Why's Total Connect Sending disarm notifications when no one's home?Posted By Sterling Donnelly
If you've noticed some weird Total Connect 2.0 behavior starting yesterday morning and going throughout the day yesterday, it's because Honeywell had an issue with their AlarmNet servers that lasted from 8:30AM to 9:30AM EST.
The issue did not affect all Honeywell AlarmNet customers but if you had reports from the central station about an E353 trouble or saw error messages on your keypad about a Check 103 LRR or 103 trouble, that was most likely caused by the server issues.
It seems that any commands sent from TC2 during the time the servers had the problem may not have gone through, and any commands initiated from the local keypad did not report properly to TC2 at that time. Once the issue was resolved, the server had a back log of TC2 alerts that hadn't gone out and then the servers started releasing all of the back logged alerts/events.
This caused some people to get TC2 alerts that their system was disarmed when it in fact was still armed. We realize how inconvenient that can be as an alert telling you that your system was disarmed when no one is home can be very disconcerting.
We wanted to use this Honeywell server error as a chance to explain the Total Connect 2.0 "virtual keypad" feature so that everyone understands how that works, and in case of future server errors, may be able to avoid running home to verify if a system is armed or disarmed.
On the Total Connect 2.0 "front end", you'll see a system status showing if the system is armed or disarmed. Unfortunately, that status is reported from the servers and can sometimes be wrong (depending on panel communication issues or server issues). However, if you understand how the virtual keypad works, you will have a way to know for sure if your system is armed or not. On the totalconnect2.com website, you'll find the option for the virtual keypad under the Security module.
You can see in the picture below that the word Keypad is hovering over the actual keypad icon. That's just because we had our mouse hovered over the keypad when we took the screen shot to highlight where the icon is displayed.
If you hit that button, it pulls up a new screen and actually initiates a live connection to the system. You'll first see a screen showing the virtual keypad and the display on the keypad will read "Connecting..."
After a minute or so, the live connection to the system will be established, and you'll see the keypad screen update to the actual system status.
As this is a live connection to the system, as opposed to the "front end" TC2 status which was just the last status that was reported to the servers, there's no way for this status to display anything other than the real system status.
If you ever receive an arm/disarm signal from the system to your TC2 account that doesn't seem to be accurate, check the virtual keypad and you'll know for sure what the system is doing. If you do see your front end TC2 status different than the live keypad connection, just initiate a set of arm and disarm (if you are currently disarmed) or disarm and arm (if you are currently armed) commands which should bring the front end status back up to date.
The virtual keypad can also be initiated from the mobile app as well. Using the Security tab in the app, you simply click the word Keypad in the top right to initiate the connection to the virtual keypad.
That will take you to the "connecting" screen:
and then after a minute or so, you'll see the true live system status:
Your TC2 account's front end should not ever be out of sync with the true system status with any kind of regularity, but understanding how to use the virtual keypad in cases where you suspect it may be out of sync will give you the confidence to know what the true system status is, and then you can use the virtual keypad to fix the front end yourself.
One last important note is that if your system is offline, meaning the AlarmNet communicator your system is using (IP, cellular or both) is fully offline, when you try the virtual keypad connection, you'll end up on a screen that looks like this on the totalconnect2.com website:
and like this on the Total Connect 2.0 mobile app:
You'll notice that it stays on the "connecting" screen for much longer than usual in these instances. If you ever get to this message, you'll need to troubleshoot your communicator's connection as the error is an indication that your system is currently offline.Your TC2 front end can be showing the wrong state if the system is offline as the server's only know the last state of the system before it went offline.
We hope this information helps make your experience with using Total Connect 2.0 an easier process and as always, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about Total Connect 2.0.