Reviews

Honeywell 4229 - 8 Zone Wired Expansion Module with 2 Relays

Nice Expansion Module w/ Relays!
Submitted on 08/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 4229 is an 8-zone wired expansion module with two (2) relay outputs. This is a great device to use if you need to add support for additional wired zones to your system, while also adding two extra programmable relay outputs. It is very common to run out of wired zone inputs on a Honeywell VISTA System, so being able to add more with a device like the Honeywell 4229 can be very important. Overall, this is a very useful device with many practical applications. We give the Honeywell 4229 a 5-Star rating.

We have many positive aspects to discuss regarding the Honeywell 4229. The largest benefit is that the module provides eight (8) additional wired zone input terminals for the VISTA System so that the user can add more wired sensors. The two (2) relay outputs are also nice if you need to support a relay-triggered device, such as a siren or a strobe light. Included with the Honeywell 4229 are 2k ohm resistors. The resistors are important for letting the system know if someone tries to cut a sensor from the line.

There are a few downsides to the Honeywell 4229, but they are mostly minor. It is important to understand that the Honeywell 4229 doesn't technically increase the number of zones on a panel. It only adds additional zone input terminals so that more hardwired zones can be used. But you must still keep the total zone limitation for the panel in mind. Life-safety sensors, such as 2-wire smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors, should not be used with the Honeywell 4229, thereby representing another limitation. While resistors are included, wiring is not, so you must provide your own. The module draws some power from the panel. Specifically, it uses 30mA while the relays are inactive, and 100mA with active relays. And that does not include any powered sensors you might have connected with the Honeywell 4229. But really, these downsides aren't anything too serious. They do not stop us from rating the Honeywell 4229 with 5 Stars.

Good: Provides 8 Wired Zone Inputs, 2 Relay Outputs, Includes Resistors

Bad: Doesn't Actually Add More Zones, Does Not Support Life-Safety Sensors, Wiring Not Included, Draws Power From Panel

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG2W - Dual In-Wall Dimmer Starter Kit w/ Smart Bridge

Useful Lutron Starter Kit!
Submitted on 08/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Lutron Caseta P-BDG-PKG2W is the Lutron Dual In-Wall Dimmer Starter Kit. This kit provides a solid foundation for a user to get started with Lutron Smart Lights. The bundled kit includes a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, two (2) in-wall dimmer switch modules, two (2) Pico Remote devices, two (2) mounting wall plates for the in-wall switches, and two (2) mounting pedestals. While you will likely be wanting to expand upon this initial setup to integrate your entire home or office with Lutron, this kit can get you off to a very good start. Or if you are only looking to set up smart lighting for a couple of rooms, then this might be all you need. We think this is a very useful product, and we give it 5 Stars.

Like any good Lutron Starter Kit, this bundle includes a Lutron Smart Bridge so that you can start building a network of Lutron devices. Every Lutron device communicates through the bridge, so it is arguably the most important component of the setup. This particular Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge is great if you want to use Lutron lighting devices with Apple HomeKit. We often recommend Lutron for users of the Honeywell Lyric, as that system offers a great HomeKit integration. The in-wall dimmers and Pico Remotes included with the kit all work great, and they offer a strong build quality.

There are not many downsides to the Lutron Dual In-Wall Dimmer Starter Kit. The biggest drawback is that the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge doesn't really have any way of directly interfacing with popular interactive service platforms for security systems. The Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge PRO supports an Alarm.com integration, but the PRO model isn't included in this kit. Range can be a concern with the Pico Remotes, as they will typically only work from up to 30 feet away when used inside of a building with typical obstacles. Open air range is 60 feet, so your mileage may vary. And while this is a good starter kit, it won't really allow you to integrate an entire building with Lutron. Additional hardware will be needed if you are trying to create a large network of smart lighting. But these downsides are rather minor, and they do not deter us from giving the Lutron Dual In-Wall Dimmer Starter Kit 5 Stars.

Good: Lutron Smart Bridge, HomeKit Integration, Reliable Performance, Good Build Quality

Bad: Cannot Interface Directly w/ TC2 or ADC, Range Concerns, Additional Equipment Needed for Large Network

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Linear PS15EMZ5-1 - Z-Wave Plug-in Appliance Module

Useful Plug-In Module
Submitted on 08/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Linear PS15EMZ5-1 is a plug-in Z-Wave module that essentially allows you to add a connected device to a smart home network. The plug-in module can support a maximum resistive load of 1800W, or a maximum incandescent load of 600W. When you enroll the PS15EMZ5-1 with your Z-Wave network, you will be able to control the device remotely from a compatible automation platform. This is great if you have access to a service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. You can also include the unit with Z-Wave smart scenes to have the device activate automatically based on a schedule or with certain system events. Overall, we really like the Linear PS15EMZ5-1, so we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many aspects we appreciate about the Linear PS15EMZ5-1. For one, it is a Z-Wave Plus device. This means that it will offer superior range over classic Z-Wave devices when used with a Z-Wave Plus controller. The module features a pass-through outlet in addition to the Z-Wave controlled outlet. This can really come in handy if you have a lot of electrical devices in the area that need to use an outlet. There is an LED light on the module to indicate load intensity. This is very useful for determining if you are close to approaching the device load limit.

There are not many downsides regarding the Linear PS15EMZ5-1. One issue is that is a somewhat bulky module, and it will cover up other outlets if used on a standard power strip. If you have the device plugged into a wall outlet, then you will want it on the bottom outlet so that it does not cover up an unused outlet. The load limits on the device are quite generous, but they can become an issue if you are trying to use a high-powered device. Really, these downsides are quite minor, and they do not stop us from awarding the Linear PS15EMZ5-1 a 5-Star score.

Good: Z-Wave Plus, Pass-Through Outlet, LED Light

Bad: Bulky, Load Limits

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

WeBoost 470101 - Home 4G LTE Cellular Amplifier

Great Cellular Amplifier!
Submitted on 08/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The WeBoost 470101 is a cellular amplifier that boosts LTE cellular signals to ensure reliable connectivity. The module will boost the cell signal for any device used in the vicinity. It isn't just for a security system that uses a cellular communicator, as it will also boost the cell signal for a personal phone or any other device using LTE cellular communication. This makes the WeBoost 470101 extremely versatile. However, the high price-tag may be off-putting for some users. Still, this is a great cellular amplifier if you need to increase the signal strength for your security system, as well as other cellular devices in your home. We give the WeBoost 470101 LTE Cellular Amplifier a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the WeBoost 470101. For one, the unit boosts the cellular signal for every LTE cellular device in the area. It can be used with multiple cellular devices at once. Many users who have trouble getting good cellular reception on their phone will use a cellular amplifier, and they can really achieve some great results with this unit. We offer the device with security systems in mind, but you really might use it for a number of different applications. Another benefit of the WeBoost 470101 is that it works with nearly any cellular service provider, including AT&T and Verizon. This is important, as you won't need to worry as much about compatibility.

There are not many downsides regarding the WeBoost 470101. One issue is that it only boosts LTE cellular bands. It cannot be used with older 3G or CDMA cellular signals. Older cellular networks are going to be discontinued in the coming years, so this really isn't a big issue. But only try to use the WeBoost 470101 Cellular Amplifier with your alarm system after you have upgraded to LTE. And if you have a phone that connects with a 5G network, then don't expect it to boost 5G signals. Another downside to the module is its high cost, which can deter some users. And there is also the fact that the WeBoost 470101 will only boost the signals for devices that are within its range. Therefore, your entire house may not be covered if you have a larger home. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the WeBoost 470101 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Boosts Signals For Multiple Devices, Extremely Versatile, Works w/ Most Service Providers

Bad: LTE Only, Expensive, Devices Must Be In Range

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Altronix 6062 - Multifunction Timer Relay

Great Relay w/ Timer!
Submitted on 08/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Altronix 6062 is a relay module that includes a built-in timer function. It is used to activate another device when a certain action occurs on the system. For example, the relay might trigger a power supply to activate a siren when an alarm occurs on the system. The integrated timer function is a nice feature for the device, as it will deactivate the device after a set amount of time. One practical application of this feature is with a siren. The relay timer can override the system's bell timeout and tell the power supply to cut power to the siren either before or after the regular system bell timeout expires. We really like the Altronix 6062 as a timed relay, so we give it 5 Stars.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Altronix 6062. For one, it offers a power input option of 12VDC or 24VDC to accommodate a greater number of devices. The timer is an obvious positive attribute, as it offers the ability to stop operation for the connected device after a set period of time. For instance, the relay will tell a power supply to stop providing power to a connected device after the set time duration. The timer can be adjusted for 1 second to 60 minutes for greater flexibility. The relay offers multiple trigger options including positive DC voltage, dry contact closure, and removal of contact closure.

There are not many downsides regarding the Altronix 6062. As a relay device, it can't really do anything on its own. It must be used with a connected device. Wiring is not included with the Altronix 6062, so you will need to provide your own. The device draws some current from the panel, specifically, 40mA when active and 3mA in standby mode. But really these downsides are extremely minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Altronix 6062 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Power Input Option, Timer, Multiple Trigger Options

Bad: Must be Connected to Device, Wiring Not Included, Draws Current

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG DW30-345 - Outdoor Wireless Door Sensor

Excellent Outdoor Sensor!
Submitted on 07/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG DW30-345 is a wireless outdoor door and window contact sensor that operates at the 2GIG 345 MHz frequency. It is compatible with all of the wireless 2GIG Panels, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus 345 MHz, and the Honeywell Lyric Controller. This device is great for monitoring a fence, a gate, a barn door, or any outdoor opening. It can even be used to monitor an overhead door thanks to its large, 2-inch magnet spacing gap. Overall, the 2GIG DW30-345 is a very versatile and reliable sensor that can certainly make a nice addition to almost any security system. That is why we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects surrounding the 2GIG DW30-345. For one, it is weather-resistant and able to be used nicely in almost any outdoor environment. The large magnet spacing gap of two (2) inches is also a major benefit, as it greatly expands upon the ways that you can use the sensor. The sensor offers nice versatility as a 2GIG 345 MHz Sensor, as it can be used with a nice selection of security systems. And its ability to monitor virtually any outdoor opening must also be recognized as a positive attribute.

There are not many downsides regarding the 2GIG DW30-345. One minor issue is that it is a relatively larger sensor. This is the case for most outdoor door and window contacts, so you probably won't find a more compact option. The sensor relies on two (2) AA batteries for power, and they will need to be replaced periodically. There is also the fact that the sensor has an open air range of roughly 350 feet, and that may not be enough for certain applications. A compatible wireless repeater like the 2GIG RPTR1-345 can help overcome this issue. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the 2GIG DW30-345 a 5-Star score.

Good: Weather Resistant, Large Magnet Spacing Gap, Interfaces w/ Wide Selection of Systems, Many Potential Uses

Bad: Large Size, Relies on Batteries, Limited Wireless Range

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell CDMA-L3 - AlarmNet Cellular Alarm Monitoring Communicator

Defunct CDMA Module
Submitted on 07/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell CDMA-L3 is a discontinued cellular communicator for a Honeywell L3000 LYNX Plus Security System. This cellular communicator was able to be activated for connectivity with the Verizon CDMA Cellular Network. But with the news that Verizon is shutting down their CDMA Network in favor of their newer and better LTE and 5G Networks, it is no longer possible to activate a Honeywell CDMA-L3 for monitoring service.

But if you have a Honeywell CDMA-L3 that has already been activated, then it will continue to work until Verizon shuts down the network permanently. Also understand that if you deactivate the module for any reason, it cannot be reactivated. Anyone using a Honeywell CDMA-L3 with their LYNX Plus System for monitoring is encouraged to update to an LTE communicator like the Honeywell LTE-L3V as soon as possible. As we can no longer recommend using the Honeywell CDMA-L3, we can only give it a 4 Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Honeywell CDMA-L3. For one, if the unit has been previously activated, then it will continue to work until Verizon shuts down the associated CDMA Network. The unit allows for connectivity with Total Connect 2.0, provided that the user has an appropriate alarm monitoring plan. Since this is a cellular communicator, it provides extremely reliable connectivity with the Resideo AlarmNet Servers.

But the downsides to the Honeywell CDMA-L3 should not be ignored. The communicator can no longer be activated for new monitoring service due to the CDMA sunset. Once Verizon shuts down the network, the CDMA-L3 will be completely obsolete and stop working entirely. There is also the fact that the Honeywell CDMA-L3 has been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. With all of this in mind, we only give the Honeywell CDMA-L3 a 4 Star rating. This is largely due to the fact that it was once a reliable communicator for monitoring service. But due to evolving technology, that is no longer considered to be the case.

Good: Will Work Until CDMA Network Shutdown, Total Connect 2.0, Reliable Connectivity

Bad: Can No Longer Be Activated, Network Being Shut Down, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Interlogix Simon XTi - Wireless Security System

Better Alarm Panels Available
Submitted on 07/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix Simon XTi is an early wireless all-in-one security system that is still occasionally used. It is a relatively limited system, and it is not one that we would necessarily recommend purchasing today. The most common reason why someone encounters a Simon XTi that they are considering getting monitored is because they find an existing unit inside of a home they have purchased. It is certainly possible to take an existing Simon XTi System and get it set up for monitoring service. Often, a new cellular or dual-path communicator is all that is required. But because of the add-ons required, buying a new Simon XTi is not a very cost-effective option. There is also the fact that it is far from being the most advanced option available, and it is a fairly lackluster option in terms of system capabilities. For those reasons, we only give the Interlogix Simon XTi a 3 Star rating.

There are some positive aspects regarding the Simon XTi. The system can be easily upgraded to support cellular or dual-path communication by adding the proper module. There are even some LTE communicators available that will keep the system online well into the very distant future. Compatible 319.5 MHz wireless sensors can be auto-enrolled with the system, which is pretty convenient. And you can even use the system with the Alarm.com platform, provided that you sign-up for a compatible monitoring plan. An Alarm.com Communicator will also double as a Z-Wave controller so that you can operate automation devices locally at the panel and remotely from Alarm.com.

But the downsides to the Simon XTi should not be ignored. It is a very limited system, as it only has support for 40 wireless zones. This will be insufficient for most large homes and businesses. The touchscreen on the Simon XTi feels cheaply made, and you can certainly tell that this is a "budget" security system. And there is also the factor that Interlogix went out of business, and receiving support for the Simon XTi may become a difficult task eventually. With these downsides in consideration, we only award the Interlogix Simon XTi with 3 Stars.

Good: Upgrade to LTE, Auto-Enrollment for Wireless Sensors, Alarm.com, Able to Add Z-Wave Functionality

Bad: Only 40 Zones, Poor Build Quality, Interlogix is Defunct

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Alarm.com ADC-VC726 - Outdoor 1080P POE Mini Bullet Camera with Night Vision

Great Mini Camera!
Submitted on 07/28/2020 Alarm Grid

The Alarm.com ADC-VC726 is an outdoor mini bullet camera that is built for use with the Alarm.com platform. The camera offers a discreet, compact design, as well as 1080p recording capabilities. The camera has an IP67 weatherproof rating, which makes it suitable for use in an outdoor environment. The camera utilizes power over ethernet (PoE) technology for power. An ethernet connection is required, as the camera is incapable of connecting with a WIFI network. Overall, the ADC-VC726 is a great camera, especially for use in a commercial setting. That is why we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Alarm.com ADC-VC726. For one, it offers fantastic 1080p recording quality. The camera is only 6.1" long and 2.76" wide, making it very discreet and easy to hide in tight spaces if needed. The fact that this camera uses PoE technology for power is nice, because you only need to run one single wire for both network and power. We also like the fact that the camera as an IP67 weatherproof rating for outdoor use. It can withstand virtually any outdoor temperature, which adds upon its great versatility. And the ADC-VC726 has tremendous IR night vision capabilities, as it is rated for capturing activity from up to 95 feet away in the dark.

There are not many downsides to the Alarm.com ADC-VC726. One issue is that the camera must use ethernet connectivity for accessing an IP network. In other words, the camera cannot connect directly with a WIFI network. This is relatively common for commercial-grade cameras, but it is still a limitation nonetheless. However, you can overcome this issue by using a compatible ethernet to WIFI bridge with PoE capabilities, such as the Alarm.com ADC-W110. One other issue with the Alarm.com ADC-VC726 is that it can only be used with Alarm.com. You cannot use it with a different platform, such as Total Connect 2.0. But overall, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from awarding the Alarm.com ADC-VC726 with a perfect 5-Star score.

Good: 1080p, Compact Size, PoE, IP67 Weatherproof, IR Night Vision

Bad: Cannot Connect Directly to WIFI, For Alarm.com Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Alarm.com ADC-SEM100-CDMA - System Enhancement Module (SEM) with CDMA Cellular Communicator

Outdated SEM Device
Submitted on 07/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The Alarm.com ADC-SEM100-CDMA is a discontinued Alarm.com Cellular Communicator for Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. This device is one of many System Enhancement Modules (SEMs), which are used to connect various security system with Alarm.com and provide them with remote Z-Wave control. Having an SEM device for a Honeywell VISTA System is somewhat unique, as it will allow you to use the system with Alarm.com as its interactive monitoring and automation platform. Normally, a Honeywell VISTA System would use Total Connect 2.0 for this purpose. But if you prefer to use Alarm.com with your Honeywell VISTA, then an SEM is for you. But we do not recommend the ADC-SEM100-CDMA for this purpose. This is because it communicates across the Verizon CDMA Network, which is being shut down in the coming years. Instead, we recommend using an LTE module instead. Coupled with the fact that the communicator is discontinued, we only give it a 3 Star rating.

There are some aspects we liked about the Alarm.com ADC-SEM100-CDMA. For one, it allowed for connectivity with Alarm.com. This is a great interactive platform for controlling your system remotely. You can access the service from virtually anywhere to arm and disarm your system, check system status, control Z-Wave devices, and more. And since the ADC-SEM100-CDMA has a built-in Z-Wave controller, you will be able to build an automation network around the system. Just be aware that all Z-Wave devices will need to be controlled remotely through Alarm.com. Since this is a cellular communicator, it provides reliable cellular service when active.

But the downsides regarding the Alarm.com ADC-SEM100-CDMA should not be ignored. For one, it is discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. You shouldn't purchase a used model either, as the ADC-SEM100-CDMA can no longer be activated for monitoring service. This is because the Verizon CDMA Cellular Network is being shut down soon, and Alarm.com no longer allows new CDMA activations. If you have an existing ADC-SEM100-CDMA, then it will continue to work until Verizon shuts down their CDMA network. But once the network is shut down, then the communicator will no longer work at all. Therefore, you should upgrade to an LTE communicator as soon as possible. A good SEM device for a VISTA that uses LTE connectivity is the Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-VT-VZ. With these downsides in mind, we give the Alarm.com ADC-SEM100-CDMA a 3 Star rating.

Good: Alarm.com, Built-In Z-Wave, Reliable Cellular Communication

Bad: Discontinued, Can No Longer Be Activated, Will Stop Working Once Network Shut Down

Bottom Line: 3 Stars