Training Posts

Posted By

Hi DIYers! We have a small video recap this week, as only four (4) new videos were produced. But they're really good ones from Jorge and Jarrett, who both had two (2) each. They're here to help you learn how to use your security system. Let's check out the new videos for June 18th thru 21st.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Locations Suitable for Installing Heat Detectors

Jorge discusses the rooms in a home that are better-suited for standalone heat detectors than traditional smoke detectors. Normally, a user will use smoke detectors because they will detect a fire more quickly. But there are some rooms where it is better to use a heat detector, as a smoke detector may lead to false alarms. Popular locations for heat detectors include kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and attics. There are also combination smoke and heat detectors that use both detection methods.


Resideo Lyric Alarm System Vs. Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jorge compares the Resideo Lyric Alarm System and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems. Both systems are some of the best on the market, and they offer some excellent features. Both offer support for up to 128 zones and feature a 7-inch touchscreen display. The advantages to the IQ Panel 2 Plus include its built-in Z-Wave Plus card, its integrated Alarm.com LTE Cellular Communicator, four (4) partitions, facial recognition, automatic Bluetooth disarming, and the ability to livestream cameras. But the Lyric offers HomeKit support.


Compatible Back-Up Battery for the 2GIG GC3

Jarrett is happy to talk about the backup battery for the 2GIG GC3 Security System. Normally, the system is powered using a plug in transformer. But if the electricity goes out, then a backup battery will keep the system running. The backup battery will slowly store a charge while the system is running on transformer power. That way, it will be ready for a power outage. The backup battery for the 2GIG GC3 is called the 2GIG BATTERY-GC3. The battery will provide up to 24 hours of backup power.


Using an LT-Cable With The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jarrett is back for a second round, as he shows users how to use the Honeywell LT-Cable with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The LT-Cable is a convenient option for providing power to an alarm panel. The wires come pre-prepared and ready to connect with the panel and transformer. All you need is a screwdriver. If you need to cut power to the system, you can unplug the male-female barrel connector. This means that you won't have to unplug the transformer from the wall.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! We have a tip today that might seem obvious, but it is absolutely crucial to remember. Our tip for everyone is to protect their Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com information. This means not sharing your username or password with anyone who should not access your account or your home.




Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com both allow users to Arm and Disarm their systems from anywhere. Giving someone access to your TC2 or ADC account is basically the same as giving someone your system's Master Code. In fact, it can be even worse. If you use these services for smart home automation to control smart locks, then a hacked account is essentially a key to your home. An intruder won't even have to break open a window. They can unlock your door, Disarm your system, and walk right in.

It's not enough to just protect your TC2 and ADC username and password. You must also protect your associated email address and your phone. Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com allow users to reset their passwords through their email and text messages. A hacked email or stolen phone can also be a major concern for your security. We recommend using Touch ID and/or Facial Recognition on your phone if possible. This will help protect your account from a security breach in the event of a stolen phone.

One thing you can do is enable the "Prompt for User Code" feature on TC2. This feature requires that the associated user code is provided when you Arm or Disarm from your phone. If an intruder gets your login information, they won't be able to Arm or Disarm your system from the TC2 Website or App unless they also know your secret code. However, an intruder will be able to find this code if they gain access to your phone. Additionally, ADC does not offer this feature at this time.

If your TC2 or ADC account becomes compromised, or if your email is hacked or your phone is stolen, you should contact us immediately. Anyone who accesses your TC2 or ADC account can change your password to keep you out. But you will still have Alarm Grid on your side. Only you know your false alarm passcode, and only you can contact us to make changes to your account. We will make the necessary adjustments on the dealer's end of TC2 or ADC to ensure that your account is protected.

Remember, such data breaches can have very serious consequences. Always make sure to keep your account information safe. Never share your username, password or email account information with anyone who should not have access to your home. Only share it with individuals you absolutely trust. And if you aren't sure your information is safe, make sure to change your account password immediately. Contact us at support@alarmgrid.com ASAP if you experience any problems. We're here to help ensure that your home or business is always kept safe. Do your part and protect your information.

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers and future DIYers! Today, we're going to take an extensive look at the alarm monitoring plans offered from Alarm Grid. You can always reference this information on our alarm monitoring page. This helpful post will explain much of the terminology found on the monitoring page.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

What is Alarm Monitoring?

First, it can be helpful to understand what exactly alarm monitoring is. Alarm monitoring is a service that allows a security system to send out signals. These signals can be received by a central station and/or an interactive service network. This will depend on the user's alarm monitoring plan. Without alarm monitoring, a system can still go into alarm mode and activate sirens. But this won't do any good if the user is off-site. A system without alarm monitoring is referred to as a local system or an unmonitored system.

There are several major advantages to having your alarm system monitored. This service is the best way to receive off-site text and/or email alerts regarding any specific system activity and system events. It is also the only method for receiving automatic emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station. Many alarm monitoring plans will also allow you to control your system remotely using an interactive service platform. This is impossible for unmonitored systems. Alarm monitoring may also be able to save you money on your homeowner's insurance with a Certificate of Alarm.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 3 1 kit wireless alarm system 3 door s

What is a Central Monitoring Station?

When you talk about alarm monitoring, one term that you will likely come across often is "central monitoring station". It's important to have a strong understanding of this term so that you know exactly what it entails. A central monitoring station is a center where trained dispatchers respond to incoming security system alarms. A good way to think of a central monitoring station is to picture a 911 dispatching center where dispatchers are answering emergency phone calls. The only difference is that the dispatchers at a central monitoring station are responding to security system alarms rather than emergency 911 phone calls.

A central monitoring station will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year (366 on leap years). Unless there is a very severe emergency, a central monitoring station will always be in operation, no matter what. The dispatchers at a central monitoring station are constantly checking for any incoming system alarms. When an alarm comes through, a dispatcher will be able to see the type of alarm and the location of the system. This is important because the dispatcher needs to know what type of alarm occurs. For example, the alarm could be a break-in, a fire, a medical emergency, or an outbreak of CO gas.

In most cases, the dispatcher will make two (2) attempts to contact the end user before requesting immediate emergency dispatch. Users will define a custom pre-dispatch and post-dispatch call list that must meet local ECV (enhanced call verification) laws. The dispatcher will attempt to contact the end user at any listed phone numbers. This is done to prevent false alarms. The end user will need to answer the phone and provide their false alarm passcode if the alarm was caused by accident. If the dispatcher is unable to contact the end user, if the user is unable to provide the correct false alarm passcode, or if the end user says their secret duress code, then emergency help will be sent out immediately. Please note that special restrictions may apply to areas where verified response is required. Additionally, some users put a note on their accounts to have the central station skip the step of attempting to contact before dispatch. For these users, emergency dispatch will be sent out as soon as an alarm occurs. Alarm Grid does not recommend this, as this can lead to false alarms.

Alarm Grid customers with central monitoring service have their systems connected with Criticom Monitoring Services. Criticom operates three (3) monitoring centers located across the United States. These centers are located in Florida, New Jersey, and California. These monitoring centers are networked and load-balanced so that calls are distributed most efficiently across these locations. In various situations, one monitoring center may go offline. An example of why a monitoring center may go offline is due to a major hurricane. But if this happens, there is nothing to worry about. Calls will be automatically rerouted to one of the other monitoring centers in these very rare situations. Please note that central station monitoring service from Alarm Grid and Criticom is only available to customers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

CMS Logo

What is Self-Monitoring?

Not everyone with alarm monitoring service receives central station monitoring. There is also self-monitoring. A self-monitoring plan will not connect the system with a central station. Instead, the system will be connected with an interactive service network. The end user will receive text and/or email notifications regarding any alarm events. These alerts will describe exactly which system zone caused the alarm. The end user will then need to contact the necessary authorities on their own. Since no central station is involved, these self-monitoring plans are less expensive than central station monitoring plans. Self-monitoring is made possible using an interactive service platform.

There are many reasons why a customer might choose self-monitoring instead of central station monitoring. They might believe that they can respond reliably to text and/or email alerts and that they do not benefit from central monitoring service. The customer might be located outside of the United States and Canada and is therefore ineligible for central monitoring service. Maybe they are only really using their system for Z-Wave smart home control and they don't care about being connected with a central station. Regardless, a self-monitoring plan can be a great option for users who want effective and affordable alarm monitoring service. Please be aware that users with self-monitoring service will be ineligible for receiving Certificates of Alarm. As a result, it is unlikely that they will receive any discount in their homeowner's insurance.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

What is an Interactive Service Platform?

Most Alarm Grid customers receive connectivity with either the Total Connect 2.0 service or the Alarm.com service. These are both interactive service platforms that provide a diverse range of functions. When an alarm occurs, the system uses its alarm monitoring communicator to send a signal to either the AlarmNet Servers for Total Connect 2.0 users or the Alarm.com Servers for Alarm.com users. These servers will then forward the alert to a central monitoring station and/or the end user via text and/or email. There are also a small number of Alarm Grid customers with access to the Telguard HomeControl Flex service using a Telguard Communicator. However, this is less common. All Alarm Grid customers with self-monitoring service will receive access to Total Connect 2.0, Alarm.com or Telguard HomeControl Flex. Alarm Grid customers with central station monitoring service will also receive access to one of these services, with the exception of those with a Standard Bronze Plan or a Cellular Only Monitoring Plan.

Interactive service platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com offer many excellent functions and features. For one, you can access your system remotely to arm, disarm and check its current status. This is made possible using the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App or the Alarm.com Mobile App. Both of these mobile apps are available for free download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. You can also use TC2 and ADC to control Z-Wave devices (Silver Plan or higher required), view the live feed for security cameras (Platinum Plan or Video-Only Plan required), and more.




Let's Discuss Monitoring Plans!

Now that we have talked about some basic terms, we can finally get into monitoring plans. The main monitoring plans from Alarm Grid are broken into four (4) tiers. These tiers - ranked lowest to highest - are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each tier is split into Central Station Monitoring Plans (aka, Standard Plans) and Self-Monitoring Plans (aka, Self Plans). This gives us a total of eight (8) main plans offered from Alarm Grid. As you move up in our monitoring plan tiers, you will get all of the services offered in the lower tiers, plus some new features. There are also some special monitoring plans that we will discuss in greater detail later. The type of monitoring plan you choose is a very personal decision. You should base your decision on your budget, the system you own, and the monitoring needs of your household or business.

One very important thing to note is that Alarm.com Service requires a plan that includes cellular monitoring service. These plans include Gold, Self-Gold, Platinum, Self-Platinum, and the Cellular-Only Plan. The reason this is required is because panels that use the Alarm.com Service require an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator and cellular monitoring service to connect with the Alarm.com Servers. The 2GIG GC2 can technically connect with Alarm.com with a 2GIG Go!Bridge IP Communicator and forgo cellular. But even then, the user will still need to sign-up for a Gold Plan or higher and pay the corresponding fee. If you plan to use an Alarm.com System, expect to sign-up for a Gold Plan or higher. This is a very important consideration when choosing an alarm system.

Also note that each monitoring plan can only cover one (1) security system. If you want to add a second security system or a second alarm control panel, you will need a second alarm monitoring plan. This is true whether the systems are installed in different locations or in the same building.

With that out of the way, let's look into our monitoring plans!

Bronze & Self-Bronze

The Bronze Level Plans from Alarm Grid represent our most basic and least expensive plans. With Standard Bronze, you get connectivity with a central monitoring station through either IP (internet protocol) or phone line (strongly discouraged). This will allow you to receive automatic dispatch in the event of an emergency. No other service is included in this very minimal plan. Standard Bronze customers will not be able to access an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0.

Self-Bronze customers will get the ability to receive text and/or email alerts from Total Connect 2.0. They will also be able to use the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile app to arm and disarm their systems remotely and check the current status for their systems.

Since cellular monitoring is impossible with the Bronze Plans, you should get a system that can do IP-only monitoring. This is possible for most Resideo Alarm Systems that connect with the AlarmNet Servers. Some examples of appropriate systems for Bronze customers include the Resideo Lyric Controller, the Resideo VISTA 21iP, and the Resideo L5210 with an added L5100-WIFI Card.

If you only want the most basic of alarm monitoring services for the lowest possible price, then a Bronze Level Plan is for you. The Standard Bronze Plan with central station monitoring is available for $15 per month. The Self-Bronze Plan is available for $10 per month.




Silver & Self-Silver

The Silver Level Plans introduce the ability to control Z-Wave smart home automation devices remotely. Without a Silver Plan or higher, you will be unable to control Z-Wave devices setup with your system remotely. Central Station Customers need a Silver Plan or higher to access Total Connect 2.0. This will allow remote access to their systems through the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App. All Silver customers receive the features offered in the Bronze Level Plans.

Silver customers can also use Total Connect 2.0 to create Smart Scenes for their Z-Wave devices. This will allow these devices to activate automatically based on a set schedule or with certain system events. Total Connect 2.0 is also required if you want to control your Resideo System and connected smart home devices with voice commands through Amazon Alexa.

If you plan to use a Resideo System with IP-only monitoring and you want smart home automation functionality, then a Silver Plan is for you. The Standard Silver Plan with central station monitoring is available for $25 per month. The Self-Silver Plan is available for $15 per month.




Gold & Self-Gold

The Gold Level Plans introduce the ability to use cellular alarm monitoring service. Cellular alarm monitoring is more reliable than IP monitoring. This is because cellular connectivity is not dependent upon AC power, and it is extremely rare for a cellular communication path to go down or become unavailable. The same cannot be said for an IP communication path, which can sometimes go down for seemingly no reason.

Additionally, internet routers are dependent upon AC power. A power outage will take an IP-only monitored system offline, unless the IP router has a backup battery. Internet monitoring is also included with the Gold Level Plans, so any customer with one of these plans can use dual-path connectivity (IP and cellular) if they have the proper equipment. A Gold Plan is required for any customer who wants to use Alarm.com. It is also required for Total Connect 2.0 users who want to use a cellular communication path.

A Gold Level Plan is for you if you want the most reliable monitoring service possible. It is also for anyone who plans to use an Alarm.com-compatible system, like a 2GIG GC3 or a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The Standard Gold Plan with central station monitoring is available for $35 per month. The Self-Gold Plan is available for $25 per month.




Platinum & Self-Platinum

The Platinum & Self-Platinum Plans introduce video surveillance. This allows users to view IP security cameras from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The live feeds for these cameras can be viewed from virtually anywhere in the world using the respective mobile apps. The user can also download recorded clips for permanent storage and future use. The ability to use image sensors is also included. The Platinum Level Plans also include all of the services offered from the Bronze, Silver, Gold Plans. These are the highest level plans available from Alarm Grid.

A Platinum Level Plan is for you if you want to use video surveillance with your security system. The Standard Platinum Plan with central station monitoring is available for $45 per month. The Self-Platinum Plan is available for $35 per month.



Other Monitoring Plans

Alarm Grid also offers some alternative monitoring plans. These monitoring plans are used with less frequency. They are designed for customers who do not fit the mold of our traditional monitoring plans. These alternative plans include the Cellular-Only Plan and the Video-Only Plan.

The Cellular-Only Plan is like the Standard Bronze Plan, except it allows for cellular monitoring service. The user will not have access to an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. They will also be unable to control home automation devices remotely. However, they will get connectivity with a central monitoring station. This plan can also be used with Alarm.com Systems. You won't get access to the Alarm.com Interactive Service, but connectivity with the Alarm.com Servers will allow for central station monitoring. The Cellular-Only Plan is for you if you want the added reliability of cellular or dual-path monitoring, but you don't need the benefits of an interactive service platform or smart home automation. The Cellular-Only plan is available for $25 per month.

The Video-Only Plan allows for connectivity with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com strictly for the use of security cameras. You do not even need a security system to use this plan. You can also combine this plan with another plan (e.g. Standard Bronze, Self-Silver) to add video surveillance to your existing monitoring service. The Video-Only Plan is for you if you want video surveillance for your home or business, but you don't have an alarm system, or you don't need cellular connectivity or smart home automation capabilities. The Video-Only Plan is available for $15 per month.

Get Alarm Monitoring

The best way to sign-up for alarm monitoring service from Alarm Grid is to click the orange Alarm Monitoring button at the top of this page. You can choose the best monitoring plan for your needs. Of course, you can always reach out to us if you need help making your decision. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Our planning team will check your email and respond as soon as possible. If you would prefer to speak over the phone, you may call us at (888) 818-7228. We are available by phone during our regular office hours of 9am to 8pm EST Monday thru Friday. We look forward to helping you determine the perfect alarm monitoring plan for your needs.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers. We have a relatively small video recap this time. Our team managed to make four (4) new videos. This includes three (3) from Jorge and one (1) from Jarrett. They are both ready and eager to help you learn your security system. Let's check out the new videos for this week.

Arming a Honeywell Alarm System Using Alexa

Jorge talks about how you can use Amazon Alexa to Arm your Honeywell Security System. This is made possible using Total Connect 2.0. You must open the Alexa App on your Android or iOS device and link your Total Connect 2.0 account. In order to use Total Connect 2.0, you will need an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to the service. You can use Alexa to Arm Away, Arm Stay and activate TC2 smart scenes. You cannot use Alexa to Disarm your system.


Low Battery Supervision On The 2GIG TAKE-345

Jorge explains how if your 2GIG TAKE-345 has a low backup battery, then all the associated zones will show a low-battery trouble condition. The 2GIG TAKE-345 is a wired to wireless converter designed for use with 2GIG Security Panels. Hardwired sensors connect with the TAKE-345. The module then sends a 2GIG 345 MHz Signal to the panel. The system sees these sensors as wireless sensors. If the 2GIG TAKE-345 has a low battery, then the associated wireless zones will show low battery. You cannot use hardwired life-safety sensors with the TAKE-345.


Getting Power To The Lyric Security System

Jarrett teaches users how to power the Resideo Lyric Alarm System. The system receives primary power from a plug-in DC transformer. If the electricity goes out, a backup battery will keep it powered on. There are 4-hour and 24-hour backup battery options available. We recommend using a Honeywell LT-Cable to connect the panel to its transformer. You can also use 18-gauge, 2-conductor wire to complete the connection. The system will power off if it is not receiving plug-in or battery power.


Testing My Alarm Panel Through Alarm Grid

Jorge explains how Alarm Grid customers can test their security systems. We recommend testing your system monthly. You must test your system once per year to receive an updated certificate of alarm (CoA). By receiving a CoA from Alarm Grid, you can save money on your homeowner's insurance. You must always put your system on test mode before testing your system. You can put your system on test mode by contacting us, contacting our central station partner Criticom, or use the MyAlarms.com feature.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! It's time for another video update from Alarm Grid. This time we're covering the videos from May 30th and 31st. We have six new videos this time. Joe has four, while Jorge and Jarrett each have one. The Alarm Grid boys are back to help you learn your system. Let's check them out.

Connecting an LTE-XV to a VISTA-21iP

The ever-friendly Joe teaches you how to connect a Honeywell LTE-XV to a Resideo VISTA-21iP Security System. The Honeywell LTE-XV is a Verizon LTE Communicator for VISTA Series Systems. It follows the same setup process as the Honeywell LTE-XA, which is the AT&T LTE Communicator. Please note that by adding an LTE-XV or LTE-XA to a VISTA-21iP, you will disable the integrated IP communicator for the system. If you want to use an external dual-path communicator with a VISTA-21iP, you should add a Honeywell LTE-IV instead.


The ADC-V522IR Audio Features

Joe explains the two-way audio capabilities of the Alarm.com ADC-V522IR Security Camera. If you use this camera with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, you can livestream the audio and video directly from the panel. You can also get live audio and video from the Alarm.com Mobile App. This app can be conveniently accessed right from your Android or iOS device. You can even speak through your Android or iOS device and have your voice come through the camera. This will allow you to have a live two-way conversation with whoever is at the other end.


Connecting the August Smart Lock Pro to WIFI

Joe helps you connect your August Smart Lock Pro to a WIFI network. To do this, you will need an August Connect WIFI Bridge. Getting your August Smart Lock Pro connected with WIFI is recommended if you want to use the device with Apple HomeKit. However, it is not required. The only other way to use HomeKit with the August Smart Lock Pro is to have your HomeKit Hub within Bluetooth range (10 to 15 feet) of the lock. Your HomeKit Hub can be an iPad, HomePod or AppleTV (4th Generation or higher).


Arm Stay vs. Arm Instant

Fan-favorite Jarrett explains the differences between Arm Stay and Arm Instant. The major difference is that Arm Instant ignores all Entry Delay settings. This means that any Entry/Exit Zones will effectively operate as Perimeter Zones. If you fault an Entry/Exit Zone while the system is Armed Instant, then an immediate alarm will occur. If you want to Disarm the System while it is Armed Instant, you will need to do so without activating an Entry/Exit Zone. We recommend using a Security Key Fob or an interactive service platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0.


Response Types Supported by the SiXPIR

Jorge discusses the Response Types that can be used with the Honeywell SiXPIR Motion Detecting Sensor. The only available Device Type for a SiXPIR Zone is "Motion Sensor". This restricts the Response Types that can be used. You cannot set the Device Type to "Other" to gain access to the full list of Response Types. As a result, the only Response Types you can use with the SiXPIR are Interior Follower, Perimeter, Day/Night, Interior With Delay, Resident Monitor, Resident Response, General Monitor, and General Response.


Using the August Smart Lock Pro with Apple HomeKit

Joe talks about using the August Smart Lock Pro with Apple HomeKit. By including the August Smart Lock Pro with your Apple HomeKit network, you can operate the lock from anywhere using your iOS device. There are two ways to use the lock with HomeKit. The first is to pair the August Smart Lock Pro with the August Connect WIFI Bridge. This will allow the lock to connect with a WIFI network so that you can access it remotely. The other option is to have the lock within Bluetooth range of your HomeKit Hub. This can be an AppleTV (4th Generation or higher), iPad or HomePod.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! We're here with another alarm system tip today. This time, we would like to remind everyone tests their systems at least once per year. It is important to make sure that your sensors are working correctly and reporting to the panel. It is very easy to test your system yourself.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Alarm Grid recommends testing all the sensors on your system. This includes all intrusion sensors, environmental sensors and life-safety sensors. Each sensor will follow a unique testing process, so it's important to refer to your instruction manuals for more information. You might consider testing your life-safety sensors like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors twice per year because of their importance. Always place your system on test mode before testing your equipment.

The reason it is important to test all of your sensors every year is because it's possible that they may have gathered dust or shifted slightly in position. Little things like that may prevent these devices from working properly. Taking the time to perform a complete test will provide you with peace of mind in knowing that all your equipment is working correctly. And if you do find a sensor that isn't working, you will be very glad you performed a test.

Additionally, an annual test is required for Alarm Grid customers who obtain Certificates of Alarms (CoA) to receive homeowner's insurance discounts. Any CoA received from Alarm Grid will only be valid for one year from the testing date. A customer should perform a new test before their current CoA expires in order to maintain any discounts offered by their insurance provider. Alarm Grid will provide CoAs for burglary, fire, carbon monoxide, flood and freeze.

The process for performing a CoA test is very simple. This process involves contacting Criticom Monitoring Services, putting the system on test mode and then testing certain Zone Types. Alarm Grid monitored customers can login to their accounts on our website and press the designated button to receive an email about performing a system test. If you are having trouble finding the button, you can see its location in the picture below:

Alarm Grid customers can also email us at support@alarmgrid.com if they need to put their systems on test mode. Keep in mind that our business hours are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond as soon as possible. Do not test your equipment until you have received verification that your system is on test mode.

If you have any questions about testing your equipment, the best way to reach us is at the aforementioned email. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours. We look forward to answering any questions you might have.

Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! We're here with a small video recap, covering May 16 & 17. It was a quiet week for our video team, as we only had five new videos. But we gotta give some credit to Jorge, as he cranked out four videos. Jarrett also came through with one. Let's take a look at the videos.

Adding a Profile Image to a Total Connect 2.0 Account

Jorge shows users how to add a profile image to their Total Connect 2.0 account. Each user on a TC2 account can have their own profile image. This helps to add a nice personalized touch to Total Connect 2.0. Any uploaded image will only be visible from TC2. It will not be visible from the panel. If you have multiple users on the same Total Connect 2.0 account, then each user can have a unique picture.


Adding a Location Image to a Total Connect 2.0 Account

Jorge teaches users how to add a location image to a Total Connect 2.0 account. Each location on a TC2 account can have its own picture. You will have a different location for each system on your Total Connect 2.0 account. This is great for users with multiple homes or businesses. Adding a unique image for each location can be a great way to differentiate them. This way, you can be sure that you are controlling the correct system when you use TC2.


Smart Home Items That are Compatible with the Honeywell Lyric

Jarrett talks about smart home items that are compatible with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The system has a built-in Z-Wave controller for operating Z-Wave devices. Any Z-Wave device can be operated through Total Connect 2.0. The Lyric is also one of the few systems on the market that is compatible with Apple HomeKit. You can have your HomeKit devices set to respond based on activity that affects your system. It is also possible to control your Lyric through your iOS device.


Changing the Installer Code Using a Tuxedo Touch Keypad

Jorge explains how to change the Installer Code for a Honeywell VISTA Alarm System using a Tuxedo Touch Keypad. The Installer Code is the code used to enter programming and make system changes. We encourage most users to keep the code at its default of 4112. This will prevent users from being locked out of programming later. If you forget the default Installer Code, you can always look it up later. If you change the code and forget it, you will need to use the backdoor method to get back into programming.


Features Added in the 2GIG GC2 1.19 Firmware Upgrade

Jorge discusses Firmware Version 1.19 for a 2GIG Go!Control GC2 System. Upgrading to the latest firmware is very important for getting the most out of your system. Firmware Version 1.19 added support for various cellular communicators. If you want to use an AT&T LTE communicator, then you need Firmware Version 1.19.3. You can have a firmware update pushed down automatically to your panel from Alarm.com for a small fee. If your panel is not connected with Alarm.com, you will need an upgrade cable or an upgrade tool to complete the process.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! We're here with another Alarm Grid Tip. We're going to cover the proper technique for mounting your door alarm sensors. Many people have trouble getting a faulted zone to disappear when their sensors are not aligned properly. Mounting your sensors correctly will fix this issue.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensor

First, It's important to understand how door and window contacts work. There are two (2) parts. These are a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is the larger component and usually represents the listed product dimensions. The magnet is the smaller component. In a proper installation, the sensor (larger) should be mounted on the door frame. The magnet (smaller) should be mounted on the actual door. Ideally, the magnet and the sensor should be in direct contact when the door is closed. The magnet should also be aligned with the metal reed switch inside the sensor. The sensor will most likely have indentations to indicate the location of the reed switch.

The idea is that when the door is closed, the magnet will be in contact with the sensor. This is why these sensors are often called "contacts". When the door is opened, the magnet will become separated from the sensor. This will release its internal metal reed switch. When this happens, the sensor will transmit a signal to the alarm control panel. The system will respond based on the programming settings for the corresponding zone.

When you mount your door contacts, you should make sure that the magnet and the sensor are in proper alignment when the door is closed. If not, then the reed switch inside the sensor will stay open. As a result, the zone will still be shown as faulted on the panel. You want proper alignment so that the zone functions consistently. Whenever the door is opened, the zone should appear as faulted. If it's closed, then you should not see any faults.

Walk testing your contacts is extremely important! This is the best way to make sure that the sensor and magnet are in proper alignment. Sure, it might pass the eyeball test, but does it pass the system test? Always, always, always test your equipment! We don't care if you are a novice DIYer or a seasoned professional installer - your job is not finished until you have completed the walk test.

Again, the ideal door sensor and magnet will be IN DIRECT CONTACT when the door is closed. This will provide the best possible results. We have seen customers stack multiple pieces of double-sided foam tape to make this happen. This is pretty unusual, but it works! It might look funny if you have to do that, but it will get the job done! As long as the sensor and magnet are in correct alignment, then the sensor will work.

If you absolutely must leave the contact and magnet separated, do not do so from more than one-half (0.5) of an inch, unless the manual specifically says that the sensor-magnet gap can be further. And make sure to test extra thoroughly if you decide to try and get these sensors to work with a wider magnet spacing.

Also remember to check sensor for indentations that indicate which side to place the magnet. If you are unsure, then check the device manual. Many answers can be found in the installation instructions. Unfortunately, many end users choose to ignore them. Read the manual!

Keep in mind that some door sensors may be equipped with LED lights that help the installer make sure that the sensor and magnet are indeed in proper alignment. If your sensor has this feature, then definitely use it! This is an easy and convenient way to make sure they are aligned correctly. Check your device manual for more information. An example of a door sensor that is equipped with this feature is the Honeywell 5800MINI.

Below is an example of what a properly installed contact looks like. In this case, it is the 2GIG DW10. Note how the sensor and the magnet are in direct contact and properly aligned. Normally, the battery tab at the bottom of the sensor would be removed, but for this example, it's okay.


We hope this tip has been helpful for anyone setting up their first alarm system. Please email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! We have many customers who wonder what happens if their security system is destroyed when an intruder breaks into their home. Fortunately, alarm manufacturers considered this possibility. They put protective measures in place to deal with this issue. Enter Crash & Smash and APL.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenCrash and Smash (C&S) for Alarm.com and Advanced Protection Logic (APL) for Total Connect 2.0 are both features designed to provide an added layer of protection in case an alarm panel and/or its communicator are destroyed during a home invasion. These features help ensure that the police are still dispatched and that the end user receives the help they need. An intruder might think they're okay because they have destroyed the panel, but the system is smart enough to overcome this issue.

Just last week, we made a post covering Entry and Exit Delays. Well it turns out that the Entry Delay period plays a big part in C&S and APL. As we discussed last week, if an Entry/Exit Zone is faulted while the system is Armed, an Entry Delay countdown begins. This period gives the end user a chance to Disarm their system before an alarm occurs. But what if the panel gets destroyed during this countdown? After all, the panel won't be able to send out an alarm signal. But this is where Crash and Smash and APL take priority. How they do this is actually quite smart.

Whenever a system goes into Entry Delay, it immediately sends out a signal to the Alarm.com Servers (ADC) or the AlarmNet Servers (TC2). This signal just lets the server know that the system is now in an Entry Delay period. The servers are smart enough to know that since the system is now in an Entry Delay period, a Disarm or an Alarm must follow. If neither event follows, then logically the panel must have been destroyed. The server will then know to send a signal to the central station to let a trained dispatcher know that the panel has been destroyed and dispatch is needed right away.

Please note that the Alarm.com Servers and the AlarmNet Servers do not send signals to the central station as soon as the usual Entry Delay period expires. These servers also account for delays in sending signals. A little more than a minute of additional time is added beyond the normal Entry Delay period before a C&S or APL signal is sent to the central station. This is done to prevent false alarms.

Advanced Protection Logic and Crash & Smash also work during alarms that do not follow Entry Delay periods. If the system has Alarm Report Delay enabled and an intrusion alarm occurs, then the system will not actually alert the central station the very instant that the alarm occurs. The system will actually enter into a short Alarm Report Delay period that is usually less than a minute in length. This delay period gives the user a chance to Disarm the system and cancel the alarm to stop the signal from being sent out. If an intruder destroys the system during this Alarm Report Delay period, APL or C&S will ensure that emergency dispatch is still sent out. Alarm Grid encourages users to disable Alarm Report Delay on their panel if possible.

It's also worth mentioning that the Alarm.com Servers and the AlarmNet Servers send all C&S and APL signals directly to the central station. The end user does not receive an alert from Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 when these signals are sent out. In other words, C&S and APL do not work with self-monitored customers. You need a central station monitoring plan to use these features. Additionally, C&S and APL do not work with phone line monitoring. You need an IP communicator or a cellular communicator.

If you have any questions about Crash & Smash or Advanced Protection Logic, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring service, please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We will check the email at our earliest convenience and respond as quickly as possible. If you prefer to speak on the phone, we are available from 9am to 8pm EST M-F at (888) 818-7728. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi DIYers! We hope you had a great Mother's Day weekend. Last week, our video team put up a bunch of new videos, 9 to be exact. All were posts on Thursday and Friday. We love helping users get the most out of their alarm systems and smart home networks. Let's take a look at the new videos!

Updating the Firmware on a Lyric Alarm System's SiXFOB

Jarrett kicks things off by showing you how to update the firmware for a Honeywell SiXFOB Key Fob. This key fob is designed exclusively for use with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Unlike most SiX Series devices, the SiXFOB needs to receive firmware updates manually. The Lyric should be running the latest firmware version before performing the update. Updating the firmware for the SiXFOB will ensure that it works as effectively as possible. Updating the firmware will affect any zones associated with the SiXFOB.


Including a Schlage Z-Wave Lock

The ever friendly and helpful Joe shows you how to include a Schlage Z-Wave Lock into your local Z-Wave network. Pairing your Z-Wave lock is necessary for getting the most out of the device. You need to do this to control the lock remotely and to use it with smart scenes. Pairing a lock with an alarm panel is often a great option. You can then use it with an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. Please note that you will need a monitoring plan with access to one of these services.


Excluding a Schlage Z-Wave Lock

Joe helps you some more by showing how to exclude your Schlage Z-Wave Lock from a Z-Wave network. This is an important step if you plan to transfer the lock from one Z-Wave hub to another. You should also do this before completing the initial pairing process. Many Z-Wave smart home devices are paired with Z-Wave networks before they even leave the factory for testing purposes. Clearing the lock first will ensure that you can pair it successfully.


Adding a Siren to the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F

Joe is back again, and this time he's gonna show you how to add a siren to a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F. This is a wired to wireless converter that allows you to use hardwired sensors with a wireless 319.5 MHz system. The module was specifically designed with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus in mind. What's unique about the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F is that it includes siren terminals and a built-in siren relay which can be controlled wirelessly by the panel. No external relay is needed for the connected siren, as long as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 has a hardware RF PIC version 11.1.4 G2 or higher.


Powering the Honeywell Vista-20P

If you just can't get enough of Joe, then you're in luck! He will show you how to provide power to your Honeywell VISTA 20P Hardwired Security System. The panel receives power through two sources. Its primary power source is a plug-in transformer, specifically the Honeywell 1321. If the electricity goes out, then the system can remain powered on through its backup battery. We recommend using an UltraTech 1240 for this purpose. All of this equipment can be purchased from the Alarm Grid site.


How Alarm Systems Work

Hey look, it's Jorge! He's going to explain how alarm systems work. The centerpiece of every alarm system is the control panel. This panel receives signals from sensors that are used throughout the premises. There are sensors for letting the system know if a door or window is opened, if there is movement in the area, if glass is broken, if there is a fire, or really almost any troubling condition that warrants your attention. The system then responds based on the zone configuration and its current arming state.


The Tuxedo Touch - Not An AlarmNet Communicator

If you think the Tuxedo Touch WIFI is an AlarmNet Communicator, then you are sorely mistaken. Jorge is here to set the record straight and explain that the Tuxedo Touch is not a communicator. It is just a touchscreen keypad used with VISTA Series Systems. The keypad uses WIFI connectivity to transmit Z-Wave home automation signals to and from Total Connect 2.0. But you will still need a separate communicator for connecting your system with the AlarmNet Servers.


Programming Report Codes For a Self Monitoring Plan With Alarm Grid

Let's say you sign-up for a self-monitoring plan with Alarm Grid. Great! But since you are self-monitored, you don't need your system reporting out to a central monitoring station. Jorge will show you how to disable the reporting codes for your system so that it functions properly. This process is only necessary for self-monitored systems that use Total Connect 2.0. You do not need to disable report codes for Alarm.com Systems, since Alarm Grid can do it from their end.


Defaulting a Schlage Z-Wave Lock

Joe returns to tell you how to default a Schlage Z-Wave Lock. By performing a factory reset, the lock will be restored to its factory default settings. This will clear any Z-Wave settings, as well as any codes programmed for the device. You will need to re-add the lock to your Z-Wave network. You should check the programming sticker on the lock to find the default user codes. The programming sticker is found underneath the device's main cover.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments