How Do I Upgrade a DSC Impassa to Use LTE?

You can upgrade a DSC Impassa to use LTE by installing and activating a compatible LTE cellular communicator for the system. The best communicator to use is the DSC TL8055LTVZ, which connects across the Verizon LTE Network. The Impassa will use this module to communicate with Alarm.com.

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Like any alarm system, the DSC Impassa needs a communicator for monitoring service. With the impending 3G and CDMA sunset, only LTE communicators can be activated for connectivity with Alarm.com as of late 2019. Luckily, the Impassa has a great LTE communicator option in the DSC TL8055LTVZ. Since this is an LTE communicator, you will be able to keep your Impassa monitored well into the very distant future. Verizon has publicly stated that they plan on maintaining support for the LTE network, even as 5G networks and beyond come to fruition.

You will need a monitoring plan to activate the DSC TL8055LTVZ. If you get monitoring service with Alarm Grid, then you can choose between a Gold Level Plan and a Platinum Level Plan. Either self-plans or central station plans will work fine. Choose the best plan for your needs. We also offer a Cellular-Only Plan, which is good if you only want central station service, without the interactive and remote access features of Alarm.com. You can learn all about Alarm Grid monitoring plans in this comprehensive blog post.

The DSC TL8055LTVZ is a dual-path communicator, meaning that it connects across both IP (internet protocol) and cellular. Alarm.com requires the cellular portion of the communicator to be activated and registered, but internet is technically optional. However, most users will activate for both IP and cellular, because it never really hurts to have multiple communication paths available. Just remember that the Impassa System must be running at least Firmware Version 1.3 to support the communicator. If your Impassa is on a lower firmware, then you will need to replace the panel. Finally, make sure you get adequate coverage from the Verizon LTE Network. Check coverage maps if you aren't sure. A cellular antenna or cellular amplifier may be added to boost signals.

For this FAQ, we will assume that the Impassa is on Firmware Version 1.3 or higher. Complete the following steps to upgrade a DSC Impassa to LTE:

1. Open up the panel. You will need to open up the DSC Impassa Alarm Panel before you can take any action. To open the panel, take a flat head screwdriver, and press in on the two (2) front tabs. You should then be able to separate the front of the panel from its back.


2. Power down the panel. Always power down the system before removing or installing a cellular communicator. With the panel open, disconnect its backup battery. Then unplug the transformer from the wall outlet. You may need a screwdriver to unplug the transformer if it is screwed into the outlet. Verify that the panel powered down.

3. Remove the old communicator. With the system fully powered down, remove the old communicator, if applicable. You can see the old communicator in the picture below. It is the smaller green circuit board on the back portion of the panel, located to the right of the backup battery. You need to disconnect the grey connector strip at the communicator, disconnect the golden antenna connector leading to the yellow printed circuit board, and unscrew the two (2) screws. This time you will need a Phillips screwdriver. For reference, the "yellow printed circuit board" is the antenna for the old communicator. We have circled each relevant component in the first picture below. The second picture shows the panel with the communicator removed.

4. Install the new communicator. Now you will install the new DSC TL8055LTVZ Communicator. You will complete the same connections as before. This includes the grey connector strip, and the two (2) screws. The LTE communicator will have two (2) antennas. When wall mounting, feed both antennas through the backplate, and allow them to hang freely within the wall. If you are table mounting the unit, uncoil the antenna cables, and position them in such a way as to provide adequate signal strength. The antennas should be at least a foot from each other, as well as from the main panel. Be sure to verify good signal strength before completing the installation. Make note of the IMEI number on the communicator, as you will need it when activating. The IMEI should be found on a sticker somewhere on the unit, or on its packaging.

5. Power on the panel. Connect the backup battery first. You can then close the panel. This is done by aligning the top portion first, and then popping the two (2) lower tabs into place. Next, plug the transformer back into the outlet. Finally, reapply the set screw for the transformer, if needed. The panel should power on.

6. Activate for monitoring. The communicator must be activated for monitoring service. If you are setting up service with Alarm Grid, then an activator will reach out to you at your scheduled activation time. You should have the communicator installed inside the system prior to this time. Please follow these tips to ensure that your activation goes as smoothly as possible.

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