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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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Hi DIYers! Today, we are reviewing the Encore FireFighter FF345 and the Interlogix SLX-AD-T3 takeover listening modules. These are both listening devices that are used with life-safety sensors. They allow end users to easily integrate existing life-safety sensors with their alarm systems.


Obviously, a sensor can only work with a system if the system is able to detect signals that are sent out from the sensor. For many existing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, they may not be able to communicate successfully with a panel. This is often because they are hardwired building smoke detectors that aren't designed to integrate with a newly installed system. Or they could be standalone, battery-powered devices that do not send out wireless communication signals for communicating with a wireless receiver. In any case, these devices are unable to integrate with an alarm system through a conventional method.

However, a takeover module like the FF345 or the SLX-AD-T3 will allow these devices to be used as a part of a complete alarm system. The user will not need to change their existing smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in any way. Instead, they can simply install an FF345 or an SLX-AD-T3 next to an existing life-safety sensor. They can then program the FF345 or the SLX-AD-T3 as though it were a regular life-safety sensor that is compatible with their system.

When their smoke detector or their carbon monoxide sensor is activated, it will still produce a sound to alert anyone in the building. The way that the FF345 and SLX-AD-T3 work is that they actively listen for this specific type of sound. Once the FF345 or SLX-AD-T3 hears the sound and realizes that the life-safety sensor has been activated, it will send an immediate alert to the panel. The system will then respond in the same way as if a programmed life-safety sensor were activated. If the user is monitored with a central station, this will usually mean automatic emergency dispatch.

Please note that only smoke detectors that produce a Temporal 3 sound and carbon monoxide sensors that product a Temporal 4 sound can be used with life-safety detector listening modules. Additionally, the Interlogix SLX-AD-T3 (FF319) can only listen for smoke detector modules that produce the Temporal 3 sound. You cannot use the SLX-AD-T3 with carbon monoxide sensors. However, the latest version of the FF345 will listen for both the Temporal 3 and the Temporal 4 sound. As such, the FF345 can be used with both smoke detectors and CO detectors.

Whether a user gets the FF345 or the SLX-AD-T3 will depend on what type of system they have. If their system supports 345 MHz sensors (e.g. Honeywell, 2GIG), they will get the FF345. If their system supports 319.5 MHz sensors (e.g. Interlogix/GE, Qolsys), they will get the SLX-AD-T3. But both sensors will provide the same great type of functionality and reliability.

Both the FF345 and the SLX-AD-T3 can be purchased from the Alarm Grid website. Get one to provide top-quality fire and carbon monoxide protection for your home or business.

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Hi DIYers! Our YouTube Channel uploaded a sound clip that mimics the sound of breaking glass. This sound clip can be used to test various glass break detectors for proper function. This includes both external glass break sensors and the internal glass break sensor for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2.


Although this might just sound like a generic glass break effect, it was actually specifically designed for testing glass break sensors. It includes both the low-pitched "thud" of an object striking against the glass, as well as the high-pitched "shattering" sound that is most commonly associated with breaking glass.

In order to test one of your glass break sensors, start by putting your system on test mode with the central station. Next, pull up the YouTube clip on your phone, and set your phone's volume to its highest setting. Then play the clip in its entirety while you are within the detection range of your glass break sensor. If successful, the sensor will send an alert to the control panel to let it know that it has been activated. You might want to test the sensor from multiple locations to make sure that it will properly respond to glass breaking from different directions.

Keep in mind that if the glass break sensor does not activate during testing, it does not necessarily mean that your glass break sensor isn't working properly. It may just need to have its settings adjusted, or you may need to change its location. Also, it's very important to mention that we recommend using a conventional glass break simulator, such as a Honeywell FG701 or an Interlogix 5709C-W if possible. This sound clip is only alternative option if a user has no other way of testing their sensor. Although the clip should work well, it will not work as effectively as a legitimate testing device.

We hope this clip will be helpful for users who need to test their glass break sensors. If you need any help, please contact us at 888-818-7728 M-F from 9am to 8pm EST or email us any time at support@alarmgrid.com.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the VERSA-2GIG and VERSA-GE Door and Window Contacts. These are actually both Honeywell 5800MINI Sensors that have been reconfigured to communicate at different frequencies. They offer an affordable solution for monitoring doors and windows.

Versa 2gig honeywell lyric and 2gig compatible sensor powThe VERSA-2GIG, VERSA-GE and 5800MINI all provide the same operation that a user would expect out of any standard door and window contact. The device functions using a sensor and an included magnet. The sensor should be mounted on the stationary portion of the door or window frame. The magnet should be mounted on the moving part of the door or window, within a half-inch of the sensor. Both can be mounted using screws or with double-sided foam tape. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will result in an internal reed switch inside the sensor being activated. The sensor will then know that the door or window has been opened, and it will send an alert to the security system.

The main difference between the VERSA-2GIG, VERSA-GE and the 5800MINI is the frequency at which each sensor communicates. The 5800MINI communicates at the 345 MHz frequency that is used with all Honeywell 5800 Series Devices. This makes it compatible with all Honeywell Systems (with compatible wireless receivers) and 2GIG Systems. The VERSA-2GIG operates at a similar frequency, but it is more like the 2GIG Sensors. The device will work with 2GIG Systems and the Honeywell Lyric Controller after receiving firmware update MR3. Both the 5800MINI and the VERSA-2GIG will work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz Daughterboard. As for the VERSA-GE, it operates at 319.5 MHz. This makes it compatible with the Interlogix/GE Systems and any Qolsys System with a 319.5 MHz Daughterboard. This includes the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus with 319.5 MHz Daughterboard.

The only other difference between the two VERSA Sensors and the Honeywell 5800MINI is that the VERSA Sensors program in as Loop 2, while the Honeywell 5800MINI programs with Loop 1 when used as a contact. Also, the VERSA Sensors cost significantly less than the 5800MINI. This makes the VERSA Sensors the preferred option if both sensors are compatible with their system. Other than that they are the same sensor. Both devices measure in at 2.2"L X 1.0"W X 0.25"H. This makes them extremely discreet and unobtrusive once installed. And of course, the VERSA Sensors are extremely easy to program in with any compatible panel.

Versa 2gig honeywell lyric and 2gig compatible sensor powBoth versions of the VERSA Sensors - the VERSA-2GIG and VERSA-GE - are available for purchase right now. And for users of a Honeywell LYNX Touch or Honeywell VISTA, the 5800MINI is still available as well. You can get all of these excellent sensors from Alarm Grid. Protect the doors and windows your home with these versatile and reliable sensors!

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Hi DIYers! Our team is back with another video recap, this time for October 2nd through October 5th. It's a rather short video recap this time, but we have some fantastic videos from our support technicians Joe and Jorge. Let's check out what the video team has been up to this week.

Using a Phone Line with an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5 Alarm System

Joe shows users how to use a phone line with an Interlogix Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. The physical phone line input for the POTS (plain old telephone service) connection is found on the inside of these panels. An RJ31X is needed to complete the wiring process. This module comes included with both of these systems. Please note that Alarm Grid strongly recommends using cellular monitoring service over a POTS connection. This will require a compatible cellular communicator.


Enabling the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Built-in Glass Break Sensor

Jorge explains how to enable the built-in glass break detector for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This system includes an integrated sensor that actively listens for the sound of breaking glass. We recommend setting this sensor to the lowest possible setting for avoiding any false alarms. The sensor can be enabled from the Installer Settings menu. The user will need to provide the Installer Code (1111) to access these settings. There will be a box to check for the user to enable the sensor. The user will then configure the settings for the sensor.


Can I Use Wired Contacts on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2?

Joe talks about how a user can use normally closed hardwired contacts with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. The panel has inputs on its circuit board for supporting two hardwired contacts. If the user wants to set up additional contacts with their system, they will need to use a compatible wired to wireless converter. The hardwired contacts will connect directly with the converter, and the converter will send a wireless signal to the system on the behalf of these hardwired sensors. A great converter to use for this application is the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S.


Checking the Firmware Version of a Simon XT

Jorge demonstrates how to check the firmware version for an Interlogix Simon XT System. It can be very important to check the firmware for this system, as it will need to be running version 1.3 or higher in order to support an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator. If the system is running a lower firmware version, then it will not be able to support the module, and it will not be able to connect with Alarm.com. The firmware can be checked right from the main menu of the system, and no codes are needed to see the revision number.


Discussion of Batteries in Sensors

Jorge talks about the batteries that are used in various wireless security sensors. A wireless sensor relies on battery power for being able to communicate properly with an alarm system. This is what allows them to stay running without having any wires connected with a wall outlet. The type of battery that a sensor will use generally depends on the size of the sensor and the type of power it needs. Two of the most popular batteries for security sensors are CR123A Camera Batteries and CR2032 Coin Cell Batteries. We recommend using lithium batteries for a maximum lifespan.


Honeywell 5800 Sensors and the Interlogix Simon XT?

Joe discusses how Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors can be used with the Interlogix Simon XT if a wireless translator is used. A wireless translator will take the 345 MHz signal from the Honeywell 5800 Series Sensor and translate it to 319.5 MHz. This will allow the sensor to be used with the Simon XT. Another option is to just use 319.5 MHz sensors with the system. This includes all Interlogix/GE Sensors all Qolsys Sensors, including the encrypted S-Line Sensors.


Managing Home Automation Devices in Total Connect 2.0 from a Tablet

Jorge explains how to manage smart home automation Z-Wave devices in the Total Connect 2.0 service by using a tablet. The user will first need to login to their Total Connect account. The user should then access the Automation Menu to obtain a complete view of all their programmed smart home devices. The user will then be able to control these devices as needed and set them up with any smart scenes. Please note that the user will need to have automation services included in their alarm monitoring plan in order to do this.

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Hi DIYers! We're back with another video recap, this time for September 20th through 28th. We have seven new videos from our technicians Joe, Jorge and Dylan to teach our customers how to use their security systems. Let's take a closer look and see what the Alarm Grid team has been up to.

Honeywell 5800MINI vs Honeywell SiXMINICT

Jorge explains the differences between the Honeywell 5800MINI and the Honeywell SiXMINICT sensors. These are both door and window contacts that are manufactured by Honeywell. But the Honeywell 5800MINI is a 345 MHz Honeywell 5800 Series Sensor that will work with most Honeywell Systems and 2GIG Systems. The SiXMINICT will only work with the Lyric Controller. Also the SiXMINICT is encrypted, while the 5800MINI is not. The devices measure similar in size, but the 5800MINI is slightly smaller.


Interlogix Simon XT Overview

Jorge provides a comprehensive overview of the Interlogix Simon XT Alarm System. The device supports 319.5 MHz sensors from Interlogix/GE and Qolsys. The system supports up to 40 zones, which is plenty for most average-sized homes and smaller businesses. But a cellular communicator is needed to receive cellular monitoring. By adding a cellular communicator, the system will be able to connect with Alarm.com and support Z-Wave smart home devices. Being able to access Alarm.com can greatly add to the end user experience.


Connecting an Interlogix XTi or XTi-5 to WIFI

Dylan explains how the Interlogix Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 cannot connect to a WIFI network. These systems do not have a compatible WIFI card for connecting to a WIFI network. Instead, these systems can only receive monitoring service through a phone line or a cellular connection. A cellular connection is greatly preferred because it offers much faster speeds and vastly superior reliability. A compatible Alarm.com cellular communicator is needed to use a cellular connection with these systems.


Wiring a 5883H to a VISTA Security System

Joe shows users how to wire a Honeywell 5883H Wireless Transceiver to a Honeywell VISTA Alarm System. The Honeywell 5883H will allow the user to use both one-way and two-way 345 MHz wireless devices with their Honeywell VISTA Panel. This includes standard alarm sensors, like door and window contacts and motion sensors, which typically use one-way communication. But it also includes add-ons that require two-way communication between the device and the system. Examples of two-way devices include keypads and wireless sirens. The 5883H will support as many sensors as the VISTA Panel supports.


Programming a Keyfob to an Interlogix Simon XT

Joe demonstrates how to set up a key fob with the Interlogix Simon XT. This is done by putting the system into its learn mode and then activating the key fob to learn it in. The system should recognize the key fob, and the user will then be able to configure its settings. This includes setting the Group Number for the sensor. Most key fobs use Group Number 1, but there are occasions to use Group Numbers 3, 6 or 7 instead.


Changing the Battery of an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Dylan shows users how to change the battery for an Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5. These systems normally rely on a plug-in AC connection for power. The backup battery will be slowly storing electricity for when the power does go out. When an electrical outage occurs, the system will automatically switch over to its backup battery power to stay running. The backup battery will need to be replaced every few years for proper operation. But it should otherwise serve as a reliable source for backup power.


How Many Keypads Can I Add to a Honeywell VISTA-20P?

Dylan explains how many keypads a user can add to their Honeywell VISTA-20P Security System. The panel will support up to eight addressable keypads and up to four advanced user interface (AUI) devices. The first keypad a user will want to add is an alphanumeric keypad, like the Honeywell 6160RF. This will allow the user to perform deep-level programming for their system. From there, they may want to add additional keypads for easier access. One thing to remember with touchscreen AUI devices is that the Total Connect service itself counts as one of the four AUI devices.

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Hi DIYers! Today we're taking a look at a classic Honeywell 5800 Series Sensor. The Honeywell 5820L Wireless Slim Line Door and Window Sensor is known for being one of the easiest to use and effective contacts around. Its slim profile makes it ideal for use with sliding doors and windows.

Honeywell 5820l super slim wireless door and window sensorThe 5820L provides the same function as virtually any wireless door and window sensor. But its long, thin profile makes it perfect for certain applications. The way that the sensor works is fairly standard. The sensor has an integrated reed switch, and it is installed alongside a separate magnet that comes included. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor and cause the internal reed switch to activate. The sensor will then send an alert to the alarm system. As a 345 MHz sensor, the 5820L will work with most wireless Honeywell and 2GIG Panels. It will also work with the new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz daughtercard.

What separates the 5820L from other 345 MHz contacts is its slim profile. This makes it exceptional for use with sliding doors and windows where a smaller sensor is needed. Even better is that the sensor is extremely easy to install by mounting it with double-sided foam tape. This means that no drilling or nails are needed to securely mount the sensor. And since the device uses a single AAA battery with an average battery life of 10 years, keeping the 5820L powered is a breeze. The one downside to the sensor is that it features are relatively short wireless range of about 150 feet. But a user can effectively double this range to 300 feet with the use of a Honeywell 5800RP Wireless Repeater.

The Honeywell 5820L is available for purchase from Alarm Grid now. Protect your sliding doors and windows with this versatile sensor!

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Hi DIYers! We're here with the Alarm Grid video recap for September 10th thru 17th. Our support technicians Joe, Dylan and Jorge are all back and here to teach you how to use your alarm system. We have seven new videos this time, with most of them focusing on the Interlogix Systems.

Disabling Chime on an Interlogix Simon XT

Dylan demonstrates how to disable the chime for an Interlogix Simon XT System. By disabling the chime, the panel will not produce any sounds when sensors are faulted. There is an option accessible from the main screen that is used with toggling the chime On and Off. If the option is set to Off, the chime will be disabled for the entire system. Alternatively, muting the system will also stop the panel from producing chimes. However, this will stop all system sounds, except for sirens.

Self Monitoring a Simon XT

Dylan talks about using a Simon XT with a self-monitoring plan. A self-monitoring plan means that the system is not connected with a central monitoring station. As a result, a user will be unable to receive automatic emergency dispatch. But a user will still be able to receive system alerts and notifications through text and/or email from Alarm.com. A user can take these notifications and contact the authorities when needed to keep their home or business safe.


Adding a Wireless Motion Sensor on an Interlogix Simon XTi

Jorge shows users how to add a wireless motion sensor to an Interlogix Simon XTi System. This is the same process that is used for enrolling a wireless sensor to an Interlogix Simon XTi-5 System. A motion sensor will actively search for any motion that is present in an area. If the device detects motion while the system is armed, an alarm will occur on the system. This makes these devices great for keeping the inside of a building protected and secured. The Simon XTi supports 319.5 MHz motion sensors.


Resetting an Interlogix Simon XTi and XTi-5 to Factory Defaults

Jorge demonstrates how to reset an Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5 System to factory default settings. Once the system has been defaulted, all programmed codes and sensors will be deleted. The Master, Installer and Dealer Codes will all be reset to the factory default values. All system settings will be restored to the default. A user will basically need to reprogram their entire panel after a factory default has been performed. Therefore, we usually only recommend a default if it is absolutely needed.


Adding Hardwired Zones to an Interlogix Simon XT

Dylan shows users how they can use hardwired sensors with the Simon XT System. There are a couple of ways that this can be done. The panel has two hardwired inputs for supporting two normally closed hardwired sensors. This is a great option if a user only needs to use a couple of sensors. The other option is to use a compatible wired to wireless converter. This is good for using several wired sensors. A good converter to use is the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 8 or 16.


Sensors Compatible with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Alarm System

Joe talks about which sensors can be used with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. The standard IQ Panel 2 contains a wireless receiver for supporting 319.5 MHz sensors. This includes all Qolsys Sensors and Interlogix/GE Sensors. If Qolsys S-Line Sensors are used, then they will be encrypted. Additionally, the upgraded Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus can support 915 MHz PowerG Sensors, plus one type of legacy sensors. This depends on which legacy daughtercard is installed. There are legacy options for 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz (Honeywell 5800 Series & 2GIG) and 433 MHz (legacy DSC).


Demonstrating Installer Code & Dealer Code on a Simon XTi and XTi-5

Joe explains the differences between the Installer Codes and Dealer Codes on the Simon XTi and XTi-5 Systems. Both of these codes are set to 4321 out of the box. However, they can be individually programmed if desired. The Dealer Code can do a few things that the Installer Code cannot. These mostly deal with the dialer for the system. Other than that, these codes serve exactly the same purpose. We generally recommend leaving these codes set to their default of 4321 so that the user does not get locked out of programming.

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Hi DIYers! We missed the last video recap with the Labor Day holiday. So we've got an extra large update for you this time! Joe, Jorge and Dylan are back, and they are ready to help you get the most out of your security system. Let's take a look at the newest how-to videos from Alarm Grid!

Honeywell VISTA vs Honeywell Lyric Alarm System

Joe explains the differences between a Honeywell VISTA System and the Honeywell Lyric Controller. A Honeywell VISTA System and the Lyric Controller are both Honeywell Alarm Panels, and they can both be used with Total Connect 2.0. The biggest difference between these panels is that the Lyric is an all-in-one wireless system, while VISTA Systems are hardwired. This means that a VISTA System will require an external keypad for operation and a wireless receiver for supporting any wireless sensors.


What Is Bypassing a Zone on a Security System?

Dylan shows viewers how to bypass zones on Honeywell Security Systems. Bypassing a zone will have specified zones on the system remain inactive while the rest of the system is armed. This can be useful for when a user doesn't want a particular sensor to cause an alarm on the system. For instance, if a user is arming away, but they want to leave a window open, they might bypass the door and window contact that is used with that particular window.


How Does Crash & Smash Work?

Joe discusses "Crash & Smash" and how it is used with Alarm.com. An alarm system must be set up with a central monitoring station to use Crash & Smash. If an intruder breaks into a building and destroys the alarm system, then Crash & Smash will allow an alarm event to still occur. With Crash & Smash, Alarm.com knows that either a disarm signal or an alarm event must occur after a system has been activated. If neither event occurs, then ADC will recognize that the system must have been destroyed, and emergency dispatch will be sent out.


Can I Convert My Wired Honeywell System to be Wireless?

Joe talks about having a hardwired Honeywell VISTA System work with wireless sensors. By adding a compatible wireless receiver, a Honeywell VISTA System can communicate with wireless Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors. It is also possible to take wired sensors and connect them with a compatible wired to wireless converter, like the Honeywell 5800C2W. Then, as long as the VISTA has a wireless receiver, the hardwired sensors can be used with the VISTA as wireless sensors. This can eliminate the need for running wires across the entire building.


Does a 2GIG GC3 Require an Internet Connection?

Joe discusses how a 2GIG GC3 does not necessarily require an internet connection for alarm monitoring. The 2GIG GC3 can communicate with Alarm.com and a central monitoring station through a cellular connection. Cellular connectivity is required for a GC3 System to receive monitoring service. A cellular communicator must be added to the GC3 for this purpose. But the GC3 can still connect to WIFI for a dual-path communication setup. The system comes included with a built-in WIFI card.


Can I Use a 2GIG GC3 Without Alarm.com?

Joe explains how Alarm.com is required for the 2GIG GC3 to receive monitoring service. However, the system can be used as a local sounder without Alarm.com. This will still allow the system to activate a siren during an alarm event. This can be useful for letting building occupants know about an alarm. But without Alarm.com, the GC3 System will have no way of alerting off-site users or requesting automatic emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station.


Capabilities of the Lyric SiXSIREN Video

Joe goes over the functions and features of the Honeywell SiXSIREN. This is an external siren that is designed exclusively for use with the Honeywell Lyric Security Controller. The wireless siren can be mounted in a separate location from the panel to provide an alarm notification to a second part of the building. Both the SiXSIREN and the Lyric internal siren operate at a 85 dB, so a SiXSIREN won't make the alarm louder. But it can be good for spreading the alarm across a larger area. The SiXSIREN LED light provides visual indication of an alarm.


Changing the Installer Code on a LYNX Touch Security System

Joe explains how to change the Installer Code on a Honeywell LYNX Touch Alarm System. We usually advise users to keep their system Installer Codes at their default. This way, if a user ever forgets their Installer Code, they can look up the default Installer Code and get back into programming. But if a user changed their Installer Code and forgot it, then they would have to use the backdoor method to get back in. However, it is still possible to change the Installer Code for a LYNX Touch if desired.


Using Simon XTi with Total Connect

Dylan explains how the Interlogix Simon XTi cannot be used with Total Connect 2.0. The Total Connect 2.0 service is designed for Honeywell Systems only. The Simon XTi is manufacturer by Interlogix, and it is not compatible with Total Connect. Instead, the Interlogix Simon XTi can be used with the Alarm.com service. Alarm.com will offer similar functions and features as Total Connect 2.0. A cellular connection is required for the Simon XTi to be used with Alarm.com.


How Do You Delete a Honeywell Wireless Device?

Jorge shows users how to delete wireless sensors from their Honeywell Alarm Systems. This is done through system programming. A user will need to know the system's Installer Code to access programming. The default Installer Code for almost all Honeywell Systems is 4112. Once a wireless sensor has been deleted, it will need to be reprogrammed if the user wants to use that sensor with the system. A deleted sensor will no longer send alerts or notifications to the alarm system.


How Do I Enable the Receiver in a 6160RF?

Joe demonstrates how to enabled with wireless receiver inside a Honeywell 6160RF Keypad that is used with a Honeywell VISTA Alarm Panel. This is necessary for using wireless sensors with the system. Not only can the 6160RF be used as a primary controller for a VISTA System, it also provides a functional wireless receiver for the system. Once the wireless receiver for the 6160RF has been enabled, wireless sensors can be learned-in using the keypad. But it is important to remember that each VISTA System can only support a limited number of zones.


Resetting an Interlogix Simon XT to Factory Defaults

Jorge shows users how to reset the Interlogix Simon XT System to factory default settings. Defaulting the Simon XT will delete all sensors from the system, and it will clear any user codes that have been set up. Both the Installer Code and the Master Code will be restored to their default values. Because any sensor will need to be reprogrammed, we only recommend defaulting the system if it is absolutely needed. But defaulting the system can be useful in certain situations.


How Do I Un-Bypass a Bypassed Zone on a Honeywell System?

Jorge demonstrates how to un-bypass a zone that is currently bypassed on a Honeywell System. A bypassed zone will remain inactive when the rest of the system is armed. By un-bypassing a zone, the zone will once again be active when the system is armed. The advantage to bypassing and un-bypassing later is that the user will not have to delete the sensor and reprogram it later. They can simply bypass the sensor and then un-bypass it later, and the sensor will work perfectly with all of the settings still programmed.

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Hi DIYers! Some of the most important sensors used with alarm systems are passive infrared (PIR) motion detectors. When installed properly, these devices do an excellent job of detecting any motion that can occur inside a home or business. They are critical for a complete security setup.

Honeywell sixpir lyric smart sensor motion

But while motion sensors provide many great benefits for alarm systems, they are also some of the most prone to experiencing problems and issues. These problems are usually the result of PIR motion sensors being mounted poorly and/or in unsuitable locations. Problems may also occur if a motion sensor is ever used in an improper application or setting for its intended use.

By obtaining a better understanding of motion sensors and how they operate, a user is less likely to experience reoccurring problems with their PIR motion sensor. Just a few tips and general guidelines need to be followed. It all comes down to installing the motion sensor correctly, selecting a good location for the device and choosing the correct type of PIR sensor. If these three tips are followed, then a motion sensor will be much more likely to work properly.

First, it's a good idea to understand what a motion detector is trying to accomplish and how it works. The goal of a good motion sensor is to detect the motion of a human intruder, while also ignoring unimportant sources of motion, like a ceiling fan, curtains or a pet. But this is easier said than done. If a motion is too sensitive, then false alarms will occur. But if it isn't sensitive enough, then it won't detect intruders.

A PIR motion sensor works by taking a reading of the infrared (IR) energy in a room and detecting any significant changes in IR energy that occur. All people, animals and objects give off some amount of IR energy. When a person, animal or object comes into the field of view of the motion sensor, it causes a change in detected IR energy. Once the motion sensor has detected enough of a change, it will send an alert to the alarm system to let it know that motion is present. The alarm system will then respond accordingly based on the programming settings.

Honeywell 5800pir od wireless outdoor motion detector exterior

But most users wouldn't want a motion sensor to activate because of very tiny changes in IR energy. This would cause too many false alarms on the system. That is why motion sensors usually have sensitivity levels that can be adjusted through an adjustable pulse count. The pulse count determines how large of an area needs to experience a change in IR energy before the motion will activate. A higher pulse count will mean that a wider change in IR energy is needed to activate the motion detector, thereby making the sensor less sensitive. Likewise, a lower pulse count will increase the sensitivity. Many motion sensors also have lenses that can be swapped out to provide the optimal view for the device.

But it's important to remember that a PIR motion sensor will only work if it can "see" the movement. That is why it is critical that a motion sensor is mounted at a height where it can properly detect a human intruder. A hypothetical scenario is to imagine a motion sensor that is mounted too high up. In that case, a person could just duck down and move below the field of view without setting off the motion sensor.

Most motion sensors are mounted at a height of about 6 to 8 feet high. This should allow the device to detect any human moving in the room. For optimal coverage, we generally recommend mounting motion sensors in the corner of a room. But mounting height becomes even more important for "pet-friendly" motion sensors. The goal of a pet-immune motion sensor is to detect the motion of a human walking upright, while still ignoring the motion of a small animal walking close to the ground.

Users should realize that pets can still set-off pet immune motion sensors, even if the pet is within the suggested weight limit. But the goal is to prevent this from happening. By setting up the motion sensor correctly and by making it impossible for the pet to get within the field of view (FOV) of the motion sensor, false alarms are much less likely to occur because of the activities of pets.

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If a user intends on using a PIR motion sensor in a home with pets, they should first make sure their PIR motion detector offers pet-immunity. A pet-immune motion sensor features a lens that is designed to detect the motion of a human walking upright, while ignoring the movement of pets closer to the ground. If a motion does not have this special type of lens, then it will still see a pet moving throughout the room.

Second, a user should make sure that their pet is within the listed weight limit of the motion sensor. The idea here is that pets that weigh more are usually larger in size. So if a dog is 60 pounds, it is estimated that it will be large enough to set off a pet-friendly motion sensor for pets rated for up to 40 pounds. Of course, the pet-immunity values provided from motion sensor manufacturers are rough estimates. But these values should still be taken into account when planning.

Third, the motion sensor should be mounted at a proper height. It will need to be at a height where it can still detect the movement of a human, while ignoring the movement of a pet closer to the ground. Generally speaking, 7.5 feet high is a good height for accomplishing this. But this height can vary for different sensors. Also, the motion sensor should be mounted at a proper angle. If it is facing at too low of an angle, a pet might still set it off.

Finally, the motion sensor should not be facing any "obstacles" that a pet could climb on top of to get within the FOV of the sensor. Even if the motion sensor is mounted at a good height and at a proper angle, a pet can still manage to set it off if it is able to get up high enough. For example, a pet could climb on top of a sofa or walk up the stairs and get within the motion's FOV. For that reason, motion sensors shouldn't be mounted facing furniture or a stairway if pets are present.

Honeywell 5800pir res wireless pet immune motion detector close up

There are also a few general guidelines that a person should follow when choosing a location for a PIR Motion. Remember, these devices respond based on changes in infrared energy. By installing a PIR motion near a vent or an air duct, the flow of hot or cold air could result in false alarms. A similar principle can be applied for appliances such as stoves and refrigerators. It is also advised that users do not install motions facing windows, as heavy sunlight could cause the device to activate. Additionally, motion sensors tend to work poorly in environments such as bathrooms, garages and attics, since they tend to feature high levels of humidity and/or dust. A user should also avoid mounting a motion sensor facing a moving ceiling fan or curtains, as this may result in false alarms.

Some users may also overlook the type of PIR motion sensor that is being used. Not all motion sensors are created equal, and there are many types of possible applications. For one, there are residential versus commercial motion sensors. Residential motion sensors are typically less sensitive and better-suited for homes and apartments. Pet-immunity features are usually only found on residential motion sensors. On the other hand, commercial motion sensors are usually more sensitive and feature lower pulse counts. A commercial motion sensor will also typically feature a larger FOV, making it more suitable for commercial settings.

Another common issue is to use an indoor motion sensor in an outdoor setting. Outdoor rated devices feature rugged exterior casings that protect the devices from exposure to rain, wind, dust and extreme temperatures. If a user tries to use an indoor motion sensor in an outdoor setting, then it is very likely that the device will become damaged due to environmental exposure. And while a user can use an outdoor motion sensor indoors, this is usually not recommended because outdoor motions are considerably more expensive. Make sure that the motion you use is suitable for the desired environment.

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Following these tips will help ensure that your PIR motion sensor works properly and doesn't cause you problems. When used properly, these are great devices that do an excellent job of keeping homes and businesses secure. You can buy motion sensors of all types on the Alarm Grid website!

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