IQ Panel 2 vs IQ Panel 2 Plus Alarm Systems?
The IQ Panel 2 and the IQ Panel 2 Plus Alarm Systems are exactly the same. The main way that these systems differ is that the IQ Panel 2 Plus has a PowerG card installed. There are also three legacy card options available for the IQ2+, while the standard IQ2 only supports 319.5 MHz sensors.
For all intents and purposes, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus are the same system. They look exactly the same, and they have the same menus. Both support up to 128 wireless zones and 242 user codes. Both support Z-Wave Plus devices, and both can support multiple partitions with firmware update 2.3.0. They can also both be used to live stream compatible Alarm.com Cameras. Both connect with the Alarm.com Servers.
The one difference between the two systems deals with the daughtercards that come pre-installed inside the system. Both systems have four daughtercard slots. The four daughtercards are a Z-Wave Plus daughtercard, a legacy sensor daughtercard, a PowerG Sensor daughtercard, and an image sensor daughtercard. Every Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus has a Z-Wave Plus daughtercard installed. From there, things get a bit complicated.
Any user can power down an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus and install and remove daughtercards as needed. However, the only daughtercard that Qolsys sells as a standalone version is the image sensor daughtercard, also known as the IQ Card-IS. All other daughtercard options are only available as pre-installed into either the IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus. They cannot be purchased separately.
The biggest selling point of the IQ Panel 2 Plus is the PowerG daughtercard. This module allows the system to support PowerG Sensors. These sensors are known for their extremely impressive signal range and their encrypted communication. As some of the most advanced sensors in the industry, being able to support PowerG devices is a big deal. While you could technically remove the PowerG daughtercard for the IQ2+ and install it in inside the standard IQ2, this would be pointless. After all, you would just be best off buying an IQ2+ in the first place!
The other distinguishing factor for the IQ Panel 2 Plus is the fact that the system has three legacy daughtercard options. These options are 319.5 MHz (Qolsys and Interlogix/GE Sensors), 345 MHz (legacy Honeywell and 2GIG Sensors), and 433 MHz (legacy DSC). Meanwhile, the standard IQ Panel 2 only has the 319.5 MHz card. If you want to use 345 MHz or 433 MHz sensors instead of 319.5 MHz sensors, you should purchase an IQ Panel 2 Plus.
Neither system comes with the Qolsys IQ Card-IS Image Sensor Module pre-installed. This module must be purchased and installed separately in all cases. However, there is one very important thing to note about this module. Although it is installed in a separate port than the PowerG daughtercard, it actually uses the same antenna. The antenna can only be used with one module at a time.
Without the antenna, the daughtercard will have a signal range of less than three feet. This is unusable in virtually all situations. So while you can technically have both a PowerG daughtercard and an image sensor daughtercard both installed, using them together is simply not feasible. You will need to choose between using Qolsys Image Sensors and using PowerG Sensors.
If you intend on using Qolsys Image Sensors, your best option is usually to purchase a standard IQ Panel 2. The only exception to this rule is if you plan on using either the 345 MHz or the 433 MHz legacy daughtercard option. Please note that there is also a PowerG Image Sensor available that will work with the PowerG daughtercard. This image sensor will do essentially the same thing as the Qolsys Image Sensor.
Remember, the IQ Panel 2 Plus is more expensive than the standard IQ Panel 2. They do the exact same thing, and they only differ in terms of the pre-installed daughtercards. If you don't plan on using 345 MHz sensors, 433 MHz sensors, or PowerG 915 MHz sensors, then you should go with the standard IQ Panel 2. There's no reason to go with a IQ2+ if you don't plan on using any of these sensors. But just keep in mind that by using the standard IQ2, you will be restricted to using 319.5 MHz sensors only.
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