Reviews

DSC BV-500GB - Bravo® 5 360 Degrees Ceiling-Mount PIR Motion & Glassbreak Detector

Nice Two-In-One Sensor!
Submitted on 06/09/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC BV-500GB is a ceiling-mounted hardwired two-in-one sensor that offers both glass break detection and motion detection. While it is a single sensor with dual functions, the DSC BV-500GB will need to be used with two (2) different hardwired zones on the system in order to provide both functions. Still, it can be convenient to have both of these functions included in a single device. Both the glass break sensor and the motion have some nice features that make them very good in their own right. Overall, we think this is a great device, and we give it a perfect 5 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the DSC BV-500GB. The fact that it is two-in-one is in itself a positive aspect. The motion sensor is a quad-element PIR and uses multi-level signal processing capabilities. This basically means that it is super accurate and not prone to causing false alarms. The motion sensor also offers temperature compensation and allows for sensitivity adjustments. Meanwhile, the glass break sensor uses dynamic signal processing and works with multiple types of glass. It is truly an effective glass break sensor that you can count on.

There are some downsides to the DSC BV-500GB that should be taken into consideration. In order for the sensor to work as both a ceiling-mounted motion sensor and as a glass break detector, you will need to position it very carefully. It should be able to detect the movement that occurs below, and it should have a direct line of sight to any glass being monitored. The motion sensor is Form A, meaning that it must use a Normally Closed (NC) wiring configuration. And remember that two separate zones are required for motion detection and glass break detection. But overall, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the DSC BV-500GB a 5 Star rating.

Good: Two-In-One, Quad-Element PIR, Multi-Level Signal Processing, Temperature Compensation, Sensitivity Adjustments, Dynamic Signal Processing, Compatible w/ Multiple Types of Glass

Bad: Must be Positioned Carefully, Motion is Form A, Requires Two Separate Zones

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC AMA-100 - Acuity Addressable Glassbreak Detector

Great Option For Addressable DSC Panels!
Submitted on 06/09/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC AMA-100 Acuity Glass Break Sensor is an addressable glass break detector for compatible DSC Addressable Loop Systems. It actively listens for the sound of glass breaking and will alert the system during such an event. Since this sensor is for compatible DSC Hardwired Systems only, it has very limited compatibility. That being said, it can be used nicely with multiple types of glass, and it offers very reliable performance. We would recommend it for anyone needing an addressable glass break detector for a compatible DSC Panel. For that reason, it gets a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the DSC AMA-100 Acuity Glass Break Sensor. For one, it works with multiple types of glass. The types of glass compatible with the DSC AMA-100 include plate glass, float glass, tempered glass, wired glass, and laminated glass. The sensor has a nice detection range, as it can hear a window or protective glass casing being broken from up to 25 feet away. We also like the fact that the DSC AMA-100 has an omni-directional microphone, and it can hear glass being broken from any direction.

There are not many downsides regarding the DSC AMA-100 Acuity Glass Break Sensor. One issue is that the sensor has a very limited compatibility selection, as it can only be used with DSC Addressable Loop Panels which support the PC5100 Zone Expander. Like most glass break sensors, the AMA-100 must have a direct line of sight to the glass that is being monitored. Blockages such as blinds and curtains can prevent the device from working properly. But overall, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the DSC AMA-100 Acuity Glass Break Sensor a 5 Star rating.

Good: Works w/ Multiple Types of Glass, 25-Foot Detection Range, Omni-Directional Microphone

Bad: For DSC Addressable Loop Panels Only, Requires Direct Line of Sight

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Interlogix NX-458 - Recessed Micro Door/Window Sensor

Not The Best Recessed Sensor
Submitted on 06/09/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix NX-458 is a wireless recessed door and window sensor that operates at a frequency of 319.5 MHz. This makes it compatible with a variety of systems, including the Interlogix Simon Panels and the 319.5 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. As a recessed contact sensor, it will remain hidden and out of view when the door or window is closed. Really, this is a fairly standard sensor, with nothing too remarkable about it. However, it's important to note that the wireless range for this sensor is rather small. That's a major downside, and it causes us to only give the Interlogix NX-458 a 4-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Interlogix NX-458. For one, its 319.5 MHz operating frequency makes it compatible with a nice selection of security systems. Since this is a recessed sensor, it will remain hidden when the door or window is closed. The sensor is reliable, and it has a good build quality.

However, the downsides regarding the Interlogix NX-458 should not be ignored. The biggest downside is the fact that the wireless range for the system is very limited. Interlogix recommends installing the sensor within 100 feet of the alarm panel. This can be a major issue in a larger home or business. Since this is a recessed sensor, holes will need to be drilled in the door or window frame, as well as in the door or window itself. Finally, there is the fact that the Interlogix NX-458 is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. If you find a used model somewhere, then it should still work alright. But because of these downsides, we only give the Interlogix NX-458 a 4-Star score.

Good: Compatible w/ Many Systems, Hidden When Door/Window is Closed, Reliable, Good Build Quality

Bad: Limited Wireless Range, Requires Drilling Holes, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Yale YRD226 - Assure Lock Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt

Excellent Lock!
Submitted on 06/09/2020 Alarm Grid

The Yale YRD226 is a Z-Wave Plus touchscreen deadbolt lock that allows a user to lock and unlock their door remotely by using an automation platform. The lock is universally compatible with nearly any Z-Wave controller, making it a very versatile and useful device. It also includes some nice features like a weather protection gasket, single-touch locking functionality, backlit numbers, a privacy button, and a tamper-resistant back cover. We think the Yale YRD226 is a fantastic product, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Yale YRD226. For one, it has an attractive design that will fit in nicely with nearly any modern home. The lock retains a traditional key slot, so you can still use a key if desired, or if the touchscreen isn't working. The lock stores up to 250 codes, so it's highly unlikely that you will run out of slots. Three (3) different finishing options are available, which is a nice personalized touch. The lock uses Z-Wave Plus technology, which helps extend wireless range and battery life when paired with a Z-Wave Plus controller. The lock meets Grade 2 Deadbolt Operational and Security Standards, thereby making it extremely secure. And as we mentioned earlier, the lock is loaded with great features.

There are not many downsides regarding the Yale YRD226. Like any door lock, it will need to be physically installed on the door. Most DIY users should be able to accomplish this though. Also, make sure to consider the fact that Z-Wave door locks like the Yale YRD226 do not repeat Z-Wave signals. But overall, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Yale YRD226 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Attractive Design, Traditional Key Slot Option, Up to 250 Codes, 3 Finishing Options, Z-Wave Plus, Very Secure, Lots of Features

Bad: Must be Installed, Won't Repeat Z-Wave Signals

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 5193SD - Addressable Photoelectric Smoke Detector

Great Addressable Smoke Detector!
Submitted on 06/09/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 5193SD is an addressable 2-wire smoke detector for Honeywell Polling Loop Systems. Compatible systems include the Honeywell VISTA-128BPT and the Honeywell VISTA-250BPT. The Honeywell 5193SD can be used at any polling loop zone, though it is recommended that the sensor be used on Partition 1 for proper reset logic. The device has some nice features like an optical sensing chamber, an advanced microprocessor, and drift compensation. But it is also lacking in other areas, such as not having an integrated sounder. But all things considered, we think the Honeywell 5193SD is a very good device, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell 5193SD. For one, it is a photoelectric smoke detector, and we find these to be the most reliable type of smoke detectors. As we mentioned before, features like the optical sensing chamber, advanced microprocessor, and drift compensation help to improve the performance of the device. The sensor has LED lights to provide indication of current status. No relay or other extra equipment is required, as the panel will have the logic to reset the sensor, as long as it is used on Partition 1.

There are some downsides to the Honeywell 5193SD that should also be taken into consideration. Since the sensor is for Honeywell Polling Loop Panels only, it has a very limited compatibility list. Also, the Honeywell 5193SD has no integrated sounder. You will need to have an external siren set up with your Honeywell VISTA System so that building occupants can be notified during a fire. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell 5193SD a 5 Star score.

Good: Photoelectric, Advanced Features, LED Lights, No Relay Required

Bad: For Honeywell Polling Loop Panels Only, No Sounder

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG Batt1X - Go!Control Standard Battery Pack

Better Battery Options Available
Submitted on 06/08/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG BATT1X is the standard backup battery used with the 2GIG Go!Control GC2 Security Panel. The 2GIG GC2 has been around for quite some time, and this backup battery has also been available for awhile. Except, it is no longer available anymore, as it has been discontinued. The unit has been replaced by a newer backup battery called the 2GIG BATT2X. That battery is superior in virtually ever possible aspect, so this was a nice change. As for the 2GIG BATT1X, it does its job decently. It will keep the GC2 System running during a power outage, just like it's supposed to. But it isn't able to keep it running for very long, only a few hours. Couple that with the fact that you probably won't find this model anymore, and we only give it a 3 Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the 2GIG BATT1X. For one, it reliably keeps a 2GIG GC2 running when the electricity goes out. The battery features a convenient plug-in connector that connects with a port on the GC2 System. This makes it very easy to install. The battery has a long product life, and you should be able to go several years without replacing it.

But the downsides to the 2GIG BATT1X should not be ignored. The battery can only keep a GC2 System running for four (4) to six (6) hours at a time. Meanwhile, the 2GIG BATT2X can keep the same system operational for up to 24 hours! In other words, the BATT2X crushed the BATT1X in terms of performance. Another downside to the BATT1X is that it is discontinued. And since batteries have a limited useful product life, you probably won't even be able to find a used 2GIG BATT1X that is worth purchasing. That limited useful product life is also a downside, as it means you will eventually need to replace a 2GIG BATT1X with a new backup battery for the system. These downsides are pretty significant, so we can only give the 2GIG BATT1X a 3 Star score.

Good: Reliably Keeps Panel Running, Convenient Plug-In Connector, Long Product Life

Bad: 4 to 6 Hours of Power, Discontinued, Limited Useful Product Life

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Honeywell MPS70WG - 3/4” Diameter Steel Door Recessed Contact with Leads

Great Recessed Contact!
Submitted on 06/08/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell MPS70WG is a hardwired recessed door contact built for use in steel doors. However, you can still use it nicely in a wooden door frame if the situation calls for it. The fact that it is built for steel doors just refers to the fact that the magnet is a little bit stronger than average. In the case of the MPS70WG, the sensor has a 3/4" diameter, so you will need to drill the holes accordingly. The sensor is fairly unique in that it uses leads instead of screw terminals for connecting wires. Overall, the Honeywell MPS70WG is a very good sensor. We give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell MPS70WG. For one, it comes in two (2) different color options, these being white and brown. Although the color doesn't really matter for a recessed door contact, as you will never really see it unless you look at the side of the door frame with the door opened, it's still nice that a color option is available. The sensor and magnet allow for a decently large magnet spacing gap. This spacing gap is 5/8" in a steel door, or 1 1/4" in a non-steel door. The magnet is very strong and will ensure reliable and effective performance when installed properly.

There are not many downsides associated with the Honeywell MPS70WG. Like any recessed contact, holes will need to be drilled in the door and its frame. And since this is a wired sensor, a wire will need to be run from the panel to the sensor. This can be difficult for a DIY user, especially if they are not used to running wires. There is also the fact that this sensor is discontinued, and you cannot purchase it new. But if you find a used model, it should still work fine. All things considered, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell MPS70WG a 5 Star rating.

Good: Two Color Options, Large Magnet Spacing Gap, Strong Magnet, Reliable

Bad: Holes Must be drilled, Running wires, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Interlogix 60-880-95 - Wireless PIR Motion Detector

Highly Advanced Motion Sensor!
Submitted on 06/08/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix 60-880-95 is a wireless motion detection sensor that operates at the 319.5 MHz frequency. It is designed to detect movement or activity in a particular area. The sensor uses some advanced features like 4D Signal Processing and Undercrawl protection. This truly is a reliable and effective motion sensor that you can use with virtually any 319.5 MHz security system. But it also has some downsides, as it is known for being very pricey. And also the manufacturer, Interlogix is no longer in business in North America. But all things considered, this is a great sensor if you are willing to spend the extra cash. That is why we give it 5 Stars.

There are many things to like about the Interlogix 60-880-95. For one, the sensor is very easy to install and program, even for DIY users who are setting up their first system and sensors. The sensor is very reliable in detecting movement, and you can certainly count on it to effectively monitor your home or business. The 4D Signal Processing feature helps reduce false alarms by examining the size, speed, and shape of detected infrared energy to make sure it matches the typical energy signature of a human. The Undercrawl protection is also useful, as it allows the sensor to detect movement that occurs below. We also like the fact that the device allows for sensitivity adjustments by increasing or decreasing the pulse count.

There are some downsides to the Interlogix 60-880-95 that should be kept in mind. The sensor is very expensive, costing $116.99 at the time of this writing in June 2020. You can find many motion sensors with comparable performance for a fraction of that price. Also, since Interlogix is out of business in North America, it can be difficult to receive technical support regarding the product. But if you can overlook these factors, then the Interlogix 60-880-95 is a great product. It gets 5 Stars from us.

Good: Easy to Install & Program, Reliable, 4D Signal Processing, Undercrawl Detection, Adjustable Pulse Count

Bad: Expensive, Interlogix is Defunct

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC BATT-PGX901/X911 - Battery for DSC PG9901 & PG9911

Useful Siren Battery!
Submitted on 06/08/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC BATT-PGX901/X911 is the battery for the DSC PG9901 PowerG Indoor Siren and the DSC PG911B PowerG Outdoor Siren and Strobe. These sirens both already come with a DSC BATT-PG901/X911 Siren Battery included. However, you will need to replace the initial battery with a new one once its useful life expires. There is also the consideration that you can add a second battery to both of these sirens to serve as a backup power source. The DSC BATT-PG901/X911 comes with a plug-in connector, which allows you to easily install it inside your DSC PG9901 or DSC PG9911B Siren. Overall, this is a very effective and reliable battery, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the DSC BATT-PGX901/X911 Battery. For one, it has a very long product life of eight (8) years on average. This will reduce the number of battery replacements you need to make and save you money in the long run. The battery has a plug-in connector for an easy installation. You can use two batteries in the same siren for more reliable power. This is completely optional, and you can stick to using one battery if that is what you prefer, or if you do not want to buy a second battery.

There are not many downsides regarding the DSC BATT-PGX901/X911 Battery. As this battery is for the DSC PowerG Sirens only, it has a rather limited use. Although this battery has a long product life, it will still need to be replaced eventually. But overall, these downsides for the DSC BATT-PGX901/X911 Battery are relatively minor. This is a reliable battery that will keep your siren operating the way that it should. For that reason, we give the DSC BATT-PGX901/X911 Battery a score of 5 Stars.

Good: Long Product Life, Plug-In Connector, Ability to Use 2 Batteries

Bad: For DSC PowerG Sirens Only, Must be Replaced at End of Life

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC SCW45TAAT - Impassa w/ Z-Wave Ready, AT&T Cellular Communicator

Better Systems Available
Submitted on 06/05/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC SCW45TAAT is a DSC Impassa Security System with a built-in AT&T 3G Communicator. This system has been discontinued, as the 3G communicator can no longer be activated for monitoring service. This is because AT&T is in the process of shutting down their 3G network. If you happen to have an Impassa System with an AT&T 3G Communicator that has already been activated, then you can continue to use that communicator until the network is shut down. However, we recommend being proactive and replacing the 3G communicator with an LTE communicator before that happens. All cellular communicators for the DSC Impassa have the same firmware requirements, so you won't need to upgrade the system to add an LTE communicator. But since the communicator can no longer be activated, and the fact that we are not big fans of the DSC Impassa in the first place, we can only give the DSC SCW45TAAT a 2 Star rating.

There are not many aspects to like about the DSC SCW45TAAT. The system can still technically be used for monitoring, but you would need to swap out the 3G communicator with an LTE module. The communicator allowed for Alarm.com service, and it also doubled as a Z-Wave controller so that you could build an automation network around it. The Impassa System is functional, and it does support local end user programming.

But the downsides to the DSC SCW45TAAT should not be ignored. The Impassa is a rather clunky system, and it isn't exactly the most user-friendly. It also lacks the features of a newer, more modern security system. The best way to describe it is "outdated". The communicator included with this system can no longer be activated, and it must be replaced if the user intends on setting up the system for monitoring service. There is also the fact that the system has been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. With these downsides in mind, we give the DSC SCW45TAAT a 2 Star score.

Good: System is Still Usable, Alarm.com, Z-Wave, Functional System, End User Programming

Bad: Clunky System, Not User Friendly, Lacks Modern Features, Communicator Cannot be Activated, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 2 Stars