What Is The Best Way To Upgrade From a Concord 4 Panel?
The best way to upgrade from a Concord 4 panel depends on how the panel is configured. A panel with mostly wired zones will require different equipment than a mostly wireless panel. There may be other factors to consider as well, like the number of partitions, user codes, and zones.
The first thing a user should decide is whether they want remote access to their panel through an app or website. If not, then only the replacement panel's specifications will matter. If remote access is desired, then there are two options available to choose from, Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The features available through these platforms are very similar, but the compatible equipment differs between the two.
If you plan to use video surveillance, then Alarm.com is the better option as their camera offerings are currently superior to those of Total Connect 2.0. Total Connect 2.0 offers an easy option to Test Drive their platform. Alarm Grid offers an Alarm.com demo account which you can reach by clicking here and using Username: AGCust@alarmgrid.com and Password: m62ZigUEfq. Concord 4 users may already have experience with Alarm.com as there is an Alarm.com capable communicator that is compatible with those panels.
Before we can consider the best replacement for the Concord 4, we should first look at its features and determine which features are being used.
Concord 4 Features:
- Total Zones: 96 - Can be either hardwired, wireless, or a combination (hybrid).
- Hardwired Zones: 8 built-in, up to 96 with SuperBus 2000 8Z input modules. Each module adds 8 zones.
- Wireless Zones: Built-in receiver with 96 zone capacity (panel model 600-1021-95r only). Compatible with all Interlogix Crystal and SAW Learn Mode sensors.
- Partitions: 6.
- User Codes: 230.
- Programmable Outputs: 2 built-in, SuperBus 2000 4-Relay Output Module allows for additional outputs.
- Databus Capacity: Up to 16 devices.
- Auxiliary Power Output: 1 Amp available.
- Siren Output: Built-in 12-Watt Siren Driver.
- 2-Wire Smoke Support: Yes, up to 20 compatible smokes supported.
- Schedules: 16 Available for lighting and outputs.
Best Concord 4 Upgrade Option For Use With Alarm.com
Since the Concord 4 itself can be used with Alarm.com, we'll cover the option that is best compatible with Alarm.com first. The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 comes with either an AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE cellular communicator built in. In addition to choosing the LTE wireless network that works best in the area where the panel will be installed, there are also three different Legacy RF options to choose from. For replacement of a Concord 4, be sure to purchase one of the 319.5 MHz options.
Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Features:
- Total Zones: Up to 128
- Hardwired Zones: Up to 128 using the DSC PG9WLSHW8 Wired to Wireless Converter (see specs below) or the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F (see specs below).
- Wireless Zones: Up to 128. Can use a combination of wireless and wired to wireless zones for a total of 128.
- Partitions: 4.
- User Codes: 242.
- Programmable Outputs: Available via Z-Wave device control. Up 137 total devices supported. This includes up to 80 lights, up to 20 locks, up to 10 thermostats, up to 6 garage doors, and up to 21 Miscellaneous devices such as water valves, automated blind controllers, etc.
- Databus Capacity: NA, all communication with the panel is wireless, either via PowerG, 319.5 MHz, WIFI, or Z-Wave protocols.
- Auxiliary Power Output: NA, additional power will require a separate power supply. However, all peripherals such as wired to wireless converters, keypads, and Z-Wave devices come with their own power source.
- Siren Output: Siren Output: Supports Z-Wave sirens, in addition the wired to wireless converters have an output for a wired siren, if desired. A Z-Wave relay with an added power supply can be used for higher current sounders if desired.
- Schedules: Schedules are available through Alarm.com integration. Panel arming/disarming can be scheduled in addition to automatic control of Z-Wave devices.
DSC PG9WLSHW8 Wired to Wireless Converter Features:
- Wireless Transmitting Range: Up to 4,000 feet in open air (when used with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4).
- Encryption: 128-bit AES Encryption (FHSS)
- Number of Modules Supported per Panel: 2 (this may change with future firmware updates).
- Wireless Protocol: PowerG (912 MHz - 918 MHz, FHSS)
- DC Input Voltage: 18VDC, 2.22A
- Battery Type: Sealed, Rechargeable Lead Acid
- Battery Charging Voltage and Current: 13.7VDC, 360mA
- Low Battery Threshold: 11.5VDC
- Battery Cutoff: 9.8VDC
- Maximum Auxiliary Current: 700mA (4-Hour Battery Standby Time)
- Total Hardwired Zones: Eight (8)
- Wired Smoke Detector Support: 2-Wire (Up to 18) or 4-Wire
- Wired CO Detector Support: Yes
- PGM Voltage & Current (1, 3, 4): 11.3VDC to 12.5VDC, 50mA
- PGM Voltage & Current (2): 11.3VDC to 12.5VDC, 300mA
- Bell Output: (12V @ 700mA, Supervised)
- Max Wire Run (Sensors): 7,800 Feet w/ 18 AWG Wire
- Max Wire Run (Transformer): 13 Feet w/ 18 AWG Wire
- EOLR Values: Programmable 1k to 10k
- Recommended EOLR Value: 5.6k ohm (green, blue, red, gold)
- SEOL Resistors: Yes
- DEOL Resistors: Yes
- Housing Enclosure: Plastic
- Tamper Protection: Front & Back
- Operating Temperature: 14°F to 131°F (-10℃ - +55℃)
- Operating Humidity: 5% to 93% RH Non-Condensing
- Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor Use Only
- Dimensions: 9.84"L x 8.86"W x 3.15"D
- Weight (Battery Included): 6.28 pounds
- Features: Bell Output, Life-Safety Sensor Support, Four (4) Programmable Outputs, LED Lights, Included Plastic Enclosure, Front & Back Tamper Protection
- Package Contents: PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter, Plastic Enclosure, Transformer, Instruction Manual, Mounting Hardware.
Qolsys Hardwire 16-F Wired to Wireless Converter Features:
- Wireless Protocol: 319.5 MHz S-Line (Rolling Code Encryption).
- DC Input Voltage: 16 VDC Plug-in Transformer.
- Battery Type: 5VDC 5AH Max Sealed Lead Acid, Rechargeable.
- Maximum Auxiliary Current: 500mA
- Auxiliary Voltage: 12VDC
- EOL Supervision: 4.7 kOhm Fixed (required for UL) or 1k - 10k Ohm can be selected for resistor learning.
- Input Zones: 15 NO or NC using EOLR. 1 2-Wire Smoke Zone, 10 smokes maximum. Supports System Sensor 2W-B, 2WT-B, 2WTA-B. All smokes should be the same model. Zone 16 always uses 4.7 kOhm resistor.
- Tamper Zone: Normally Closed Unsupervised Zone, must be learned into the panel, regardless if it's used or not.
- Relay Contact: Contact Rating 60VDC/1A Max. Used to control siren output.
- Charging Circuit: Fully Supervised Battery Charging Circuit, with Power Outage Recovery
- LED Lighted Zones: Each zone has an LED for use with programming and troubleshooting
When replacing a panel that is all or mostly wireless, then the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 itself may be the only replacement product required. However, if there are wired zones, then the user should decide if those can be moved to a wired to wireless converter. If not, then they may be easily replaced with equivalent wireless devices. When deciding whether to use the DSC PG9WLSHW8 or the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F, probably the biggest differentiator is transmitting range. The PG9WLSHW8 has a range of approximately 4,000 feet (1219m) when used with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. This range can be increased with the use of a repeater.
The PG9WLSHW8 is perfect for use in areas that may be outside the normal wireless range of a 319.5 MHz sensor. It may also allow the user to protect an area that was previously thought to be outside the Concord 4 panel's range. This could include a barn, shed, outbuilding, garage, or other area. For example, hardwired contacts could be used to protect areas in a large barn. Those wired contacts could be tied to a DSC PG9WLSHW8, which could then transmit the status of the hardwired inputs back to the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. As long as the converter module is being used indoors in an environment that falls within the specifications for temperature and humidity, and a power source is available, this is a valid option.
The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F has its own advantages. It doesn't have the spectacular range of PowerG, but each Hardwire 16-F can support twice as many zones as each DSC PG9WLSHW8. With a very respectable 500 foot (152m) transmitting range, the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F is suitable for most residential and small business applications. There is also the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F w/ Large Enclosure. Each of these come with one (1) Hardwire 16-F and a large enclosure that is suitable for holding two (2) Hardwire 16-F boards and two (2) batteries. With a cover tamper for the enclosure built-in, this makes for a very neat, yet secure installation for up to 32 wired to wireless zones.
Another feature that differentiates the two converter modules is encryption. The DSC PG9WLSHW8 uses 128-bit AES Encryption. This is the minimum standard required for government and military applications where wireless communication is used. The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F uses S-Line encryption. This is a rolling-code encryption where the transmitter and the receiver exchange a key and sync up during initial programming. From that point, only the transmitter and the receiver know what the next rolling serial number will be. Although these two types of encryption work differently, both are quite secure.
If the Concord 4 panel used an Alarm.com compatible communicator in the past, it may already have Z-Wave devices associated with it. The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 has a Z-Wave Plus V2 controller built-in. This is the latest in Z-Wave technology. Z-Wave Plus V2 offers greater range, better battery life, and greater signal security than previous iterations of the Z-Wave protocol. You can read about some of the differences between the versions here.
Best Concord 4 Upgrade Option For Use With Total Connect 2.0
If you have a Concord 4, but you haven't used it with any remote capabilities enabled, then once you test drive both the Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 services, you may decide you want an upgrade option that is compatible with the latter. In that case we recommend the Honeywell Home or Resideo ProSeries panels. Specifically the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS or the Resideo PROA7PLUSC. Each of these panels comes with the PROWIFIZW installed from the factory. This module provides the panel with the ability to connect to WIFI, and also to operate as a Z-Wave Plus controller. It should be noted that this is Z-Wave Plus 500-Series, not Z-Wave Plus 700-Series like the IQ Panel 4 offers.
Any user that doesn't want to use WIFI or Z-Wave could buy the Honeywell Home PROA7 or Resideo PROA7C. These versions of the ProSeries panels do not come with the PROWIFIZW installed from the factory. If a user wants to use WIFI, but not Z-Wave, then they can purchase the non-plus panel version, and add a PROWIFI module. This module adds WIFI, but does not offer Z-Wave Plus features.
As you can see from the above information, the ProSeries panels from Resideo and Honeywell Home are modular by design. Where Qolsys and Alarm.com don't offer you an option not to use a cellular communicator, Resideo and Honeywell Home do. Of course, dual-path communication, or in the absence of dual-path, cellular communication is always recommended. This is because cellular communication is by far the most reliable means of sending alarm panel signals.
With the ProSeries panels, the user has the choice of installing the Honeywell Home PROLTE-A AT&T LTE communicator, or the Honeywell Home PROLTE-V Verizon LTE communicator. The Resideo and Honeywell Home ProSeries panels are nearly identical. The PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC are exactly alike, and the PROA7 and PROA7C are exactly alike. Each pair has one (1) difference. The branding on the front of the panel. One says Resideo, and the other says Honeywell Home. You can read more about this branding choice here.
For the takeover of Concord 4 panels with wireless zones, the Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER module will be used. This is a small module that can easily be added to the ProSeries panel. With the PROTAKEOVER installed, the ProSeries Panel can support up to 123 legacy uni-directional RF devices. The module has a rotary dial that is used to select the wireless protocol to be supported. Be sure to set the dial before installing the module. For Interlogix/GE wireless sensor support (319.5 MHz) set the PROTAKEOVER dial to three (3). Be sure to power the panel completely down before attempting to install the module.
For Concord 4 panels with numerous hardwired zones, the PROSIXC2W encrypted wired to wireless converter module can be used. Each PROSIXC2W supports up to eight (8) zones. Each module comes with its own transformer and backup battery. Hardwired zones will be wired into the module, and the module will then transmit encrypted wireless signals to the alarm panel on behalf of those zones. The PROSIXC2W uses the proprietary PROSIX technology, which transmits using 128-bit AES encryption. Each module has a wireless transmitting range of around 300 feet (91.4m).
The Plus versions of the ProSeries panels offer some features that are not available on the PROA7 and PROA7C panels and cannot be added to those panels. The Plus versions have BlueTooth disarming capability, local voice control, the ability to view video from local Total Connect 2.0 compatible cameras, including SkyBell doorbells, and Amazon Alexa built-in. They also have a built-in, center-mounted, front-facing camera (seen in the pictures above) which is used to take disarm photos. When used with the Plus version panels, the PROWLTOUCH and PROWLTOUCHC keypads can also take disarm photos. The disarm photos can be sent to the customer's phone or tablet.
Resideo and Honeywell Home ProSeries Panel Features (common to all versions):
- Total Zones: 250
- Encrypted Zones (SiX and ProSiX Sensors): 127
- Non-Encrypted Zones (Uni-directional): 123 (PROTAKEOVER Module Required)
Z-Wave Devices: 78
- 60 Lights, Water Valves, Shades, etc.
- 6 Thermostats
- 6 Locks
- 6 Garage Door Controls
- Wireless Keypads: 8 (Touchscreen or LCD)
- Remote Key Fobs: 32
- Users: 96
- Event Log: 4000 Events
- Partitions: 4 Total with available Common Lobby Logic (2 Partitions + Common Lobby or 3 Partitions + Common Lobby)
- Display: 7" LED-backlit capacitive touchscreen. 1024/600 pixel resolution, support for millions of colors
- Dimensions: 5.77" H x 7.9" W x 1.06" D (14.6cm x 20.6cm x 2.69cm)
- Weight: 2.10 lbs (0.95 kg)
Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER Module Features & Specifications:
- Modules Supported: One (1) per panel
- Antenna: Included with Module as part of a replacement backplate. The new panel backplate must be used.
- Compatibility: All ProSeries Panels
- Frequencies Supported: 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz (only one of these can be supported per panel)
- Power Requirements: 5VDC / Battery Backup (Provided by panel)
- Operating Temperature: 32℉ - 122℉ (0℃ - +49℃)
- Operating Humidity: 95% Max (Agency Compliance 93% Max) Non-Condensing
- Dimensions: 2.8" L x 1.2" W (71mm x 30mm)
- Approvals: FCC/IC, ETL US LIsted to UL 1023 andUL 1610, cETL Listed to ULC C1023
- Authorized Countries: US, Canada, Latin America
Honeywell Home PROSIXC2W Module Features & Specifications:
- Device Type: Encrypted Wired to Wireless Converter Module
- Compatibility: Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS & PROA7 ; Resideo PROA7PLUSC & PROA7C
- Power Supply: 5VDC (Part Number 300-10259)
- Max Wire Distance: 6' @ 22 AWG; 10' @ 20 AWG; 16' @ 18 AWG
- Wire Included: No
- Battery: Included Plug-In 3.6VDC, 2480mAh (Part Number 300-10342)
- Battery Standby Time: 24 Hours if No Devices Using Aux. Power; 4 Hours if 2 Devices using Aux. Power
- Low-Battery Threshold: Below 3.6VDC
- Battery Saver Cutoff: Below 3.4VDC
- Wireless Communication Range: More than 300 Feet from Panel (Open Air)
- Wireless Encryption: 128-bit AES
- Number of Supported Zones: Eight (8)
- Zone Wiring: Max 1,000 Feet per zone
- Life-Safety Support: No
- Auxiliary Power: 12VDC @ 100mA (Maximum 2 Devices Connected)
- EOL Resistor Learning: Yes (Between 1K and 10K Resistors)
- EOLR Required : Yes (For Any Active Zone)
- Calibration Required: Yes (Button Press)
- Resistors Included: Eight (8) 2.2K Resistors (Red-Red-Red-Gold)
- LED Lights: Yes
- Tamper Detection: Yes
- RF Supervision: Yes
- Mounting Hardware: Included (Double-Sided Foam Tape & Screws)
- Dimensions: 7"L x 4.5"W x 1.5"D
- Operating Temperature: 14°F to 140°F
- Battery Charging Temperature: 32°F to 140°F
- Operating Humidity: 5% to 95%, Non-Condensing
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- Answered By
- Julia Ross