Reviews

Alarm.com ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ - System Enhancement Module (SEM) with Verizon LTE Cellular Communicator

Excellent Communicator!
Submitted on 05/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Alarm.com ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ is a cellular communicator for a Honeywell VISTA P-Series System. But unlike most VISTA System Communicators, the ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ allows the system to connect with the Alarm.com servers for monitoring service. This is opposed to the AlarmNet360 servers that are more frequently used with Honeywell Alarm Panels. The ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ connects across the Verizon LTE Network, which is expected to be supported well into the very distant future. Overall, we really like the Alarm.com ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Alarm.com ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ. For one, it provides ultra-reliable connectivity through the Verizon LTE Network. This network is expected to be maintained well into the very distant future, even as Verizon inevitably releases their 5G network. The Alarm.com service is fantastic, as you can use it to control your system from pretty much anywhere in the world. We also like the fact that the ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ doubles as a Z-Wave Plus controller so that you can start building an automation network around your VISTA Security System. In fact, until the Honeywell PROA7 Panel, this represented the only method for using true Z-Wave Plus with a Honeywell System.

There are some small downsides to the Alarm.com ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ. For one, it is discontinued, and you will likely have trouble finding a new model. A used one should still work just fine, as long as it has been released by the previous monitoring company. There is no IP connectivity for the ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ. Newer Alarm.com Communicators allow for both IP and cellular connectivity, which is also referred to as dual-path connectivity. If you do not have internet service, then this is a moot point, but most users prefer to connect across both IP and cellular. Like any communicator, the ADC-SEM1110-VT-VZ must be installed.

We think the ADC-SEM110-VT-VZ is a great VISTA Communicator, and it gets 5 Stars from us.

Good: Alarm.com, Verizon LTE, Long-Term Solution, Z-Wave Plus

Bad: Discontinued, No IP Service, Must be Installed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell LTEXV-TC2 - AlarmNet Verizon LTE Total Connect 2.0 Upgrade Kit

Great Communicator Upgrade Kit!
Submitted on 05/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell LTEXV-TC2 is an upgrade kit that features a Honeywell LTE-XV Verizon Cellular Communicator and the PROM Chip upgrades for VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P Security Systems. This is one of the kits you can get if you need both a new communicator and an upgrade for your 15P or 20P. Remember, these systems require the firmware update if they are running less than version 9.12. Overall, this is a very useful kit, and it gets a 5 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell LTEXV-TC2. For one, it provides reliable connectivity through the Verizon LTE Network. This network is expected to be supported by Verizon well into the very distant future, even as they eventually put their 5G network into action. Therefore, you can expect the Honeywell LTEXV-TC2 to keep your system monitored for many years to come. Both the 15P and 20P PROM Chips are included, making this kit rather versatile. Once the communicator is activated, you will be able to use your system with Total Connect 2.0, provided that the TC2 service is included in your monitoring plan. All of the Alarm Grid cellular plans include access to TC2, with the sole exception of our $25 per month Cell-Only Plan.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell LTEXV-TC2. The communicator is cell-only, and it cannot connect with AlarmNet360 and TC2 across the internet. This is opposed to the LTEIV-TC2, which is basically the same upgrade kit, except that the LTE-IV supports both IP and cellular. Of course, if you do not have internet service in the area where the panel will be used, then the LTEXV-TC2 is just as good. And really, with how reliable cell service is, you shouldn't notice much of a difference. One other downside might be the fact that the module must be physically installed. It isn't very difficult, even for a DIY user, but it will still take about 5 to 10 minutes of your time. Lastly, this kit is only needed if the VISTA Panel requires a firmware upgrade to support the communicator. Otherwise, just get the standalone LTE-XV Communicator.

The Honeywell LTEXV-TC2 is recommended by Alarm Grid, and it gets 5 Stars.

Good: Reliable LTE Service, Will Last Many Years, PROM Chip Upgrades, Connect w/ TC2

Bad: Cell-Only, Must be Installed, Only for Panels Needing Firmware Upgrade

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell FP280 - Water & Flood Probe For Use w/ 5821

Great Flood Probe
Submitted on 04/26/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell FP280 is a flood detection probe that connects to a flood sensor, such as the Honeywell 5821 or the Honeywell 470-12. It is not an actual sensor, and it cannot really do anything on its own. But when used as a probe with a corresponding flood detector, it works very well. Attached to the Honeywell FP280 is a 16.5 foot cable, and it is possible to replace it with a longer cable if you require something even longer. Overall, we really like the Honeywell FP280, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we appreciate a Honeywell FP280. For one, it is easy to connect to a compatible flood sensor, making it good for DIY users. The accessory is quite versatile, as it can be used with nearly any flood detector that has a compatible input available. The 16.5 is pretty long for this type of device, and the option of swapping out a cable is nice too. This can be very useful if the original cable ever becomes damaged, or if you just need something longer. As with most Honeywell products, the Honeywell FP280 has a great build quality. A resistor is attached so that your system can be alerted if someone tries to tamper with this sensor.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell FP280. The biggest drawback is that this sensor really cannot do anything on its own. It is only useful if it is used with a compatible flood sensor. Also, many sensors do not need a probe like the Honeywell FP280, as they already have a probe included. And some users prefer a built-in probe, as opposed to an external probe like the Honeywell FP280. But these downsides are very minor, and we still give 5 Stars to the Honeywell FP280.

Good: Easy to Connect, Versatile, Long Cord, Can Swap Cord Out, Good Build Quality, Resistor

Bad: Useless On Its Own, Not Every Flood Detector Needs One

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell L7000PK10-WIFI - Wireless IP Security System w/ 10 Door/Window Sensors

Nice System Kit
Submitted on 04/26/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell L7000PK10-WIFI is a security system kit that includes a new Honeywell L7000 Security System, ten (10) Honeywell 5800MINI Door and Window Sensors, one (1) Honeywell 5800PIR-RES Motion Detection Sensor, a Honeywell L5100-WIFI Communicator, a Honeywell 5834-4 Key Fob, and a plug-in transformer for the panel. The only thing it is missing is a power cable to connect the panel to its transformer. Although the Honeywell L7000 is a bit dated and more advanced panels are available, the system still works quite well, and many people continue to use it as of mid-2020. This is an outstanding system kit, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There is a lot to like about the Honeywell L7000PK10-WIFI. For one, it has everything you need to get started with alarm monitoring service, provided that you have some spare wire lying around somewhere. The system is easy to program and install, making it a good option for DIY users. The system supports all of the Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors, giving you a lot of options to choose from. And there are LTE communicators available, so you can easily upgrade later if you decide you want cellular alarm monitoring service.

But there are also some downsides to the Honeywell L7000PK10-WIFI that should be taken into consideration. For one, no automation module is included with this kit. You will need to purchase a Honeywell L5100-ZWAVE unit separately if you want to use this system as a home automation controller. Also the fact that no power wire or cabling is included is a drawback as well. Finally, there are many more advanced systems available. But these downsides do not stop us from giving the Honeywell L7000PK10-WIFI a 5 Star rating.

Good: Everything Needed Included, Easy to Program & Install, Supports Honeywell 5800 Sensors, Easily Upgradable

Bad: No Automation Module, No Cabling Included, More Advanced Panels Available

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG 3GA-A-GC3 - GC3 AT&T 3G Cellular Communicator

Not Recommended - Get an LTE Comm Instead!
Submitted on 04/26/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG 3GA-A-GC3 is a 3G AT&T Cellular Communicator for the 2GIG GC3 System. Cellular communication is recommended for any security system, as it offers the best reliability and rather fast communication speeds. Unfortunately, the 2GIG 3GA-A-GC3 can no longer be activated for monitoring service and used with Alarm.com. This is because Alarm.com no longer allows for 3G activations. Modules that are already activated can continue to be used until AT&T shuts down their 3G network, which is expected to occur in 2022. Once that happens, the user will want to upgrade to an LTE communicator to continue using their GC3 System for alarm monitoring. While this communicator was once a great option for a 2GIG GC3, that is no longer the case. For that reason, we give it a 4 Star rating.

There are some positive aspects regarding the 2GIG 3GA-A-GC3. For one, it is easy to install, as the 2GIG GC3 Security Panel has a slot that houses the communicator. And if you already have the module activated, then you can continue using it until AT&T shuts down the associated network. The module provides reliable cellular connectivity, so it is certainly a communicator you can count on if it is already activated.

But the downsides to the 2GIG 3GA-A-GC3 are obvious as well. You cannot activate the communicator for monitoring service. And once the associated network is shut down, the module will no longer work at all, even if it had been previously activated. As the module can no longer be activated, it has been discontinued. We do not recommend buying this communicator, and we give it a 4 Star rating out of 5.

Good: Easy to Install, Reliable, Will Work Until Network Shut Down

Bad: Cannot Be Activated, Must Be Replaced Once Network Shut Down, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Interlogix 80-922-1 - Legacy Interlogix 319.5MHz Wireless Repeater

Great 319.5 MHz Repeater!
Submitted on 04/26/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix 80-922-1 is a wireless repeater for 319.5 MHz sensors. The repeater works with most wireless Interlogix Sensors and Qolsys Sensors, including the Qolsys S-Line Sensors. As Qolsys never released a true 319.5 MHz repeater, the Interlogix 80-922-1 became a popular option for original IQ Panel 2 users, and it is still widely used with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. When used properly, this repeater can effectively double the maximum possible range for a system when communicating with 319.5 MHz sensors. We think that the Interlogix 80-922-1 works very well, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Interlogix 80-922-1. For one, it can effectively double the range of 319.5 MHz sensors. The device works reliably in repeating signals, and it requires very little maintenance. The unit is very easy for a DIY user to set up on their own. And since it is a plug and play device, you do not need to program it to the panel. It will start repeating signals as soon as you install it. LED lights on the unit provide the current status, and they can be useful for troubleshooting.

But there are some downsides to the Interlogix 80-922-1 that should be considered. While it can repeat Qolsys S-Line Sensors, it will do so without the S-Line rolling code encryption. The repeated signal will just be a non-encrypted 319.5 MHz signal. Also, the included transformer for the unit is minimal at best. End users have expressed difficulty and confusion when wiring the transformer for proper polarity. Also, we have noticed a blatant misspelling on many of the transformers, as it says "AC Adatpor". But these flaws are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the product 5 Stars.

Good: Doubles 319.5 MHz Sensor Range, Reliable, Easy to Install, Plug and Play, LED Lights

Bad: Repeats S-Line Sensors W/O Encryption, Transformer Issues

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC SCW457AMVZ - Impassa with Verizon Alarm.com Cellular Communicator and Image Sensor Module

Not Recommended
Submitted on 04/26/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC SCW457AMVZ consists of a DSC Impassa Security System with an added Verizon CDMA Communicator and an image sensor module. There isn't actually an image sensor included with this system. You just get the module needed for supporting an image sensor. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot to like about this system. The Impassa is a relatively difficult system for DIYers to work with, and the CDMA Communicator can no longer be activated for monitoring service. For that reason, this product has been discontinued. We do not recommend the Impassa System in general, and give this product a 2 Star rating out of 5.

There are some positive aspects to the DSC SCW457AMVZ. The included panel can still technically be used for monitoring service, but you would need to replace the CDMA Communicator with an LTE Communicator instead. Many Impassa Systems are still frequently used, despite it being an older security system. This goes to show that it is built to last. We also appreciate the fact that the Impassa supports local end user programming. The same cannot be said for the newer DSC Wireless System, the DSC Iotega.

But the downsides to the DSC SCW457AMVZ are very apparent. The communicator can no longer be activated, per Alarm.com requirements. If you have an Impassa with a CDMA Communicator that has already been activated, then it will continue to work until Verizon shuts down their CDMA Network in the coming years. The image sensor module for the system is spotty at best, as image sensor technology really wasn't quite there yet when this system was released. The system is difficult to program for DIYers, and there are certainly easier systems available. All of this leads to us giving the DSC SCW457AMVZ a 2 Star rating.

Good: Panel Can Still Be Used, Long-Lasting, Local End User Programming

Bad: Communicator Cannot Be Activated, CDMA Network Being Shutdown, Poor Image Sensor Module, Difficult to Program

Bottom Line: 2 Stars

Honeywell SMB10 - Universal White Swivel Mount Bracket

Useful Mounting Bracket!
Submitted on 04/24/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell SMB10 is the swivel mounting bracket for the Honeywell Intellisense Hardwired Motion Detection Sensors. This accessory provides the end user with great flexibility and positioning control when mounting their motion sensor. Because motion sensors often require a very precise mounting angle and position, a swivel mounting bracket can really come in handy. Of course, you will want to make sure and test any motion sensor used with one of these mounting brackets. Getting the position exactly right can be very important. We really like the performance of the Honeywell SMB10 Swivel Mounting Bracket, and it receives a 5 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell SMB10. For one, it is very easy to use, and the installation can certainly be completed by an end user. If you have already run a wire from the panel to the location of the sensor, then mounting the sensor using the Honeywell SMB10 should be a piece of cake. The accessory offers great performance, as you can really choose the exact angle and positioning of the sensor. And since it is made by Honeywell, you can count on its exceptional build quality.

There are some downsides to the Honeywell SMB10. Since it is specifically designed for use with the Honeywell Intellisense Motion Sensors, you may have trouble using it with non-Honeywell Sensors. This makes it fairly limited in the sensors it can be used with. Make sure your motion sensor can be used with the Honeywell SMB10 before buying one. Also, the Honeywell SMB10 has been discontinued, and you may have trouble finding it new. But if you find a used one somewhere, it should still work just fine. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell SMB10 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Easy to Use & Install, Choose Exact Positioning, Great Built Quality

Bad: Limited Compatibility, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC BV-501 - Bravo® 5 360 Degrees Ceiling-Mount PIR Motion Detector w/ Tamper

Nice Ceiling-Mount Motion Sensor
Submitted on 04/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC BV-501 is a hardwired ceiling-mount PIR motion sensor. This type of motion sensor has a 360-degree coverage area, and it is designed to look down directly below. The DSC BV-501 is a reliable and dependable hardwired motion sensor for virtually any hardwired system. It is certainly an option for anyone who needs a wired ceiling-mount motion sensor. For that reason, we give the DSC BV-501 Hardwired Ceiling-Mount Motion Sensor a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the DSC BV-501. As a 360-degree ceiling-mount motion sensor it will detect movement in a very specific spot, while ignoring movement that occurs elsewhere in the area. This makes it a good option if you want your system to be alerted to very specific activity, such as someone entering or exiting a room, but not respond to activity in the non-immediate area. The sensor is extremely versatile, and it will work nicely with most wired systems and wired to wireless converter modules. We also like the fact that this sensor uses multi-level signal processing to prevent false alarms from occurring.

But there are some minor downsides to the DSC BV-501 that should be considered as well. Since this is a ceiling-mount motion sensor, you will be restricted based on how high the ceiling is. The mounting height for a ceiling-mount motion sensor determines its coverage diameter, with a taller height resulting in a larger coverage area. But if you mount it too high, then it won't properly detect activity below. Check your ceiling-height and make sure the sensor is suitable. Also, the sensor is Form A meaning that NO wiring cannot be used. Fortunately, these downsides are fairly minor, and they do not stop us from giving the DSC BV-501 a 5 Star score.

Good: Detects Movement in Specific Spot, Versatile, Multi-Level Signal Processing

Bad: Install is Restricted by Ceiling Height, Form A

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC SCW457AVZNT - Impassa Security System with Alarm.com Verizon CDMA Cellular Communicator, No Transformer

Impassa is Not Recommended
Submitted on 04/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC SCW457AVZNT is an Impassa System with a Verizon CDMA Communicator installed. This product has been discontinued, due to the fact that CDMA communicators can no longer be activated. The network is being shut down in the coming years, and Alarm.com has stopped allowing new activations for use with their servers. Even then, we are not big fans of the DSC Impassa System anyway, as it isn't very DIY friendly, and much sleeker and more modern options are available. Although many people out there have DSC Impassa Systems that they are perfectly happy with, we generally do not recommend the system. For those reasons, we only give the DSC SCW457AVNT a 2 Star rating.

We can at least say that the DSC SCW457AVZNT is a functional security system. You could even replace the CDMA communicator with an LTE communicator and set it up for monitoring service. The firmware requirement for a CDMA communicator is the same as an LTE communicator (1.3 or higher). And while the Impassa System is somewhat difficult to program, you won't really need to do it again once you have it set up. We have seen Impassa Systems last for years upon years, so they are certainly reliable.

But the downsides to this system are very apparent. This model comes with a communicator that cannot be activated for monitoring service. And even if you have an Impassa System with a CDMA Communicator that has already been activated, it will stop working once Verizon shuts down their CDMA network. Also the Impassa System is pretty bulky, and there are plenty of sleeker, more modern systems available. We do not recommend it if you are looking for a new security system. That is why the DSC SCW9457AVNT gets 2 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Can Add an LTE Communicator, Reliable, Long-Lasting

Bad: Communicator Cannot Be Activated, Impassa is Difficult to Program, CDMA Network Being Shut Down

Bottom Line: 2 Stars