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 Cameras, 128 wireless zones, and Z-Wave Plus for home automation. The system is also dual-path ready for connectivity with 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, as the 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 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

Honeywell 5802MN - Wireless Panic Button

Better Panic Buttons Available
Submitted on 10/29/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 5802MN is a wireless panic button that operates at a wireless frequency of 345 MHz. This is a single-button device, so it is usually used as a panic button, or as a medical alert button. This is a fairly old device, and it has since been discontinued. It also features a relatively weak signal range. There are better options available, which is why we only give it 3 Stars.

While the Honeywell 5802MN isn't our favorite wireless panic button, there are some things to like about it. The device is very easy to use and operate. It features a false alarm prevention method by requiring that the button is pressed and held for two (2) full seconds. Once this happens, the red LED light on the device will begin flashing to indicate that a transmission was sent out. The button is nice and large so that the user will be able to quickly locate it and press it when they are in distress. The button has a loop at the top so a necklace can be added for wearing. The device even comes with a necklace to use for this purpose.

But there are some weak points about the Honeywell 5802MN. The device has been discontinued in-favor of newer, more robust panic buttons. It has a very limited range of just 50 nominal feet. As a result, it is only really suitable for smaller homes. The design is boxy and somewhat dated. Having only one (1) button limits the functionality of this device. The 3V battery has a fairly short lifespan of just three (3) to five (5) years.

There are better options available than the Honeywell 5802MN. For that reason, we only give it a 3 Star Rating.

Good: Easy to Use, False Alarm Prevention, Large Button, Can be Worn Around Neck

Bad: Limited Range, Only 1 Button, Unattractive Design, Short Battery Life

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Classic Kit AT&T - 7" Wireless Security System w/ AT&T Cell Communicator, 4 Sensors

Outstanding System Kit!
Submitted on 10/29/2019 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is one of our most favorite alarm systems. With the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Classic Kit AT&T, you get everything you need to get started with the system. The kit includes a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with integrated AT&T LTE, three (3) IQ DW MINI-S Door and Window Contacts, and one (1) Qolsys IQ Motion-S. We love this system and the accessories it includes, which is why we give it 5 Stars.

There are so many things to like about the IQ Panel 2. It has a great design. It is very easy for new users to set up and configure. It is a robust system with support for up to 128 wireless sensors. You get lots of great features like automatic Bluetooth disarming, the ability to live-stream compatible Cameras, partitioning support, disarming photos, and so much more. The built-in AT&T LTE communicator provides fast and reliable connectivity with And the panel also includes built-in WIFI, making it dual-path ready right out of the box. Additionally, the sensors that come with this kit are top-quality, and they utilize rolling code encryption for enhanced security.

There are some superficial downsides to this kit, but they really aren't anything major. First, the IQ Panel 2 has been discontinued in favor of the IQ Panel 2 Plus. As a result, this kit is also discontinued. As this is the standard IQ Panel 2, you cannot use PowerG Sensors with the system. Instead, you can only use 319.5 MHz sensors. Since this kit only includes three (3) door and window contacts and one (1) motion sensor, this kit might not be suitable for larger homes and businesses. For those users, you might want to get a 10-1 system kit instead. And remember that the system cannot be activated for WIFI-only. You must activate the cellular communicator for use with

We think this is an outstanding system kit, and we strongly recommend it.

Good: Excellent System w/ Outstanding Features, Built-In LTE & WIFI, Fantastic Sensors

Bad: Discontinued, No PowerG Support, Only Good for Smaller Homes & Apartments

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Qolsys IQ Siren - Z-Wave Siren for Qolsys IQ and IQ Panel 2

Fantastic Z-Wave Siren!
Submitted on 10/17/2019 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys IQ Siren is a convenient Z-Wave siren that allows you to achieve a louder sound when a security system goes into alarm, or simply add a reliable sounder option to a system. The siren operates at 105 dB, which is great for most homes and small businesses. The built-in strobe light adds a nice touch for providing a visual indication of an alarm. Most systems allow it to be easily programmed as a z-wave device, with no additional set up being required. However, there are some systems that technically support the siren, but will also require rules and scenes to be established so that it works properly.

There are many things to like about the Qolsys IQ Siren. The 105 dB operating volume is louder than the typical 85 dB wireless system internal sounder, thereby making it a nice addition for many users. The siren can be conveniently plugged into an outlet for easy and reliable power. It also has a backup battery so that the device can still be activated during an electrical outage. Most systems will properly recognize the device as a siren. This means that no special set up is needed to use it. Instead, the device will just automatically activate during an audible system alarm event. This applies to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and the 2GIG GC3 System. The strobe light for the IQ Siren is nice as well, as it provides visual indication of the alarm. Additionally, the device is Z-Wave Plus to allow for extended range when used with a Z-Wave Plus controller.

But there are some downsides to the IQ Siren. Some panels view the device as a light switch, rather than a siren. This means that you will have to program rules and scenes so that the system knows to activate the siren during alarm events. This applies to the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels and Honeywell Lyric, as these systems see the IQ Siren as a switch, and not as a siren. While the integrated backup battery is a nice touch, it cannot be easily replaced. This means that once the battery dies (after many years), losing AC power will render the siren non-functional until electrical power is restored. Fortunately, it will take roughly 8 to 10 years for this to occur.

Overall, the sheer convenience of the IQ Siren more than makes up for its flaws. For that reason, we strongly recommend the IQ Siren to customers.

Good: Most Systems Allow for Easy Setup; Perfect Volume for Most Homes & Small Businesses; Built-In Strobe Light; Z-Wave Plus

Bad: Honeywell Systems Require Programming Rules & Scenes; Battery Eventually Dies

Bottom Line: 5 Stars.