Waiting For Your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus GuideBy Michael Goris
If you recently purchased an IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you have some planning to do while waiting for the system to arrive. You need to decide where and how you will mount the system, where you will place your sensors, and how to activate the system for monitoring service. This guide will help!
Mounting Your IQ Panel 2 Plus
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The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus can be mounted in one of two (2) ways. It can be wall-mounted, or it can be rested on a desk or a table using a stand. Most DIY users simply use a stand, as it prevents the need for any tools. The panel already comes with a stand, though a more robust one can also be purchased. If you are using a stand, then just find a sturdy table, desk, or counter where you can place the panel. We recommend a location that is easily accessible near the entrance where you are most likely going to be using the system. Save some space in that location so that it will be available once your new panel arrives.
If you decide to wall-mount, then be aware that you will need to create holes in the hall for the panel backplate to be mounted. A power drill is recommended, though not necessarily required. You will also need to create a small hole for the transformer wire to go through. The wire hole is usually closer to the ground and made near the outlet where the plug-in transformer will be used. You can technically have the panel in a different location from the outlet when wall-mounted, but remember you will need to fish the wire through the wall. Again, we recommend finding a convenient spot for the panel, ideally near the entrance where you most frequently come and go. Try finding an open spot on the wall in a convenient location with an outlet nearby. Although you won't be able to complete the install until you panel arrives, you can still start thinking about where it will go.
Some users question whether or not the system should be visible near the entrance. The fear is that an intruder might destroy the system upon entering. This is not a concern, as the IQ Panel 2 Plus uses Crash & Smash technology when paired with Alarm.com. This means that if an intruder destroys the system before an alarm occurs, help will still be sent out. More information on Crash & Smash can be found in this FAQ.
Choosing Sensor Locations
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There are many types of sensors that can be used with an IQ Panel 2 Plus. Remember that every sensor should be tested following the mounting and programming process. Here are some tips for mounting some of the most popular sensor types.
Surface-Mounted Door Sensors - Surface-mounted door sensors are placed on the outer surface of a door and are visible from the outside. They are usually installed near the upper-corner of a door, on the side away from the hinges. The larger sensor is placed on the door frame, and the magnet is placed on the moving portion of the door. The sensor and magnet should be level and in very close proximity when the door is closed. Ideally, they should be in direct contact, though a half-inch distance is usually allowed. You can also have the sensor and magnet at the top of the door more towards the center. Just keep in mind that the closer you have the sensor/magnet to the door hinges, the more you will need to open the door for the sensor to activate. Every door that can be used to enter and exit the building should be outfitted with some type of door sensor. The sensor and magnet should be mounted inside the building so that they aren't exposed to outside elements like rain, wind, and dust.
Recessed Door Sensors - Recessed door sensors are installed inside a door and its accompanying frame. Two (2) level holes must be drilled, with one being in the side of the door on the opposite end from the hinges, and the other being in the door frame. The holes should be the proper diameter and depth to snugly house the sensor and magnet. See the dimensions for your sensor and magnet to determine exactly how large to make the holes. Height isn't as important with recessed door sensors, since you won't really see them anyway. Usually a height a little above the door knob is chosen, for the sole purpose of making the installation easier. Remember that every door used to enter and exit the building should be outfitted with some type of door sensor.
French Doors - One special note on French doors is that you will typically not mount the sensor on or inside the frame. You want to know when either door is opened. Therefore, you must have the sensor on or inside one door, while the magnet is on the other. The sensor and magnet will meet in the upper center of the double French door. Opening either side will cause the sensor and magnet to become separated, thereby telling the sensor to alert the system. If using surface-mounted sensors, place them inside the building so that they do not become exposed to the elements.
Sliding-Glass Doors - For a sliding glass door that can open from either side, you will need two (2) sets of door sensors. One set should go on one side of the door near the upper corner, while the other set will go on the opposite side, also near the upper corner. The magnets go on the moving portion of the sliding door, while the sensors go on the frame. Sliding one side of the door open from either side should cause a magnet to become separated from its corresponding sensor.
Window Sensors - Much of the same principles of door sensors apply to window sensors. Most window sensors are surface-mounted, since it can be difficult or impossible to create space in the side of a window for a recessed sensor. However, there are some windows that will support recessed sensors, and you may also be able to find some recessed sensors specifically made for windows. For the installation, try opening the window, and see which parts move. The idea is that the magnet should separate from the sensor when the window is opened. In most cases, the sensor will go on the frame, and the magnet will go on the moving portion of the window. For a window that slides upward, the sensor and magnet are installed on the lower portion of the window, as to allow for sensor activation. For French windows, the same principle applies as French doors. You must have the sensor and magnet positioned in the center of the French window where the two sides meet so that activation can occur, regardless of which side is opened. A surface-mounted window sensor should be installed on the inside so that it is not exposed to any outdoor elements. Ideally, you want to have any window that is easily accessible outfitted with a sensor.
Motion Sensors - Most motion sensors are corner-mounted, which requires making holes in the wall to support the mounting bracket. However, you can also flat-mount most motion sensors, which allows for mounting using double-sided foam tape and no tools. But this also reduces the coverage area for the sensor. The typical motion sensor is mounted between 6 and 8 feet high, with 7 feet often being a "sweet spot". Motion sensors should not be facing windows or air ducts that could result in accidental activation. If pet-immunity is important, then the motion sensor should not be facing towards any furniture or stairwells that a pet could climb upon to get within the sensor's field of view. Most motion sensors provide additional security in areas without many door and window sensors around.
Glass Break Detectors - The typical glass break sensor is monitoring for a broken window. You can use a single glass break sensor to monitor multiple windows when positioned properly. A glass break detector should have a direct line of sight to any window it is monitoring. It must be within a reasonable distance of the window, which is usually less than 20 or 25 feet. There should be no large obstacles blocking the path from the glass break detector and the window. For best results, test you glass break detectors using a glass break simulator.
Smoke & Heat Detectors - Smoke and heat sensors are either ceiling-mounted or positioned high up on a wall. This makes sense, as both smoke and heat rise. You should have at least one smoke and heat detector on each floor of the building and at least one outside of each bedroom or sleeping area. Other popular locations include large central areas like living rooms and in hallways that smoke could travel through. Standalone heat sensors are commonly placed in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and attics where a conventional smoke detector may cause a false alarm.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Carbon monoxide sensors should be installed in each bedroom or sleeping area, and you should have at least one on each floor. These sensors are also often installed near fuel burning appliances, as a malfunction could result in an outbreak of CO gas. However, you do not want to have a CO sensor too close, as that could result in a false alarm. A few feet of distance is recommended. Height isn't as important with CO detectors, as carbon monoxide gas neither rises nor falls. But you should have a carbon monoxide sensor at least off of the ground.
Flood Sensors - Flood sensors go low to the ground where a flood is most likely to occur. They are often placed in basements, near sump pumps, under refrigerators, under sinks, and near toilets. If the space you want to monitor is very tight, then you might consider looking for a flood sensor with an external probe that you can use to fit into a smaller space.
Temperature Sensors - Temperature sensors are extremely versatile in location. Remember that heat rises and cold air sinks, so you may want to position based on whether high or low temperatures is of a greater concern. The sensor should have open space around it so that it can detect the temperature in the area. You don't necessarily need a large number of temperature sensors. Usually one on each floor is fine.
Getting Your IQ Panel 2 Plus Monitored
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If you haven't already, it is strongly recommended that you schedule an activation slot with the monitoring company you are working with. Your monitoring plan must include cellular service. If you are looking to get monitored through Alarm Grid, then you can choose between our Gold and Platinum Level Plans (Self or Full) and our $25 Per Month Cell Only Plan. We recommend checking the tracking information for your system and choosing a day or two after its scheduled arrival for your activation. Remember, you will want to install your system and its sensors and test them all out before you activate your system. For more information on our monitoring plans, please see this guide.
An activator will call you at your scheduled activation slot. It is at this time you will need to provide the IMEI number for the system. This is necessary for registering it with Alarm.com. Most of the steps will be completed by the activator. As long as you listen carefully to their instructions, the activation should go smoothly. You can check out these activation tips for more information.