Reviews

Honeywell 745VSD3 - Trilingual Voice Siren Driver

Great Siren Driver
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 745VSD3 is a trilingual voice siren driver used with speaker units that otherwise lack a siren driver. This module allows one or more speakers to make voice annunciations during burglary, fire, and carbon monoxide alarm events. By adjusting the DIP switches on the module, you can set the unit to English, Spanish, or French. This really makes the Honeywell 745VSD3 a versatile and useful siren driver. Unfortunately, the product has been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. But if you manage to find a used model somewhere, then it should still work just fine. We really like the Honeywell 745VSD3 Siren Driver, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell 745VSD3 Siren Driver. We appreciate the fact that it offers three (3) language options that are easily selected by adjusting the DIP switches for the unit. By choosing between English, Spanish, and French, this unit can be used in most residences and establishments across North America. The siren driver is capable of producing sounds of up to 108 dB when paired with the appropriate speaker(s). This is perfectly loud enough for most homes and smaller businesses. We also like the fact that this is a quality Honeywell product that is very durable and well-made.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell 745VSD3 Siren Driver. Like any siren driver, it can only be used with a speaker. If you don't have a speaker, then the device is basically useless. Also, the product has been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. But other than that, we don't really have anything else negative to say about the device. Because of its positive aspects and few downsides, we give this siren drive a perfect 5-Star rating.

Good: Three (3) Language Options, Up to 108 dB, Quality Honeywell Product

Bad: Needs Speaker(s), Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Qolsys IQ DOOR WINDOW-S - Wireless Encrypted Door/Window Sensor for Qolsys IQ Security Systems

Better Door/Window Contacts Available
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Door Window-S is a 319.5 MHz door and window contact sensor. It will utilize S-Line rolling code encryption when paired with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This sensor is easy to install, and it reliably lets the system know when a door, window, or cabinet has been opened. However, the sensor is rather large when compared with other door and window contacts. Specifically, it is much larger than the newer and more compact Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S Sensor, while offering no additional features. And to top it off, the Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S can be obtained for less than half the price. We do not think that the Qolsys IQ Door Window-S presents a good value, and therefore we cannot strongly recommend it. That is why we give this sensor a 3-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Qolsys IQ Door Window-S. It can be easily installed, and it reliably lets the system know when it has been activated. We appreciate the fact that the sensor utilizes S-Line rolling code encryption when paired with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2, and we also like the fact that it is backwards compatible with other 319.5 MHz security systems. If you already have an existing Qolsys IQ Door Window-S, then you can continue to use it without issue.

But the downsides of the Qolsys IQ Door Window-S are very apparent when you look at other similar sensors. The Qolsys IQ Door Window-S is very bulky for a door/window contact sensor, and many users may want to find a more discreet option, such as the Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S. We also think this sensor is overpriced, and there are multiple less expensive options readily available. The fact that this sensor uses a CR2 battery is somewhat weird, as that really isn't a commonly used battery type. You will need to replace the battery every three (3) to five (5) years, which is fairly common for a sensor of this type. Still, there are just too many downsides and flaws for us to really recommend this sensor. For those reasons, it gets 3 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Easily Installed, Reliable, S-Line Encryption, Backwards Compatible w/ Legacy 319.5 MHz Systems

Bad: Bulky, Overpriced, CR2 Battery, Short Battery Life

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

System Sensor COSMOD2W - i4 Interface Module

We Do Not Recommend
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The System Sensor COSMOD2W i4 Interface Module is the required hub used with System Sensor COSMO-2W Hardwired Combination Smoke and CO Detectors. Even though these are 2-wire devices, they are not used with a designated "reset zone" on a wired panel. Instead, these are configured with a standard hardwired zone, similarly to how a 4-wire smoke detector would be set up. The difference here is that this interface module is absolutely required. And the interface module is known for being extremely difficult and tedious to set up and configure. On top of that, you must also add a reset relay and a CO trigger relay for this set up to work. But on the positive side, the System Sensor COSMO devices are the only wired combination smoke and CO detectors used directly with security systems that we know about. And also, they offer one-go-all-go, which is a fantastic life-safety feature. Still, we don't recommend using these devices simply because they are very complicated for a DIY user to set up, and there are better options readily available. For that reason, we only give the System Sensor COSMOD2W i4 Interface Module a 2-Star rating.

There are some positive aspects regarding the System Sensor COSMOD2W i4 Interface Module. It allows the use of a combined smoke detector and CO detector into one device. The sensor can be used with any hardwired zone, which adds some nice versatility. We also really appreciate the fact that this sensor supports one-go-all-go. When we discuss one-go-all-go, we mean that when one life-safety sensor on the network activates, all of the other interconnected life-safety sensors on the same network will also activate. This can be very important for ensuring that everyone in the building is alerted to the emergency.

But the downsides to the System Sensor COSMOD2W are glaring. This module is extremely difficult and tedious to set up. Most DIY users will not want to take on this challenge. You must also add a reset relay and a CO trigger relay. We almost always advise users to instead go with a setup involving 2-wire smoke detectors and 4-wire carbon monoxide sensors. This will require using separate system zones, but COSMOD2W requires this anyway. Overall, we do not recommend the System Sensor COSMOD2W. That is why it only gets 2 Stars from us.

Good: Combo Smoke/CO Sensor, Use at Any Wired Zone, One-Go-All-Go

Bad: Difficult to Set Up, Requires Reset Relay & CO Trigger Relay

Bottom Line: 2 Stars

Honeywell L5200PK-WIFI-3G - Dual Path Security System Kit with WIFI, GSM Communicators

Great Legacy Kit!
Submitted on 01/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell L5200PK-WIFI-3G is a defunct system kit from Alarm Grid. This kit included a Honeywell L5200 System, a Honeywell 5800PIR-RES Motion Sensor, three (3) Honeywell 5811 Door and Window Contacts, a Honeywell 5834-4 Key Fob, a Honeywell L5100-WIFI IP Communicator, and a Honeywell 3GL Cellular Communicator. For its time, this was a really complete system kit that offered everything you could possibly need for starting out with a new security system. However, the L5200 has since been replaced with newer and more advanced systems, like the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But because of the great features this kit presented for its time, we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell L5200PK-WIFI-3G. The L5200 System can actually be upgraded using a Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool and still be used for IP and cellular monitoring. This kit came dual-path ready, which was extremely innovative for the time. The L5100-WIFI IP Communicator can still be used and activated without issue. And if the 3GL Communicator is already activated, it can still be used until the associated 3G cellular network is shut down. All of the sensors included with this kit are top-quality, and they can still be used reliably to this day. Really, if you are currently using this system, and you are happy with its performance, then there is little reason to replace it. You might even consider upgrading to an LTE cellular communicator for enhanced reliability and performance.

The biggest downside to the Honeywell L5200PK-WIFI-3G is that the included 3GL Communicator can no longer be activated for monitoring service. Existing units that are already active can continue to be used until the associated cellular network is shut down. Once that happens, the communicator can no longer be used in any useful manner. Some users may also be disappointed with the L5200, as it is an older system, and most of its possibilities for home automation are quite limited. Still, this was a really good kit for its time, and many users are still happily using this product. That is why it gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: L5200 Can Be Upgraded, Dual-Path Connectivity, L5100-WIFI Still Works Great, 3GL Can Still Be Used If Activated, Great Sensors, Can Upgrade to LTE

Bad: 3GL Can No Longer Be Activated, 3GL Cellular Network Will Be Shut Down, L5200 is Older System, Limited Automation Possibilities

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell IPCAM-PTPS - IPCAM-PT Power Supply 5VDC, 2A

Good Camera Power Supply
Submitted on 01/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell IPCAM-PTPS is a 5VDC 2A power supply that is used with the Honeywell IPCAM-PT Camera. The Honeywell IPCAM-PT is a legacy pan-tilt camera that is used with the Total Connect 2.0 platform. The camera comes with a Honeywell IPCAM-PTPS included, but if you ever need a replacement power supply, then this is the one to get. The power supply is very easy to use, as it simply connects to the back of the camera using a male DC connector. The other end plugs into any standard wall outlet. However, this power supply has since been discontinued, so you won't be able to buy a new model from Alarm Grid. Still, this is a very useful power supply if you have a Honeywell IPCAM-PT, so we give this product a 5-Star rating.

The biggest benefit to the Honeywell IPCAM-PTPS is that it is very easy to use. It just plugs into the back of the camera, and the other end goes into a wall outlet. We have found that the power supply keeps a Honeywell IPCAM-PT running reliably, so we really can't complain about its performance. We also like the fact that the camera itself has LED lights to indicate that power is being applied.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell IPCAM-PTPS. It is an extremely limited device, considering that it can only power a Honeywell IPCAM-PT. It cannot be used with any of the other legacy Honeywell IP Cameras. The reason why the Honeywell IPCAM-PT uses a different power supply is because of its pan-tilt function that needs additional power than what is required for the other cameras. The fact that the IPCAM-PT uses its own unique power supply can make things frustrating if you were expecting the camera to use the same power supply as the other legacy Honeywell IP Cameras. Also, the cord attached to this power supply is of fixed length, so you may need an extension cord if you are having trouble reaching the wall outlet. Still, these are very minor downsides, and they do not stop us from giving this product 5 Stars.

Good: Easy to Connect, Reliable Performance, Camera has LED Power Light

Bad: For IPCAM-PT Only, Cannot Work w/ Other Legacy IP Cameras, Fixed Length Cord

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell Lyric Verizon-CDMA 10-1 Kit - Alarm System, 10 Door/Window Sensors, Motion, 8' Cable

CDMA Communicator Cannot Be Activated
Submitted on 01/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell Lyric Verizon-CDMA 10-1 Kit is a defunct security system kit from Alarm Grid. It was based around the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and it has since been replaced by the Lyric Verizon LTE 10-1 Kit. If you are using an existing Honeywell Lyric Verizon-CDMA 10-1 Kit, then it will continue to work fine until Verizon shuts down their CDMA Network. At that point, you would need to replace the system's communicator with an LTE model to continue using the system for cellular alarm monitoring service. Or you could use it for IP-only monitoring without cellular connectivity. Although this system kit has been discontinued, we still really like the Lyric System, so we give it a 5-Star rating.

The best part about this kit is the Lyric System. This is a state-of-the-art alarm control panel, and it truly impresses with its straightforward programming, compatibility with a wide selection of sensors, and Apple HomeKit compatibility. We also like the sensors included with this kit. The VERSA-2GIG Contacts work great, and they are super easy to install and program. The Honeywell SiXPIR Motion Sensor utilizes 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security and protection. Even if you have the system connected to the Verizon CDMA Network, you can easily upgrade the system to LTE. Or if you do not want to buy a new communicator, then you can use the system for IP-only monitoring.

The biggest downside to the Lyric Verizon-CDMA Kit is that it comes with a Verizon CDMA Communicator. It is no longer possible to activate these communicators, in anticipation of the Verizon CDMA Network being shut down in the near future. Once the network is shut down, the existing CDMA Communicators used inside alarm systems will no longer work. Anyone in the market for a new alarm system should make sure to get an LTE communicator if they decide they want cellular monitoring. Due to the fact that CDMA Communicators can no longer be activated, we have discontinued this kit, and it is no longer available for purchase. Still, we are big fans of the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, so we are giving this product a 5-Star rating to reflect the high quality of the system.

Good: Lyric System, Great Sensors, Can Be Upgraded to LTE or do IP-Only

Bad: CDMA Communicator Cannot Be Activated, CDMA Network Being Shut Down

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Arlo VMA4500 - Quadpod Mount for Arlo, Pro & Pro 2

Nice Mounting Device
Submitted on 01/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo VMA4500 is the quadpod mount for the Arlo, Arlo Pro, and Arlo Pro 2 Cameras. The compatible Arlo Camera is mounted in the center of the quadpod, and four (4) legs keep the camera upright. The legs are flexible so that you can mount the camera in a variety of different ways. We have found that the quadpod legs do an outstanding job of keeping the camera upright, and they really allow for many different positioning options and angles. Overall, we really like the Arlo VMA4500 for compatible Arlo devices, and we have no problem giving this product a 5-Star rating.

The biggest benefit to the Arlo VMA4500 is that it keeps an Arlo Camera upright and positioned. That's really the most important job of any camera mount, and the Arlo quadpod mount accomplishes that task. The flexible legs are a nice touch, as they give the end user a variety of different options for mounting their camera. Although it isn't the most conventional option for mounting an Arlo Camera, we do think the Arlo VMA4500 does offer some nice benefits.

But there are some downsides to the Arlo VMA4500 that should be discussed. None of these downsides are super major, but you should still keep them in mind. The Arlo Cameras have a wireless range of about 300 feet from the Arlo Base Station, so that may limit where you can position the cameras. Since the quadpod mount isn't hardwired to anything, it may fall over in a very windy environment. This would need to be a pretty strong wind, but it is still something to consider. Finally, the quadpod mount looks very goofy, and it sort of makes the attached Arlo Camera appear as a four-legged animal. But if aesthetics aren't important to you, then this quadpod mount really gets the job done. We give the Arlo VMA4500 a perfect 5-Star rating.

Good: Keeps Camera Upright, Flexible Legs, Variety of Mounting Options & Positions

Bad: 300 Foot Range to Base Station, May Fall Over in Heavy Winds, Looks Goofy

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Leviton VRF01-1LZ - Z-Wave Fan Controller

Better Fan Controllers Available
Submitted on 01/17/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRF01-1LZ is a Z-Wave fan controller that is designed to be used alongside other switches in the Leviton Vizia RF+ lineup. This fan switch only uses standard Z-Wave connectivity, and it needs to be used with matching Z-Wave devices for a 3-way or multi-pole configuration. While this is convenient if you have compatible Z-Wave devices, you won't be able to use this in-wall fan controller with conventional 3-way switches. Most users looking to set up new in-wall Z-Wave switches will want to use newer Z-Wave Plus devices that offer the same great features and more reliable connectivity and performance. For that reason, we only give the Leviton VRF01-1LZ a 4-Star rating.

There are some nice aspects regarding the Leviton VRF01-1LZ. For one, it has three (3) available fan speed settings, plus an OFF setting. Its microprocessor controller allows the fan to immediately go to its applied setting. It is a quiet fan speed controller, which should eliminate any humming. It also uses RFI filtering to prevent interference from radio, audio, and video equipment. We have found that the Leviton VRF01-1LZ can be easily paired with a compatible Z-Wave controller, making it easy for a new user to get started with the device.

However, the downsides to the Leviton VRF01-1LZ are important to consider. The device can only be used with other compatible Leviton Z-Wave devices when setting up a 3-way or multi-pole setup. It cannot be used with conventional 3-way switches, which really limits how you can use the VRF01-1LZ with existing equipment. Also, the Leviton VRF01-1LZ only uses standard Z-Wave communication, so users looking for a new in-wall Z-Wave fan switch will likely want to explore newer Z-Wave Plus options instead. Overall, we feel as though going with a newer and more advanced Z-Wave fan controller is usually a better option. That is why the Leviton VRF01-1LZ only receives 4 Stars from us.

Good: Different Speed Options, Microprocessor Controller, RFI Filtering, Easy Pairing

Bad: Only Works w/ Compatible Leviton Devices for 3-Way, Stanard Z-Wave

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

DSC WLS922L-433 - Wireless Acuity Glassbreak Detector

Great 433 MHz Glass Break Sensor
Submitted on 01/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC WLS922L-433 is a 433 MHz glass break sensor that monitors windows and protective glass casings for glass break events. Sensors like this one are very commonly used in residential locations, as well as businesses like gun shops and jewelry stores. What's great about this sensor is that it can monitor multiple windows and/or protective glass casings using its high-performance microphone. Overall, this is a very nice wireless glass break sensor that we would recommend to anyone with a 433 MHz security system. It gets a 5-Star rating from us.

There are many things we like about the DSC WLS922L-433. For starters, its high-performance microphone works great in listening for glass break events, such as a window being broken or a product display case being smashed. This microphone helps the sensor actively distinguish between true glass break events and potential false alarms. Since the device uses digital signal processing, it can work well with nearly any type of glass. This includes plate glass, float glass, tempered glass, wired glass, and laminated glass. We also like the fact that the sensor has a dip switch that allows the user to choose between high and low sensitivity options. Overall, we have found that the DSC WLS922L-433 reliably responds to glass break events, while also not being set off by similar sounds that could otherwise cause false alarms.

There are not many downsides associated with the DSC WLS922L-433. The biggest problem is that the device needs a direct line of sight to the windows and/or casings that it is monitoring. Needing a direct line of sight is fairly standard for a glass break sensor, but it is still something to keep in mind. Also, since the device is wireless, it will require periodic battery replacements. In most cases, the batteries will need to be replaced every three (3) to five (5) years. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving this product 5 Stars.

Good: High-Performance Microphone, Prevents False Alarms, Reliably Responds to Glass Break Events, Digital Signal Processing, Works w/ Most Types of Glass, Dip Switch Sensitivity

Bad: Needs Direct Line of Sight, Battery Replacements Needed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Macurco GD-2A - Hardwired Natural Gas & Propane Detector

Great Gas Leak Detector
Submitted on 01/16/2020 Alarm Grid

The Macurco GD-2A is a hardwired natural gas and propane detector. This sensor is designed to detect gas leaks that could result in issues if left unattended. We have found that the Macurco GD-2A sensor works very reliably in detecting gas leaks, which can be very important in preventing fires and wasted energy expenses. The sensor is great for those who want to monitor for propane or natural gas leaks that may occur. It offers some nice benefits, but there are some usage considerations that must be kept in mind. Overall, we really like this sensor, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

The biggest benefit of the Macurco GD-2A is that it provides a solution for monitoring for gas leaks. Propane and natural gas leak detectors are not the most commonly used sensors, so it is good to see that there is a nice option available, even if it is a hardwired sensor. You can easily mount the sensor based on the types of leaks you are trying to detect, and it's really nice that the sensor has different mounting options available. We also like the fact that all of the necessary mounting hardware comes included. Since this device is Form C, it can be set up with a NO or NC wiring configuration. Other benefits for the sensor include its built-in LED status light and the device's integrated switch for testing and silencing the sensor. Lastly, we appreciate the fact that this sensor has a built-in buzzer for providing audible alerts when activated.

There are some downsides to the Macurco GD-2A that should be kept in mind. For one, it is for indoor use only, and it cannot be used safely in an outdoor environment. Since the module has a power draw of 70 mA, you will need to make sure your system can supply sufficient power to the sensor. Really, 70 mA is not a large amount of power, but it can make adding this sensor a bit more challenging than a non-powered device, such as a door and window contact sensor. One other very important thing to keep in mind is that this sensor only has a useful product life of 10 years. After that, it will need to be replaced with a new unit.

We are very satisfied with the Macurco GD-2A, and we think it is a great option for anyone who needs a hardwired gas leak detector. That is why this product earns 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Monitors for Gas Leaks, Different Mounting Options, Mounting Hardware Included, Form C, Built-In Status LED Light, Integrated Testing/Silencing Switch, Built-In Buzzer

Bad: Indoor Use Only, Draws Power, 10 Year Product Life

Bottom Line: 5 Stars