Reviews

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

Telguard GDC1 - Z-Wave Garage Door Controller and Switch

Decent Z-Wave Garage Door Controller
Submitted on 04/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The Telguard GDC1 is a Z-Wave garage door controller. It includes a tilt sensor so that the module knows whether the garage door is opened or closed. The tilt sensor doesn't actually speak with your panel or your Z-Wave controller. It is only used for relaying status to the main GDC1 unit. This main GDC1 unit must be wired to your garage door motor, and it requires its own transformer. This device works really well when paired with a compatible garage door motor. But unfortunately, not every garage door motor is compatible, including the Chamberlain MyQ Series of motors. There can also be compatibility issues with certain Z-Wave controllers. Due to these compatibility issues, the Telguard GDC1 only receives a 4 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

There are many things to like about Z-Wave garage door controllers like the Telguard GDC1. These devices allow you to integrate your garage door with the rest of your Z-Wave network so that you can control it remotely and have it activate automatically with smart scenes. For example, you might have your garage door close automatically whenever you Arm Stay and plan to go to sleep for the night. A good Z-Wave garage door controller can really make your life more convenient. Also, the Telguard GDC1 isn't too difficult to set up, as only minor wiring is required. The module has been known to pair nicely with Honeywell Security Systems that supprot Z-Wave automation.

But the downsides for the Telguard GDC1 must be considered. You need to make sure that the garage door motor you are using is compatible with this module. Many garage door motors are not. The Telguard GDC1 will need its transformer, which means finding an available wall outlet. And also be aware that some of the older Z-Wave automation hubs may have trouble interfacing with this unit. Although Z-Wave is typically universal, some older controllers may have trouble identifying a garage door controller. With these downsides in mind, we give the Telguard GDC1 a 4 Star rating.

Good: Integrate Compatible Garage Door Motor w/ Z-Wave Network, Easy to Set Up, Pairs w/ Honeywell Systems Nicely

Bad: Compatibility Issues, Needs Own Transformer & Outlet

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Verizon LTE - 7" Security Panel w/ Z-Wave-ready, Verizon Cell Communicator

Great Panel!
Submitted on 04/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with Verizon LTE Communicator is an outstanding security system. Although it has been discontinued in favor of the newer Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the original IQ Panel 2 can still be used reliably and activated for monitoring service. And it offers even more advanced features and functions than most other security systems on the market. It is an extremely versatile system that can be used nicely in a small to medium sized business or residentially in a household. The system is very easy to set up, which is highly appreciated by DIY users. You really can't go wrong with this system, which is why it gets a 5 Star rating.

There is so much to like about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Its Verizon LTE Communicator provides effective and reliable monitoring service. With a good cellular connection, your panel should always remain connected and monitored, which is extremely important for keeping you safe. The system offers some nice features like optional automatic Bluetooth disarming, support for four (4) partitions, the ability to live-stream compatible Alarm.com Cameras, and so much more. The panel has a sleek and modern design that fits in nicely with almost any home or business. It is a system that you feel proud to display mounted on a wall or kept upright using its included stand.

As mentioned earlier, the original IQ Panel 2 has been discontinued. And there are some minor drawbacks, such as the panel being difficult to close and the communicator not being replaceable if it becomes damaged. But otherwise, this is an excellent alarm panel, and we can certainly recommend it if you find a used model somewhere (as long as the LTE communicator is released). It receives a 5 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Lots of Features, Modern Design, Compact Panel, LTE Communicator

Bad: Discontinued, Panel is Difficult to Close, Communicator Cannot Be Replaced

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC BV-502GB - Bravo® 5, 360 Degrees Ceiling-Mount PIR Motion & Glassbreak Detector w/ Tamper

Nice Combination Motion & Glass Break!
Submitted on 04/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC BV-502GB is a hardwired glass break detector and ceiling-mount PIR motion sensor with 360-degrees of coverage. In order to get full use out of this sensor, you must wire it to two (2) separate hardwired zones on your system. One zone is for glass break detection, and the other is for motion detection. The terminals are appropriately labeled so that you can easily tell which is which. This is an example of a wired combination sensor done right, and while having two completely different functions in one is a bit unorthodox, it still works very well when set up correctly. For that reason, we give the DSC BV-502GB a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the DSC BV-502GB. For one, it combines two sensors into one, which can save you from having to make an additional purchase. The two functions are wired individually and set up with different zones. If you don't want to utilize one of the functions, then you can just leave the corresponding terminal unwired, and you won't need to program for that function at the panel. In other words, you can use the device as a standalone glass break, a standalone motion, or both a glass break and motion. The device is Form C, allowing for both NC and NO wiring. The PIR sensor features multi-level signal processing, and it is quad-element. This helps ensure that the sensor responds reliably to motion, while also not prone to false alarms.

There are a few downsides regarding the DSC BV-502GB. If you really intend on using it as both a ceiling-mount motion AND as a glass break detector, you will need to choose a location very carefully. It must be able to detect the sound of glass breaking and detect movement that occurs below. Make sure to test both functions accordingly. And you will still need two (2) zones on the panel for full functionality. Make sure you have enough zones available. Also consider obstacles that can prevent the device from working properly. It should have a direct line of sight to the windows and the area below. Overall, this is a good sensor, but you need to make some key considerations when using it. We give it 5 Stars, at fulfills its role very nicely when used properly.

Good: Two Sensors In One, Wire/Program Glass Break & Motion Individually, Form C, Multi-Level Signal Processing, Quad-Element PIR, Not Prone To False Alarms When Used Correctly

Bad: Location Must Be Selected Very Carefully If Both Motion & Glass Break Are Being Used, Requires Two (2) Zones For Full Functionality, Obstacles Can Interfere w/ Device

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell MPS51C - Overhead Door Contact

Excellent Industrial Contact!
Submitted on 04/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell MPS51C is an overhead door contact that has since been discontinued. However, if you come across a used model somewhere, don't be afraid to give it a shot. These are high-quality, long-lasting contact sensors that are specifically designed to withstand the rigors of industrial use. You can expect this sensor to withstand repeated use, even in the most demanding of settings. It is great for use on overhead doors, garage doors, and more. We really like this sensor, and we give it a perfect 5 Star rating.

Hardwired door contacts like the Honeywell MPS51C are extremely simple and effective devices. They are very easy to wire, and they can be readily used with wireless transmitters if needed. Remember, a wired contact is a purely mechanical device that does not require any electricity. This makes them very straightforward and easy to set up. For added durability, the wire leads are encased in 24" armored cable. This is a Form C contact, meaning that a NO or a NC wiring configuration can be used. We also appreciate the fact that this contact allows for a large magnet spacing gap of two (2) inches. This makes it suitable for more industrial applications, including for use on overhead doors and garage doors.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell MPS51C. One issue is that it is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. You will likely only find used models elsewhere. There are plenty of newer models available. But with this being an extremely simple device, don't expect the newer models to really offer any flashy upgrades. We must also admit that the design of the Honeywell MPS51C is somewhat dated and ugly. But for industrial use, that isn't very important. Overall, this an outstanding industrial grade contact, and you will not be disappointed with its performance. It gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Simple & Effective, Does Not Use Electricity, 24" Armored Cable, Form C, Built to Last

Bad: Discontinued, Ugly Design

Bottom Line: 5 Stars