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It's time for our weekly video recap! And this might be our biggest one yet! We have a few videos back from the 16th that didn't make it into the last recap, as well a bunch of new videos from last week. We have videos featuring Jorge, Jarrett, and myself. Let's check out the videos!

Properly Replacing a Bad Sensor On a 2GIG GC3 or GC3e

Jarrett demonstrates the correct process for replacing a bad sensor on a 2GIG GC3 or 2GIG GC3e. The steps to follow for replacing a bad sensor on the GC3 or GC3e include clearing out the zone and then reprogramming it from scratch. Simply deleting the Serial Number (SN) and providing the new one can result in a "bypassed at device" error message. This will result in the sensor not working correctly. Other unusual system behavior may also occur.


Alarm.com Limits for Z Wave Devices

I explain the Alarm.com limit for the number of Z-Wave devices per account. Up to 122 devices from the panel will be pushed over to the Alarm.com platform for remote access and control. All Z-Wave devices numbered 123 and beyond will only be available at the panel for local operation. You can delete older Z-Wave devices that are still paired with Alarm.com to make room for new ones. You should pair the 122 devices that you want to use remotely first, allow Alarm.com to sync, and then add additional sensors for local control only last.


Clip Limits With Alarm.com Video Service

I explain the clip limits for Alarm.com Video Service. In order to get true video surveillance with Alarm Grid, you must have either a Platinum Level Plan (Self or Full) or a Video-Only Plan. At the base level, a true video plan will offer support for 1,000 monthly and total clips, as well as four (4) cameras and an SVR device. But by upgrading to Video Analytics, your monthly and total clip limits will both increase from 1,000 monthly and total clips to 3,000 clips of both types.


Changing the SiXCOMBO Batteries

I show you how to replace the batteries for the Honeywell SiXCOMBO. This wireless sensor uses four (4) lithium CR123A batteries for power. Its expected battery life is about five (5) years. You must open up the SiXCOMBO by twisting the sensor counterclockwise against its back plate. When closing the sensor, make to align it properly, and twist clockwise to secure. You get a low battery message on the panel to let you know when replacements are needed.


Self-Monitoring a Honeywell L3000

I explain how you can self-monitor a Honeywell L3000 System. Self-monitoring means that the system is not connected with a central station, and all system alerts are sent to the end user via text and/or email. For an L3000, this is possible using the Total Connect 2.0 service from Resideo. You will need a compatible AlarmNet Communicator for the L3000 System to make this possible. Both the Honeywell LTE-L3A and the Honeywell LTE-L3V work great for this job when used with the L3000.


Enrolling a PowerG Wireless Sensor to an Alarm Panel

Jorge shows you how to enroll a PowerG Sensor with a compatible alarm panel. PowerG Sensors are wireless devices that offer a fantastic signal range and 128-bit AES encryption. Compatible systems for PowerG Sensors include all versions of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the DSC Iotega, and any DSC PowerSeries NEO System with an added PowerG Module. Most PowerG devices can transmit a signal for auto-enrollment by either powering on or by pressing and holding a device enrollment button until its LED light turns solid orange.


Connecting the 2GIG GC3e to WIFI

Jarrett shows you how to connect the 2GIG GC3e to a local WIFI network. The 2GIG GC3e System will use its WIFI connection to communicate with Alarm.com. However, Alarm.com requirements mandate that the system also has an active cellular communication path set up. This will require an added cellular communicator. The WIFI connection will just work as an additional pathway for facilitating communication between the GC3e and Alarm.com. Remember that you will need the WIFI network password to complete the connection.


Checking Zone Faults on a Tuxedo Touch Keypad

Jorge shows you how to check for faulted system zones using a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad. A faulted zone refers to a programmed sensor that is in a non-restored or "active" state. A common example is a contact sensor in a faulted state due to a door or window being left open. The Tuxedo will display a message at the top of its main screen to indicate when there is at least one faulted zone. You must bypass or restore faulted zones before the system can be armed.


Scenes From Alarm.com Won't Be Pushed to GC3 or GC3e

I explain how when you build a smart scene in Alarm.com, that scene will not be pushed down to a 2GIG GC3 or GC3e Panel for local operation. Instead the scene will only be available for remote access through the Alarm.com website or mobile app. Likewise if you build a scene on the GC3 or GC3e, then it will not be pushed over to Alarm.com. You can include various smart home devices with scenes, including programmed lights, locks, thermostats, and more.


Checking the Firmware Version on a Tuxedo Touch

Jorge shows you how to check the firmware version for a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad. The Honeywell Tuxedo Touch is both a touchscreen keypad for a Honeywell VISTA System and a Z-Wave automation controller. Firmware updates for the Tuxedo may be periodically released to provide new features and improve device performance. The Tuxedo Touch receives firmware updates from an SD card slot. You must download the update to the SD card and then apply it to the Tuxedo Touch.


Getting Into the Z Wave Programming Section of a Tuxedo Touch Keypad

Jorge explains how to access Z-Wave programming for the Tuxedo Touch. Z-Wave functionality is one of the key features for this wired touchscreen keypad. You must access the Z-Wave Programming Menu for the Tuxedo Touch to begin enrolling Z-Wave smart home devices. It is advised that you clear any Z-Wave device from the network before attempting to enroll it with the Tuxedo. This is true even if the device is brand-new and you have never paired it with a Z-Wave network before.


Converting a Wired Alarm Into Wireless

I explain how you can convert a wired alarm system into a wireless alarm system by using a wired to wireless converter module. With a wired to wireless converter, you can take your existing hardwired sensors and use them with your new wireless security system as wireless devices. This can save you money by not having to purchasing as many wireless sensors. When choosing a wired to wireless converter, you must make sure that the module communicates at a wireless frequency that is compatible with your new wireless system.

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As you may recall last week, the 2GIG STZ-1 Smart Thermostat became one of the first 700-Series Z-Wave devices available on the Alarm Grid website. We figured we would explore the Z-Wave 700-Series and see what it brings to the table, as it appears more products will be available soon.


We were a bit surprised with the release of the 2GIG STZ-1 Smart Thermostat, as there just aren't many controllers or hubs that take full advantage of 700-Series Z-Wave technology quite yet. Like prior generations of Z-Wave, the 700-Series devices should be compatible with older controllers and hubs. But you won't be able to take full advantage of these devices unless you use them with true Z-Wave 700-Series Controllers. And while we haven't seen many 700-Series Hubs available become available, we are sure they will be arriving soon.

It should come as no surprise that extended wireless range and longer battery life will become a mainstay with Z-Wave 700-Series. We have heard that the 700-Series devices will consume 64% less power for wireless communication, and the technology allows for resting when the device is not being used. Thanks to this more efficient performance, it's likely that you will see many 700-Series devices go up to ten (10) years between battery changes. Furthermore, the 700-Series is expected to allow for communication that is 250% further than the Z-Wave Plus 500-Series. This translates into roughly 200 feet between signal hops!

But perhaps the biggest surprise with the 700-Series is its improvements in security. While the 500-Series devices introduced optional S2 Security, SmartStart capabilities, 128-bit AES encryption, Elliptic-curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) protocol technology, and Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) protection. These features will become mandatory in the 700-Series for any device to receive certification from the Z-Wave Alliance. In other words, a device will only be able to list itself as having 700-Series Certification if it uses some of the most advanced wireless protection capabilities ever seen in home automation.

While the 700-Series technically made its public debut in April of 2019, we still haven't seen its usage become widespread. We expect that the pandemic played a large part in slowing the rollout of this latest smart home technology. But the recent release from Nortek and 2GIG is certainly a good sign. Of course, we'll also need security manufacturers to step up and build systems with 700-Series support. With any luck, maybe we'll see 700-Series support from the Qolsys IQ Hub later this year!

If you have any questions about the 700-Series of Z-Wave or about home automation in general, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will be happy to discuss automation possibilities for your home or business and provide you with as much detail as we know about the exciting up-coming technology. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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While many alarm panels have been outfitted with LTE cellular communicators to accommodate the 3G and CDMA Sunset, one system that is being left behind is the Honeywell L5100. Luckily, we have two (2) great panel upgrade options if you want to continue receiving cellular alarm monitoring.


Without getting too in-depth, the 3G and CDMA Sunset will leave the Honeywell L5100 with no functional cellular communicator option. This is because any Honeywell GSMVLP5-4G units that are currently activated for monitoring service will stop working once the associated AT&T 4G Network is shut down. If you are still using a Honeywell L5100 with a GSMVLP5-4G for cellular monitoring, then it is crucial that you upgrade to a new system as soon as possible. This is the only way that you can continue receiving cellular monitoring service. Remember, cellular connectivity represents the most reliable communication path available for an alarm system. We strongly urge you to not wait until the end of the 3G/CDMA Sunset.

Unless you have some specific knowledge of security systems, then you may have trouble determining which alarm panel you should get to replace your Honeywell L5100. That is where we are able to help. We have two (2) recommended systems if you are needing to upgrade. Both of these system options will allow you to continue using the majority of your existing sensors, and they will provide some great new features that you can take advantage of. We will briefly discuss both of these options so that you can make an informed decision.


Honeywell Lyric


If you want to stick within the Honeywell banner, then the Lyric is a great option. It has two (2) excellent LTE cellular communicator options in the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator and the Honeywell LYRICLTE-V Verizon LTE Communicator, and it can readily support all of the one-way Honeywell 5800 Sensors used with the L5100. This system is preferred by users who want to continue using Total Connect 2.0, as well as any Honeywell IP Cameras. The makes the Lyric the go-to option if you are currently using security cameras with your L5100. The Lyric is also preferred if you are a regular iOS user, and you want to integrate your security system with your Apple HomeKit Network.


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus 345 MHz

For L5100 users who don't necessarily feel married to Total Connect 2.0, and who also don't really care about HomeKit compatibility, jumping ship to a different manufacturer is an option. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus 345 MHz is hard to ignore. It can also support your existing one-way Honeywell 5800 Wireless Sensors right out of the box. You will need to make the switch from Total Connect 2.0 to Alarm.com, but this transition is fairly seamless if you don't have cameras set up. And while the IQ2+ might not have HomeKit, it does offer its own unique benefits like Z-Wave Plus functionality, automatic Bluetooth disarming, and partitioning support. You won't find any of those features on the Lyric. Just remember to choose the 345 MHz IQ2+ in the silver and white box to continue using your old Honeywell 5800 Sensors.


We're Here to Help!

There isn't a truly one-size-fits-all solution for existing Honeywell L5100 users. For some, the Lyric is the best option. But other users can get more mileage out of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus 345 MHz. Although we gave you some general guidelines and considerations above, you may still want some more advice on which move to make. Our security system planners are happy to help you determine which system is right for you.

Upgrading early is the best way to ensure that you do not experience any interruptions in your monitoring service. If you are a Honeywell L5100 user looking to plan for the future, feel free to email our team at support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET and respond back at our earliest opportunity. We look forward to helping you plan out the long-term security solution for your home or business!

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If you follow this blog regularly, then you probably already know about the significance of the 3G and CDMA Sunset. Now, Alarm.com is taking their own steps to demonstrate the urgency by listing a "Trouble" status condition next to all 3G and CDMA accounts on the alarm dealer end.


Alarm dealers like Alarm Grid who provide service with Alarm.com will notice a "Trouble" status condition next to all customer accounts who are still connected using an AT&T 3G or a Verizon CDMA Communicator. The purpose of this trouble condition is so that dealers can properly notify end users who need to upgrade to LTE to avoid a loss of service. Cellular service providers are expected to shut down older 3G and CDMA Networks in 2022.

When a cellular network is shut down, all cellular devices designed to connect with the network will stop working. This includes cellular communicators for security systems. The 3G and CDMA shutdown will inevitably affect countless security systems across the country. Anyone still using a system with a 3G, 4G, or CDMA Communicator is heavily urged to upgrade to LTE as soon as possible.

While this news does not impact end users in any manner (including those still using 3G or CDMA), it does go to show how important this issue is. We have been doing our part by informing users about the importance of upgrading. Recently, our marketing team even sent out emails to customers still lagging behind to try and get the word out. We have also been regularly blogging about the subject.

Fortunately, most users with a 3G or CDMA Communicator can simply swap out their existing communicator for a new LTE model. The term LTE stands for "Long-Term Evolution", and an LTE communicator will keep your system online well into the very distant future. You may have heard about the rise of 5G cellular communication and think that LTE will soon be outdated as well. But the truth is that LTE will serve as a valuable backup to 5G. Both AT&T and Verizon have promised to keep their LTE networks online for many, many years, possibly decades.

If you need assistance finding an LTE communicator for your security system, then we are more than happy to help. We urge you to not wait until the last minute, as many users will be trying to upgrade at the same time. Upgrading early helps prevent a logjam when it comes to be crunch time later on, and it greatly reduces the burden on us. Please, contact us with your panel information, and we will assist you in making a seamless transition.

The best way to contact us regarding LTE upgrades is to email support@alarmgrid.com. If you are currently monitored with Alarm Grid, then we will be able to pull up your panel info. But if you are looking to switch to Alarm Grid, then please provide us with a picture of your alarm panel. This includes a picture of the inner circuit board if you have a hardwired panel. Remember, we check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid is back with another video recap! We've got some great new videos to help you get the very most out of your security system. As always, we hope that you find the new videos to be informative and helpful. Let's check out the newest tutorial videos from the Alarm Grid team!

Install Honeywell LTE-XA or LTE-XV On VISTA-15P, VISTA-20P, VISTA-21iP

I show you how to add a Honeywell LTE-XA or Honeywell LTE-XV to a Honeywell VISTA P-Series Alarm Panel. The LTE-XA and LTE-XV are cellular communicators used by VISTA Alarm Panels to communicate with the AlarmNet servers. Adding a communicator to a VISTA System is necessary for getting it monitored and set up with the Total Connect 2.0 platform for controlling the system remotely. The communicator will use a 4-wire connection that is made at the panel's ECP bus.


Troubleshooting No Signal issue on Resideo LTE-XA or LTE-XV

In a follow up to the previous video, I show you the general troubleshooting steps to perform when there is no signal on a Honeywell LTE-XA or LTE-XV. As these are cellular modules, an adequate cell signal is required for them to work properly. You might get a lack of cell signal due to the communicator being used too far from a cell tower, a SIM card that needs to be re-seated, or due to a SIM card that is not yet activated.


Checking the ECP and RIS Address On a Tuxedo

I show you how to check the ECP Address and the RIS Address on a Honeywell Home Tuxedo Keypad. Both the ECP Address and the RIS Address are found in the same menu. The Enhanced Console Protocol (ECP) Address tells the panel where to find the Tuxedo as a keypad controller. Setting the ECP is sometimes referred to as addressing the keypad. The Remote Interactive Service (RIS) Address tells Total Connect 2.0 and AlarmNet where to find the Tuxedo as an automation controller.


Enrolling the DSC PG9914 Motion Sensor to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to pair the DSC PG9914 Motion Sensor with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Security System. The DSC PG9914 is a PowerG Sensor, and it can be used with any version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The sensor offers a coverage area of up to 39 feet, pet immunity of up to 85 pounds, a wireless communication range of up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus, and 128-bit AES encryption.


Upgrading a Honeywell Lyric to Use LTE

I show you how to upgrade the Honeywell Lyric Controller to support an LTE communicator. In order to do this, you will need a compatible LTE cellular communicator. The compatible modules include the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator and the Honeywell LYRICLTE-V Verizon LTE Communicator. You will need to get a monitoring plan that includes cellular connectivity, such as an Alarm Grid Gold or Platinum Level Plan. This is necessary for activating the communicator for monitoring service.

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Sometimes we like to speculate about security system sensors and equipment that, for whatever reason, has yet to be announced for built by manufacturers. Today, we're going to discuss some sensor ideas that we wish existed in reality, but for now only remain ideas inside of our own heads.


Keep in mind that while these ideas may seem very plausible and realistic, they are still nothing more than ideas at this point. None of these ideas have been announced or mentioned by manufacturers, and it's likely that these concepts may never become a reality. This is just for fun, and we're merely floating around ideas. Don't get your hopes up and expect these sensors to be available on our website any time soon. And if you happen to be a manufacturer reading this, then take notes, as we think these products could be big hits.


PowerG Heat Sensor


The PowerG lineup is known for its excellent diversity, as it offers sensors of nearly all types. But one sensor that is noticeably absent from this lineup is a standalone heat sensor. We regularly get requests from Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus users who want a fire detection sensor for use in an area where a conventional smoke detector would be prone to false alarms. Such areas can include kitchens, garages, bathrooms, and attics.

We're pretty surprised that Johnson Controls hasn't produced a standalone heat sensor option for their PowerG lineup yet. It could be as simple as making it so that you can disable smoke detection on a dual-function smoke & heat sensor. This is already possible with the Honeywell SiXSMOKE, so we're sure this could be done for the DSC PG9936 as well. On that note, we would also love to see a PowerG equivalent to the Honeywell SiXCOMBO and finally give PowerG System users a truly complete life-safety sensor option with built-in smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detection.


Honeywell SiX Series Recessed Contact

This is another one we're a little surprised isn't already a thing. While Resideo has been somewhat choosy about which sensor types to make available for the Honeywell SiX Series Lineup, most of the omissions are understandable. But the absence of a recessed door and window contact is a bit of a head-scratcher. Resideo has produced many wireless and wired recessed contacts in the past, so we're not quite sure why they would forget to make an encrypted option for the massively popular Lyric Controller. One theory we have its that they are afraid the wireless signal range would be too lackluster.

While quite not as popular as surface-mount contacts due to the hole-drilling that is required, recessed contacts are appreciated by many users who want an aesthetically pleasing install. It's not like Resideo doesn't already know this. We have seen them offer a wide selection recessed contacts in the past. The company previously went out of their way to make the Honeywell SiXMINICT after the standard Honeywell SiXCT was deemed by many to be too bulky. For now, Lyric users remain stuck using non-encrypted devices like the Honeywell 5818MNL if they want to add recessed door and window contacts to their systems.


Qolsys Dual-Tech Motion Sensor

We've gotten the impression in recent times that Qolsys isn't really making their 319.5 MHz S-Line Sensors a top priority, as they instead seem to be focusing on producing the best security panels possible. The most popular sensors for all versions of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus are the PowerG Sensors, which are sold under the DSC banner. And it's very telling that the upcoming Qolsys IQ Hub is expected to only support PowerG Sensors and forgo legacy frequencies entirely. But that doesn't mean that Qolsys 319.5 MHz Sensors don't have their merits, and we think that a Qolsys Dual-Tech Motion Sensor would be quite useful.

A dual-tech motion sensor uses both passive infrared (PIR) and microwave detection technology to sense movement. This is opposed to a standard motion sensor that just uses PIR. The advantage to a dual-tech motion is that both its PIR sensor and its microwave sensor must be triggered before the sensor will activate. This can be crucial for false alarm prevention. Dual-tech motions are also known to offer pet immunity, which is often a major selling point for those with dogs and cats. We have seen dual-tech motion sensors made for many different security systems, and users typically have a decent selection to choose from.

But you're a bit out of luck if you need a 319.5 MHz wireless dual-tech motion, as Qolsys never seemed to make one. That's a bit of a letdown, especially considering that the 319.5 MHz version is the most popular model of the IQ Panel 2 Plus. At least the DSC PG9984P remains an option for that system, as well as any other system that can support PowerG.


More Fall Detection Sensors

Nortek Control changed the game for medical alert sensors when they introduced the 2GIG F1-345 Personal Safety Pendant with fall detection technology. Qolsys soon followed suit with their own Qolsys IQ Fall Pendant. Both of these sensors have built-in accelerometers for detecting the rapid change in movement that occurs during a slip and fall accident. They also retained the capability of a traditional medical alert button, as a user can press and hold the button to alert the system during an emergency. We thought that emergency fall sensors would become the next big thing.

But oddly enough, the development of new fall detection sensors seems to have stalled. We have yet to Resideo try their hand at a fall sensor with an accelerometer. The same is true for a potential release for the PowerG lineup from DSC. We're not quite sure what the hold up is, as the offerings from 2GIG and Qolsys have proven to be quite successful. Some members of our team have also proposed the idea of having these sensors send a second alert to the system if a prolonged period of no movement occurs following a detected fall, as such a scenario may indicate that the individual has seriously hurt themselves. There has also been talk of using rechargeable batteries for these devices, in order for the sensor to work for a longer time period before a battery replacement is needed.


Right now, these sensors are just ideas. But the best idea of all is to sign-up for alarm monitoring! Alarm Grid offers monitoring plans for all needs and budgets. We recommend checking our monitoring page for more information. If you are interested in getting started, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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It was a relatively calm week for our video team, but we still managed to put up a few new videos. Most of these are usual tutorial videos, but we did make one extra movie for fun at the end of the week. We hope you enjoy these videos. Let's check out the recap for September 18th thru 25th.

Programming a SiXFOB to the Lyric Controller

This video was actually uploaded super late last week, and it missed the last recap, so we decided to put it into this one! I show you how to program a Honeywell SiXFOB Key Fob with a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. The Honeywell SiXFOB is a 4-button key fob that is great for arming, disarming, and triggering emergency panics. As a member of the Honeywell SiX Series, the Honeywell SiXFOB is designed exclusively for use with the Lyric System, and it uses 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security.


Remove All Devices Button On IQ Panel 2

I show you the Remove All Devices button in the Z-Wave Menu for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. This button serves as a reset for the system's internal Z-Wave Plus controller, and it clears all of the programmed Z-Wave devices from the system. Any Z-Wave device you want to continue using with the IQ Panel 2 will need to be re-added to the system. It will be necessary to clear these devices from the network before adding them back in, as they will still have residual Z-Wave data from when they were paired with the system originally.


Honeywell Home Tuxedo Is Not a Standalone Alarm Panel

I explain how the Honeywell Home Tuxedo Keypad is not a standalone alarm panel. Many users mistakenly believe that the touchscreen keypad is the actual alarm system. But in reality, the Tuxedo is just a keypad controller for a Honeywell VISTA System. The actual panel is usually found in a beige metal cabinet. This metal enclosure is often tucked away in a basement, attic, garage, or storage closet. Do not confuse the Honeywell Home Tuxedo with an actual Honeywell VISTA Security System.


Using Console Mode on a Honeywell Home Tuxedo

I show you how to use Console Mode on a Honeywell Home Tuxedo Keypad. Console Mode allows the Tuxedo to be used in the same way as an Alphanumeric Keypad, such as a Honeywell 6160. Putting the Tuxedo into Console Mode is necessary when programming the system. This includes adding, editing, and deleting system zones and making other various changes to the system settings. Remember that the Tuxedo will automatically reboot as soon as you exit system programming.


Connect Tuxedo Keypad to WIFI

I show you how to connect a Honeywell Home Tuxedo Keypad to a local WIFI network. The reason why the Tuxedo connects to WIFI is to send and receive automation commands from Total Connect 2.0. This internet connection also allows the Tuxedo to receive firmware updates from AlarmNet and display a weather forecast on the main screen. The Tuxedo Keypad can connect with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WIFI networks. Wired ethernet connectivity cannot be used with the Tuxedo.


Mike's Birthday Punches

Okay, this isn't a security system video, but we needed to fit Jarrett into some video for the week. Jarrett punches me 28 times, in honor of my 28th birthday. Jarrett sure packed some heat into his punches, but I took it pretty decently if I do say so myself. I then made sure to remind the viewers to contact support@alarmgrid.com for monitoring information. I'll need to remember to pay Jarrett back on his birthday a few months from now!

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As you may know, the fall season began earlier this week. This means that cooler temperatures are on the way. If you want to prepare your home or business, then you will certainly want to consider getting some low-temperature freeze sensors. Nearly every system has good options available!

Freeze sensors alert your system when the temperature in the building drops to a dangerously low level, usually due to the HVAC system being broken. Having one of these sensors in your home or business is crucial for monitoring the building while you are away. The consequences of having below-freezing temperatures in your home or business can be dire. The pipes can freeze, and major damage can occur. Installing a freeze sensor is small price to pay to prevent this from happening.

Most freeze sensors are designed to alert a system before freezing temperatures occur. Usually, a freeze sensor will activate at or around 40°F to alert the system. This a little bit higher than 32°F, which is when water begins to freeze. This function is intentional, as the user will hopefully be alerted to the situation with enough time to take action. Many users will set up notifications on an interactive service platform used with their alarm systems so that they are notified via text and/or email when a freeze sensor activates while they are off-site. This is possible in both Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com.

The main thing to consider when choosing a freeze sensor is whether or not it will work with your security system. If you know which sensor lineups are compatible with your system, then you likely already have a good idea which sensors will work. But we'll list out some of the more popular options to get you started. A very versatile 345 MHz freeze sensor that will work with the Honeywell Lyric, the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, and any 2GIG Panel is the Honeywell 5821. This sensor can also be used for flood detection if a probe is added.


If you have a PowerG-compatible system, such as any version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you might consider the DSC PG9905 Temperature Sensor. Many users prefer PowerG Sensors like the the PG9905 due to their superior wireless range and 128-bit AES encryption. If you have an original, non-Plus IQ Panel 2, then the 319.5 MHz Qolsys IQ Temp-S is a good choice. The Qolsys IQ Temp-S will utilize rolling code encryption when paired with the IQ Panel 2. Users of the 2GIG GC3e and 2GIG GC2e also have a good encrypted freeze sensor option in the 2GIG FT6e-345. There's also the non-encrypted 2GIG FT6-345 for users of the older 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC2 Systems.

Alarm Grid wants to help you keep your home or business comfortable this winter, as well as for many more winters to come. If you need help choosing a freeze sensor, then please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are also happy to discuss monitoring services that you might use to receive alerts regarding a freeze sensor that activates while you are away from your home or office, The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com has won a 2020 New Product of the Year Award from Security Today for their Wellness Camera, also known as the Alarm.com ADC-V622-WELL. The Alarm.com Wellcam won the award in the Fire & Life-Safety category. We congratulate Alarm.com and their Wellcam for their continued success.


With social distancing guidelines still in effect due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Alarm.com Wellcam has proven to be highly effective in helping many doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff communicate with patients, while still maintaining a safe distance. The product was actually first unveiled at ISC 2018 a couple of years ago, but it's good to see it really shine during an era of social distancing.

Alarm.com Vice President of Products Steve Chazin said of the award, "The need to stay connected with family and loved ones is greater now than ever before. Wellcam extends the power of modern security systems to help protect and connect people wherever they live. We're thrilled that Security Today deems Wellcam a New Product of the Year. This recognition underscores just how critical innovations like Wellcam are in helping all of us look after one another, regardless of whether we're feet or miles apart."

The Alarm.com Wellcam is loaded with excellent features that help it to thrive both as a wellness camera and as a security camera in general. The device offers 1080p recording capabilities, a 180° viewing angle, 6 MP zoom, and IR night vision of up to 15 feet. This helps ensure that the camera captures detailed video of any activity that occurs in the room. The camera also has a call-button on top that a patient or monitored individual can use to call for help, if needed. A built-in microphone and Bluetooth speaker allows the individual to engage in a two-way voice call with the monitoring party through Alarm.com. The speaker can also be used for entertainment purpose, including streaming music and podcasts.

Alarm.com originally designed the Wellcam for use with the Alarm.com Wellness Platform. But the capabilities of the device have really been put to the test with the ongoing pandemic. Needless to say, the Alarm.com Wellcam has passed with flying colors. Like all Alarm.com Cameras, the Wellcam is designed exclusively for use with the Alarm.com platform. You can get started using the camera by getting an Alarm Grid Platinum Plan or an Alarm Grid Video Monitoring Plan. More information about our monitoring plans can be found in this post.

If you have any questions about the Alarm.com Wellcam, or any other products or services relating to Alarm.com, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Stolen packages are a concern for many individuals. But you can take a stand and prevent thieves from taking your stuff. All you need is a doorbell camera, a Z-Wave door lock, and a monitored security system with Alarm Grid. We'll help you protect your packages from pesky porch pirates!


It doesn't take a genius to figure out how a package gets stolen. The delivery person rings the doorbell and finds that nobody is home. They leave the package out in the open. Then a no-good package thief comes along, swoops up the goods, and you're then left wondering whether or not the delivery got lost in the mail. Countless packages fall victim to this very setup every single day. And if you don't have any evidence, then it can be next to impossible to catch the guilty party.

But there's an easy method to prevent this from happening to you. First, swap out your regular doorbell with a smart video doorbell camera. We recommend using one of the SkyBell Video Doorbell devices for this job. You can choose between a Total Connect 2.0 model and an Alarm.com model depending on which service you use with your system. Remember, you do not need special video monitoring service to get started with a SkyBell Video Doorbell. Total Connect 2.0 will allow a user to pair up to five (5) SkyBell devices per Alarm.com account, while Alarm.com provides support for one (1) SkyBell without true video monitoring service.


Next, configure your SkyBell device to work with your interactive service platform of either Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. You can get push notifications on your phone whenever someone rings your SkyBell device. With the push of a button, you can pull up a live feed of the person at your door and communicate with them using two-way audio. When you see that it's the delivery person, greet them with a pleasant "Hello", and explain that you aren't home at the moment. Then invite them to step inside to drop off the package.

But how will the delivery person get inside? And how will they avoid setting off your security system? Easy. With a Z-Wave door lock, you can unlock the door, and you can disarm your alarm system using either the TC2 or ADC app on your phone. You might even consider making a smart scene to have your door automatically unlock as soon as your system is disarmed. Alarm Grid offers a wide selection of door locks to choose from. We recommend Z-Wave door locks, as they are super easy to program, and they can interface with nearly every modern wireless security system.


Once everything is in order, instruct the delivery person to go inside and leave the package near the door. If you're feeling extra groovy, you might invite them to grab a bottle of water from the fridge. It's hot out there, and your delivery driver would really appreciate the kind gesture. We'll leave that up to you though. If you don't want them walking through your house, then leaving a small snack or a tip by the front door will also show that you care.

Once the driver is gone, re-lock your door and re-arm your system. And just like that, you know that your package is nice and safe, and the porch pirate's plan has been foiled. It may also be a good idea to track any packages you order and know when you can expect them. Also make sure to take a good look at the delivery person when you let them inside. While fraudulent delivery drivers are very uncommon, they're not unheard of. If you're in doubt, instruct the driver to leave the package behind your house or behind some bushes so that you can retrieve it later. This is better than leaving the package wide open in front of your front door.

Of course, this setup will require monitoring service for accessing Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. If your system isn't monitored, or if you don't have a security system, then Alarm Grid has you covered! We offer a wide selection of DIY security systems, including the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the 2GIG GC3e, and much more. We also offer monitoring plans for all budgets. This type of setup won't require anything fancy, and it's nothing that will break the bank. In the long run, it's worth it for your peace of mind!

If you want to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring service, or if you have questions about protecting your deliveries, send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We'll be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Remember that our hours for checking email are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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