Reviews

DSC PG9905 - Wireless PowerG Temperature Detector

Awesome Temperature Sensor
Submitted on 11/15/2019 Alarm Grid

The DSC PG9905 PowerG Temperature Sensor is designed to detect unusually high or low temperatures in a home or business. This is important for detecting a broken HVAC system that could otherwise result in serious damage. The DSC PG9905 PowerG Temperature Sensor works quite well at detecting temperatures and alerting a compatible system. We give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the DSC PG9905. For one, it has an adjustable temperature setting that you set at the system. This way, you can choose the high and low temperatures that will alert the system. The temperature values you can set range from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 999 degrees Fahrenheit, so you will certainly be able to choose an alert that works for you. Our technicians have found that the sensor works very well in reporting high and low temperatures to the system. You also get all of the great PowerG features with this sensor. It can be used with a system from up to 2 kilometers away with direct line of sight. It also uses 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless protection and security.

There are some downsides to the PG9905. For one, it is for indoor use only, unless you add a separate temperature probe. This probe would need to be purchased and added separately. Another downside is that Alarm.com will not send out high/low temperature reports for certain panels. This is not the fault of the PG9905, but rather a limitation of Alarm.com. This was eventually fixed on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 so that Alarm.com would send out reports, but users of others panels may run into problems. But overall, the PG9905 works really well as a temperature sensor, and it performs its job effectively. It gets 5 Stars.

Good: Adjustable Temperature Setting, Reliable Reporting, Excellent Range, Encryption

Bad: Needs Probe for Outdoor Use, Alarm.com Does Not Send Temperature Sensor Alerts for Certain Panels

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC AC-101 - Acuity® Glassbreak Detector w/ Tamper

Great Glass Break Sensor!
Submitted on 11/15/2019 Alarm Grid

The DSC AC-101 is a wired glass break sensor. It is part of the DSC Acuity lineup for hardwired glass break detectors. The device is used to monitor for broken glass events. This could be a broken window or a broken glass casing. The device works quite well, and any detractions we have about it are largely superficial. For that reason, we give it a 5 Star rating.

The best aspect of the DSC AC-101 is its advanced microprocessor. This helps the sensor actively distinguish between the sound of breaking glass and other high-pitched sounds. Our technicians have found that the sensor responds very reliably to true glass break events, while ignoring other similar sounds. We are very happy that this false alarm prevention feature was included. The device also includes an omni-directional microphone so that it can detect glass break events from any side. Another huge plus of the DSC AC-101 is the fact that it can detect the sound of breaking glass from up to 25 feet away. That is pretty far for a glass break sensor. The device also includes a tamper switch, which is good for letting the system know if someone tries to disable the device.

There are some downsides to the DSC AC-101. It is Form A, meaning that you can only use Normally Closed (NC) wiring. This is opposed to Form C wiring, where you can use either Normally Closed or Normally Open (NO) wiring. The DSC AC-101 only works with plate, float, tempered, wired, and laminated glass. If you have a different type of glass window, then the DSC AC-101 will not support it. We must also say that the design of the DSC AC-101 is quite ugly. It looks very dated and straight out of the 90s. This isn't much of a surprise considering it's a pretty old sensor from DSC. Still, it's something we wanted to mention.

The DSC AC-101 works very well, and any complaints we have are very minor. It gets 5 Stars.

Good: Advanced Microprocessor, Omni-Directional Microphone, Great Detection Range, Tamper Switch

Bad: Form A Wiring, Only Works w/ Certain Glass Types, Ugly Design

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell Lyric-3G - AT&T Cellular Communicator for the Lyric Security System

Replaced by LYRICLTE-A
Submitted on 11/04/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell Lyric-3G is an AT&T 3G Communicator for the Honeywell Lyric Security System. This communicator provides cellular backup for the system to accompany its built-in WIFI. The system will then be able to connect with the AlarmNet360 Servers through both WIFI and cellular. But there are some major downsides to this communicator as well. The device connects with the AT&T 3G Network, and 3G activations for AlarmNet are no longer permitted. But if you have this communicator already activated, then it will continue to work until the AT&T 3G Network is shut down. Still, it was a great product at its time of release, so we give it 5 Stars.

You can say a lot of good things about nearly any cellular communicator. The Lyric-3G provides very reliable connectivity, and it helps ensure that the Lyric System always maintains connectivity with the AlarmNet360 Servers. The device is very easy to install, as it can be conveniently inserted into a port on the side of the Lyric System. The WIFI for the system can still be used once the Lyric-3G is added, which will make the system dual-path ready.

But the downsides to the Lyric-3G must also be discussed. The communicator connects with a 3G network, and new activations for the module are no longer permitted. AT&T plans to shut down their 3G network in the coming years. Once that happens, this module will no longer work at all. The LYRICLTE-A (AT&T LTE) will provide faster and more reliable service. You will need to upgrade to that communicator in the coming years if you have a Lyric-3G activated. Or if Verizon works better in your area, go with the LYRICLTE-V.

The Lyric-3G Communicator is good at what it does, and you can continue to use it as long as it remains active. Just remember that the AT&T 3G Network will be shut down before too long! If you are in the market for a new communicator, get the LYRICLTE-A instead!

Good: Reliable Connectivity, Easy Installation, Makes Lyric Dual-Path Ready

Bad: 3G Network Being Shut Down, Can No Longer Be Activated, LYRICLTE-A Provies Faster and More Reliable Service

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC PG9303 - Wireless PowerG Door/Window Contact

Excellent Door/Window Sensor
Submitted on 11/01/2019 Alarm Grid

The DSC PG9303 is a wireless door and window contact from the PowerG Series. It features a compact design, and it works very well. The sensor is easy to enroll with a compatible system, and it can be properly installed by almost anyone. We are big fans of this sensor, and we actually include it with most of our PowerG Kits. We give it a perfect 5 Star Rating.

There are many things to like about the DSC PG9303. As a PowerG Sensor, it offers an impressive range of up to 2km in an open air environment. Just keep in mind that actual range will vary depending on the system it is used with. It also uses 128-bit AES encryption to make it virtually impossible for others to hack or takeover wirelessly. This also makes it immune to RF jamming attacks that could disable other sensors. We also love its thin design, which helps the sensor appear virtually invisible when placed on a white surface. Programming the PG9303 is easy, as it auto-enrolls by simply inserting the battery and powering the device on. The sensor has two possible mounting options. These include double-sided foam tape or traditional screws.

There are not many downsides to the PG9303. The magnet spacing gap is nothing special, as the sensor and magnet should be no more than half an inch apart when the door is closed. This isn't exactly bad, but it is average. Older models had a defect where there were delays in reporting to the system when installed in certain ways. Fortunately, this issue has since been fixed. But keep this in mind if you are buying a used model.

We think the DSC PG9303 is a great sensor, and we give it 5 Stars.

Good: Excellent Range, 128-Bit AES Encryption, Thin Design, Different Mounting Options

Bad: Average Magnet Spacing Gap, Older Models had Delayed Reporting

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 5839 - Wireless Alphanumeric Alarm Keypad

Limited Wireless Keypad
Submitted on 11/01/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 5839 is a wireless Alphanumeric keypad for Honeywell VISTA Systems. In other words, it is a wireless keypad for a hardwired alarm control panel. You cannot even use this device unless you have a wireless transceiver added to the VISTA Panel. It lacks programming capabilities, and its wireless range is rather unimpressive at just 50 feet due to FCC limitations. It's also discontinued so you cannot even buy it anymore. There is not much to be excited about this keypad, though it is quality Honeywell equipment, and it does eliminate the need for running wires. We give this keypad a 3 Star Rating.

There are really only a few positive aspects of the 5839. Its Alphanumeric display can make it easier for a user to understand what they are doing. And as a Honeywell product, the keypad is sturdy and of good quality. It also eliminates the need for running wires, which is a necessity with any similar hardwired keypad, including the 6160.

But there are plenty of downsides to the Honeywell 5839. Despite being an Alphanumeric keypad, it cannot be used for programming. The only reason to choose this over a wireless Fixed English keypad like the 5828 is if you really want to read the system's arming state in better detail. Having to add a wireless transceiver is pretty inconvenient if you don't already have one. You can get a Honeywell 6160 Keypad and just wire that to the ECP bus instead. The 6160 can also be used for programming, which is sorely lacking for the 5839. The wireless range of 50 feet is understandable due to FCC limitations, but it is still rather disappointing. The keypad is also discontinued, so you probably can't find a new model anymore.

The only real reason to get a 5839 is if you have a VISTA System with an added transceiver module, and you need a wireless alphanumeric keypad without the programming capabilities. That is extremely niche. We only give this 3 Stars because it is a quality Honeywell Keypad, and it being wireless is convenient.

Good: Alphanumeric, Honeywell Quality, No Wires

Bad: Requires Transceiver, No Programming, Limited Range, Discontinued, Extremely Niche

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 AT&T LTE - Wireless Security System with AT&T Communicator Installed

Fantastic System!
Submitted on 11/01/2019 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is one of the best wireless all-in-one alarm systems we have ever worked with. It is extremely easy to use, offers a great design, and is packed with features. We love this system, and we highly recommend it to others. It also has very few downsides. We give this system a perfect 5 Star Rating.

Most users would agree that the IQ Panel 2 has an outstanding design. The system is sleek and modern, and its 7-inch touchscreen display looks beautiful. New users typically find that the IQ Panel 2 is very easy to set up. Qolsys even added a set up wizard to further assist with the process. This is perhaps the perfect system for beginners, as using it is very intuitive and straightforward. And experienced users of alarm systems will also appreciate the system for its load of excellent features. These include automatic Bluetooth disarming, partitioning, live-streaming for compatible Alarm.com Cameras, 128 wireless zones, and Z-Wave Plus for home automation. The system is also dual-path ready for connectivity with Alarm.com right out of the box. The system has a built-in WIFI card and an AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator.

There are not many downsides to the IQ Panel 2. One is that the system can only support 319.5 MHz sensors. Unlike the newer model, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, this original model cannot be used with PowerG Sensors. While the system supports nearly every feature imaginable, it is lacking in HomeKit support, at least as of November 2019. It's possible that Qolsys may add this feature later in the form of a firmware update, but that remains to be seen. The system cannot be used for IP-only connectivity with Alarm.com, as the Alarm.com service requires you to activate the cellular communicator. This means you need a more expensive cellular monitoring plan to monitor this system.

We think the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is an outstanding system. We highly recommend it and give it 5 Stars.

Good: Great Design, Lots of Features, Dual-Path Ready

Bad: 319.5 MHz Sensors Only, No HomeKit (yet), Cannot Do IP-Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

GE 14318 - Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Switch

Great In-Wall Switch
Submitted on 11/01/2019 Alarm Grid

The GE 14318 is a Z-Wave Plus in-wall switch that allows for smart control over your in-wall lights. It replaces your existing in-wall switch to control your hardwired lights. The switch is very easy to install, and it works very well. But it does require a traveler wire for multi-switch configuration. Overall, this is an excellent in-wall switch, and we can recommend it for nearly any in-wall lighting application. That is why we give it a 5-Star Rating.

There are many things to like about the GE 14318. For one, it is easy to install. You just cut power at the breaker, remove the existing in-wall switch, and wire the GE 14318 in its place. This can be done by a DIY user, without having to hire a professional installer or electrician. That's a very nice aspect of this device. There is also a wall bracket included with the device to help ensure a neat and tidy installation. It is also worth mentioning that this device uses Z-Wave Plus communication to provide a longer communication range when the device is used with a Z-Wave Plus hub or controller.

There are a couple of downsides to the GE 14318, but really these would apply to almost any Z-Wave in-wall switch. Although the device can be set up for a multi-switch configuration, you will need a traveler wire to do so. Running a traveler wire can be a difficult task for a DIY installer depending on the location of the lights. Additionally, this device does not support a dimming function. But there really aren't many downsides to the device.

The GE 14318 is easy to use and very effective at its job. We give it 5 Stars.

Good: Easy to Install, Included Wall Bracket, Z-Wave Plus

Bad: Traveler Wire for Multi-Switch Use, No Dimming Function

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2 - WIFI Indoor 1080P HD Total Connect Security Camera

Fantastic Indoor Camera!
Submitted on 10/29/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2 is an indoor IP camera designed for use with Total Connect 2.0. This device has many great features that make it a top-choice for anyone with access to the TC2 platform. The IPCAM-WIC2 offers crystal-clear 1080p recording quality, and it is extremely easy to install and set up. We think this is an outstanding camera, and we give it a perfect 5 Star Rating.

There are many positive aspects to the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2. For one, its recording quality is fantastic. Our technicians have found that the images come in very clear on Total Connect 2.0, and you can very easily identify any individuals in the recordings. The camera also offers audio recording capabilities, which is a nice touch as well. The indoor camera can be easily rested on a table or desk, which makes it super easy to get started with for DIY users. If you prefer to mount the camera instead, then all the hardware is included. Mounting the camera isn't too difficult, and it does provide a somewhat neater end result. We also want to praise the IR night vision capabilities of the camera, which make the device suitable for use even in the darkest of environments.

There are not many downsides to the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2. And quite frankly, most of them come with the territory. As a Total Connect 2.0 IP Camera, the IPCAM-WIC2 can only be used with the Total Connect 2.0 platform. You cannot use it as a standalone camera or with another platform like Alarm.com. If you do not have Total Connect 2.0, then this is not the device for you. Additionally, it cannot be used outdoors. If you need an outdoor camera, you should probably choose the IPCAM-WOC1 instead.

As of October 2019, this is the best indoor Total Connect 2.0 IP Camera. We think this is a tremendous device, and we give it 5 Stars.

Good: Excellent Image Quality, Audio Capabilities, Easy Installation, Multiple Installation Options, IR Night Vision

Bad: For TC2 Only, Cannot Be Used Outdoors

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Schlage BE469 - Z-Wave Touchscreen Camelot Deadbolt

Better Locks Available
Submitted on 10/29/2019 Alarm Grid

The Schlage BE469 is a Z-Wave Plus deadbolt lock. Unfortunately, Schlage Locks like this one are known to have wonky programming issues when they are used with alarm systems. That is why we usually recommend locks from Yale or Kwikset instead. But some good aspects of this lock include its high level of security and its attractive design. All things considered, we give the Schlage BE469 a 3 Star Rating.

There are some things to like about the lock. The device features an anti-pick shield to prevent against tampering. According to our technicians, the lock is virtually impossible to be picked or defeated using low-tech means. It is BHMA Certifed Grade 1, which represents the highest possible standard. Any Z-Wave functionality aside, the Schlage BE469 provides outstanding protection and security. The lock is easy to install, as only a screwdriver is needed to complete the process. We also applaud the ability to store up to thirty (30) unique user codes, which should be enough for most applications. And we like the Aged Bronze finish for the lock in terms of design.

However, there are plenty of downsides about the Schlage BE469. We have found that Schlage Z-Wave Locks often have trouble programming with panels, especially Honeywell Panels. The actual method for programming the lock is also rather annoying. You need to tediously open up the lock and find a six (6) digit programming code. Then you have to follow a special process to put the Schlage BE469 into its programming mode. All the while, you must be putting your Z-Wave Hub into exclusion/inclusion mode. This is one of the most annoying and convoluted methods we have seen for pairing a lock.

Bottom line, we are not big fans of the Schlage BE469. But the device does have some positive aspects as well. Still, we recommend Yale or Kwikset instead.

Good: Extremely Secure, BHMA Certified Grade 1, Easy Installation, 30 User Codes, Great Design

Bad: Z-Wave Troubles, Difficult to Program

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

iDevices IDEV0011 - Wire Adapter for iDevices WIFI Thermostat

Great Wire Adapter!
Submitted on 10/29/2019 Alarm Grid

The iDevices IDEV0011 is a wire adapter for the iDevices WIFI Thermostat. The purpose of this adapter is to add the function of a common "C-Wire" to an HVAC system. It can also be used to add additional wiring. The wire adapter is fairly simple and straightforward to use, and it comes with everything you need to get started. While this isn't the most exciting product on our website, it does its job well. That is why we give it a 5 Star Rating.

There are many things to like about the iDevices IDEV0011 Wire Adapter. For one, it makes it easier to wire an iDevices Smart WIFI Thermostat to an HVAC system. Many DIY users are intimidated by this task, so making their lives easier is always appreciated. The wire adapter comes with all the necessary accessories, which include a signal splitter, an installation guide, and an 18-gauge 5-conductor thermostat wire. It is great for making the iDevices Thermostat compatible with older, 2-wire HVAC systems. Another way to make the iDevices Thermostat compatible with these HVAC system is to wire-in a 24VAC transformer with the thermostat.

There are not many downsides to the iDevices IDEV0011 Wire Adapter. But there are some. The device is only designed for use with iDevices Thermostats, and it may not work with thermostats from other manufacturers. It is also only needed when an HVAC system does not already provide support for "common power”. In many cases, the wire adapter will not be needed at all. But for installations where the HVAC system does not provide common power, it can certainly come in handy.

The iDevices IDEV0011 serves its purpose well. It gets 5 Stars from us.

Good: Makes Wiring Easier, Includes Needed Accessories, Easy to Use

Bad: Designed for iDevices Models Only, Used w/ 2-Wire HVAC Systems Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars