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Alarm.com users have some new features to enjoy. The platform now lets users easily share and save highlight videos, and you can now perform Alarm.com Smart Scenes directly from the an Apple Watch. We are sure that many users out there will want to take advantage of these great features!


The Alarm.com video highlights feature was first introduced last year, though we never really mentioned it in our blog. Basically, Alarm.com keeps track of different events and arranges them into a "highlight reel" for you to review. Any Alarm.com user with Video Analytics enabled on their account can take advantage of this feature. You will need to have version 4.10.3 or higher of the Alarm.com Mobile App to view highlights on your Android or iOS device. Remember that you can update to the latest version from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Alarm.com includes the following events into highlight reels:

If you have Video Analytics enabled on your Alarm.com account, then you can conveniently view your daily highlight reel from either the Alarm.com Mobile App or website. Each individual "event" in the highlight reel can be selected by tapping its associated thumbnail. And you can tap the double arrow to switch to the highlight reel for a previous day.


The reason why we're just now bringing up Alarm.com Highlights is because the platform now allows users to conveniently download and share highlight reels directly from the Alarm.com Mobile App. You can download your daily highlight reel to save it for permanent use. You can also click the Share button to conveniently send it to a friend via text message or email, or you can upload it to various social media platforms.


The other new Alarm.com feature we briefly wanted to mention is the new ability to perform smart scenes from an Apple Watch. With just a few taps, you can adjust your lights, thermostats, door locks, and more. Now you can have total control right on your wrist! Please note that scenes will need to be set up using the Alarm.com Mobile App or website before you can initiate them from your Apple Watch.

Remember that you need to have an alarm monitoring plan with Alarm.com service to take advantage of these great features. If you don't have Alarm.com service yet, then you should check out our monitoring page to learn more. Keep in mind that you will need a Gold or Platinum Plan (Self or Full) if you intend on using Alarm.com with Alarm Grid. If you have any questions, you can always email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Back on December 27th, we uploaded a few new videos that we never got around to covering in a recap. We figured now was as good of a time as any to cover these videos. We have two (2) videos featuring Jorge, and one (1) video featuring Jarrett. We hope that you find them helpful!

Also, if you were expecting more videos, don't worry! Our video team is hard at work putting together some new content for you to check out. We expect that it will be ready in the next few days. And we should have an even bigger video recap next week. Anyway, on with the videos!

Using Alarm.com with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge explains how you can use the Alarm.com platform with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. In order to do this, you will need to activate the system with a monitoring plan that includes access to Alarm.com. By accessing your Alarm.com account, you can arm and disarm the system, check its current status, control Z-Wave smart home devices, view the live feed for Alarm.com Cameras, and more. You can access your ADC account using a web browser or the Alarm.com Mobile App.


Connecting an Android Phone to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge covers the process for using an Android Phone to operate a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. This is done using the Alarm.com Mobile App. The app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Once you have the app, you can provide your Alarm.com account information to begin controlling your system remotely. This way, you can access your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System whether you are across the street or across the globe!


Activating Panic Mode on a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System

Jarrett teaches you how to activate a panic on a Honeywell Lyric Security System. The Lyric has a red button on the front of the panel that can be pressed and held to open a panic menu. You will then be able to trigger an alarm on the system. This can be really useful if you have central station monitoring service, and you are currently experiencing an emergency situation. The Lyric allows you to trigger police, medical, fire, and local panics. Alarms can be silent or audible.

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With all the hustle and bustle of the recent holidays, it was impossible for us to do a video recap last week. In fact, we haven't done one in more than two weeks! But we're back now with some recent videos to check out. Here's the Alarm Grid video recap for December 17th thru 26th.


Batteries Used in the Resideo SiXCT Sensors

Jarrett explains how a Resideo SiXCT Sensor for a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System uses a single lithium 3V CR123A battery. This is also known as a camera battery. The SiXCT Sensors have an expected battery life of about five (5) years with standard usage. Eventually, the battery must be replaced with a new one. This process can be easily completed by the end user. The Lyric will show a low battery trouble condition for the associated wireless zone when a new battery is needed.


Range on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Security System

Jorge covers the wireless range for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. The wireless range for the system depends on what type of device is communicating with the panel. The DSC PowerG Sensors can communicate with the IQ Panel 2 Plus from up to 2,000 feet away. Most legacy RF sensors will work from a maximum distance of 100 feet to 300 feet away depending on the sensor. A Z-Wave Plus device can communicate from up to 50 to 60 feet between signal hops.


Contents of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Kits

Jorge details all of the items that are included in the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Kits from Alarm Grid. These kits include everything that is needed for monitoring service. Every kit includes a new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System, some door and window contact sensors, and a motion detecting sensor. The IQ Panel 2 Plus comes with a built-in cellular communicator, a desk stand, a transformer, a backup battery, and a power cable. As a result, those items are also included in a system kit.


Only One Battery Pack Can Be Used in a Lyric Alarm System

Jarrett teaches users how only one battery pack can be used in a Honeywell Lyric Security System. The Lyric only has one battery port available for a backup battery pack. And even if you could connect a second battery, then doing so would likely draw too much AC power from the panel and prevent it from working properly. The Lyric has two backup battery options available. These are the Honeywell LCP500-4B with up to 4 hours of backup, and the Honeywell LCP500-24B with up to 24 hours of backup.

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It's time for another video recap from Alarm Grid! We're covering the five (5) new videos from last week, December 9th thru 13th. We have new videos featuring Jarrett, Jorge, and Joe. We hope that you find them helpful as usual. Let's check out the newest videos from the Alarm Grid team!


Motion Sensors That Work With the LYNX Touch L7000

Jarrett explains which wireless motion sensors work with the Honeywell LYNX Touch L7000 System. The L7000 will support wireless 345 MHz motion sensors from the Honeywell 5800 Series. Some of the most popular motion sensors to use with this system include the Honeywell 5800PIR-RES and the Honeywell 5800PIR-COM. These motion sensors can be auto-enrolled with the panel. Remember that each wireless motion sensor will take up at least one wireless zone on the system. Some motion sensors may use additional zones for extra features, such as low temperature detection.


Connection Used by the Honeywell Home 6290W

Joe outlines how the Honeywell Home 6290W Touchscreen Keypad connects with a Honeywell VISTA Security Panel. The keypad uses a four (4) wire connection, and it is wired in at the designated terminals on the main panel board. Two (2) of the wires are for power, and the others are for data transmission. You should power down the panel completely before connecting the keypad. Once you power the VISTA Panel back on, the Honeywell Home 6290W Keypad should power on as well.


The Best Keypad For The VISTA 20P

Jarrett covers which keypad is best for a Honeywell VISTA 20P Alarm Panel. If you are looking for a first keypad for the system, then we recommend the Honeywell 6160RF. This will serve as an Alphanumeric keypad for programming the system. It also has a built-in wireless transceiver that will allow you to start using wireless 345 MHz sensors from the Honeywell 5800 Series. Subsequent keypads can be either Alphanumeric 6160 Keypads, Fixed English 6150 Keypads, or even touchscreen keypads like the Honeywell 6290W or Honeywell Tuxedo Touch.


Overview - Qolsys S-Line Encryption

Jorge provides an overview of the Qolsys S-Line Encryption that is used with Qolsys S-Line Sensors when paired with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2. These sensors communicate using encrypted wireless 319.5 MHz transmissions that operate on a rolling code basis. Every time an encrypted S-Line Sensor communicates with an IQ Panel 2, the system must send an encrypted response back to the sensor for the command to go through. This encrypted code is only known by the sensor and the panel. The sensor will then "roll" to the next encrypted code for the following transmission.


Controlling Lights w/ a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge teaches users how they can control smart lights using a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This system has a built-in Z-Wave Plus controller for supporting Z-Wave lights. Any Z-Wave light that is paired with the IQ Panel 2 can be controlled directly from the system or from a paired IQ Remote Touchscreen Keypad. If you have the system monitored, then you can also control the lights remotely using the Alarm.com Mobile App on your phone. You will need to have an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to Alarm.com for automation.

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It's time for the much-anticipated Alarm Grid video recap! Our video team made four (4) new videos last week. Most of them feature Jorge, but our ever helpful pal Jarrett snuck in and did one as well! We hope you find these videos helpful. Here's the recap for December 4th thru 6th.

Connecting to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with an iPad

Jorge shows you how to control a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus using an iPad through Alarm.com. In order to do this, you will need to gain access to Alarm.com by signing up for a compatible monitoring plan. Once you have accessed Alarm.com, you can arm and disarm your system, check its current status, control Z-Wave devices, activate smart scenes, and so much more. You can also do this from your phone by using the Alarm.com Mobile App!


Installing the Resideo LTE-IV on a VISTA P-Series System

Jarrett spends 27 minutes installing the Resideo LTE-IV onto a VISTA Series Panel. The Resideo LTE-IV is great, as it provides fast and reliable monitoring service for a VISTA System through the Verizon LTE Network. You will also be able to control your system through Total Connect 2.0. This is a super convenient platform that allows you to arm and disarm and check system status from pretty much anywhere using an app on your phone. How cool is that?


Adding an IQ Motion to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge teaches you how to enroll an IQ Motion Sensor to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This is a 319.5 MHz wireless motion sensor that offers a coverage area of 30 feet by 40 feet. It can communicate with the panel from up to 600 feet away. This gives you great flexibility in choosing a mounting location. The motion sensor also offers pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 40 pounds. Remember to test the motion sensor after installing!

Connecting My Qolsys IQ Panel 2 to WIFI

Jorge explains how to connect the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System to a WIFI network. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 uses WIFI as one of its communication paths for connecting with the Alarm.com Servers. The great thing about WIFI is that it is generally very fast and pretty reliable as well. You can conveniently pair it with a 2.4 GHz or a 5 GHz WIFI network. Just remember that you will also need to activate the cellular communicator, per Alarm.com requirements.

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Actress Anna Faris, known for her comedic roles, suffered from a not-so-funny incident over the recent Thanksgiving Holiday. The actress and 12 members of her family were the victims of a carbon monoxide (CO) gas incident. The incident occurred in a North Lake Tahoe cabin they were renting.

Qolsys iq carbon

A representative from the North Tahoe Fire Protection District stated that the vacation cabin had carbon monoxide levels as high as 55 parts per million (ppm). Long-term indoor exposure should be no higher than 15 ppm. The structure did not have any carbon monoxide sensors installed to indicate such danger. Nevada state law requires CO alarms in all family dwellings.

Thankfully, Anna Faris and her family are okay following the incident. However, two of her family members visited the local emergency room. Doctors diagnosed them with CO poisoning, and they were perfectly fine after receiving some care. Firefighters from the North Tahoe FD immediately rushed to the cabin and saved Ms. Faris and her accompanying family shortly thereafter.

According to North Lake Tahoe Fire Official Erin Holland, the CO levels indicated inside the building would have caused a "fatality in a short period of time" had the rescue team not intervened. Faris made sure to send her sincere gratitude to the North Tahoe FD following the incident.

Honeywell 5800combo smoke heat and co detector

We have spoken about the dangers of carbon monoxide gas many times on the Alarm Grid blog. The odorless and tasteless gas kills hundreds of people every year in the United States. If it weren't for the quick work of local firefighters, a talented actress and her family may have fallen victim as well. They are lucky to be alive, and the rescue team deserves praise for the fact that any exposure was kept as minimal as possible.

As you know by now, it is crucial to have carbon monoxide sensors installed in your home. Ideally, you should have CO detectors enrolled with your security system. By pairing these devices with a system that has active monitoring service, you and/or a central station can receive alerts regarding any of your CO sensors that activate while you are away.

If your home has hardwired high-voltage CO sensors (as is required in most jurisdictions), you can indirectly integrate these devices with your alarm system using a wireless takeover listening module. We offer variants for 345 MHz, and 433 MHz wireless alarm systems. And if you don't have hardwired CO detectors in your home, then we sell plenty of standalone units that pair directly with alarm panels like any other sensor.

Encore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover module

When traveling, make sure that all on-site CO sensors and smoke detectors are working properly. If you have any doubts, ask the building operators to perform a test. This is a reasonable request that any property manager should be able to accommodate. Please note that we ARE NOT suggesting that you bring canned CO gas or canned smoke on an airplane for testing purposes. That could get you into a lot of trouble. Make arrangements for on-site testing, without bringing your own supplies.

It may also be a good idea to buy a cheap conventional battery-operated carbon monoxide sensor when you get to your vacation site. It may turn out that the place you visit does not have CO detectors. This was the case with Anna Faris and her family. We do not sell standalone battery-operated CO detectors on our website. But you can get most models between $10 and $20 from most department and hardware stores. Some models will even show you the detected parts per million for CO gas! If you are staying in a larger property, you may want to obtain multiple sensors.

Remember that our goal at Alarm Grid is to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you ever need help choosing a carbon monoxide sensor for your system, or if you would like to learn more about how we can monitor your home, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. You are also invited to call us at (888) 818-7728 during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hey Alarm Grid fans! We're here with another video recap! Our video team worked with Jorge last week to put together three (3) new videos before the Thanksgiving break. This time Qolsys equipment is featured. Let's check out the newest instructional videos from Jorge and Alarm Grid.

What is the Qolsys Hardwire 16-S?

Jorge provides an overview of the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S. This is a wired to wireless converter that works with wireless security systems that operate at 319.5 MHz. You connect hardwired sensors to the IQ Hardwire 16-S module so that the module can send wireless signals to the panel on their behalf. This is great for using hardwired sensors with a system that otherwise wouldn't support them. A great system to use with the IQ Hardwire 16-S is the original IQ Panel 2. You can also use it with an IQ Panel 2 Plus w/ 319.5 MHz daughtercard.


Overview: The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F

Jorge teaches users about the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F. This wired to wireless converter is just like the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S, except that the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F adds the ability to support 2-wire smoke detectors at Zone 16. This is a great feature, as most wired to wireless converters will not support life-safety sensors. When the IQ Hardwire 16-F is used with a compatible IQ Panel 2 System, the panel will know to send a reset signal to the converter when a fire alarm is cleared. This will reset the smoke detector and stop it from sounding.


Programming a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Alarm System

Jorge covers the process for programming a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is known for being one of the easiest systems to program. It is ideal for DIYers and people who are new to alarm monitoring. Wireless sensors can be auto-enrolled to the 128 available wireless zones on the panel. The menus are very simple to navigate using the panel's 7-inch touchscreen controller. And if you are using a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you can use PowerG Sensors. These sensors offer some of the best range and security in the industry!

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Alarm Grid is here with another video recap! We only have three (3) new videos this time, but we promise they're good ones. They feature Jarrett and Joe. The Alarm Grid boys are ready to help you get the most out of your security system. Let's check out the newest Alarm Grid videos!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Installing the Honeywell Home 6290W

Joe gives a big and friendly wave before teaching you how to install the Honeywell Home 6290W Keypad. The Honeywell Home 6290W is a touchscreen keypad for Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. It offers a crisp and modern design, and it makes operating the system very easy. You will appreciate its 7-inch full-color touchscreen that is back lit for use at night. The keypad connects with the panel using a 4-wire connection. Remember to power down the panel before installing!


Properly Testing a PowerG CO Detector

Joe waves again before teaching you how to test a PowerG Carbon Monoxide Sensor. Making sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly is very important. An outbreak of CO gas can be lethal if it isn't detected quickly. The gas is odorless and tasteless, and it kills hundreds of people every year in the United States. In order to properly test a PowerG CO Detector, you will need to use canned CO gas. Joe shows this by putting the sensor inside a baggie and applying the gas.


Pet Immune Motion Sensors

Cat owner and cherished Alarm Grid security system technician Jarrett talks about pet immune motion detection sensors. These motion sensors work by not looking in the areas close to the ground where small animals walk. Instead, they will only detect a human walking upright. These sensors must not be mounted towards furniture or stairwells. Pets can climb upon these objects to get in the sensor's field of view. If this happens, a pet can still activate the sensor. Also remember to check the weight limit for the pet immune motion sensor!

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Alarm Grid was recently featured in a Porch.com article about home security systems. The article answers many common questions that homeowners have about alarm systems, and it offers some good advice for users who are new to home security. We are proud to have been featured in the article.

Honeywell lyricpk10 lte a new dual path security system w slash

We are always pleased when other publications make use of our vast resources and expertise. It's nice to see our knowledge being put to good use. The folks about Porch.com really put together a helpful article in this case. We recommend checking it out if you are just getting started with home security and you are considering a new system or are a first-time buyer.

The section of the article that features Alarm Grid covers the importance of audio functionality on a home security system. We recommend that every system has a functional siren. Even if you don't want an audible intrusion alarm on your system, you will likely still want a siren for any life-safety alarms, including any smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

For most residential users, a simple 85 dB to 90 dB siren will work just fine. Most wireless panels have this type of siren built right in. Wired panels can usually have a small siren added quite easily. And don't forget that many smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors will have their own built-in sounders. Spreading out the sound like this and having multiple sirens activate during a life-safety alarm can be very important for ensuring everyone in the home is alerted to the emergency.

We should also keep in mind that users with larger homes and/or multiple partitions may want more powerful sirens that can transmit sounds across a greater distance. While this isn't necessarily something that most homeowners will need, it is something that can certainly be added to most systems. There is usually a creative solution that can be implemented with the right problem solving, whether it be a wireless siren like the DSC PG9911B or a wired Z-Wave siren relay like the FortrezZ MIMOlite.

Of course, siren functionality isn't the only sound used with an alarm system. Many users like to have chimes and voice annunciation set up with their systems. These features can be very useful for knowing if someone has opened a door or window or if a family member has returned home. These features come standard on many systems, and we are happy to help you set them up the way that you like.

We also expect that audio integrations will become a bigger part of alarm systems in the near future. The past few years have presented an explosion in the popularity of smart home automation, and it is being shown time after time that security systems can do more than just keep you and your family safe. we believe that the ability to stream music and podcasts will play a big role in this developing phenomenon.

Alarm.com has already introduced their Sonos integration that allows users to launch Sonos sound from the Alarm.com Mobile App and include their smart speakers with smart scenes. And when looking at the upcoming Qolsys IQ Hub, we will be shocked if Qolsys doesn't present some interesting new features that utilize the prominent speaker on the front of the panel. Indeed, we could see the lines between security systems and entertainment centers start to blur in the very near future.

Whether you are wanting the very latest in audio entertainment technology, or you just want a simple system that will alert you and your family during a burglary or fire, we at Alarm Grid are happy to help. If you are just getting started, you are invited to check out our monitoring page to learn more about the services we offer. You can also send us an email at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions or want more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Hi DIYers! We're here with our usual video recap. This time we have videos featuring Jorge and Joe. We hope that you find these instructional videos helpful in using your security system. Our dedicated video team has been hard at work putting together these videos. Let's check them out!

Programming an Encore FF345 with an L5210

Jorge shows you how to program the Encore FireFighter FF345 with a Honeywell L5210 Security System. The FF345 is a listening module that activates upon hearing the Temporal 3 sound of an activated smoke detector or the Temporal 4 sound of an activated carbon monoxide detector. The device is commonly used with high-voltage or conventional life-safety sensors that otherwise couldn't integrate with a security system. Any sensor that produces a Temporal 3 or Temporal 4 sound can be used with this device.


Connecting a LiftMaster MyQ Garage Door to a Honeywell Alarm System

Joe explains how you can use a LiftMaster MyQ Garage Door Controller with the Total Connect 2.0 platform. Total Connect 2.0 is an interactive monitoring and automation platform that is commonly used with Honeywell Security Systems. By pairing your MyQ WIFI Garage Door Controller with Total Connect 2.0, you can open and close your garage door from pretty much anywhere using the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App. You can also get text alerts from TC2 regarding any garage door activity. However, you cannot use a MyQ Garage Door Controller with TC2 smart scenes.


IQ Panel 2 vs IQ Panel 2 Plus Alarm Systems

Jorge explains how the main difference between the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is the sensors that they support. The original Qolsys IQ Panel 2 can only use 319.5 MHz sensors. This includes Qolsys S-Line Sensors. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus can use 915 MHz DSC PowerG Sensors, plus one of three different legacy sensor frequencies. You can choose between legacy sensor support for 319.5 MHz sensors, 345 MHz sensors, and 433 MHz sensors.


Using a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 w/o Monitoring

Jorge explains that while it is technically possible to use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 without alarm monitoring service, it is not recommended. By not monitoring the system, you will not be able to receive text and/or email alerts from Alarm.com regarding system activity. You will also be unable to receive automatic emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station in the event of an alarm. But you can still use the system as a local noisemaker and as a Z-Wave hub without monitoring.


Activating the Chime on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge teaches you about the chime settings on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. A chime is a pleasant sound that lets you know when a sensor has been faulted. This sound is much quieter than a siren or an alarm. It's just a quick way to let you know that some activity has occurred. On a Qolsys IQ Panel 2, you can enable or disable chimes across the entire system. You can also set individual chimes for each zone. You can choose from a selection of different chimes for each zone.

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