2GIG BATTERY-GC3 - Backup Battery for GC3 & GC3e

Good Backup Battery
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG BATTERY-GC3 is a replacement backup battery for the 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e Security Systems. A user will typically purchase this battery once the original one for their GC3 or GC3e has reached the end of its product life and its no longer capable of storing a charge. This usually happens after several years. Fortunately, the replacement 2GIG BATTERY-GC3 can be installed in the same way as the old one, and it should serve as a reliable backup power option for several years if used properly. This is a very good backup battery for a 2GIG GC3 or 2GIG GC3e, so we award it with a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the 2GIG BATTERY-GC3. The battery has a maximum power time of 24 hours, which is quite long for a security system backup battery. This makes it very useful for users who may experience extended power outages. Any user who is prone to longer power outages is advised to get a power generator. The fact that the 2GIG BATTERY-GC3 has a convenient plug-in connector is also a positive attribute, as it makes the battery easy to install inside the GC3 or GC3e. We have found that the battery works reliably, which is very important for keeping the system powered on during an electrical outage.

There are not many downsides for the 2GIG BATTERY-GC3. Like any backup battery, the 2GIG BATTERY-GC3 will lose its ability to store a charge over time. This gives it a limited useful product life, and it will eventually need to be replaced. The backup battery compartment for a 2GIG GC3 or 2GIG GC3e cannot be accessed while the panel is closed, so you will need to open up the panel to remove the old battery and install a new one. But these downsides are largely insignificant, and they do not stop us from giving the 2GIG BATTERY-GC3 a score of 5 Stars.

Good: 24-Hour Max Power Time, Plug-In Connector, Reliable

Bad: Lose Ability to Store Charge Over Time, Requires Opening Panel

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 6152RF - Fixed English Keypad

Better VISTA Keypads Available
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 6152RF is a wired numeric keypad for a Honeywell VISTA Security System. It is a Fixed English Keypad, making it good for basic arming and disarming and bypassing zones. However, it is not recommended for programming a system. The keypad also includes a built-in 345 MHz RF receiver, which will allow you to start using wireless Honeywell 5800 Sensors with your VISTA System. Unfortunately, the built-in receiver is extremely limited, and it will only allow you to build up to 16 wireless zones on the system. Overall, we cannot recommend this keypad over the Honeywell 6150RF, which is better all around. We only give the Honeywell 6152RF a 3-Star rating.

There are some positive aspects for the Honeywell 6152RF. The keypad allows for basic arming and disarming and bypassing zones. The backlit keys and backlit display screen make it easy to use the keypad in a dark setting. The keypad has a built-in piezo sounder, which is good for alerting building occupants to a system alarm. While the keypad's integrated receiver is extremely limited, the fact that it even has one has to be considered a positive attribute. If you don't have many wireless zones to add, then the Honeywell 6152RF can work fine in that regard.

But the downsides for the Honeywell 6152RF should not be ignored. Since this is a Fixed English keypad, you will be operating blindly if you try to use it for programming. Therefore, an Alphanumeric Keypad like a Honeywell 6160RF is strongly recommended for programming the system. The fact that the built-in wireless transceiver only supports up to 16 zones is a disappointment, as unlimited zone wireless transceivers are readily available. We are also saddened by the fact that the Honeywell 6152RF lacks a tamper switch, and it does not have any volume control. One final negative aspect is that the keypad is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. All things considered, we give the Honeywell 6152RF a score of 3 Stars.

Good: Basic Arming & Disarming and Zone Bypassing, Wireless RF Transceiver. Backlit Keys & Screen, Piezo Sounder

Bad: Not Useful for Programming, Transceiver Only Supports 16 Wireless Zones, No Tamper Switch, No Volume Control, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

DSC WS9LCDWF9 - PowerG Wireless Arming Station

Good Basic Keypad for PowerG Systems
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC WS9LCDWF9 is a wireless push-button keypad for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or a DSC Iotega Security System. It is commonly referred to as the DSC PowerG Wireless Arming Station. Alarm Grid often recommends this keypad for Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus users who need a secondary keypad, but they don't necessarily need something as powerful and robust as the Qolsys IQ Remote. For reference, the IQ Remote has a touchscreen that mimics the IQ Panel 2, as well as automation control and the ability to live-stream cameras. With the DSC WS9LCDWF9, you get something much more basic. But for some users, that's perfectly fine, and they prefer to save money with this standard wireless keypad. We give this product a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the DSC WS9LCDWF9 Keypad. For one, it can be readily used with any wireless PowerG Alarm System. These include the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the DSC Iotega. The keypad is great for arming, disarming, bypassing zones, and checking system status. It also offers Chime capabilities. We like the backlit keys on the numeric keypad, as they make it easier to control the system at night or in the dark. The keypad is small and compact, so it won't take up too much space. We also like the fact that the wireless keypad provides a good communication range, and it offers 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security. The fact that this keypad supports multiple languages (English, French, and Spanish) is also a plus. The keypad has multiple power options, as it can use a plug-in AC transformer (sold separately) or four (4) AA batteries. One other positive is that the keypad has a tamper switch to let the system know if someone opens it up.

There are some downsides for the DSC WS9LCDWF9 Keypad. The keypad cannot be used with the DSC PowerSeries NEO, even if a wireless transceiver has been added for PowerG support. The lack of a touchscreen is expected for a budget keypad, but many users won't mind spending more for a touchscreen keypad. The keypad lacks the ability to program a system, and it also cannot be used for automation control. It is also somewhat disappointing how the keypad cannot be used for programming the system. But these downsides are not very significant, and we are still able to give this product a 5-Star score.

Good: For Wireless PowerG Alarm Panels, Complete Basic Functionality, Chime, Backlit Keys, Small & Compact, Good Range. 128-Bit AES Encryption, Multiple Languages, Use AC Power or Battery Power, Tamper Switch

Bad: Not for DSC PowerSeries NEO, No Touchscreen, No Automation Control, No Advanced Programming

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC SCW9057-433 - Impassa Wireless Security System

Much Better Systems Exist
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC SCW457J, better known as the DSC Impassa, is a wireless all-in-one alarm panel. This panel represented an early wireless offering from Digital Security Controls (DSC), a Canadian security equipment manufacturer. The panel is actually still widely used as of 2020. It doesn't really offer any advanced or particularly powerful features, but it works quite well for basic alarm monitoring service. At Alarm Grid, we are not big fans of the Impassa, as we think other panels are easier to set up, and there are better options around. But if you move into a new home and find an existing Impassa System on the wall, then you can usually install an LTE cellular communicator and get it up and running for monitoring service. Otherwise, we don't recommend hunting down an Impassa or making it a go-to option for alarm monitoring. Based on our experiences with the DSC SCW457J, we give it a 3-Star rating.

The DSC Impassa does have some positive attributes. The system has dual-path (LTE & IP) communicators available that you can add for alarm monitoring. Our favorite option is the DSC TL8055LTVZ. By adding this communicator to the Impassa, you can activate it and expect it to remain monitored for a very long time. The LTE networks are not going anywhere any time soon, so with a new communicator, you can have the fortune of keeping the Impassa as a mainstay in your home or business for potentially decades into the future. If you are fine with a very basic, no-frills security system, then this may be an option for you. The communicator will also allow you to set up a Z-Wave automation network with the system. You will also be able to control your Impassa remotely through, provided that the service is included in your monitoring plan. One other positive thing we must admit about the DSC SCW457J Impassa is that it does have a good build-quality. These things never seem to die, and we regularly hear from new customers who want to start service with an existing Impassa that they have around. Keep in mind that adding a cell communicator to an Impassa will require that the system is running Firmware Version 1.3 or higher. If your Impassa is on a lower firmware version, then you will almost certainly need to replace it.

While the Impassa is admittedly a viable security system, we don't necessarily recommend using one. This is for several reasons. The design is outdated. It's basically a large brick, and its numeric push-button keypad is cumbersome and difficult to understand. Unlike a system with touchscreen controls and clearly defined menus, new users will have a difficult time navigating the Impassa and setting it up. New users might also feel intimidated by the Impassa, and they will typically prefer an easier to understand system such as the Honeywell Lyric or the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. There are no encrypted sensor options for the Impassa, which can be disappointing for users who want to set up the most secure alarm system possible. Local automation control is impossible for the Impassa, and all your Z-Wave operation will need to come from Finally, the panel is discontinued, and you will be unlikely to find it new. And we don't necessarily advise seeking out a used model either, simply because there are so many better systems out there. For these reasons, we only give the DSC SCW457J a 3-Star score.

Good: LTE Communicator Available, Remote Z-Wave Capability w/ Communicator,, Good Build Quality

Bad: Dated Design, Numeric Keypad w/o Touchscreen, No Encrypted Sensors. No Local Automation Control, Difficult to Program & Use, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Honeywell GSM-EAA - AlarmNet External Antenna Accessory

No Longer Needed
Submitted on 09/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell GSM-EAA is an accessory that is used when connecting a Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB or Honeywell GSM-ANT antenna to a compatible AlarmNet Communicator. Only certain communicators require the Honeywell GSM-EAA when adding an antenna, due to the fact that they otherwise lack the necessary connector. It is mostly older communicator models that warrant the use of the Honeywell GSM-EAA, and you will rarely require one with any LTE communicator that you are setting up. As a result, Honeywell has discontinued the Honeywell GSM-EAA, without providing any replacement. But since the Honeywell GSM-EAA worked very well for its intended purpose, we still give the product a 5-Star rating.

The main thing to like about the Honeywell GSM-EAA is that it allowed you to complete the connection between the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB or Honeywell GSM-ANT and certain Honeywell AlarmNet Communicators. The accessory was primarily used 2G communicators. These communicators connected with 2G cellular networks. The 2G networks have mostly been shut down by now. They were replaced with 3G and 4G networks, which have since been replaced by LTE networks. You cannot activate a 2G communicator for monitoring service, and existing communicators that were already activated have stopped working. This is because the networks are shut down and no longer in service. As for the Honeywell GSM-EAA, we also appreciated its good build quality.

Unfortunately for the Honeywell GSM-EAA, it isn't really used today. Newer AlarmNet Communicators already have the connector needed to support an added antenna, so the GSM-EAA isn't needed. The product is discontinued, and you are unlikely to find it new. You probably shouldn't look for a used model either, as it isn't needed for any practical purpose. The only reason we give this product a 5-Star score is because it was once useful, and it never really did anything wrong.

Good: Complete Connection b/w Communicator & Antenna, Strong Build Quality

Bad: New Communicators Don't Need It, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC WS4938 - 1 Button Wireless Key Fob, 2 Sec Delay Panic

Good Panic Button
Submitted on 09/24/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC WS4938 is a single-button panic switch for security systems that accept the 433 MHz wireless frequency. Compatible systems include the DSC Impassa, a DSC PowerSeries with added receiver, and the 433 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The device is very easy to use, as you simply press and hold the single button on the fob for at least two (2) seconds. Many users will keep the device on-hand at all times in case an emergency situation occurs. Overall, we think this is a simple, yet effective single-button panic switch. We give the DSC WS4938 a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the DSC WS4938. For one, the button is large and easy to press. The fact that you need to hold the button for two (2) full seconds is a nice touch, as that helps prevent false alarms. We like the fact that the device comes with a neck strap and a multi-function clip. These accessories make it less likely that a user will lose the DSC WS4938. Another positive aspect is the fact that the device is water resistant, so a user can carry it in the shower or bath. However, it should not be fully submerged in liquid. Finally, we like how the device can be programmed to trigger an intrusion, fire, or auxiliary medical panic, depending on the needs of the user.

There are not many downsides for the DSC WS4938. One limitation is that the device is only for 433 MHz security systems, which does restrict how the device can be used. We also don't like how the panic switch is very bare, with nothing more than a base black design. We're not expecting a grand and glorious design, but this is indeed one of the plainest sensors we have ever seen, and some users may forget its function as a result. There is also the consideration that you will need to replace the CR2025 coin battery every few years to keep the device running. But really, these downsides are nothing major, and they do not stop us from awarding the DSC WS4938 with a 5-Star score.

Good: Large Button, Easy to Press, Requires 2-Second Input, Prevents False Alarms, Included Accessories, Water Resistant, Program as Needed

Bad: 433 MHz Systems Only, Very Bare & Plain Device, Will Require Battery Replacements

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell LTE-L3V - Verizon LTE Cellular Communicator for L3000

Great L3000 Communicator!
Submitted on 09/24/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell LTE-L3V is a Verizon LTE Communicator for a Honeywell L3000 Security System. By installing and activating this communicator, a Honeywell L3000 can communicate with the AlarmNet servers. This is necessary for getting the system monitored and set up with the Total Connect 2.0 interactive service platform. The module is extremely reliable, due to the fact that it relies on cellular connectivity. Overall, this is an excellent communicator option for anyone with a Honeywell L3000 System who wants to receive reliable alarm monitoring service. We give the Honeywell LTE-L3V a perfect 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell LTE-L3V. For one, the communicator connects with the Verizon LTE Network. It is very important to choose an LTE communicator, because the LTE cellular networks are going to be kept in service for a very long time. Older 3G and CDMA networks are in the process of being shut down in favor of newer LTE networks. Even once 5G is inevitably released, LTE networks will be kept running as a backup. We also like the fact that the Honeywell LTE-L3V allows for connectivity with the Total Connect 2.0 platform. This service is great for controlling your Honeywell L3000 System remotely using a web browser or an app on your phone. And of course, as a cellular communicator, the Honeywell LTE-L3V provides reliable connectivity.

There are not many downsides for the Honeywell LTE-L3V. Like any communicator for the system, the Honeywell LTE-L3V will need to be installed inside the L3000. This can be slightly inconvenient, but you only need to do it once. There is also the consideration that you must pay for cellular monitoring service with the LTE-L3V, which is more expensive than IP-only monitoring. Finally, the Honeywell LTE-L3V is for the L3000 only, which does limit how it can be used. But these downsides are nothing too significant, and they do not stop us from awarding the Honeywell LTE-L3V a perfect 5-Star score.

Good: LTE Communicator, Total Connect 2.0, Reliable

Bad: Must be Installed, Cellular is More Expensive, For L3000 Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 940 - Magnetic Door Contact and Window Contact

Great Wired Door/Window Sensor!
Submitted on 09/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 940 is a popular hardwired door and window contact sensor. This sensor has stood the test of time due to its simplicity and effectiveness. It is a very simple door and window contact that does pretty much exactly what you would expect. The magnet goes on the moving portion of the door or window, while the sensor goes on the door or window frame. Opening the door or window causes the magnet to separate from the sensor, which triggers and alert on the security system. We think that the Honeywell 940 is a great sensor, and we give it a perfect 5-Star score.

Sometimes the best sensors are the ones that are the most straightforward. And that is clearly the case with the Honeywell 940. It is a very compact sensor, which means that you are unlikely to notice it on the door or window. It allows for a surprisingly large magnet spacing gap of 3/4", which is 50% larger than the standard 1/2" gap that most door and window sensors provide. The necessary mounting hardware for the sensor comes included, so you will have no trouble getting started with the Honeywell 940. We also like the fact that a cover hides the resistor for the resistor. This helps to maintain aesthetics.

The downsides for the Honeywell 940 are pretty standard. As a hardwired door and window sensor, you will need to run a wire from the panel to the sensor. This may be a bit tricky if you are not used to wiring. But that comes with the territory when setting up a wired alarm system. The fact that this sensor is Form A could be considered a small downside, as it will not allow Normally Open (NO) wiring. But really, these downsides are extremely minor, and honestly, they are to be expected from a basic wired door and window sensor like the Honeywell 940. This simple and effective sensor will serve your home or business quite well for a very long time. It gets a well-deserved 5-Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Compact, 3/4" Magnet Spacing Gap, Mounting Hardware Included, Cover for Resistor

Bad: Requires Wiring, Form A

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 5809SS - Wireless Fixed Temperature/ROR Heat Detector

Good Heat Sensor
Submitted on 09/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 5809SS is a wireless fixed-temperature and rate-of-rise heat detector that operates at 345 MHz. This makes it compatible with systems like the Honeywell Lyric, the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, the Honeywell VISTA Panels (added receiver required), the 2GIG Panels, and the 345 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The sensor is great for locations where installing a conventional smoke detector may result in false alarms. This can include a kitchen, garage, or attic with excessive dust. Overall, the Honeywell 5809SS is a simple, yet effective heat sensor. It gets a 5-Star score from Alarm Grid.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell 5809SS. Perhaps the biggest positive attribute is the fact that this heat sensor supports both fixed-temperature and rate-of-rise detection. This helps to ensure that the sensor will respond quickly to a fire. The sensor can be readily used in locations where smoke might regularly be present, making it a great alternative to a conventional smoke detector. We also like the fact that this sensor has tamper detection to alert the system if someone removes it from the base.

There are some downsides to the Honeywell 5809SS that should also be considered. As is the case for many standalone heat sensors, the 5809SS is considered a "one-and-done" device. Once it is activated, it will no longer work, and it must be replaced. This doesn't exactly lead to good product value. But even if you don't allow the Honeywell 5809SS to activate from high temperatures, you will still need to replace its CR123A battery on a three (3) to five (5) year basis. We are also disappointed by the fact that the Honeywell 58099SS does not have a built-in sounder. You will be relying on the panel or an external siren to alert building occupants during a fire. While none of these downsides are unusual for a wireless heat sensor, they are still important to consider. But none of these aspects are major deal-breakers, and we can still give the Honeywell 5809SS a 5-Star rating.

Good: Fixed Temp & RoR, Use in Locations Not Suitable for Smoke Detectors, Tamper Detection

Bad: One-And-Done, Limited Battery Life, No Sounder

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 5814 - Wireless Small Door Sensor and Window Sensor

Very Compact Sensor
Submitted on 09/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 5814 is a discontinued door and window sensor. The sensor operates at a wireless frequency of 345 MHz, making it compatible with the Honeywell Lyric, Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, Honeywell VISTA Systems with added wireless receiver, 2GIG Panels, and more. It was marketed as being a small and compact sensor, and it certainly fits that bill. While this isn't the most powerful sensor around, the Honeywell 5814 is still a decent option for users who just need a basic wireless sensor, provided that they can find a used model somewhere. We give the Honeywell 5814 a 5-Star rating.

The main thing to like about the Honeywell 5814 is its small size. The sensor is small enough that it goes virtually unnoticed on a door or window. This can be important for users who are looking to maintain aesthetics. The fact that this sensor includes a tamper switch is a nice touch, as that will alert the system if someone tries to open up the sensor. As a Honeywell product, the Honeywell 5814 has a nice build quality, which also has to be seen as a positive attribute.

But there are some negatives regarding the Honeywell 5814 that should not be ignored. First and foremost, the sensor is discontinued, so you are unlikely to find it new. A used model should still work fine though. The sensor has a very small wireless communication range, as it is only capable of transmitting signals roughly 100 feet. This isn't a deal-breaker if the sensor is being used near the system, but you should still keep it in mind. The magnet spacing gap between the sensor and magnet also leaves much to be desired, as it is only rated at half an inch maximum. The fact that this sensor uses an unusual CR2430 battery must also be considered a downside, as you may have trouble finding one. While these downsides are important, we still give the Honeywell 5814 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Very Compact Size, Tamper Switch, Good Build Quality

Bad: Discontinued, Limited Wireless Range, Small Magnet Spacing Gap, Unusual CR2430 Battery

Bottom Line: 5 Stars