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Qolsys has released Firmware Version 4.2.0 for the IQ Panel 4, and the IQ4 Hub (coming very soon). This is a huge update with lots of new features and bug fixes. In this blog, we'll discuss what to expect from this release. The IQ Panel 4 MUST be on version 4.1.1 to install version 4.2.0.

For those of you with panels that can't access WIFI, we've updated our Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Firmware Updates page with the newest release. In addition, if your panel isn't yet on version 4.1.1, we have that file available too, so you can get your panel completely updated just by visiting our page. Just scroll down the page until you see the green download button for 4.1.1. Instructions on updating are included on the page.

The marquee feature in this release is support for the new Qolsys IQ WIFI 6. This is an all-new, IPv4 and IPv6 capable router purpose-built for security professionals. Out of the box it has three (3) partitions enabled. A Guest partition that is capable of using both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, and the Main partition that also supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The biggest differentiator for the IQ WIFI 6 is that it also has a Security partition. This partition is there to support all of the security system elements that use WIFI. This includes the panel itself, any Alarm.com video devices, and remote keypads that use WIFI in order to communicate with the panel. By putting security devices together on a partition that is controlled by the alarm dealer, WIFI issues for accidental configuration changes made by the end-user are virtually eliminated.

Alarm.com cameras will automatically move themselves to the Security partition if they are initially added to the network on one of the other partitions. The alarm dealer will have access through the Partner Portal and through Mobile Tech to configure and troubleshoot the IQ WIFI 6. The end-user will have access to configuration settings through the end-user website and the Alarm.com app.

The IQ WIFI 6 offers band steering, which causes WIFI devices to switch between the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands. This is an ongoing process that optimizes both speed and reliability for each device on the network. Let's say you're walking through your home, on your smartphone, which is connected to WIFI, and you're surfing the web as you walk. When you're close to the router, 5GHz is likely the best band for you to be using. But as you walk further from the router, 2.4 GHz may become the better option. The IQ WIFI 6 will automatically cause you to switch from 5GHz to 2.4 GHz without you ever even knowing a change took place. Band steering is always enabled on the IQ WIFI 6. That means if you change the SSID for the 2.4 GHz band, the SSID for the 5 GHz band will be changed to match it.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 has an open slot where a new daughterboard can be installed. Qolsys will soon be offering a Zigbee card (QC000E-840) that can be installed in this slot. With the Zigbee card installed, the IQ Panel 4 can support both Zigbee automation devices and Zigbee security devices. There are alarm dealers out there (Comcast Xfinity) who use Zigbee sensors for their proprietary systems. If you have one of these systems and thought you were stuck either staying with your current company or purchasing all new equipment, rest easy. By adding the Zigbee card to an IQ Panel 4, you can replace just the alarm panel, keep your existing sensors, and move to any dealer who supports Alarm.com communication. It just so happens, Alarm Grid is one of those dealers! Firmware version 4.2.0 adds end-to-end Alarm.com support for Zigbee automation devices when the optional Zigbee daughtercard is installed.

This firmware release also prepares the IQ Panel 4 and IQ4 Hub to support Z-Wave 800 Series. At the core of Z-Wave 800 Series are the ZG23 SoC (System on Chip) and the ZGM230S, a module with a ZG23 already connected. Devices using this hardware will have low sleep and active current consumption, with 50% longer battery life than Z-Wave 700 Series. For modules that use coin cell batteries, Z-Wave 800 supports up to ten (10) year battery life. Using the ARM Cortex-M33 microprocessor, Z-Wave 800 delivers ~20% more processing power than the previous Cortex-M4. It can also support Z-Wave Long Range (LR), which has a wireless range of ~1.5 miles.

There is so much to unpack in 4.2.0 that we can't cover it all here. PowerG PIR Cameras, like the PG9934 will now send up to six (6) images to the Alarm.com backend for each device trip during the same arming period. Previously, only images from the first alarm trip were sent. There is a fix for improved WIFI connectivity between IQ Remote Keypads and the alarm panel, basically causing WIFI to toggle OFF and then ON if the remote keypad loses connection to the panel. There is new PowerG Modem Firmware (Version 3.0 / Build 10.87). To see everything that is included in this firmware release, you'll need to read the full Release Notes.

What do you think about Firmware Version 4.2.0 for Qolsys IQ Panel 4 and IQ4 Hub? Are you looking forward to the release of the new panel? Have you been following Z-Wave 800, or is this the first you've heard of it? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think, we always look forward to hearing from our readers. Until next time, stay safe!

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Resideo announced today that users of their Total Connect 2.0 service may currently be experiencing impairment in service. This is as of 1:15 PM Eastern Time today. The services affected are TC2 SkyBell Live Streaming, TC2 SkyBell Clip Replay, and TC2 Video Event Capture.

These services are basically the full range of things you might use a video doorbell for. Bear in mind that TC2 and SkyBell use a server-to-server integration. That means that all the heavy lifting with regard to the SkyBell integration is happening on the SkyBell servers. The TC2 servers are just sending requests back and forth to those SkyBell servers. We don't know if this issue is completely on the SkyBell side of things, or if there is a breakdown in communication between the TC2 servers and the SkyBell servers. If any more information comes to light, we'll share it here.

In the meantime, what we do know is that all other aspects of Total Connect 2.0 service are working as they should. Also, and most importantly, the delivery of alarm signals is not in any way impaired by this temporary situation. We know that the issues began at 1:15 PM ET, and as of now, the outage is still ongoing. If we receive information on an end to this situation, we'll post it here, so stay tuned.

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The Smart Arming feature can be enabled for any residential customer who has an interactive monitoring plan with Alarm.com. Once enabled, the feature can easily be configured using either the customer website or iOS or Android app.

Once configured, the Smart Arming feature will automatically arm the system to the Stay Mode once the occupants of the home have gone to bed. This can be accomplished using a schedule, or by configuring certain door and/or motion sensors to work in conjunction with the feature. You can reach the Smart Arming settings by going to Security, or through the Automation page. The Smart Arming programming is listed as Goodnight for Arming, and Wake Up for Disarming.


For example, you can set the system to Arm Stay at 10:00 PM, or you can set the system to Arm Stay when no activity has been detected for 30 Minutes between 10:00 PM and 11:30 PM (this is just an example, and you can use whatever time frame you want). If you choose the latter option, you then configure which zones you want to apply this logic to.

For the Stay Arming feature, doors, windows, and motions can be used along with the feature. So, once you choose the zones to be used with this logic, if no activity has been detected on ALL of those zones for a full 30 Minutes, and the time is between 10:00 PM and 11:30 PM, the system will automatically Arm Stay. Smart Arming logic is canceled if the system is already Armed Away.

For Disarming the options are similar. You can set the system to Disarm at a specific time, or you can set it to Disarm when motion is detected on certain motion detectors within a specific time window. For example, in our screenshot below, you can see we have our system set to Disarm if the Upstairs Motion detects movement between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM. We also have it set so that if no motion is detected, the system will still disarm at 9:00 AM, which is sort of the best of both worlds.

Notice that only Motion Detectors are now available to tie to the Disarm logic. You don't want someone opening a door to disarm the system. By the same token, be sure that no outdoor motions are configured to work with this automation.


This is an excellent new feature that can go a long way toward preventing false alarms. No more forgetting to disarm the system when you go to let the dog out in the morning. As long as you set it up so that a motion you walk past on your way to the door causes the system to Disarm, you're all set. No more laying in bed wondering if you remembered to set the alarm. Now, as long as you have configured the Goodnight options, you know your system will arm itself based on either a schedule or activity (or lack thereof) combined with a time window.

The following Alarm.com compatible panels support this feature:

Panel Compatible Motion Sensor
Groups (Arm & Disarm)
Compatible Contact
Sensor Groups (Arm Only)
2GIG GC2/e 4, 10, 23 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 23
2GIG GC3/e 4, 10, 23 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 23
2GIG Edge 4, 10, 23 All
DSC PowerSeries Neo/Pro 4, 5, 9, 10 4, 5, 9, 10
Interlogix Concord 15, 17, 18, 20 14, 16
Interlogix Simon XT/XTi/XTi-5i 15, 35 14, 16
Qolsys IQ Panel 2 17, 20, 44, 43, 35 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 25
Qolsys IQ Panel 4 17, 20, 44, 43, 35 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 25
Note: Sensor-based disarming is only available in the Simon XT/XTi/XTi-5i with firmware versions below 193a.

What do you think of this new Alarm.com feature? For that matter, what do you think of Alarm.com's commitment to bringing you new products and features in general? They're doing an excellent job of listening to customers and responding with great new options. Drop us a note in the comments and let us know what you think. We always look forward to hearing from you!

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Verizon plans to shut down its CDMA (3G) network by December 31, 2022. If you have a Verizon CDMA communicator on your system, you need to upgrade by then, or your system may be unable to communicate in the event of an emergency. Alarm Grid is making the upgrade as painless as possible.

We've posted about the AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA sunsets a lot! Verizon CDMA users have been fortunate in that they've had nearly a year longer to update than AT&T 3G users. However, the sunset is drawing near, so those who still have a system with a CDMA communicator should be giving serious consideration to upgrading. If you're not sure how to upgrade, this post provides great information.

If you're concerned about the cost of upgrading, we offer financing through Affirm. From this link, choose "Shop Now" and follow the prompts to apply at check out. If you have any questions, contact us at support@alarmgrid.com if we can be of assistance, we're more than happy to help.

You might wonder why we continue to talk about upgrading your system. It's because we know that cellular alarm communication is the most reliable method of communication available today. Internet, be it Ethernet or WIFI is great. It's fast, and when it's available it makes using services like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 much more fluid. It's also very fast for reporting alarm signals when central station monitoring is in use.

But we all know that an internet connection can be unreliable. Sometimes WIFI just stops working and requires a reboot or other end-user intervention. For most folks, when the power goes out, internet equipment also goes down. This means that even a wired Ethernet connection to the internet can be vulnerable to downtime.

With cellular, those types of issues are much less likely to occur. Cellular providers have all sorts of redundancy built into their networks. So, a loss of power is countered by backup power sources for cellular towers. The spacing of the towers themselves means that in most cases, a cellular device will have a primary tower and at least one backup tower to keep it connected and communicating. Cellular alarm communicators either have their own backup battery or use the battery of the alarm panel they are connected to. So the loss of primary power won't take the communicator offline.

Finally, we'll wrap this up by reminding Alarm Grid customers that waiting until the last minute to upgrade your communicator is a bad idea. We have a finite number of activators, and the holiday season is coming up soon, which will further limit the time we have to get new communicators activated. Upgrading from an older communicator to a new one usually doesn't take quite as long as a new activation, but it does require manual input from one of our activators, so please be mindful of this and schedule your upgrade using our communicator replacement portal as soon as possible.

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Alarm.com is offering a new feature called Perimeter Guard™ proactive defense for their compatible cameras. All that is required to use this feature is a video plan that includes video analytics, a compatible camera, and a video analytics recording rule applied to an appropriate camera.

This new feature is considered a proactive method of defense because when an analytics rule is activated on a compatible camera with the Perimeter Guard™ feature enabled, it causes the camera LED to flash, and a sound to be emitted from the camera's speaker, when supported. This is done to let the potential intruder know that they've been seen and to encourage them to move along to some other location.

The following cameras support the Perimeter Guard™ feature:

Camera Model Firmware Required Behavior Supported
ADC-V724/724X Version 0.6.1.387+ LED and Audio Alert
ADC-V523/523X Version 0.6.1.387+ LED and Audio Alert
ADC-V723/723X Version 0.6.1.387+ LED Only
ADC-VC827P All Versions LED Only
ADC-VC847PF All Versions LED Only
ADC-VC728PF All Versions LED Alert
ADC-VC728PF Version 0.6.3.601+ LED and Audio Alert
ADC-VC838PF All Versions LED Only

The Alarm.com Video Analytics feature must be enabled in order to use this feature. This allows the user to be as sure as possible that it is actually an intruder that is causing the disturbance, rather than a neighbor's pet running loose or some other source of a potential accidental activation. A compatible Alarm.com camera that has been properly calibrated for use with the analytics feature ensures that false activations are virtually eliminated. Once the camera has been calibrated simply create a Video Analytics Rule for the calibrated camera and choose to Activate Perimeter Guard.

In the "Activate Perimeter Guard" section of the recording rule, choose the option or options you want to enable. You can choose to set up a trip wire recording, or a ground zone recording. Refer to the full instructions on setting up video analytics rules that we've linked above for more information on these two (2) different options.

Basically, a trip wire recording allows you to draw a virtual line within the camera's field of view, and if anyone crosses that line while the rule is active, a clip recording is triggered, and the options selected for the Perimeter Guard feature are also triggered. When using a ground zone, the behavior is similar, but instead of an invisible trip wire, you're configuring an invisible space within the camera's viewing area. If someone enters that space and stays for a specified amount of time, a recording and the Perimeter Guard behavior are activated.

Depending on the camera you are using, you have the option to illuminate the LED, and for how long, to have the camera produce sounds, if supported, and to set a delay between alerts. The LED duration options are 3, 5, 10, or 30 seconds. The "Delay between Alerts" options are 30 seconds, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, or 15 minutes. The Audio Alert options are shown in the screenshot below. This feature can be configured using either the customer website or the Alarm.com app.


Once you've selected the options you want for the rule, be sure to Save and then be sure that the "Rule is Active" toggle is enabled at the very top of the rule creation screen. If you ever need to disable this rule, you can easily do so by toggling the rule off, rather than deleting it. Then, when you're ready to use it again, simply toggle it back on.

This is another example of how Alarm.com continues to innovate within the video surveillance space. Particularly when outdoor cameras are used, this feature can go a long way toward not just notifying of a break-in, but discouraging one. For Alarm Grid customers, you will need either our Platinum Plan (Full or Self) or a Stand-alone Video Plan.

If you're activating new video service with us, and you want to check out this feature, be sure to tell your activator that you want to enable Video Analytics. If you're already a video customer and you would like to have the Video Analytics feature enabled for your account so that you can check out this intriguing new feature, drop an email to support@alarmgrid.com and let us know, we'll gladly enable it for you. We pay more for the Video Analytics feature, but we don't charge more for it. This is why we don't simply enable Video Analytics for every video account automatically.

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2GIG strongly recommends that all Edge panels be updated to the latest firmware version, 3.1.1.016. This firmware has a number of new features and bug fixes. New features include Z-Wave siren support and updated remote keypad features. For a full list of updates, read the release notes.


The 2GIG Edge supports a WIFI connection in addition to the AT&T or Verizon cellular communicator that comes built-in. For any Alarm.com panel that is connected to WIFI, OTA (Over the Air) firmware updates that are downloaded to the panel using WIFI are free. However, for those panels that don't have access to WIFI, a firmware update that is sent to the panel via cellular data usually incurs a small fee. Alarm Grid passes this fee on to our customers with no markup, when it is assessed.

But, for a limited time, Alarm.com is offering to update the 2GIG Edge panel automatically with no fees assessed, even when the firmware has to be downloaded via cellular data. That's how important 2GIG and Alarm.com feel this update is. Beginning on Monday, September 12, 2022, Alarm.com will push the latest firmware to all monitored 2GIG Edge panels.

These automatic updates will take place only during daylight hours, and only when the alarm panel is disarmed. When the firmware update is complete, the alarm panel will reboot. This is a normal part of the update process. Additionally, if there are any remote keypads associated with the panel, they will also be updated once the main panel has completed its update. Alarm.com expects the process of updating all 2GIG Edge panels to be completed by the end of October 2022.

If you'd like to go ahead and update your panel immediately, you can access the necessary files for the update on our 2GIG Edge Firmware Update Page. Instructions for updating the 2GIG Edge can be found in this helpful FAQ. Otherwise, do nothing and your panel will be automatically updated OTA by Alarm.com at no charge, in the near future.

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Labor Day has honored the contributions of workers as an official Federal Holiday since the year 1894. As a thank you to our employees, Alarm Grid will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2022, for the Labor Day Holiday. We will not be in the office that day to answer support questions.

But just because we won't be in the office providing technical support, helping to plan new systems, and activating monitoring for new customers doesn't mean that we aren't taking care of our customers. Our monitoring station partners, Criticom Monitoring Service (CMS) and Rapid Response are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to respond to any alarms, troubles, or environmental situations that may arise.

Alarm Grid monitored customers in the United States receive their monitoring service from Criticom (CMS). When your Alarm Grid monitored system sends a signal, it is a CMS operator who receives it and then processes it based on a pre-set list of instructions. Alarm processing may involve sending authorities immediately, or calling the premises and a list of contacts to determine if an emergency exists before a dispatch occurs. Whatever the instructions, the process takes only moments to complete.

If you need to contact CMS, either to put your system on test, or to report that an alarm does not require a dispatch, you can get in touch by calling (888) 818-7728 and choosing Option 9. When you contact them, be sure to have the proper information ready. They will need your name, address, and your false alarm password or phrase. This is very important! If you call either monitoring station during an alarm, and you provide an incorrect password, they will be required to dispatch authorities at that point.

For our Canadian monitored customers, you receive monitoring service from Rapid Response. If you need to contact them you can call (800) 932-3822 and follow the prompts. You should only be contacting them for issues such as putting your system on test, or canceling a potential dispatch due to an accidental alarm. Rapid Response can't provide you with technical support or make changes to your account either, so if you need that type of help, please contact us instead. You can email support@alarmgrid.com with details of what you need and we will respond as quickly as possible when we're back in the office on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

The contributions of workers in building and maintaining both of these great nations cannot be overstated. Alarm Grid wishes you a happy, safe, and relaxing Labor Day! We'll see you back here on Tuesday, September 6 to pick up right where we left off. Until then, we hope you can enjoy this brief respite, you've earned it!

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Alarm panel manufacturers routinely offer panel firmware updates. This allows them to add features and correct issues. However, most DIY users don't have access to the restricted portion of the company's site where these files are housed. Alarm Grid offers the latest firmware file downloads.

Most alarm panels can be updated Over-the-Air (OTA) using either Alarm.com or AlarmNet360. AlarmNet never charges anything for these updates, and Alarm.com also offers them for free, unless they have to be sent to the panel using cellular data. In that case, the update will incur a small fee, depending on the size and number of updates that need to be sent.

Qolsys panels will not perform an OTA update unless the panel is connected to WIFI. If you have one of these panels installed in a location where WIFI is not available, then the only option is to either update using a cell phone as a WIFI Hotspot, or download the firmware files, and then install them via either Micro SD Card (IQ2/IQ2+) or Access Point (IQ4).

Honeywell L5200, L5210, and L7000

Honeywell used to offer free firmware updates for the LynxTouch panels that they pushed remotely using AlarmNet360. It was a messy process, AlarmNet tech support was required to request these updates individually, per account. So, sometime after the introduction of the Lyric panel, they stopped this practice. The Lyric can only be firmware updated using AlarmNet360, but the update can be requested by the dealer, and now, the customer can also request the firmware update via the panel. When Honeywell, now Resideo, ceased offering OTA updates for the LynxTouch panels, they released the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Update Tool. This tool can be used to update the L5200, L5210, or L7000 panels.

When an L5200 is updated to the latest version, it becomes an L5210 internally, though there are certain physical traits of the L5200 that won't change, like the screen size. Depending on when you purchased the LYNXTOUCH-MSD tool, it may come with the latest firmware version already on the SD Card (it comes with both L5210 and L7000 firmware already loaded). However, if you purchased your update tool when they were first released, it will have an older firmware version on it, and you will need to download the newest firmware to the SD Card and update the panel again to get the most current version. The update files are housed on the Resideo website in the password-protected portion of MyWebTech, so we offer the files for download from our site:

2GIG Go!Control 2 (GC2) or 2GIG GC2e

The 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC2e have a couple of different methods for updating the firmware. There is the 2GIG UPDV Easy Updater Tool and the 2GIG UPCBL2 Firmware Update Cable. The updater tool is geared more toward a professional installer who will be updating multiple different panels over the course of years. It comes with a version of either the 2GIG GC2 or GC2e firmware loaded but the tool itself will then have to be updated when newer firmware is released. The files to load are available from our site and are linked below.

The updater cable is the method of update most DIY users choose to use. It requires that the user have a windows computer available. The cable is a fixed length, so the computer that will be used needs to be near the alarm panel in order to perform the update. Ideally, a laptop is used. Instructions for using the updater cable to load the latest firmware onto a 2GIG GC2 or 2GIG GC2e can be found here. Instructions for loading new firmware onto the 2GIG UPDV Easy Updater Tool can be found here. Instructions for using the updater tool to update a 2GIG GC2 or GC2e panel once it has the latest file loaded can be found here.

The 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC2e firmware pages are linked below. Each page has both Updater Tool and Updater Cable files:

2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e

The 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e technically use the same firmware. The 2GIG GC3e was released at firmware version 3.2.1, so any GC3e panel will have at least this version of firmware already installed. Alarm Grid offers firmware versions 3.0.1 up through 3.2.4.6725 on our 2GIG GC3 Firmware Update Page. On our 2GIG GC3e Firmware Update Page, we offer 3.2.3.6713 up through the current version which, at the time of this writing, is 3.2.6.6770.

The 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e are both much easier to update than the 2GIG GC2 or GC2e. Both 2GIG GC3 versions offer WIFI, which makes OTA updates simple, as well as free. For systems that need it, an OTA update can be pushed from Alarm.com via cellular for a nominal fee. Again, Alarm Grid offers this type of upgrade to our customers at our cost, with no markup. If WIFI is not available at the panel, and a user doesn't want to pay for an OTA update, we offer the upgrade files from our site. This FAQ provides a walkthrough on how to perform the update using the files from our site. Instructions for performing the update are also listed on the page along with the firmware files.

2GIG Edge

The 2GIG Edge updates in the same way as the 2GIG GC3 and GC3e. It has a USB port located on the top of the panel. Once the firmware update file has been loaded onto the root directory of a USB drive, the drive is inserted into the port on the panel's top and the panel prompts the user to update. For full instructions on updating a 2GIG Edge, check out this FAQ.

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus

The IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus also use the same firmware version. The difference between the two panels is hardware. The IQ Panel 2 does not support PowerG, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus does. As noted above, Qolsys panels will not download firmware updates via cellular data, so the options are to connect the panel to WIFI, temporarily connect the panel to a Hotspot on a cellular phone, or update locally using a Micro SD Card. The step-by-step instructions for loading the firmware from an SD Card are shown on the firmware update page.

Qolsys IQ Panel 4

The Qolsys IQ Panel 4, like the previous IQ Panels, will not download firmware updates via cellular data. However, unlike the IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus, the IQ Panel 4 does not have a Micro SD Card slot. Instead, if WIFI is not accessible by the panel, either directly or via a cell phone Hotspot, then the firmware update files have to be downloaded to a phone or tablet, then the phone or tablet must be connected to the IQ Panel 4 Access Point, and the files then loaded to the panel from the phone or tablet. Instructions for updating using the Access Point are available on the firmware download page.

Above are links to all the different panel firmware pages we offer here on the Alarm Grid site. In addition to alarm panel firmware, we also offer some firmware pages for the Honeywell Home TUXEDOW or Resideo TUXEDOWC touchscreen keypads as well as the older Tuxedo Touch firmware. We don't have a page for the older 6280 touchscreen keypads, but if you need access to that firmware, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com letting us know what you need and we can get you access to it.

As mentioned above, the Lyric panel can only be updated via AlarmNet360 and in order to update the firmware, the panel has to be actively monitored. The same is true of the newer Honeywell Home and Resideo ProSeries panels (PROA7, PROA7PLUS, PROA7C, and PROA7PLUSC). These panels must be actively monitored and registered with AlarmNet360 before an update can be applied to them.



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Johnson Controls released a Technical Advisory Bulletin on Monday noting that some PowerSeries Neo, Pro LTE, and Internet Dual-Path Communicators have labeling errors. The serial number on the box appears to be incorrect. Comms built between August 15, 2021, and July 29, 2022, are affected.

The model numbers affected are the DSC TL880LECVZ, TL880LECAT, TL880LEBAT, TL880LEBTL, and TL880LECTL. This is a labeling error only and does not affect the signal transmitting, or Alarm.com remote control capabilities of these communicators in any way. The mixup seems to be with the name on the label on the product, and the serial number on the label on the box.

The model name listed on the label of the product is incorrect, while the serial number listed on this label is accurate. The model name listed on the sticker for the box is correct, but the serial number listed on the box is incorrect. So, be sure when registering one of these units that you use the serial number from the sticker for the product and not the one from the box.

The following products, built during the listed date range, are affected:

Model Name Production Dates
TL880LECVZ January 4, 2022 - July 29, 2022
TL880LECAT July 5, 2022 - July 29, 2022
TL880LEBAT November 15, 2021 - July 29, 2022
TL880LEBTL November 15, 2021 - July 29, 2022
TL880LECTL June 6, 2022 - July 29, 2022

Beginning July 29, 2022, new, updated and correct labels should be placed on these products. Remember, the performance of communicators that were manufactured during this timeframe is not compromised. This is only a labeling error, so as long as the serial number taken from the sticker affixed to the product itself, or the IMEI number from the printed circuit board is used everything should work as intended. DSC offers a handy Date Code Lookup tool at this site. You can find information on looking up a date code for any DSC product on that page.

The fact that this issue wasn't discovered sooner seems to indicate that this is a very minor issue. What do you think about this announcement? Do you often use these communicators? Have you run across this issue? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think. We always enjoy hearing from our readers. That's all for today, until we meet again, stay safe!

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Power over Ethernet, also known as PoE allows power to be sent to a device using the same ethernet wire and RJ45 connector that is used for the network connection. Originally designed with VoIP phones in mind, PoE has quickly become a desirable option for IP cameras and other networked equipment.

Before we talk about PoE, we should discuss network cabling. Category 5 (Cat5), Category 5e (Cat5e), and Category 6 (Cat6) cables all consist of four (4) twisted pairs of wire, or a total of eight (8) conductors. The differences between these various categories of cable have to do with their ability to transfer data, over what distance, and at what speed. Generally, Cat6 is faster than Cat5 or Cat5e, and is less prone to crosstalk or noise issues.

The main point we want to make about network cabling, though, is this: With eight (8) conductors, any device that connects to a network using one of these cables, without using PoE, is wasting a number of wires. In fact, there are now cheaper cables out there that only have four (4) conductors, rather than the full eight (8). So, that brings us to two points. It makes sense that PoE has come into existence, and if you're preparing to use PoE devices, be sure you run cabling that will handle both data and power.

In PoE, there are a number of abbreviations commonly used:

Abbreviation Meaning Description
PD Powered Device Any networked device receiving PoE
PSE Power Sourcing Equipment Devices that send both power and data over Ethernet cable to a PD. Referred to as either "Midspan" or "Endspan".
Endspan or Endpoint A typical example of this is a PoE network switch. It provides power to Powered Devices (PD).
Midspan If a switch is used that doesn't provide PoE power, then a power source will need to be added between the switch and the PD. A common example is a PoE Injector. This is considered a Midspan PSE device.

The benefits of PoE are numerous, as you can imagine. Rather than having every camera in an installation require the use of an outlet, a PoE switch using a single outlet can provide both power and Ethernet to a multitude of cameras with a single Cat5 or Cat6 wire going to each. In many cases, Ethernet cabling may already be installed, particularly in commercial installations, thereby lowering installation costs for PoE equipment. Another benefit is that when each powered device is receiving its power from a PoE capable switch, it is often possible to restart a PoE-powered device remotely, without having to go to the device itself.

The IEEE 802.3 standard governs PoE Switches and PoE Injectors. There is no special cabling required with the exception that the standard called Ultra-PoE uses all eight (8) pins of the RJ45 connector, so this would be one instance where a cheaper 4-pin cable would not work.

The table below shows the IEEE 802.3 standards and their requirements:

PoE Standard Minimum Cable Required Pins Required Supported Modes
IEEE 802.3af Cat5 4-pins or 2 Pairs Mode A, Mode B
IEEE 802.3at Cat5 4-pins or 2 Pairs Mode A, Mode B
IEEE 802.3bt Type 3 Cat5 8-pins or 4 Pairs 4-pair
IEEE 802.3bt Type 4 Cat5 8-pins or 4 Pairs 4-pair

There is a type of cable called CCA or Copper Clad Aluminum. Although this cable is fine for networking, it is not suitable for use with PoE. This is due to the aluminum core. Aluminum doesn't conduct as well as copper and has a higher DC resistance. This causes it to lose more power over distance and to get hotter. When working with PoE, stick with 100% copper cabling.

One of the things you may find difficult about using PoE is figuring out if you have enough power from the PSE for a PoE device. These specs are usually listed in Watts, rather than in the available current, which can further complicate things. Here, knowing which standard each device uses is most helpful.

Below, see the various PoE standards, and the power both supplied and required for each:

PoE Standard Voltage @ PD Voltage @ PSE Minimum Power for PD Minimum Output @ PSE Maximum Cable Length
IEEE 802.3af 37-57 V 44-57 V 12.95 W or 350 mA 15.40 W 100 m
IEEE 802.3at 42.5-57 V 50-57 V 25.5 W 30 W 100 m
IEEE 802.3bt Type 3 42.5-57 V 50-57 V 51 W 60 W 100 m
IEEE 802.3bt Type 4 41.1-57 V 52-57 V 71 W 100 W 100 m

The variations in voltage and current at the PD (Powered Device) in the table above have to do with the length of the cable run. The longer the cable, the more power is lost. You may have noticed in the above table that the maximum cable length for each PoE Standard is 100 m (328'). This is actually a limitation of both Cat5 and Cat6 cables, as the maximum length of a single run for either type of cable is 100m. The minimum voltage and available power listed above assume a cable run of the maximum length.

So then, what if you need to run a cable further than 100m? For PoE devices, you would add a PoE extender. Specifications may vary, but usually, each PoE extender can add another 100 m of cable length between the PSE and the PD. Usually, each PoE extender is only good for a single PD. Not all PoE extenders are the same, though, and some may not support daisy-chaining, while others do. Check out the specifications of any PoE extender you choose to use if you find yourself in a position to need longer cable runs.


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