Service Announcements Posts

Posted By

Recently, Honeywell re-launched Total Connect 2.0 with a new, sleeker user interface. The new site, which leaves Flash behind, and uses HTML5 instead, has a more modern look and is, somewhat uncharacteristically, a truly collaborative undertaking on Honeywell's part.

As TC2 is updated, Honeywell provides an "About" screen showing version information, and a "What's New in Total Connect 2.0" link. When you click the link, you get a list of recent additions and fixes, as well as a link to provide feedback directly to Honeywell. They seem to be taking this feedback to heart, and continually make improvements based on customer suggestions.

The new user interface is much cleaner than the original. Gone is the dark blue background, with the cartoonish icons. One of the great things about HTML5 is that you can access the TC2 site from just about any browser, on any device, including Windows mobile devices. This wasn't possible on the flash based site, and since there was no app for Windows phones or tablets, users with these devices couldn't take advantage of all that Total Connect 2.0 has to offer.

Another improvement is the fact that both the web page, and the iOS app, offer the same capabilities. You can admin users from both the web page, and the app. You can sync zones and automation devices from either location. The Android app does seem to lag a bit behind the iOS version. There are a few things you can't do on it that you can do from the web site. The good news is, you can log into the web site from the browser on your phone, making it a non-issue.

Tags: , ,

Comments


Posted By

Last month, Honeywell released a new critical firmware update for the Lyric Controller - 01.04.07178.491 for the American version (shown below) and 01.04.07181.491 for the Canadian LCP500-LC version:

You can request the update on your Lyric system, if you aren't upgraded already, by pressing Security > Tools > entering your Installer Code and then pressing Update Firmware. If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer, you can also have us send a firmware update to your system remotely. This MR4 firmware brings new functionality that our users have been asking for since the Lyric Controller was first released, new features that were not yet available and fixes to some known bugs.

Quick SiX Programming Mode

While this new feature won't help those that already have their Lyric system fully setup, the addition of a new SiX sensor enrollment mode allows new Lyric users to greatly reduce the time it takes to program SiX Series sensors to the system. Of course, the new SiX Programming option would certainly also be helpful for anyone that has an existing Lyric and is looking to add multiple new SiX devices to their system.

The Lyric has always offered a batch enrollment mode, available within the Zones programming screen, that allows you to learn in a group of SiX devices by simply powering on or activating each sensor. However, you would then need to go in and manually edit each zone by selecting the zone number and clicking Edit, tweaking each programming option and then saving the changes as you would if you were learning in one single sensor.

Now, with the new SiX Programming mode (found by pressing the down arrow once you enter programming mode on a Lyric with the MR4 firmware)


(SiX Programming option on second page of Lyric programming)

you can simply power on (either pull the battery tab or insert batteries) or activate each SiX sensor you want to learn in to the panel to have them all auto learn to the panel and show a screen with all the new learned in devices


(SiXCT and SiXPIR activated in SiX Programming mode)

and you can highlight and click Edit right from that screen to bring up a new screen that shows you all of the device settings so you can set all of your new zones and settings much more efficiently.


(SiXPIR and SiXCT edit screens in SiX Programming mode)

The new SiX Programming mode can save you hours depending on how many SiX devices you need to learn to your Lyric. Keep in mind though, just like with the batch enrollment mode, you can't enroll a SiXFOB to your Lyric using SiX Programming. You still need to use the Keys section of the Lyric programming to enroll a SiXFOB.

Easier Instant Arming Mode

For as long as we can remember, Honeywell systems have supported an Instant arming mode which allows a user to arm the system so that the system's alarm activates as soon as a zone is triggered, even if the zone is normally an entry/exit zone. Instant arming is helpful for ramping up the security of your system when you know that no one should be entering the home (at night or when you go on vacation for instance). Instead of an intruder being able to open your main front door without the alarm going off right away, Instant arming ensures that the Lyric goes into full alarm mode as soon as any door or window is opened. As long as you remember to disarm from a key fob or TC2 before an authorized user needs to enter the property, Instant arming is a great way to enhance your protection at key times.

When Honeywell developed the Lyric they didn't provide an Instant button on the Security screen and many users lamented the loss of Instant arming. The Lyric does in fact allow for Instant arming if you use the Arm Custom option which gets you to a screen where you can de-select the Entry Delay and arm the system so that delayed zones activate the alarm as soon as they are violated but it isn't a great user experience. We had a good amount of feedback from users that had upgraded Honeywell systems that supported Instant arming to the Lyric and were disappointed that arming in that way was more difficult on the Lyric. Thankfully, Honeywell has heard our cries and with the MR4 firmware, you'll notice when you hit the Security icon on your Lyric screen there is an Entry Delay: On/Off toggle at the bottom left of the screen.


If you want to arm Instant (motion detector zones turned off but all other zones active with no entry delay even if programmed as an entry/exit zone), simply tap the Entry Delay words until it shows OFF and then tap Arm Stay and enter your code. If you want to arm Maximum (all zones active with no entry delay even if programmed as an entry/exit zone), simply tap Arm Away with the Entry Delay set to OFF and then tap Arm Away and enter your code.

Skybell Doorbell Chime

You may have noticed if you press Tools and enter your Master Code and then the right arrow, there's a Skybell Setup button. If you did, you probably have wondered why pressing it does nothing. For some reason Honeywell released the Skybell Setup button on a previous Lyric firmware but didn't add the true functionality of the button until the new MR4 firmware. You could still pair a Skybell with a Total Connect 2.0 account but the Skybell wouldn't integrate with the actual Lyric system at all.

Now, pressing the Skybell Setup button allows you to integrate your doorbell camera (the round Skybell HD and Skybell Slim HD) to the Lyric Controller so that if someone presses your Skybell's doorbell, the Lyric sounds one of it's unique Chime tones. You can choose which Chime sound you want during the Skybell Setup process.

Smoke Maintenance Signaling

With MR4 firmware, the Lyric can now trigger a maintenance trouble signal if a connected SiXSMOKE detects that it's sensing chamber has too much dust or dirt for the detector to function properly. Similar to programming a loop 2 maintenance trouble zone for a 5808W3 smoke detector, you'll now know in advance if any of your connected Honeywell smoke detectors need cleaning.

Support of Yale Assure Locks

The Lyric's Automation controller provides support of Z-Wave locks so that you can program the system to auto-arm when you lock your door or auto-disarm your system when you unlock your door. If you have Total Connect 2.0 you can even remotely lock/unlock your doors. We recommend Yale, Kwikset and Schlage locks when connecting Z-Wave locks to your Lyric and with the MR4, the Lyric now officially supports Yale's range of Real Living Assure Locks, the YRD216, YRD226 and the key-free YRD246. We'll have these new Yale Z-Wave locks up on our site in the Home Automation section soon.

Fixed Lyric Keypad Bug

Sometime prior to MR4, we found that if you had an LKP500 Lyric keypad connected to your Lyric system and you had the Lyric's Voice setting disabled, the Lyric keypad would not provide the expected entry tones (beeps when you violate an entry/exit zone warning you that you need to disarm the system to avoid an alarm activation) even if the Entry Tone feature was enabled in the keypad settings.

Once your Lyric is on the MR4 firmware, if you like your system's Voice setting disabled, because you don't want to hear the main panel's voice announcements, you'll still be able to have your auxiliary keypads beep at you to warn you that you must disarm your system when coming home. As it's easy to forget your system was armed if your keypad doesn't beep at you, this is a critical fix for any Lyric user that prefers not to have the Voice setting enabled.

Fixed Lyric Thermostat Bug

We had a customer that noticed that once he connected his Lyric thermostat to his Lyric system, the Lyric was excessively pinging out to the Honeywell servers. We reported the strange IP behavior to Honeywell's engineers and after some testing they were able to replicate the issue and assured us that a fix would be coming. Our customer decided to remove the Lyric thermostat integration from his system for the time being.

Once MR4 was released, we had our user test the Lyric thermostat integration to his Lyric system and this time there was no unusual pings from the panel on his network so we are confident that this Lyric bug has been squashed.

Dealer Branding

The last change that MR4 firmware brings to the Lyric system is the new dealer branding feature. With this new feature, a Honeywell Lyric dealer's company splash page will show as one the Lyric slideshow images as long as the feature is enabled. Any Alarm Grid monitored client will see this image scroll through on their slide show:


In addition to the slide show page, the dealer branding also shows up as a small company logo on the bottom left of the Lyric home screen that you can click to get to a contact information page in case you need to get in touch with us for support.

If you have any questions about this feature of any of the new features and updates and fixes that the latest Lyric firmware brings to Honeywell's aware winning system, please let us know in the comments below or email us at support@alarmgrid.com.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

While the recent Honeywell Lyric security system MR3 firmware release brought enhanced functionality and improved performance to the Lyric controller, Honeywell's engineers unearthed a strange occurrence where the Lyric system would send a false APL report after the first system disarm following a system reboot.

Certain conditions had to be met for the false APL alarm to occur. The Lyric Controller had to have a Lyric-3G or Lyric-CDMA cellular communicator installed and activated. Also, the system's arm away, arm stay and disarm reporting had to be disabled (that reporting is on by default and here at Alarm Grid, we always encourage leaving that reporting enabled). As this was a unique anomaly with a very specific and unique configuration that had to be present for it to occur, Honeywell didn't realize the bug until after the MR3 firmware was released. As the firmware causes the panel to reboot once the update was complete, their technical support team quickly heard reports of the phantom APL alarms once the MR3 was released and the engineering team worked quickly to implement a patch fix.

You may have noticed that your Lyric system wasn't allowing you to update to MR3 firmware between when that firmware was released and today. That was because they pulled that firmware back once they uncovered the APL bug.

The new firmware version 01.03.06586.482 which was released today implements the patch fix to the bug and all Lyric controllers should be able to be firmware updated once again.

We encourage all Lyric users (especially those that did get the MR3 firmware update before it was pulled back from Honeywell) to update their system firmware and we've been told Honeywell will start forcing firmware updates to all installed Lyric panels over the coming weeks.




Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

With heavy hearts, we are sorry to announce that the Total Connect 2.0 service, powered by Honeywell, no longer supports the slide show feature.

While most Total Connect 2.0 users probably never even knew this feature existed, it was a pretty cool option for turning a LYNX Touch security system (models L5100, L5200, L5210 and L7000) into a digital picture frame.

From the TC2 Locations module, you could edit the house icon and click on the 'Edit Slide Show' button to upload images to your account from your computer. Honeywell's servers then download to the LYNX Touch system associated with that TC2 account/location (as long as the system had an ILP5 or L5100-WIFI internet communicator installed and online). Once the images were downloaded to the system, you could use the master programming mode (Security > More > Tools > enter Master Code) to go to the Slide Show option and setup your images to display on the panel's touchscreen when the system was sitting idle.

Honeywell indicated that the feature was removed due to "cyber security concerns" and while you can no longer use your LYNX Touch system as a digital picture frame, the new Lyric Controller does still offer the Slide Show feature. You just have to use a USB stick to load the images to the Lyric locally as the feature has been removed from Total Connect 2.0 on all systems. We have an FAQ on how to use the slide show feature on a Lyric system online at https://www.alarmgrid.com/faq/how-does-slide-show-... and if you have a LYNX Touch system now that was using this feature and want to discuss upgrading to a Lyric, we'd be happy to help. You can email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us M-F 9-9 EST at 888-818-7728.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Honeywell has recently announced a change in the way that their Total Connect 2.0 video surveillance feature will work and the change will be implemented on or about April 19th (next Wednesday).

Currently, if you have Honeywell AlarmNet IPCAMs, you have the ability to view them remotely and have them record 10-second video clips based on a change in pixelation if you have the right Total Connect 2.0 service plan. We offer the TC2 video features without a contract required through our Self Platinum and Platinum plans at https://www.alarmgrid.com/monitoring and we even have a standalone TC2 video plan available at https://www.alarmgrid.com/video-monitoring for those that don't have a security system but want the TC2 video services.

Using a mobile device running the Total Connect 2.0 app, you can log-in and view up to 6 IPCAMs per TC2 location from wherever you are as long as the cameras are powered on and connected properly to the internet and you can watch any recorded videos.

Using the totalconnect2.com website, you can use the Video module to view the cameras remotely and you can also set up more advanced settings such as 10-second video clip recordings and alerts when video clips are captured. These clips are customized by the user and you can use the wrench icon on each camera to set up the areas of detection for each field of view and the sensitivity selections for how much movement is needed to trigger a clip. You can also setup schedules to determine when you want the cameras to record clips and when you only want live viewing capability with no recording happening.

Once you have the camera recording settings configured properly so that the cameras are recording clips of movement that you feel is important while ignoring other movements that aren't important, a new video clip will be stored to your TC2 account and will be available as a event in the Events & Notifications module. Currently, each TC2 location allows storage of up to 500MB of clips and auto-deletes the oldest available clip once the limit is reached. You do also currently have the option to "lock" certain clips that you don't want to be auto-deleted.

Here's where things change (on or about) April 19th, 2017...

While only Honeywell/AlarmNet IPCAMs currently work with Total Connect 2.0, Honeywell is (with great anticipation!) working on a new line of next generation cameras that will integrate with Total Connect 2.0 (we will have more details on the cameras at a later date) and they should be available sometime towards the end of this year.

New Seven Day Storage for Recorded Clips

In anticipation of the next generation cameras, Honeywell is transitioning all existing Total Connect 2.0 video accounts to a new 7 day plan where clips will only be available through the TC2 website/app for 7 days. The 500MB storage will go away and any clip that is older than seven days will be automatically deleted. Once the change is implemented, any currently recorded clip will be set to expire seven days later with the oldest clips being deleted first.

Regular non-TC2 video events will continue to be stored for 90 days,which is how the service works now, and first-in, first-out logic is employed when deleting the older clips.

No More Locking of TC2 Events

In addition to the changes to the video storage feature, Honeywell is removing the ability to "lock" a TC2 event (all events inclsuding security and video) so that you won't be able to save any event beyond the normal expiration (90 days for security and 7 days for video once the change is implemented).

The existing lock feature that allows you to permanently store a TC2 event/video clip:


They are providing a year grace period so that any currently locked events will stay locked up until April 15th, 2018 when all locked events will be deleted. We encourage all Total Connect 2.0 users to start saving all locked video clips outside of TC2 if you want them to still be available after April 15th of next year.

Also, we encourage all TC2 video users to start setting up email alerts with video clip attachments through their TC2 account so that each recorded clip can be saved/archived through email so that the clips are available beyond the new seven day limit.

While we are excited about the new cameras that are coming and the upgrades to Total Connect 2.0 and the video service, some of these changes may have an adverse affect if you don't update your account now to adjust for these changes. As always, let us know if you have any questions by emailing support@alarmgrid.com or calling M-F 9-9 EST.

4/19/17 - Updated: Honeywell has now scheduled the change to the video storage feature for sometime in May and the removal of the lock feature on the TC2 events is now scheduled for the week of the 24th.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Last week Honeywell released a new critical firmware update (01.03.06549.482) for the Lyric security system:


The update addressed some known bugs on the system and added enhanced functionality to the system as well.

Improved SiX Performance

The Lyric is Honeywell's newest all-in-one wireless touchscreen security system and while it works with the older Honeywell 5800 wireless sensors, it also works with new SiX Series sensors. The SiX Series sensors are one of the main advantages of the Lyric system as they are bi-directional to the panel and also encrypted on their wireless signaling making them much more reliable and secure compared to the existing 5800 Series sensors.


One of the main improvements the new MR3 firmware provides for the Lyric is improved performance of the SiX devices. Once your Lyric is upgraded to the new firmware, it will proactively check the RF environment throughout the day to ensure all of your SiX devices are on the proper RF channel so that your sensor communications stay consistent even if you are adding new wireless technology to your home.

2Gig Wireless Sensor Support

While most people would use Honeywell 5800 or SiX Series sensors with their Lyric system, the new firmware also unlocks the ability to program 2Gig security sensors to a Lyric. 2Gig is another security system manufacturer and 2Gig systems work with Honeywell 5800 Series sensors and 2Gig sensors. Up until this firmware release, no Honeywell system would work with 2Gig sensors though so now the Lyric allows someone with an existing 2Gig system installed to be able to just change out the main all-in-one wireless panel to a Lyric without having to buy all new sensors as well.

LTE Cellular Communications

Prior to the new firmware, the Lyric supported WIFI communications without any extra modules needed. Also, if someone wanted cellular backup to the WIFI communication path which provides for a more reliable form of alarm communication that still works if and when the internet is offline or unavailable, the Lyric supported the AT&T Lyric-3G communicator and the Verizon Lyric-CDMA communicator. Now, with the new firmware, the Lyric will support LTE cellular communicators as well. We are in beta program for an AT&T LTE module that should be released soon and we expect a Verizon LTE module to be coming as well. LTE is a newer, faster cellular network compared to the networks that the Lyric-3G and Lyric-CDMA communicators use and should provide greater long term longevity if and when AT&T and Verizon ever discontinue their respective HSPA and CDMA-1X networks.

Solved LKP500 Keypad Bugs

While you can control the Lyric system from the Lyric touchscreen and from mobile devices, the system also supports a wireless keypad called the LKP500:


The addition of an LKP500 (or multiple LKP500s as the Lyric supports up to 8 wireless keypads) provides another fixed spot in the home that you can arm and disarm your system from as well as being able to see system status and hear zone chime alerts. Unfortunately, there was a known issue where the zone assigned to an LKP500 keypad would report a low battery even when no low battery problem existed. Honeywell has solved that issue and the fix is part of the MR3 firmware release. While Honeywell didn't have documents issues on another issue with the LKP500, we did have a small number of users also report a high pitched tone emanating from the LKP500 when arming to stay mode, during the exit delay countdown. This issue seems to have been solved with the latest firmware release as well.

General Bug Fixes

In addition to the enhancements detailed above, the new MR3 firmware also addressed some other Lyric system bugs that Honeywell didn't detail so we encourage all Lyric system users to update to the latest firmware even if none of the improvements listed above matter to you.

How to Update Firmware

You can request a firmware upgrade by asking the company that monitors your Lyric to send the firmware down remotely of you can run the firmware update yourself by pressing Security > Tools and entering your system's Installer Code followed by hitting Update firmware. Once you hit the Update firmware button, we suggest backing out to the home screen and then waiting awhile for it to process. Once it's done, the system should reboot and then you can confirm by pressing Security > Tools > enter Master Code > Advanced > System Information and verifying that the Rev. number on the top line shows the latest firmware version (01.03.06549.482).

Your Lyric system does need to be on a certain version to have the option to update from the panel so if you can access programming mode but you don't see the Update firmware option, your system will need to be updated remotely by your alarm monitoring company.

We applaud Honeywell for continuing to enhance the functionality of the Lyric system and we are excited about even more enhancements that should be coming with future firmware updates as well.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Happy Holidays! And whatever holiday you celebrate, we hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

Alarm Grid is taking today off.

Everyone is at home all snug in their beds. If there's something you need, call the central station instead! Or perhaps, if you need something they just can't do, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com, and on Monday when we're back, we'll promptly get back to you.

We hope that the holidays treat you all well. That you're safe and secure. And that the holidays end for you with lots of stories to tell. Perhaps when we're back, the next time you call, you can tell them to us. We'll listen to them all. :)

Tags:

Comments


Posted By

The Alarm Grid team is going to be enjoying the holiday. If you are in need of service, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com.

As usual, Alarm Grid's monitoring partner, CMS will be open through the Thanksgiving holiday, and will make sure that your homes are being looked over while you are gone. You can reach the central station by calling the Alarm Grid main phone number, and dialing "1".

If you're in charge of cooking this year, don't forget to turn off your oven. And if you're one of the intrepid souls who is deep frying your bird, do it safely. While we have confidence in our life safety devices like the 5808W3 or the 5809, our hope is that you never ever ever need to use them.

Oh, and before I forget, here at Alarm Grid, we are thankful that you have given us the opportunity to protect your home and family. Thank you for being part of the Alarm Grid family. And we hope that next year, when this holiday comes back around, that you are still here.

Tags: , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid's headquartered right in the pathway of hurricane Matthew. For the safety of our employees, we're shutting down the office tomorrow. Hopefully, we will be back up and running on Friday, but that will depend on a few factors like whether or not power has been restored and debris cleared from the roads by that time.

In the meantime, we ask for a little bit of patience. Expect some delays in responses to tickets and phone calls. We are doing our best to get to every single person, but will be working with only half of the team.

While the Alarm Grid office will be closed, it's important for us to note that this storm will not affect your central station services!

Alarm Grid works with Criticom monitoring services (CMS). They have 3 central stations, one of which is in Longwood, Florida. They are promising to maintain staff levels at Longwood as long as it is safe. But, for good measure, Criticom has increased their staff at the Manasquan, NJ and Cypress, CA stations.

It's moments like this that Alarm Grid is proud to have partnered with a central station like Criticom. The amazing reliability of their triply redundant service will be seen in full force! Criticom has already put any accounts affected by the storm on a "storm partition," meaning that they will be handling these calls a bit differently. Also, CMS has asked us to pass on the note that "first responders will no longer respond to our dispatches once sustained winds reach 45 MPH."

For those of you in the affected area, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Half of the Alarm Grid staff will be suffering through it all the same. Please stay safe. And for those of you watching from the safety of the midwest or west coast, wish us luck. ;P

Tags:

Comments


Posted By

The Alarm Grid support and sales staff is off today!

The central station is easy to reach. Simply call the number on the top of the site (888-818-7728) and dial extension 1. If you have questions you would like to ask, or system needs, please call and leave a message or email support@alarmgrid.com.

All the shipments that would have been shipped today, will ship tomorrow.

Tags:

Comments