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2Gig systems, Alarm.com and adding

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ok, I've now had two companies provide quotes (from alarm.com referrals). Both were 2Gig systems. The first guy was going to practically install everything for free and maybe I should have accepted. The monitoring cost is ridiculous. Start adding $3 to $5 for each item you "automate" and suddenly your up to $65 per month.

So the second guy slips up and says that I can add zigbee devices to my 2Gig install myself. So I asked the guy, will alarm.com know I've added devices? Will I still be able to use them via the alarm.com app? Or does alarm.com block out access to these items on the website? The guy says he doesn't think they know and you could, in fact, still use those parts of the website.

So then I'm thinking, then why would I pay you to install anything?

Can anybody verify that you can add devices and not pay the full alarm.com price?
post #2 of 25
The 2gig panels ONLY work with alarm.com. Meaning you need to purchase a pkg from a dealer who works with alarm.com for all the self monitoring features of the panel.
They are z-wave controllers and NOT zigbee. I just bought one outright from a DIY dealer, purchased monthly service under no contract at all and get all the alarm, arm/disarm notifications and zwave device control for a descent price. Nowhere near your $65/month.

I pay for the energy pkg which includes being able to operate thermostats, lighting and other features in the pkg. The one thing is, alarm.com's interface doesn't yet have options to control all the different zwave devices out there. But for security, lighting, HVAC and door locks it works well.
post #3 of 25
I should have also simply added that, NO...you can't access your additional z-wave devices via the 2gig panel outside of alarm.com...one of the downsides. But, if thats what you absolutely need then you'd be better off buying a standard z-wave controller that you CAN access. Like maybe a VERA system.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm going to PM you. I'm wanting to go the same route and would like to know who you went through.
post #5 of 25
Hey! Im not too familiar with the 2gig alarm.com panels (well. I am but have never really worked on one). However i have been able to circumvent quite a few of these "remote access" subscription packages that certain home automation manufacturers provide by setting up a simple vpn server on the network on which the equipment is installed and then connecting to the vpn remotely and thus controlling the devices "locally". Of course this will only work with equipment that allows free (non subscription/license based) local control of the devices.
post #6 of 25
I'm a tech for one of the biggest alarm.com dealers, and have worked woth go controlls for years now. This is how it works with adc, you get the base alarm package and that gives you access to the alarm, notifications etc. When you add the therm/ lamp module they unlock access to those features, and now you can add as many of those you want on your own, and zwave seitch modules, like the wall rocker switches, and all you have to do is pair them to the panel. Door locks are anoter feature that has to be unlocked, but afterwards you can add as many as you want, same with cameras.

You can pm me for details if you'd like, i dont want to push our system or anything of the sort, just thought i could help out, and i'm not a vender on the forum just a professional and enthusiast, and i'm no sales man that for sure haha but i can setup systems or at least give you a straight answer of costs and what these panels can and cant do.

What lead me here was to try an find if anyone has ever gotten third party cameras to work with alarm.com.
post #7 of 25
I have a 2Gig system and z-wave locks and lights. I love it. Until recently when 3 of my 5 z-wave switches stopped working. Well, some stopped working as in not even by touching the switch would it turn on. Some worked, but not recognized by the system, and another worked perfectly, except the 2gig panel didn't recognize it. Go figure. I'm still trying to trouble shoot it.

But to your question about video and alarm.com;
I have found a cheap way around alarm.com for video
I bought two Foscam pan and tilt cameras, with nightvision and connected them to my wireless internet. Then with a little help from the internet set them up with port forwarding. Downloaded two free apps for the iPhone and now I can look in my house when ever I want FOR FREE.
Foscam can even take still pictures when motion is captured and then email them to me.

I'm looking to get two more cameras.

I wish z-wave worked this well.
post #8 of 25
I have a 2Gig w/alarm.com service.

I do not believe you can install ZWave without the installer code. Most companies are not going to give you that code. For two reasons. They dont want you to screw it up and the alarm not work, and you blame them. And they make money installing those devices for you.
post #9 of 25
post #10 of 25
I have vivint installed some basic security and camera.
I went on ebay brought another door sensor, I have a service call one, the tech that
come in, just installed for me, and work, nothing to do with alarm.com, never call them.
the bill still the same. The only catch is vivint locked the go panel, you need to installer code to add device. If you vivint customer, you call them ask them the installer code, tell them that you want to install a device they should help you out or give you the installer code.
To add a device on the go panel is not that straight forward. I ask vivint to provide a user manual for the go panel. They didn't refuse but they told me that there is not manual for it.
The reason that they don't provide the manual, of course for obvious reason. Only their tech will have access to it I believe.
the tech that come to my house install the sensor, told me that normally vivint will charge a one time charge for installation fee, but he's don't worry about it. I never get charge for it.
I am getting few more sensor, once I get it I will have to call vivint again to give me the installer code or get a tech to come in to install it, but at the point alarm.com is not in the picture. soooo I doubted that they will raise the fee, but for certain device that is correct if they monitor that device they will have to charge. In my case vivint will charge few more buck for additional device (eg thermostate)
post #11 of 25
post #12 of 25
Not sure if you were still looking but I want to clarify some stuff here on 2GIG.

I am a professional installer for IP video, access and security/automation. I have been doing this for years, 16+. I am licensed and have my own LLC. I have installed a good amount of 2GIG and a lot of Elk M1's.

As far as avoiding 2Gig, mike5906 should have been looking at either Elk or HAI from the sounds of it. Note though that most manufactures in the security world will not help end users. One: to protect them selfs from legal actions, two: to protect their dealers. (These are security systems, imaging the law suits. . . . ) We are trained and licensed in most states for a reason. A little better research and this would have been known. 2GIG has been a fantastic product and excellent support for dealers.

Note: There are various "Authorized" online dealers for 2GIG, ELK and HAI. Be careful who you buy from! Amazon nor anyone on Amazon is NOT authorized! Same w/eBay! Be careful! Some dealers do sell on eBay and can cover the warranty, but you will need to ship it to them and they will need to send it back to the manufacture or swap it for you. Check their feed back carefully. "Grey" market purchases and you have a problem, SOL!! Check the manufactures web pages, most do list it clearly.

Elk and HAI are higher end Security & Automation systems, mostly self contained hard wire and wireless, meaning you do not need an "alarm.com" to run them or use the automation features. There are a lot of DIY'ers for Elk and HAI but these systems can be very intense and they are not recommended for beginners. They also integrate with many manufactures equipment. 2GIG is not designed for that nor intended for that. Two completly different markets. These two are also on the very high end, you do get what you pay for.

2GIG: As far as controlling thermostats, lights, appliances and door locks, you DO NOT need alarm.com for local control! If you want to turn on a light or adjust the temperature from your phone or web site you DO need alarm.com.

Example 1: When you arm the system to away mode and you want the temp to drop to 50Deg and shut off all associated lights, this can be programed in the system and NO alarm.com is needed.

Example 2: When you dis-arm the system and you want the kitchen light to come on and temp to go back to 70Deg, you DO NOT need alarm.com.

Example 3: If you wan the Kitchen light to come on at 6:00AM and the coffee maker to come on a the same time, you DO need alarm.com for that. You will need the Light and Thermostat power package with at least the "Basic Interactive".

Example 4: If you want to arm/dis-arm the system from your phone and receive basic arm/dis-arm text messages, arming reminders, you DO need alarm.com's "Basic Interactive" plan.

Example 5: If you want to know when the liquor cabinet is open, gun safe etc regardless of armed state you need the alarm.com "Advanced Interactive" package.

Example 5: If you wan to use your own cameras, as long as they are analog, you can with the alarm.com "Video" packages, per camera and alarm.com's ADC video server. If you have an IP camera, use the software app that came with the video equipment, most are free. Alarm.com can record your video also.

*Note some of these features may not be available or offered from some companies. Alarm.com does offer them regardless.

2GIG is compatible with their wireless products and Ademco/Honeywell 5800 series wireless products. Automated Outlet also has wireless devises compatible with 2GIG and adapters to run GE wireless, DSC wireless products on a 2GIG system. I can not vouch for them, I have not used them but the reviews are good. Also $60.00 retail for a Wireless Pet Immune Motion is pretty good! Ademco's are $95.00 with an 85 lb rating and the 2GIG's are $67.00 with a 50lb rating.

As far as Vivint and all of the other dealers with "Free" or very cheap alarm systems, there is a reason they lock you in for 3-5+ year contracts at high prices!!! Do the math! The system is paid for in 2 years average and it is big dollars for them in the long run. I do not do contracts, your system, you buy it and own it. Monitoring should be around $30.00 +/- per month with the cell module, alarm.com basic interactive and central station UL listed monitoring. That includes the full 48 zones on a 2GIG, panics etc. Can you find cheaper, of course! Get it in writing and do your research!!

Last, 2GIG is an excellent product and I do highly recommend it! Like a lot of stuff online do your research.
post #13 of 25
Originally Posted by Chocolyle View Post

wireless devises compatible with 2GIG and adapters to run GE wireless, DSC wireless products on a 2GIG system.

These are actually pretty interesting and I hadn't seen them before so thanks for mentioning them: http://resolutionproducts.com/products/?items_per_page=all

As for warranty, dealers always like to use this as a huge selling point but warranty is really only worth what a third-party product insurance/warranty will cost from a company like SquareTrade or your credit card company.
post #14 of 25
Chocolyle, thanks for all the great info. I have been trying t decide on an alarm company for a while now and your post has helped a lot. I just want to make sure I am clear on something though. The company is offering the 2 gig system w/the touchscreen display. It runs on a cellular signal...no phone line needed. The setup comes w/ 3 door/window contacts, 1 motion detector, and 1 key fob. I was given a list w/ several available add-ons. The system I mentioned is free w/ 3yr. contract. The monitoring seems very reasonable (under $30/mo) and I am told I will get the alarm.com app inc. in the price. The company wants $65 for ea. additional door/window contact....that seems high (actually it seems like the price for many of the add-ons are high. Guess that's where they make their $?) Can I purchase the additional contacts and install them myself or will I need some sort of code to get the keypad to "recognize" the additional sensors.
Thanks again
post #15 of 25
Wow, that's cheap for the system. Too cheap in my opinion. Make sure you check the fine print!

I charge 32.00PM with the alarm.com basic interactive plan, Rapid Response TCP/IP monitoring and weather to the panel. No phone line is needed and you can control the system via a smart phone and alarm.com's free app. Lights, thermostats and door locks are additional.

At that price though, the customer is paying for the system and paying the installation, though, no long term contract.

For a small house 3 doors are normally enough but I never understood the one motion, nor no other back up. Keep in mind the motion is bypassed in Stay Mode. I.E: When you are home the perimeter is covered but you can walk through the house. Glass breaks or contacting the windows is a recommendation.

They are charging way over retail for the add-ons to make up literally giving the system away to get the monitoring $ long term. Nothing is "free".

It is not hard to purchase and install the additional contacts, motions yourself. Programing is easy also. HOWEVER you do need access to the install programing of the 2GIG. It will be up to the company you purchase it from if they will let you.

Note: you will be signing a binding contract. Get it all in writing BEFORE you sign!!!

Personally I will not and do not do these games.

Example, the cable company does not give you a "free" TV when you sign up with them, why? An iPhone costs 600-800.00 to buy outright but with a 2 year contract is is only 100.00-200.00??
post #16 of 25
We moved into a house with an existing 2gig panel. I found the manual online and the default installer code still worked. Not sure if everyone installs them like that, but this one was.
post #17 of 25
Okay, I am trying to help, but this site , or at least the form, is terrible for logging in. mad.gif

Any who.

Zigbee is NOT compatible with 2GIG! If he said that, walk away!! Only Z-Wave is and only lights, thermostats wireless driveway sensor and some door locks. Not security items.

I would try 2GIG.com to find a local dealer. It is a great system but you absolutely need the installer code to add zones your self! No if and or but.

Back to the basics: NOTHING IS FREE!!! There is a cost to any dealer for the 2GIG system, just like with a pizza there is a cost for flour and cheese.

I charge my customers for the system that they should have for their ideal, with-in their budget, system. Period. For the customers that want a free system, call ADT, Vivint etc, there is a reason they charge so much for soooo long. This is my reputation on the line!

For the average system I put in, with at least 3 smokes* it is about $1100.00-1800.00 installed. They own it, they can do what they want with it. TCP/IP monitoring w/ the aalrm.com basic interactive and weather to the panel is $32.00PM, NO STRINGS. *In Connecticut most houses I deal with are 3 floors, basement, 1st and 2nd.

Also: DO THE SMOKES! The real discount with home owners is with the monitored smokes! Do it for your family, your self, they are cheap insurance your house may be saved AND your life!!!!!!

:cool:For Z-Wave devises here's a neat thing on 2GIG. You do not need alarm.com for local control! I mentioned this before. Arm the system and you want the lights off and temp to change on the thermostat, the 2GIG panel will do that. If you want scheduling and remote "iPhone" control, you will need to pay additional to alarm.com/dealer for it. This is on top of the basic alarm.com app. (Arm/Dis-arm, text notifications etc.)
post #18 of 25
post #19 of 25
You only have four options for motions on the 2GIG system.
Ademco 5800 Series
Resolution Products Wireless Converter
Hardwire Motion

Except for maybe a used wireless motion in the wireless realm I have not seen one cheaper than the 2GIG. Good unit can't say I have had any problems with them. Ademco units, 5800-RES etc do have a higher pet immune rating and have other features built in but are way more expensive.

Look on line for the 2GIG PIR1 for one less than $60.00 but with shipping you will probably be right around there. That is the going rate.
post #20 of 25
This happened to me.

I called the VP and said to either give me the code, or I would within an hour I'd have this thing uninstalled and laying in their lobby. Within an hour I had access to the toolbox screens.
post #21 of 25

I just had the 2gig system installed, no monthly service, can I add additional monition sensors to my control panel myself?

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
I recently went with Vivint. They came out giving me the stupid line about how my house was special because it was near the entrance to the community so they'd give me a bunch of free equipment. I bargained them so I got something like $2K worth of equipment, free install, etc. Then I bought some of the smoke alarms on the cheap and had them come out and install them for free. So far everything has worked out well.

I still plan on adding some GE light switches to be controlled.
Originally Posted by mike5906 View Post

This happened to me.

I called the VP and said to either give me the code, or I would within an hour I'd have this thing uninstalled and laying in their lobby. Within an hour I had access to the toolbox screens.

I had no problem getting the code. I actually watched the installer and memorized the code but when I had a problem and called, I was given the code without asking.

You really don't need 2Gig anymore to control most things. For virtually every solution there's now a way to control it via a home network and a phone app. Having stuff controlled to the alarm, however, does make it so that the alarm and devices can be connected to certain events (when the alarm goes off my cameras record, for example).
post #23 of 25

Ok, I have a question for all of you:


4 years ago, I got a Vivint system: Go Control panel, smoke detector, 4 door/window detectors, 2 motion detectors, 44 month contract, $45/mo. I always wanted thermostat control and home automation, but it was extra every month.


My contract expired this month, and after doing the research to switch out my cell module and go with another company, I called up Vivint to cancel.


So, They made me an offer I couldn't refuse. 36 month contract, $35/month, thermostat, garage door tilt sensor, carbon monoxide detector, door lock.


My question is, could I add my own camera, and if so, what kind, and how? I already have an IP camera I'm using as a baby monitor, but if I could use that...


Any thoughts?

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Colin C Sauer View Post

Ok, I have a question for all of you:

4 years ago, I got a Vivint system: Go Control panel, smoke detector, 4 door/window detectors, 2 motion detectors, 44 month contract, $45/mo. I always wanted thermostat control and home automation, but it was extra every month.

My contract expired this month, and after doing the research to switch out my cell module and go with another company, I called up Vivint to cancel.

So, They made me an offer I couldn't refuse. 36 month contract, $35/month, thermostat, garage door tilt sensor, carbon monoxide detector, door lock.

My question is, could I add my own camera, and if so, what kind, and how? I already have an IP camera I'm using as a baby monitor, but if I could use that...

Any thoughts?

You can always add an IP camera that can be accessed through your home router. But it would not be tied into the Vivint system. This isn't a Vivint limitation but an alarm.com limitation. In order to access your camera through alarm.com and have it tied into your alarm you need to use an alarm.com camera.

Having an alarm.com camera allows you to record images when certain things happen, i.e. the door is unlocked using a specific code or the alarm is set off. Also, the camera can be turned on and off (that is set to record) as the alarm is activated or disarmed.

You can get IP cameras that simply record clips when it detects motion (which the alarm.com camera does) which would cover most of the above instances. The only difference is that you can't set a standalone IP camera to stop recording when the alarm is disarmed. You'd have to do use some other schedule in lieu of the above.

I've elected to use the alarm.com camera. I want it tied to the alarm system. But I can easily see the attraction of forgoing the extra $5 per month and going with a free recording solution (although my guess is if you want to save to a cloud you're probably going to have to pay).
post #25 of 25

I have a 2gig alarm, my brother bought a van at auction that is full of every kind of 2 gig panels,switches and monitors you can imagine. I was wondering how I can unlock the device to add a fire alarm or two and a carbon dioxide connector. Also if its possible to add another key pad, I have a pretty good grasp of electronics and electrical diagrams. I use to install the old wired alarm systems when I was younger so any help you can give me or access to manuals would be great. feel free to email me at dicedealr2@aol.com with "Alarm" as the header. Thank you in advance for your time.


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