Reviews

DSC PG9985 - PowerG 915MHz Wireless Flood Detector

Great Flood Sensor!
Submitted on 12/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The DSC PG9985 is a PowerG Flood Sensor that works with a variety of systems, including any IQ Panel 2 Plus, any DSC PowerSeries NEO System with an added wireless transceiver, and the DSC Iotega. The device consists of a main sensor that is connected with a probe using a six (6) foot long cord. The probe itself detects leaks or floods. Only a small amount of water is needed to activate the probe, which means that the user will have more time to take action before serious water damage occurs. We think this is a great flood sensor, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many reasons to like the DSC PG9985. As a PowerG Sensor, it has some of the best range and wireless security in the industry. The sensor will operate from up to 2 km away in an open air environment depending on the system it is being used with. It communicates using 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security. The probe is designed to activate upon only detecting a small amount of water, which gives the user more time to take action if a leak occurs. We must also say that the sensor has an outstanding battery life, as you will only need to change the battery every eight (8) years on average.

There aren't many downsides to the DSC PG9985. The biggest is that you need to find a good position for both the probe and sensor. The sensor is connected with the probe using its 6-foot cord, and some users may have trouble finding a good spot for both. There are other all-in-one flood sensors that have a built-in probe, and some users are known to prefer those instead. But if you want a sensor with a probe attached with a cord, then the DSC PG9985 works great. It gets 5 Stars from us.

Good: Great Wireless Range, Strong Encryption Security, Activates w/ Small Amount of Liquid, Outstanding Battery Life

Bad: Must Mount and Position Both Sensor and Probe

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Alarm.com ADC-V720W - Outdoor POE & WIFI Camera with Night Vision

Good Older-Style ADC Camera
Submitted on 12/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The Alarm.com ADC-V720W is a discontinued outdoor security camera for use with the Alarm.com platform. It was quite innovative for its time, as it offered 720P recording capabilities, PoE and WIFI connectivity options, and IR night vision, all jammed into a compact, weather-resistant design. And if you happen to come across one of these cameras today, it can certainly be activated for use with Alarm.com. While there are definitely better camera options available today, the ADC-V720W was excellent back when it hit the scene. We give it a 5 Star rating.

There are several things to like about the Alarm.com ADC-V720W. Its compact design is pretty neat, and many users are surprised at just how small this mini bullet camera is. The device measures 6.1 inches long, and it is 2.4 inches thick. It only weighs 1.8 pounds. Having both PoE and WIFI connectivity options is great. If you can run an ethernet cable from an IP router that supports PoE, then you will cover both power and network requirements. If you prefer to use WIFI connectivity, then you can connect an AC power adapter to the camera instead. By using this camera, you can check its live feed from the Alarm.com website or mobile app at any time. The camera offers great night vision of up to 39 feet in the dark.

It is important to understand that there are some downsides to the ADC-V720W. The most glaring weakness is that it is discontinued and can no longer be purchased new. The camera is not compatible with Alarm.com Video Analytics, which were released after this camera. You will be disappointed if you get an ADC-V720W and expect it to work with the robust and powerful features presented by Alarm.com Video Analytics. The camera is only 720P, which while this is fine for most users, it isn't as nice as the newer cameras that offer 1080p and High Dynamic Range. The ADC-V720W has a fairly narrow field of view at just 77 degrees horizontal.

The ADC-V720W was very nice when it was first released. And if you already have one, it should continue to work great. But users looking for a new camera have better options. Still, we give the ADC-V720W 5 Stars.

Good: Compact Design, Weather Resistant, PoE & WIFI, View from ADC Website or App, IR Night Vision

Bad: Discontinued, Not Compatible w/ ADC Video Analytics, 720P Recording Quality, Narrow Field of View

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Danalock DLOV3DPADBT - Danapad V3 with Bluetooth

Good Keypad For Z-Wave Danalock
Submitted on 12/19/2019 Alarm Grid

Danalock users who want to control their Z-Wave Danalock device with a numeric keypad can benefit from the Danalock DLOV3DPADBT, which is more commonly referred to as the Danapad. This isn't a lock itself, but rather just a keypad for controlling an existing Danalock device. As a result, the Danapad really only fulfills the needs of an extremely selective group of end users. Nonetheless, it is still a good product that performs its intended task quite well. If you want a keypad for your Z-Wave Danalock device, then the Danapad is for you. We give it 5 Stars.

There are several positive aspects to the Danalock DLOV3DPPADBT. For one, there are multiple ways to push codes to the Danapad device. Arguably the most popular method is to us the Danalock App, which will require the use of the Danabridge V3 Hub. By using the Danabridge, you can get your Danalock and Danapad devices onto a local WIFI network for seamless inter-connectivity. You can then take advantage of the convenience of the Danalock App. But using the Danabridge isn't mandatory. You can also push codes to the Danapad using a Z-Wave security system. To do this, you must pair your Danapad to your system as a Z-Wave device. Then you can push codes from certain alarm panels or using an interactive platform like Total Connect 2.0. By setting up the Danapad, you can conveniently unlock your Danalock device from a second area of the home. We also must say that we like the design of the Danapad, and it is weather-resistant so that it can be used out doors. It is also quite easy to mount. And since it uses 256-bit AES encryption, it is extremely secure.

There are some downsides to the Danapad. The biggest is that it is for the Z-Wave Danalock only. This makes it extremely limited in potential usage. It won't even work with the HomeKit version of the Danalock, which can be inconvenient. The device uses four (4) AAA batteries, and you will need to replace them periodically with regular usage. If you aren't using the Danapad and Danalock with the Danabridge, then you must rely on Bluetooth connectivity between the two devices. This is fine, but you should be aware that Bluetooth range can be fairly limited. While the Danapad isn't a perfect product, its benefits do outweigh its negatives. If you are looking for a keypad controller for a Danalock Z-Wave Door Lock, then the Danapad is far and away the best option. It gets a 5 Star rating.

Good: Multiple Ways to Push Codes, Lock & Unlock Door from 2nd On-Site Location, Weather-Resistant, Modern Design, Easy to Install, Encrypted

Bad: For Z-Wave Danalock Only, Extremely Limited Usage, Batteries Need Replacing, Limited Bluetooth Range

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell DT8035 - Dual Tec Motion Sensor

Great Wired Dual-Tech Motion!
Submitted on 12/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell DT8035 is a hardwired dual tech motion sensor that uses both PIR and microwave sensing. It is built for residential use, and it features a large coverage area and pet-immunity for small animals. This sensor has few weaknesses, and it help to set the standard for what an end user can expect out of a good dual tech motion sensor. We think this is a great sensor, and we are particularly impressed with the excellent build quality from Honeywell. The Honeywell DT8035 gets a 5 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell DT8035. As a dual tech motion sensor, it is less prone to false alarms than conventional PIR-only motion sensors. This can be extremely beneficial for users who may have had trouble with false alarms from other motion detectors. The sensor has a large coverage area of 40 feet by 56 feet, which is great for larger residential rooms. The sensor can work great in a spacious indoor area like a big living room, family room, or man cave. The sensor offers pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 100 pounds. This can be particularly important for households with larger dog breeds that may set off other motion sensors. There is a look down zone on the sensor, which helps it detect movement that occurs directly below (not used when pet immunity is desired). And we also appreciate the sensor's adjustable pulse count, which is good for adjusting the device sensitivity to meet the needs of the household.

The only real downside to this sensor is that it needs to be wired back to the panel. In addition to hard-mounting, this will also likely involve fishing wires through the walls. Most DIYers prefer to go the wireless route because installation is simply much easier. But if you are prepared to perform a proper setup and installation, then you will be rewarded with a reliable motion sensor that can serve your household for many years to come. This is an outstanding dual tech motion, and we give it 5 Stars.

Good: Less Prone to False Alarms, Large Coverage Area, 100 Pounds Pet Immunity, Look Down Zone, Adjustable Pulse Count

Bad: Must Be Wired & Mounted

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Qolsys IQ Carbon - Wireless CO Detector for Qolsys Security Systems

Great CO Detector!
Submitted on 12/18/2019 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Carbon is a wireless 319.5 MHz carbon monoxide detector. It alerts the system it is programmed with to the presence of harmful CO gas. Carbon monoxide is both odorless and tasteless, and an outbreak can quickly result in loss of human life. We have found that the Qolsys IQ Carbon responds accurately and reliably to CO gas, and it is great for use with any compatible 319.5 MHz system. That is why we give the Qolsys IQ Carbon a 5 Star rating.

The most important aspect of the Qolsys IQ Carbon is that it responds quickly to unusually high levels of CO gas. This device checks that box, and you can count on it to reliably respond to a CO gas leak in a home or business. Beyond that, there are some other aspects that help the IQ Carbon stand-out. It has an integrated LED light that is useful for providing a visual indication of the current status. The device also features a Temporal 4 sounder, which produces sounds of up to 85 dB. This is crucial for making sure that building occupants are quickly alerted to an outbreak of CO gas. You can also technically use the IQ Carbon as a local sounder even if you don't enroll it. However, enrolling it to your panel is still strongly recommended!

But there are some downsides to the Qolsys IQ Carbon that should also be mentioned. For one, the IQ Carbon uses a lithium CR123A battery for power, and the battery will need to be replaced periodically. Like most carbon monoxide detectors, the IQ Carbon has a limited lifespan of roughly five (5) years. Once the device reaches its end of life, it must be replaced entirely. But overall, these are relatively minor issues that you would likely encounter with any wireless carbon monoxide detector. Its benefits outweigh its downsides. For that reason, Alarm Grid gives the Qolsys IQ Carbon 5 Stars.

Good: Reliably Detects CO Gas, LED Status Light, Temporal 4 Sounder, Can Be Used w/o Programming

Bad: Battery Needs Occasional Replacing, Finite Product Life

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell GSMX - AlarmNet Cellular Alarm Monitoring Communicator

Discontinued Model
Submitted on 12/18/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell GSMX is a 2G cellular communicator that connects with the AT&T 2G Network, which has since been shut down. As a result, this communicator has been discontinued for sale, and it can no longer be activated. Existing modules will no longer function. When the AT&T 2G Network was still active, the Honeywell GSMX Cellular Communicator provided reliable monitoring service for a connected VISTA System by connecting it with the AlarmNet Servers. This allowed the system to be used with the Total Connect interactive monitoring platform. This communicator was good for its time, but now it is seen as a relic of the past. It also drew all its power from the panel, which often led to power supply issues for the system. We give this communicator a 3 Star rating.

The main thing to like about the Honeywell GSMX when it was still usable is that it provided reliable monitoring service. Cellular connectivity is known for being very reliable once an adequate signal is obtained. This isn't always the case for IP connectivity, as an internet outage will take a system offline. Many Honeywell VISTA users relied on the Honeywell GSMX to provide them with reliable and trustworthy monitoring for their homes and businesses. Once activated, the module also allowed the system to connect with the Total Connect servers, provided the feature was included in the user's alarm monitoring plan. We also like the fact that this communicator can be mounted on the outside of the panel's metal enclosure. This made it easier to install.

The downsides to the Honeywell GSMX are pretty glaring. It can no longer be activated or used in any manner. Anyone with this communicator should have upgraded a long time ago. If you need a new communicator at the time of this writing (late 2019), then we strongly recommend getting an LTE communicator. Another downside to this communicator is that it draws all of its power from the panel rather than using a plug-in transformer. As a result, you will need to calculate its maximum power draw (250 mA) into any draw calculations. That's quite a bit of power for panels that only supply power of up to 600 mA (low P-Series) or 750 mA (TURBO Panels) without the use of a power supply.

The Honeywell GSMX was a good communicator for its time. But it is completely obsolete now. We give it 3 Stars.

Good: Reliable Connectivity, Total Connect, Mounts to Metal Enclosure

Bad: Can No Longer Be Used or Activated, Discontinued, Draws Power from Panel

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

DSC BV-300 - Bravo® 3 PIR Motion Detector

Excellent Wired Motion!
Submitted on 12/18/2019 Alarm Grid

The DSC BV-300 Bravo 3 is a hardwired PIR motion sensor. The device looks for changes in infrared (IR) energy that occur with movement. It alerts the system upon detecting a change in IR energy that is determined to be from a human. The sensor uses "multi-level signal processing" to actively distinguish between human activity and activity from other sources. This is a good hardwired motion sensor with few flaws. We give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the DSC BV-300 Bravo 3. The multi-level signal processing is a good feature that helps the sensor more accurately respond to motion from humans, as opposed to other sources. The fact that the sensor is wired means that you never need to replace batteries for the sensor. Instead, it will get all its power from the panel. The sensor has a coverage area of 40 feet, which is usually enough for residential use. The device also offers temperature compensation so that it will still detect changes in IR energy properly when the ambient temperature is close to that of the human body. There is also an LED light on the sensor to show when movement is detected, and the sensor includes four (4) interchangeable lenses. The sensitivity for the sensor can also be adjusted if needed.

There are not many downsides to the DSC BV-300 Bravo 3. The sensor notably lacks pet immunity. This can be a deal breaker if you have pets in your household. But if you are not using the motion sensor with pets, then this isn't really a concern. Overall, we think the DSC BV-300 Bravo 3 is a solid hardwired PIR motion sensor. It gets 5 Stars from Aalrm Grid.

Good: Multi-Level Signal Processing, No Batteries, Decent Coverage Area, Temperature Compensation, LED Light, Interchangeable Lenses, Sensitivity Adjustments

Bad: No Pet Immunity

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Interlogix TX-E401 - Wireless Garage Door Tilt Sensor

Great Tilt Sensor!
Submitted on 12/18/2019 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix TX-E401 is a wireless garage door tilt sensor that alerts the panel when the garage door has been opened. The sensor operates at 319.5 MHz, and it is compatible with a variety of systems that accept the frequency. Some of these systems include the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with 319.5 MHz daughtercard, and the Interlogix Simon Series Panels. This garage door sensor works great, and it has very few drawbacks. We give it 5 Stars.

There are many things to like about the Interlogix TX-E401. Since it is a tilt sensor, you do not need to align it with a corresponding magnet for operation. You just mount it at the top of the garage door. Opening the garage door will cause the tilt sensor to transition from a vertical position to a horizontal position. When this happens, the sensor will send an alert to the panel to let it know that the garage door has been opened. The system will then respond based on the programming settings for the zone. The Interlogix TX-E401 uses a slow loop response to prevent factors like wind hitting against the garage door from causing a false activation. The device also features a tamper cover so that the system will know if anyone tries to open it up. We also like the five (5) year battery life of the sensor using a single lithium CR123A battery.

There aren't many downsides to the Interlogix TX-E401. One issue would be that its wireless range is somewhat short. It can operate from up to 500 feet away from the panel in open air. But since the sensor is going to be used in a garage, there may be sources of interference. For that reason, it is advised that the sensor be used no more than 100 feet away from the panel if possible. But other than that, we like everything about this sensor. It gets a 5 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Tilt Function, Slow Loop Response, Tamper Cover, Good Battery Life

Bad: Weak Wireless Signal Range

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell FG1608 - Glass Break Detector with Integrated Door/Window Contact

Great Combination Sensor!
Submitted on 12/13/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell FG1608 is a hardwired combination glass break sensor and door/window contact. By using this device, you can add a glass break detector and a door/window contact to your system with just one single device. However, the sensor will still need to be wired to two (2) separate zones for full functionality. Overall, this is a high-quality sensor that will last for a long time if cared for properly. You really can't go wrong with the great build quality from Honeywell. And it's nice that the sensor offers dual functionality to increase its versatility. We give this sensor a Five Star rating.

The biggest thing to like about the Honeywell FG1608 is the fact that it includes both glass break detection and a door/window contact all in one device. This means that it will take up less space than if you had to use two separate devices. Everything you need for the device comes already bundled in. This includes a magnet for using the device as a door or window contact sensor. The internal reed switch allows for a maximum magnet spacing gap of 0.9 inches, which gives you good flexibility in positioning the sensor and magnet. The device also includes the option to wire for tamper monitoring that will let the system know if someone opens it up. We also like the sensor's strong build quality.

There are some downsides to the Honeywell FG1608. For one, you need to connect to two (2) separate zones if you want to achieve full device functionality. One zone will be for glass break detection, and the other is for the reed switch that allows the device to operate as a door/window contact. This means you need to wire and program the device twice if you intend to use it for both functions. But if you only want to use the FG1608 for one purpose, then only one zone is required, and you only need to wire it to one on-board zone. You should also keep in mind that the device's microphone is only designed to listen from up to 8 feet away. This limits where you can position the device if you want to use it as a glass break sensor.

Overall, we really like the Honeywell FG1608. It gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Combines Door/Window Contact and Glass Break into One Device, Magnet Included, Wide Magnet Spacing Gap, Tamper Wiring Possible, Great Build Quality

Bad: Needs 2 Zones for Full Functionality, Can Only Monitor Windows from Up to 8 Feet Away

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Resolution Products RE204 - Driveway Sensor

Great Driveway Sensor!
Submitted on 12/13/2019 Alarm Grid

The Resolution Products RE204 is a 345 MHz driveway sensor that works with Honeywell and 2GIG Systems that support wireless sensors. It is used for letting the system know when a vehicle has entered its coverage area. The device works by detecting the change in the Earth's magnetic field that occurs when a vehicle comes into a specific area. A car or truck entering the sensor's coverage area will shift the magnetic field around it and activate the sensor. We think that the sensor is perfect if you want to know when a vehicle has entered a specific area. We give the RE204 a 5 Star rating.

There are many things we like about the RE204. Its detection method means that only vehicles will set it off. You won't experience false alarms due to people or animals coming within the sensor's coverage area. This is great if you want to know specifically when a vehicle has entered the coverage area. The device is fully weatherproof, so you won't need to worry about leaving it outside. The sensor has a pretty long battery life, as it uses a single C battery that gets three (3) to five (5) years on average. The device offers three (3) different sensitivity levels, which are low, medium, and high.

There are some downsides to consider when using the RE204. For one, it is discontinued, and you can no longer purchase new models from Alarm Grid. The device should not be used within 24 feet of the street because of the possibility of false alarms caused by passing vehicles. The sensor can only be used to detect vehicles. If you want to use it to detect people or animals, then it will not work for you. However, this is a positive if you are only wanting it to detect vehicles. Overall, we really like the RE204. It gets 5 Stars from us.

Good: No False Alarms By People or Animals, Weatherproof, Long Battery Life, Three Sensitivity Settings

Bad: Should Not Be Used Within 24 Feet of the Street, Only Detects Vehicles

Bottom Line: 5 Stars