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Honeywell Vista 20P and Alarmrelay.com

242 69 August 9, 2017 at 05:13 PM
Hi,

Learned quite a lot from my previous alarm related thread and would like to find out more specifically about the Honeywell Vista P20 and Alarmrelay integration. I was given these 3 options by alarmrelay:

Cbat $179 + $60 one time fee and $17/month (not sure why pick this one since price is really close to IGMFlex but does not offer home automation)

IGMFlex $179 + $60 one time fee and $20 month (seems to be a more complete solution with home automation (zwave) and other features)

Landline $35 one time fee and $8.95/month (I don't have a land line and the cost of one nowadays will be for ATT $3/m +10c a minute + running a cable to alarm box won't be simple/clean install since they are different floor plus i don't know how many call the alarm will make on a monthly basis)

wifibat $139 + $60 one time fee and $14/month (leaning toward this one at the moment cause offer phone apps with some functionality assuming everything will end up working together nicely in my case)

Now i found this fourth option that seems to work specifically for the Vista model:

http://www.eyezon.com/?page_id=176 (no clue how does it compare to Wifibat and I won't be able to use it if it requires a Cat5 to connect to it)

I do have a nest and zwave/schlage front door lock but controlling everything through one system/app is not a requirement for me at this time unless i'm missing a very important point. I just want to get the basic alarm monitoring going for the insurance and buy myself some time to revisit the entire alarm setup for future upgrade down the road.

Which alarmrelay solution is best when it comes to features and price point? or, should i shop around for another company? Alarmrelay do charge the full year upfront and will mostly not provide a refund if you cancel and, unless you notify them 30 days in advance will automatically renew your contract at possibly an higher price.

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Quote from Local2k
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Hi,

Learned quite a lot from my previous alarm related thread and would like to find out more specifically about the Honeywell Vista P20 and Alarmrelay integration. I was given these 3 options by alarmrelay:

Cbat $179 + $60 one time fee and $17/month (not sure why pick this one since price is really close to IGMFlex but does not offer home automation)

IGMFlex $179 + $60 one time fee and $20 month (seems to be a more complete solution with home automation (zwave) and other features)

Landline $35 one time fee and $8.95/month (I don't have a land line and the cost of one nowadays will be for ATT $3/m +10c a minute + running a cable to alarm box won't be simple/clean install since they are different floor plus i don't know how many call the alarm will make on a monthly basis)

wifibat $139 + $60 one time fee and $14/month (leaning toward this one at the moment cause offer phone apps with some functionality assuming everything will end up working together nicely in my case)

Now i found this fourth option that seems to work specifically for the Vista model:

http://www.eyezon.com/?page_id=176 (no clue how does it compare to Wifibat and I won't be able to use it if it requires a Cat5 to connect to it)

I do have a nest and zwave/schlage front door lock but controlling everything through one system/app is not a requirement for me at this time unless i'm missing a very important point. I just want to get the basic alarm monitoring going for the insurance and buy myself some time to revisit the entire alarm setup for future upgrade down the road.

Which alarmrelay solution is best when it comes to features and price point? or, should i shop around for another company? Alarmrelay do charge the full year upfront and will mostly not provide a refund if you cancel and, unless you notify them 30 days in advance will automatically renew your contract at possibly an higher price.
I'd go for something cellular and not wifi or ethernet based. That will be far more reliable. Dual path is fine.

The "home automation" solutions offered by various alarm companies are generally lackluster. You're better off buying something like SmartThings in my opinion.

eyezon is self monitoring, it just alerts you not anybody else. No insurance discount with this.

Either the CBAT or IGM will work fine with alarm relay.

The alternative is a different monitoring company like geoarm.com Which has a smaller setup fee and sells the communicators for less. All of the cellular options nickle and dime you a bit, the option to arm/disarm remotely will cost you more as will the ability to bypass zones remotely.

http://www.geoarm.com/wireless-ce...oring.html
choose the type of monitoring to see the cost and then get a communicator that's compatible with that service.

You might want to check, AlarmRelay's price might include someone coming to your house to hook it up as opposed to DIY with some hand holding or they may offer that at additional cost I don't remember.
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#3
Thank you Jkee, i looked at Geoarm and don't understand the value/difference between the "AlarmNet Cellular Basic Interactive Alarm Monitoring Services No Contract @ $18/month",and the "Honeywell AlarmNet Dual Path Monitoring Service No-Term Contracts from $18/month" both with the "GEOARM® Setup: $1.00" ?

Do you know what type of communicators i should get? I didn't find them on their site.

You are so right that they get you for each additional options, what do you get with the zone monitoring feature?

Alarmrelay will not send a tech and will do everything over the phone so the Geoarm option will work as well. If connecting a communicator to my vista 20p is not rocket science, then i think i can handle doing the programming with a tech over the phone
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Thank you Jkee, i looked at Geoarm and don't understand the value/difference between the "AlarmNet Cellular Basic Interactive Alarm Monitoring Services No Contract @ $18/month",and the "Honeywell AlarmNet Dual Path Monitoring Service No-Term Contracts from $18/month" both with the "GEOARM® Setup: $1.00" ?

Do you know what type of communicators i should get? I didn't find them on their site.

You are so right that they get you for each additional options, what do you get with the zone monitoring feature?

Alarmrelay will not send a tech and will do everything over the phone so the Geoarm option will work as well. If connecting a communicator to my vista 20p is not rocket science, then i think i can handle doing the programming with a tech over the phone
The difference between them is just what communicator is required as far as I know.

zone monitoring isn't the right phrase, the more expensive tiers offer zone control meaning you can bypass zones on your phone.

The "dual path" ones may be counting on a wired ethernet connection. Cellular only works just fine.

Here's the dual path Total Connect communicator:
http://www.geoarm.com/igsmv4g-tc2...t-2-0.html
This also includes a chip you replace on the vista panel to upgrade it's software.

There are a couple cellular only models to choose from that also include the upgrade chip:
http://www.geoarm.com/gsmv4g-tc2-...nnect.html
http://www.geoarm.com/gsmx4g-tc2-...cator.html
http://www.geoarm.com/cdmax4g-tc2...cator.html
(the cheaper ones rely on the panel's batter the more expensive on has it's own backup battery, either is fine)

Here are the ipdatatel communicators:
http://www.geoarm.com/ipdatatel-d...ators.html
http://www.geoarm.com/ipdatatel-c...ators.html

You can get a 6160 alpha keypad on ebay for $45-70.

If any of your current keypads is a 6150RF (if you pop it off the wall with a screw driver you should see the model on the back) it has a wireless receiver in it and you'd need a 6160RF for that location. If you don't have any wireless sensors or keypads, you could add a 6160RF if you wanted to. Here's one that includes keyfobs: http://www.ebay.com/itm/6160RF-Fi...2332735400

The other thing your alarm needs is to have all the exposed bare twisted wires replaced with a proper connector like this: https://www.amazon.com/100pcs-Cri...005IKCLPO/

Read the manuals for everything and watch instructional videos on youtube.
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You are really great help and i appreciate your insights. So i'm ready to sign up with Geoarm and if i go with this communicator [geoarm.com] and get the chip upgrade so that i can use the total connect 2.0 on my phone, I can then arm and disarm the alarm directly from the apps among other things, is that correct? For my wife and kids, it will be a lot easier to use their cell than to deal with a Fob or keypads.

In that case, beside the initial setup that will be more painful with the old numeric keypad, i 'll not need to touch those keypads at all on an ongoing basis, right? Both keypads are 6148.
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Last edited by Local2k August 10, 2017 at 01:17 PM.
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You are really great help and i appreciate your insights. So i'm ready to sign up with Geoarm and if i go with this communicator [geoarm.com] and get the chip upgrade so that i can use the total connect 2.0 on my phone, I can then arm and disarm the alarm directly from the apps among other things, is that correct? For my wife and kids, it will be a lot easier to use their cell than to deal with a Fob or keypads.

In that case, beside the initial setup that will be more painful with the old numeric keypad, i 'll not need to touch those keypads at all on an ongoing basis, right? Both keypads are 6148.
Interacting with the keypad is actually faster than getting your phone out, unlocking it, opening the app, issuing a command, and waiting for the system to respond. Also if the keypads are in good locations simply glancing at it to see what's open is a lot more convenient. If you go for a 6160V or 6160VADTP (adt branded but doesn't matter), it can talk and tell you what's going on (search youtube). The VADTP model supports proximity tags, but key fobs are easier.

If you want convenience, buy the 6160RF bundle with keyfobs for $99 on ebay that I linked to.

You have to be very careful when you power down the system, remove the battery and attempt to replace the chip on the board. Those PLCC sockets can be a real PITA and you don't want to damage it. There's actually a special tool you can buy that helps if you want.
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Understood, just bought this 6160VADT [ebay.com] here [ebay.com] to replace the 6148 downstair at the garage door and the 6160RF [ebay.com]you recommended to replace the other one near the front door. I'm also getting the Crimp B Wire [amazon.com]Connectors to redo the connection properly as well..

Today i'll order the communicator [geoarm.com] along with the AlarmNet Cellular Alarm Monitoring w/Basic Interactive Total Connect App - GEOARM Security® [geoarm.com] (weird that they charge $17.34 to deliver the communicator only and that it will take 10 business day to be delivered!)

Could you please point me to the tool you are referring to upgrade the chip? Once i place the above order with Geoarm, is there anything else i'll need?
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Understood, just bought this 6160VADT [ebay.com] here [ebay.com] to replace the 6148 downstair at the garage door and the 6160RF [ebay.com]you recommended to replace the other one near the front door. I'm also getting the Crimp B Wire [amazon.com]Connectors to redo the connection properly as well..

Today i'll order the communicator [geoarm.com] along with the AlarmNet Cellular Alarm Monitoring w/Basic Interactive Total Connect App - GEOARM Security® [geoarm.com] (weird that they charge $17.34 to deliver the communicator only and that it will take 10 business day to be delivered!)

Could you please point me to the tool you are referring to upgrade the chip? Once i place the above order with Geoarm, is there anything else i'll need?
Here's an ebay search for a plcc extractor: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_...r&_sacat=0
You can get by sometimes with eyeglass screw drivers, heavy paper clips, curved metal picks but a tool like this should be easier. You have to be careful not to damage the socket, take your time panel also must be powered down.

You don't have to replace both keypads, it's certainly fine to do that. You should know that the 6160VADTP and 6160V are physically a lot larger than the normal 6160 keypad. You should be able to find the specs. Just something to be aware of. Also note you can only have 1 RF receiver weather it's in a keypad or in the cabinet for the entire system.

The alpha keypads are a lot more user friendly, but you'll have to program the text zone descriptions.

You can crimp those b connectors with a pair of lineman's pliers.

You'll want to read the actual installers manual (note: many of the manuals are for older panel versions, a lot of things are the same but a few things have been added to the newer ones), but youtube videos are very helpful for programming.

To install the new keypads, power down the system (disconnect ac adapter and battery, power it back up and hold the 1 & 3 keys on the keypad for about 3 seconds within 60 seconds of power up (see keypad manual). Note the address of your current keypads and then set the new keypads to the same address as the old ones.

Here's what I'd suggest you do:
Power down, properly crimp the twisted wires
Power up, get keypad addresses
Power down swap keypads
Power up set addresses
Power down and swap the chip
Using a big screwdriver and hammer punch a knockout out of the top or side of the metal cabinet for the communicator. Attach the communicator to the cabinet
Follow the directions to wire up the communicator, this will involve twisting several wires together and putting them under a screw terminal.
Power up, verify basic functions (you didn't break anything yet)
Program some zone labels
Program key fobs (I suggest using high security mode which is a few extra steps)
Program communicator

Main things you may need would be a pliers, screwdrivers, hammer, and wire stripper
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Last edited by jkee August 11, 2017 at 05:20 PM.

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Thanks for the link to the tool, back in the days i swapped CPUs on my PCs so it seems to be very similar. I didn;t realize for the size difference of those 2 pads, thanks for the heads up. When you say "you can only have 1 RF receiver weather it's in a keypad or in the cabinet for the entire system." I don't think i already have one in the cabinet and will rely on the 6160RF receiver.

I found out that because my chip is V 9.12 it is not necessary o order the TC2 version of the communicator but just a regular gsmx4. Is the remote app like TC2 really useful/reliable/needed?
Once i got all the equipment on hands, i'll definitely follow all the steps you described above, Thank You!
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Thanks for the link to the tool, back in the days i swapped CPUs on my PCs so it seems to be very similar. I didn;t realize for the size difference of those 2 pads, thanks for the heads up. When you say "you can only have 1 RF receiver weather it's in a keypad or in the cabinet for the entire system." I don't think i already have one in the cabinet and will rely on the 6160RF receiver.

I found out that because my chip is V 9.12 it is not necessary o order the TC2 version of the communicator but just a regular gsmx4. Is the remote app like TC2 really useful/reliable/needed?
Once i got all the equipment on hands, i'll definitely follow all the steps you described above, Thank You!
PLCC sockets are very different from sockets for CPUs. CPU sockets require practically zero force and are very fragile. This chip will probably require a few pounds of pressure.

I didn't think you'd posted the panel version so I just linked to the one with chip for an extra ~$10. I don't remember what's needed version wise, this isn't actually something I do very often. Look at reviews for apps and contact geoarm and see what they suggest. You may also want to look here: http://shieldlab.com/forum/index.php
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#11
Just talked to Geoarm and they recommended the $18/m plan with Gsmx4 communicator, they said it will work with my current panel and the Total Connect apps. The shieldlab.com is an excellent resource,this section is dedicated to Honeywell Vista http://www.shieldlab.com/forum/in...d,5.0.html . Will do some more reading then finish ordering everything.

Once again, Thank You!
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