will take about five (5) minutes, and the panel will reboot as a part of the process. When the panel returns to the home screen and the Green LED at the right lights, the process has completed.

What do you think about the new Qolsys firmware, and the new products they have in the pipeline? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Is there a security topic you'd like to see us discuss? If so, leave a comment and we'll be happy to cover any security-related topics of interest. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Here at Alarm Grid, we try to help as many people as possible with their alarm system. Sure, we hope it will lead folks to choose us for their alarm monitoring needs. But it's also because we're simply helpful people. An alarm in your home or business should help quell fears, not cause them.

We've begun what I think of as "Silly Season". You may be familiar with this term from Nascar, but for us in the alarm industry, this is the time when a lot of home buying and selling occurs. During this time, we get a lot of calls that go something like this, "I just moved into a home with an existing alarm. We haven't been using it, but somehow it got armed, and now it's going off, and I don't know the code to disarm it. Please help!"

Moving into a new home is exciting, but it's also stressful and can be overwhelming at times. So, I've (Ms. Manners) put together this guide to help you, the person who moved out of the home in this scenario, to leave behind your alarm system in a way that's as stress-free as possible for all parties involved.

Ms. Manners Says: Notify Your Alarm Company

If your alarm system is monitored, be sure to notify your alarm company that you are moving out and that the system is staying behind. This may seem obvious, but many people assume that if they stop paying their monitoring fees, the alarm company will know they no longer want service and will cancel it on their own. This is not the case for a number of reasons! There may be contracts involved. There could be liability issues. So for many reasons - not the least of which is it's the polite thing to do - any time you wish to stop monitoring service to a particular address, you should notify the alarm monitoring company as soon as possible.

By notifying the alarm company, you do several things. You give them an opportunity to reach out to the new homeowner and introduce themselves. Hopefully, if you've had a good experience with your monitoring company, you will also put in a good word about them to the new homeowner. Both of these things give the company a leg-up when it comes to courting a potential new customer, and it also gives the new homeowner information based on your real-life experience, not just an advertisement in a new homeowner's mailer.

By notifying the monitoring company, you can also help to prevent any unnecessary dispatching of the authorities to this address. As bad as the scenario above is for the poor, uninformed new homeowner, it's worse for the police, fire, or EMS personnel who may respond to the alarm, which we know is false.

Remember, the person who signed up for the monitoring service at the address in the scenario above no longer lives there. That means the monitoring station is going to be calling people who have no idea what may be going on at this address (which is also an annoyance for the person receiving the call). In this situation, it is likely that the monitoring station MUST dispatch because if they don't (and there is some type of emergency) there may be repercussions for them. A monitoring station is always going to adhere to the adage, "Better safe than sorry." After all, safety is their business.

Ms. Manners Says: Default Users, But Not Zones

When you sell a house and the alarm system with it, you may think it's a good idea to set the alarm system back to factory default to allow the new homeowner a chance to program it as they see fit. Resist this urge! In most cases, what was your Front Door is now going to be their Front Door. What was your Kitchen Window is now going to be their Kitchen Window. John's Bedroom Window may become Jane's Bedroom Window, but this is a pretty simple thing to change and doesn't really call for the entire system to be set back to factory default.

When it comes to user codes, though, it is best to set these back to factory defaults. This will prevent the new homeowner from finding out what codes you used. After all, we are creatures of habit, and there's a good chance you'll use those same codes in your next system. Also, if you set the codes for the Installer and Master users back to their default, the new homeowner should easily be able to find out what they are by doing a quick search online. Then, if they find themselves in the messy scenario discussed above, they'll be able to get themselves out of it. Being able to get yourself out of a jam like this one can do wonders for your self-confidence.

System Manufacturers and their Default Codes

Panel Manufacturer Installer Code Master Code
Honeywell Vista (Non-polling) 4112 1234
Honeywell All-in-One 4112 1234
2GIG GC2 1561 1111
2GIG GC3 1561 1111
Qolsys 1111 1234
Interlogix Simon XT 4321 1234
Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5 4321 1234
DSC Impassa 5555 1234

Use the information in the table above to set the codes in your panel back to their default values. If you don't see your panel listed, you can likely find the information you need with a quick online search. Performing this process is the single most helpful thing you can do for the new homeowner when it comes to the alarm system!

Ms. Manners Says: Leave Behind Good Notes

Any information you know about your alarm system, such as the manufacturer and model, the default installer code, and the default master code - each of which hopefully you have programmed into your panel by this time - will be helpful for the new homeowner. A list of zone numbers and their descriptions is also very much appreciated by a new homeowner. Leave them a note, tucked behind the keypad, or on a kitchen counter. Give them the sequence of keys to enter to disarm the system, or better yet, if you have the opportunity, show it to them, and then leave them a note to back up your demonstration.

If you're willing, leave them your contact information so they can contact you in the event that something unforeseen comes up. This is particularly important if your system is somewhat complex and has multiple home automation features integrated with it. I promise the last thing the new homeowner wants to do is bother you if they can avoid it. Everyone at Alarm Grid has talked with a frantic new homeowner who never even considered contacting the prior homeowner. It's usually something we suggest if we're unable to assist.

Fortunately, in most cases, we are able to assist, and we are happy to do so. This is just one of the many ways we make new friends here at Alarm Grid! I hope that anyone who is preparing to move out of a home and leave behind an alarm system will read this and use these suggestions to prepare.

If you happen to be moving into a home that already has an alarm system, and perhaps the previous homeowner didn't read this post, feel free to reach out to us. We're here Monday - Friday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time. You can reach us via email, or by calling 888-818-7728.

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Alarm Grid has learned that Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Version 2.5.5 is now available for download. The update mainly focuses on providing fixes for issues that affected earlier firmware versions. This is believed to be the final update before the eventual 2.6.0 release.


For a complete outline of Software Update 2.5.5 and what it includes, make sure to check out Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) # 210315 released by Qolsys. Although this update doesn't provide any new features or functions for the IQ2 or IQ2+, it does offer some important fixes to help ensure that your system functions as smoothly as possible and without issue. Additions for 2.5.5 include:

  • Fixes an issue involving PowerG device syncing in Versions 2.5.3 and 2.5.4. More information is available here.
  • Corrects a problem that caused certain IQ2 Help Videos in languages other than English to not play properly.
  • Applies the firmware2 patch fix to stop affected IQ2+ Systems from automatically rebooting. More information can be found here.
  • All of the new additions in 2.5.4 are also included in 2.5.5. This is important for users who may be skipping 2.5.4 and going right to 2.5.5.

Please note that at this time, the only way to update your IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System to 2.5.5 is via the Patch Tag method. Alarm dealers like Alarm Grid do not have access to the 2.5.5 Firmware at this time, and it is not possible to have the update pushed down to your panel from Alarm.com currently. We expect that to change in the coming days once Alarm.com vets the software to their satisfaction. This is also why we updated our IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update Page to reflect Version 2.5.5, but pointed the download link back to this blog page. It is possible that Version 2.5.5 will not be made available for download, in which case the only way to achieve this version is to update using WIFI at the panel. If the panel is installed in an area where WIFI is not available, users should be able to use a cell phone or other hotspot to apply the update using the Patch Tag method.

Applying Firmware Version 2.5.5 to your IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus via Patch Tag is quite simple. However, it must be mentioned that if your IQ2 or IQ2+ is currently on FW Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, then you need to stage upgrade to Version 2.5.3 first before then updating to the new 2.5.5 version. All IQ2 and IQ2+ Systems on versions other than 2.5.0 and 2.5.1 do not need to stage upgrade and can instead go directly to 2.5.5, as long as the panel is on at least Version 2.0.1.

Remember that you can check your IQ2 or IQ2+ firmware version by starting from the main system screen, pressing the small grey bar at the top, and then choosing Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > About > Software. As long as your IQ2 or IQ2+ is on at least 2.0.1, and is on a version other than 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, you can go directly to 2.5.5.

As always, only IQ2 and IQ2+ Systems on Software Versions of 2.0.1 or higher can receive firmware updates. If you have a rare IQ2 System that is less than Version 2.0.1, you should strongly consider replacing the panel. This only applies to a very small number of IQ2 users, but it's still a warning we need to put out!

We have received word from Qolsys that the firmware2 patch fix portion of the update is extremely small in size - only about 500KB. But the entire 2.5.5 Software Package is much larger, at approximately 250MB in size. Most users upgrading shouldn't run into issues, but the large size may be undesirable for a user who is trying to apply the update using a hotspot on their cell phone because they do not have true WIFI service. We just wanted to point this out in case it affects anyone.

To prepare for the upgrade, make sure your IQ2 or IQ2+ is plugged in with its battery charged. It should be connected to a WIFI network. Then once you are are ready, do the following to upgrade to FW Version 2.5.5:

Start from the main screen of the IQ2 or IQ2+. Swipe the small grey bar at the top. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.5.5 > OK > Upgrade Using Network.

Your system should then begin applying the update. According to Qolsys, the update should take about five (5) minutes to apply. We tested the update on an original IQ Panel 2 System in our office, and we were very impressed with how quickly the update was applied.


Got any questions about IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update 2.5.5? Or maybe you have some hopes or a wishlist for the much anticipated IQ Panel 2 Firmware Update 2.6.0? Leave a comment down below and share your thoughts. We would love to hear from you! And remember to keep reading our blog for more security news on the way very soon!

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New products keep coming! We have two (2) new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Kits. There is the Qolsys QK9201-AK2P-840 with Verizon LTE and the Qolsys QK9202-AK2P-840 with AT&T LTE. Both are 2-1 PowerG Kits with a 319.5 MHz IQ2+ System, one (1) PG9914 Motion, and two (2) PG9303 Door/Window Contacts.

What makes these new kits different from our other IQ2+ System Kits is that these are 2-1 Kits (2 Door/Window Sensors + 1 Motion) with PowerG Sensors. Our other 2-1 offerings, the Qolsys QK9201-AK2C and the Qolsys QK9202-AK2C include Qolsys S-Line Sensors, rather than the PowerG Sensors included in these new kits. And all the other Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus PowerG Kits were in 3-1 or 10-1 sizes. But thanks to these new kits, you can now get a new 2-1 IQ2+ Kit with PowerG Sensors! These are fantastic wireless sensors that can work from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus System in open air, and they utilize 128-bit AES encryption for great security.

Your one choice with these two new kits is whether you want the 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus w/ Verizon LTE or the 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus w/ AT&T LTE. Other than the cellular carrier, these two kits are exactly the same. When deciding between AT&T and Verizon, just go with whichever network offers more reliable service in the area where the system will be used. Check coverage maps if you are unsure. Please note that we do not have 2-1 Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Kits for the 345 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus or the 433 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus. Only the 319.5 Mhz version is available in a 2-1 kit.

With the Qolsys QK9201-AK2P-840 or Qolsys QK9202-AK2P-840, you get all of the same great benefits as any other brand-new IQ Panel 2 Plus System. This system supports up to 128 wireless zones, Z-Wave Plus technology, and a plethora of great features like optional automatic Bluetooth disarming, security camera live-streaming, four (4) configurable partitions, and so much more. By activating the system with a cellular monitoring plan that includes access to Alarm.com, you will be able to control the system from anywhere in the world using your phone.

We hope that you find these new 2-1 Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus PowerG Kits useful. They are great for any small home or apartment, where only a few sensors are needed. We also recommend these kits for previous Interlogix System users who are looking to upgrade to a newer 319.5 MHz system. Please comment below with your thoughts on these new kits. Remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid blog for more security news coming soon!

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We have been made aware of a critical firmware issue affecting Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems manufactured between Week 35 of 2020 (or Week 37 for some factory codes) and Week 05 of 2021. The issue causes systems to automatically reboot at times. We apologize for any resulting inconvenience.


According to Qolsys, all IQ panel 2 Plus Systems manufactured with a Date Code of G035 to G105 AND J037 to J105 are affected. This can be seen in digits 6 thru 9 of the system's Serial Number (SN) on the product box, on the back of the system, and in the Hardware portion of the About Menu in Advanced Settings.


If your system is affected, then you can download a special firmware update to correct the problem. In order to download this corrective firmware, your system must be one of the affected models (see above), and you must have the panel on Software Version 2.4.2 or higher (check the About Menu). You may also want to check out our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update Page here if you need to update your system to 2.4.2 before running this patch.

If you meet the criteria, then you can perform the following steps to update the firmware:

1. Prepare IQ2+ System. Make sure your system meets the aforementioned criteria to receive the special update. In addition, have your system connected to WIFI. Your system should be plugged in for AC power, and it should not have a low battery.

Monitoring stations will eventually be able to push this upgrade over-the-air (OTA). If your system is in a location where WIFI is not available, the monitoring station should be able to push the update, but to do so via cellular data may incur a small fee. This will require that the panel is set up for monitoring service, including connectivity with Alarm.com.

2. Access Upgrade Software Menu. From the main system screen, swipe the small grey bar at the top, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter the Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software. You are in the Upgrade Software Menu.

3. Enter Patch Tag. Find the Patch Tag field. Click on it, and enter firmware2. Make sure you enter firmware2 exactly. Press OK to confirm.

4. Apply the update. Choose "Upgrade Using Network". The update should then begin. It should take around five (5) minutes to complete, though it can take a bit longer in some cases. Do not touch the system during the update. The system should reboot once complete.

5. Verify the update. You can verify the update by repeating Step 2, except this time choose About > Software, instead of "Upgrade Software". The build number should display 0210219_sp1 to indicate a successful update.

This update should fix and/or prevent your IQ2+ System from randomly rebooting if it was part of the batch with the critical firmware issue. We hope that this helps any affected users overcome issues with the IQ2+ Systems. Make sure to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid blog for the latest news regarding Qolsys, the IQ Panel 2, and any other important security system news!

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You may recall that we made a post about a month ago discussing "issues" that have been affecting the IQ Panel 2 Plus and its ability to be used as a secondary Z-Wave controller. We have a rather extreme follow up today, as Qolsys has revealed that the system never supported the feature!


When we released the initial post on the subject, we were not aware of the true" extent" of the issue. We certainly didn't expect to find out that Qolsys never even made it possible for the feature to work. We won't dive super deep into the subject here, as there really isn't much to say, The raw truth is that you cannot use the IQ2 as a secondary Z-Wave controller.

It is possible to add a secondary Z-Wave controller to the IQ Panel 2 and have the IQ2 operate as the primary controller. But you can never make the IQ Panel 2 System a secondary Z-Wave controller. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion that this may have caused. For a more in-depth look at the subject, we strongly recommend reading this comprehensive FAQ that explains the inability of the IQ2 to be used as a secondary controller in much greater detail.

Now, maybe you have explored the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Advanced Z-Wave Settings Menus in glorious detail, just like we have. If you have, then you will know that secondary controller options do exist within the IQ2 menus. Based on that alone, you would think that there must be a way to get this type of setup to work, right? That's the problem. The menu options might be there, plain as day. But trust us, if you try to make the IQ2 a secondary Z-Wave controller, then it will not work,

What we need to do now is focus on the implications that arise from the system's inability to be used as a secondary controller. As a result of the IQ Panel 2 being unable to operate as a secondary Z-Wave controller, the system loses out on potential compatibility with a wide selection of automation hubs. This includes compatibility with Samsung SmartThings, Vera Smart Controllers, Nexia Smart Home Automation Systems, and much more. Seriously, while the IQ2 once had excellent prospects of pairing nicely with almost any centralized Z-Wave hub, those prospects are all but gone.

Fortunately, there are other alarm systems that do not share this same limitation of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. Most notably, we will recommend the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The Lyric has proven on repeated occasions to "play nicely" as a secondary controller. One example can be seen in this FAQ, which explains the benefits of making the Lyric a secondary Z-Wave controller, while also helping users get started. If you are thinking about purchasing a new Honeywell Lyric Alarm System for its excellent versatility in smart home automation, then you may also want to check out this buying guide. Although that particular buying guide was written for the Lyric during a holiday buying season a couple of years prior, it is still relevant in helping new Lyric System users explore their options for getting the most out of the system.

If you have any questions about the Honeywell Lyric or any other popular alarm control panel, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring services, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We're here to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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