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Hi DIYers! We're back with another video recap to help you learn about your security system. Joe and Jorge are back as usual, while Alarm Grid Team Member Jarrett is making his debut. Also, I even made a one-off video just for fun. Don't expect me in the regular video rotation though!

Here are the new Alarm Grid videos for December 6th thru 13th:

How to Switch Partitions on a Honeywell Vista System

Jorge teaches users how they can switch partitions on a Honeywell VISTA Security System. Partitions allow users to separately control a certain section of their alarm system, while the rest of the system remains in its current armed or disarmed state. Each partition can be assigned its own set of access codes to restrict access of any given user to only select portions of the security system. Additionally, Honeywell recently made partitioning control possible through Total Connect 2.0.

Finding the MAC and CRC on a Lyric Security System

Jorge shows users how they can the MAC address and CRC code on a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. This information is typically needed to register the system with an alarm monitoring company for monitoring service. The MAC and CRC codes can be found on the box for the system and underneath its back cover on a sticker. However, many users prefer to find the MAC and CRC codes through the system menus. This will require knowing the system's Installer Code, which is 4112 by default.

Changing the Battery in the Qolsys IQ Panel 2

In his much anticipated video debut, Alarm Grid Team Member Jarrett explains how to change the battery for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Alarm System. To do this, you must first power down the system by accessing the appropriate menu option. Once the system has powered down completely, it can then be opened up, and the battery can be replaced. The Qolsys IQ2 Battery is designed to last for several years, and it will keep the system powered for up to 24 hours in the event of a power outage.

Using Phone Line Monitoring on an Interlogix Simon XT

Jorge teaches users how they can use phone line monitoring on a Simon XT Security System. Although phone line monitoring is possible, Alarm Grid does not recommend using this type of communication path. Phone line communication is known for being very slow, and it is quite unreliable. Instead, a much better option is to use cellular monitoring service with an Interlogix Simon XT. Cellular service is much faster and more reliable. Cellular connectivity will also allow the system to be used with Alarm.com.

Setting the Siren Timeout on a Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge talks about the siren timeout feature on the Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. When an alarm occurs on an wireless Interlogix System, it will begin to produce a siren. The purpose of this siren is to alert those in the building to a serious event, such as a burglary or fire. To stop the siren, the user must disarm the system. However, if the system is not disarmed, the siren will continue to sound until the timeout period elapses. This setting determines how long the siren will last if the system is never disarmed.

Pairing the 2GIG SP1 Keypad with the 2GIG GC3

Joe shows users how to pair the 2GIG SP1 Wireless Keypad with the 2GIG GC3 Security System. The most common way to do this is through a WIFI pairing. The SP1 is a very useful wireless keypad that includes a built-in touchscreen controller. This keypad offers support for voice annunciation, smart home automation control, bypassing zones, producing system chimes and general arming and disarming. It is perfect for placing by secondary entrances in the user's home, such as their back doors, garage doors and basement entrances.

Using Z-Wave with an Interlogix Simon XTi and XTi-5

Joe discusses how it is possible to use Z-Wave smart home devices with a Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5 Alarm System. These systems can support Z-Wave devices once they have been activated with the Alarm.com interactive service. This is because the ADC Cellular Communicator actually doubles as a Z-Wave controller for the system. Once a user has set up a Z-Wave device with the system, it can be operated from the panel or from the Alarm.com website or mobile app.

Can I Use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 w-o Alarm.com?

Joe explains how the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 can technically be without the Alarm.com service. However, this will severely limit the functionality of the system. By doing this, the system will only serve as a local sound maker and as a fairly limited Z-Wave controller. All versions of the system come with some type of integrated cellular communicator. This module lets the system connect with Alarm.com for remote access and control. This is the only way to use the system with a central station for automatic emergency dispatch.

How Do I Reboot the Qolsys IQ Panel 2

In my first ever Alarm Grid video, I show you how to reboot the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. A user might need to reboot their IQ Panel 2 System because they are applying a firmware update. They might also do this because the panel is experiencing problems, and rebooting the system can be a good troubleshooting step. To perform the reboot, the user can select the reboot option in advanced settings. They can also choose to power down the system entirely and then manually power it back on.

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Hi DIYers! As you may have heard, smart home automation scene control was recently made available for the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill. We thought this would be the perfect time to show Honeywell System users how they can get started with the Total Connect 2.0 Skill for Amazon Alexa.


Before getting started, let's go over everything that is required. You will need a Honeywell Security System with active monitoring service. If your panel isn't monitored, check out our monitoring page to learn more about our alarm monitoring plans. The monitoring plan you choose must include access to the Total Connect 2.0 service. Your alarm monitoring company should give you the resources needed for you to create a Total Connect 2.0 account. This account is what will link your Honeywell System with your Amazon Alexa Device.

Your Honeywell Panel must have an active internet or cellular connection in order to communicate with the Honeywell AlarmNet360 Servers and Total Connect 2.0. You must also have an Amazon Alexa Device, and you must download the Amazon Alexa App on a compatible Android or iOS Device. If you do not have the Amazon Alexa App, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. The app can be identified by its light blue background with a white circle in the middle.


Before starting, make sure your Alexa Device is linked with your Android or iOS Device. This will require linking your Amazon account. Please see the manual for your Amazon Alexa Device for more information about the pairing process.

Start by opening up the Alexa App on your Android or iOS Device. Navigate to the Skills & Games Menu, which is found in the main toolbar. Search for the "Total Connect 2.0 Skill". Then click the "Enable Button".

Alternatively, you can enable the TC2 Amazon Alexa Skill from the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App on an Android or iOS Device. Simply open up the app, and login to your Total Connect 2.0 account. Then navigate to the "Settings" menu, and choose the "Alexa" option. The Settings Menu in the Android App can be found by pressing the menu bar in the top left (three horizontal lines), and choosing "Settings". On iOS, press "More" on the bottom toolbar, and choose "Settings". After choosing "Alexa", you will then be taken to a page where you can login to your Amazon account and enable the Total Connect 2.0 Skill.

After taking the first step to enable the skill, provide your login information for your Total Connect 2.0 account.

Press "Allow" to continue.


Choose all the devices you wish to connect, and press the blue "Connect" button.

The pairing process will complete!

You will now be able to perform the following voice commands through Alexa:

  • “Alexa, ask Total Connect, What is the status of my security system?”
  • “Alexa, ask Total Connect, Is my security system armed?”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm.”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm Away.”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm Stay.”
  • "Alexa, tell Total Connect to run (scene name)."

Please note that you cannot ask Alexa to disarm the system, as that would present a security risk. The ability to control individual Z-Wave smart home devices is also not available at this time. Instead, any Z-Wave operation must be done through scenes. Any automation scene that is set up with your TC2 account can be performed through a spoken Alexa voice command.

To test scene control for spoken commands, we created a nifty Total Connect 2.0 Smart Scene called "Example". This scene will lock a Z-Wave door lock and set our Honeywell Lyric Security System to Arm Away. We simply say to our Alexa Device "Alexa, tell Total Connect to run Example". And just like that, our Z-Wave lock will activate, and our Lyric Alarm Panel will Arm Way!

If you have any questions about linking your Total Connect 2.0 account with your Alexa Device, or if you need help using Alexa voice commands, do not hesitate to reach out to us! You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or you can call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Anyone who has a Honeywell Security System knows that using and managing codes is very important for getting the most out of the system. This handy guide will show you everything you need to know about Honeywell System Codes, including how they are are used and how they are created.

Basic Information about System Codes

Note that the default Installer and Master Codes for almost any Honeywell System are 4112 and 1234 respectively. Let's start by reviewing basic concepts and information about system codes.

What is a system code?

A system code on a Honeywell Panel is a numeric password that is used to gain access to certain menus of the system and to perform various functions. The main reason that alarm systems have codes is to make sure that the person who is using the system is supposed to have access. Only the end user and any other individuals they have authorized to use their security system should know any of the system codes.

Depending on the type of code, a master user can restrict access to only specific parts of the system for other users. This makes some system codes more powerful than others. For Honeywell Systems, most codes are four-digits in length and use the digits 0-9. This allows for up to 10,000 possible combinations for any given code!

How should I choose a system code?

Any code you use on a Honeywell System should be a code that is easy for the user to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Remember, the purpose of a code is to prevent access to unauthorized users. If an unauthorized user, like an intruder, is able to provide a valid system code, it could result in a serious security breach. Likewise, if an authorized user forgets a code, it can be inconvenient or even impossible to get back in.

Most Honeywell Systems operate using delay periods. In other words, upon entering the premises, a valid code must be provided within a very limited time period to disarm the system. If a valid code is not provided within this specified time, then an alarm will occur. This will give an end user who knows a valid code enough time to disarm the system. But it will not give an intruder nearly enough time to brute force their way into the system by guessing codes.

What types of codes are used on Honeywell Systems?

There are many types of codes used with Honeywell Panels. The most common are outlined below:

  • Master Code: Each system has one Master Code. This is the main code a user will normally use for arming and disarming. It can perform all security functions, add and delete users, change the current Master Code and perform many additional system functions. This code cannot be deleted from the system entirely. Only the main user and operator of the security system should know the Master Code.
  • User Codes: Most Honeywell Systems can have multiple user codes set up. These codes can arm and disarm the system just like the Master Code. However, they cannot perform other system functions. A user code should be provided to a user who needs regular access to the building, but should not be able to adjust important settings and configurations for the alarm system.
  • Installer Code: Each system has one Installer Code. This is the main code that is used for making programming changes to the system. It is needed for adding, deleting and configuring sensors, adjusting entry and exit delay periods and more. Basically any major system setting will require the use of the Installer Code. An important note is that the Installer Code can only disarm the system if it was used to arm the system in the first place. This means that keeping the Installer Code at its default is not a security risk, as long as the code isn't used to arm the system. This code cannot be deleted from the system.
  • Guest Code: Also called a "babysitter code", a guest code is a restricted-access code that can be established on most Honeywell Systems. The important thing to remember about this code is that it can only disarm the system if it was the code used to arm in the first place. This code is best provided to users who need temporary access to the system, such as a house guest, a babysitter or a maintenance person. The main user can arm their system with the guest code so that they can access the premises. But if nobody else should be using the system, then the Master Code or a regular user code can be used to arm so that the guest code cannot gain access.
  • Duress Code: The duress code is a special code that is used to send a secret signal to a central monitoring station, letting them know that help is needed immediately. When this code is entered, it will appear to disarm the system like normal. But in reality, a distress signal will be sent out to the central monitoring station to request immediate help. This code is very rarely used, as its only purpose it to protect the user in hostage situations. Otherwise, this code should never be used. However, it is still important to remember this code, as it can save lives when used properly.
  • Arm Only: On select panels only. This code can arm the system, but it cannot disarm.
  • Partition Master: Only for systems with multiple partitions. This code is the same as a Master Code, but its authority only applies to a specific partition. This type of code is optional on a system, but it can be useful if multiple partitions have been established.

What are default codes?

When a Honeywell System is used for the first time, its Master Code and its Installer Code will be set to default values. For most Honeywell Panels, the default Master Code is 1234, and the default Installer Code is 4112. It is normally recommended that you change the Master Code for security purposes. However, the Installer Code can be left at its default so that the user can get back into programming. Keeping the Installer Code at the default does not present any type of security risk.

Now that we have covered some basic information for system codes, let's look into some specific panels to learn how codes are used.

Honeywell Lyric Controller

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

For the Lyric, codes are managed through the Users Menu. To access this menu, start from the main screen of the system. Choose Security > Tools > Master Code > Users. This menu will allow you to change any system code, with the exception of the Installer code.

Up to 48 unique codes can be added with the system. The code in slot 01 is the Installer Code. The code in slot 02 is the Master Code. The code in slot 47 is the Guest Code. The code in slot 48 is the duress code. All of the other 44 system codes are optional user codes.

Add New Codes

Press the "Add New" button. You can the provide a name for the code, enter in a valid four-digit code, and set whether or not the code can be used to control any Z-Wave door locks. The user number will be automatically assigned. Remember to press the "Save" button in the lower-right corner when you have finished.

Edit Existing Codes

Click on the code you want to edit to highlight it. Then press the Edit button in the lower-left corner of the screen. You can then edit the Name, the 4-digit numeric code and the Z-Wave lock settings for the code. Make sure to press "Save" when finished.

Delete Codes

Click on the code you want to delete to highlight it. Then press the Delete button in the lower-right corner of the screen. Press "Yes" when asked if you are sure. The code will be deleted.

Changing the Installer Code

The default Installer Code for the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System is 4112. We recommend keeping this code at the default to prevent the user from being locked out of programming. However, this code can be changed through programming if desired. You will need the current Installer Code to do this. You cannot do this using the Master Code.

Start from the main screen of the system. Choose Security > Tools > Installer Code (default is 4112) > Program > Installer Code. You can then change the Installer Code for the system. Press the "Done" button in the lower-right corner when finished.

Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels

Honeywell l5210 lynx touch wireless security system with 4 1 sla

Managing user codes for a Honeywell LYNX Touch System is very similar to the process for the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Most codes can be managed through the User Codes menu. To access this menu, start from the main screen, and choose Security > More > Tools > Master Code > Users. This menu will allow you to edit any system code, except for the Installer Code.

Please note that the number of user codes that can be added depends on the type of LYNX Touch Panel that is being used. On each system, the Installer Code will be user 01, the Master Code will be user 02, the Guest Code will be the second-to-last available code, and the Duress Code will be the last.

For reference, the L7000 will support up to 48 codes, the L5210 and L5200 will support up to 32, and the L5100 and L5000 will support up to 16.

Add New Codes

Click the "Add New" button at the bottom of the screen. The following menu will let you change the Name, the four-digit code and the Z-Wave lock settings for the code. The user number for the new code will be automatically assigned. Press "Save" in the lower-right corner to finish.

Edit Codes

Click on the code you want to edit to highlight it. Then press the Edit button in the lower-left corner. From there, you can change the name, the four-digit code, and the Z-Wave lock settings. Press "Save" in the lower-right corner when finished.

Delete Codes

Click on the code you want to delete to highlight it. Then press the Delete button in the lower-right corner. The panel will ask you if you are sure. Choose "Yes". The code will be deleted.

Changing the Installer Code

All of the LYNX Touch Panels use 4112 as their default Installer Code. This code is normally left at its default to prevent the user from being locked out of programming later. But it can be changed using the current Installer Code for the system if desired. Remember, keeping the Installer Code at the default does not present any type of security risk.

To change the code, start from the main screen of the system. Choose Security > More > Tools > Installer Code (default is 4112) > Program > Installer Code. You will then be able to change the Installer Code. Please note that when exiting programming, always choose "Yes" when asked you want to allow the installer to get back into programming. Choosing "No" will lock the user out of programming, and the user will need to use the backdoor method to get back in.

Backdoor Method for Accessing Programming

If you ever get locked out of programming, either due to choosing "No" when asked if you want to allow the Installer to get back into programming, or because you lost an Installer Code that wasn't set to the default of 4112, you can use the backdoor method to get back in.

First, reboot the panel by going to Security > More > Tools > Master Code > Test > Reboot. Alternatively, if you don't know the Master Code, you can power the system down by unplugging the transformer and disconnecting the backup battery. Then power it back on by plugging the transformer in. Once the white screen on the reboot appears, immediately press and hold the Home Button (the picture of the house) on the front of the panel. Release the button once the green bar with "Ready to Arm" appears across the top. Then choose Security, followed by Arm Stay. In the number pad that appears, press Clear, followed by 00. Choose "Program" to enter the Programming Menu.

Once you are inside, you can then set the Installer Code for the system to reenter programming later. You can also restore the system to factory default settings through "Default Config" to restore the system to its factory default settings. This will reset the Master Code to its default of 1234. Please note, this will also delete all programming settings for the system.

Honeywell VISTA P-Series

Honeywell vista 21ip internet alarm control panel open

The VISTA P-Series Panels use hardwired keypads for virtually all system operations and overall access. This includes adding, editing and deleting codes. Since codes do not require deep level programming, alphanumeric keypads and fixed English keypads can be used for this purpose. The VISTA 21iP and VISTA 20P can support up to 48 system codes. The VISTA 15P can support up to 32 system codes. The VISTA 10P can support up to 16 system codes. Remember, two of these slots will go to the Installer Code (slot 01) and the Master Code (slot 02).

For these systems, each Code Type is associated with a particular Authority Level. This Authority Level is assigned when assigning attributes. Please note that since the Installer Code and Master Code are hardcoded to slots 01 and 02 respectively, they are not associated with any particular Authority Level. The table below outlines the the Authority Levels that can be assigned to system codes.

Code Type
Authority Level
Notes
User 0 Can arm and disarm the system.
Arm Only 1 Can only arm the system.
Guest 2 Can disarm if it was the code used to arm.
Duress 3 Sends secret distress signal to station.
Partition Master 4 Partitioned systems only. One per partition.

Also note the various attributes for VISTA System codes:

Attribute
Attribute Number
Assigned Value and Notes
Authority Level 1 See previous table.
Access Group 2 0-8. An entry of [0] means no group.
Active Partitions 3 Enter the partition numbers, then [#].
RF Zone Number 4 2-digit key fob number.
Open/Close Paging 5 0 for No. 1 for Yes.

Add New Codes

Enter the following command on the keypad:

[Master Code] + [8] + [2-digit User Number] + [desired 4-digit code]

The panel will beep to confirm the new code has been added. However, a long tone indicates that the process was unsuccessful, likely because the code was already taken.

Edit Codes

This is basically the same as adding a new code, only you will be working with a code that has already been programmed.

[Master Code] + [8] + [2-digit User Number] + [desired 4-digit code]

The panel will beep to confirm that the code has been changed. But if a long tone is produced, it indicates that the process was unsuccessful. This could be because the code was already taken.

Deleting Codes

Note that you cannot delete the Installer Code or the Master Code. Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [2-digit User Number] + [#] + [0]

Assigning Attributes

Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [2-digit User Number] + [#] + [Attribute Number] + [Attribute Value]

Backdoor Into Programming

If you don't have your Installer Code or if you have locked yourself out of programming., you can get back into programming using the backdoor method. To do this, power down the panel by unplugging the transformer and disconnecting the backup battery. Press and hold the the [*] and [#] buttons on the keypad simultaneously. With these buttons held down, power the system back on by plugging the transformer back in. The message "20" or "Installer Code 20" should appear on the keypad to indicate that programming has been accessed. Then press [*] + [20] + [4112] to set the Installer Code back to 4112. Then press [*] + [99] to exit programming. Never use [*] + [98] to exit programming, as this will lock you out!

Honeywell LYNX Plus L3000

Honeywell l3000 wireless alarm control panelThe Honeywell LYNX Plus L3000 is relatively outdated by today's standards, but it is still used in some cases. The panel can only support up to 8 different codes. Much like the other panels, slot 01 goes to the Installer Code, and slot 02 goes to the Master Code. These codes cannot be deleted from the panel. Also, slot 07 goes to the Guest Code, and slot 08 goes to the Duress Code. Only codes 03 thru 06 can be assigned to regular user codes.

Adding a Code

Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [Code Number] + [Desired Code]

The panel will beep to confirm success. Remember that [03] thru [08] can be entered for the Code Number.

Deleting a Code

Only codes [03] thru [08] can be deleted. Codes 01 and 02 are for the Installer Code and the Master Code respectively, and they cannot be deleted from the system. Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [Code Number]

The panel will beep to confirm that the code has been deleted.

Editing a Code

Codes cannot be truly edited. Instead, a code must be deleted, and then re-added with a new entry. Start by deleting the code:

[Master Code] + [8] + [Code Number]

Then add the new code:

[Master Code] + [8] + [Code Number] + [Desired Code]

The panel will beep to confirm the code has been added.

Change the Master Code

This process is the mostly same as adding a new code. Note that the Master Code is assigned slot 02. Enter the following command:

[Master Code] + [8] + [02] + [Desired Master Code] + [Desired Master Code Again]

The panel will beep three times after a Master Code change.

Conclusion

We hope that this guide has been informative for you in learning all about codes of Honeywell Systems. In future, we hope to expand this guide to include the commercial polling loop VISTA Systems as well. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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A couple of weeks ago, we released a complete guide to door contact sensors. Today, we're taking a look at alarm window contacts. Admittedly, there's not much difference between door sensors and window sensors. Many can be used interchangeably. But there are a few tips to keep in mind.

Qolsys iq dw mini s encrypted wireless sensors for iq panel 2 qsFirst, let's review how alarm contacts actually work. It is the same general process for both doors and windows. These devices consist of two portions, those being a sensor and a magnet. When the sensor and magnet are in direct contact or very close proximity, a reed switch inside the sensor will remain closed. Once the magnet becomes separated from the sensor, the reed switch will be released, and the sensor will know to alert the system to let it know that the structure has been opened.

The key with window contacts is to place them so that when the window is opened, the magnet and the sensor will become separated. But when the structure is closed, the sensor are magnet will remain in direct or near-direct contact. It is almost always recommended to place the sensor on the stationary frame of the window and the magnet on the moving portion of the window that is opened and closed. This will prevent the more valuable sensor from being pushed around and potentially damaged. The magnet is designed to take much more abuse and use than the sensor itself. Positioning the sensor this way will also make it easier to wire the sensor if a hardwired contact is being used.

Honeywell 951wg wh 3 slash 8 diameter miniature recessed contactOne special note with window contacts is that they are only designed to let a system know when a window has been opened normally. If an intruder smashes a window to gain entry, they will avoid activating a window contact, as long as the sensor remains in contact with its magnet. This means that they might be able to gain entry without setting off an alarm. Fortunately, there are two other types of sensors that can be used to alert an alarm system to a broken window. These are glass break sensors and shock sensors. Glass break sensors detect the audible sound of a window being broken, while shock sensors detect the physical vibrations associated with a broken window. However, these sensors are used for intrusion support only. Unlike a standard window contact, they will not let the user know if the window has merely been left open by accident. But they are still recommended for users who want to know if a window has been broken. We generally prefer glass break sensors over shock sensors, since they tend to work more reliably. It can also be helpful to use monition detection sensors alongside standard window contacts to detect any movement in the building.

Honeywell sixgb wireless glass break detector

Just like door sensors, window sensors can be either surface-mounted or recessed. Another major distinction is whether they are wireless or hardwired. So really, window sensors can be grouped into four major types. These are wireless surface-mounted, wireless recessed, hardwired surface-mounted and hardwired recessed. Choosing the perfect variation for your window and the type of installation you want to perform is crucial for success. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to decide on the perfect type of window sensor for your needs.

Simply put, surface-mounted sensors are installed on the exterior surface of the window and its frame. This means that they will be visible when looking at window. However, these sensors are usually very small and discreet, so they won't normally be drawing direct attention to themselves. A major advantage to surface-mounted sensors is that they are very easy to install, since no holes necessarily need to be drilled. Instead, many surface-mounted sensors and magnets can be mounted using double-sided foam tape.

The other option is to use recessed sensors. These sensors are hidden inside the window and its frame so that they are out of view. To do this, holes must be drilled into both the window and its frame for the magnet and sensor. Using recessed sensors for windows is somewhat less common than it is for doors. This is because some windows don't have an effective solution for drilling a hole to insert a magnet. Additionally, some window manufacturers put disclaimers stating that drilling holes into the window will void its warranty. But if the window has space for a hole to be drilled so that the magnet can be accommodated, then a recessed window sensor can certainly work. Please note that recessed plunger switches aren't normally used with windows, but there's no definitive reason why they couldn't work in certain situations.

A special mention needs to go to the Honeywell 5800Micra. This is a recessed alarm contact specifically designed for use with windows. The advantage to the 5800Micra is that only one hole needs to be made in the window frame for the sensor. The magnet is small enough that it can be surface-mounted on the side or bottom of the window. It uses an adhesive backing to remain securely in place. This is a great way to achieve a recessed installation without having to void the manufacturer's warranty for your window. Please note that the Honeywell 5800Micra is a wireless sensor that operates at 345 MHz. It is part of the Honeywell 5800 Series, and it will only work with compatible systems.

Honeywell 5800micra wireless recessed window contactUsers must also decide between wireless and hardwired sensors for their windows. Wireless sensors are much easier to install, since no wires need to be run. They are the recommended option for almost any DIY installer. Assuming that you have a wireless system with a wireless receiver, there is almost certainly a contact that will work for you. Just make sure that the sensor operates at a frequency that is compatible with your panel. The most common wireless frequencies at 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz and 915 MHz. Additionally, the encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Contacts, the Honeywell SiXCT and Honeywell SiXMINICT operate at 2.4 GHz WIFI.

If you go with hardwired contacts, the installation will be more challenging, since wires must be run. This can sometimes be an impossible task for the typical DIY user. However, there are two distinct advantages that make hardwired window sensors suitable for certain applications. For one, having them integrate with the building can add to the property value. Users also appreciate the fact that they never need to replace batteries for hardwired sensors.

Below is a table that outlines many of the window contacts available for purchase on the Alarm Grid site. It's actually the same as the one posted for our door contacts guide, only with some minor tweaks for windows. Make special note of the Honeywell 5800Micra at the very bottom!

Sensor Name
Communication Frequency
Surface-Mounted or Recessed
Special Notes
VERSA-GE 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Same as 5800MINI, but for 319.5 MHz Systems.
VERSA-2GIG 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Same as 5800MINI, but will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughercard.
Honeywell 5800MINI
345 MHz Surface-Mounted Very popular slim sensor that is used with Honeywell Systems.
Honeywell SiXMINICT 2.4 GHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted 2.4 GHz Sensor designed for use with Lyric System only. It is smaller and more discreet than the similar SiXCT, but offers less range. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Honeywell SiXCT 2.4 GHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted 2.4 GHz Sensor designed for use with Lyric System only. Larger than the SiXMINICT, but offers superior range. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted S-Line Sensor. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor. Mini version of IQ Door Window-S.
Honeywell 5818MNL 345 MHz Recessed Recessed sensor from Honeywell 5800 Series. Requires 0.75" diameter hole that is 3" deep to be drilled in the window frame. Hole must also be drilled into the window for the magnet.
Honeywell 5820L 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Slim Line sensor that is great for applications that require a thinner sensor.
2GIG DW10 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Door contact designed by 2GIG. Will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughtercard.
Honeywell 5816 345 MHz Surface-Mounted Honeywell's most popular wireless sensor! Also includes a wireless transmitter for a normally closed hardwired device.
DSC PG9945 915 MHz Surface-Mounted PowerG Sensor with up to 2km range. Also features an auxiliary input and wireless transmitter for a normally closed hardwired device. Uses 128-bit AES encryption.
Qolsys IQ Door Window-S 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Encrypted S-Line Sensor. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor. Larger version of IQ DW MINI-S.
Interlogix TX-E221 319.5 MHz Recessed Relatively standard recessed sensor that works with 319.5 MHz systems.
2GIG DW20R 345 MHz Recessed Recessed contact from 2GIG. Will only work with 2GIG Systems, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughtercard.
DSC PG9975 915 MHz Surface-Mounted PowerG vanishing surface-mounted contact with thin profile. Great for any standard application where PowerG Sensors are supported.
Qolsys IQ Recessed Door-S 319.5 MHz Recessed Encrypted recessed sensor from Qolsys. Will only utilize encryption when used with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Otherwise operates as standard unencrypted sensor.
Qolsys IQ Mini 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Standard door and window contact from Qolsys. Same as IQ DW MINI-S, but without encryption features.
DSC WS4945 433 MHz Surface-Mounted Surface-mounted door contact for 433 MHz DSC Systems.
DSC EV-DW4975 433 MHz Surface-Mounted Slim line version of DSC WS4945.
DSC EV-DW4917 433 MHz Recessed Recessed contact for 433 MHz DSC Systems.
Qolsys IQ DW Standard 319.5 MHz Surface-Mounted Unencrypted version of Qolsys IQ Door Window-S.
Honeywell 951WG Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with leads. Measures 3/8" in diameter.
Honeywell PAL-T Hardwired Surface-Mounted Currently the smallest hardwired surface-mounted contact offered from Alarm Grid.
Honeywell 7939WG Hardwired Surface-Mounted Relatively standard hardwired surface-mounted contact manufactured by Honeywell.
Honeywell 944T Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with screw terminals. Measures 3/8" in diameter.
Honeywell 944TSP Hardwired Recessed Recessed hardwired contact with screw terminals. Measures 3/4" in diameter.
Honeywell 7939-2 Hardwired Surface-Mounted Basically same as Honeywell 7939WG, but is Form C for normally closed or normally open wiring.
Honeywell 940 Hardwired Surface-Mounted Relatively standard hardwired surface-mounted contact manufactured by Honeywell.
Honeywell MPS5 Hardwired Recessed Recessed contact with leads and diameter of 1/4".
Honeywell 944SP Hardwired Recessed Recessed contact with leads and diameter of 3/4".

Honeywell 5800Micra 345 MHz Recessed One of our favorite recessed contacts, designed exclusively for windows! Magnet is surface-mounted and does not require a drilled hole. This can allow for a recessed installation without voiding the warranty for the window.

If you need any help deciding on the perfect window sensor, do not hesitate to reach out to us! You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We also encourage you to check out our monitoring page for more information about the services we offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! When many people think of a professional Honeywell Security System, they usually think of a top-of-the-line security system installed by a professional. Well the truth is you can install the system yourself. Thanks to Honeywell Home Security Systems, do it yourself is possible!

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

You don't have to be a professional to install your own Honeywell Home Security System. In fact, with the right setup, you won't even need any tools! Okay, maybe you'll need a screwdriver to connect some wires. But that is not asking a lot. By following some simple instructions, you can install your own complete and professional set up on your own. The same equipment that the professionals use is all available on the Alarm Grid site!

Why would you want to install your own security equipment? Well for one, a professional installer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a simple installation. It can also be somewhat unsettling to allow a stranger into your house, especially to work with something as sensitive and personal as your home security system. The truth is you - that's right, you - can install your own home alarm system just as well as a pro. And you can save money and learn about your system in the process. It doesn't get any better!

Honeywell sixminict wireless door slash window contact for lyric

The panel that we recommend using for a DIY Honeywell Security System is the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. This is the latest and most advanced security panel available from Honeywell. All of the sensors and equipment can be easily programmed with the system. The menus are easy to navigate and the process is extremely intuitive once you know what you're doing. The Lyric allows sensors to auto enroll with the system. This means you won't have to memorize or enter any long and confusing codes, and you will confirm for sure that the sensors have been recognized by the panel. Before you know it, you'll have your entire home set up and protected in a jiffy!

We recommend using Honeywell SiX Series Sensors with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. These are all wireless sensors with a 200 foot nominal range. They feature 128-bit AES encryption for added protection and security when you need it most. Since these are wireless sensors, no wires need to be run. This makes the installation process super easy, even for beginners. When mounting the sensors, you don't even need to drill holes. Instead, you can just use double-sided foam tape. Slap the tape on the back of the sensor, plop the sensor on the wall, and boom, you're good to go! Some of the best Honeywell SiX Series Sensors for a home installation include Honeywell SiXMINICT Door Sensors, Honeywell SiXPIR Motion Sensors, Honeywell SiXGB Glass Break Sensors and Honeywell SiXSMOKE Smoke Detectors.

Honeywell sixgb wireless glass break detector

As for the panel, you can mount it to the wall if you want. But for a DIY user, an easy option that requires no tools is to use a desk mount. The Lyric has a great desk mount just for this purpose. Simply slide the desk mount on the panel, and rest it on a table or desk for quick and easy access. There's no need to mount the panel to the wall, and you won't need to drill any holes. For connecting to the transformer, Honeywell offers the fantastic LT-Cable that eliminates the need to strip any wires. Simply screw the spaded ends to the transformer, connect the other end to the lyric, plug-in the barrel connector, and the setup is complete!

With a user-friendly and convent Honeywell Home Security Systems, do it yourself is the name of the game! Why hire a professional installer when you can truly do it yourself? Not only can you achieve a great DIY installation, you can do it right! From there, you can customize your system to suit your home. The Honeywell Lyric Alarm Control Panel is fully loaded, and it has everything you need to get started. A built-in WIFI card allows you to connect with the Honeywell AlarmNet Servers for use with the Total Connect 2.0 service. An integrated Z-Wave controller allows your set up smart home automation devices with ease. And iOS users will love the fact that the Lyric is compatible with the Apple HomeKit service for use with HomeKit smart scenes and automations. This HomeKit security system is perfect for those who want to expand upon their HomeKit setup.

Once you have the Honeywell Lyric Security System, you just need an alarm monitoring plan to get started with professional and reliable home security. Alarm Grid can connect your home with three reliable central stations that operate 24/7. Our monitoring partner is Criticom Monitoring Services, which operates three central stations across the country in Florida, New Jersey and California. If one station is ever unavailable, the calls will be routed to a different central station for the ultimate reliability. This way, you and your family are always protected.

Don't wait to get started! Email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F to receive monitoring service for your DIY Honeywell Home Security System!

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Hi there DIYers! It's time for another video recap. Our team uploaded a bunch of new videos over the past few days - 13 to be exact. Join your Alarm Grid pals Joe and Jorge, and learn how to get the most out of your security system. Let's take a closer look at the new videos from Alarm Grid.

Backup Battery on an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge talks about the backup battery that is used with the Interlogix Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. A backup battery is very important for ensuring that an alarm panel remains powered on during an electrical outage. Normally, a system stays powered on through a plug-in transformer. But this is not possible during a power outage. Instead, the backup battery will supply power until the connected transformer is once again providing power. These systems both use the Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT Backup Battery.


Changing the Date or Time on an Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5

Jorge demonstrates how to adjust the date and time on an Interlogix Simon XTI or Simon XTi-5 Alarm System. You will most likely need to do this upon powering the system on for the first time. The date and time setting is easily accessible through the main settings menu of the system. In order to access this option, you must provide the Master Code for the system. This code is set to 1234 by default. You will first set the time, followed by the date.


How Do I Flash Upgrade my 2GIG GC3 Alarm System?

Jorge teaches users how they can perform a flash firmware update for their 2GIG GC3 Security System. Any GC3 System that was manufactured awhile ago might not be running on the latest firmware. You will need to upgrade it to the latest firmware in order to unlock the latest functions and features for the system. This includes the "smart areas" partitioning feature, a first-ever partitioning feature for wireless security systems. Alarm Grid has a webpage for information on upgrading the firmware on a GC3 System. It can be accessed here.


Monitoring for a Self-Installed Interlogix Simon XT

Jorge explains how an Interlogix Simon XT System that was self-installed can be used with alarm monitoring services. A DIY monitoring company like Alarm Grid doesn't care whether a security system was installed by a professional or a DIY user. All that matters is that the system is set up properly. Once it has been installed, it can be activated by an alarm monitoring company for monitoring service. Alarm Grid offers phone and email support to assist users with this process.


Adding an External Keypad to the Interlogix Simon XT

Joe shows users how to add an external keypad to the Interlogix Simon XT Alarm System. A keypad is great for adding a second on-site access point for controlling the alarm system. For example, a user might add a keypad near their garage door so that they can conveniently disarm their system when they come through that entrance. In the case of the Simon XT, the Interlogix Two-Way Talking Touchscreen is used. A user might prefer using that keypad over the actual panel, since the panel is push-button only.


Programming a Door Sensor to the Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5

Joe walks users through the process of adding a door contact to an Interlogix Simon XTi or Simon XTI-5 Alarm System. The way that a door sensor works is with a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is installed on or inside the stationary frame of the door. The magnet is installed on or inside the moving portion of the door, usually within a half-inch of the sensor. When the door is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor and cause the sensor to activate. The sensor must be programmed with the system in order to operate.


Best Wiring Practices for the Simon XT

Joe covers the optimal wiring practices for the Simon XT Alarm System. This panel uses AC power from a plug-in transformer. The system comes included with its own 22-gauge power wire that is roughly eight feet long. The user can also use an 18-gauge or 16-gauge wire to power the system. The 18-gauge and 16-gauge wires are thicker, which allows for longer wire runs. The system comes with its own AC transformer for power. Since the system uses AC power, polarity doesn't matter. This means any color wire can connect to any terminal.


Changing the Volume on an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge explains how to adjust the volume level for an Interlogix Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5 Alarm System. Changing the volume will affect any system chimes and any beeps that occur when buttons on the system are pressed. This will be noticeable whenever the system armed or disarmed, when compatible sensors are activated and when buttons are pressed. The system has options for voice volume and beep volume which are adjusted separately from the same menu.


Changing the Volume on an Interlogix Simon XT

Jorge shows users how to adjust the volume on an Interlogix Simon XT Alarm System. The system has options for both voice volume and beep volume. Both of these options can be adjusted individually. The system will produce noises when the system is armed or disarmed, when compatible sensors are activated, and when buttons are pressed. You will need the Master, Installer or Dealer Code to change the volume for the Interlogix Simon XT Security Panel. The default Installer Code is 4321.


Internal Siren Overview on an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge covers the internal siren that is present inside the Interlogix Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. The siren is set to activate whenever a burglary or fire alarm occurs to let people inside the building know about the emergency. The siren is rated at 85 dB, which is about the same volume as a car alarm. The system has a menu for adjusting the siren settings. You will need to provide the Installer or Dealer Code to access this menu. Both of these codes are set to 4321 by default.


Use Alexa to Arm & Disarm a Honeywell System

Joe explains how a Honeywell Security System can be armed with a voice command sent through an Amazon Alexa device. The system will need to be set up with the Total Connect 2.0 interactive service platform in order for this to be possible. You will need to have the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill enabled from within the Alexa App. You must provide your Total Connect 2.0 account to link your system with Alexa. Please note that you cannot disarm your system using Alexa voice commands, as it would be a security risk.


Alarm.com and the Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge talks about using Alarm.com with the Interlogix Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. These systems can both connect with the Alarm.com platform as long as they have an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator installed and activated. A user can access the Alarm.com platform through the website or the Alarm.com Mobile App on Android or iOS devices to control their system. There are many great features available through ADC, and it certainly makes a user's life more convenient!


Alarm.com and the Interlogix Simon XT

Jorge explains how the Interlogix Simon XT can be used with the Alarm.com service. This system also requires that an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator is installed and activated to access the platform. The Simon XT actually uses the same cellular communication modules as the Simon XTi and XTi-5 Systems for this purpose. A user can access Alarm.com at any time to arm or disarm their system, check current system status, control Z-Wave smart home devices, view the live feed for Alarm.com Security Cameras and more.

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Hi DIYers! There's an unfortunate misconception in the security industry that wireless systems aren't as reliable as hardwired systems. A person may look down on wireless systems due to the the potential for hacking, wireless signal ranges and the limited battery life of wireless sensors.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemThe reality though is that wireless systems are just as reliable, if not more reliable, than their hardwired counterparts. Wireless systems also offer greater convenience and more flexibility both when setting up a system and when moving it to a new location. As a result, it's not much of a surprise that most new alarm systems are of the wireless variety. With a wireless system, a user will not need to run wires across the building, and installing equipment will be made much easier. Wireless systems also have the added benefit of requiring fewer add-ons than wired systems. But even with these positives, some people may still not be convinced that wireless systems are often the superior options. Today, we're going to break-down some of the biggest misconceptions against wireless systems and prove that they are truly a viable option for home and business security.

A major concern we often hear about with wireless systems is that they could be wirelessly hacked. The fear is that a potential intruder could use specialized equipment to takeover the sensors or the control panel that is used with the system. From there, the intruder could control or disable the system and enter the property uninterrupted. While this is extremely uncommon, it is a legitimate concern for those who require the highest level of security for their home or business. However, wireless hacking is really only possible with older, unencrypted sensors. Many newer alarm systems will support encrypted wireless sensors that are virtually impossible for outsiders to takeover or hack into, even with the most advanced equipment available. The way that encryption works is by having both the panel and the sensors know a unique encryption key. Any information that is sent out is encrypted for maximum security. Once the information is received, it is decrypted using the encryption key. This process is often referred to as a "digital handshake", and it allows for wireless sensors to be some of the most secure in the industry. Some wireless sensors that utilize encryption include the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors for the Honeywell Lyric Controller, the Qolsys S-Line 319.5 MHz Sensors for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems, and the DSC PowerG Sensors.



The next misconception we hear with wireless systems is that the wireless signals are too weak to work reliably. Some users are afraid that even once the sensor has been paired with the system, its signal could weaken over time, and it might not work reliably. This could not be further from the truth. Once a sensor is paired with a system and permanently mounted within in range, it will always work with the system. The key is to not move the system or the sensors around, as it could disrupt the signals. But there's really no reason to do this. Users should also remember that each sensor has a certain wireless signal range that should be kept in mind when planning the system. For example, Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors have a signal range of about 200 feet away from the system. On the other hand, a DSC 915 MHz PowerG Sensor will have a wireless range of roughly 2,000 feet in open air! Remember that walls and obstacles can reduce these ranges, as the wireless signal will have a more difficult time reaching the panel. Just make sure that the sensors work reliably from their final locations before you mount them permanently. If wireless range is an issue, then you may be able to overcome the problem by using a compatible wireless repeater. Some examples of wireless repeaters include the Honeywell 5800RP and the DSC PG9920.

A third concern we come across with wireless systems is that wireless sensors offer a limited battery life. Some users ask us what happens if the battery for a wireless sensor suddenly dies. They believe that their security system could randomly stop working all because a battery died. While it's true that not having to rely on batteries is an advantage of hardwired sensors, this does not make wireless systems any less reliable. A wireless sensor that uses batteries would not just suddenly stop working in most cases. Instead, there are multiple preventive measures put in place to keep the user safe. Whenever a sensor battery is low, it will transmit a warning to the security system. The user will receive this alert on the panel and know to change the battery as soon as possible. In most cases, the user will have a week or longer before the sensor will die. This will give them plenty of time to replace the battery. And if a sensor does ever go offline entirely, the panel will alert the user to the loss of RF supervision. This way, they will know if a sensor is ever not being detected by the panel before it becomes any type of security concern.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and In addition to being more convenient and easier to install, there is one other major advantage that wireless systems offer over wired systems. That is, wireless systems cannot be as easily tampered with. A hardwired sensor can have its line to the panel cut by a potential intruder so that it no longer functions properly. Of course, when this happens, the hardwired system will recognize this and trigger an immediate trouble situation. This makes this a relatively minor security concern. But it would still be very inconvenient to have to rewire the sensor and make sure that its working order has been restored. A user might even bypass the zone for the time being and leave the system vulnerable until they can properly address the issue. With wireless systems, there are no direct physical connections, and this is much less of an issue. In that sense, because there are no physical connections to cut, an encrypted wireless system might be considered more reliable than a wired system in many cases.

Modern wireless alarm systems offer excellent reliability for homes and businesses. Virtually all of the concerns or doubts regarding wireless setups are unwarranted and not of real concern. Therefore, wireless systems offer excellent reliability and protection for virtually any home or business. They make for a great option for anyone looking get into alarm monitoring. And once you have a wireless system, make sure to sign-up for an alarm monitoring plan from Alarm Grid. We offer varying plans based on the needs of the customer. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime through email at support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us from 9am to 8pm EST M-F at 888-818-7728.

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Hi DIYers! It has been awhile since our last video recap, but the last few days have been very busy for us! Since Monday, October 22nd, we have released seven new videos on YouTube. Once again, we have our technicians Joe and Jorge teaching users how to use their security systems.

Here are the new videos from October 22nd thru October 25th:

Adding an External Keypad to an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTI-5

Joe shows users how to add an external keypad to an Interlogix Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5 System. Adding an external keypad will provide a user with a second point of on-site access for their security system. This can be very useful if a user regularly enters their home from multiple locations, such as front doors, back doors, basement doors and garage doors. The best external keypad for these systems is the Interlogix Two-Way Talking Touch Screen Keypad.


Using Google Home with an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Joe explains how a Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5 System can be used with Google Home voice commands. This is made possible through the use of Alarm.com. Any command sent from Google Home that is intended for the Simon XTi or XTi-5 System will first need to pass through the Alarm.com servers. This is because a Google Home device cannot communicate directly with an Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5. In order to access Alarm.com, a compatible cellular communicator must be installed with the system.


Getting Power to the Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge demonstrates how a user can provide power for their Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5 Security System. Like all panels, these systems primarily rely on outlet power from a plug-in transformer. This will provide reliable power in most situations. If the power goes out, the system will automatically switch over to its backup battery power supply. The backup battery will slowly restore power while the system is running on its outlet power. This way, the system will be ready in case the electricity goes out.


Adding a Key Fob to an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge shows users how to add a key fob to an interlogix Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5 System. A key fob can be useful for providing a quick way to arm or disarm the system when you are coming or going. These devices can be conveniently kept in a pocket, purse or car and used whenever needed. Most key fobs offer options for disarming, arming stay, arming away and triggering panics. A great key fob to use with these systems is the Interlogix 4-Button Micro Key Fob.


Self-Monitoring an Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5

Joe explains how a user can receive self-monitoring services with an Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5 System. Self-monitoring means that the user cannot receive automatic emergency dispatch from a central station. Instead, the user will receive text and/or email alerts about any system events. It is then up to them to contact any needed emergency services. To use self-monitoring with a Simon XTi or XTi-5, the system must have an active cellular communicator and be set up with Alarm.com. The user will also need an appropriate alarm monitoring plan.


Wiring a TG-1 Express to a Wired Security System

Joe demonstrates how to wire a TG-1 Express Communicator to a hardwired alarm system. The TG-1 Express is a device that allows a security panel with a built-in phone dialer to be used for cellular alarm monitoring service. The panel will think that it is dialing out using a phone line. But really, it will be connecting to a cellular network. Any signals that are sent through this cellular connection will be first sent to Telguard. From there, Telguard will forward the signals to a central monitoring station.


Finding the Firmware Version on a 2GIG GC2 Panel

Jorge shows users how to find the current firmware version for a 2GIG GC2 Alarm System. This information is found within the System Toolbox. Upgrading the firmware can be important for using certain add-ons and functions with the system. There are two ways to upgrade the firmware for a 2GIG GC2. The easiest is to receive an over-the-air (OTA) update from a monitoring company. This requires that the system has active monitoring service. 2GIG also offers an updater tool that can be purchased separately. More information about the latest firmware is available on our 2GIG GC2 Firmware Page.

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Hey DIYers! So you have central station monitoring from Alarm Grid. Great! Now you can receive automatic dispatch to your home or business during a break-in, fire or medical crisis. You and the people around you are now truly more protected! But can emergency services find the building?

Alarm grid inside security stickers

First, it can be helpful to consider how exactly central station alarm monitoring works. Every alarm system consists of multiple sensors and a centralized control panel. Each sensor is assigned to its own individual zone on the alarm system. When a security breach (e.g. an opened door or a broken window) or a life-safety event (e.g. a fire or an outbreak of carbon monoxide gas) occurs, a sensor will be activated. The sensor will send an alert to the control panel. Based on the programming settings for that zone, the system can be instructed to send out a remote signal that will ultimately reach a central monitoring station. The central station operates 24/7/365, and a highly trained operator will be immediately notified of any distress signal that comes through. The operator will have access to the user's account information, and they will contact the local emergency authorities in the user's area. The local authorities will then send out the appropriate emergency responders based on the type of alarm that occurs.

A sometimes-overlooked aspect of central station monitoring is that human responders must be able to successfully locate the home or business where the crisis is taking place. In order to receive a fast emergency response, you will want to make it as easy as possible for the police, fire department or medical technicians to find your property. Sometimes it can be very clear where the trouble is occurring (e.g. a large fire, an obvious break-in), but more often than not, this is actually not the case. While emergency responders are highly trained in locating the correct property, you can still help them out by making your home or business easy to find.

Alarm Grid understand this concern, and we ask customers to provide us with as much information as possible. This allows us to offer the best possible home and business alarm monitoring services every single time. Any information that we receive will be forwarded to our central station monitoring partner, Criticom Monitoring Station (CMS). By doing this, any operator at CMS will be able to relay the most accurate information to the local emergency personnel.


CMS Logo

Many of our customers wonder how they can make their home or business easy for others to find. Obviously, we take down basic information like an address. But this isn't always enough for an emergency responder to quickly locate the property. One way we help is by asking our customers to provide us with the nearest major cross-streets. This can be very helpful for pointing responders in the proper direction. At the very least, this is the basic information we require.

But many of our customers go beyond these basic guidelines. This comes in the form of "special instructions" that we can provide to CMS. These special instructions can be anything that would help someone locate the property. For example, the special instructions might say "the yellow house on the corner" or "take a left upon entering the neighborhood". It is also crucial that any customer provides us with the gate code for their residence if they live in a gated community. Although special instructions are optional, they can be extremely valuable when emergency personnel are trying to find your home or business Remember, during a real emergency, every second counts!

One of our customers, Brett, recently shared a great idea with us. Brett installed large, easy-to-read numbers that illuminate at night on his mailbox. This way, any emergency response team that arrives at his residence will be able to quickly verify his house number. We think this is an excellent idea, and we encourage all of our customers to follow Brett's lead by making their homes easier to locate.


If you are new to alarm monitoring, or if you would like to update the special instructions on your CMS account, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! You can always email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or you can call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

We would also like to offer special thanks to Brett for allowing us to use his picture in this post. Thank you Brett, we are very proud to help keep you and Shadow the Cat safe!

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Hi DIYers! A couple of weeks ago, we took an initial look at Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts. This function allows ADC users to control their security system and smart home automation devices through Siri voice commands. Today, we're taking a closer look at this new feature and what it provides.


Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts are available for any iOS device that is running Apple iOS Version 12. This includes iPhones, iPads, HomePods, the Apple Watch and even Apple CarPlay. They allow you to use voice commands through Siri to control basic system functions and to run any smart scene that has been set up with Alarm.com. If you haven't already created smart scenes, we recommend doing that before attempting to set up any Siri Shortcuts. This is because any created smart scenes will conveniently appear in the "Suggested Shortcuts" list for easy creation.

To get started, you will need to have the Alarm.com Mobile App downloaded for the device you want to use with Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts. If you do not have the app, it can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store. From there, you will need to enable Siri Shortcuts. To do this, click on the settings icon (the gears), then "Siri Shortcuts", then "Edit" in the upper-right corner, and finally the button below the Edit button to share activity with Siri.


From there, you will be able to create your own Siri Shortcuts for use with Alarm.com. While this can be done from the settings menu on your iOS device, we have found that it is easiest to do this right from the Alarm.com App. If you scroll down, you will see all of the current Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts that have been set up. Please note that any Alarm.com Siri Shortcut will need to be custom-recorded before they can be used. This includes any basic system functions that are automatically suggested by Alarm.com. Some of the suggested actions for Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts include:

  • Disarm
  • Arm Away
  • Arm Stay
  • Home
  • Away
  • Sleep
  • Wake Up
  • Any Custom Scenes

Below the existing shortcuts are suggested actions can be set to trigger with a voice-activated Siri Shortcut. This includes basic system functions, such as arming and disarming, and any custom smart scenes that you have previously created. Remember, you may need to press the "Edit" button in the upper-right corner before you can begin creating Siri Shortcuts. Simply choose the action you want to use. For this example, we created a "CUSTOM SCENE" that disarms the system and unlocks a Z-Wave door lock. You will then be taken to a screen where you can record the Siri Shortcut. Press the Red Circle to record the command. You can say anything you want to trigger the shortcut. Finally, press "Done" in the upper-right corner to save the recording. Then press "Done" in the upper-right corner of the Alarm.com screen to save your new shortcut.




Once you have created your Siri Shortcut, simply activate Siri, and state the command you recorded earlier. Alarm.com will then perform the programmed action as through it had been activated through the ADC Mobile App. You can even perform these actions remotely so that you can use Siri and your own voice to control your alarm system and run smart scenes from virtually anywhere in the world. Overall, this is a super easy and user-friendly way to perform everyday actions right from your iOS device!

We're huge fans of this new feature, and we can't wait for you to get started so that you can get the most out of your Alarm.com system. If you have any questions about Siri Shortcuts, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us from 9am to 8pm EST M-F at 888-818-7728. We look forward to hearing from you!

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