I’ve been having a problem over the last 2 or so days. When I attempt to arm/disarm from my phone, I get a timeout error. Also, most of the alarm.com notifications for my system seem to be delayed in arriving (they do eventually show up). So far, I have done the following- made sure iOS and app are most recent versions. Checked that notifications from other apps are being received instantly. Is there anything else at my end I can check or is this an alarm.com issue?
Module signalling is reporting low. To troubleshoot try power cycling the panel. Unplug the transformer then the internal battery to power down completely.
While the panel is open check the module to ensure that it is firmly seated and check the antenna to ensure that it is also connected properly.
After checking, and the panel has been powered down for at least 2 minutes, power the panel back up, battery first then transformer. Once booted up, check signalling, any change?
Thanks for your response. I tried this without luck. Here’s a couple of other things that may help solve this. When I run the cell phone test on the panel the signal strength sometimes says 29/31 and others 0/31. The module is fully seated and the antenna is attached correctly. In addition, the Registration Status seems to be stuck on “trying to register”. It seems like eventually the signal goes through to lock/unlock a door from the phone but always long after the timeout error on the phone.
I’m not sure if this is pertinent but I believe there may be some work going on with a new cell tower in the area due to come online in the next few weeks. I know phones sometimes need a carrier update to recognize new towers. Is the same true for the module in the panel?
Work on cell towers in the area could certainly be causing the issue you are encountering.
Powering down the panel completely for a couple minutes and then booting back up should cause the cellular module to establish a connection and force registration with the tower.
I have reached out to Alarm.com to find more information regarding carrier issues in your area, I will post back when I find out more.
In the meantime you can try powering down the unit completely again (transformer then battery) and removing the cellular module and then re-seating then powering the panel back up completely (battery first then transformer.)
Also confirm that the antennas connected to the LTE cell module are not touching any metal or electrical cables in the wall
In addition to checking the two antennas, are you using a network extender by any chance?
I tried it again. Unplugged, battery unplugged, this time I removed the cell module and antennas. Waited 2 minutes and reversed the process. Unfortunately, no change. When registration status says registered, signal is 0/31. When it says trying to register, it is 29/31.
I did some further checking and I think the new cell tower in the area is T-Mobile so it shouldn’t affect this.
What’s my next step?
Confirmed with Alarm.com representatives that there is nothing to suggest a carrier issue in your area.
If you are not using a network extender and both LTE antenna are in use, you will want to look at the environment.
Ensure that the panel is not located on or near metal or large appliances.
Do you have a metal roof?
Ensure that the panel is located on an outer wall, not tucked in a closet or basement to ensure the best signal.
You could also move the panel around the home on battery power to see if the panel gets a better signal then where it is currently located to help rule out environmental issues in the immediate area.
No network extender here. The system has been in the same place for about 6 years now. I have not made any recent updates to it. I have not placed any new electronic equipment in the area. I have not replaced my asphalt shingle roof with a metal one.
Since it seems to have a registration status issue, is there anyway you can deregister and reregister the sim card and module with the carrier? Other than this it seems like the only other option is a new sim card or radio module. The radio module idea doesn’t thrill me because of cost and the fact that it’s not that old and we haven’t had any recent issues that could have caused a surge or something to disrupt it.
Since it seems to have a registration status issue, is there anyway you can deregister and reregister the sim card and module with the carrier?
This is done by powering down the unit completely for 2 minutes and powering back up as done above.
You module is reporting both high registration times and poor signalling.
Were you able to move the panel around the house, or even outside, on battery power to check signal strength? Did this yield the same result? If so, then its possible that there is a physical issue with the module itself.
Other than this it seems like the only other option is a new sim card or radio module.
Note that replacing the SIM card only is not possible. While they appear to be modular like many cell phones, they are not meant to be replaced separately. If there indeed is a physical issue with the module, then an entirely new module would need to be purchased.
I should have some time to move it around tomorrow. Other than that, are there better antennas available?
There are longer antennas from 2GIG, like the 2GIG-ANT5XL-GC2 which is meant for an attic run. In addition to a longer cable it has a wider blade at the end as well. It gets connected to the “MAIN” port on the cell module not the “DIV”
I have confirmed your hunch that it is location dependent (although I can’t explain why after 5+ years in this location). I took it outside and it works fine. I didn’t see the longer antenna in the Surety Store. Do I have to get it from 2GIG directly?
While we do not carry it, the 2GIG-ANT5XL-GC2 can be purchased from other vendors online although I don’t believe that 2GIG sells directly to end users.
I received my 2GIG-ANT5XL-GC2 today and it did not solve the problem. I d/c the main power, unplugged the battery power, unseated the module and reseated it, changed the antenna (attached to MAIN not DIV), waited 2 min, powered it back up battery first.
The only time it works well is when I take it out on my front porch. This means there is insufficient cell signal or the signal is not being received properly. There are no other variables since the location of this GC2 has not changed in the 6 years I’ve owned it. There’s never been a super strong cell signal but always enough to allow all to work. No electronics in the home was changed prior to this problem starting.
Let’s figure out the next step. I believe this is one of the older versions if that makes any difference. Do I replace the cell module or the GC2 panel next? A module from AT&T instead? I have to admit, this has me stumped and frustrated.
Thanks for your help.
The 2GIG-ANT5XL-GC2, with its 10ft cable, is designed so the panel can be on the wall in your living area while the antenna is in the attic. Is there a location where the antenna works well in the attic that you can run the cable down the wall to the panel?
Have you considered trying a Go Bridge for dual path IP and cellular? That should help with the delay although even if you do it we should still try to resolve the cellular communication problem.
The panel has to be on the first floor. The attic is 2 floors above so that is not a solution.
I do not want to add another variable to this issue so the GoBridge is out. I especially don’t want to be dependent on an IP which can be rendered useless by cutting a cable outside the home. This would only be a solution if my cell signal was primary and the IP a backup.
Please remember that up until 2 or 3 weeks ago there was no problem. This is not a new install. I’ve had it for 6 years in the same location. I just want a fix to return it to where it was 2 or 3 weeks ago.
From my perspective there are now only 3 possible issues:
- The cell tower- Tyler said he checked this against the cell provider list of known issues.
- The cellular module.
- The panel itself.
What do you recommend for me to be able to fix this most efficiently?
One more thing I left out of my post above: When I look at radio status on the main panel it occasionally says 0/31 on the button but the button itself is green not red. It was my understanding that the button in the Installer toolbox is only green if the signal is above a certain level. Below that level it would be yellow and below that red. Why would it display 0/31 and be green?
I completely agree that you shouldn’t depend on IP but if you’re experiencing delays dual path would help. Even if the cellular connection is great dual path makes for a better day to day experience as it’s lower latency. And dual path is more reliable than cellular alone as it increases the likelihood a signal will get through in time. But fair enough, it’s a personal preference and doesn’t address your real problem.
I agree that those are the 3 most likely causes of the problem.
There isn’t a good way to determine whether the tower is causing the problem. When we check known cell provider issues and we find a known issue in your area that’s a good indicator of the problem, but when we don’t find a known issue we can’t conclude that the tower isn’t causing the issue. The cell providers don’t always know. It’s a frustrating and difficult problem.
You can certainly try replacing the module or the panel itself. Between those I would replace the module first as it’s more likely to be the culprit than the panel and it’s lower cost but given that your signaling is good outside I think that’s a long shot.
Since signaling works fine outside your house then it seems like the signal is getting degraded or interfered with coming into your house to the location of the panel. I think the best bet, based on what we know, is to find a location in the house where the antenna works well, preferably within 10 feet of the location where you want the panel to be so you can just run the antenna there. The attic antenna does not need to go in an attic, it can go in the wall or even just on a window to help make sure nothing in the wall is interfering. Usually higher is better. If you’re comfortable drilling and sealing the antenna could even be routed through the wall and mounted outside in a IP66 plastic enclosure but that may be a bit extreme and there is the risk of a leak if not done well.
What signal strength did you see on the panel when you had it outside?
One more note on the option of replacing the module… 2GIG added support for a new LTE AT&T module (2GIG-LTEA-A-GC2) in the latest firmware release 1.19.3 but I don’t know when that module will be available.