How Do I Upgrade the Z-Wave Firmware for My Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus?
You can upgrade the Z-Wave firmware for your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus by applying the appropriate Patch Tag and updating over the network. Upgrading the system's Z-Wave firmware is usually done to unlock the Smart Start feature and to enhance the system's Z-Wave security protocol to S2.
NOTE: In July of 2020, Qolsys identified problems with their 6.81.03 Z-Wave firmware. The zwave681 patch associated with the 6.81.03 firmware was taken off the network while Qolsys applied a fix. In early August 2020, the zwave681 patch was once again made available, this time with the fix applied. In order to apply the patch, the IQ Panel 2 must be running Panel Firmware Version 2.4.2 or higher, and it must not have had the zwave681 patch applied previously. If the system had the old zwave681 patch downloaded and applied, before the fix in early August, then updating to Panel Firmware Version 2.5.2 will fix the issues associated with the Z-Wave firmware. If the system was already on 2.5.2 before the patch fix in early August, then the user will need to wait for the release of Panel Firmware Version 2.5.3 to fix the issue. The 2.5.3 firmware is expected to be made available for download in mid-August. More information on IQ2 Firmware can be found here.
There are many things to consider regarding the Z-Wave firmware on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. First of all, the only real reason to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is if the system has a Z-Wave firmware version of less than 6.81.03. By upgrading to Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03 or higher, you will be able to use the Smart Start feature to add new Z-Wave devices. You will also upgrade the system's Z-Wave security protocol to S2. More info on the Smart Start feature and the S2 Security Protocol can be found in this comprehensive FAQ.
If your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus came with System Firmware Version 2.4.0 pre-installed out-of-the-box, then it already has Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03 or higher. As a result, you really only need to perform the Z-Wave firmware upgrading process if the panel was running a system firmware version of less than 2.4.0 when it was brand-new. It is important to note that upgrading to the newest system firmware will NOT automatically update the Z-Wave firmware to the latest version. The system firmware and the Z-Wave firmware on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus are updated separately.
Having said that, it's still important to consider the current system firmware version when upgrading the Z-Wave firmware. This is because it is only possible to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus that is running System Firmware Version 2.4.2 or higher. Therefore, if your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is not running at least System Firmware Version 2.4.2, then you must first upgrade to the latest system firmware before attempting to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware.
Second, upgrading the Z-Wave firmware on your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus can cause problems for the existing Z-Wave devices already enrolled with the panel. With that in mind, you may need to clear all of the Z-Wave devices from your IQ Panel 2 Plus after updating the Z-Wave firmware. Clearing all Z-wave devices is only required if you update the firmware and then begin having issues with Z-Wave devices that were working before the Z-Wave firmware update. From there, you would need to re-add all the devices back into the Z-Wave network.
Lastly, as is the case with any Patch Tag upgrade, your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System should be connected with a local WIFI network before attempting the process. The panel should have its transformer plugged into an active wall outlet, and its backup battery should be fully charged. Do not attempt this process until all of these requirements are met.
Complete the following steps to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware on your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus:
1. Update the system firmware. Since the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus must be running at least System Firmware Version 2.4.2 to update its Z-Wave firmware, now is a great time to update the system firmware to the latest version. This is only required if your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is running a system firmware of lower than 2.4.2. However, we generally recommend upgrading to the latest system firmware in all cases. You can learn about the latest system firmware for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 on this helpful page.
Remember that you can only update the firmware for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System that is already running at least System Firmware Version 2.0.1 or higher. If you have a very old Qolsys IQ Panel 2 that is running a lower system firmware version than 2.0.1, then you will want to consider replacing the panel. Encountering a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 running less than 2.0.1 is very rare, but it is something to consider.
2. Access the upgrade menu. Start from the main screen of your Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Click the small grey bar at the top of the main screen. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter the Installer Code (default is 1111) > Upgrade Software. You will now be in the appropriate menu.
3. Perform the Z-Wave upgrade. Choose the option called "Patch Tag". You will be prompted to enter the corresponding Patch Tag for the update. This is very similar to performing a system firmware update. In this case, the Patch Tag you want to enter is zwave681. You must enter that Patch Tag exactly as shown. Failing to do so will result in an unsuccessful update.
After entering the Patch Tag zwave681, click the OK button. Then select "Upgrade Using Network". If the Patch Tag was entered correctly, then the updating process should begin. The system will require a reboot to complete the update. The reboot will occur automatically. The update should complete in a matter of minutes. Once complete, you will be able to use your IQ Panel 2 System like normal.
4. Clear network if necessary. After you complete the upgrade, you may notice that devices on your network that were working fine before are now working improperly. If that is the case, try clearing your Z-Wave network and then re-adding the deleted devices. This should fix any issues that you are experiencing. If your Z-Wave devices are still functioning as intended after the upgrade, then you do not need to bother with this step.
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