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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Product Description
Qolsys S-Line IQ Water Valve Kit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We told you in 2020 how the Total Connect 2.0 app for Android could support Google Assistant voice commands. This feature allowed you to use your voice to control your system, but only through your phone. Now, the ProSeries panels, including the PROA7PLUS, can fully support Google Assistant.

What this meant back then was that there was nothing to download. Once the feature was enabled on your phone, a blue microphone icon would appear at the bottom of the Total Connect 2.0 app screen. When you pressed it, you could use your voice to check system status, and to arm or disarm the system. Now, with the latest Total Connect 2.0 release, you can actually set up TC2 within Google Home, and control your system from any Google Home capable device you have connected to your account.

Another improvement is the fact that this functionality is now available to both Android and iOS users. On either platform, make sure you have the Google Home app and then follow the steps to configure the Total Connect 2.0 skill within it.

Below is the Google Home App as seen in the Apple App Store:


The ProSeries panels include the Honeywell Home PROA7 and Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and the Resideo PROA7C and Resideo PROA7PLUSC. Currently, these are the only Total Connect 2.0 compatible panels that support the improved Google integration. If you have one of the ProSeries panels, coupled with a Total Connect 2.0 account and you would like to take advantage of voice commands through Google Assistant, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home App, then click the [Plus (+)] Icon at the top left of the main screen.
  2. Select, [Set up Device].
  3. Select [Works with Google].
  4. Search for [Total Connect] then select it.
  5. Use your Total Connect 2.0 login credentials to log into TC2 from the skill.
  6. Read the User Agreement and if you agree, press [Allow].
  7. Be sure the Security System icon is selected, then press [Connect].
  8. Click the [Pencil Icon] to assign the system to a room, then choose which room you'd like to add it to.
  9. Hit the [Back button] repeatedly until you reach the Home screen.
  10. You should now be able to query Google for system status, as well as arm the system to Away, Stay, or Night and Disarm the system using Google Assistant.

Voice control of automation devices is not yet available unless the automation is achieved through a scene tied to system arming or disarming. For example, if you have a scene that turns on the porch light when the system is armed to Away, and you use the Google Assistant to arm in this mode, then the porch light will come on once the system is armed.

Total Connect 2.0 also supports integration with Amazon Alexa, and has for a while now. The configuration is very similar between the two services. One difference between them is that Amazon Alexa is compatible with more different panel types. Most of the Honeywell Wireless All-in-One panels support it. This means that in addition to the ProSeries panels, the Lyric, Lynx, and even the VISTA panels all support being used with Amazon Alexa. As long as the panel is tied to a Total Connect 2.0 account.

To integrate Total Connect 2.0 with Amazon Alexa for voice control of any of the above panels, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Alexa App and search for the Total Connect 2.0 skill.
  2. Click [Enable]
  3. You will be prompted to enter your Total Connect 2.0 login credentials. Enter them, then hit [Login]
  4. You will see a User Agreement, read through it, and if you agree click [Allow].
  5. Make sure the Security System icon is selected, then click [Connect].
  6. A screen should appear showing "Total Connect 2.0 has been successfully linked".

Once the above steps have been completed, log into the Total Connect 2.0 app and go to the Profile Page. Under the Access section, be sure that your user code has been saved and synched with the panel. If this isn't done, Amazon Alexa won't function properly. In the past, we've made FAQs for integrating some different panels with Amazon Alexa. You can find links to those FAQs below:

How Do I Connect My Lyric Alarm System to Alexa?

How Do I Connect My VISTA-21iP to Alexa?

Resideo Official Instruction Sheet on Integration

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Alarm.com continues to improve the user experience with its service. They made swapping a communicator or a whole system easy when it comes to backing up and restoring users and zones. But until now, all Z-Wave devices had to be excluded then re-included on the new panel. That is changing.

An important thing to remember is that currently, not all Alarm.com compatible Z-Wave Controllers support backing up and restoring the Z-Wave network. The following modules are the ones that support this feature as of this writing:

Panel Minimum Original Module Version Minimum Current Module Version
DSC PowerSeries Neo 187j 191a
DSC PowerSeries PRO 187e 189e
Interlogix Concord 4 187e 189e
Interlogix NX 187a 189b
Interlogix Simon XT/XTi/XTi-5/XTi-5i 191c 191f
SEM DSC PowerSeries 187i 189e
SEM Honeywell/Ademco VISTA 187d 189b

As you can see from this list, it's the communicators manufactured by ADC, that have the Z-Wave controller built into the communicator that currently support this new feature. Hopefully, this list will grow to include the Qolsys and 2GIG alarm panels.

At this time, the backup and restore of a customer's Z-Wave network can only be performed by the alarm dealer through either the Partner Portal, or the Mobile Tech App. The end-user can't perform these steps. A Z-Wave network backup occurs automatically about eight (8) hours after a device is either added to, or removed from, the Z-Wave network. The backup takes about five (5) minutes, plus two (2) to three (3) minutes for verification purposes. The amount of time the back process takes is not dependant on the number of devices that are paired with the Z-Wave Controller.

To backup a Z-Wave Network on a compatible device using the Alarm.com Partner Portal (Website) perform the following steps:

  1. Login to the Portal. Using your Alarm.com dealer portal login credentials, log into the Partner Portal, completing any 2-factor authentication required.
  2. Pull up the account. Find the account whose Z-Wave network you would like to back up.
  3. Navigate to equipment. Click on the Equipment menu option on the left side of the screen. Then click on Z-Wave Devices.
  4. Backup the network. Under Advanced Z-Wave Commands click Backup Network. Stay on the network backup page to monitor the status of the backup. Once backed up, the backup will be verified, then the process will complete.

A backup is usually performed in order to prepare to move as much of the panel/module programming from the existing system to a new module. This could be due to an upgrade, or due to the replacement of an existing module that is determined to be malfunctioning.

Once a backup has been made, the next step is to restore the backed-up information to the new module or system. To restore backed-up Z-Wave information to a new module during a module swap, via the Alarm.com Partner Portal, perform these steps:

  1. Power down the existing module. Power down the panel and remove the existing Alarm.com module from it.
  2. Swap the module. Log into the Alarm.com Partner Portal, then find the customer account. In the Customer Information section, choose Swap Module. Enter the new module's serial number into the appropriate location on the module swap screen. If there is a specific reason for the swap, enter this info in the Swap Reason field.
  3. Restore Z-Wave Network. Click on the option to Restore Z-Wave Network then click Submit.
  4. Install new module. Install the new Alarm.com module into the panel (while still powered down). Power up the panel and module.
  5. Perform a Communication Test Perform a communication test from the panel using the new communication module. The process for sending a test signal will differ from one panel to another. Check the Installation Instructions for the new module, it should provide instructions on how to perform this test.
  6. Monitor the process. You will automatically be taken to the Z-Wave Network Restore page. Monitor the progress of the restore until it is complete. The process of a full module swap, including restoring panel information as well as Z-Wave devices can take 25 minutes or longer. Be patient and allow the process to complete.

What do you think of this new feature from Alarm.com? If you have ever had to replace a Z-Wave Controller in a robust Z-Wave network and had to exclude, then include all the devices in the new module along with re-programming all schedules and scenes, you will appreciate this feature. Leave a comment below and tell us about your experiences with this type of situation. We enjoy hearing from our readers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Update 12/02/21:

We have confirmed with Resideo and at least one customer that the issues regarding the syncing of Automation between all versions of the Tuxedo Keypads, and the VAM have been resolved and that remote control of Z-Wave devices has returned to normal. Users should now be able to remotely control Z-Wave Automation Devices during any Total Connect 2.0 session. Any Alarm Grid customer that notices issues like this in the future, please report it to support@alarmgrid.com.

Update 11/26/21:

On Tuesday of this week, Resideo announced an update meant to fix this issue. Apparently, it fixed the portion of the issue where all Automation Syncs were failing, but did not address the issue with being unable to control Z-Wave Devices remotely.

There is something of a workaround for this portion of the issue at this time. During the TC2 session where a successful Automation Sync occurs, you can control Z-Wave devices remotely. Once you end that TC2 session and begin another one, you will lose that ability. So, for now, if you need to control a Z-Wave device remotely, perform a sync, and once you see in the Activity Log that the Automation Sync was successful, you will be able to control Z-Wave devices until the current TC2 session ends. Stay tuned and we will provide further updates as this issue is resolved.

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In the last couple of weeks, Alarm Grid has noticed several customers with VAM and Tuxedo Keypads (all versions) having trouble syncing Z-Wave devices with Total Connect 2.0. This prevents newly added Z-Wave devices from showing up in TC2, though local control at the device is still available.

This issue doesn't seem to affect Total Connect 2.0 accounts associated with AiO (All-in-One) panels such as the Lyric Controller and the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. Accounts with these panel types should be working fine. It is unknown exactly what the problem is, and there is currently no workaround available. We've been in touch with Resideo and Honeywell Home and they are aware of the problem, but there is no Estimated Time of Resolution (ETR) for a fix.

You can continue to add and remove Z-Wave devices locally at the VAM or Tuxedo. But any changes that are made locally at the Z-Wave controller will not be synced to Total Connect 2.0. This means that any device deleted locally will continue to show up in TC2, and any device added locally will not show up in Total Connect 2.0 until this issue is resolved and a successful automation sync occurs.

Any device that currently shows up in Total Connect 2.0, and still exists in the Tuxedo or VAM CANNOT be controlled remotely through TC2. When an attempt to perform an Automation Sync occurs, there is no Automation Sync Failed, or Automation Sync Successful message displayed in TC2 Activity. Status changes from the Z-Wave device to TC2 seem to be coming through fine. It's only the sync process and remote control that seem to be having issues.

Alarm Grid is working with Resideo and Honeywell Home, and as soon as this issue is resolved, we'll post about it here. We posted information earlier this year about the Tuxedo Keypads and VAM Automation Controllers not updating the weather properly. We don't know if this current issue is related to the previous one, but we hope that it will be resolved soon. Stay tuned to our blog for updates.

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Now, in addition to Z-Wave and Liftmaster/Chamberlain MyQ garage door integration, Alarm Grid's Alarm.com customers can use Genie Aladdin Connect retrofit kits, and OHD Anywhere Overhead Door kits to integrate control of garage doors through Alarm.com. This is a server-level integration.

The Genie Aladdin Connect and OHD Anywhere Overhead Door kits are retrofit kits that make older garage doors "Smart". They provide a connection to WIFI, that older garage doors would otherwise not have, which enables them to work with their own remote control app and/or with the Alarm.com app. The benefit of integrating with Alarm.com is that it allows a single app to control multiple types of devices. Also, when the garage door is integrated through Alarm.com, it can then be included in automation scenes based on system events, or schedules.

Each retrofit kit can support up to three (3) separate garage door motors. The Genie Aladdin Connect Retrofit Kit Installation Instructions are available here. the OHD Anywhere Quick Install Guide is located here. There is also a Compatibility Guide, showing which older garage door motors are compatible with the OHD Anywhere retrofit kit. For the most part, any older garage door opener made after January 1, 1993, or with safety beams built-in, should be compatible with either of these kits. Conversely, most newer Chamberlain and Liftmaster MyQ garage door motors are incompatible.

For users with pre-existing installations of either the Genie Aladdin Retrofit Kit, or the OHD Anywhere Retrofit Kit, we have an integration guide (both linked above) showing how to add that integration to your alarm.com account. In order to have the option to add a garage door, you will need to have the Garage Door and Gate Control service package add-on enabled by your alarm dealer. For Alarm Grid customers, this will require the Gold Plan (Self or Full) or higher. At the time of activation, let your activator know that you need this service to be enabled.

If you don't yet have one of these kits installed, but you'd like to add one, there is no need to set the device up through the manufacturer's app. The entire setup, including adding the retrofit kit to WIFI, can be accomplished through Alarm.com by your security dealer. They will need you to provide the proper module serial number to them so that they can complete the server-to-server integration. Once it is complete, you'll be able to access the garage door through the Alarm.com app with no need to download any other app first.

What do you think of this integration? Alarm.com is really committed to third-party integration, and they are doing a bang-up job of making these types of services available to their customers. Do you have an older garage door motor that could be upgraded in this way? Let us know what you think in the comments below, we always look forward to hearing from you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When it comes to alarm panels behaving as Z-Wave Controllers, it should be easy to determine if a device is compatible or not. However, we've found that in some cases, not all Z-Wave devices are equal. Z-Wave locks by Schlage have been known to have compatibility issues with certain panels.

Alarm Grid has often stated in our documentation that we prefer that our customers use the Yale or Kwikset Z-Wave locks. We've seen issues with Schlage locks over the years and we haven't really gotten satisfactory answers as to why. We've had customers tell us that they've worked with Schlage, and we have worked with Resideo and Honeywell Home. Sometimes they will work, but other times the customer winds up changing to a different lock manufacturer, or just not using the locks with their panel.

When you look at the most current Lyric Z-Wave Compatibility Chart, which is dated 05/19, and is an official document produced by Honeywell Home, it shows that Schlage Z-Wave locks are compatible. This information is based on engineering and quality assurance testing. But testing and daily use are two different things. Engineers can never think up every scenario to test, no matter how hard they may try. So, once a customer attempts to use the products together in their own home or business, some unforeseen factors may arise and cause issues.

We recently had a customer attempting to use a Schlage Z-Wave lock with a Lyric Security System. When the lock is paired with the panel, the batteries drain very quickly, within one to two weeks. When the lock is used as a stand-alone device, the batteries appear to have a normal life. So, we asked Resideo Technical Support for their input. They suggested that the Schlage locks not be used with the Lyric, ProSeries, or Tuxedo products at this time. There is some conflicting information, certain locks may work with the ProSeries panels while others do not, but it may be best to avoid Schlage locks with these panels for now unless you can wait to use the panel and lock together until the issues are resolved.

The Lynx Series panels appear to support the Schlage locks when the L5100-ZWAVE is employed, but certain conditions must be met. The lock and the panel must be within 12 inches of one another during the pairing process, and must remain at this distance for a full two (2) minutes before either is moved. This allows the full pairing process to be completed. Also, the handing process must be completed immediately following pairing. Resideo engineers are working with Schlage to resolve any issues with those panels that have them, and they hope to have a resolution some time soon, possibly in early 2022.

If you have any thoughts about Schlage Z-Wave locks and their use with any of the Resideo or Honeywell Home alarm systems, drop a comment in the area below and lets get a conversation started. We offer feedback directly to all our vendors on behalf of our customers. We're honored to be your voice.

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From the beginning, ever since place-based services have become a staple of alarm-based remote access, Alarm.com has provided a better experience than their closest competitor, Total Connect 2.0. Recently, they announced they will be rebranding, with a name change from Geo-Services to Places.

Geo-Services, soon to be re-christened Places, allows a user to create a geo-fence around any location, and then create rules for their panel and their other automation devices based on that geo-fence. For example, you could create a rule that tells the system when your iOS or Android device enters the geo-fence, turn on the porch light

Alarm.com users with Master Control, Full Control, and Custom with Notification Settings enabled can configure Places. The feature can be enabled from the customer app by selecting Menu > GeoServices > and setting the feature to enabled:



You'll be prompted to go to your devices Location Settings and choose to Allow Always in order for the Places feature to function correctly even when the Alarm.com app is not in use. Once the feature is enabled on one or more devices, you can then create a geo-fence. One of the changes that is coming in early November is the ability to manage geo-fences from the customer app. Previously, the ability to configure this option was only available through the Alarm.com website.

Since this change hasn't actually been implemented yet, there is a chance that the menu options mentioned and shown above may change. Geo-services is included in every Alarm.com plan, and there is no additional charge to enable it. Geo-services uses the phone and WIFI networks to determine the location of the geo-services enabled device, rather than the built-in GPS. This is because using actual GPS consumes a lot of battery, but for this reason, location accuracy suffers. It can be off by as much as 3km, although that's not something we've experienced personally. Also, there is a tiny amount of cellular data used when WIFI is not available. About 100 bytes of data or less per geo-fence crossed.



Available Rules and Reminders For Geo-Services

Feature Description
Arming/Lock/Sensor/Garage/Gate Reminders Used to alert a user if the alarm isn't armed when the geo-fence is crossed. Can be used for locks, sensors, and garage doors as well.
Thermostat Override Set a desired temperature when leaving and/or returning to a location when the geo-fence is crossed. Works with thermostats and mini-splits controllers.
Pause Video Recordings Allows user to configure video devices to automatically pause recordings triggered by motion detection based on whether one or more geo-devices are within a geo-fence. Used to avoid unnecessary or unwanted recordings.
Automate Light Rules A user can create an event-triggered rule to automate lights based on when a geo-fence is crossed.

This is just a brief overview of this excellent Alarm.com feature that you may have, but may not be using. Be on the lookout for some possible changes to this feature early next month. If there are substantial changes, we'll be sure to keep you in the loop! Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts about this, or any other alarm features. We look forward to hearing from you.

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The new ADC-V724 is the first camera from Alarm.com to offer 2-Way Audio in addition to 1080p HDR video, and IR night vision. With the integrated mic and speaker, you could easily have some fun with the neighborhood trick-or treaters while still protecting your property from vandals.

We all know that house in the neighborhood where the owners go all-out for Halloween. In some cases, it's like a haunted house attraction where, instead of having to pay to get in, you get candy if you're brave enough to get to the door. The Alarm.com ADC-V724 could help you make your house the one everybody's talking about this year!

Don't get me wrong, this camera is great all year. It just happens that it's being released at this time of year, which is fortuitous. Because, maybe you're not that house, maybe you're the other house. The one where the inhabitants turn all the lights off and pretend not to be home because they forgot to buy candy. Maybe you're in for some tricks because you don't have any treats. Well, the ADC-V724 has you covered there too. With one of these installed, you can sit inside and watch your property. If anyone shows up to play tricks, you can politely tell them through the camera that they should skip your house.

The ADC-V724 has an improved mount over previous versions of Alarm.com cameras, for better long-term stability. It also has an easier to reach MicroSD card slot, in the event you want to take advantage of the Onboard Recording feature. No MicroSD card is included with the camera. It also allows you to take advantage of the full suite of Alarm.com Video Analytics, which is a powerful tool for eliminating unwarranted video captures. The ADC-V724 offers High Dynamic Range (HDR) for better light/dark contrast in low-light environments, and can work with either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz WIFI. With the built-in microphone, audio is included in recorded clips. When it comes to providing evidence to the police, audio is often just as important to them as video evidence, so this is a great added feature.

The speaker and MicroSD card slot can be seen in this image:


What do you think about the Alarm.com ADC-V724? Are you in the market for new indoor/outdoor cameras? Will you be going all-out for Halloween, are you the house with no candy, or somewhere in-between? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. If there's something you'd like to see us cover in our blog, you can let us know that as well. See you next time, until then as always, stay safe!


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