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After much anticipation Firmware Version 2.5.3 for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is now available! This update brings support for the PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter, as well as some other new features. Everyone with an IQ Panel 2 is encouraged to download the update as soon as possible.

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Support for the DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter is the biggest new addition for Firmware Version 2.5.3. We covered the PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter extensively in a post last month. But just as a quick recap, the device allows to you to connect hardwired sensors so that they can communicate with the IQ Panel 2 Plus wirelessly across the PowerG protocol. This is an excellent way to upgrade from an older hardwired system, as it can prevent you from having to purchase entirely new wireless sensors.

The PG9WLSHW8 also includes all the benefits of PowerG. This includes a wireless range of up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ2+ in an open air environment, military grade 128-bit AES encryption, and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology for added protection. Up to eight (8) hardwired zones are built into a single converter, and you can use up to two (2) of the PG9WLSHW8 units per IQ2+ System. The unit even offers support for 2-wire or 4-wire smoke detectors, plus a 700mA supervised output for adding a wired siren.


Of course, IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3 includes a huge bundle of other new features and functions. Even if you don't plan on adding a DSC PG9WLSHW8 unit, there are still many other reasons to receive the upgrade. We'll touch on all the other new additions below.

The IQ2 system now has Panel Ambient Noise Detector settings to adjust noise threshold and duration. Qolsys added this feature with MDU settings where noise complaints are a concern. The feature can be used in-place of the panel's built-in glass break sensor. Alarm.com is planning to add back-end support for this feature sometime in the future.

Alarm.com commercial customers will be able to take advantage of their Smarter Business Temperature Monitoring (SBTM) service plan, which is used in conjunction with the DSC PG9905 PowerG Temperature Sensor. The SBTM service plan allows for 24/7 monitoring, real-time alerts, and historical temperature reporting. It is designed with businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, and pharmacies in mind. Alarm Grid customers with Alarm.com commercial accounts can contact us for more information. In addition, the IQ2+ can now display a trouble condition when an external probe is disconnected from the DSC PG9905.


If you use Alarm.com for solar energy monitoring, then you will be pleased to know that IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3 offers the ability to provide information from your solar inverter right on your security panel! Solar inverter units from SolarEdge and Enphase are supported. Please see this prior blog post for more info about Alarm.com Solar Monitoring.

Thinking ahead, Qolsys has made Firmware Version 2.5.3 compatible with future Z-Wave 700-Series daughter cards. The 700-Series of Z-Wave will represent the successor to Z-Wave Plus, also known as the Z-Wave 500-Series. Like all new iterations of Z-Wave technology, the 700-Series will allow for extended range and battery life when used with a compatible Z-Wave controller or hub. We hope to see 700-Series Z-Wave devices enter the market sometime in the not-so-distant future. Qolsys also made improvements to the IQ2 Z-Wave Diagnostics Map when using the Z-Wave 6.81 SDK to include RSSI values, as well as the ability to move automation device on the Diagnostics Map.

Some new 500-Series Z-Wave Plus devices are now supported by the IQ Panel 2. Most notably, these include Z-Wave switches from Eaton. Newly supported models include the RF9601, RF9617, RF9640-N, and RF9642-Z. It's good to see Qolsys increasing their support of compatible Z-Wave devices, and we have heard particularly nice things about the Z-Wave switches from Eaton and Cooper.

You can now disarm from the main IQ Panel 2 during the Exit Delay if the arming session was initiated from an IQ Remote, PowerG Keypad, or key fob device. Qolsys also added three (3) new Sensor Groups for keypads, key fobs, and panic switches. These new Sensor Groups include (3) Mobile Silent, (5) Fixed Silent Auxiliary, and (7) Mobile Silent Auxiliary. These new Sensor Group options should add some more versatility for these devices. And as for the Qolsys IQ Remote Keypad, it now has the ability to pair with IP routers using the Protected Management Frame (PMF) protocol.

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There are some new changes to the Easy Install Wizard that loads upon booting up the system for the first time. A new drop-down option will allow you to select one of (13) languages for the setup wizard. There is also a new page in the wizard with QR links for you to scan using the camera on your Android or iOS phone to quickly download the Alarm.com Mobile App. Also added to the Easy Install Wizard are new help screens that provide more information on how to pair and test door and window contacts and motion detection sensors.

Some general improvements to the system's PowerG firmware have also been bundled with Firmware Update 2.5.3. The PowerG Modem Firmware is now Version 2.38. There is now support for Fire Trouble and Dirty Detector Trouble on the IQ2 and ADC when DSC PG9936 PowerG Smoke Detectors are used. Proximity tag support is now supported with the Visonic PowerG Wireless Keypads (models KP141 and KP241). And the Alarm.com back end can now show the "Not Networked" status for PowerG Sensors in the Event History. This occurs when a PowerG device is enrolled with the panel, but then fails to complete the network association and goes into RF sensor failure.

There are also some changes affecting certain PowerG Door and Window Contact Sensors. For the DSC PG9309 and DSC PG9312, both the reed switch and the auxiliary input can be disabled during disarm. The same also applies to the auxiliary input on the DSC PG9945. The purpose of this is to extend the battery life on high traffic doors. Additionally, the PG9945 and PG9309 can be learned-in with the IQ2+ twice. One zone will be for the sensor's internal reed switch, which the other will be used with the auxiliary input.

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Other miscellaneous features have been added as well. LiveAnswer is now supported on the IQ2 for security cameras with non-standard aspect ratio streaming. New languages of German, Danish, Portuguese, Hungarian, and Romanian have all been added to the IQ Panel 2. The IQ2 will also now provide audible and visual indication of dual-path failures when the EN Grade 2 Setting is enabled. A change to the Swinger Shutdown feature has been made so that once a sensor reaches its Swinger Shutdown limit, a subsequent sensor event will tell the IQ2 to send an event notice to Alarm.com. Lastly, various improvements to the system have been made so that the IQ2 meets the EN50131-1 Standard.

Now that we have covered all of the new features included with Firmware Version 2.5.3, we can cover the process for upgrading your IQ Panel 2. Qolsys did things a little bit different this time. In order to download 2.5.3, your IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus must be running a firmware version between 2.0.1 and 2.4.2. Do not attempt to download 2.5.3 if your IQ Panel 2 is running Firmware Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1. If your IQ2 is on one of those firmware versions, then you must upgrade in stages by upgrading to Firmware Version 2.5.2 first, and then upgrading to Version 2.5.3. More information on upgrading to 2.5.2 can be found here.

If you need to check the firmware version for your panel, click the small grey bar at the top of the screen, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > About > Software. You should see the firmware version displayed. The panel in the picture below is already on 2.5.3.


Once your IQ2 is on a firmware version of 2.0.1 to 2.4.2, or is on Firmware Version 2.5.2, then you can begin upgrading the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.3. To begin, make sure your panel is monitored and connected with the Alarm.com servers via WIFI. The panel should be plugged into its AC outlet, and it should not have a low-battery condition.

When ready, you can perform the update by clicking the small grey bar at the top of the screen and selecting Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.5.3 > OK > Upgrade Using Network. Then press OK when prompted. It will take about five (5) minutes for the update process to complete. The panel will reboot as part of the update process.

If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, please reach out to us. Also remember to check out this post to learn more about our monitoring plans for gaining access to Alarm.com. The best way to contact us with questions about the IQ Panel 2 System or alarm monitoring in general is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com has announced that a firmware update will be coming for their slimline version of the SkyBell Doorbell Camera. This refers to the SkyBell ADC-VDB105 and the SkyBell ADC-VDB106 for use with Alarm.com. The update will be pushed down automatically to the devices in the coming weeks.

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According to Alarm.com, Firmware Upgrade Version 3062 will fix an issue that caused the ADC-VDB105 and ADC-VDB106 to reboot periodically. The update also improves upon the motion detection function for these cameras. Alarm.com refers to the improved motion detection as "Motion Detection 2.0".

Any camera that has its motion sensitivity set to anything other than the default value of Medium will automatically opt into Motion Detection 2.0 upon the completion of the update. Cameras with the default motion sensitivity setting of Medium will continue using Motion Detection 1.0.

Motion Detection 2.0 offers many advantages over the previous version. The enhanced motion detection uses a fixed lower portion of the screen, and it takes object size into account. Additionally, the sensitivity slider can increase and decrease the size of the fixed detection area and the minimum object size needed to activate the camera. You can also disable PIR detection entirely by choosing "Extremely High" sensitivity.

Once the update is complete, a user will be able to switch between the old and new versions of motion detection via the Alarm.com customer website. After logging into Alarm.com, choose Video > Video Device Settings > Select Device > Video Device Info > Motion Detection.

In order to receive the automatic update, simply have your slimline ADC-VDB105 or ADC-VDB106 powered on and connected with the Alarm.com servers. Alarm.com will be pushing the upgrade down to these devices during an overnight update process. Devices that are not online to receive the upgrade can be updated manually at a later date.

Please note that this update only applies to the slimline models. The "round" ADC-VDB101 and ADC-VDB102 are not receiving an update. Also keep in mind that this is for the Alarm.com versions of the SkyBell only. This does not apply to the standard SkyBell Doorbell Cameras that are used with Total Connect 2.0 and the native SkyBell App.

If you have any questions about this upcoming update, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. And remember to check out our monitoring page to learn more about our monitoring services. We check our email during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have made a discovery regarding the compatibility for the Honeywell L5100-WIFI for LYNX Touch Systems. It turns out that L5100-WIFI units with the updated MAC prefix of B82CA0 can be used with Honeywell L5100 Systems running a firmware version of at least 5.00838, but less than 5.05000.

Honeywell l5100 wifi alarmnet lynx touch l5100 security system wifi alarm monitoring communicatorIf you aren't familiar with the Honeywell L5100-WIFI, it is an internet communicator that allows a compatible Honeywell LYNX Touch Panel to communicate with the Resideo AlarmNet Servers across an IP (internet protocol) network. The L5100-WIFI accesses the internet by connecting with a local WIFI network. Many users rely on the L5100-WIFI for inexpensive IP monitoring service. The communicator can also be used to set up the LYNX Touch System with Total Connect 2.0, provided that the user's alarm monitoring plan includes access to the platform.

If you recall back in the summer of 2018, it was announced that new Honeywell L5100-WIFI units had an updated MAC prefix, as it was changed from 00D02D to B82CA0. This had several implications. Starting with LYNX Touch Firmware 5.05000, Resideo locked the required MAC prefix so that only L5100-WIFI units with 00D02D were supported. This was later revised in Firmware Version 8.00183 to support the new MAC prefix of B82CA0. As a result, LYNX Touch Systems with a Firmware Version of at least 5.05000, but less than 8.00183, cannot support newer L5100-WIFI units with the MAC prefix of B82CA0. For LYNX Touch firmware in Canada, the required MAC prefix of 00D02D became locked with Firmware Version 5.15000.


However, we didn't realize that LYNX Touch Systems running firmware versions below 5.05000 (and below 5.15000 for Canadian models) do not have the locked MAC prefix requirement. This means that if you have a Honeywell LYNX Touch System with a firmware version of less than 5.05000, then you can use it with a newer L5100-WIFI unit with a MAC prefix of B82CA0. It still must meet the minimum firmware requirement to support the L5100-WIFI (Firmware Version 5.00838), but this allows for some new monitoring possibilities. Most notably, it allows certain Honeywell L5100 units use either the new L5100-WIFI model with the updated MAC prefix or the old model with the old MAC prefix.

In spring of 2019, it was announced that Resideo was no longer allowing Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels to receive over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates. Instead, firmware updates could only be applied locally using the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool. Initially, the updater tool was only compatible with the Honeywell L5210 and Honeywell L7000, but it was later made compatible with the Honeywell L5200 as well. But the updater tool was never made compatible with the Honeywell L5100. This makes it impossible to update the firmware for a Honeywell L5100 Security System, and there is no way to get the system onto Firmware Version 8.00123 or higher.

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But since Resideo didn't begin locking the required MAC prefix to 00D02D until 5.05000, an L5100 running a firmware version of at least 5.00838, but less than 5.05000, can support all L5100-WIFI units, regardless of their MAC prefix. Therefore, if you have an old Honeywell L5100 System lying around that you were thinking could never be monitored again unless you found a used L5100-WIFI with the old MAC prefix, it may be a good idea to check its firmware to see if it falls in that range.

If you want to check the firmware for a Honeywell L5100, you can do so by choosing Security > More > Tools > enter your Master Code (default 1234) > Test. The firmware revision will be displayed at the top of the screen. This process is the same for any LYNX Touch System, so you can also use this method to check your L5200, L5210, or L7000 firmware. Below is a picture of a Honeywell L7000 on Firmware Version 9.00209..

If you find that your L5100 is running a firmware version of 5.05000 or higher (5.15000 or higher in Canada), then you will be limited to using the older L5100-WIFI with the MAC prefix of 00D02D. With any luck, you may be able to find a used model somewhere with the older prefix. But should your L5100 be running a lower firmware, then the system will be able to support any L5100-WIFI model, including the new ones that you can purchase from Alarm Grid. This is an excellent way to get an old L5100 System set up with low-cost IP monitoring.

Of course, if you have an L5200, L5210, or L7000, then it is recommended that you get the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool to upgrade the system firmware to the latest version. The latest firmware is 9.0213 at the time of this writing. Updating to the latest firmware version is always recommended. And as long as the firmware version is 8.00183 or higher, the system can support all versions of the L5100-WIFI, regardless of the MAC prefix.

If you have any questions about the L5100-WIFI or the Honeywell LYNX Touch Systems, then please reach out to us! We are best contacted via email at support@alarmgrid.com. Our hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. This is also a great email to reach us if you are interested in starting new monitoring service. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory UL is currently working to revise the UL-827 Standard for Central Station Alarm Services. This is being done to better accommodate remote workers amid the pandemic. The changes will ensure that remote operators can perform their duties effectively.


Because of the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic, many central monitoring stations are continuing to have their operators work from home. UL is making changes to their UL-827 Standard to ensure that consistent provisions and protection measures are always enforced, regardless of whether an operator is working from home or at a monitoring center.

If you are unfamiliar with UL-827, it refers to the strict standards that a central monitoring station must meet in order to receive UL certification. The official central station partner of Alarm Grid, Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS), is UL certified. CMS will be required to comply with these new provisions once they are put into effect. CMS is extremely diligent about these matters, and we would imagine that they have already begun taking steps towards complete compliance with new UL mandates.

The revisions to UL-827 are still a work in progress, and no mandate has been finalized as of yet. However, we do have eight (8) mandates that are virtually guaranteed to be put into effect. We have the essence of these 8 mandates outlined below:

  1. Off-site monitoring will be permitted when there is a disruption event.
  2. Off-site monitoring will be discontinued within (14) days of the disruption event being declared over.
  3. While off-site monitoring is in effect, some staff will remain at the central station to maintain and support necessary equipment, such as receivers, automation systems, emergency generators, etc.
  4. Remote operators will remain connected with the central station using a secure pathway that uses at least 256-bit AES encryption.
  5. A central station must enforce multi-factor authentication for remote operators to access its network and automation system.
  6. Any remote operator workstation must not be used for personal use. It will remain the property of the monitoring company.
  7. Remote operator workstations must be set aside in a separate area of the home to not allow any unauthorized viewing and/or distraction of remote operators.
  8. Remote operators and on-duty managers will maintain continuous communication while off-site monitoring is in effect.

Not every issue regarding the matter has been fully addressed. UL is still working to address matters concerning standby power, wired vs. wireless connectivity between the remote operators and the central station, and issues regarding approval from the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). We believe that these new mandates will go into effect as soon as UL works out the details.

Although these protection measures were drafted in light of the COVID-19 health pandemic, they were also written in such a way that they can be enforced in the event of any other disruption that prevents operators from all gathering at a central station. We appreciate the insight taken by UL in that regard, as we are certainly in the midst of uncertainty.

Alarm Grid supports these measures that UL is set to introduce. We take great pride in ensuring our monitored customers that they will always receive the same level of protection and security. We understand that monitoring centers like CMS cannot safely operate with their full staff on-site during these times. The changes will help to guarantee that consistent measures are in-place, regardless of whether a trained central station operator is working from home or at the monitoring center. We applaud UL for quickly taking the initiative during these times.

As a monitoring provider, we want our customers to feel completely comfortable and confident with the central station services we offer. Providing peace of mind to end users is always one of our top priorities. If you have any questions or concerns regarding central station monitoring, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We would love to answer any questions that you might have. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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False security system alarms have been a hot topic in Georgia lately. A recent court ruling upheld the decision to allow the city of Sandy Springs, GA to charge monitoring companies for false alarms. Now, it appears that the city of Lawrenceville is looking to take similar action.

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Reports indicate that officials in Lawrenceville, GA are currently working with a third-party company to build a registry of all alarm systems in the city. This will include all alarm systems used in Lawrenceville homes and businesses. From there, an ordinance will be developed, with the goal of "cutting down on false alarms".

Specific details regarding such a proposed ordinance are not available at this time. However, it has been said that the ordinance would be designed to "bring revenue to the city". It is fair to expect that the proposed ordinance would include fines for causing false alarms, as well as fines for failing to register a system. It's also possible that Lawrenceville may take a page from nearby Sandy Springs, GA and invoke fines against monitoring companies.

As a general rule, Alarm Grid is against charging fees for permits to operate security systems. These fees only make it more difficult for users to lawfully install alarm systems to protect their homes and businesses. We understand the need to register alarm systems for false alarm prevention purposes. But charging fees makes the process harder for end users. Instead, we propose free system permits for those operating alarm systems responsibly.

Even worse is when a local jurisdiction charges a monitoring company for a false alarm caused by an end user. Any responsible monitoring company should give its customers the resources and tools they need to prevent false alarms. When a false alarm occurs, it is almost always due to a mistake made by the end user. Charging a monitoring provider for the actions of an end user is unfair. In recent times, both Tennessee and Iowa have passed laws to prevent local jurisdictions from charging monitoring providers.

Alarm Grid does not take false alarm prevention lightly. It does not make us look good as a monitoring provider if our customers are repeatedly causing false alarms. The last thing we want to do is waste the time and resources of local jurisdictions. That is why we strive to educate our customers so that they understand how their systems work and how to properly prevent false alarms. We know that most false alarms are innocent mistakes, and most users are not seeking to actively cause false alarms. We urge jurisdictions like Lawrenceville to consider these aspects.

From what we can tell, Lawrenceville, GA is looking into this matter very seriously. It is our hope that if and when they do pass an ordinance that it is fair for both end users and alarm monitoring providers. In our view, this should include no-cost permitting. If fines for false alarms are also included in the ordinance, then they should be reasonable and offer a no-fee warning for an initial false alarm. Additionally, no false alarm fines should be charged against the monitoring providers who are ultimately not the ones controlling the systems.

For more information on preventing false alarms, we strongly recommend checking out this helpful guide we wrote. It offers various tips and guidelines for preventing false alarms on security systems. If you have any further questions or concerns about preventing false alarms, or if you are wanting to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring service, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has learned that Johnson Controls has acquired the remaining stake of Qolsys. Johnson Controls now fully owns Qolsys. The press release from Qolsys states that all key Qolsys leaders and founders will remain at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters in San Jose, CA.

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Jeff Williams, President of Global Products for Johnson Controls said of the acquisition:

"Qolsys has grown from a startup to a leading security platform provider with over 4,000 dealers and service providers worldwide. Johnson Controls sees long-term opportunities to bring Silicon Valley innovation and culture to our broader cloud-enabled IoT solutions in building management, fire and HVAC businesses... The opportunity to acquire Qolsys allows Johnson Controls to achieve operational efficiencies and scale across our global markets."

Johnson Controls had already owned the majority of Qolsys. This latest acquisition now puts the entire company under the ownership of Johnson Controls. In addition to Qolsys, the Johnson Controls banner also includes the likes of DSC, Bentel, Visonic, PowerG, and Tyco. The company has certainly assembled an extensive collection of security products and namesakes. Now with Qolsys fully under their control, their expansion should only continue.

As part of the move, Qolsys CEO Dave Pulling will transition to the role of Vice President and General Manager of Global Intrusion Products for Johnson Controls. According to Pulling, Johnson Controls will remain committed to serving existing Qolsys users, while also setting their sights on potential global growth. As for the Qolsys namesake, it shouldn't be going anywhere, and it will continue to represent various panels, sensors, and accessories.

Interestingly, the bottom of the press release from Qolsys hints at a "fourth generation IQ Panel", with a very vague release date of 2021. The press release states that the Fourth Gen IQ Panel will feature a "Qualcomm Chipset with support for AI, M2M, and Next Generation Connectivity". This is the first we've heard about a 4th-gen IQ Panel, but it really sounds like exciting news. We don't have any other details about a 4th-gen Qolsys IQ Panel at this time, but we will definitely keep our eyes open for more news.

Qolsys is currently known for their state-of-the-art IQ Panel 2 Plus. The company is set to release the lower-cost Qolsys IQ Hub later this year, which will represent the "third gen" in the IQ Panel lineup. Also on the roadmap for Qolsys is the upcoming Qolsys IQ Router. And last month's release of the DSC PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter was big news for many Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus users. It goes without saying that the company has been frequently making some big waves in the security industry.

Alarm Grid has frequently praised Qolsys Panels for their intuitive designs and simple user interfaces (UIs). We have found that the IQ Panel 2 serves as a great option for new users who aren't necessarily accustomed to, or experienced in, operating alarm systems. We hope that this will continue for Qolsys, even as they are now operating fully under the Johnson Controls banner. Many end users appreciate having easy-to-operate security systems greet them in their homes and businesses. Our hope is that Johnson Controls and Qolsys do not lose sight of that vision.

If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, or any other security product from Johnson Controls, or if you want to learn more about monitoring service, please send an email to our team at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have learned that Qolsys has released a fix for the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware for the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. With this fix, the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware is once again available for download for any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus running System Firmware Version 2.4.2 or higher.

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The saga regarding Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03 for the IQ Panel 2 has been ongoing for quite awhile now. For anyone who isn't fully in the loop, we will provide a brief recap of the events.

In September of last year, Qolsys released IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.4.0. Any newly manufactured IQ Panel 2 Plus System with 2.4.0 or higher pre-installed would have the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already pre-installed out of the box. Those with an older IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System that had been upgraded from a lower system firmware version would need to separately update the Z-Wave firmware for the system if they wanted to use the associated features.

To be clear, updating the Z-Wave firmware on an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus is optional. The 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware only provides the Smart Start feature for enrolling compatible devices via a scanned QR code, and it upgrades the panel's automation security protocol from S0 to S2. If a user doesn't need and/or doesn't care about these features, then skipping the update is fine. Unlike panel firmware for the IQ2, the system's Z-Wave firmware isn't as important to have on the latest version. Many users chose to skip the update entirely. And that remains the case now. If you do not want the update, then you do not need to apply it.

Later, in July 2020, Qolsys discovered problems with Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03. Once this happened, Qolsys took the associated patch tag off the network so that it could no longer be downloaded. But now that Qolsys has corrected the associated issues, the update is once again available for download. Anyone who performs the upgrade now will download an updated version of the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware to the panel. This updated version does not have the problems and issues that were associated with the earlier version, even though they are both referred to as Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03.

Of course, there are some users who still have the faulty version of the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware on their panels. For these users, the problem can be corrected by performing a system firmware update for the IQ Panel 2. In other words, upgrading to the latest system firmware (2.5.2) with the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already installed will update the panel's Z-Wave firmware from the faulty version of 6.81.03 to the newly updated version that has the fixes applied. Users who were already running 2.5.2 at the time they applied the faulty Z-Wave firmware patch, will need to wait for the next firmware release to fix the problem. According to Qolsys, their IQ Panel 2 System Firmware Version 2.5.3 will be made available later this month. More information on IQ Panel 2 System Firmware can be found on this helpful page.

We understand that this may be a bit confusing, so we have broken IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus users into three (3) categories. Find the bold statement below that applies to you, and follow the corresponding instructions. It may also be helpful to check and see whether or not your IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03. To do this, press the small grey bar at the top of the main screen, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > About > Z-Wave. You should see the current Z-Wave Firmware listed.

1. My IQ Panel 2 is NOT on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03.

If your IQ Panel 2 is not on Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03, then that tells us two things. For one, it means that the panel was originally manufactured with a system firmware version of less than 2.4.0. Second, it also means that no updates to the system's Z-Wave firmware have ever been applied.

Since you haven't updated the Z-Wave firmware for the system before, you can apply the update as normal. You will be downloading the newly updated 6.81.03 that has the proper fixes applied. Please see this helpful FAQ for more information about applying the patch tag.

Remember, your IQ Panel 2 must be on at least System Firmware Version 2.4.2 to apply the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware. If your system is not on a high enough firmware, then now is a great time to update to the latest system firmware version, which is Version 2.5.2. Alternatively, you might choose to wait a few weeks for System Firmware Version 2.5.3, since it's coming so soon.

Another option is to just skip the Z-Wave update entirely. The older "pre-6.81.03" Z-Wave firmware versions are very stable, and they generally work great. All you are getting by updating the Z-Wave firmware is access to the Smart Start feature and an upgrade for your system's Z-Wave Security Protocol (from S0 to S2). If you do not care about these updates, then you can simply take no action.

2. My IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03, but I'm not on the latest System Firmware 2.5.2.

Your panel is on Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03 either because it was manufactured that way, or because a Z-Wave firmware update was manually performed. In either case, the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware Version your system is running is flawed, and we strongly advise applying a fix. There is no way to "downgrade" to an older Z-Wave firmware, so you must apply the newly fixed 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware to the panel.

Luckily, Qolsys made it very easy to fix the issue for users in this situation. All you need to do is update the system firmware to the latest version. By updating to System Firmware 2.5.2 with the 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware already installed, the appropriate fix will be applied so that your system's Z-Wave firmware will work in the proper manner. We recommend checking our IQ Panel 2 Plus System Firmware Updates Page for more information.

3. My IQ Panel 2 is on Z-Wave Firmware 6.81.03, AND I'm already on System Firmware 2.5.2.

Since your system is already on the latest firmware, you cannot perform a firmware update to fix the issue. Any user in this situation will not be able to take any action towards fixing their faulty Z-Wave firmware until Qolsys releases IQ Panel 2 System Firmware Version 2.5.3. Once 2.5.3 is available, you can download that Z-Wave firmware, and the updated 6.81.03 Z-Wave Firmware will also be automatically applied at that time. Qolsys says that System Firmware 2.5.3 will be made available later this month. Alarm Grid will post an update blog once 2.5.3 is available, so make sure to stay tuned.

UPDATE: Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Version 2.5.3 is now available! Please see this blog post for more information.

We understand that this is a lot of information to take in for a relatively simple issue. If you need any clarification regarding the issue, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid noticed a new addition to the AlarmNet360 platform for alarm dealers. There is now a banner counting down to the end of the respective AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA network shut downs. It's another indication that the 3G Sunset is indeed a very pressing matter in the alarm industry.


If you are not familiar with the 3G/CDMA Sunset, it refers to quickly approaching dates at which the AT&T 3G Cellular Network and the Verizon CDMA Network will be permanently shut down and deactivated. Other cellular service providers also have their own dates for when they will decommission their older networks in favor of faster and more reliable LTE and 5G cellular networks. But for the alarm industry in the United States, the AT&T and Verizon shutdowns are particularly important, as many alarm systems rely on communication through these networks.

According to the banner shown on AlarmNet360, the AT&T 3G Sunset is set to occur after January 31, 2022. Likewise, the Verizon CDMA Sunset, according to the banner, will occur after December 31, 2022. We want to make it very clear that Alarm Grid is NOT stating that these are "official" dates for the respective network shutdowns. This is just what AlarmNet is displaying on their dealer portal. But it is our understanding that these dates are accurate and very important for end users to consider.

When a cellular network is shut down, any device communicating across that network will stop working. This includes many cellular alarm monitoring communicators that security systems depend upon for providing trustworthy and effective monitoring service. Inevitably, there will be many homes and businesses that fail to make the proper transition and get left behind during this period of adjustment. Our goal is to ensure that this happens to as few Alarm Grid customers as possible.

In preparation for the 3G/CDMA Sunset, AlarmNet has stopped allowing activations for these older cellular modules. Similar measures have also been taken by Alarm.com. But just because new activations are no longer permitted does not change the fact that there are many existing communicators out there.

Alarm Grid has promised to continue providing support for these modules as long as possible. We know that there are many people who aren't necessarily in a position to purchase a new communicator and/or an entirely new alarm panel right away. We're doing our best to accommodate everyone. But once an associated cellular network is shut down, there is nothing we can do. This is completely in the hands of the cellular service providers, and it is entirely out of our control. We fully understand the need to decommission older networks in favor of better technology, and we know that cellular service providers are making these decisions in the best interest of everyone involved. But we need to urge our customers. Do not get left behind.

The 3G/CDMA Sunset is not something to take lightly. There will be some homes and business that do not get the memo and/or decide to not take any action. They will be left vulnerable and unprotected. That is an unfortunate reality of the situation. But you do not need to let that happen to you or those around you. Most systems will allow you to replace an existing 3G or CDMA Communicator with a newer LTE communicator.

The term LTE stands for "Long-Term Evolution". Cellular service providers like AT&T and Verizon are planning to keep their LTE networks active and in-service for many, many years into the future, possibly even decades. The LTE networks will serve as a reliable backup for the new 5G networks, for which the infrastructure is still being rolled-out. Even as cellular technology continues to evolve and change, the LTE networks will remain as a stronghold, keeping millions of security systems monitored and protected. Cellular service providers will not let their LTE infrastructure go to waste. These networks will be there for your home or business when you need them the most.

If you haven't upgraded to LTE yet, please contact us. We will help you explore your options so that you can make an informed decision. Depending on your current equipment, you might only need to buy a new communicator. Others will need to replace entire alarm panels. Our technicians can provide more detail once we know exactly what you are working with. We understand that it might be difficult or impossible for you to purchase new alarm system equipment right now. That's fine. You still have time. But time is running out. You need to start preparing and thinking about these things now. That's why AlarmNet has slapped a giant banner marking the countdown dates. Take action now, if possible, so that you aren't racing to make an upgrade at the last minute.

For Alarm Grid customers it is important to note that, in most cases a communicator replacement will require that you work with one of our trained technicians. In some cases, this can be done without an appointment, but in many cases an appointment will be required. So please, also keep this in mind when you're planning to upgrade your equipment. If everyone who needs an upgrade waits until the last minute, the wait for an available appointment time may get longer than usual.

The best way to contact us regarding any questions or concerns you might have about the 3G/CDMA Sunset is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Please let us know about the security system equipment you currently have so that we can provide the most comprehensive and complete support possible. We may even ask for pictures of your panel and/or communicator so that we can help you to the best of our ability. Remember that our support hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and ensuring that your security system is kept monitored for many years to come!

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Just weeks after their last update, Alarm.com is already touting a new mobile app version for both Android and iOS. This time, it's Version 4.14. It will offer some new features and stability fixes. Users should upgrade as soon as possible once available. The update should be released soon.


The main upgrade featured in Alarm.com Mobile App Version 4.14 involves the Alarm.com Doorbell Cameras. Specifically, these are the SkyBell ADC-VDB101 and SkyBell ADC-VDB102 Round Doorbell, as well as the SkyBell ADC-VDB105 and SkyBell ADC-VDB106 Slimline Doorbell. Mobile App Update 4.14 adds new actions to the Doorbell Call Menu within the app. This will allow users to more quickly respond to visitors.

Through the Doorbell Call Menu, users will be able to adjust their lighting devices, control their garage doors, and even arm their systems. Previously, the Doorbell Call Menu only allowed users to disarm their systems and operate Z-Wave door locks. We expect that this increased functionality will prove to be very useful for end users who have video doorbells set up for use with the Alarm.com.

And like always, a new update should provide general stability improvements and a more consistent end user experience overall. That is why we recommend updating to the latest version as soon as it is available. Alarm.com tends to have somewhat of a delay between announcing new app updates and actually releasing them. Don't be surprised if Version 4.14 isn't released for several days from now.

If you have any questions about Alarm.com, or if you are interested in starting Alarm.com monitoring service, please reach out to us! We would be happy to help you get started with your own Alarm.com Security System for your home or business. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have heard reports lately of RF supervision troubles on 2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e Systems, particularly for zones set up with encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors. Upon further testing, we have learned that eSeries Zones configured with incorrect Equipment Codes can cause supervision trouble.

2gig pir1e wireless encrypted pir motion detector

Equipment Codes are somewhat of a unique quirk for 2GIG Security Systems. This numeric code identifies the model number of the wireless sensor that is being used. It should not be confused with the sensor's Serial Number, which is unique for each individual sensor. You set the Equipment Code when programming a new zone. Alarm Grid has helpful guides available for programming a GC2e zone and programming a GC3e zone.

The following table contains the current list of eSeries Equipment Codes:

Product Name Equipment Code
2GIG eSeries Smoke Detector (USA) 2058
2GIG eSeries CO Detector (USA) 2860
2GIG eSeries Tilt Sensor 2061
2GIG eSeries Flood Sensor 2065
2GIG eSeries Shock Sensor 2066
2GIG eSeries Repeater 2067
2GIG eSeries Translator 2068
2GIG eSeries Water Sensor 2070
2GIG eSeries Thin Door/Window Contact 2862
2GIG eSeries Recessed Door Contact 2863
2GIG eSeries Glass Break Detector 2864
2GIG eSeries Pet-Immune PIR Motion Sensor 2869
2GIG eSeries Takeover Module 2873
2GIG eSeries 4-Button Keyfob Remote 2866

Before the rise of 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors, the Equipment Code setting on a 2GIG System was largely seen as a formality. The general practice was to find the corresponding sensor if available, but generally not worry about it very much if you couldn't match it exactly. Some third-party sensors do not have their own Equipment Codes, and an "equivalent" is usually selected instead. For example, the Honeywell 5800MINI and the VERSA-2GIG can both just use the Equipment Code for "Existing Door/Window Contact", rather than finding an exact match.

But for the 2GIG eSeries Sensors, the Equipment Code selection is actually very important. Failing to set the exact corresponding equipment code can result in the system displaying an RF supervision loss trouble condition for the associated zone. This trouble is typically used to identify that the system has lost communication with the sensor, due to either the sensor powering down from a dead or missing battery, or the sensor being taken out of wireless range. But it seems that the GC2e and GC3e cannot properly supervise a 2GIG eSeries Sensor with an improper Equipment Code. More information can be found in this FAQ.

Missing Equipment Codes are more common for third-party sensors not produced by 2GIG. For a 2GIG Sensor, you should almost always have a direct Equipment Code selection available. And the 2GIG eSeries Sensors are still quite new, so 2GIG made sure to put in Equipment Codes specifically for each of these sensors. However, you may be unable to find an Equipment Code for a brand-new eSeries Sensor if your 2GIG System isn't on the latest firmware version. Adding support for new sensors is a major part of most 2GIG Firmware Updates. You can view our GC2e Firmware Page here, and our GC3e Firmware Page here.

If you need any help programming a GC2e or GC3e wireless zone, then make sure to check out the programming FAQs we linked earlier. Alarm Grid monitored customers can also receive additional free support by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a great email to use if you are interested in signing up for new monitoring service. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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