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Qolsys announced several new products at ISC West in August. However, product availability, including for the IQ Panel 4, has been nil. We now have one iteration of the panel that has limited stock available. The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 with Verizon LTE and Interlogix/GE SRF support in White.

The Qolsys Roadmap for product releases got a little rocky this year. We expected the Qolsys IQ Hub in the late Spring, with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 to be released in the late fall. That's understandable with all the things that have been going on. What with the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the recent global chip shortage, we consider ourselves fortunate to be seeing stock on existing products, let alone newly announced ones.

At this time, we have limited stock available on one specific version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. This is the panel with built-in WIFI, a Verizon LTE cellular communicator, and support for both PowerG and Interlogix/GE and Qolsys 319.5 MHz wireless devices with the panel in White. Eventually, there will also be another version with these exact same specifications, but with the panel in Black.

As the rollout continues, and the component availability and manufacturing bottleneck abates, we will eventually see several other variations of this panel become available. You can see a list of all of them below:

Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Variations

SKU Product Description Available Date
IQP4001 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, White Limited Availability Now!
IQP4001BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4004 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4004BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4003 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4003BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4006 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4006BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4002 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4002BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4005 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4005BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022

If you click on any of the links above for products that aren't yet available, they will show up as discontinued on our site. Once they become available, we will blog again, and those links will become live. This way, you can come back to this post at any time and check availability on whichever panel variation you happen to be interested in.

In addition to the options shown above, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 currently uses the same User Interface (UI) as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Eventually they will offer a new look, and users will be able to choose between the new or the existing look. The panel has an 8 MP camera, which can be adjusted for tilt, increased signal range for all wireless cards that are built into the panel, more advanced speakers, three microphones, and many more hardware upgrades.

For those who may not know, Qolsys sought to make it easy to replace an existing panel that uses wireless sensors, without having to replace all of the sensors as well. So if you currently have an older Qolsys panel, or an Interlogix or GE panel, all of which used 319.5 MHz wireless sensors, then you would want to choose the corresponding Qolsys IQ Panel 4 in the color, and with the cellular communicator that best suits your needs.

Honeywell 5800 Series and 2GIG wireless both use 345 MHz wireless sensors. 2GIG has a lineup of encrypted sensors that also operate at 345 MHz, and those sensors will NOT be compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 that supports this frequency, but most other uni-directional 345 MHz wireless devices that work with either of these two product lines should also work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4.

Older DSC panels used wireless sensors in the 433 MHz range. As you can see from the chart, there will also be a version of the IQ Panel 4 that supports these devices. DSC is also the manufacturer of PowerG wireless devices. All of the IQ Panel 4 variations will support PowerG. The idea being, once you replace the older panel, and begin to utilize the older RF sensors with the new Qolsys IQ Panel 4, if you need to replace the older devices, you can choose to replace them with the same older model sensor, or you can replace them with a PowerG version, which supports 128-bit AES encryption, and will have a range up to 4,000 feet with the IQ Panel 4. You can read all about why we love PowerG so much in this earlier post.

Qolsys released an RF Compatibility Document for firmware version 2.6.0. Both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the IQ Panel 4 will use this firmware. This is the base version for the IQP4, so any devices listed on this document as compatible have been tested by Qolsys engineering and are known to work. Uni-directional devices (those that only transmit to the panel, but don't receive any information from the panel) that are not on the compatibility list may or may not work. Bi-directional devices such as the Honeywell 5800RL, 5800WAVE, or 5828 will definitely NOT work.

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Alarm Grid is excited to announce we are now offering certain Qolsys products at a lower price. Price reductions occur from time to time, and we're always happy to pass those savings on to our customers. The products we'll be talking about today cover a wide range of uses. Let's take a look.

The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F: This wired to wireless translator for 319.5 MHz panels sets the Gold Standard for these types of devices. With support for up to 16 wired zones, including one 2-wire smoke zone with up to ten (10) smoke detectors, 500 mA of power for devices such as motion detectors, and a 500 mA siren relay compatible with panels on RF PIC Version 11.1.4.G2 or higher. The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F is one of the most versatile expansion modules we've ever seen.

Qolsys IQ Carbon: The Qolsys IQ Carbon transmits at 319.5 MHz and is compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus as well as older Interlogix/GE Simon panels. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus come in several different varieties, so be sure your panel supports 319.5 MHz wireless sensors before purchasing the Qolsys IQ Carbon. These panels customarily come in a box with a gold edge.


The IQ Carbon should be used in homes with a high chance of Carbon Monoxide gas build-up. CO gas is odorless and colorless, and is formed whenever carbon-based fuels are not burned efficiently. Carbon-based fuels include coal, oil, natural gas, and even wood. Homes with gas furnaces, gas appliances, fireplaces or portable gas heaters should definitely have properly placed Carbon Monoxide detectors.

Qolsys IQ Dimmer: The Qolsys IQ Dimmer is a Z-Wave plug-in on/off dim capable lamp module. It supports 120VAC/60 Hz and operates at 908.42 MHz, the Z-Wave frequency used in the United States. It can support the equivalent of 2.5A, 300W incandescent, 65W dimmable CFL/LED. If you plan to use this device for dimming, be sure that the bulb being used also supports light dimming. Although this is a standard Z-Wave device, rather than Z-Wave plus, it might be useful in a location where you need to add a device where you aren't concerned with range, and you know that the device won't need to act as a repeater. Although this device WILL repeat Z-Wave signals, it will do us using standard Z-Wave limitations.

Qolsys IQ Siren: The Qolsys IQ Siren uses standard Z-Wave technology, allowing a user to easily add a remote siren that produces up to 105dB siren sounds. This device plugs into any standard outlet. It is then paired with the alarm panel. On Qolsys panels, that's all you have to do. Once the siren is paired as a Z-Wave device, it will automatically follow the alarm sounds from the panel by default. The IQ Siren can also be used on other Z-Wave compatible panels, but may require additional programming in order to sound upon alarms on those panels.

Qolsys Image Sensor: The image sensor is a motion sensor with a still camera built-in. This affordable device just got even more affordable! For situations where you want to be able to see what's going on, but you don't want to add a full video system, the Qolsys Image Sensor is perfect. In conjunction with Alarm.com and the right monitoring plan, you can use the Image Sensor to peek-in and see what's going on at your home or business. You can set it up so that you receive an image capture upon the panel being disarmed, or when motion is detected in an area after a long period of inactivity. It's great for making sure the kids got home from school safely, or just to check in on your dog or cat who may be home alone.


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Qolsys released the Qolsys IQ WIFI last week. The IQ WIFI supports dual-band (2.4GHZ and 5GHz) WIFI and can be used as a stand-alone router. It can also be installed in parallel with an existing network. This provides a separate secure WIFI connection for security devices such as cameras.

WIFI is about as common these days as home phones with a traditional copper line (POTS or Plain Old Telephone Service) were from the 1960's through the early 2000's. However, the adoption of WIFI networking has seen some challenges that were not really an issue when using POTS. Namely, the end-user installation and configuration aspect of WIFI networks, as well as issues with getting, and then staying, connected to them. The security industry has embraced WIFI in a big way in recent years, therefore security system users have felt the pain created by these challenges.

For this reason, Qolsys has introduced the Qolsys IQ WIFI. The IQ WIFI is a mesh-capable controller and agent system. Up to eight (8) devices can be supported per network. One IQ WIFI will connect to the modem, router, or switch via a wired ethernet cable. This IQ WIFI will become the controller for the mesh network. Then, up to seven (7) additional IQ WIFI units acting as Agents can be added for a total of eight (8) devices. This allows a user to blanket virtually every nook and cranny of the home or business with a safe and easily configured WIFI connection. If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus with firmware version 2.6.0 or later, the network can be configured right from the panel's touchscreen. The range between IQ WIFIs is approximately 130 ft. (39.62 m) with a coverage area of approximately 1,500 square feet (139 square meters). Wireless IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz and IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz frequencies are supported.

The Qolsys IQ WIFI can be used as a stand-alone router. Each one contains a WAN port, a LAN port, and a barrel connector for power. Each one also has a WPS button. If your ISP provides you with a combination Modem/Router device, connect the WAN port of the IQ WIFI to one of the available ethernet ports on the Modem/Router. From there you can use the IQ WIFI as a wired or WIFI router. For wired devices, connect directly to the LAN port on the IQ WIFI. If you have more than one wired device to connect, connect a multi-port switch to the IQ WIFI LAN port, and then connect your other wired ethernet devices to the switch. As an alternative, connect the WAN port on the IQ WIFI to an existing router or switch, and then using this device as the Controller, build a parallel WIFI mesh network(s) out from there.

Up to seven (7) additional IQ WIFI devices can be added as Agents to create a mesh network that is as strong as you need it to be. This allows you to run a separate WIFI network inside your home or business that is virtually invisible to anyone attempting to hack in from the outside. Another attractive feature of this type of configuration is the ease of replacing the Internet facing hardware. Any time you need to swap out the main modem or router, all you do is swap out the existing hardware, then connect the Qolsys IQ WIFI acting as the Controller to the new piece of equipment. All of the WIFI devices that have been configured to connect through the IQ WIFI will keep their current configuration. There is no need to go around to each WIFI device and enter new credentials. This is particularly welcome when you have WIFI equipment, such as fixed-mount cameras, that may be installed in multiple and difficult to reach locations.

In many cases, security devices can only use the 2.4GHz WIFI band. When the SSID for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz are the same, this can cause issues for those devices that don't support both frequencies. We've seen this in many instances with the Honeywell Lyric. By allowing the user to separate the two bands, achieved by changing the SSID on one or both of them, you can make sure that any device that needs to use only one band or the other can find and then remain connected to the proper WIFI network. It may seem counter-intuitive to think that a Qolsys product could help to stabilize the WIFI connection for a Resideo or Honeywell alarm system, but it is absolutely possible.

When Qolsys first talked about this device, they called it the Qolsys IQ Router. Since then, they have updated the name to Qolsys IQ WIFI and they plan to release a separate device called the Qolsys IQ Router2, or possibly the IQ WIFI6 later in the year. This will be a more robust device supporting both WIFI and potentially another technology such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, or maybe even PowerG. We look forward to hearing about many more new products to come! What do you think of the Qolsys IQ WIFI? Leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you.


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Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus users will be pleased to learn that a new firmware update is available! Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.6.1 can be downloaded via patch tag right now. Alarm Grid recommends that IQ2 and IQ2+ users download the update at their earliest convenience.

Important Note: For those looking for the 2.6.1 Firmware File needed to update the panel using an SD Card, we will make that file available as soon as possible. Qolsys has not yet posted it. However, when the SD Card method is used, the panel will still need a WIFI connection, and active monitoring in order to be sure the panel updates properly. For this reason, unmonitored systems should not attempt this update method unless the user is absolutely sure the "Firmware2" update is not needed on the system. For those who need the "Firmware2" update, it is recommended that the Patchtag method of updating discussed below be used.

Before we get into how to download Firmware Version 2.6.1, we would like to discuss what the new update includes. This isn't a particularly loaded update, but it still includes some new features, plus some important fixes and general system improvements. For those reasons, updating at your earliest convenience is advised.

There is a new Sensor Group for motion sensors, that being Sensor Group (45) - Away/Stay Instant Non-Follower. This is just like Sensor Group (15) - Stay Instant, except that the new Sensor Group (45) will still have the system go into alarm if the sensor is faulted while the system is armed away or armed stay, even if an Entry/Exit Zone is faulted first. With the old Sensor Group (15), the system will not go into alarm if the sensor is faulted after (following) an Entry/Exit Zone. In other words, if you fault a sensor with Sensor Group (45) while the system is in its Entry Delay countdown, an alarm will occur, but if you do the same with Sensor Group (15) when the system is in its Entry Delay countdown, no alarm occurs.

For SD Card upgrades, there will be an auto-push of the "Firmware2" Patch from Alarm.com, assuming that the patch hasn't already been applied. This patch prevents certain IQ2 Panels from automatically rebooting at times. You can see more information about the Firmware2 fix from this prior blog post. The only other new feature release from the 2.6.1 release is that the IQ2 is now compliant with BS-8243 Standards in the United Kingdom.

All other changes for the IQ2 in 2.6.1 are general system improvements. As listed below:

  • Fixed an issue regarding SRF Sensors, outlined in TSB 210705. This issue prevented legacy SRF sensors from communicating with the IQ2 properly following an AC power loss condition. More information on the issue can be found here.
  • Stability improvements to dual-path communication with Alarm.com.
  • Improved push notification of message center messages while on Photo Frame screensaver.
  • Improved boot-up after performing a software update.
  • Improved doorbell camera streaming and push alerts when the panel is in the lock screen.
  • Alarm.com backend now shows username when arming/disarming from PowerG Keypads.
  • Corrected issue with an improvement from 2.6.0 so that silent and audible panics triggered from the panel are able to properly report as different CID codes to the central station.
  • Corrected issue from 2.6.0 involving daily & weekly communication tests with central station.

With that out of the way, let's explain how to apply the update! Like all of the other recent updates, users on Firmware Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1 will need to stage upgrade to 2.5.3 first before upgrading to 2.6.1. But if you are on 2.5.3 or higher or on less than 2.5.0, then you can go right to 2.6.1. And as always, your system must be on at least 2.0.1 for any firmware update to be applied.

To get started applying the update, make sure your IQ2 or IQ2+ is plugged in and that its battery is charged. Your system must be connected to WIFI and actively monitored so that Alarm.com can determine if the Firmware2 update is required, and then send it to the panel via WIFI if it is. Begin from the main screen of the system. Press the small grey bar at the top. Pick Settings > Advanced Settings > enter the Installer Code if prompted (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.6.1 (must be entered exactly as shown) > OK > Upgrade Using Network. The update should then go through. Once it begins, do not touch the panel screen.

Remember, it will usually take about five (5) minutes for the update to be completed. You can then check the Software Version in the About Menu under the Software tab. This is good for confirming that the 2.6.1 Firmware Update went through as intended.


Please leave a comment down below with your thoughts on Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Version 2.6.1. Don't hesitate to let us know about your experience with the panel or the firmware update. We want to hear your honest opinion and assist with any issues. Like always, stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon!

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Qolsys recently released a service bulletin describing an issue with certain IQ Hardwire 16-F units. This issue affects both the small enclosure and large enclosure versions. Under certain circumstances, affected units can signal a false tamper/tamper restore message for connected zones.

Qolsys TSB #210708, which was released on July 8, 2021, describes this issue, and the corrective action Qolsys is taking to remedy the problem. They do not provide a lot of information regarding what "conditions" bring about this behavior. We have asked for more detail, and if more information is forthcoming, we will provide updates here in our blog.

Rest assured that only a certain number of these devices are affected, and we will provide users with the necessary information to determine if they have one of these units. Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F units that were manufactured outside of the window in question are not affected and should not exhibit this behavior.

How to determine if your Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F small enclosure (SKU: QS7133-840) is affected:

On the unit itself, or on the box that the unit came in, check the Revision Sticker. This will appear as a bar code on the sticker and will be marked with SN: and DL: If the 4th character of the SN, moving from left to right, is a "C" then the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F small enclosure should be returned/replaced.

How to determine if your Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F large enclosure (SKU: QS7134-840) is affected:

On the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F large enclosure, the way you determine the revision is the same, but the revision information is different. On these units the revision to be on the lookout for is "B" rather than "C". This sticker should also appear on the unit itself as well as on the box that the unit comes in. Since these devices come from the factory with an enclosure, the sticker may be on the enclosure rather than the printed circuit board. When reading the sticker, the 4th character when viewing the SN from left to right is "B" on affected units. See the example below:

Qolsys has pulled back available affected stock to correct this issue. Units that may have been affected, but have since been pulled back into manufacturing and reworked or replaced, will sport a sticker that says "TEST OK".


If you purchase a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F that falls within the Revision range discussed above, but the item has a "TEST OK" sticker affixed somewhere on the packaging or the unit itself, then you do not have to worry about this issue. If you purchased a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F prior to the date that this notice was released, and your device falls within the revision range discussed above, then you should contact your distributor to discuss replacing the unit. Per Qolsys, you should do this even if you haven't observed the behavior described in this Technical Service Bulletin.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer, and you purchased an affected unit from Alarm Grid, you can contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here Monday - Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. If you prefer to speak to us by phone, you can reach us at 888-818-7728. It is our pleasure to assist you with any and all of your alarm needs. Stay safe!

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The leading keypad option for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is unquestionably the Qolsys IQ Remote. This innovative touchscreen keypad mimics the screen of an IQ2 or IQ2+, and it allows for security and automation control from a second on-site location. But sadly, it lacks a replaceable battery!

To be clear, the Qolsys IQ Remote does have a backup battery. When AC power for the IQ Remote is lost (either due to the transformer being unplugged or an electrical outage), the backup battery will keep it running for several hours. But like any rechargeable battery, the one inside the Qolsys IQ Remote has a limited useful life. And once that useful life is up, the battery cannot be replaced with a new one. This means that the IQ Remote Keypad will need to be plugged in at all times in order to be used. If AC power becomes lost for any reason once this happens, then the IQ Remote will immediately power down. Also, the keypad will then always show a low-battery warning that can never be cleared. While not completely debilitating, it is an unfortunate aspect of the Qolsys IQ Remote device.

When we spoke with Qolsys about this issue, they assured us that the IQ Remote battery is "very long lasting", and a user shouldn't encounter this issue for at least ten (10) years from the initial manufacture date, assuming that the battery is cared for properly. Additionally, the company has stated that they have not received any excessive reports of IQ Remote battery failures since its release more than five (5) years ago. But it's fair to expect that Qolsys might be hearing about this issue more frequently in about five year's time when a large number of Qolsys IQ Remote batteries begin failing! At least most IQ Remote Keypads are not carried or transported around, and most users just leave them mounted in a single location. If a user gets a backup generator for the device, then the issue might not cause serious problems.

Still, this is definitely a disappointing limitation of the Qolsys IQ Remote Keypad. We hope that Qolsys will see this message and consider updating the IQ Remote to support an end-user replaceable battery. A well-constructed device can certainly be used for more than 10 years, but it needs a replaceable battery option so that it can truly go the maximum distance. Also, for anyone considering the IQ Remote for use with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus, we still think it's a great keypad option, and we still recommend using it. Just be aware that after ten (10) years or so, the battery will probably stop holding a charge and will begin not working as intended. The keypad will need to be plugged in and receiving power at all times once this happens, or else it will power down immediately. Our hope is that Qolsys redesigns the IQ Remote Keypad to put an end to this issue. Then a user can buy a new battery once the original reaches its end-of-life, install the new one, and keep using this great keypad!

For now, we would love to hear what you have to say about the Qolsys IQ Remote lacking a replaceable battery. Does this issue influence your decision in buying this keypad? Or do you think that it's not a major concern? Please let us know your thoughts in a comment down below. We're sure that many users who buy this keypad, and also those who have bought it in the past, may be surprised to learn that the device's backup battery cannot be replaced. And if we ever learn of Qolsys updating the IQ Remote to fix this issue, or releasing a successor keypad with a replaceable battery, then we will be sure to let you know in the Alarm Grid Blog so that you can make an informed buying decision. Please stay tuned for more security news and updates coming real soon!

And before we forget, we wish everyone in the United States a Happy Independence Day (4th of July) over this upcoming weekend! We are open today, Friday, July 2nd, and we will also be open for business as usual on Monday, July 5th. We look forward to serving you!

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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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