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Alarm Home

Home Automation – PowerG Mailbox Sensor for your Alarm Panel with Alarm.com

December 16, 2020

When I think home automation …. I picture a futuristic scene in some space movie. I walk to a door, it unlocks automatically, it picks up some sensor on my body,  adjusts temperatures in the room, and then sends the sex robots. Although we’re quite not there, we can  stand to have some additional comforts in our life. Welcome in the Mailbox sensor.

Items you will need:

For this to work (in the way I am showing you) you will need the following.

Amazon affiliate links to the items used –

Installation:

Installation is pretty easy and essentially takes no tools. Make sure you have your contact in place where it will allow the door to close and still make contact. I applied a little 4475 glue to each and pressed them against their surfaces for a couple of minutes. Once dried its not going anywhere. In this situation I used an indoor contact ( what was available to me ). Ideally you will want an outdoor version or add some sealant to the contact itself. I’m not too worried about it.

Programming

NOTE: Adding a sensor to a panel will vary from panel to panel. The instructions here are only for the IQ2 Panel from Qolsys.

Step the first: Locate your panel and swipe down the middle drop down.


Step 2: Go into your advanced settings option and add your installers code


Step 3: Auto Learn Sensor ( Installation > Devices > Security Sensors > Auto Learn Sensor ) – Once you’re here you’re going to want to tamper the contact  ( open the contact and hit the tamper button, or just press the magnet to the contact and remove it )

Step 4 : Selecting Settings  – Things to note – Sensor Group 25, Sensor Name – Named it Mailbox, Voice Prompt is off, Chime type I have it set to High Wire but you could opt out if you choose.


Alarm.com – Push notification

Essentially you’ve added the door/window contact, or in this case the mail box contact, to the alarm panel. If someone opens the mailbox it will chime inside. If you set the voice prompts it will say MAILBOX. If you want to take it a step further you can really step up the “automation” with alarm.com.

 

 

Login to your alarm.com account. Head over to Notifications. Once in Notifications click +New Notification.

Click on Sensor Activity

Finalize your sensor Details: Make sure you select the name of your mailbox sensor ( in my example its Mailbox ) – During this time I selected at all times ( I want to know when someone opens my mailbox ), Notification Filtering I set to 5 minute ( I dont want to receive 200 messages about my mail box. So if it happens within 5 minutes don’t send me another notification. Either way I’m going to check the instant it pops ). Finally, if you add yourself as a push notification it will send you a message to your phone alerting you that someone has opened your mailbox.

 

Why did I use these items?

I used the qolsys panel as it was already available to me as well as the PG9303(Brown).  I purchased a tube of 4475 Glue years ago and it’s still going strong.

Why should YOU use these items?

Qolsys is a great way to incorporate home automation, security, and lighting control into one unit. Their PowerG frequency allows up to 1 mile (line of sight) for their wireless range. The ability to put something at the very front of my house ( as a mail box ),  have it communicate wireless and secure was extremely appealing to me.

Alarm Home

Update Qolsys IQPanel 2+ Firmware to 2.5.2

August 24, 2020

Qolsys released yet again another small patch to alleviate some lingering issues. While this update does not offer any new  and exciting features / integrations, it does help those using the 16 zone hardwired translators and improves on some communications with alarm.com

The official patch notes are as follows:

  • Improved filtering for low battery alerts when using an IQ 16z Hardwired translator.
  • Updates to broadband communication between the panel and Alarm.com.
  • Fix for reporting carrier stats to the back end for enhanced troubleshooting
  • Fixes for intermittent issues with image uploads

How to update your Qolsys IQPanel 2+

Step 1:  Advanced Settings

Go to your MAIN panel  (should be the only one unless you have a secondary Keypad). You’re going  to want to swipe down from the middle top  bring up the advanced settings menu.


Once there you’re going to want to click ADVANCED SETTINGS then enter the installers code.

Step 2: Upgrade Software

Once your installer code has been successfully been accepted you will be greeted with a similar layout with the one below. You’re going to want to click and open the upgrade software setting on your IQ PAnel2+

Step 3(a) and (b): Normal and Patch Tag installation

A) – Under normal circumstances you should be able to update your panel via WIFI using the Upgrade Using Network field. Clicking this field will communicate with the update servers and verify if there is a newer firmware version.

b) If the event you want to force a specific update, there is Patch tag. Patch tag  will tell the server you want a specific update to your panel and will bypass normal updating procedures.  If your panel is not giving  you the option to update to 2.5.2 you can do so by entering Iqpanel2.5.2  This is case sensitive.

Alarm Home

Change your Qolsys Icon on Ubiquiti

August 24, 2020

My home network was recently upgraded to a Ubiquiti style platform. While adding items I noticed my Qolsys Alarm Panels were not showing their correct icons. If you’re the type to label their network peripherals and want their correct icon then follow the steps below.

Step 1 –

Ubiquiti Dream Machine Login

Click network to open up the network side of your ubiquiti system ( the above shown is off my Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro )

Step 2 –

In your left panel you will see a few options to select. Click the Insights link

Step 3 –

You’re going to want to find something similar to the picture above. Granted you’re going to want to be 100% sure before you add your label / icon. If you have a myriad of items on your network and cant easily tell which is your Qolsys panel then I suggest you verifying of the panel itself.

Step 4 –

If you’ve found your Qolsys panel and are sure of it click the line to be brought up to item details

Step 5 –

Once in the item details you’re going to want to click ITEM DETAILS, and expand the Device Fingerprint. In the action field you will want to click Report Wrong Icon

Step 6 –

Enter Qolsys into the search field and the IQ panel will appear. Clicking Submit will push the changes over to the client and VIOLA. You have a new Qolsys IQ Panel icon on your Ubiquiti platform.