Reviews

2GIG GC3GA-A - Alarm.com AT&T 3G Communicator for Go!Control

Obsolete Communicator
Submitted on 09/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG GC3GA-A is an AT&T 3G Communicator for a 2GIG Go!Control GC2 Security System. This was once one of the premier communicator options for a 2GIG GC2. But with the quickly-approaching 3G Sunset, the 2GIG GC3GA-A is no longer a communicator you will want to consider purchasing. In fact, 2GIG has discontinued this communicator in favor of various LTE models. You can no longer activate the 2GIG GC3GA-A for monitoring service. And if you are currently using one, then you must replace it prior to the AT&T 3G Cellular Network being shut down to ensure that your panel remains connected for alarm monitoring. The only reason we even give this unit a 3-Star rating is because it can continue to provide reliable connectivity until the associated network is shut down, assuming that it has already been activated. New activations for the 2GIG GC3GA-A are no longer permitted, and once this module is terminated, it cannot be reactivated.

The biggest positive for the 2GIG GC3GA-A is the fact that the communicator provides reliable connectivity between a 2GIG GC2 System and the AT&T 3G Cellular Network. By sending signals across this network, the system can be used with Alarm.com. This platform allows users to control their systems remotely, check current system status, and perform Z-Wave smart home commands. But the downsides for the 2GIG GC3GA-A are more pressing. The 2GIG GC3GA-A can no longer be activated for new monitoring service. And if you have a 2GIG GC2 that is currently using a GC3GA-A for monitoring service, then you must replace the module with an LTE communicator before the AT&T 3G Network is being shut down. Otherwise, your system will no longer remain monitored. The possible LTE replacements include the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2 (AT&T LTE) and the 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC2 (Verizon LTE). Due to these downsides, we only give the 2GIG GC3GA-A a 3-Star rating.

Good: Reliable Cellular Connectivity, Alarm.com

Bad: Can No Longer Be Activated, Must Be Replaced w/ LTE

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Honeywell 6148 - Fixed English Alarm Keypad

Good Keypad Option
Submitted on 09/22/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 6148 is a Fixed English Keypad for a Honeywell VISTA System. This keypad is great for performing general system functions like arming and disarming. It is often compared with the Honeywell 6150, which is also a Fixed English Keypad. The advantage to the Honeywell 6150 is that it has the four (4) programmable one-touch function buttons. However, the 6148 is slightly more compact than the 6150. If a user just needs a basic Fixed English Keypad, and they don't care about the one-touch function buttons, then the Honeywell 6148 can be a good selection. We give the Honeywell 6148 a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell 6148. For one, it is one of the most compact keypad options available for a Honeywell VISTA. It is even smaller than the Honeywell 6150, which is already very compact. If minimizing space is a top priority, then the 6148 is usually the go-to choice. The keypad buttons are backlit, which makes it easy to operate the keypad in a dark setting. The keypad supports various dual-button inputs for triggering panics. This adds to the ways that you can use the keypad. We also appreciate the fact that the Honeywell 6148 has a very good build-quality.

There are some downsides for the Honeywell 6148 that should be mentioned. When using a Fixed English Keypad like the Honeywell 6148, you will be operating blindly in programming mode. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you do not use the Honeywell 6148 to program your VISTA System. There is also the fact that the Honeywell 6148 lacks the one-touch function buttons that are found on the Honeywell 6150. If you want to get a keypad with one-touch function buttons, then the 6150 is recommended instead. Or even better, you could get an Alphanumeric Keypad like the Honeywell 6160, which is much better for system programming. But overall, these downsides are relatively minor. We can confidently give the Honeywell 6148 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Compact, Backlit Keys, Dual-Button Inputs, Good Build Quality

Bad: Not Recommended for Programming, Lacks One-Touch Function Buttons

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC PG9939 - PowerG 915MHz Wireless 4-Button Key

Useful Key Fob!
Submitted on 09/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC PG9939 is a 4-button key fob that interfaces with security systems that support PowerG technology. These systems include the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and any DSC PowerSeries NEO System with an added PowerG Transceiver. A user must press and hold one of the four (4) buttons for at least one (1) full second to send a command to the system. The system will then respond depending on how the key fob was programmed. Overall, the DSC PG9939 is a simple, yet effective device. It is great for anyone needing a key fob for a PowerG-compatible system. We give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the DSC PG9939. For one, the sensor is small and compact. You will easily be able to fit it inside your pocket or purse for carrying around. There is even an attached key ring so you can secure it to your car keys. The four (4) buttons are easily identifiable, and they will help you use the sensor more easily. The key fob also has an LED light to provide visual indication of a command being sent. It can even produce a beeping sound for added verification of the device being triggered. We also like the fact that the PG9939 prevents false alarms by requiring that command inputs must be held down for a full second, and three (3) full seconds for a panic. Like all PowerG sensors, the device uses 128-bit AES encryption. It is supposedly the same range as any other PowerG Sensor (up to 2km in open air when used with the NEO), but you will likely find the range considerably smaller in practice. Still, you should find the PG9939 to offer a great wireless range for a key fob device.

There are not many downsides regarding the DSC PG9939. The design is somewhat dated, as it seems to resemble a much older key fob. We've seen many sleeker looking key fob models hit the market in recent years, so we're a bit surprised DSC didn't do more to make this sensor appear more modern. The fact that this key fob does not support dual-button inputs is also a bit of a letdown, as key fobs from other manufacturers regularly support this feature. As a wireless key fob, you will need to replace the batteries for the device every so often. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the DSC PG9939 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Compact Design, Key Ring, Easily Identifiable Buttons, LED Light, Beeping Sound, False Alarm Prevention, Encryption, Great Wireless Range

Bad: Dated Design, No Dual-Button Inputs, Requires Battery Replacements

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Leviton VP00R-10Z - Coordinating Z-Wave 3-Way Dimmer

Decent Coordinating Dimmer
Submitted on 09/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VP00R-10Z is a coordinating dimmer for use with other devices in the Leviton Vizia RF+ Series. This device makes it possible to set up a multi-pole wiring configuration for your smart lights. This means that it will be possible for you to locally control your hardwired overhead lights from multiple on-site switch locations. Really, this isn't anything too innovative, and you will still need to use a traveler wire when setting up the multi-pole configuration. Coupled with the fact that the Linear VP00R-10Z is only standard Z-Wave, and that it has been discontinued, we only give this product a 4-Star score.

There are positive aspects regarding the Leviton VP00R-10Z. It is a fully functional dimmer that can turn the lights ON and OFF and adjust their brightness as needed. The unit pairs nicely with other dimmers and fan-control switches from the Leviton Vizia RF+ Series, and it is needed if you want to set up a 3-way wiring configuration. The Leviton VP00R-10Z also comes with replaceable white, almond, and ivory switches for added customization.

But the downsides for the Leviton VP00R-10Z should not be ignored. For one, this is merely a coordinating dimmer switch. It does not directly control a lighting load, and it must be paired with a dimmer or fan controller for any real use. The fact that you still need to set up a traveler wire is a major let down, as there are newer and more advanced Z-Wave switches that eliminate this necessity for a 3-way wiring configuration. The Leviton VP00R-10Z only uses standard Z-Wave, and any user with a Z-Wave Plus controller may want to find a Z-Wave Plus switch for range purposes. Like any in-wall switch, the Leviton VP00R-10Z must be installed. The device has no LED light, which can make it difficult to troubleshoot. There is also the fact that this product has been discontinued, and you are unlikely to find it new.

Overall, there is not much reason to get the Leviton VP00R-10Z, unless you happen to have one of the compatible dimmers and/or fan controllers, and you are needing to set up a 3-way wiring configuration. Most users who are in the market now will go with a product lineup that doesn't require a traveler wire and uses newer Z-Wave Plus controller. All things considered, the Leviton VP00R-10Z gets a score of 4 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Dim Lights, Turn Lights ON & OFF, Pairs Great w/ Other Leviton Vizia RF+ Devices, Comes w/ Colored Switches

Bad: Does Not Control Lighting Load Directly, Requires Traveler Wire, Standard Z-Wave, Must be Installed, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Leviton VRR15-1LZ - 1800W Z-Wave Outlet Wall Receptacle

Only Standard Z-Wave
Submitted on 09/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRR15-1LZ is a 1800W Z-Wave wall outlet. It replaces a standard wall outlet to provide smart control for the connected devices. The device is installed by cutting power at the circuit breaker, removing the existing wall outlet, and then installing the Leviton VRR15-1LZ in its place. You can then restore power at the breaker and enroll the unit with your Z-Wave network. As Z-Wave is meant to be universal, you should have no trouble pairing the Leviton VRR15-1LZ with your Z-Wave network. However, you should keep in mind that the Leviton VRR15-1LZ is only classic Z-Wave. If you have a Z-Wave Plus controller, then you might want to get a Z-Wave Plus outlet for range purposes and to keep your network consistent. Another downside for the Leviton VRR15-1LZ is that the model is discontinued, and you are unlikely to find it new. Because of the downsides, and the fact that newer and more robust models are readily available, we only give the Leviton VRR15-1LZ a 4-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Leviton VRR15-1LZ. For one, the device is compatible with nearly any Z-Wave controller, and it is easy to enroll with a Z-Wave network. By using this model, you will be providing smart control for the connected devices, which is a major convenience. Most automation platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com offer integrations with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so that's a nice touch as well. But there are downsides regarding the Leviton VRR15-1LZ that shouldn't be ignored. The device is standard Z-Wave, not Z-Wave Plus. Anyone with a Z-Wave Plus controller is encouraged to get a Z-Wave Plus outlet to maximize range. Since this is an in-wall outlet, you will need to install it. And since the Leviton VRR15-1LZ is discontinued, you will have trouble finding a new model. But a used model should still work just fine. All things considered, the Leviton VRR15-1LZ gets 4 stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Compatible w/ Most Z-Wave Hubs, Easy to Enroll, Voice Integrations

Bad: Standard Z-Wave, Must be Installed, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

DSC PG9944 - PowerG 915MHz Outdoor Wireless PIR Motion Detector, Built-In Camera, & (2) 3V CR17450 Battery

Great Outdoor Image Sensor!
Submitted on 09/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC PG9944 is an outdoor image sensor. It can be used with any system that supports PowerG devices, including the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and a DSC PowerSeries NEO with an added wireless receiver. The sensor combines a motion sensor and a still-motion camera into one device. The sensor will begin capturing images when it triggers an alarm on the system. Ten (10) images are taken in total and sent to the panel. However, only the first of these images is sent to Alarm.com for remote viewing. Overall, we like the DSC PG9944, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the DSC PG9944. For one, it produces high-quality images, making it easy for the user to determine what is going on when an alarm is triggered. The sensor is weather-resistant, and it can be used nicely in an outdoor setting. It is also great for use in barns and garages. It offers pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 40 lbs, which is great if you have a small dog or cat in your home, or critters that run around outside. We have found that this sensor is particularly useful for preventing false alarms, thanks to its Octa-Quad PIR Sensor and its True Motion Recognition (TMR) technology. And like any PowerG Sensor, the DSC PG9944 has a great wireless range, and it uses 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced security.

There are only a few downsides for the DSC PG9944. One issue is that the device will only capture images when it is the sensor that triggered an alarm on the system. If an alarm is caused by a different sensor, then no images will be produced. The fact that only the first of ten (10) captured images will appear on Alarm.com is also somewhat of a let-down. The sensor is rather bulky, and many users are turned-off by the fact that its design literally resembles a toilet. But these downsides aside, we can still give the DSC PG9944 a 5-Star rating.

Good: High-Quality Images, Weather Resistant, Pet Immunity, Octa-Quad PIR, TMR, Great Range, Encryption

Bad: Only Captures Images if Sensor Triggers alarm, Only First Image Sent to ADC, Bulky, Looks Like a Toilet

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell DT7450C - DUAL TEC Motion Detetor with Form C Relay

Excellent Dual-Tec Motion
Submitted on 09/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell DT7450C is a wired dual-tech motion sensor that uses both PIR and microwave technology to detect movement. As a Form C sensor, it can utilize Normally Open (NO) or Normally Closed (NC) wiring. The sensor provides a maximum coverage area of 50 feet by 60 feet, making it great for covering larger rooms. You can even swap out the lens to adjust the coverage area. However, it is important to realize that the sensor is discontinued, and you are unlikely to find a new model. But don't be hesitant to grab a used model, especially with the strong build-quality of the sensor. Overall, we really like the Honeywell DT7450C, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell DT7450C. The fact that this sensor is dual-tec is definitely a plus, as it helps to reduce false alarms. The sensor will only activate if both its PIR sensor and its microwave sensor are triggered. Being a Form C sensor that supports either NO or NC wiring can be a major convenience during installation. This gives the installer greater flexibility in setting up the sensor. Both the PIR sensor and the microwave sensor can be individually adjusted for sensitivity to meet the needs of the end user. The maximum coverage area of the sensor is quite large at 50 feet by 60 feet.

There are not many downsides for the Honeywell DT7450C. One issue is that a wire must be run from the sensor to the alarm panel. This may prove to be a difficult task if you are not used to wiring. But as a wired sensor, needing to run a wire is to be expected. There is also the consideration that the sensor will need to draw some power from the panel. It uses up to 35mA of power, so make sure to consider that in the load calculation. Lastly, the sensor is discontinued, so you are unlikely to find it new. Fortunately, these downsides are very minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell DT7450C a 5-Star rating.

Good: Dual-Tec, Form C, Sensitivity Adjustments, Large Coverage Area

Bad: Must be Wired, Draws Current, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

WBOX 0E-1GANGSIRN - Flush Mount Single Gang Siren

Great Smaller Siren!
Submitted on 09/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The WBOX 0E-1GANGSIRN is a single-gang flush mount piezo siren that produces sounds of up to 105 dB. It can conveniently fit into a single-gang electrical box, making it nice and compact for regular use. The device conveniently connects to the bell terminals on the panel, and it operates as a siren for the system. This helps to ensure that building occupants are alerted when an intrusion or fire alarm occurs on the system. Overall, the WBOX 0E-1GANGSIRN is a nice smaller siren option for a wired alarm system. We give the WBOX 0E-1GANGSIRN a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects to consider for the WBOX 0E-1GANGSIRN. The siren has a very compact design, as it measures in at just 4.5"L x 2.75"W x 1.0"D. As mentioned earlier, it fits neatly into a single-gang electrical box for a clean installation. The siren is quite loud for its size, as it can produce sounds of up to 105 dB. While this isn't the loudest siren on the market, it will still work quite well in a medium to large home or a small business. We also really appreciate the fact that the WBOX 0E-1GANGSIRN doesn't need much power, as it will only draw 20 mA of current at 24VDC. It will draw 65 mA of current at 12VDC.

There are not many downsides regarding the WBOX 0E-1GANGSIRN. Since this is a wired siren, you will need to physically connect it with the panel or the power supply that it is being used with. If you aren't used to wiring, then this may be a difficult task. There is also the consideration that this siren isn't the most powerful option available. The maximum sound output rating of 105 dB is fine for most homes and small businesses, but most commercial users will want something more powerful. All things considered, these downsides are very minor. We can easily award the WBOX 0E-1GANGSIRN a 5-Star score.

Good: Compact, Single-Gang Installation, Loud for its Size, Low Current Draw

Bad: Must be Wired, More Powerful Sirens Available

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell FG1625SN - V-Plex Glass Break Detector

Nice Polling Loop Glass Break
Submitted on 09/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell FG1625SN is a wired glass break detection sensor designed for use with Honeywell V-Plex Polling Loop Panels. As a V-Plex device, the Honeywell FG1625SN can only be used with compatible panels on the polling loop. It will not work if wired in as a conventional sensor. When set up properly, the FG1625SN works great as a glass break sensor. It actively listens for the sound of broken glass, and it must hear both the thud of an object striking against the glass and the high-pitched shattering of the glass itself in order to trigger. This helps prevent false alarms on the system. Overall, the Honeywell FG1625SN is a great option to consider if you have a compatible polling loop panel. We give the Honeywell FG1625SN a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell FG1625SN. For one, the sensor works with virtually all types of glass, giving the user great flexibility in how they use the sensor. The device can detect breaking glass from up to 25 feet away, and it supports sensitivity adjustment via configurable DIP switches. The sensor responds to glass break events very reliably, and it has a very nice build quality. The unit also supports the "Hand Clap" feature for testing power.

There are not many downsides for the Honeywell FG1625SN. Since this is a V-Plex Polling Loop Sensor, you can only use it with Honeywell Panels that support the V-Plex Polling Loop. You cannot use it with any other panels. And since this is a wired sensor, you will need to run a wire from the sensor to the polling loop. This may be a bit tricky if you aren't used to wiring. But really these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell FG1625SN a 5-Star score.

Good: Works w/ Most Types of Glass, Good Detection Range, Sensitivity Adjustments, Reliable, Good Build Quality, Hand Clap Feature

Bad: For Polling Loop Panels Only, Must be Wired

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Interlogix Simon XTi-5 - Wireless Security System

Decent Alarm Panel
Submitted on 09/21/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix Simon XTi-5 is a wireless all-in-one alarm panel with a 5-inch touchscreen display. It is basically the same panel as an Interlogix Simon XTi, only with a larger touchscreen. The Interlogix Simon Series Panels have been around for quite some time. They have received numerous upgrades throughout the years, and they can do virtually anything expected of a modern alarm panel if given the right support. But with newer and better options readily available, we wouldn't necessarily recommend going out of your way to install a Simon XTi-5. There is also the consideration that Interlogix is no longer in business in the United States, so getting assistance for this panel can be bothersome. All things considered, we give the Interlogix Simon XTi-5 a 4-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Interlogix Simon XTi-5. The panel has many cellular and dual-path communicator options available for connecting with the Alarm.com servers. This will allow you to get the system monitored and control it remotely. An added communicator will also double as a Z-Wave controller so that you can begin setting up a network of smart home automation devices. The system menus are easy to navigate, and this is generally a fine entry-level security system.

But the downsides for the Interlogix Simon XTi-5 should not be ignored. The touchscreen is easy to use, but it feels a little funny when operating. In general, the build-quality for these panels is a bit lacking, and it doesn't necessarily feel like a strong piece of equipment. The system is very basic, as you only get forty (40) zones and eight (8) user code slots. If you are using this system in a smaller home or business, then that shouldn't be a big deal. But compared with the offerings of other systems, that is very limited. There are no encrypted sensor options for the system, as you are instead limited to using strictly non-encrypted 319.5 MHz sensors. Any Z-Wave scenes you want to set up will need to be configured through Alarm.com, as the panel does not offer the capability for local scenes. And if you want to get the system monitored for use with Alarm.com, then an external communicator will be required. Finally, another major downside is the fact that Interlogix is no longer in business in North America, and the company only offers limited support as of September 2020. Overall, the Interlogix Simon XTi-5 gets a 4-Star score from Alarm Grid.

Good: Many Communicators Available, Added Communicator Provides Z-Wave, Easy to Navigate

Bad: Awkward Touchscreen, Spotty Build Quality, Only 40 Zones & 8 User Codes, No Encrypted Sensors, No Local Smart Scenes, Must Add Communicator for Alarm.com Access, Interlogix Out of Business

Bottom Line: 4 Stars