What Are the Best Alarm Contacts for Sliding Doors?
The best alarm contacts for sliding doors are skinny contacts that can properly fit on the door and its frame. Both wireless and hardwired sensors can be used for this purpose. It is also very important to choose a door contact that is compatible with the alarm system that is being used.
In most cases, it is wise to use a surface-mounted sensor with a sliding door. This is because it is usually difficult to drill a hole into a sliding door for a recessed sensor. Also, most users opt for thin, skinny contacts that can fit on the sliding door and its frame. However, any contact that will fit on both the door and the frame will work. The sensor will be applied on the frame of the door. The magnet will be placed on the door itself, within about half an inch of the sensor. Both wireless and hardwired contacts are appropriate for this type of application.
The first thing to consider is whether a wireless or hardwired contact will be used. If a wireless contact is being used, it must use an RF signal that is compatible with the security system. Honeywell and 2GIG panels use sensors that communicate at a frequency of 345 MHz. Qolsys panels use sensors that communicate at a frequency of 319.5 MHz. Please note that if a hardwired Honeywell Vista Panel is being used, then a wireless receiver will be needed. This will allow the wireless sensor to communicate with the hardwired system.
If a hardwired contact is being used, then a wired to wireless system converter may be needed. Wired systems, such as those from the Honeywell Vista Series, will not need this type of converter. However, wireless systems will require a converter to use a wired contact. Honeywell and 2GIG systems will use a 5800C2W, while a Qolsys system will use a Hardwired 8-S or a Hardwired 16-S. The wired contact will connect to the converter. The converter will then send a signal to the security system so that it can communicate with the hardwired contact wirelessly.
With all of that in mind, below are some great sensors to use with sliding doors, depending on various scenarios:
Wireless Contact, Qolsys Panel: Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S
Hardwired Contact, any panel: Honeywell 940
Another special mention is the Honeywell SiXMINICT, which is an encrypted wireless contact exclusively for use with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Also, the Honeywell 5811 is known for being a great wireless sensor for sliding doors. However, the 5811 has been discontinued.
The video below shows how to install a Honeywell 5811 on a sliding door. The process is virtually the same for installing any wireless sensor on a sliding door.
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