Smart Home Posts

Posted

Update! Although this product has been discontinued and will no longer be manufactured, Alarm Grid has managed to obtain a small amount of stock, so the 5877 is currently still available for purchase on our site, but for a limited time.

We have learned that the Honeywell 5877 Garage Door Relay has been discontinued, effective immediately. This leaves the Honeywell Lyric and the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels with no viable option for a smart garage door controller. The associated Honeywell GDCK Kit is also discontinued.

The Honeywell 5877 was widely seen as one of the most important automation accessories for the Lyric and LYNX Touch Systems. Thanks to this module, a user could integrate their garage door motor with their wireless Honeywell Alarm System and the Total Connect 2.0 platform. This allowed users to open and close their garage doors from anywhere using TC2, and they could also use the platform to check its current OPEN or CLOSED status when a separate garage door sensor was used. Users could also include their garage doors with smart scenes for automatic operation based on a schedule or with predetermined events.

With the 5877 being discontinued, there is no longer a viable method for setting up a Lyric or LYNX Touch System for local garage door control. The decision by Resideo to discontinue the Honeywell 5877 does not strike us as a big surprise. An increasing number of users have been finding good alternatives to the 5877 lately. One example is the Chamberlain and LiftMaster Integration for Total Connect 2.0. While this server-to-server integration does not allow for local control of the garage door at the security panel, being able to control the garage door remotely from TC2 is considered by most users to be more important. You can learn more about that integration here. The 5877 also has a big limitation, in that it does not work with the increasingly popular LiftMaster MyQ Garage Motors.

It is also important to note that the Lyric and LYNX Touch Systems are not compatible with most third-party Z-Wave garage door openers. This somewhat forced Lyric and LYNX Touch users to go with the first-party 5877 device from Resideo, rather than buying a third-party device that they do not manufacture. But the game has been changed with the newest Resideo System, the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. This new system offers a much wider selection of possible integrations. For example, Alarm Grid offers the popular GoControl GD00Z-8-GC Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Opener, which is often used with various Alarm.com Security Panels. That unit works with the PROA7PLUS, but not the Lyric and LYNX Touch Systems. The bottom line is that fewer people were buying the Honeywell 5877, and Resideo decided it was no longer in their best interest to continue manufacturing it.

Of course, the unfortunate result of this is that the Lyric and LYNX Touch Panels do not have a good option for smart garage door control. If you have an existing Honeywell 5877 Module, then it will continue to work fine. Or if you find a used one somewhere, then that should also be okay for setting up new service. The other components of the Honeywell GDCK Kit are still available, including the Honeywell 5822T for monitoring a garage door's current status. But if you were in the market for a new 5877 for an existing Lyric or LYNX Touch, then we are sorry to say that you are out of luck. You should try finding a used model if possible, or you may consider upgrading to a newer alarm system.

This truly represents the end of an era, as the Honeywell 5877 was a mainstay accessory for the longest time. But all good things must come to an end. If you have any questions about the discontinued 5877, or if you need help integrating your alarm system with your garage door, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Being able to control your garage door remotely is a great perk of alarm monitoring service, and we are here to help you explore your remaining options. Our team is here to answer your questions from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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

Comments


Posted By

We know that 2021 has been a busy year so far. And things are just getting started! We thought we would take a moment to catch our breath and review some recent tidbits, while also giving a preview on some new things coming soon. Here are some miscellaneous bits of news to take in.


Alarm Grid is now offering the Honeywell LTEMXA-TC2 and the LTEMXV-TC2. These are special bundles for Honeywell VISTA users that include a new communicator (LTEM-XA or LTEM-XV) and PROM Chip upgrades for the 15P and for the 20P. These upgrade kits are good if you need a new communicator for your Honeywell VISTA System, as well as PROM Chip upgrade to support Total Connect 2.0. Remember that the minimum PROM Chip Version for a 15P or 20P to support TC2 is 9.12. If you missed our post announcing the new LTEM-XA and LTEM-XV, then make sure to check it out! These modules are truly state-of-the-art with their ability to utilize the LTE Cat M1 Networks from AT&T and Verizon.

By the time this post goes live, there will be roughly 18 days remaining on the countdown timer featured on the mysterious 2GIG Edge Website. We can assume that the 2GIG Edge is indeed set to make its much-anticipated debut in less than three (3) weeks. A new alarm panel from a leading manufacturer is always something to get excited about. We still don't know very much about the 2GIG Edge. But let's just say, we're hoping it lives up to the hype. If you missed our initial post on the upcoming panel, you can take a look here.

We made a couple of new Alarm Grid videos to kick-off 2021. It has been awhile since our video team has been able to resume their usual work in the studio. We hope to have our team back and performing business as usual very soon. But we did manage to make a pair of videos featuring Jorge. For anyone who missed the latest Alarm Grid videos, click here.

There has been some recent activity in the always existing world of smart home automation. The Z-Wave Alliance recently released the specifications for the upcoming Z-Wave Long Range protocol. Z-Wave LR promises to change the game by supporting wireless signal transmissions from distances of "several miles", while also allowing more than 4,000 nodes on a single network and drastically improving battery life. From what we can tell Z-Wave LR will be a subset of the Z-Wave 700-Series that represents the "next generation" after Z-Wave Plus 500-Series. For more on Z-Wave LR, visit our post on the subject.

A new Alarm.com Camera recently hit the market. The Alarm.com ADC-V515 represents a new "entry level" indoor camera option that offers virtually all of the same features and performance of their higher-end cameras, but at a more affordable price. Highlights for the ADC-V515 include its 1080p recording, High Dynamic Range (HDR), 110° viewing angle, ~15 feet IR night vision. and 2.4 GHz WIFI connectivity. You can read our blog about the camera to learn more.

Don't forget that the 3G and CDMA sunset is getting closer every day! Make sure to upgrade to LTE early so that your system does not get left behind. Our sources indicate that AT&T 3G Communicators will stop working after January 31, 2022. And the shutdown date for Verizon CDMA Communicators is December 31, 2022. In preparation, you can no longer activate a 3G or CDMA Communicator for monitoring service. If you want more information regarding the 3G and CDMA sunset, then please check out this detailed post. You may also want to access the Alarm Grid Communicator Replacement Portal if you are actively making an upgrade to a newer LTE Communicator. Remember, an LTE Communicator will extend the lifespan of your security system for many years to come!

We have some final notes regarding a couple of things to look forward to in 2021. First, be on the lookout for the new Qolsys IQ Hub Security System sometime this year. Qolsys hasn't said much on the subject lately, but we're still expecting it at some point. And if you're an IQ Panel 2 Plus user, then make sure to read about IQ2 Firmware Version 2.5.4 if you somehow missed the recent announcement. And if you were an early adopter of Resideo's latest offering, the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, then make sure to keep a close lookout for a firmware update that will allow the new panel to support local end user programming. We still don't have an official date from Resideo, but we are very hopeful it will be made available sometime in the next few months. Fingers crossed!

If you have any questions about any of the aforementioned news, or if you are looking to start new monitoring service with Alarm Grid, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our team is here to check your emails and answer your questions from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Update: This issue was even more severe than initially realized. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus offers no functionality as a secondary Z-Wave controller. More information on the subject is outlined in this FAQ.

We have learned of a flaw affecting the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and its Z-Wave functionality. The system cannot be used as an effective secondary Z-Wave controller with another Z-Wave hub. This issue has been confirmed on FW Version 2.5.4,and earlier versions are also likely affected.


If you are unaware of how a secondary Z-Wave controller works, it is basically a method to give you multiple points, or hubs, for controlling a Z-Wave network. When setting up a device as a secondary Z-Wave controller, you start by clearing all Z-Wave devices from that hub. All Z-Wave devices should instead be paired with the main hub, which will be the primary Z-Wave controller. You then pair the secondary controller to the primary controller. By doing this, all the Z-Wave devices associated with the primary controller will be pushed over to the secondary controller so that they can be controlled from both devices. Making the IQ Panel 2 System a secondary controller is a popular choice when using the system alongside Samsung SmartThings, Vera, and a selection of other Z-Wave controllers and hubs.

However, we have discovered that when the IQ Panel 2 is made a secondary controller, users are unable to control any devices that have been pushed over from the primary hub. The process will appear to be working, as the IQ2 System will successfully join the other Z-Wave network, but no control will be available for the Z-Wave devices pushed over to the system from the primary controller. Basically, these Z-Wave devices cannot be controlled from the IQ Panel 2 System, nor can they be controlled from the Alarm.com platform. This makes the IQ Panel 2 effectively useless as a secondary Z-Wave controller. We have confirmed that this problem exists on IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.4. It is also believed that earlier firmware versions also carried this same issue. But we are unsure which was the first version to experience this problem.

Alarm Grid would like to apologize to anyone affected by this issue. We have already reached out to Qolsys to make them aware of the problem and to learn about a possible fix. Unfortunately, we have not received any word from Qolsys on when a fix would be released. We are hopeful that something in upcoming Firmware Version 2.6.0 may correct this issue, but we have not received any indication from Qolsys that such a fix will be implemented. This means that it may be impossible to use the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus as a secondary Z-Wave controller for the foreseeable future. Please note that this issue is not believed to have any impact on the primary Z-Wave functions of the system.

We understand that not being able to reliably use the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus as a secondary Z-Wave controller will be a major concern for some users. If you are looking for a panel that has proven to work reliably and consistently as a secondary Z-Wave controller, then we want to give special recommendation to the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. We have seen the Lyric work wonderfully as a secondary Z-Wave controller when paired with a variety of popular home automation hubs. You might consider the Lyric as an alternative to the IQ Panel 2 Plus if secondary Z-Wave functionality is particularly important to you.

If you have any questions about this issue, or if you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer experiencing any unrelated problems or issues, please email our support team at support@alarmgrid.com. We will work to provide you with a quick and effective solution so that you can continue to get the very most out of your monitoring service. This is also a good email to use if you are interested in starting any new monitoring service with Alarm Grid. Remember, we are here from 9am to 8pm ET M-F to answer any questions or inquiries you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!

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

Comments


Posted By

The Z-Wave Alliance has unveiled the specifications for the Z-Wave Long Range protocol to developers. This means that certified developers will soon be able to build products that meet the stringent standards of Z-Wave LR. This is surely a great moment for the world of home automation!


If this is the first time you're hearing about Z-Wave Long Range, then don't feel too bad. We have only very recently heard about the smart home protocol ourselves. Our understanding is that Z-Wave LR is a subset of the Z-Wave 700-Series that we fully expect to take the automation market by storm over the next year or two. From what we can tell, the Z-Wave LR requirements are even more restrictive than Z-Wave 700-Series standards. In other words, while every Z-Wave LR device will also meet the technical guidelines of Z-Wave 700-Series, only a small selection of 700-Series devices will also meet the criteria for Z-Wave LR.

As its name implies, the wireless signal range of Z-Wave LR is no joke. We have heard that certified Z-Wave LR devices will be able to communicate with Z-Wave LR Hubs from up to "several miles" away with direct line-of-sight. This is to be made possible when using the maximum output power of a Z-Wave LR device, which is said to be +30dBm. Silicon Labs, a member of the Z-Wave Alliance, has already achieved a direct line-of-sight signal range of up to one (1) mile when using just over +14dBm of output power. And this should only be further improved upon as more work and experimentation is completed.

In addition, Z-Wave LR technology will make it possible to pair more than 4,000 nodes with a single network, which is way up from the 232 node restriction of current Z-Wave technology. The average battery life is also expected to be drastically improved, as users will be able to go up to ten (10) years without swapping the batteries in their Z-Wave LR devices. And like all Z-Wave technology, Z-Wave LR will be backwards compatible with earlier iterations of Z-Wave. You will be able to bring over your existing Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus devices and use them successfully with a new Z-Wave hub. Conversely, Z-Wave LR devices will be able to pair with older Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus hubs if needed. Just keep in mind that you will need to use a Z-Wave LR Hub and certified Z-Wave LR devices to really take advantage of what the protocol has to offer.

One of the other biggest ways that Z-Wave LR differs from traditional Z-Wave is in the very topography, or general arrangement and structure, of the networks. You have likely heard us referring to Z-Wave as a "mesh network" at some point. In simple terms, this means that almost every device included in the network is able to repeat signals, and adding more devices helps the interconnected network become stronger. But for Z-Wave LR, a different arrangement commonly referred to as a Star Network, or Star Topography, is used instead. In this Star Network, the Z-Wave LR Hub or Controller is recognized as a centralized point that is able to make a direct connection with each individual Z-Wave LR device included with the network. This differs from the mesh network traditionally associated with Z-Wave, as signals are no longer hopping from node to node to reach the Hub or Controller, but rather they are traveling directly between the device and the centralized controller. What really makes a Z-Wave LR Hub so unique is that it is able to utilize a Star Network for any paired Z-Wave LR devices, while simultaneously facilitating a traditional mesh network for any older Z-Wave or Z-Wave Plus devices that you have paired.

Reports indicate that the Z-Wave Alliance will make Z-Wave LR certification available starting in March 2021. The expectation is that we will hopefully start seeing some Z-Wave LR devices enter the market by mid-to-late this year. We also expect to start seeing Z-Wave 700-Series devices become much more commonplace, as the only 700-Series device that we began offering last year was the 2GIG STZ-1 Smart Thermostat. Of course, it won't mean much if alarm system manufacturers don't embrace the technology and begin putting Z-Wave LR and 700-Series controllers into their alarm panels. Consider this to be on our wish list for new panels like the Resideo PROA7PLUS, as well as upcoming panels like the Qolsys IQ Hub and the 2GIG Edge.

Stay tuned to our blog for more information about Z-Wave 700-Series and Z-Wave LR We will keep you informed about the latest and most advanced smart home technology that should begin hitting the market soon. If you have any questions, please email our support team at support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a great email to use if you are interested in starting new alarm monitoring service to unlock the full potential of your security and automation equipment. Remember that our team is available to help you from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm.com now offers an integration for Lennox iComfort WIFI Touchscreen Thermostats. This will allow you to control your compatible Lennox Thermostat from the Alarm.com platform using the website or mobile app. The integration offers the same control as other supported thermostats.


Please note that the supported models include those from the Lennox iComfort Lineup. These include the Lennox iComfort E30, the Lennox iComfort M30, and the Lennox iComfort S30. You can always reach out to us if you have any questions about smart thermostat compatibility for use with Alarm.com.

By completing the integration, you can perform a variety of functions for your Lennox WIFI Thermostat from the convenient Alarm.com Mobile App or website. The following features are listed as supported by Alarm.com:

  • View Current Temperature
  • View Current Mode
  • View Current Setpoint(s)
  • View Current Humidity
  • View Current Fan Mode
  • Change Setpoints
  • Change Mode
  • Change Fan Mode
  • Request Status Update
  • Complete Scene Integration

In order to get started, have your monitoring company apply the Lennox iComfort Integration to your Alarm.com account. Next, you need to pair your Lennox iComfort account with your Alarm.com account. This is what gives Alarm.com permission to control the thermostat. You must provide your Lennox username and password to complete the integration.

The process can be completed using the website or mobile app, though the steps are slightly different. If you are using the website, then you should choose Settings > Manage Devices > Add Device (upper right) > Thermostat > Lennox iComfort E30, M30, S30 Thermostat > Next > provide your Lennox login information > Login, and then follow the on-screen prompts.


If you are using the mobile app, then login to your account, and click the three (3) horizontal bars button > Manage Devices > + icon > Thermostat > Lennox iComfort E30, M30, S30 Thermostat > Next > provide your Lennox login information > Login, and then follow the onscreen prompts as instructed to complete the device integration.

Keep in mind that you will be required to accept the terms and conditions, which you can review on the screen. The device should successfully pair after the discovery process has been completed. Make sure that your thermostat is online and connected to the network before attempting the above steps.

If you have any questions about the Alarm.com Lennox iComfort Thermostat Integration, or if you are monitored through Alarm Grid and you need us to apply the feature to your account, or if you are interested in starting new monitoring service, please email our support team at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here to check your email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Today, we're going to discuss three (3) security and automation predictions that are almost certain to occur next year. As the title implies, these predictions aren't anything too bold or revolutionary, but they should get you prepared for next year. Let's get into predicting and discussing!


1. Continued Rush to Upgrade to LTE

One topic that we discuss very regularly in this blog is the 3G Sunset and the importance of upgrading to LTE as soon as possible. If you have been living under a rock, then the "Sunset" refers to the impending shut down of older 3G and CDMA cellular networks. Once these networks are shut down, any equipment that uses them will no longer work properly. This includes any cellular security systems. As such, there is currently a big rush to upgrade existing security systems to use LTE communication so that they can remain online and connected for monitoring service.

This obviously won't change in 2021, as cellular service providers remain determined to achieve their goal of completing the transition by the end of 2022. But what is going to be unique about 2021 is that it will be the final full year for users to make the transition, before there is inevitably a final scramble at the very end. If you thought that LTE upgrade talk was inescapable throughout the industry in 2020, well just look forward to 2021. Next year represents the final year for users to make the switch before they are considered to be doing it "last minute". AT&T is slated to shut down its 3G equipment in the first quarter of 2022. Verizon is waiting a bit longer, shutting down the CDMA network in Q4 of that year. Keep in mind that by upgrading early, you are not only saving yourself the hassle, you are also preventing yourself from being left behind later when a big chunk of procrastinators are all trying to upgrade at the last minute, and there just aren't enough resources and/or manpower to get everyone in before the cutoff. Long story short, do not wait to upgrade!


2. New "Big 3" of Alarm Grid Security Systems

Let's shift focus to something a bit more positive than the eventual shutdown of older technology. One thing you can almost bank on for 2021 is the rise of three (3) new security systems. These are the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, the Qolsys IQ Hub, and the 2GIG Edge. While they probably won't replace the Lyric, the IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the GC3e entirely, there is a good chance that they will become our top recommended system picks by the end of next year. Whether or not all of them succeed remains to be seen, but we will say that the future looks bright. Though, we must admit there is still some uncertainty.

Of these "next generation" systems, only the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS is currently available. And until it gets local end user programming (supposedly coming early next year), we can't exactly give it a ringing endorsement. But with its sleek design, support for up to 250 zones, and Z-Wave Plus capabilities, the system is no slouch. It's also heavily rumored that it will soon gain Apple HomeKit support, much like its Lyric predecessor. Once that happens, the sky is the limit.

The Qolsys IQ Hub has more questions than answers at this time. Qolsys seems to get excited about it whenever it is discussed. But there is also this notion that it will end up being the "budget" system for Qolsys, while the IQ Panel 2 Plus remains their flagship alarm panel. And while there's nothing wrong with an affordable alarm system, it's hard to say whether or not we'll be able to recommend it over the IQ2+. But with PowerG Sensor support and possibly other features waiting in the wings, we won't count this system out just yet. We really hope that Qolsys puts that large, prominent speaker on the front to good use. To us, it screams Bluetooth speaker. Remember, if your security system is only used for security purposes in 2021, then you're doing it wrong. We look at the IQ Hub and see three things - Security Controller, Automation Controller, Bluetooth Speaker.


Lastly, the 2GIG Edge is the one shrouded in the most mystery. Apart from its edgy website, we still don't know a lot about it. 2GIG and Nortek Control have been mum on releasing pertinent information. We've even reached out to them personally via phone, and we keep being told to just "be patient". The air of unknown around it and the artsy promotion sure has 2GIG talking a big game, but we're really hoping they can walk the walk when it comes time. If there's one thing that's often true about the security industry, it's that gimmicky promotions and slick advertisements don't usually work on their own. People want products with proven reliability, strong performance, and quantifiable specifications. The 2GIG Edge looks like it's going to have its outer presentation down pact. Now we're ready to see what make it unique.




3. More 700-Series Z-Wave Devices

You can pretty much always count on Z-Wave smart home technology to keep moving forward. And while we saw some innovations in 2020 for Z-Wave - namely the rise of the s2 Security Protocol, and QR scanning becoming more commonplace - we didn't necessarily see the big leap into the 700-Series. In fact, the only 700-Series Z-Wave Device that we recall from this past year is the 2GIG STZ-1 Smart Thermostat.

Will 2021 be the year of the 700-Series? We're not entirely sure, but there's a good chance it will. There's no stopping the momentum that home automation carries, and as we move past an unprecedented 2020, smart home companies will be looking to get back on track this year. And what better way for Z-Wave to make a big splash than touting its next upgrade?

The 700-Series of Z-Wave promises to be the most efficient and most powerful yet. With the right hardware, users will enjoy extended wireless range, better battery life, and security that can be trusted. Whether or not we see alarm panels adopt 700-Series technology next year could be a different story. But for individual devices and dedicated automation controllers, this upcoming year seems to be the prime time to get heads turning. Don't be surprised to see some 700-Series lights and locks, as well as some more thermostats. And from there, it won't be long before alarm panels also get in the game.


We hope you found some amusement out of these three (admittedly, not so bold) predictions. If you are surprised by anything we said here, then 2021 is really going to knock your socks off. Technology is only getting better, and more innovations are on the way! Remember to email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions about what's coming soon to the exciting world of security and automation, or if you just want to learn more about our monitoring services. Our team is here to check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

In order to reboot a router remotely using a VISTA P-Series Panel, you will manually activate an output, which will fault a zone. The zone fault will be programmed to activate a Z-Wave switch, which is powering the internet router or modem. A cellular connection is required to do this.

And there you have it, that's how you do it! Just kidding! We're going to cover exactly what you need to do. Alarm Grid had this scenario come up recently and thought it would make a good case study to cover.

First, we wrote an FAQ that covers how to manually control a programmable output through the keypad. But then we thought that putting the FAQ together with information outlining the exact problem that we resolved by using the manual output command might add some much-needed context and show how this command can really come in handy. This also outlines one of the reasons why a cellular communicator is so important to have as a backup to an internet connection!

Let me set the scene: The hero in our case study spends several months each year away from his primary residence. The system installed in this residence is a Honeywell VISTA-20P with a Honeywell Home Tuxedo installed, as well as an LTE dual-path communicator. The Honeywell LTE-IA or the Honeywell LTE-IV are equally suitable for use in this scenario. In addition, any of the compatible automation controllers, such as the Honeywell VAM or the older Tuxedo Touch WIFI, could be used instead of the newer Honeywell Home Tuxedo.

The Problem

While our hero is enjoying his time away, he discovers that his internet connection at home is down. Of course, if he were at home, the first thing he would do, after verifying that his ISP isn't experiencing an outage, is reboot his router to see if the connection comes back up. But he's not at home, and furthermore, there is no one he can send to his home to perform this task for him. Now, since he has a dual-path communicator with the cellular connection enabled and active, he doesn't have to worry that his panel won't be able to communicate a signal if the alarm goes off. He's safe in that regard. However, in addition to the alarm panel's ability to send signals through the internet when it is available, the Tuxedo also uses the internet to provide a communication path to Total Connect 2.0 so that he can control his Z-Wave automation devices remotely. This is a problem, and it's the problem we're here to solve.

Just to recap, we have a VISTA-20P Panel that is working, and it can communicate alarm signals via the cellular path. It can also be controlled via Total Connect 2.0 through the cellular path. We have a Honeywell Home Tuxedo that is working, and it can communicate with the panel through its hardwired keypad bus connection, but it can't communicate to TC2 through the internet. This means there is no way to remotely control Z-Wave Automation devices. Finally, we have an LTE dual-path communicator that is working on the cellular path, but not on the internet path.

The Solution

Basically, what this requires is a way to send a command from Total Connect 2.0 to the VISTA-20P Panel through the communicator's cellular connection. This command must be something that the panel can perform based on an entry from a keypad. In this case, we are going to enter a command via the TC2 keypad that will cause a programmable output to change state. This output is connected to a zone on the panel. When the output changes state, it will fault the zone. Then, based on the programming in a scene, the Tuxedo will turn the Z-Wave Module that is connected and providing power to the router OFF. This will drop power to the router. After a few seconds, another command will be entered through the keypad which will restore the zone, and a second scene will tell the Tuxedo that a restore on the zone causes the Z-Wave module to turn back ON. This will restore power to the router.

Here are the full details for this solution:

The first step in setting this up is making sure that you have an available zone to use as your triggering zone. If you have one of the hardwired zones on the panel available, then you can actually use Output 18, Trigger 2 for this purpose. Any of the hardwired zones 2 thru 8 can be used with this trigger. You can also use Output 17, Trigger 1, but it provides more current than Trigger 2, so we recommend that you save it for other potential uses. If you don't have one of these zones available, then you can use a zone on a Honeywell 4219 or 4229 8-zone expander, but this will also require the use of a relay instead of a trigger. If you are using the 4229, it has two (2) programmable relays built into it. If you are using the 4219, then you will need to add a Honeywell 4204. It is also possible to use a zone input from a wireless zone, such as a Honeywell 5816, along with one of the above mentioned relays.

One reason we love using Trigger 2, Output 18 for this is because it's so simple. Output 18 is already enabled in panel programming location *79, and as long as its programming hasn't been changed from the default, no additional programming is required for the output to work. However, there is still the matter of programming the zone to be used. In our example, we show Output 18, Trigger 2 connected to Zone 03. As you can see in the diagram below, we have connected the trigger to the Hi side of the zone, on terminal 12. As mentioned before, you can use this configuration on any of the Zones 02 thru 08, connecting the trigger wire to the Hi side of the zone. The reason you can't use this on Zone 01 is because the Zone 01 negative is completely isolated from all other negative terminals on the board. In order for the trigger to work to fault the zone, it must be common to the zone negative when the trigger is activated.


If you need to use a relay instead of the trigger, you will need to wire the relay to the zone so that when you turn the Relay ON, it faults the connected zone, and when you turn the Relay OFF, it restores that zone. The way this must be done will depend on the type of zone it is being connected to. When using a 5816 with the input terminals, you will need to wire one terminal of the transmitter to the relay's Common (C) and the other terminal to the relay's Normally Closed (NC). If you're using an expansion zone on a Honeywell 4219 or Honeywell 4229, then the wiring used for this zone, and whether or not an End-of-Line Resistor (EOLR) is used, will depend on how the rest of the zones on that expander are configured, as well as on the age of the expander. Earlier versions required an EOLR for each zone, while newer versions provide an option not to use the EOLR, based on the setting of a dip switch. The important thing to know here is that when a 4204 or 4229 relay is OFF, it has continuity between Common (C) and Normally Closed (NC). When it is ON, it has continuity between Common (C) and Normally Open (NO).


With the output wiring out of the way, we can move on to programming the zone. We're not going to go through the entire zone programming process. You can find information about how to program a zone on a VISTA-20P Panel in this FAQ. The two important things to know when it comes to zone programming are the Zone Type and the Hardwire Type. The Zone Type should be set to Zone Type 23, No Alarm Response. This Zone Type was specifically created to allow the panel to activate outputs based on a zone's change of state. Basically, Zone Type 23 allows the panel to recognize that a fault and/or fault restore has occurred on a zone, without it having to display a fault for that zone, or take any other action with regard to the zone itself. Zone Type 23 will never show a fault, and it will never cause an alarm condition. The Hardwire Type should be set to Normally Open (Entry 2 when prompted). Again, see the FAQ linked above for full details on zone programming. The Hardwire Type programming of Normally Open is specifically meant for use with the trigger connection shown above. If using a relay instead of a trigger, the Hardwire Type or Input Type setting may need to be different, depending on your wiring configuration, and the zone number.

The next step is to pair the Z-Wave module with the Honeywell Home Tuxedo. As always, we recommend that you first Exclude or Remove the Z-Wave device using the Tuxedo, before attempting to Include or Add the device. The reason we always recommend doing this is because devices are often joined to a Z-Wave network at the factory as part of Quality Assurance (QA). In many cases, once the device has been successfully joined to the test network, it is never cleared, and is simply packaged and sold as it is. Once a Z-Wave device has been paired with a network, it holds onto that network information until it receives a command telling it to forget the old network so that it can join a new one. The process of Excluding or Removing, is what tells a Z-Wave device to forget the old network. It's fortunate that any Z-Wave controller can tell any Z-Wave device to forget its old network!

A word about which Z-Wave module to use. You can use either an in-wall switch, or a plug-in module. If your Z-Wave Automation Controller supports Z-Wave Plus, then we always recommend using a Z-Wave Plus device. Although any Z-Wave controller can support just about any Z-Wave module, a Z-Wave Plus module loses its Z-Wave Plus attributes, including extended range and battery life, when used with an older Z-Wave controller. We like the idea of using a plug-in module, as it allows you to easily move your router if you begin to have range or interference issues.

Once the Z-Wave module has been learned into the Tuxedo, VAM, or Tuxedo Touch WIFI you then need to create a scene which will tell the module to turn OFF when Zone 3 (or whatever zone you choose to use) is faulted. You will need to program a second scene to tell the same module to turn ON when Zone 3 is restored. The easiest way to perform this programming is through Total Connect 2.0. We like to program scenes using the website, the examples that follow will assume that is how the scenes are being setup.

After logging into Total Connect 2.0, choose the menu option for scenes. If you do not see this option, contact your alarm dealer, and be sure that your account is properly configured, and that your monitoring plan includes access to Automation. For Alarm Grid customers, this would be our Silver Plan (Self or Full), or higher. After clicking on Scenes, choose Create Scene.


This will take you through a scene creation wizard. The first step is to name the Scene. This should be something easy to distinguish from other scenes, such as "Router Off". After choosing Continue, you will see where you can choose how the scene will be triggered. In our case, we want Triggered by a device, and when we expand this option, we then want to expand the section titled Sensors. Under Sensors, we see Zone 3, which we have named Router. When we expand this option, we can choose that this scene will activate when Zone 3 is Open (faulted) or Closed (restored). We intend to turn OFF the Z-Wave device when Zone 3 is faulted, so we will choose "When it is open".


After choosing which zone(s) you want to trigger the Z-Wave device, you will be taken to Step 3 of the scene creation wizard. In this step, you will choose which device (or devices) you want to control, and whether you want them to turn ON or OFF. This is our Router OFF scene, so we set our action accordingly.

Now that we have created an initial scene, in order to add the second scene (the one that will turn the router power back on) we need to click the + symbol in the upper right of the Scenes screen.


The programming for this scene will be almost identical to the first scene. We still want to trigger by device. The device is Sensor 3, which we named ROUTER, and we want the Z-Wave device to be turned ON when Sensor 3 is Closed, meaning the fault on the zone is restored. Here's the summary for the second scene.


That is the end of the programming and wiring for this solution. The final step is for our hero to manually activate Trigger 2, Output 18 through the keypad screen in Total Connect 2.0. Do this by entering the following command:

4-Digit Code + [#] + [7] + [18]

By entering this command, we're telling Output 18, Trigger 2 to activate. When it activates, it connects to ground. This ground is common to the Lo side of Zone 3. This causes a short on the zone (which is why we programmed it as Normally Open), which in turn causes it to fault. The fault on Zone 3 causes the Z-Wave device being used to power the router to turn OFF, powering the router down.

After around 20 seconds, our hero should enter the following command to restore Zone 3:

4-Digit Code + [#] + [8] + [18]

By entering this command, we are telling Output 18, Trigger 2 to deactivate. When it deactivates, the trigger disconnects from ground. This opens the circuit on Zone 3, causing it to restore from a faulted condition. This in turn causes the Z-Wave device being used to power the router to turn it back ON, powering the router back up. Once more, keep in mind that this option is only available because the customer in question, our hero, chose to use a dual-path communication method. If he had chosen to use an IP only connection, there would be no way for him to initiate the keypad command through Total Connect 2.0 that gets this ball rolling.

If you happen to be using a relay instead of the trigger output, there will be a few minor tweaks that you will need to make to this process. One of those tweaks will be the output number that you will use when performing this command. The FAQ that we linked in the second paragraph above goes into more detail on how to set this up using a relay, including covering the programming required in programming location *79.

If you need further assistance using this setup with a relay, feel free to reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our technical support staff are available M - F from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern. We will have some closures soon due to the holidays, so pay attention to our blog for information about when those will be. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

If you recall last week, we put out our 2020 holiday buying guide for smart home automation. Today, we wanted to focus on a very small aspect of that buying guide and explore some quick possibilities on how your can use some smart automated plug-in modules around the holiday season.


Plug-in modules couldn't be more convenient. You simply plug one into your standard outlet, enroll it with your smart home network (we like Z-Wave Plus), and connect the device(s) you want to control. And just like that, you can take virtually any connected device, and turn it into a smart device. The possibilities around the holiday season are particularly cool.

But before we get into some creative ways to use your plug-in modules, let's take a look at a few of our favorites. You should recall all of these from our buying guide if you read through that, but it never hurts to reintroduce them.

And we also want to give an extra special shout-out to the Resideo Z5SWPIO Z-Wave Plus Outdoor Plug-In Switch. Unlike the other three plug-in modules mentioned here, the Resideo Z5SWPIO is the only one that can be used OUTDOORS. This can certainly come in handy around the holiday season with lighting displays set up outside for the world to see. We can imagine many of you out there will want to bring smart automation to the holiday lights you've worked so hard on. You may as well do things right with an outdoor smart plug-in switch!

But across the board, the name of the game here is scheduling. If you want to have your lights turn ON and OFF automatically on a set schedule, then Z-Wave Plus plug-in modules are the way to go. Sure, you could rely on traditional timers and relays, but this makes things so much easier! And assuming you have your plug-in modules set up with your monitored security system, then all of this can be conveniently done through Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. All you need to do is build a smart scene that sets a time for your devices to turn ON, and another for them to turn OFF later on. It's that simple.

Now, let's think about what you can include in these scenes. We'll start simple. How about your Christmas tree? Turn it into a Z-Wave Plus Christmas tree! This can be very nice if you are away from home for the holidays. By having your Christmas tree turn ON and OFF automatically, you can make it appear like someone is home, even if not a creature is stirring. If you have some other electronic holiday gear, then there's a great chance that it can be included in this setup as well.

If you really want to make things extra special, then get that Resideo Z5SWPIO Outdoor Module we talked about earlier, and use it to put your home's entire holiday lighting display on a schedule! Even if you're away seeking warmer weather, you can still have the best holiday display on the block. With Z-Wave Plus technology, you can ensure that your home lights up the cul-de-sac at night, and then safely powers down once morning arrives. You can even set specific scenes for sunset and sunrise to make scheduling a bit more customized.

And you don't even have to stop with the lights. If you have one of those giant inflatable outdoor snowman, then put that on your plug-in module too. As long as you don't exceed the load limit, then you're good to go! A few plug-in modules will really allow you to get wild. And it's all super easy to set up! If you have any questions about automation, then forward them over to support@alarmgrid.com, and we'll be happy to help. Our team is here from 9am to 8pm ET M-F to answer your questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Just last month, we announced that we were offering the Linear GD00Z-7 Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Controller. Well that product was short-lived, as it has already been discontinued and replaced by the GoControl GD00Z-8-GC Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Controller, which is now available on our site.

The GoControl and Linear brands are often used interchangeably. They are both used to identify automation offerings from Nortek Control, which is also the parent company of 2GIG. Whether the company decides to brand a product as GoControl or Linear usually isn't very important, as they basically represent the same product lineups from Nortek Control.

As you may recall, the various smart garage door controllers offered from Nortek through the years have usually been sold under the Linear banner. Some of these products include the Linear GD00Z-4, the Linear GD00Z-5 and, of course, the Linear GD00Z-7 that we mentioned earlier. From what we can tell, the introduction of the GoControl GD00Z-8-GC was only done to rebrand the product as GoControl instead of Linear. We say that because, from what we can tell, the Linear GD00Z-7 and GoControl GD00Z-8-GC are virtually identical, other than the name written across the front.

This isn't a bad thing though, as the Linear GD00Z-7 was an excellent product. All of the same great features return for the GoControl GD00Z-8-GC. It is a Z-Wave Plus garage door controller that is wired to your garage door motor. By pairing the device with your Z-Wave hub, you can open and close your garage door and check its current status remotely. This is done by using a compatible interactive automation platform for the Z-Wave controller, such as Alarm.com. You can also include it with smart scenes for automatic operation.

Just like its predecessors, the GoControl GD00Z-8-GC cannot check the open/close status of the garage door on its own. Instead, it interfaces with a tilt sensor that is installed on top of the garage door. This tilt sensor will relay status to the GD00Z-8-GC so that it knows whether the garage door is opened or closed. This tilt sensor comes included with the product, so you do not need to purchase one separately.

An exception to the above rule is if you wish to have the garage door monitored by your burglar alarm system. The tilt sensor that comes included only conveys the garage door status to the GD00Z-8-GC, not to the alarm panel being used. So, if you want to monitor the state of the garage door as a part of your alarm system, then you will need to purchase a separate, compatible garage door sensor.

Also returning to the GoControl GD00Z-8-GC is the ability to utilize the S2 Security Protocol with Z-Wave Plus controllers that support S2. This security suite offers advanced levels of protection to keep your automation equipment safe. We recently did a great post on the S2 Security Protocol, which you can check out here. Keep in mind that the same compatibility restrictions of the older Linear and GoControl Garage Door Controllers also apply to the GD00Z-8-GC. This means that you cannot interface the unit with the Honeywell Lyric or the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels. Make sure to check compatibility before purchasing.

If you want to check compatibility, or if you have any other questions about the GoControl GD00Z-8-GC2 or monitoring service in general, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. Remember that our business hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Our video team had a decent time last week, as five (5) new videos were released. This time, the videos feature myself and Jarrett. As always, we hope that you find them to be helpful, informative, and interesting. Remember, we make these videos to help you! Let's check out the videos.

Finding the Date Code On the FF345

I show you how to find the date code on the Encore FF345. The FF345 is a listening module for smoke detectors and CO detectors that alerts the system upon hearing the unique sound of an activated smoke detector or carbon monoxide sensor. The device is designed to be used with 2GIG Panels and Honeywell Panels. However, FF345 units from a certain batch had an error that prevented them from working with Honeywell Systems. Checking the date code is useful for determining if your unit is affected.


Cameras that Work w/ the Lyric and Total Connect

Jarrett explains which security cameras are compatible with the Honeywell Lyric and the Total Connect 2.0 platform. The only cameras that can work with TC2 are Honeywell IP Cameras. Of these cameras, only the legacy models that are no longer sold are able to interface with the Lyric for live-streaming on the panel. None of the current Honeywell HD Cameras can be streamed on the Lyric. One important note about the legacy IP cameras from Honeywell is that they had to be online to receive a critical firmware update to continue being used to this day.


The Lyric Built-In Camera Disarm Pictures Cannot be Used With HomeKit

Jarrett explains how the disarm photos that are taken using the front camera on the Honeywell Lyric will not appear on the Apple HomeKit platform. While there is a nice integration between the Lyric and HomeKit, it is only used for automation purposes and a very limited selection of security functions. Disarm photos are considered to be a security function, and they will not appear in HomeKit. The only platform that allows you to view disarm photos taken by the Lyric is Total Connect 2.0.


Night Stay On Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I explain how there is no Night Stay option for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Night Stay is a special type of Arm Stay. Normally, when you Arm Stay, interior zones are automatically bypassed. But when you Night Stay, motion sensors that are designated for Arm Night will remain active, instead of being bypassed. The feature is available on most Honeywell Panels, but it is not supported on the IQ2+. But there is an okay workaround for the IQ2+ that involves using specific Sensor Groups for programmed motion sensors that you want to remain active when Arming Stay.


Number of Zones On a Hardwired System Cannot be Increased

I explain why the number of zones on a hardwired alarm panel cannot be increased. The maximum number of zones that a system can support is built into its logic, and it cannot be increased. For a wired panel, only the on-board zones are initially accessible. You will need to add one or more wired expansion modules and/or a wireless receiver to open up the other zones. This will allow sensors to connect with the zones and interface with the system.

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

Comments