Reviews

DSC PG9911B - PowerG 915MHz Outdoor Siren Blue LED W/Batt

Fantastic Siren!
Submitted on 05/27/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC PG9911B is a wireless outdoor siren and strobe light that communicates at 915 MHz. It can be used with any system that supports the 915 MHz PowerG protocol. This includes all versions of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, any DSC PowerSeries NEO Panel with an added wireless transceiver, and the DSC Iotega. It produces sounds of up to 110 dB, thereby making it one of the loudest wireless sirens available. In most cases, 110 dB will be a bit overkill for a residential location, and a quieter siren would be more practical. But for users who really need a loud siren, the DSC PG9911B certainly gets the job done. For its ease of use and overall effectiveness, we give the DSC PG9911B a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the DSC PG9911B. For one, it is super loud. The 110 dB sound rating is nothing to scoff at. This is borderline loud enough for industrial and commercial locations. And for a residential location, it will be extremely loud. We also like the fact that this siren includes a built-in strobe light to provide a visual indication of an alarm. As a PowerG device, the DSC PG9911B offers a great wireless range, and it is protected by 128-bit AES encryption. This is military grade encryption, and the device is virtually impossible for others to hack or take over wirelessly.

There are not many downsides regarding the DSC PG9911B. One issue is that it can only be used with systems that support PowerG. If your system does not support PowerG, then this siren is not for you. Also, there is no way to adjust the siren volume. If you find that 110 dB is too loud, then there isn't much you can do to quiet the siren. But these downsides are extremely minor, and they do not stop us from giving the DSC PG9911B a 5 Star rating.

Good: Extremely Loud, Strobe Light, Great Range, Encryption

Bad: PowerG Systems Only, Cannot Adjust Volume

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Genesis WG-11191101 - 18 gauge 4 conductor (18/4) unshielded stranded cabling, 1000 foot box

Excellent Alarm Wire!
Submitted on 05/27/2020 Alarm Grid

The Genesis WG-11191101 is a 1,000 foot box of 18-4 (18-AWG, 4-Conductor) stranded alarm cable. This cable is used for setting up hardwired security equipment, including wired sensors, keypads, and more. This type of cable is best-suited for 4-wire devices, such as motion sensors and keypads. However, it can also be used with 2-wire devices by just leaving two of the inner wires unconnected. This type of cabling is very versatile and easy to work with. That is why we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Genesis WG-11191101. For one, it is stranded, which makes it more flexible and more forgiving when making tight connections. This is important, because many DIY users will not have much experience performing their own wiring. Most professional installers also prefer stranded cabling, due to the simple fact that it is easier to work with. The four (4) inner wires are color-coded so that you can easily observe polarity when making the connections. The 18-gauge size is considered ideal for alarm products. This size allows for long wire runs, while still remaining flexible and easy to work with.

There are some downsides regarding the Genesis WG-11191101 that should be discussed as well. Like any alarm cabling, the wire must be prepared prior to use. This means cutting the wire into the desired length and then stripping the wire so that the inner copper is revealed. You only need to reveal the very top of the copper, as stripping too much is considered poor practice. This will mean obtaining a wire-stripping tool to complete the process. Another downside is that 1,000 feet of wire will be considered overkill for most installations. You can always save the extra wire for later. And if you really have a massive wiring project, or you use wire frequently, then this is a non-issue. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving this product 5 Stars.

Good: Stranded Wire, Color-Coded, 18-Gauge

Bad: Must be Prepared, 1,000 Feet is Often Overkill

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC Iotega - Homekit Compatible Wireless Security System, Integrated Verizon LTE Communicator

No End User Programming
Submitted on 05/20/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC Iotega is a wireless all-in-one security system with no local end user programming. DSC packed a bunch of features into this panel, but leaving out end user programming makes it a poor option overall for DIY users. The wireless system doesn't even have a touchscreen display, which is fairly standard for wireless security systems as of 2020. We do not recommend using the DSC Iotega, as there are many options out there that are better-suited for DIY users. The only reason that we even give this system 2 Stars is because it is indeed loaded with features.

And those features make up what is good about the DSC Iotega. It supports PowerG Sensors, which are widely regarded as some of the best in the industry due to their incredible wireless range and military grade encryption. The system features built-in Z-Wave Plus, which is great for building an automation network. Just keep in mind that since there is no touchscreen, you must control your Z-Wave devices remotely through Alarm.com. Speaking of ADC, we like the fact that you can operate the Iotega remotely through that service.

But the downsides to the DSC Iotega are severe. The system does not support local end user programming, and all programming must be done remotely by your alarm monitoring company. This is incredibly inconvenient, and it makes us unable to recommend this system. If DSC had put local programming into the Iotega, we would like the system a lot more. Another downside is that there is no touchscreen for the system. There is just an LCD numeric keypad. Most users will find this to be unfriendly and not very inviting. Because of these major downsides, we only give the DSC Iotega a 2 Star rating.

Good: PowerG Sensor Support, Built-In Z-Wave Plus, Alarm.com

Bad: No End User Programming, No Touchscreen

Bottom Line: 2 Stars

Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-AT - AT&T LTE Dual-Path Communicator for DSC PowerSeries

Great Communicator!
Submitted on 05/20/2020 Alarm Grid

The Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-AT is a dual-path communicator for compatible DSC PowerSeries Systems. By installing and activating this communicator, your DSC PowerSeries System will be able to communicate with Alarm.com through both the internet and the AT&T LTE Network. Internet service is provided in the form of a hardwired ethernet connection. This communicator also doubles as a Z-Wave Plus controller, thereby allowing you to set up a smart home automation network around the Alarm.com platform. We think the Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-AT is an outstanding product, and we give a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-AT. For one, it is a dual-path communicator, so your PowerSeries System will stay connected with Alarm.com even if one communication path goes down or becomes unavailable. The fact that the cellular portion of the communication uses LTE connectivity should not be overlooked. LTE stands for long-term evolution, and these networks are expected to be kept operational and in service well into the very distant future. In other words, the ADC-SEM210-PS-AT provides a long-term solution for keeping your system monitored. We also like the built-in Z-Wave Plus functionality, as it is a great way to get started with home automation. We also like the fact that the communicator allows for remote operation through Alarm.com.

There are some downsides regarding the Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-AT. For one, it is for compatible DSC PowerSeries Systems only. This does not include the PowerSeries NEO Systems, which have their own Alarm.com Communicators. While the Z-Wave functionality is nice, you should keep in mind that it will not allow for local Z-Wave control. All Z-Wave operations will need to be performed remotely from Alarm.com. And like any PowerSeries Communicator, the module will need to be physically installed on the panel. But overall, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-AT a 5 Star rating.

Good: Dual-Path, AT&T LTE Network, Z-Wave Plus, Alarm.com

Bad: For DSC PowerSeries Systems Only, Local Z-Wave Control Not Possible, Must be Installed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 11 - Vibration Contact

Nice Product!
Submitted on 05/19/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 11 is a hardwired shock sensor that detects the vibrations and shockwaves of an object being broken. The Honeywell is typically placed on a door or window. If someone smashes the window or physically breaks down the door, then the resulting shockwaves and vibrations will cause the Honeywell 11 will activate. From there, the programmed Response Type on the system will be triggered. We think the Honeywell 11 is a great product, and it gets a 5 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell 11 Wired Shock Sensor. For one, the device has a great build quality, and it provides long-lasting use and performance. The sensor is available in both white and brown colors, so you can choose the color that matches your decor the best. One potential use for the sensor is to use it to detect earthquakes. This is typically done by users who live in areas where earthquakes are relatively common. The device is small and compact, allowing you to fit it into tight spaces if needed. The Honeywell 11 does not draw much power from the panel, and it only plays a minor role in the load calculation for the system. And we like the fact that the sensor can have its sensitivity adjusted.

But there are some downsides to the Honeywell 11 Shock Sensor that should be kept in mind as well. The device has a somewhat dated design, and there are certainly more attractive sensors available. But given that the sensor is rather small and inconspicuous, this really isn't a big deal. Shock sensors like the Honeywell 11 are known to be somewhat prone to false alarms. Using a motion sensor in conjunction with door and window contacts will make a false alarm less likely to occur. Like any wired sensor, you will need to run a wire from the panel to the sensor. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell 11 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Great Build Quality, Long-Lasting, Color Options, Detects Earthquakes, Small & Compact, Does Not Draw Much Power, Sensitivity Adjustments

Bad: Dated Design, Can Cause False Alarms, Requires Wiring

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Leviton VRI10-1LZ - 1000W Incandescent Z-Wave Dimmer

Decent, but Better Options Exist
Submitted on 05/19/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRI10-1LZ is a Z-Wave dimmer switch that is capable of supporting a 1000W incandescent load. It is similar to that of the Leviton VRI06-1LZ, except that the Leviton VRI10-1LZ increases the load limit to 1000W incandescent, up from 600W incandescent for the VRI06-1LZ. The Leviton VRI10-1LZ is reliable and easy to use, but it has been discontinued, and there are more advanced Z-Wave Plus models available. For that reason, we only give the Leviton VRI10-1LZ a 4 Star rating.

There are some aspects for the Leviton VRI10-1LZ that we appreciate. It can pair nicely with nearly any Z-Wave controller or hub, making it quite versatile. The device has an LED light, which is useful for checking status and troubleshooting. If paired with other Leviton Vizia RF+ devices, a 3-way or multi-pole wiring configuration is possible. Many users with existing Leviton Vizia RF+ devices will add the Leviton VRI10-1LZ to expand their networks. We also appreciate the interchangeable faceplates for the Leviton VRI10-1LZ, as they give the product a nice personalized touch.

But the downsides for the Leviton VRI10-1LZ should not be ignored. The Leviton VRI10-1LZ has been discontinued, so you are unlikely to find it new. If you find a used model, then it should still work fine. But remember that if you are building around a Z-Wave Plus controller or hub, then you will probably want to get a Z-Wave Plus dimmer switch instead. While you can use standard Z-Wave devices like the Leviton VRI10-1LZ with Z-Wave Plus controllers, it is usually better to use Z-Wave Plus devices whenever you can, as they more effectively strengthen the network. And although we appreciate the potential for 3-way and multi-pole wiring, the fact that you are restricted to using Leviton Vizia RF+ devices is rather limiting. Because of these downsides, we can only give the Leviton VRI10-1LZ a 4 Star rating.

Good: Pairs w/ Almost Any Z-Wave Controller, LED Light, Use w/ Other Leviton Vizia RF+ Devices, Interchangeable Faceplates

Bad: Discontinued, Standard Z-Wave, 3-Way & Multi-Pole Requires Other Leviton Vizia RF+ Devices

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell 1332 - AC Transformer 9VAC, 15VA

Excellent Transformer!
Submitted on 05/19/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 1332 is a long-standing electrical transformer used with a variety of electrical equipment. This includes many security systems and power supplies. The Honeywell 1332 has a power rating of 9VAC, 15VA. This makes it suitable for powering a VISTA-10P, 15P, or 20P System that is used without a cellular or dual-path communicator. If you have an added cellular or dual-path communicator, you will need a more powerful Honeywell 1361 if you want to power both the panel and the communicator using a single transformer. As the Honeywell 1332 is a fairly weak transformer, and most electrical equipment nowadays requires something stronger, the device has been discontinued. Alarm Grid now recommends the Honeywell K10145WH, which can do everything the Honeywell 1332 can and more. But still, if you have an existing Honeywell 1332 and a device that requires a 9VAC, 15VA transformer, then the Honeywell 1332 should work very well. That is why we give it 5 Stars.

There are some things to like about the Honeywell 1332. For one, its connector terminals are very easy to work with. The screw at the top of the transformer allows you to secure it to an outlet so that it does not come loose or is easily removed.The transformer is very reliable and has a great build quality. It can power a compatible device for the duration of its useful life.

There are not many downsides regarding the Honeywell 1332. One issue is that it is discontinued. However, you should still be able to come across unopened Honeywell 1332 Transformers if you look around on the internet. As mentioned earlier, the Honeywell K10145WH has basically the same specifications, but is more powerful and can power a greater number of devices. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell 1332 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Easy to Use, Top Screw, Reliable, Great Build Quality, Long-Lasting

Bad: Discontinued, Honeywell K10145WH Provides More Power

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

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