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Hi DIYers! We know by now you are probably aware of the Alarm.com integration for Amazon Alexa. Today, we just wanted to remind you of the superb features and functions this integration offers and how it can make your life more convenient. Prepare to learn about the Alarm.com Alexa Skill!


It goes without saying that Amazon Alexa is one of the most popular smart home automation platforms available today. This is due in large part to its accessibility. An Alexa Hub is extremely easy to set up and use. And since so many people use Amazon Prime for ordering products online, they realize that adding a simple Alexa Hub in their homes makes sense.

There are many functions you can perform through Amazon Alexa voice commands if you have an Alarm.com Security System. You can have Alexa arm your system, check the current system status, perform entire smart scenes, and control individual Z-Wave smart home devices. Truly, the automation features offered from Alexa voice commands for Alarm.com are particularly exciting.

Alexa even allows you to set up special "Secure Commands" for Alarm.com, which include disarming your system, opening your garage door, and unlocking your Z-Wave door locks. These Secure Commands require you to provide a valid PIN code when speaking with Alexa. This way, you can be sure that it is you or someone you trust controlling your system through the hub!


To get started using Amazon Alexa with Alarm.com, you must first have access to the Alarm.com Platform. This will require having a system with a compatible Alarm.com Cellular Communicator. You will also need to get an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to Alarm.com. Two of the best plans to choose from are the Alarm Grid Gold Plan and the Alarm Grid Platinum Plan. You can learn more about these plans, plus all our other monitoring plans, on our alarm monitoring page.

Once your system is activated for monitoring service, and you have successfully created your Alarm.com account, you can then enable the Alarm.com Alexa Skill. Simply search for Alarm.com in the Skills & Games section of the Alexa App, and locate the Alarm.com Skill. You will need to provide your Alarm.com account information when you go to enable the skill. This will allow Alexa to communicate with your Alarm.com account.

You can then try controlling your system and paired smart home devices through Alexa voice commands! Remember that commands for use with your system will lead in with "Alexa, tell Alarm.com to..." As long as you remember that, you will have no shortage of exciting and convenient voice commands that you can use with Amazon Alexa and Alarm.com!

If you have any questions, then remember that the Alarm Grid Support Team is happy to help! We will answer any questions you have about the Alarm.com Alexa Integration or about the Alarm.com platform or our monitoring services in general. The best way to contact us if you have questions is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We have learned that Alarm.com has been pushing out automatic firmware updates for their security cameras. These updates are designed to make the cameras compatible with future enhancements that may be released at a later date. Alarm.com SVR Devices are also being updated.

Alarm dot com adc vc736 outdoor 1080p poe large bullet camera wiAccording to Alarm.com, any non-doorbell camera or SVR device that is online with a strong connection will have the update pushed down automatically. Alarm.com states that 95% of all compatible cameras and accessories have already received the updates. Cameras that are offline or set up with a weak connection will not be able to receive the automatic update. Alarm.com says that they are still trying to get all compatible devices set up with the update.

In the near future, users may notice problems for any camera that has not yet received the update. Specifically, these cameras may stop showing the device name and timestamp on their on-screen displays. Additionally, any SVR devices that have not received the update may stop supporting video recording and video playback. These issues will persist until the device receives the update.

Users may also find that their cameras and/or accessories are displaying a trouble condition for out-of-date firmware. This trouble condition is to let any end users know that they should update the firmware for their cameras and/or accessories as soon as possible. Fortunately, these issues can be properly addressed by simply updating these devices to their latest firmware versions.

If you notice this trouble condition you can manually push down an update yourself by accessing your Alarm.com account through the website and choosing Video > Settings > Select Device > Video Device Info > Update Firmware. You may also contact us to have us push down the update for you. Remember that your camera will need to be online with adequate signal strength in order to receive the update. There is no charge for us to push down this update to your ADC devices.

If you have any questions about the new Alarm.com Firmware Update, or if you need us to push down an update for you, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and making sure that your Alarm.com devices are properly updated!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we plan to talk about some of the specifications of Z-Wave Plus and how the protocol has been improved over classic Z-Wave communication. Setting up some Z-Wave Plus devices with your system is a great way to get started in the exciting world of home automation!


You probably see us talking about Z-Wave Plus all of the time, but you might not know why we get so excited about it. If you didn't know, Z-Wave Plus is a wireless communication protocol that is frequently used with smart home devices. This includes peripherals like smart lights, door locks, programmable thermostats, and more. Many of the systems we sell and support include built-in Z-Wave controllers so you can start pairing these convenient devices. Today, a collective group called the Z-Wave Alliance is working to further improve upon this robust and convenient form of local wireless communication.

By nature, Z-Wave offers many important advantages. Wireless communication makes installation and set up super easy, which is great for DIYers who don't want to hire a professional installer. And by using them with your monitored security system, you can operate these devices remotely through an automation platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. Both platforms offer their own mobile app so that you can control these devices from virtually anywhere! And you can even establish smart scenes so that your Z-Wave devices operate automatically based on a schedule or with certain events on your system. How cool!

But not all Z-Wave devices are created equal. More recently, we have seen the rise of "Z-Wave Plus" devices, also known as 500-Series devices. This is as opposed to what we sometimes refer to as "classic Z-Wave" devices, or 300-Series devices. When given the option, you will definitely want to go with the newer and more advanced Z-Wave Plus 500-Series devices. This will provide you with the best possible end user experience.

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Before we get into Z-Wave Plus specifications, we want to quickly mention what you will need to achieve a Z-Wave Plus setup. To unlock the full potential of Z-Wave Plus, you will need a Z-Wave Plus controller and certified Z-Wave Plus devices. You can use classic Z-Wave devices with a Z-Wave Plus controller, but you will only get the functionality of classic Z-Wave.

Likewise, you can use Z-Wave Plus devices with a classic Z-Wave controller, but again, you will only have the same 300-series functionality. If you want true Z-Wave Plus, you must have a Z-Wave Plus controller and certified Z-Wave Plus devices. Check for the label shown at the top of this post to determine if a device is Z-Wave Plus. That label should be found somewhere on the product box.

Now that we have that out of the way, you might be wondering what's the big deal about Z-Wave Plus. After all, you can technically do anything with classic Z-Wave that you can do with Z-Wave Plus. The thing is though, Z-Wave Plus can do it better. This comes down to a few different considerations. Namely, Z-Wave Plus offers further range, extended battery life, and better reliability overall.

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When it comes to Z-Wave range, signal hopping is key. Z-Wave signals actually have the ability to "hop" through other Z-Wave devices. Each time a "hop" occurs, the signal is repeated to extend the range. A Z-Wave signal can make up to four (4) of these hops on its way to the intended destination. By adding more Z-Wave devices, you are establishing a stronger mesh network.

Z-Wave Plus devices allow for about 50 to 60 feet between hops. So you can expect a roughly 200 foot range for a Z-Wave Plus device if you have a strong mesh network for signal hopping. Conversely, a classic Z-Wave device will only offer a range of about 30 to 40 feet between hops. That's only a range of about 120 feet with a strong mesh network. By using exclusively Z-Wave Plus devices, you are getting a roughly 66% increase in range!

Battery life is also something to consider for Z-Wave devices that do not plug in or connect with electrical wiring. This is common for most Z-Wave locks and even some thermostats like the Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave. The Z-Wave Alliance designed Z-Wave Plus devices to consume less power, which has improved their expected battery life by about 50%. This will save you money with fewer required battery changes!

Lastly, you should consider the fact that Z-Wave Plus offers better reliability than classic Z-Wave. This is important for ensuring that any Z-Wave commands and signals ultimately reach their intended destinations. Certified Z-Wave Plus devices are also required to support Security S2, which includes complete Diffe-Hellman Symmetric Encryption for enhanced security. And perhaps most importantly, Z-Wave Plus devices can receive firmware updates over-the-air (OTA), allowing developers to streamline any needed improvements.

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The future certainly looks bright for Z-Wave, as the Z-Wave Alliance is currently working on 700-Series Z-Wave Communication. This represents the future over the current Z-Wave Plus 500-Series. We do not have the details on 700-Series, including when it will be made widely available, but it is expected to communicate up to 150% further, while using even less power for improved battery life! These devices will also offer enhanced processing for signal transmissions that are up to 18% faster.

At this time, no security systems support 700-Series technology. But there are still fantastic systems like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus which support Z-Wave Plus 500-Series communication. With Z-Wave on your side, you can truly make your alarm system stronger than ever and achieve a more convenient life! If you have any questions about Z-Wave technology, you are welcome to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have heard some recent buzz in the industry that other alarm monitoring companies may begin stopping all support for older 3G, 4G and CDMA Cellular Communicators. While the push to get everyone onto LTE is important, Alarm Grid plans to support these existing modules as long as possible.

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If you have been keeping up with the latest events in the security industry, then you will know that both Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com will no longer allow activations for older cellular modules. The CDMA activation sunset occurred last year in 2018. Then this year in late June, Total Connect 2.0 stopped allowing AT&T 3G & 4G activations. From there, Alarm.com followed suit and also announced they would no longer allow new activations for 3G & 4G Communicators.

It is important to understand that these "sunset" events only affect new activations. If you have an existing 3G, 4G, or CDMA Communicator that is currently activated for use with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, then you can continue to use it, at least for now. As long as you keep it activated and your monitoring company continues to support it, then there will be no problem until the associated cellular network is permanently shut down.

For the record, the AT&T 3G Network is going to be shut down in February of 2022. We do not have an official date for the shutdown of the Verizon CDMA Network, but it is also expected to occur around this time. In preparation for this event, both Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com will only allow for new activations of LTE cellular communicators. In other words, if you want cellular alarm monitoring for your system, you should definitely go LTE.

Recently, we have heard that some other alarm monitoring companies are dropping support for these communicators sooner. Some will drop support as early as the end of 2019. This means that if you have monitoring service with that company and you have an older communicator, your monitoring service will be automatically terminated unless you upgrade to LTE before their self-imposed cut-off date.

Alarm Grid would like to state publicly that we plan to support existing 3G, 4G, and CDMA Communicators for as long as possible. We understand that not everyone can feasibly make the upgrade right away. We are doing everything we can to let our customers make the transition at their own pace. If you are still using a 3G, 4G, or CDMA Communicator with Alarm Grid, then rest assured that your communicator will still work for the next couple of years.

Now, just because we are still supporting these modules does not mean you shouldn't upgrade. LTE communication is faster, more reliable, and it will provide you with a better end user experience overall. Additionally, installing an LTE communicator will essentially "future-proof" your system against further advances in cellular technology. Cellular service providers have stated repeatedly that LTE networks will remain supported and in-service well into the very distant future.

Also remember that if you currently use a 3G, 4G, or CDMA Communicator, and you deactivate the module for ANY reason, you will NOT be able to reactivate it. This can be particularly important if you are trying to bring an older cellular module to Alarm Grid. If your communicator is still active with a different monitoring company, and you keep it active in your transition to Alarm Grid, we can help you reprogram it for use with our monitoring service.

At Alarm Grid, we are working to make sure all of our customers who use cellular monitoring will make a smooth and seamless transition over to LTE. We know that everyone moves at a different pace, and we are not going to rush you into doing something that you may not be ready for. While we certainly encourage you to make the jump to LTE as soon as possible, we will continue to work with you as long as we can.

If you have any questions about the 3G and CDMA sunset, or if you are trying to determine your best option for getting your panel on LTE, then by all mean, please reach out to us as soon as you can. Our team will be happy to work with you and assist you in any way possible. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a quick look at the new DSC PG9936 PowerG Smoke & Heat Detector. This device is great for anyone looking for a reliable fire-safety sensor for use with a PowerG-compatible System. The new sensor offers some impressive features, and it is super easy to use!


The DSC PG9936 replaces the older DSC PG9916. The new model features an updated designed and enhanced detection for improved functionality. However, most of the specs from the PG9916 return to the PG9936. If you have an existing PG9916, then it will continue to work just fine. But it's great to see a new smoke and heat detector available!

For smoke detection, the PG9936 uses photoelectric technology. This is arguably the most consistent and more reliable smoke detection method available, and it will help ensure that any fire is detected as quickly as possible. The sensor also features a built-in 135°F fixed temperature heat sensor for redundancy. This will give you peace of mind in knowing that any fire will be properly detected.

Any system that supports PowerG can use the DSC PG9936 Sensor. This includes any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and any DSC PowerSeries NEO with added PowerG Receiver. It can be easily auto-enrolled by putting the panel into its enrollment mode and then powering on the PG9936 by inserting its batteries. You are welcome to check out the PG9936 Install Guide for more information.

Also returning to the DSC PG9936 is one-go-all-go support. This means that if the sensor is activated, all other PowerG Smoke Detectors paired with the panel will also activate. This is very important for ensuring that everyone in the building is properly alerted to the fire. Remember that each PowerG Smoke Detector has an 85 dB sounder for alerting building occupants.

Each PG9936 uses three (3) AAA batteries for power (included), and has a three (3) battery life on average. The sensor features a tri-colored LED status light for assisting with enrollment and troubleshooting. It measures five (5) inches across and is 2.5 inches deep. There is a test button on the device for easy testing when needed. Remember to place your system on test mode first!

You can get the PG9936 from the Alarm Grid website right now! If you have any questions about the DSC PG9936 Smoke & Heat Detector or any of our other products, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support team checks emails between 9am and 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We recently discussed the end of Interlogix and how the company will soon be ceasing business in North America. We know that many users will be looking for a replacement for Interlogix Panels. Today, we will discuss how you can easily replace an Interlogix Panel with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus.

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Interlogix Systems have been widely used in the security industry for many years. We want to start by saying that existing Interlogix Panels will continue to be supported by Alarm.com. As long as your Interlogix System has a compatible LTE cellular communicator, you can continue using the system well into the very distant future. And that is a perfectly acceptable option if you are looking for a cheap and effective solution for alarm monitoring.

But if you want to take home or business security to the next level, then now is a great time to upgrade to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. This state-of-the-art security system offers fantastic features like automatic Bluetooth disarming, partitioning, live-streaming for compatible Alarm.com Cameras, built-in Z-Wave Plus functionality, support for up to 128 wireless zones, and so much more. And it is all controlled using a beautiful 7" touchscreen display.

Qolsys offers three (3) versions of the IQ Panel 2 Plus. If you are replacing an Interlogix Panel, then you will want to get the 319.5 MHz version. This is the version with the gold and white box shown above. The 319.5 MHz will be able to support all of your existing Interlogix 319.5 MHz Sensors. This means that you can upgrade to a brand-new high-tech security system, while still being able to maintain your existing sensors that work perfectly well. How cool is that?

If you do want to upgrade to newer wireless sensors, then you can also use PowerG Sensors with the system. PowerG Sensors offer an incredible wireless range of up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus in an open air environment. They also utilize military-grade 128-bit AES encryption to prevent any wireless hacking or takeover attempts. This also protects the sensors from any RF jamming techniques that could disable legacy sensors.

Qolsys also offers their own 319.5 MHz sensors if you need to get some new wireless devices for the system. These sensors can be easily enrolled with the panel just any existing Interlogix Wireless Sensor. Qolsys even offers their own "S-Line" Encrypted Sensors for added wireless protection. These sensors use a rolling code encryption for added protection. These devices will make for a great addition to any 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus!

We also understand that some users may be upgrading from hardwired Interlogix Panels, such as an Interlogix Concord 4 or an Interlogix NetworX Series Panel. Qolsys considered this, and they have a solution. The Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F is a wired to wireless converter that will allow you to use existing wired sensors with your new IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Just mount the IQ Hardwire 16-F in-place of the old panel, and enroll your existing sensors!

Whether you have a wireless Interlogix Panel like an Interlogix Simon XT, an Interlogix Simon XTi, or an Interlogix Simon XTi-5, or you have a hardwired Interlogix Panel like a Concord 4 or NetworX Series System, Qolsys has the solution for you. And if you choose to keep your existing Interlogix Panel, that's fine too. We have compatible communicators available on our website, and we can help you get the system running with our monitoring services.

If you would like to learn more about your options, or if you would like to discuss our monitoring plans, we invite you to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Just tell us what you have (or what you would like to have!), and we will be happy to help you as soon as possible. Remember that our support hours are 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so keep that in mind when you email us. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the perfect security solution!

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Hi DIYers! We know that many of you out there have pets. Many of us at Alarm Grid do as well! We know that trying to use a security system with a pet can present certain challenges and difficulties. Today, we're going to show you that using an alarm system with a pet is actually quite easy!

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For the most part, you can use your alarm system and sensors with pets exactly the same as you would if you did not have pets. There are really only a few things you need to consider and perhaps do differently. By taking these few precautions, you are sure to improve your experience of using an alarm system with a pet!

Pet-Immune Motion Sensors

Honeywell 5800pir res wireless pet immune motion detector close up

Most sensors can be used around pets without any issue. The only real exception is for motion sensors. Pets give off the same infrared (IR) energy that humans do. As a result, they can easily set off a motion sensor if they get within its field of view (FOV). But you probably don't want your system going off just because your pet has walked in front of your motion sensor.

Luckily, alarm manufacturers have considered this problem. That is why they created pet-immune motion sensors. A pet-immune motion sensor works by only "looking" in the areas where a human would be walking upright. The areas closer to the ground where a pet would walk are not "seen" by the motion sensor. In practice, this works pretty well, just as long as everything is set up correctly.

It is very important to understand that pets can still activate pet-immune motion sensors. If the pet manages to get within the sensor's FOV, then it will be the same as if a human intruder walked past. The key is to position your pet-immune motion sensors so that your pets cannot get in their FOV. For example, you don't want your motion sensor to be facing furniture that your pet could climb upon to activate the sensor!

You must check and make sure that the motion sensor you are planning to use is "pet-friendly" or "pet-immune". Not every motion sensor offers this feature. Motion sensors that do will list a weight limit for how small of pets can safely avoid setting off the sensor. Make sure that your pet is within that limit! Also, you will want to use any pet-immune motion sensor on the lowest possible sensitivity setting.

Dealing With Loud Sounds

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Many pet owners are concerned about the loud sounds associated with security systems, especially sirens. These users are afraid that activating their system will upset or scare their pets. It is true that many security systems have the power to be some of the loudest devices in your homes. But fortunately, there are a few things you can do to avoid scaring your dog or cat.

One loud sound that systems will make is during entry and exit delays. Most panels will continuously beep after Arming Away to let you know that you need to leave the building immediately. And then they will do the same during the entry delay to let you know that you need to Disarm before the countdown expires. These noises can be bothersome or troubling to a small animal.

But there are ways around these issues. Many panels like the Honeywell Lyric Controller offer a "Silent Exit" option so that no annoying beeps are made during the exit delay countdown. And as for the entry delay, you can overcome that by just using the Alarm.com Mobile App or the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App to Disarm from your phone before you enter the building. A key fob would work as well.

Some pets may be disturbed by Chimes and Voice Annunciations that occur when zones are faulted. This is an easy solution, as most panels will allow you to turn off or disable Chime and Voice. Another option is to turn down the system volume so that your pet is not bothered when a sensor is activated. Do whatever works for your dog or cat.

And of course there are sirens. If you don't want a siren to activate during an intrusion alarm, then you can set them to silent on your panel. Any alerts and notifications will still be sent out like normal, but your pet won't have to hear the siren. Of course, if someone has broken into your home, then your pet will likely know about it anyway! And remember, life-safety alarms (fires and CO) must be kept audible.

Please note that Alarm Grid always recommends using audible intrusion alarms, as they are important for scaring off intruders. But that can be difficult if you have a pet in the household. Sometimes the best thing to do is to set the siren (bell) timeout to be as short as possible so that the siren shuts off quickly. You might also install a small "doggy door" so that your pet can escape the loud noise if this happens.

However, you will still need to test your sirens from time to time. This is a very important part of testing your system. For these situations, it may be best just to take your pet away during the testing process. You could have your spouse or kids take them on a walk or car ride while you complete the test. Remember to put your system on test mode with the central station before you do this! And keep in mind that you will still need your pet when walk testing your motions!

Updating the CMS Document

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An often overlooked aspect of using a security system with pets is to make sure the central monitoring station document is updated. This applies to any pet owner whose alarm monitoring plan includes central station service. You will want to make sure the notes for your location mention any pets that will likely be on the premises.

When an operator at a central station contacts any emergency rescuers, they will relay whatever information is on the document. You should make sure that all family members (including your pets!) are listed on this document. This way, they will know to check and make sure that everyone got out of the building in case of an emergency. This is a particularly good idea for systems with fire and carbon monoxide sensors!

Updating your central station document is easy. Just contact your alarm monitoring company and have them make the changes. You can also contact the central station directly and have them review any documents or information that they have on file. Remember, you will need to provide your false alarm password to do this. For Alarm Grid customers, changes to the dispatch instructions will need to be directed to us at our support email or via telephone, rather than directly to the central station operator.

We're Here to Help!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

If you have monitoring service from Alarm Grid, then we are happy to help you make sure that your security system is ready for your pets. We would love to talk with you and help you with everything you need. Alarm Grid customers can email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728. Remember that our office hours are 9am to 8pm ET M-F. And if you aren't monitored, please reach out to us so we can help you explore your options. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we are happy to unveil the Honeywell Home VISTA-21iPLTE. This is the newest hardwired system from the VISTA Series by Resideo, and it is essentially replacing the existing VISTA-21iP System. The big addition is its ability to support special plug-in LTE communicators.



The Honeywell Home VISTA-21iPLTE is actually the same as a VISTA-21iP System, except that the 21iPLTE board has been upgraded to support new plug-in LTE communicators. This includes the Honeywell Home LTE-21V with Verizon LTE (available now) and the Honeywell Home LTE-21A (coming soon).

These new plug-in modules are just like the older Honeywell VISTA-GSM4G Communicator, which conveniently plugged into the VISTA-21iP board. The only difference is that the LTE-21V and LTE-21A support LTE connectivity. This is important for anyone looking to use cellular communication with a security system.

The reason you want to use an LTE communicator with your alarm system is because it offers superior speed and reliability when compared with older 3G and CDMA networks. Also, these older networks are in the process of being shutdown. By going with LTE, you are providing a long-term solution for your panel.

Just like the existing VISTA-21iP, the new VISTA-21iPLTE has a built-in IP communicator, which is basically the equivalent of a Honeywell 7847i Communicator. Even if you don't add a cell module to the VISTA-21iPLTE, you will still be able to connect it with AlarmNet for IP monitoring and access to Total Connect 2.0.

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But adding a cellular communicator is very important for dealing with internet outages. If the internet goes out and you don't have a cellular backup, then your 21iPLTE will lose connectivity with the AlarmNet360 Servers. Maintaining this connection is required for monitoring service. This makes cellular backup crucial!

By connecting your VISTA-21iPLTE Panel with AlarmNet360, you will also be able to control your system through Total Connect 2.0.This is an interactive monitoring and automation platform that you can access from nearly anywhere using your phone. Make sure you choose a monitoring plan with TC2 service!

If you plan to use cellular communication with your VISTA-21iPLTE and Alarm Grid, then you will need a Gold or Platinum Level Plan (Self or Full). This is needed to activate the cellular radio and connect it with AlarmNet360. You can find more information about all our monitoring plans on our monitoring page.

Once you have access to Total Connect 2.0, you will be able to control your 21iPLTE System from pretty much any location. You can access Total Connect 2.0 to arm and disarm, check current system status, control Z-Wave devices (controller required), view IP cameras (video monitoring required), and so much more!

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As far as functionality is concerned, the VISTA-21iPLTE is basically just like like a VISTA-21iP. Other than the added support for the LTE-21V and LTE-21A on the 21iPLTE, they are really the exact same panel. As a result, almost any specification that applies to the VISTA-21iP also applies to the VISTA-21iPLTE.

The VISTA-21iPLTE is capable of supporting up to 64 total zones. However, you can only use eight (8) hardwired zones out of the box. To use additional wired zones, you will need to add Honeywell 4219 Expansion Modules. And to use wireless sensors, you will need a wireless receiver, such as the 6160RF Keypad.

By adding up to five (5) 4219 Expansion Modules, you can use up to 48 hardwired zones on the VISTA-21iPLTE. Keep in mind that Zones 2 thru 8 support zone doubling. Zone 1 is a special zone for use with 2-wire smokes. That is why it does not support zone doubling. You can have up to 16 2-wire smokes on the zone.

Adding a compatible wireless receiver will let you use wireless 345 MHz sensors from the Honeywell 5800 Series. A standard wireless receiver will only support uni-directional (one-way) devices. But a wireless transceiver like the 6160RF will also let you use bi-directional devices. Up to 56 wireless zones can be used.

It is important to keep in mind that the total number of zones (wired and wireless) can never exceed 64. Additionally, zones 49 thru 64 on a VISTA-21iPLTE are designated as key fob zones for key fob inputs. But you can actually use these zones with any wireless sensor, as long as you have a wireless receiver added.

Honeywell 6160rf alphanumeric alarm keypad with integrated transceiver

There are also some other accessories you can add to a VISTA-21iPLTE System. First and foremost, you will want a keypad for controlling the system. As stated earlier, the Honeywell 6160RF is a great option. If you don't plan to use wireless sensors, then the standard Honeywell 6160 will work just as well.

You might also consider getting a touchscreen keypad for the system. These can be easier to use than push-button keypads. But just remember that only push-button keypads can backdoor into programming. The new Honeywell 6290W is a great option. Or you could go with the Tuxedo Touch to add Z-Wave functionality.

There are limits to the number of keypads you can use with the system. Up to eight (8) push-button keypads can be added. Touchscreen keypads count as AUI devices, and the VISTA-21iPLTE will only support a max of four (4) AUI devices. Keep in mind that the Total Connect 2.0 service also counts as an AUI device!

Speaking of Z-Wave, a Z-Wave controller is needed if you want to use Z-Wave devices with the system. Adding a Tuxedo Touch is a great way to add Z-Wave capabilities. If you already have a keypad, then the standalone Honeywell VAM is also an option. Remember, you can control all Z-Wave devices through TC2.

Ultratech 1240 alarm control panel battery backup 12v 4 dot 5ah

Lastly, the system comes with its own transformer for supplying power. You will still need to supply a backup battery like the UltraTech 1240. Power cabling is not included with the VISTA-21iPLTE system, so you must add your own. We recommend using 18-gauge wiring, or even better, a Honeywell LT-Cable.

We would also like to mention that the VISTA-21iPLTE supports two (2) partitions, along with a third common partition. It also supports other miscellaneous features like Quick Arming, Scheduling, up to 48 unique user codes, 100 event log, two (2) low-current trigger outputs, chime functionality, and more.

The VISTA-21iPLTE System and the LTE-21V LTE Communicator are both available for purchase now from the Alarm Grid website. This system is great for anyone looking for a simple, yet effective hardwired panel. It will certainly serve as a long-lasting addition to your home or business and help keep you safe.

If you have any questions about the system, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as we can. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728. Remember that our support hours are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We're here with another video recap. We put out four (4) videos last week, all on September 27th. There is one video apiece from Jorge, Joe and Jarrett. I even rolled up my sleeves and did a video! Let's check out the newest instructional videos from the Alarm Grid Video Team!

Programming the VISTA-21iP To Use IP Only

Jorge explains how to make the Honeywell VISTA-21iP System use IP communication only. The VISTA-21iP has a built-in IP communicator for this purpose. In order to program the system for IP-only communication, you will need to enter programming using the system's Installer Code. Remember that the default Installer Code is 4112. Keep in mind that an internet outage will take your system offline if you do not have cellular backup. For that reason, you might want to consider getting a dual-path communicator for the system.


Enrolling the DSC PowerG PG9312 to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to program a DSC PowerG PG9312 Outdoor Contact to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. This sensor will work with any version of the IQ Panel 2 Plus, as long as the system is running Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher. As an outdoor contact, this sensor is perfect for use on fences, gates, barn doors, and outdoor patio doors. One of its best features is its extra wide magnet spacing gap of up to 1.75 inches.


The Keypad Tamper Lockout Feature on the Lyric Security System

Joe discusses the keypad tamper lockout feature on a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. This feature goes into effect if thirty (30) numeric keys are entered within a 15 minute period, without ever entering a valid code. Pressing any numeric key while the system is in its lockout mode will result in a long error tone. Honeywell designed this feature to prevent brute force entry into the Lyric System. The only way to disarm the system in this mode is to use a key fob or Total Connect 2.0.


Using a Honeywell Z-Wave Thermostat with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Everyone's favorite Alarm Grid Technician Jarrett shows off using a Honeywell Z-Wave Thermostat with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Since, the IQ Panel 2 Plus supports Z-Wave devices, you can really use any Z-Wave thermostat with the system. By enrolling a Z-Wave thermostat with the system, you will be able to control it from the panel and from Alarm.com. You can access the Alarm.com service using a web browser or remotely through the Alarm.com Mobile App. Remember that you will need a monitoring plan with access to Alarm.com!

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Hi DIYers! Last week, we sent a small team to Silicon Valley, California to check out the 2019 Qolsys Summit. Needless to say, we were absolutely blown away with what Qolsys will soon be offering. Today, we would like to focus on some of their new industry-changing products in the pipeline.


The biggest highlight of the Qolsys Summit was the opportunity to check out the newest upcoming panel from the company, the Qolsys IQ Hub. The IQ Hub represents the vision of Qolsys to bring home security closer and more accessible to the average consumer than ever before. This is truly the optimal system for any budget-conscious consumer who wants to bring state-of-the-art security and technology into their home. It is slated for a Q1 2020 release.

We do not have all the details on the Qolsys IQ Hub quite yet. But there is still a lot that we can talk about. The most obvious addition to the Qolsys IQ Hub is its prominent speaker on the front. Qolsys is expected to introduce some mind-blowing integrations for the system that will turn your alarm control panel into a compact entertainment center.

Remember that Alarm.com already offers an excellent Sonos integration. We are sure that the IQ Hub will take full advantage of this feature and truly put it to great use. Our team did get a chance to test the IQ Hub sound quality, and we can confirm it sounds just as good as any high-end portable speaker. This is highly impressive, and we expect many users to be thrilled that their alarm system can now essentially double as a party-starter.


The next aspect you will likely notice about the IQ Hub is its standout display screen. This is a 7" touchscreen display that appears to have even higher resolution than any existing security system on the market. We do not have the exact specifications on the screen just yet, but it certainly passes the eyeball test. And as you can see from the photo above, the slideshow feature returns. Get ready to show-off some of your best photos on the Qolsys IQ Hub!

As we mentioned earlier, Qolsys seems to be envisioning the IQ Hub as a way to make the home security market more accessible to the average consumer. The new system is not expected to replace the existing Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, but it is anticipated to have a lower price point. We also expect many existing features to return to the IQ Hub, including built-in WIFI, Bluetooth connectivity, cellular LTE, and Z-Wave Plus functionality.

One thing that will not be returning to the IQ Hub is support for legacy sensors (e.g. 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, and 433 MHz devices). The new system will be entirely PowerG, and you will need to use those sensors with the system. This is fine, as PowerG Sensors offer an impressive wireless range of up 2,000 feet when used with the IQ Hub in open air. They also utilize military grade 128-bit AES encryption in all their communication to ensure maximum wireless security.

Another interesting note about the panel is that it is not designed to be opened up. This is a significant change from most existing security systems, where you will occasionally need to open up the panel to make hardware changes. The battery on the IQ Hub is sled-replaceable, and it can easily be swapped out by the end user with little effort. All of the hardware is built right in, so you will never have to make any changes in that regard. Talk about DIY friendly!


Qolsys made other various enhancements to the IQ Hub System. They touted an improved integrated camera, and it can even double as a motion sensor by detecting changes in pixelation. We also expect this feature to be used in conjunction with Alarm.com so that you can take a peak-in at your home while you're on the go. You will also notice the LED light on the front of the panel. This light changes colors to let you know the current system status. How cool!

The system also features a built-in microphone that you can use to get alerts regarding loud sounds. You can even adjust the minimum sound level required to trigger alerts. This is perfect for parents who want to know if their baby is fussing or for owners of rental properties who may want to be alerted if their guests are throwing a loud party. It's just another way that Qolsys is working hard to keep you connected with your home.

We do expect that there will be some hardware limitations of the IQ Hub when compared with the IQ Panel 2 Plus, especially when you consider the anticipated lower price point. Qolsys most likely reduced costs by dropping legacy sensor support. It's also possible that the IQ Hub will support fewer zones than the IQ Panel 2 Plus (128 zones). But we cannot confirm the exact number of zone on the IQ Hub at this time. The IQ Hub is also slightly larger than the existing IQ2+ due to the added speaker.

As stated earlier, the Qolsys IQ Hub is scheduled for a Q1 2020 release. This groundbreaking new system is sure to make some big waves in the security industry, and we are confident that it will help many new users get their start with home security. We can't wait for its release, and we hope you're excited too!


Qolsys also unveiled another interesting product at the event, the Qolsys IQ Router. At first glance, you might be wondering what's the big deal. What's so exciting about an IP router? Well Qolsys packed in some game-changing features that are sure to make the IQ Router the perfect addition to your IQ Hub or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. It is sure to make your life more convenient in many ways. And we can also confirm, it is dual-band with support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz!

At the basic level, the IQ Router is exactly what it sounds like, an internet router. It replaces the existing router for your home's IP network. But what you get with the router is pretty ingenious. Any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System or Qolsys IQ Hub connected with the IQ Router can be accessed remotely by your alarm monitoring company for programming purposes. This is similar to what the DSC Iotega offers. But with the Qolsys Systems, it is optional rather than mandatory.

Of course, if you don't want your monitoring company accessing your panel, then you can disable the feature. But it's pretty nice if you want assistance with programming new devices. One thing you will certainly love is its ability to auto-discover your IQ Hub System and automatically enroll it with your WIFI network. You can even configure your IP settings right from the IQ Hub. This truly makes the IQ Hub the central controller for your entire network!

Another innovation from the IQ Router is the ability to auto-enroll guest WIFI devices. In other words you can get any visitors on your WIFI network, without making them enter a long, tedious password. The way this works is that your guest will request to join the network from their IP device. You will then approve the request from either your IQ Hub or an app on your phone. And just like that, your guest will be connected with your WIFI network. Super convenient!


As you will notice, the Qolsys IQ Router only has one (1) LAN port for connecting a hardwired ethernet device. This isn't a big deal, as most users might not even need one. If you need additional ports, then you can easily connect a network switch to the router and use it however you would like.

But one very exciting feature of the IQ Router is its ability to support up to eight (8) WIFI extenders or access points. This makes it truly suitable for even large commercial locations! The router facilitates a total mesh network to help ensure that all of your IP devices stay connected across even an incredibly expansive area. Whether your needs are big or small, you are sure to get great use out of the new IQ Router! Qolsys states that it should be out by the end of this year.

We would like to end this post with some smaller product announcements we heard at the Qolsys Summit. A PowerG 360-Degree Ceiling-Mount PIR Motion Sensor called the PG9862 was unveiled. This sensor is perfect for use in closets or in commercial locations where corner-mounting is not feasible. The PG9862 is available from Alarm Grid now, and you can get it right here.

Lastly, we heard rumors about a much-anticipated PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter. This is huge news, as it will allow you to takeover an existing hardwired system and use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or Qolsys IQ Hub in its place. And of course, all your hardwired sensors will enjoy the amazing range and security of the PowerG wireless protocol. We do not have any other details on the PowerG Converter at this time, but we will definitely keep our eyes peeled.

We hope that you are eagerly awaiting all of these new products just like we are! This was truly an awesome event that Qolsys put on, and we are thankful that we got to be a part of it. We are hopeful that Qolsys hosts a similar gathering next year in 2020! For now, check out these new and upcoming products, and email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions or thoughts. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. As usual, we look forward to hearing from you!

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