Upgrading the Z-Wave Firmware for My Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus?
In this video, Michael from Alarm Grid shows you how to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Security System. Upgrading the Z-Wave firmware is different from upgrading the system firmware. But both follow a virtually identical upgrade process. By upgrading the Z-Wave firmware, you can unlock certain features for the panel, namely the Smart Start feature and the S2 Security Protocol.
The key Z-Wave Firmware Version that you want to install on your IQ Panel 2 is Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03 or higher. This will unlock the aforementioned features. You can check or confirm your panel's Z-Wave firmware version in the About Menu of the system. But an even easier method to know if a firmware upgrade would be useful is to consider the system firmware that came installed on the panel when it was manufactured. If the system originally came with System Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher, then it is already running a high enough Z-Wave firmware version to support the features mentioned previously. But if you had to upgrade the system firmware to get on 2.4.0 or higher, then you can upgrade the Z-Wave firmware as well.
It is important to understand that upgrading the Z-Wave firmware for an IQ Panel 2 is optional. All you are unlocking is the Smart Start feature for adding Z-Wave devices by QR code and the S2 security protocol. Many users choose not to perform the upgrade, because it often requires deleting the entire Z-Wave network and then re-adding every single Z-Wave device. This can be a very time-consuming process if you have a large Z-Wave network. It is sometimes possible to complete the upgrade without clearing the network, but it can cause instabilities, so deleting first is usually recommended. Since this can be very annoying, many users will simply choose not to upgrade, and just use the regular S0 security protocol and live without the Smart Start feature, which is rarely used anyway.
Hi, DIYers. This is Michael from AlarmGrid. And today I'm going to show you how to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware for your Qolsys IQ panel 2 or Qolsys IQ panel 2 plus security system. Now the first thing I want to make clear is that the Z-Wave firmware is actually different than the system firmware. If you do a system firmware upgrade, it won't upgrade the Z-Wave firmware. You upgrade this separately. Now the key number to hit here, the key firmware that you want to hit because you get some new features that come with this, is Z-Wave firmware version 6.81.03. Again, that's Z-Wave firmware 6.81.03. Now what you get at this Z-Wave firmware version, you will actually upgrade the Z-Wave security protocol to S2, which is just a little bit more secure than the original security protocol used with the system. You won't notice any real changes because of this, but it is something that can be a good piece of mind to know that your Z-Wave device, your automation devices are a bit more secure. The other main benefit you get is you get to use the smart start feature, which allows you to scan the QR code for compatible Z-Wave devices. The IQ DMA is an example of one. There's a few devices scattered out there that can use the smart start feature not many devices will use that feature. But it can be an easy way to add devices, rather than doing a traditional exclusion inclusion process. So that's an option. And I do want to make this clear when you do this it's generally recommended. It's not required, but it's generally recommended that you completely clear your Z-Wave network and that that's as bad as it sounds. You have to go in and remove all devices from your network and pretty much wipe your Z-Wave network clean. Meaning you're going to have to go back and enroll your Z-Wave devices after the fact. And if you have a large you have network that can be very time consuming and it's generally a pain to do. And to be honest all you're really getting from this upgrade is the smart start feature, which is handy but it's not super useful. And the STP security protocol is nice, but it's again you're just dealing with automation devices this isn't security. It's just things like lights door locks your thermostat. So if it's not on the top level security protocol it's honestly not that big of a deal. So if you have a large Z-Wave network and you don't want to do this. It's completely understandable. This is an optional upgrade. I just want to make that clear. So how you know if you need to do the upgrade? The easiest way to know if your system firmware, I'm talk about the system firmware now, was on 2.4.0 or higher when you first bought the system. Meaning you wouldn't you didn't have to do any upgrade to get to that 2.4.0. It was already at least on that firmware version out of the box brand new then your system has the appropriate Z-Wave firmware needed and you don't need to do this upgrade. If you started with a Qolsys IQ panel 2 system that was on 2.3.0 or something lower than 2.4.0 then it's on too low of the Z-Wave firmware version and you would need to do this upgrade if you wanted to unlock the smart start future and get to S2 to security protocol. And one last thing you must be on system from where 2.4.0 to get the Z-Wave firmware upgrade. So if you're not on that high of a firmware version now's a great time to do a firmware update for the Qolsys IQ panel 2 plus. This video's being shot in June of 2020 and I believe the closest is on 2.5.2 now. So it's a little bit higher firmer than what the minimum is required for this Z-Wave firmware update. We already have our IQ panel 2 plus on the highest firmware available we did an upgrade yesterday, but we haven't done the Z-Wave firmware update yet and we wanted to show you what that looks like. And I will go into programming here. So I'm at the main screen and I'm going to click the small gray bar at the top, I'm going to choose settings, I'm going to choose advanced settings, and I'm entering the installer code which is 1, 1, 1, 1. And I do want to show you the Z-Wave firmware real quick. So we can just go to about and we go to Z-Wave. And you see the Z-Wave version it's 6.51.07 and remember earlier I said, we're trying to get it onto at least 6.81.03. So our easy way firmware is not high enough yet to do the smart start feature or have S2 protocol. So what we're going to do is we're going to do the Z-Wave update now. So I'm just going back to the main screen to show you from the very beginning how to get there. And we're at the main screen, and you're going to do a patch tag process similar to how you would update the regular firmware, but in this case you're updating the Z-Wave firmware. And I also want to-- just a quick disclaimer you should have the battery fully charged, the panel should be plugged in, it should be connected with a Wi-Fi network, if that's not the case, then the update might not go through. It will take a few minutes for it to go through. We'll speed it up so you don't have to sit through all of it. But we're going to go through and do the Z-Wave update now. So we're at the main screen. We click the small gray bar at the top, we choose settings, advanced settings and we enter our installer code, that's four ones, and then we go to upgrade software, and then we click on patch tag. And now you have to enter this patch tag exactly. I had it written down here, you enter in zwave that's Z-W-A-V-E and then 681. 681 and then you can click OK. And then once I click update using the network, it's going to go ahead and do the update. OK, so we click the button and it's going to check for an update this will a brief moment. OK, it found the Z-Wave update. It says that the system is ready to be updated, and the panel will power cycle meaning it's going to reboot, shut down, and then power back on. It's completely normal. It's going to take a few minutes. So once you click OK, the updates is going to be be going through you're not going to be able to do anything with the panel during the update process. So just be patient. Go get a cup of coffee or something. And we're going to perform the update. And it did without me pressing it. So apparently it likes me enough to update on its own and it's going to go and do the update now. [MUSIC PLAYING] OK, we're back at the Qolsys IQ panel 2 plus security system now. And the reboot process completed, indicating that the update should be complete. Let's just do a quick check of that. We'll go in to programming. So press the grey bar at the top, settings, it took a few tries there, advanced settings. Enter user code. And we'll do our installer code. And we do about Z-Wave and you see that the Z-Wave firmware is on 6.8103, which is the Z-Wave firmware version that I talked about earlier. So now we should be on S2 security protocol and we should have the smart start feature let's just take a quick look to see the smart start feature. OK, we're back at the main screen will choose the gray bar at the top, settings, Enter user code. And we'll do our installer code. And we're going to go to installation, and we're going to go to devices, we're going to choose Z-Wave devices, and you see that we have the light bulb right there for the smart start feature. And we're going to be showing that feature off in a different video, but that is how you upgrade the Z-Wave firmware for your Qolsys IQ panel 2 or Qolsys IQ panel 2 plus security system. If you found this video helpful, give it a thumbs up bellow to like the video we always appreciate that and make sure to subscribe to our channel to get updates on future videos. And if you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ panel 2 or IQ panel 2 plus or about alarm monitoring in general, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we're always happy to help hope you enjoyed video. Thank you.