Reviews

Linear PD300Z-2 - Z-Wave Plug-in Lamp Dimmer Module

Z-Wave Plus Options Available
Submitted on 04/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Linear PD300Z-2 is a standard Z-Wave plug-in lamp dimmer module. It has two (2) outlets, with one being for Z-Wave smart automation control, and the other being a simple pass-through outlet. By connecting a device (usually a lamp), you will gain the ability to control the device remotely and have it activate with Z-Wave smart scenes. Just be aware that the device has a limit of 300 watts, and it cannot be used with non-resistive loads, which includes CFL light bulbs. The fact that this is a classic Z-Wave device also hurts it, as superior Z-Wave Plus models are readily available. Also the device is discontinued, and you can no longer buy it new. If you find a used model somewhere, it should still work with a Z-Wave or Z-Wave Plus network. Overall, this is a fairly outdated devices that we would no longer recommend purchasing new. If you have an existing model already enrolled, then it should still work just fine. Otherwise, get a Z-Wave Plus model instead. We give the Linear PD300Z-2 a 4 Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Linear PD300Z-2. It doesn't require any wiring, as you can just plug it in and enroll it with your Z-Wave network. This makes it perfect for DIY users. The device also makes an excellent repeater, as lamp modules tend to be. It will start repeating signals once plugged in and enrolled with the Z-Wave network. Many users get these devices simply for improving their mesh networks. However, it is important to understand that this is an outdated model, and most users will achieve better results by getting a Z-Wave Plus plug-in lamp dimmer module instead. But there was a time when the Linear PD300Z-2 was the best available. We give it 4 Stars and say to continue using yours if you already have one. If you are in the market for a new Z-Wave device, then get a Z-Wave Plus model instead.

Good: No Tools Required, Great for DIYers, Z-Wave Repeatrer, Pass-Through Outlet

Bad: Not Z-Wave Plus, 300-Watt Limit, Does Not Support Non-Resistive Loads

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Interlogix 60-924-RF-TS - Talking Touch Screen for Simon XT & XTi

Nice Interlogix System Keypad
Submitted on 04/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix 60-924-RF-TS is a touchscreen keypad for the Interlogix Simon Series Panels, including the Simon XT, Simon XTi, and Simon XTi-5. This external keypad serves as a secondary on-site location for operating one of these systems. You can use the keypad to arm, disarm, check current status, and perform automation commands (cellular communicator w/ Z-Wave controller required for automation). The keypad also provides voice annunciation and chime to let you know about system activity. It also displays weather information when the system is connected with Alarm.com. Overall, this is a fine keypad for Interlogix Simon Series users. It serves a very specific function, and there are really no viable alternatives. We give it a 5 Star rating.

With the Interlogix 60-924-RF-TS, you get a simple, yet effective touchscreen keypad that offers some really nice features. It has the same interface as the Simon XTi and XTi-5, which makes it very intuitive for those accustomed to wireless Interlogix Security Systems. Being able to quickly check faulted zones is a nice touch, and while the voice and chime are primitive, these sounds serve their purpose of alerting the end user to system activity.

There are not many downsides for the Interlogix 60-924-RF-TS. One issue is that it takes up one a system zone slot when programmed. Since zones on Interlogix Systems are often limited (most have a MAX of 40), you may need to plan carefully when adding this keypad. Also, there is a limit of only four (4) keypads per Interlogix System. And we should also mention that this keypad is fairly dated and will look rather old-fashioned compared with the more advanced system keypads from the late 2010s and 2020s.

While primitive, the Interlogix 60-924-RF-TS gets the job done, and there aren't really any other physical keypad alternatives. Most users will just use Alarm.com for remote operation. After all, you will usually always have your phone on your person, whether you are on-site or not. But if you want a secondary keypad for your wireless Interlogix Simon System, this is the one to get. For that reason, it earns a 5 Star rating.

Good: Arm/Disarm, Check Status, Automation, Weather Information, Talks, Chimes, Touchscreen, No Viable Alternatives

Bad: Takes Up One Zone, Primitive, Touchscreen Feels Choppy, Limit of Four (4) Per System, Old-Fashioned, For Interlogix Simon Panels Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 5878 - Wireless Remote Alarm Keypad

Nice Remote Device
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 5878 is a wireless remote keypad that integrates with security systems that accept the 345 MHz wireless frequency. This device was originally built with the Honeywell LYNX Touch Systems in mind, but you should have no trouble pairing it with other 345 MHz wireless systems. The remote features six (6) button and eight (8) programmable loops for providing a variety of different functions once it has been properly configured. This product has since been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. But a used model should work fine if you manage to find one somewhere. Overall, we think this is a fine remote keypad option, and we have no issue giving it a 5 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell 5878. For one, its small design allows it to be carried around quite easily. Mounting hardware is also included if you prefer a setup that is permanently mounted somewhere. The device features an LED light, which can be useful for confirming that signal transmissions are successfully sent out. This is also good for knowing if the device has a low battery that needs to be changed, as no LED light will be shown when the battery is low. We also like the fact that the sensor is easy to program, even if it can be a bit tedious to set up and program all eight (8) possible inputs. Lastly, we think that the sensor has a really nice transmission range at 200 nominal feet.

There are not many downsides for the Honeywell 5878. The product is discontinued, so you are unlikely to find a new model anywhere. Like we said earlier, programming all eight (8) functions can be a bit tedious, though the overall process is easy. The battery life for the 5878 is average at best. It will need a new lithium CR2032 coin battery about every three (3) to five (5) years. That's rather unimpressive for a small remote device like the 5878. Finally, we will admit that the design for the 5878 is rather dated and somewhat ugly. This may be a big reason why Honeywell ultimately decided to discontinue the device. Still, these are relatively minor downsides, and the 5878 has numerous positive aspects. For that reason, we give the Honeywell 5878 a perfect 5-Star rating.

Good: Small & Compact, Mounting Hardware Included, LED Light, Easy to Programming, Strong Wireless Range

Bad: Discontinued, Programming 8 Functions is Tedious, Average Battery Life, Dated & Ugly Design

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Mier Products BW106BP - Beige Metal Alarm Cabinet with Back Plate

Good Metal Cabinet Enclosure
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Mier Products BW106BP is a beige metal cabinet that is used for containing alarm system equipment. This could include a panel, a relay module, a power supply, or really any type of security system equipment. The cabinet measures in at 12"L x 12"W x 4"D, which is ample space for storing a panel and a backup battery. This cabinet is also commonly used when setting up a relay for use with a siren. In fact, a similar metal cabinet is included with our LYNX-EXT and LYNX-WEXT Siren Kits. Overall, this is a really nice metal cabinet that we can definitely recommend using in a variety of situations. For that reason, we give the Mier Products BW106BP a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Mier Products BW106BP. For one, it is large enough to store a variety of equipment for any given application. Whether you are setting up a new panel or adding a siren relay, you should be able to put the BW106BP to great use. The module includes a 10" x 10" backplate that makes it easier to mount a circuit board. Installers should really appreciate that aspect. The cabinet is built from a durable steel material that will not easily become damaged. This helps to ensure long-lasting use and performance.

The negative aspects for the Mier Products BW106BP are relatively minor. The cabinet is basically a generic model, and it isn't really built with any specific application in mind. In other words, while the cabinet is good for a variety of different uses, it doesn't really excel in any one given application. You may find that getting a more specific or more tailored enclosure for your unique needs is a superior option. Also, the cabinet does not come with a cam lock, though one can be added separately.

Overall, we think the Mier Products BW106BP is a really nice metal enclosure for alarm system equipment. It gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Large Cabinet, Variety of Uses, Backplate, Durable Steel

Bad: Generic, Not Really Built for Any Specific Use, Cam Lock Not Included

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Altronix SMP3 - Auxiliary Power Supply

Fantastic Power Supply
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Altronix SMP3 is a 2.5A power supply that can be configured for a 6VDC, 12VDC, or 24VDC power output. The device is used to power external alarm devices when the alarm panel lacks sufficient power to do so on its own. The Altonix SMP3 also includes a charging circuit that is used to charge a connected backup battery. Overall, we think this is an excellent power supply module that can be reliably used when alarm equipment requires a substantial amount of additional power beyond what an alarm control panel can offer on its own. We give the Altronix SMP3 a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Altronix SMP3 to discuss. The selectable power output of 6VDC, 12VDC, or 24VDC is a nice addition. We also really appreciate the charging circuit for keeping the device's backup battery nice and charged. The LED lights on the unit are helpful for letting the user know that the device is working properly, and they can be used to assist with troubleshooting. And since this device provides up to 2.5A of power, it will provide sufficient power for most security setups.

But there are some downsides that should be mentioned regarding the Altronix SMP3 as well. The device needs its own power transformer, and it cannot share a transformer with a panel. No backup battery comes included, so you will want to add one separately. The transformer required will depend on which selectable power output you use, and you will need a very powerful transformer for a 24VDC configuration. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not change our favorable opinion regarding the Altronix SMP3. For that reason, the Altronix SMP3 gets a 5-Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Selectable Power Output, Battery Charging Circuit, LED Lights, Up to 2.5A of Power

Bad: Needs Own Transformer, No Backup Battery Included, 24VDC Output Requires Powerful Transformer

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

System Sensor COSMOD4W - i4 Interface Module

Very Difficult to Use
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The System Sensor COSMOD4W is the required i4 interface module for use with System Sensor COSMO-4W Hardwired Combination Smoke and CO Detectors. The COSMO-4W is a rather unique 4-wire life-safety sensor option that isn't set up like a traditional 4-wire device for a security system. You need to use this COSMOD4W module with a COSMO-4W device. But that isn't enough, as you must also set up a reset relay and a CO trigger relay for the set up to work properly. And to top it all off, the System Sensor COSMOD4W is very difficult and tedious to set up. As such, we do not recommend using it. Most users will find that using traditional 2-wire smoke detectors on a designated reset zone and 4-wire carbon monoxide sensors at a regular hardwired zone is a preferable option. Simply put, we do not like the System Sensor COSMOD4W, and we only rate it at 2 Stars.

There are some positive aspects about the System Sensor COSMOD4W. The COSMO devices are the only hardwired combination smoke and CO sensors that we know about. The fact that these devices combine both a smoke detector and a CO detector into one hardwired sensor is a pretty novel concept that does deserve some praise. And we also like the fact that this interface module offers one-go-all-go functionality for all of the connected COSMO Sensors. This can be important for ensuring that all building occupants are alerted to the fire or carbon monoxide alarm.

But we must really stress that the downsides to the System Sensor COSMOD4W are really serious. DIY users will find that the module is extremely difficult to set up and really not worth the trouble. And the fact that a reset relay and a CO trigger relay must both be added only compounds this issue. Whenever a user asks about the System Sensor COSMOD4W, we will instead recommend that they use 2-wire smoke detectors and 4-wire CO detectors on separate zones, because that set up is significantly easier to achieve. Overall, we cannot recommend this device due to its serious downsides. It only gets a 2 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Combination Wired Smoke & CO Sensor, One-Go-All-Go

Bad: Difficult to Install, Needs Reset Relay & CO Trigger Relay

Bottom Line: 2 Stars

Honeywell 955PS - 3/4” Diameter Recessed Plunger Switch with Leads

We Prefer Rolling Plunger Switches
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 955PS is a hardwired recessed plunger switch contact that lets a system know when a door or window has been opened. When the door or window is closed, the plunger switch will remain pressed down. Once the door or window is opened, the switch will pop open, and the sensor will know to alert the system. This plunger switch uses wired leads instead of screw terminals. Using wired leads over screw terminals isn't really a positive or negative aspect, but it may be preferred or undesirable depending on the installer. The switch has a 3/4" diameter, and an appropriate hole will need to be drilled. However, there is a big downside to this sensor. That downside is that this sensor is not a rolling plunger switch. Some users may find that doors sometimes get caught on non-rolling recessed plunger switches, which can prevent the door from fully closing. There are plenty of other hardwired rolling plunger switches available, and most users will generally find that they provide better performance. For that reason, we only give the Honeywell 955PS a 4-Star rating.

There are some positive aspects regarding the Honeywell 955PS. As a wired door/window sensor, it does not use any batteries, and the sensor will not draw any power from the panel. Assuming that the switch does get fully pressed in when the door or window is closed, you should find that it accurately lets the system know about a door or window that has been opened. And since this is a recessed sensor, it will remain hidden when the door or window is closed. But the downsides for the sensor must also be considered. The fact that a door can get caught on this sensor is pretty disappointing, and we generally try to steer users towards rolling plunger switches for that reason. This sensor is best used on sliding doors, that don't swing closed. There is also the fact that you need to drill a hole to install this sensor, and you need to wire it to your panel. Lastly, this sensor is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. We give this product a 4 Star rating because it lacks the reliability of a rolling plunger switch.

Good: No Batteries, No Power Draw, Works Reliably When Pressed Down Fully, Hidden from View

Bad: Not a Rolling Plunger Switch, Door Can Get Caught, Must Drill Hole to Install, Must be Wired to Panel, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell IPCAM-PT - Pan/Tilt IP Security Camera

Good Pan & Tilt Camera
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell IPCAM-PT is the original pan-tilt camera for use with AlarmNet360 and Total Connect 2.0. It has since been discontinued and replaced by the Honeywell IPCAM-PT2. This is a legacy AlarmNet IP Camera that will not count towards your HD device limit. Even though the camera has been discontinued, it can still be activated for monitoring service, provided that it was online to receive a critical update from Resideo. This critical update made it possible for legacy IP cameras to be used with a newer version of Total Connect 2.0. Unfortunately, if the camera was not online to receive this update, then the camera can no longer be used. Overall, this was a really good camera for its time, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell IPCAM-PT. For one, it offers pan and tilt functions, which aren't available on most other Honeywell IP Cameras. The Honeywell IPCAM-PT can be live-streamed on a Lyric, LYNX Touch, Tuxedo Touch, or VAM (through a web browser), which isn't possible on the newer HD camera models. We also like the fact that legacy cameras like the Honeywell IPCAM-PT do not count towards the HD camera limit, as legacy cameras have their own limit of up to six (6) devices per Total Connect 2.0 account. As a result, adding some legacy cameras can be a good way to get around the HD camera limit and add more cameras to a single TC2 account.

But there are some downsides to the Honeywell IPCAM-PT. The camera is standard definition (SD), and users might not be impressed with the image quality when comparing it to newer HD camera models. The product is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. And perhaps most importantly, if the camera was not online to receive the critical firmware update from Resideo, then it is bricked and can never be used again. With the exception of the last item, these downsides do not fully take away from the positive aspects of this camera. For that reason, we give the Honeywell IPCAM-PT a 5-Star rating.

Good: Pan-Tilt Functions, Live-Streaming Capabilities Doesn't Count Toward HD Camera Limit

Bad: SD Image Quality, Discontinued, Must Have Received Critical Update from Resideo to be Used

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W - Single In-Wall Dimmer Starter Kit w/ Smart Bridge

Perfect Starter Kit!
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W is a complete Lutron starter kit that includes a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, a Lutron In-Wall Dimmer Switch, a Lutron Pico Remote, and a wall plate. This is really everything you need to get started with Lutron smart lighting. At Alarm Grid, we are really big fans of Lutron, and we would definitely recommend this kit to anyone getting started with the lighting protocol. Anyone starting from scratch can use this kit as a great starting point for building a complete network of Lutron devices. For that reason, we give the Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W a 5-Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W. For one, it includes everything needed for a new Lutron user. The smart bridge is the central hub for all your Lutron devices You even get a Lutron Pico Remote and a Lutron In-Wall Dimmer to get started. We love the fact that Lutron is compatible with Apple HomeKit, and iOS users will certainly want to take advantage of this compatibility. If you have a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, then some really nice integrations will be made possible through HomeKit. And even if you don't use HomeKit, there are still other integrations to enjoy, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT.

The biggest downside to this Lutron Kit is that it does not offer Alarm.com compatibility. If you want to use the Alarm.com Lutron integration, then you will need to get the PRO 2 version of the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge. The Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge PRO 2 is sold individually elsewhere on the Alarm Grid website, but we do not offer it as part of any complete Lutron Kit. But if you do not intend on using Lutron with Alarm.com, then this is a non-issue. Overall, there are some awesome benefits to this kit with very few downsides. The Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG1W earns 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Includes Everything Needed for New Lutron User, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT

Bad: No Alarm.com Support

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Somfy ZRSTi - Z-Wave Shade Controller 1811265

Great Z-Wave Curtain Motor Controller!
Submitted on 01/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Somfy ZRSTi is a Z-Wave shade controller. It uses Radio Technology Somfy (RTS) to wirelessly control the compatible motors for shades, blinds, and curtains. The ZRSTi can convert this RTS signal to Z-Wave and vice-versa so that your Z-Wave controller can communicate with your Somfy Curtain Motor. When using the Somfy ZRSTi, you can only have the window coverings fully opened or fully closed. The unit does not allow for partial closing. Still, this is a rare example of a Z-Wave device that can be used to open and close your blinds or other window coverings. Since this device provides a useful function that is matched by few other devices, we have no issue giving the Somfy ZRSTi a 5-Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Somfy ZRSTi. For one, it integrates nicely with nearly any Z-Wave controller or hub, including most security systems that support Z-Wave. The module can simultaneously connect with up to 16 different Somfy Curtain Motors that use RTS communication. From there, you can actually program the Somfy ZRSTi with up to 16 Z-Wave slots (aka Nodes) on your Z-Wave controller to allow for individual control for each motor used with the ZRSTi module. We also appreciate the fact that the Somfy ZRSTi is nice and compact, meaning that it won't take up too much space in your home or business.

There are some downsides associated with the Somfy ZRSTi. For one, it can only be used with Somfy Motors that support RTS communication. Other curtain motors will not work with the ZRSTi. The fact that you can only use the ZRSTi to completely open or completely close your window coverings is somewhat of a letdown. There is no way to use the module to leave your curtains partially open. Lastly, the fact that this module only uses standard Z-Wave is disappointing, as the more advanced Z-Wave Plus communication protocol is known to work more reliably.

Overall, the Somfy ZRSTi is a very good product. It has some downsides, but it is one of the few Z-Wave curtain motor controllers available. For that reason, it gets a 5-Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Works w/ Nearly Any Z-Wave Controller, Can Connect w/ Up to 16 Somfy Curtain Motors Using RTS, Small & Compact Design

Bad: Only for Somfy Motors Using RTS, Cannot Partially Open/Close Curtains, Standard Z-Wave

Bottom Line: 5 Stars