Reviews

2GIG GC3GA-T - Telguard AT&T Cell Communicator for Go!Control

Poor Choice
Submitted on 05/19/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG GC3GA-T is an AT&T 3G Communicator that allows a 2GIG GC3 System to connect with the Telguard platform. Alarm Grid generally steers customers towards either Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com rather than Telguard. And the only time we will really recommend Telguard is with a Telguard TG-1 Express, which is used with panels that use a traditional phone dialer. The 2GIG GC3 is a more advanced wireless panel that does not use a phone dialer, so there really isn't much reason to use the 2GIG GC3GA-T. Making matters worse is that the 2GIG GC3GA-T can no longer be activated for monitoring service, due to the AT&T 3G Sunset. All of this does not bode very well for the 2GIG GC3GA-T. We do not recommend it, and we only give it a 2 Star rating.

There are a few of positive aspects regarding the 2GIG GC3GA-T. For one, the communicator can continue to be used for monitoring service until AT&T shuts down their 3G network. This is expected to occur in 2022. After that, the communicator will no longer work. Although the Telguard platform is usually less preferred than Alarm.com, it still offers a user a method for controlling their system remotely. And since cellular communication is used, you can expect reliable monitoring service.

But the downsides for the 2GIG GC3GA-T are pretty severe. The communicator cannot be activated, as AT&T 3G activations are no longer allowed. Alarm.com is preferred by more users than Telguard HomeControl Flex, so there is very little reason to choose this communicator over an Alarm.com model. Once AT&T shuts down their 3G network, the communicator will stop working entirely. Any user looking for a new cellular communicator should make sure to get an LTE communicator for that reason. There's also the matter that the 2GIG GC3GA-T has been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. All of these downsides lead us to only give the 2GIG GC3GA-T a 2 Star rating.

Good: Can be Used Until Network Shut Down, Allows for Remote System Operation, Reliable

Bad: Can No Longer be Activated, AT&T 3G Network Being Shut Down, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 2 Stars

Honeywell T280R - Wireless Temperature Sensor Probe

Excellent Probe
Submitted on 05/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell T280R is a temperature sensor probe designed for use with an actual temperature sensor, such as the Honeywell 5821. Using a probe is useful if you need to monitor the temperature in a different location from the sensor itself. Some big advantages to using a temperature probe include an extended temperature range and the ability to more easily position the device exactly where you need it. We think the Honeywell T280R is an excellent product, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell T280R. For one, it is very flexible and easy to position into a desired location. The temperature sensor can be set to trigger at below freezing temperatures when used with a probe. This makes the Honeywell T280R perfect for monitoring walk-in freezers and other areas with tight spaces. Remember, most temperature sensors used with the Honeywell T280R cannot withstand temperatures as low as what the probe is capable of withstanding. We have found that the probe works very reliably, and it has a great build quality. Also, it is very easy to connect and set up.

There are not many downsides regarding the Honeywell T280R. One issue is that it cannot be used on its own. It must be used with an actual temperature sensor. The Honeywell T280R is just a probe. It is not a temperature sensor. Remember that the Honeywell T280R will require an input on the temperature sensor. If you run out of inputs, then you will not be able to add another probe, so keep that in mind. But other than that, we are pleased with the Honeywell T280R, and it gets 5 Stars.

Good: Flexible, Easy to Position, Withstands Very Low Temperatures, Great for Walk-In Freezers, Reliable, Excellent Build Quality

Bad: Not a Standalone Device, Limited Inputs on Temperature Sensor

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 5843 - Wireless Switch Module

Useful Device!
Submitted on 05/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 5843 is a wireless switch module that you can control using a Honeywell 5834-4 Key Fob or any other Honeywell 345 MHz Key Fob. The purpose of the Honeywell 5843 is to control a connected relay device wirelessly using a key fob input. The way that this works is that you must connect a Normally Open or Normally Closed relay-activated device to the 5843. You then program a compatible key fob, such as a Honeywell 5834-4, to the 5843 device. You will only need to program one (1) specific key fob input to the 5843. Then, whenever you make that input on the key fob, it will activate the relay, and in turn, the connected device, provided that the key fob is within wireless range of the 5843. Alarm Grid likes the Honeywell 5843, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many aspects that we appreciate about the Honeywell 5843. For one, it allows for both Normally Open and Normally Closed relay devices, so you can wire it in the manner that is most convenient for you. You can also choose any button on your compatible key fob for controlling the connected device. The option to choose between a 12VDC transformer and a 9VAC transformer provides added flexibility. And the LED light on the device is a nice touch, as it is useful for troubleshooting and providing status.

But there are some downsides to the 5843 that should also be considered. For one, it only works with Honeywell 345 MHz Key Fobs, which is a somewhat limited selection. Also, the device that is being controlled must be physically connected with the 5843. And even then, the wireless range is limited by the key fob device that is being used. These downsides are minor though, and they do not stop us from giving the 5843 a 5 Star score.

Good: NO & NC Wiring, Choose Any Fob Button, Transformer Options, LED Light

Bad: Only Works w/ Honeywell 345 MHz Fobs, Controlled Device Must Be Connected, Limited Fob Range

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell SiXCOMBO - Wireless Smoke, Heat and CO Detector

Awesome Combo Sensor!
Submitted on 05/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell SiXCOMBO is a combination smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide sensor designed for use with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. This is a fantastic combination sensor that is recommended for any Lyric owner looking to achieve fire and CO detection in one single device. This is a very versatile and effective life-safety sensor, and it can certainly make a great addition to your Lyric System. That is why it receives 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell SiXCOMBO. For one, it combines both a smoke and heat detector and a CO detector into one convenient device. This way, you will not need to have two separate devices on your wall or ceiling for smoke and CO detection. The Honeywell SiXCOMBO is one-go-all-go, and other SiXCOMBO and SiXSMOKE devices on the same system will also begin sounding once one is activated. The sensor allows for easy auto-enrollment using the SiX Programming feature. The sensor has its own built-in 85 dB sounder for alerting building occupants. It uses 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security. We also like the fact that the SiXCOMBO has a great build quality.

There are some downsides for the SiXCOMBO that should be considered as well. The sensor will need separate zones for each function (smoke, heat, and CO detection). If you want full functionality for the device, one zone will not be sufficient. Since the SiXCOMBO is a CO detector, it only has a limited product life. In this case, it must be replaced after ten (10) years of use. And like any wireless sensor, you will need to replace the battery on a periodic basis. But overall, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the SiXCOMBO a perfect 5 Star rating.

Good: Multiple Functions, One-Go-All-Go, Auto-Enrollment, 85 dB Sounder, Encryption, Great Build Quality

Bad: Requires Individual Zone for Each Function, Limited Product Life, Requires Battery Replacements

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC TL8055LTVZ - Alarm.com Verizon LTE Cellular & Internet Communicator for Impassa

Best Impassa Communicator!
Submitted on 05/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC TL8055LTVZ is a dual-path cellular and IP communicator for a DSC Impassa Security System. Once activated for monitoring service, the communicator will allow the Impassa System to communicate across both the Verizon LTE Cellular Network and the internet through a hardwired ethernet connection. The Alarm.com platform requires any connected system to have an active cellular communicator. And since most people already have internet in their homes and businesses, setting up IP service as a secondary path is only logical. In addition, the DSC TL8055LTVZ also serves as a Z-Wave Plus controller for adding smart home devices. We think the DSC TL8055LTVZ is a great communicator, and it can be used to extend the lifespan of any Impassa System on a high enough firmware. That is it gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

There are many things we like about the DSC TL8055LTVZ. As a dual-path communicator, the panel will remain connected with the network even if one path goes down. Cellular connections are almost never lost, but internet outages are relatively commonplace. Using cellular and internet together will ensure that your Impassa always remains connected, and it will provide you with peace of mind. Since this is an LTE communicator, you can expect that it will keep your Impassa System monitored well into the very distant future. The fact that the DSC TL8055LTVZ can serve as a Z-Wave Plus communicator is also a nice touch, as you can start building a home automation network around Alarm.com.

There are some downsides for the DSC TL8055LTVZ that you should keep in mind. For one, the communicator must be physically installed, which will mean opening up the panel. That is a minor inconvenience, but something you can easily accomplish using a screwdriver. Like any DSC Impassa Cellular Communicator, the DSC TL8055LTVZ can only be used with an Impassa System that is running Firmware 1.3 or higher. It cannot be used with an Impassa System that is on a lower firmware version. Also keep in mind that local Z-Wave control from the panel, and all operation for home automation devices must be done through Alarm.com. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us giving the DSC TL8055LTVZ a 5 Star rating.

Good: Dual-Path, Verizon LTE, Z-Wave Plus

Bad: Must be Installed, Only for Impassa 1.3+

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell WAVE2PD - Two-Tone Piezo Dynamic Siren

Wonderful Siren!
Submitted on 05/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell WAVE2PD is a hardwired piezo siren that is known for its low current daw. The device only draws 120mA of power while active, which is certainly low for a siren of its caliber. However, this does not stop the siren from delivering a strong performance, as it can produce sounds of up to 105 dB. It is even used with many wireless systems, as the power draw is low enough. Many users prefer to use multiple WAVE2PD Sirens rather than a single powerful siren that will most likely draw significantly more current. Overall, we think the Honeywell WAVE2PD is a fantastic product, and it is well-deserving of a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell WAVE2PD. As we already mentioned, the biggest draws for the WAVE2PD are its low current draw of 120mA and its loud sound of 105 dB. The siren is neat and compact, and you can easily fit it into tight spaces if needed. The terminal block allows for easy wiring, which is great for DIYers. The siren is easily used with many wireless panels, again due to its low current draw.

There are not many downsides associated with the Honeywell WAVE2PD. Like any wired siren, it will need to be wired to the panel. This may be difficult for a DIY user that is not used to wiring. If you are using an external power supply, then a relay will be required. The siren is for indoor use only, so do not plan on using it in an outdoor environment. While 105 dB is usually great for residential use, it is typically too quiet for use in commercial or industrial settings. Fortunately, these downsides are very minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell WAVE2PD a 5 Star rating.

Good: Low Current Draw, Loud Siren, Compact, Easy Wiring

Bad: Must be Wired, Relay Needed if Using External Power Supply, Indoor Use Only, Too Quiet for Commercial/Industrial

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Leviton VRI06-1LZ - 600W Incandescent Z-Wave Dimmer

Better Options Available
Submitted on 05/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRI06-1LZ is a 600W incandescent Z-Wave dimmer switch for use with virtually any Z-Wave controller or hub. The device provides smart control for your hardwired lights. All you need to do is remove your existing dimmer switch (cut the power first), install the VRI06-1LZ in its place, and program it with your Z-Wave controller. This is an older Z-Wave device, and it has since been discontinued in favor of more advanced models. As a result, we only give the Leviton VR106-1LZ a 4 Star rating.

There are some things we like about the Leviton VRI06-1LZ. For one, it is very versatile in the fact that it can be used with nearly any Z-Wave controller. We also like the LED light on the device, which can be helpful for making sure that it is working properly. The device supports 3-way and multi-pole wiring configurations when used with other Leviton Vizia RF+ devices. If you have any of these devices, then the VRI06-1LZ can make a nice addition. The replaceable face plates are a nice touch, as they add some personalization.

But the downsides to the Leviton VRI06-1LZ are notable as well. The product has been discontinued, and you are unlikely to find a new model. A used model should still work fine though. This is a standard Z-Wave device, and you will most likely want to look for a Z-Wave Plus device if you have a Z-Wave Plus controller. A Z-Wave Plus device will provide better range and ensure better overall connectivity for the rest of your Z-Wave network. While the 3-way and multi-pole potential is desirable, you can only accomplish this with other Leviton Vizia RF+ devices. All of this leads to us only awarding the VRI06-1LZ a 4 Star rating.

Good: Versatile, Can Pair Nicely w/ Other Vizia RF+ Devices, Replaceable Faceplates

Bad: Discontinued, Standard Z-Wave, 3-Way & Multi-Pole Only w/ Other Vizia RF+ Devices

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell IS3050 - PIR Motion Detector

Great Wired Motion Sensor!
Submitted on 05/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell IS3050 is a hardwired PIR motion detection sensor. The sensor detects movement by looking for changing in infrared (IR) energy. In order for the sensor to operate, it must be wired to an alarm panel, a hardwired expansion module, or a wired to wireless converter unit. The IS3050 has been around for quite some time, but it still works quite well as a hardwired motion detection sensor. We give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell IS3050. For one, the sensor offers a nice-sized detection area of 53' by 72'. The flashlight feature is pretty convenient as well, as it offers a convenient way to put the sensor into its walk test mode. The IS3050 includes a look down sensor so that it can detect movement that occurs directly below. Another cool feature is the sensor's sealed optics chamber that prevents unwanted activation due to air drafts or insects. We are also big fans of the sensor's great build quality, though it comes as no surprise being a Honeywell sensor and all. You can adjust the sensitivity for the IS3050 by increasing or decreasing its pulse count.

There aren't many downsides to the IS3050. Like any wired sensor, you must run a wire from the sensor to the system or expansion module that it is connecting with. This may be difficult for a DIY user that is not used to running or fishing wires through the wall. And as a wired motion sensor, the IS30350 will draw some power from the panel. Make sure to consider that when doing your load calculation. But all things considered, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the IS3050 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Large Detection Area, Flashlight Feature for Walk Testing, Look Down Sensor, Sealed Optics Chamber, Great Build Quality, Adjustable Pulse Count

Bad: Wiring Required, Draws Power from Panel

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Inovonics CR2450N - 3V Lithium Battery

Excellent Battery!
Submitted on 05/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The Inovonics CR2450N, which is also known as the BAT609 Renata CR2450N, is a lithium 3V coin battery in the CR2450 size. This battery will provide long-lasting and reliable power for an electronic device that uses a CR2450 battery. Like most coin batteries, the Inovonics CR2450N is typically used in compact devices, where conserving space is an issue. Devices that often use coin batteries include medical alert buttons and pendants, key fobs, and other compact devices. We have found that the Inovonics CR2450N works very well for its intended purpose, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

As far as a battery is concerned, there are many things to like about the Inovonics CR2450N. It is a lithium battery, and it will provide a longer life than a typical alkaline battery. This will save you money in the long run, as you will not need to replace your battery as frequently. The battery is extremely reliable and easy to use. You do not need to contact a professional installer to replace a CR2450 battery, as you can easily complete this task on your own. Like most coin batteries, the Inovonics CR2450N is popular for use in water-resistant devices, as it can be more safely exposed to moisture than typical cylindrical batteries.

There really isn't much to dislike about the Inovonics CR2450N. The biggest downside is that the CR2450 battery size is not really all that common, as most manufacturers steer their products to use the more popular CR2032 size. But if you happen to have a device that uses a CR2450 battery, then the Inovonics CR2450N will serve you well. Alarm Grid awards this coin battery a perfect 5 Star rating.

Good: Long-Lasting, Easy to Install, Good for Water-Resistant Devices

Bad: CR2450 Size is Uncommon

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC WS4945 - Wireless Door/Window Contact

Good Door & Window Sensor
Submitted on 05/14/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC WS4945 is a wireless door and window contact sensor that operates at 433 MHz. This makes it compatible with systems like the DSC Impassa, the DSC PowerSeries Panels (wireless receiver required), and the 433 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. This is a fairly nondescript door and window sensor, but it certainly gets the job done. It is easy to use, and it has relatively few downsides and drawbacks. For that reason, we give the DSC WS4945 a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the DSC WS4945. For one, it is easy to install and use. The maximum allowed magnet spacing gap is 5/8 of an inch, which is pretty decent. The sensor has a slim profile that allows it to fit neatly into tight spaces. You can mount the sensor using double-sided foam tape, or you can use traditional mounting hardware. The sensor has a tamper switch, and it will alert the system whenever someone tries to open up or disable the sensor. The device also has a pretty long battery life, as you should only expect to make battery replacements every five (5) to eight (8) years. We also like the fact that the sensor has an auxiliary input for a Normally Closed wired contact.

But there are some downsides to the DSC WS4945 that should also be considered. While the sensor has a slim profile, it is still a somewhat bulky and dated design. Most users will prefer the more compact VERSA-DSC Door and Window Sensor, which is more attractive and will accomplishes the same thing. And although the DSC WS4945 has a long battery lifespan, it uses a lithium CR2 battery, which is somewhat uncommon. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the DSC WS4945 a 5 Star score.

Good: Easy to Use & Install, 5/8" Magnet Spacing, Slim Profile, Multiple Mounting Options, Tamper Switch, Long Battery Life, Auxiliary Input

Bad: Bulky, Dated Design, Uses CR2 Battery

Bottom Line: 5 Stars