Arlo VMA4400 - Rechargeable Battery for Arlo Pro and Pro 2

Good Battery for Arlo
Submitted on 10/02/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo VMA4400 is a rechargeable battery for an Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2 Security Camera. This battery is a very important accessory, as it serves as the only way to keep these cameras powered on without being continuously plugged into transformer power. In other words, you need a battery if you intend on using the camera as a wire-free device. Included with the battery is a power adapter and cable for keeping it charged. You already get a battery and the power supply set included with the camera, but if you need to get a new one or you want an additional battery, then the Arlo VMA4400 is for you. We give the Arlo VMA4400 a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Arlo VMA4400. The battery is very reliable, and you can count on it to keep your Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2 Camera running. There are multiple ways to recharge the battery. The standard method is to just insert it in the camera and then connect the camera to AC power using the adapter and cable. You can also use a battery charging station or an Arlo Solar Panel, with both of those accessories being sold separately. The battery charges very quickly, which is a major plus, as we know how important it is to get your camera up and running in a fast manner. We also appreciate the fact that the battery can go a long time between charges.

There are not many downsides for the Arlo VMA4400. The fact that the battery is for compatible Arlo Cameras only limits its versatility. You won't really fund a use for it other than those devices. And the included power supply is a bit on the large side. It needs to be strategically positioned to prevent covering up multiple outlets. Fortunately, these downsides are very minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Arlo VMA4400 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Reliable, Multiple Recharging Methods, Charges Quickly, Long Run Time

Bad: For Arlo Cameras Only, Large Power Supply

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Arlo VMA4800 - Indoor Power Adapter for Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2

Good Camera Cable
Submitted on 10/02/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo VMA4800 is an indoor power cable for the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 Security Cameras. The accessory includes a small plug-in transformer and a detachable cable. One end of the cable is a USB connector that plugs into the transformer or a computer. The other end has a proprietary connector that plugs into the back of the camera. This keeps the camera running on AC power. But more importantly, the battery will draw some power from the AC power connection so that it can begin storing a charge. This is how you recharge the battery. The Arlo VMA4800 is a simple accessory, but it gets a 5-Star rating because it serves its intended function well.

There are several positive aspects regarding the Arlo VMA4800. We like the fact that the cable is detachable, as it makes the transformer less likely to become damaged. This also makes it fairly easy to replace the cable if you need to. Since the cable uses a USB connector to plug into the transformer, you can also plug it into a computer to charge the camera battery from there. This can be very useful if you ever need to charge the camera in a pinch. The cable is of adequate length, and it gives enough slack to work with it quite comfortably.

There are not many downsides for the Arlo VMA4800. The transformer is a bit bulkier than we would like. You typically need to use it in the bottom outlet, as if you use it in the top outlet, then it will cover up the bottom one as well. The cable is designed to plug into an Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2, so you won't really find a use for it beyond those devices. The cable is for indoor use only, and you shouldn't use it outdoors where it may be exposed to the elements. But all things considered, these downsides are extremely minor. We give the Arlo VMA4800 a 5-Star score.

Good: Detachable Cable, USB Connector, Decent Length

Bad: Somewhat Large Transformer, For Arlo Cameras Only, Indoor Use Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT - Backup Battery for Simon XTi and XTi-5

Nice Backup Battery
Submitted on 10/01/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT is a backup battery designed for use with an Interlogix Simon XTi, Interlogix Simon XTi-5, or Interlogix Simon XTi-5i. The battery pack conveniently plugs into the board inside the panel. It can be easily disconnected when you need to cut system power. You will also need to unplug the transformer to power the system down. When powering down, it doesn't matter whether you disconnect the backup battery or the transformer first. But when powering on, you should connect the backup battery first, and then the transformer second. That is the standard procedure for wireless panels like the Interlogix Simon Systems. As for the Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT, it is a fairly basic battery, but it serves its intended purpose well. We give the product a 5-Star rating.

There are some positive aspects regarding the Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT. For one, the sensor will keep an Interlogix Simon Alarm Panel running in the event of an electrical outage. Once the battery has stored a sufficient charge from the panel, it will prevent a low battery trouble condition from being displayed on the system. The battery has a plug-in connector, which makes it easy to connect and disconnect from the system. The fact that this battery works with all of the Simon Touchscreen Systems makes it easy to determine compatibility. However, there are also downsides for the Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT. The battery is discontinued, and you can no longer buy it from Alarm Grid. It isn't the most powerful battery out there, and it can only keep an Interlogix Simon Panel powered on for a few hours at a time. The battery will slowly lose its ability to store a charge over time, and it will eventually need to be replaced. This usually happens after about three (3) to five (5) years. But most of these downsides are to be expected from any standard backup battery. We still give the product a score of 5 Stars because it does its intended job effectivity.

Good: Keeps System Running During Power Outage, Prevent Low Battery Messages, Plug-In Connector, Works w/ All Interlogix Simon Touchscreen Panels

Bad: Discontinued, Only Powers System for a Few Hours, 3 to 5 Year Product Life

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Optex FTN-RRIX - FitLink Wireless Outdoor Motion Detector for Interlogix Systems

Great Outdoor Motion Detector
Submitted on 09/29/2020 Alarm Grid

The Optex FTN-RRIX is a wireless outdoor motion sensor that operates at 319.5 MHz. It works with most alarm systems that support the 319.5 MHz frequency, including the 319.5 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2, and the Interlogix Simon Series Panels. This is a simple, yet effective motion sensor for outdoor use. It is ideal for residential use when outdoor motion detection is needed. We give the Optex FTN-RRIX a 5-Star rating.

There are many things we like about the Optex FTN-RRIX Outdoor Motion Sensor. For one, the sensor offers an impressive 190-degree viewing angle, which allows it to cover a wider area. The sensor has an IP55 weather-resistant rating, so you will have no trouble using it outdoors. Its operating temperature will allow it to work well in pretty much any environment, as long as the temperature does not fall below negative (-) 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The detection zones for the sensor are designed so that the sensor does not activate due to small animals moving around. A tamper switch on the sensor alerts the system if someone tries to open it up. We also like the fact that the sensor has a Walk Test feature.

There are not many downsides for the Optex FTN-RRIX. Some users may be off-put by the fact that this is a very large sensor that measure nearly seven (7) inches long. The sensor requires periodic battery replacements. Fortunately, it should only need a new battery about every five (5) years. The sensor also has somewhat of a lackluster coverage area, as it can only cover a distance of up to 16 feet away. But these downsides can be easily overlooked, and we can still give the product a perfect 5-Star rating.

Good: Wide Viewing Angle, IP55, Works in Almost Any Environment, Does Not Activate Due to Small Animals, Tamper Switch, Walk Test Feature

Bad: Very Large Sensor, Battery Replacements Needed, Lackluster Coverage Area

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 702 - Self Contained Electronic Siren

Powerful Siren
Submitted on 09/29/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 702 is an external siren for use with an alarm system. The siren is usually set up so that it activates when an alarm occurs on the system. This way, building occupants can know to take action to the alarm. Most hardwired systems need an added siren for a sound to occur on the system. The Honeywell 702 is a useful device for this task, as it is a self-contained siren that includes both a speaker and a siren driver. This is usually preferred over getting a standalone speaker and a separate siren driver. However, some users are turned off by the relatively dated design on the Honeywell 702. But the device still works well for its intended purpose, so we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell 702. First and foremost, the fact that it is an all-in-one siren with both a speaker and siren driver is generally appreciated. The siren is very loud, with a sound decibel rating of 118dB. This makes it perfectly suitable for most commercial applications. You can choose between steady and warble tones for the siren, depending on which wire you connect with the alarm panel. This gives you added flexibility in using the Honeywell 702. We also like the fact that the siren has a weather-proof plastic case that allows you to use it outside.

There some clear downsides for the Honeywell 702, but nothing major enough that it affects our rating. The siren draws a large amount of power from the panel. It has an operating current of 400mA at 6VDC and 1.2A at 12VDC. It lacks a tamper switch, so you will have to add one separately if you want the system to respond to the siren being tampered with. Like any hardwired siren, you will need to run wires for the Honeywell 702. This may be difficult if you are not used to wiring. But these downsides are nothing out of the ordinary for a product of this time. We can still give the Honeywell 702 a perfect 5-Star score.

Good: All-In-One siren, Very Loud, Dual-Tone, Weather-proof

Bad: Power Hog, No Tamper Switch, Requires Wiring

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 997 - 360° Ceiling Mount PIR Motion Detector

Great Wired Ceiling-Mount Motion!
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 997 is a hardwired ceiling-mount PIR motion detection sensor that looks downward with a 360-degree coverage area. The total coverage area for the sensor will depend on how high it is mounted. The higher you mount it, the larger the coverage area. However, you should not mount it too higher, as then it will be unable to detect the movement that occurs below. The recommended mounting height for the Honeywell 997 is between 8 and 12 feet high. At a mounting height of 11-feet, it has a coverage area of 36 feet in diameter. Remember that as a ceiling mount motion, it looks in a circular pattern, rather than scanning across the room. Overall, we think the Honeywell 997 is a good device, and we give it a rating of 5 Stars.

There are many things we like about the Honeywell 997. For one, it has a twist-off cover for easy removal. It has a Walk Test LED, which makes it easy to test the sensor. The sensor has a cover tamper to let the system know if someone tries to open it up. A selectable pulse count allows you to adjust device sensitivity. But there are also some minor downsides for the Honeywell 997. As you cannot easily adjust the height of your ceiling, you are basically unable to adjust the coverage area for the sensor. And if your ceiling is greater than 12 feet high, then you probably shouldn't use the Honeywell 997 in that area. As a wired sensor, you will need to run a wire from the sensor to the panel. This may be difficult if you are not used to wiring. Also keep in mind that the sensor will draw 17 mA of power from the panel. This is not a large amount of current, but it should still be considered in your load calculation. Fortunately, these downsides are quite minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell 997 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Twist-Off Cover, Walk Test LED, Cover Tamper

Bad: Coverage Area Determined by Ceiling Height, Requires Wiring, Draws Power

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG PANIC1-345 - Single Button Panic Remote

Useful Panic Button
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG PANIC1-345 is a single-button panic remote that is part of the 2GIG 345 MHz lineup. You can activate this button at any time while within range of your security system to trigger a panic alarm. Some people also use the 2GIG PANIC1-345 as a medical alert device in case they have fallen or experienced some other type of emergency. This is a basic, no-frills panic button, but it does exactly what it needs to. We give the 2GIG PANIC1-345 a 5-Star rating.

There are some key aspects we like about the 2GIG PANIC1-345. For one, it comes with sensor clip that allows it to be secured to a car visor, belt, wristband, or lanyard. The sensor is small and compact, so you should have no trouble carrying it around. You have multiple options for programming the sensor. This allows you to choose whether it serves as a police, fire, or medical panic. The sensor is water-resistant, so you are able to bring it in the bath or shower. Just keep in mind that it should not be fully submerged in liquid. An LED light on the sensor can be useful for verifying activation. We also appreciate the fact that the sensor requires you to press and hold the button for two (2) full seconds to activate. This helps prevent false alarms.

There are not many downsides for the 2GIG PANIC1-345. The battery life is somewhat short, as it can only go for about two (2) years without a replacement. Fortunately, your system should tell you when the battery is low so that you know when to replace it. One other small downside is that it can only be used with systems that support the 2GIG 345 MHz frequency. Compatible systems include the 2GIG Panels, the Honeywell Lyric Controller, and the 345 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Of course, these downsides are relatively minor, so we still give the 2GIG PANIC1-345 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Sensor Clip, Small & Compact, Program as Needed, Water-Resistant, LED Light, False Alarm Prevention

Bad: Short Battery Life, Limited System Compatibility

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Qolsys IQ Smart Socket - 2-Outlet Z-Wave Controller Compatible w/ Qolsys IQ & IQ Panel 2

Good Plug-In Module
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Smart Socket is a discontinued plug-in socket that uses classic Z-Wave technology. By plugging this device into an outlet and pairing it with your Z-Wave network, you can gain smart control for the connected devices. There are two (2) controllable outlets on the Qolsys IQ Smart Socket, and you can control them independently of one another. This makes it very useful for controlling connected devices the way you want. Unfortunately, the device has been discontinued, and it is largely seen as outdated for not using Z-Wave Plus technology. But it was still very good for its time, and some users with classic Z-Wave controllers still continue to seek it out. We give the Qolsys IQ Smart Socket a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Qolsys IQ Smart Socket. The fact that the two (2) controllable outlets operate independently of one another is a major benefit, as it gives you greater flexibility in controlling the device. The LCD screen on the Qolsys IQ Smart Socket provides wattage information for both of the connected devices. This can be very useful in ensuring that you do not exceed the maximum allowed power load. There are also LED lights on the unit that are good for verifying power and general troubleshooting. We like the fact that there is a slot for an outlet screw to help you secure the plug-in module to an outlet.

There are some downsides for the Qolsys IQ Smart Socket. For one, the device is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. Although the outlets can be controlled independently, only one outlet (No. 1) can be controlled using Z-Wave technology. The other outlet can only be toggled ON/OFF locally at the device. The fact that this device uses classic Z-Wave technology is also seen as a downside, as it will not have as far of a range as a Z-Wave Plus device when paired with a Z-Wave Plus controller. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the IQ Smart Socket a 5-Star score.

Good: Two Controllable Outlets Operate Independently, LCD Screen Offers Wattage Information, LED Lights, Slot for Outlet Screw

Bad: Discontinued, Classic Z-Wave, Only One Outlet Uses Z-Wave

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell IPCAM-PT2 - Alarmnet Pan/Tilt IP Security Camera

Good Legacy Camera
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell IPCAM-PT2 is a legacy pan-tilt camera designed for use with Total Connect 2.0. By activating this camera, you will be able to access its live feed from the Total Connect 2.0 platform. You can also live-stream it from certain Honeywell Panels and touchscreen keypads. The main highlight of this camera is its ability to pan and tilt, which can be very useful for scanning an area and detecting activity that occurs. Pan and tilt functionality can be conveniently controlled from Total Connect 2.0. The camera is triggered and begins capturing clips once its integrated motion sensor detects movement. This is a fine camera, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell IPCAM-PT2. Arguably its best feature is its ability to pan and tilt. This allows you to adjust where the camera is looking so that you can scan the area to search for activity. We appreciate the fact that you can live-stream this camera from both TC2 and compatible panels and keypads. The camera offers a nice recording resolution, which is basically the equivalent to 720p. The camera can be paired with an IP network across either ethernet or WIFI, which adds some flexibility in setup.

There are some downsides for the Honeywell IPCAM-PT2. As a legacy camera, the Honeywell IPCAM-PT2 had to be online when Honeywell pushed down a critical firmware update to make it compatible with their new HTML5 streaming platform. If the camera was not online to receive the update, then it can no longer be used with Total Connect 2.0. Another drawback for the Honeywell IPCAM-PT2 is the fact that it does not have IR illuminators. It does have white LED lights that can be manually triggered, but these don't really work quite as well. The fact that this camera lacks audio recording capabilities is also a downside. But the Honeywell IPCAM-PT2 is still pretty good for a legacy camera, and it is still used by many Total Connect 2.0 users to this day. It gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Pan-Tilt, Live-Stream From TC2 and/or Compatible Panel/Keypad, 720p, WIFI or Ethernet Option

Bad: Will Not Work if Didn't Receive Critical Firmware Update, No IR Illuminators, No Audio Recording

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Leviton VRS05-1LZ - 5A Incandescent Z-Wave Switch

Better Light Switches Available
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRS05-1LZ is a 5 amp Z-Wave in-wall light switch for incandescent lights. The switch cannot be used with compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs. But it can support 3-way and other multi-pole lighting configurations when paired with other devices from the Leviton Vizia RF+ Series. The in-wall switch can be readily paired with a Z-Wave controller. It can be paired with both classic Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus controllers, but its wireless range is not as long as a Z-Wave Plus switch when used with a Z-Wave Plus controller. Overall, this is a relatively limited in-wall switch, so we only give the Leviton VRS05-1LZ a 3-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Leviton VRS05-1LZ. For one, it provides smart control for the connected hardwired lights. The in-wall switch can be used with virtually any Z-Wave or Z-Wave Plus controller or hub, which makes it quite versatile. By adding other devices from the Vizia RF+ Series, you can use it in a 3-way or other multiple setup.

But there are also many drawbacks to the Leviton VRS05-1LZ. The in-wall switch is only standard Z-Wave, not Z-Wave Plus. If you have a Z-Wave Plus controller, you will want to strongly consider getting a Z-Wave Plus switch instead. Its maximum supported lighting load of 5 amps (600 watts) is quite paltry, and there are many in-wall switches available that are more robust. The fact that a neutral wire is required is also a letdown, as many newer switches do not have this requirement. We are also disappointed that the Leviton VRS05-1LZ cannot support CFL light bulbs. While the multi-pole setup possibilities are nice, it is important to note that a traveler wire is required for such a configuration. Due to these limitations, the Leviton VRS05-1LZ only gets 3 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Smart Control, Versatile, Multi-Pole Possibilities

Bad: Standard Z-Wave, Small Maximum Load, Neutral Wire Required, No CFL Light Support, Traveler Wire Needed for Multi-Pole

Bottom Line: 3 Stars