Reviews

Arlo Solar Panel - Solar Charger for Arlo Pro & Pro 2

Nice Solar Charger!
Submitted on 08/18/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo Solar Panel is a solar charger for the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 Security Cameras. You can use this charger and the power of the sun to charge your Arlo Cameras. This is great if you are out in the wilderness, or if you don't want to use any electricity in charging the cameras. Remember that the Arlo Cameras use rechargeable batteries, and a single charge can keep an Arlo Camera running for a very long period of time. An Arlo Camera can get a full charge in just a few hours with ideal conditions, but it will take considerably longer if direct sunlight isn't available. But the charger is weather-resistant, so you won't need to worry if you accidentally leave it out in inclement weather. Overall, this is a nice solar charger, and we give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many aspects we like about the Arlo Solar Panel. It doesn't require electricity, which is great if you are trying to cut energy expenses or do not have electricity readily available. The device is resistant against rain, wind, and snow, and it can operate in a wide range of temperatures. This makes it ideal for using outdoors. It also comes with three (3) wind brackets to help keep it secure. The device can connect either with an Arlo Camera itself, or it can connect with the battery charging station to provide power.

There are not many downsides to the Arlo Solar Panel. One issue is that the device may not work very well when it isn't sunny out. And if the conditions are not ideal, then it might take considerably longer to charge the battery than if you just use a conventional plug-in charger. And there is also the fact that the device is for Arlo Cameras only, and it likely won't work with other devices. But these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Arlo Solar Panel a 5-Star rating.

Good: Doesn't Require Electricity, Weather-Resistant, Three (3) Wind Brackets Included, Connects w/ Camera or Charging Station

Bad: May Fail When Not Sunny, May Take Long to Charge in Non-Ideal Weather, For Arlo Cameras Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell MPS80 - Surface Mount Contact with Terminals

Large Magnet Spacing Gap!
Submitted on 08/14/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell MPS80 is a commercial-grade hardwired surface mount door and window contact sensor. It uses terminals for connecting the wires from the panel. As a door and window sensor for commercial or industrial use, the Honeywell MPS80 allows for a larger magnet spacing gap of up to two (2) inches. This can really come in handy for certain applications. It can even be used nicely in an outdoor environment, provided that you use insulated wires. This is a really versatile and easy-to-use sensor that can certainly work well with your hardwired alarm system. We give the Honeywell MPS80 a 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects for the MPS80 that we really appreciate. The wiring terminals allow for easy connections, and they make the installation very straightforward. The wide, 2-inch magnet spacing gap is a major plus, as it allows the sensor to be used with a greater selection of doors and windows. We like the fact that the sensor can be used in an outdoor environment if needed. Just make sure to use insulated wiring if used outdoors. Spacers are included so that the sensor can be used with doors where the magnet and sensor are at different heights. Mounting hardware for the Honeywell MPS80 comes included.

There are not many downsides for the Honeywell MPS80. Like any hardwired sensor, you will need to run a wire from the panel to the sensor. This may be difficult for a DIY installer who isn't used to running wires. As this is a surface-mount contact, it will be visible on the outside of the door or window. This can be a minor issue if the user is concerned about achieving an aesthetically pleasing installation. But these downsides are extremely minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell MPS80 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Terminals Allow for Easy Connections, 2-Inch Magnet Spacing Gap, Can be Used Outdoors, Spacers & Mounting Hardware Included

Bad: Requires Wiring, Visible From Outside of Door or Window

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC PG9924 - PowerG 915MHz Wireless Curtain Motion Detector

Excellent Curtain Motion Sensor!
Submitted on 08/14/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC PG9924 PowerG Wireless Curtain Motion Detector provides reliable motion detection in a very specific area. This differs from a standard motion sensor that will look for activity across an entire room. Curtain motion sensors like the PG9924 are great if you only want to monitor for activity at a door opening or at a specific section of the room. With the PG9924, you get all of the benefits of a PowerG Sensor, including the exceptional wireless range and excellent wireless encryption protection. This is a fantastic sensor to get if you need a curtain motion sensor for a PowerG System. We give the DSC PG9924 a perfect 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the DSC PG9924. For one, the sensor can communicate from up to 2km away from the panel's wireless receiver when used in an open air environment, depending on the panel it is being used with. The sensor uses 128-bit AES encryption. This is military grade encryption that makes it virtually impossible for others to hack or takeover the sensor. You can adjust the coverage area to 6, 12, or 18 feet depending on preference. The sensor only has a thin line of coverage, making it ideal for monitoring a door opening, while ignoring activity throughout the rest of the room.

There are not many downsides for the DSC PG9924. One issue is that it can only be used in an indoor environment. You cannot use this motion sensor outdoors. Like any wireless sensor, the PG9924 relies on battery power, and you will need to replace the CR123A battery with a new one every few years, depending upon usage. The PG9924 can only be used with PowerG-compatible Systems, which does limit how you can use the sensor. But overall, these downsides are extremely minor, and they do not stop us from giving the DSC PG9924 a 5 Star score.

Good: Great Wireless Range, 128-Bit AES Encryption, Adjustable Coverage Area, Thin Line of Coverage, Ideal for Door Openings

Bad: Indoor Use Only, Requires Battery Replacements, For PowerG Systems Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Linear WS15Z-1 - 15 Amp Z-Wave Switch

Decent In-Wall Switch
Submitted on 08/14/2020 Alarm Grid

The Linear WS15Z-1 is an in-wall Z-Wave switch that can pair with virtually any Z-Wave controller or hub. The device supports a lighting load of up to 15A, or 1800 Watts. You must wire the hot, neutral, and ground wires from the existing in-wall switch when setting up the Linear WS15Z-1. It easily pairs with a Z-Wave hub through a traditional inclusion process. However, this is a classic Z-Wave device, and most users will want to get Z-Wave Plus devices for use with the newest Z-Wave controllers. Z-Wave Plus hubs are compatible with older classic Z-Wave devices, but Z-Wave Plus devices should be used for optimal wireless range. For that reason, we only give the Linear WS15Z-1 a 4-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Linear WS15Z-1. For one, it is relatively easy to pair with a Z-Wave controller. The device will allow for smart control of the connected lights. If you have it paired with a monitored alarm system, then you will be able to control it through an interactive automation platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, provided that such a service is included with your monitoring plan. The device has good build quality, and it can be used reliably for a very long time.

But there are also downsides for the Linear WS15Z-1. This is a classic Z-Wave device, and you won't get the same range as a Z-Wave Plus device when using a Z-Wave Plus controller. Of course, if you only have a classic Z-Wave controller or hub, then this won't really matter. Like any in-wall switch, the Linear WS15Z-1 must be installed. This isn't too difficult, but it is still a minor inconvenience. What's more annoying is that you need to connect a neutral wire to the Linear WS15Z-1. Certain newer models don't require a neutral wire, and those are often preferred by DIY users. And since some older homes may not have neutral wires set up, you may run into problems when installing the Linear WS15Z-1 in older homes. With these downsides in consideration, we give the Linear WS15Z-1 a 4-Star score.

Good: Easy to Enroll, Provides Smart Control for Lights, Control Lights Remotely, Good Build Quality

Bad: Not Z-Wave Plus, Must be Installed, Neutral Wire Required

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell 7847i-L - AlarmNet LYNX Plus Internet Alarm Monitoring Communicator

Great IP Communicator for L3000
Submitted on 08/14/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 7847i-L is an internet protocol (IP) communicator for a Honeywell L3000 LYNX Plus Security System. By adding this module to an L3000, you can get the system monitored. And if your monitoring plan includes access to Total Connect 2.0, then you will be able to control the system remotely through either a web browser or an app on your phone. This is a great way to get your L3000 System set up with inexpensive internet alarm monitoring service. Unfortunately, the Honeywell 7847i-L has been discontinued, and you are unlikely to find a new model anywhere. But if you find a used model, then it should still work just fine. We give the 7847i-L a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the 7847i-L. For one, it allows for IP alarm monitoring. The main advantage of IP monitoring is that is more affordable than cellular monitoring. This is because no cellular service charges are involved. As we mentioned earlier, the communicator will allow the system to be used with Total Connect 2.0, provided that both the L3000 System and the communicator are both on a high enough firmware. The communicator can also technically be used with older Honeywell LYNX Systems, but those older panels are not compatible with Total Connect 2.0.

There are some downsides regarding the 7847i-L. The product is discontinued, and you probably won't find a new model. There are firmware requirements to use the 7847i-L with the L3000 to access Total Connect 2.0. The L3000 must be Revision 20.1 or higher, and the 7847i-L must be 2.6.42 or higher to access TC2. As is the case with any IP-only communicator, an internet outage will take the system offline. The communicator will need to be installed inside of the panel, which may be inconvenient for a DIY user. But really, these downsides are fairly minor. Overall, we give this product a 5-Star rating.

Good: More Affordable Than Cellular Monitoring, Total Connect 2.0, Works w/ Older LYNX Systems Too

Bad: Discontinued, Firmware Requirements for TC2, Vulnerable to Internet Outages, Must be Installed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Genesis WG-11195501 - 18 gauge 4 conductor (18/4) unshielded stranded cabling, 500 foot box

Great Alarm Wiring!
Submitted on 08/12/2020 Alarm Grid

The Genesis WG-11195501 is a 500 foot box of 18-4 stranded copper alarm wiring. The term 18-4 indicates that this is 18-gauge (18 AWG) wire, that is 4-conductor with four (4) inner wires. This is the recommended cabling for most alarm system applications. Most users who purchase alarm wire for setting up an alarm system will choose between 18-gauge and 22-gauge wire. Of these two options, 18 AWG represents the thicker wire. As the thicker wire, it allows for longer wire runs, as less electrical current will be lost as it travels down the wire. But the downside is that it is slightly less flexible than 22-gauge wiring. Overall, this is outstanding alarm wire that we can wholeheartedly recommend. We give this product a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the 500 foot 18-4 wiring from Genesis. For one, this is stranded wire, which is more forgiving than solid core wiring. Nearly all DIY users will want to go with stranded cabling, and it is generally preferred by professional installers as well. With 500 feet of wiring, you will have plenty of cabling to set up a hardwired system in a home. Since this is 4-conductor wire, you won't need to double-up wire for 4-wire devices. And by going with 18-AWG, you will be able to achieve the longest wire runs.

There are some minor downsides to consider about the 18-4 wire when comparing it with other wire types. This wire is not quite as flexible as thinner 22-gauge wiring. But the difference in flexibility is pretty negligible, and you shouldn't have any trouble if you are using 18-AWG instead of 22-AWG. Since there are four (4) inner wires, you will need to leave two (2) of the inner wires disconnected when connecting 2-wire devices. Some users will just cut two of the inner wires short so that the installation looks neater. But really these downsides are extremely minor. This is fantastic wiring that you can use for many applications. And it's a good idea to keep some on-hand in case you need to do more wiring later. The Genesis WG-11195501 gets 5 Stars from Alarm Grid.

Good: Stranded Wire, 500 Feet of Wire, Longer Wire Runs Than 22-AWG

Bad: Slightly Less Flexible Than 22-AWG, Must Leave 2 Wires Disconnected For 2-Wire Connections

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Arlo VMA4410 - Rechargeable Battery for Arlo Go

Great Arlo Battery!
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo VMA4410 is a rechargeable battery for an Arlo Go Camera. The Arlo Go is a portable camera that requires a service plan from Arlo in order to be used. As this camera is portable and frequently taken places, it needs a battery to remain powered on. And that is where the Arlo VMA4410 comes into play. Some users even purchase multiple Arlo VMA4410 Batteries for a single Arlo Go Camera so that they can easily swap in a charged one if the old one runs out of power. Overall, this is a great battery if you have an Arlo Go Camera. We give the Arlo VMA4410 a score of 5 Stars.

The Arlo VMA4410 has many positive aspects. For one, it can keep an Arlo Go Camera powered on for multiple months, depending on the usage of the camera. Just charge it up, and then you won't need to worry about it any time soon. The battery is very reliable, and you can count on it to keep your Arlo Go Camera powered on. There are multiple charging options for the battery, as you can use a simple power cord or an Arlo Charging Station. The charging station is great, as you can charge two (2) batteries simultaneously.

There are not many downsides regarding the Arlo VMA4410 Battery. One issue is that the device will eventually lose its ability to store a charge, and it will need to be replaced with a new battery. And while the battery can potentially keep an Arlo Go working for many months without a charge, this time period is significantly shorter if the camera is used frequently. Another issue is that the battery is for Arlo Go Cameras only, which really limits its versatility. You cannot use it with other cameras or other electronic devices. But really these downsides are quite minor, and they do not stop us from rating this product 5 Stars.

Good: Powers Camera for Multiple Months if Used Sparingly, Reliable Performance, Multiple Charging Options

Bad: Will Eventually Require Replacement, Standby Period Depends on Camera Usage, Only for Arlo Go Cameras

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Arlo VMA4200 - Arlo Pro and Pro 2 Camera Skins, 3-Pack 2 Green 1 Camo

Useful Camera Skins
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo VMA4200 is a pack of three (3) camera skins that can fit the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 Cameras. These external skins not only change the look of the cameras, they also provide valuable protection against water, harsh sunlight, and more. They are great if you want to use your Arlo Cameras outdoors, or if you just want to change the look of your cameras. Although there really isn't much to these external skins, they work great for their intended use. Alarm Grid gives the Arlo VMA4200 Camera Skin 3-Pack a perfect 5-Star rating.

The positive aspects regarding the Arlo VMA4200 are immediately evident. These skins add a nice personalized touch to your cameras. You get two (2) olive green skins and one (1) camouflage skin. These skin options blend-in nicely with an outdoor environment, which makes it easier to hide and disguise your cameras. As mentioned earlier, the external skins provide important protection for the cameras, as they keep out moisture and harmful UV rays. The lightweight silicone material is easy to apply and highly durable. Skins can be easily swapped out if a user wants to change the look of their camera.

There are some minor downsides regarding the Arlo VMA4200 Camera Skins that should also be considered. These camera skins are for Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 Cameras only. They will not fit other cameras. If you do not like the color green, then these skins are not for you. They have a real outdoorsy look that is great for hiding and disguising the cameras, but some users might just prefer the naked white camera look. To be honest, some might even call the olive green skin "ugly". But if you do like the look then these are great camera skins. That's why we rate the Arlo VMA4200 with 5 Stars.

Good: Personalize Your Cameras, Blend-In w/ Outdoors, Protect Cameras, Lightweight Silicone, Easy to Apply, Durable, Easy to Swap

Bad: Only for Arlo Pro & Arlo Pro 2, Some Might Think They're Ugly

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG 2GMV52-A - Alarm.com Go!Control Movistar Cell Communicator

Outdated Movistar Communicator
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG 2GMV52-A is a discontinued cellular communicator for a 2GIG GC2 Security System. This communicator connects the system with the Movistar Cellular Network in Mexico. Once it has been installed and activated, the GC2 System will be able to communicate with the Alarm.com servers. This is necessary for monitoring service and controlling the system remotely. However, the 2GIG 2GMV52-A has been discontinued, and it can no longer be activated for monitoring service. This is because Alarm.com no longer allows for 3G communicator activations. And since the 2GIG 2GMV52-A is a 3G communicator, it cannot be activated. There are plenty of LTE communicators for use in Mexico that can be used instead. As for the 2GIG 2GMV52-A, we give it a 3 Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the 2GIG 2GMV52-A. For one, the cellular communicator ensures reliable connectivity with the Alarm.com servers. Cellular connectivity almost never goes down or becomes unavailable, provided that the system is receiving an adequate cell signal. Being able to connect with Alarm.com is also a nice benefit, as you can use the Alarm.com platform to control your GC2 System remotely. Alarm.com allows you to arm and disarm, check system status, control Z-Wave devices, and more.

But the downsides to the 2GIG 2GMV52-A should not be ignored. The device is a 3G Movistar Communicator. Alarm.com no longer allows 3G activations, so this communicator cannot be activated for monitoring service. And existing 2GIG 2GMV52-A communicators that have already been activated will stop working once Movistar shuts down their 3G network. Any user with an existing 2GIG 2GMV52-A will want to upgrade to an LTE communicator before that time. Alarm Grid does not offer any LTE cellular communicators for use in Latin American countries, but if you find a model elsewhere, then we should be able to activate it. The only requirements are that the communicator is LTE and works with Alarm.com. But because of these downsides, we give the 2GIG 2GMV52-A 3 Stars.

Good: Reliable Connectivity, Alarm.com

Bad: Can No Longer Be Activated, Will Stop Working Once Movistar Shuts Down 3G Network

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Qolsys QR0030-840 - Replacement Magnet for Qolsys Door/Window Contacts

Great Replacement Magnet
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys QR0030-840 is the replacement magnet for Qolsys Door and Window Contacts. This is a great accessory to purchase if your existing magnet becomes damaged or lost. While the magnet is built for use with surface-mounted Qolsys Contacts, you can really use it with almost any surface-mounted door and window contact sensor. This is a very useful replacement magnet that can be used nicely in many different applications. We give it a perfect 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Qolsys QR0030-840 Replacement Magnet. For one, the magnet is extremely versatile. Although it was built for use with Qolsys Contact Sensors, it also works nicely with most other surface mount contacts. The magnet is very easy to mount. You have the option of using either double-sided foam tape or screws to mount the magnet. It is relatively small in size, meaning that you can easily position it to fit your door or window. The replacement magnet should match Qolsys door and window sensors perfectly, which can be important for users looking to maintain aesthetics.

But there are also some minor downsides regarding the Qolsys QR0030-840 Replacement Magnet. Although the magnet can be used with contact sensors from manufacturers besides Qolsys, it might not match non-Qolsys Sensors. It can look a little awkward when installed on a door or window with a non-matching sensor. The replacement magnet is available in white only, so it won't match any brown sensors. The replacement magnet is for indoor use only, so you shouldn't use it with outdoor door and window sensors. The magnet is decently strong, but it isn't the strongest magnet out there. Normally, you will need to have it within a half inch of the sensor when the door or window is closed. Overall, these downsides are fairly minor. They do not stop us from rating the Qolsys QR0030-840 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Versatile, Works w/ Most Indoor Surface-Mount Contacts, Mount Using Double-Sided Foam Tape or Screws, Compact Size, Perfectly Matches Qolsys Sensors

Bad: Won't Match Non-Qolsys Sensors Perfectly, No Brown Option Available, Indoor Use Only, Stronger Magnets Available

Bottom Line: 5 Stars