Gc2 upgrade/replacement recommendation

Hi, I’ve been stuck with my provider and today, my 2GIG GC2 panel just decided to go dark. Nothing helped. Given that there was no warning from the panel that AC was lost and that it switched to the battery power, I am suspecting the panel is just dead outright. I’ve ordered the transformer and a battery pack, but I don’t think they are going to fix this.

It looks like I will need a new GC2 or GC3 if I don’t want to change the entire system. Since I have a TS1 unit too, I’d like to stick to 2GIG and save costs.

I have only a few z-wave devices that I don’t really care. I think the door sensors and motion sensors I have are based on 345mhz (but I am not sure).

I am attaching a few photos of my current system which includes a Verizon LTE module. However, I do not know if it is locked to one provider, probably it is.

  1. What are my options?
  2. Will I have to register my current sensors/devices after I replace the panel? I’ve stopped the online service with my provider as it was super expensive. Surety seems like a good option.

It looks like I will need a new GC2 or GC3 if I don’t want to change the entire system. Since I have a TS1 unit too, I’d like to stick to 2GIG and save costs.

TS1 only works with the 2GIG Go!Control and GC2. GC3 had its own secondary panels, the SP1 and SP2 but all 3 have been discontinued.

I have only a few z-wave devices that I don’t really care. I think the door sensors and motion sensors I have are based on 345mhz (but I am not sure)

All 2GIG wireless RF sensors are 345MHz.

I am attaching a few photos of my current system which includes a Verizon LTE module. However, I do not know if it is locked to one provider, probably it is.

Service through Surety requires an Alarm.com compatible panel as well as an unregistered, 4G LTE cellular module.

The 4G LTE module would be registered to your current provider if you have not already cancelled. You can check by entering the modules 15-digit IMEI number into this tool here to see if it is eligible for service.

If you aren’t sure how to find the module number, refer to this guide here.

  1. What are my options?

If the GC2 is working, just get the module unregistered, then you can connect to Surety service.

If the GC2 is dead, This is where it gets a bit complex (but still doable).

You would need a new panel. 2GIG only makes the GC2e series panel and the 2GIG Edge.

The 2GIG Edge does not work with the TS1. The GC2e does, but requires you to install the XCVR2 transceiver (replacing its current one). If you replace the transcveiver from your current panel into the GC2e, the new panel wont work with eSeries sensors (345 encrypted sensors from 2GIG).

Alternatively, you can get the 2GIG-XCVR2e-345 transceiver for the GC2e so the panel works with legacy and eSeries 345MHz sensors and the TS1.

The GC2 and GC3 have been discontinued, while they still work with Alarm.com, you would need to get them used/on the secondary marked most likely (some distributors may still have them new).

GC3 does not use the same cell module nor is it compatible with the TS1.

  1. Will I have to register my current sensors/devices after I replace the panel? I’ve stopped the online service with my provider as it was super expensive. Surety seems like a good option.

Sensors/devices currently paired to your panel would not typically need to be reprogrammed when signing up for service through Surety. However, if you switch panels, everything would need to be reprogrammed manually.

About our service, we are a do it yourself, Alarm.com service provider. All service and support is handled online through our website, we are unable to provide phone support, local installation, or maintenance. You can find more about how Surety works here.

Plan pricing and features can be found here. As service is offered on a month to month basis, plans can be changed at any time. To begin service, purcahse the service plan that best suits your needs. After purhcase, the website will walk you through the account creation process. Provided you have an unregistered, 4G LTE module, it takes about 5 minutes from service plan purhcase to account setup and connection.

Here you will find our General Policies and Frequently Asked Questions! Technical support can be found on our Support Site , where our technicians are always happy to help you!

Thanks for your detailed response. Very helpful. So GC3 is out. Looks like I will source a used GC2/GC2e panel from eBay for compatibility with TS1…

Good news is that the LTE module seems to be compatible with Surety - when I enter the module’s IMEI to the tool you linked, I get the following message- “Excellent! Your Verizon 4G LTE Alarm.com module can be activated!” I assume that means I can transfer this module to the new GC2 panel? Can I use this module for GC2e as well?

You mentioned about the transceiver. So, the transceiver that I have on this broken GC2 isn’t compatible with GC2e?

As I would like to save costs in replacing the equipment, I guess I will go with GC2. Any downside in doing that? I honestly did not have any issues with GC2 as all I do is arm/disarm. :slight_smile:

Lastly, what are the things in the second photo? I see a large battery, but I don’t know what the other boards are for, and whether they can be compatible with a new GC2 panel from eBay and with Surety.

Thanks again for all your help.

Good news is that the LTE module seems to be compatible with Surety - when I enter the module’s IMEI to the tool you linked, I get the following message- “Excellent! Your Verizon 4G LTE Alarm.com module can be activated!” I assume that means I can transfer this module to the new GC2 panel? Can I use this module for GC2e as well?

Based on that response, the module is unregistered and eilgible for service. That module will work with the GC2 or GC2e.

Depending on the age of the module, the new panel will need to be on firmware 1.17 or 1.19+ for compatibility. Firmware needs to be updated first before the module will work with the panel.

If firmware update is required, the 2GIG USB Firmware Update Cable and a PC are necessary.

You mentioned about the transceiver. So, the transceiver that I have on this broken GC2 isn’t compatible with GC2e?

It is, but it wont allow you to use eSeries sensors. If you get a GC2e and want to use both the TS1, existing legacy 345MHz sensors AND 345MHz eSeries sensors, you need the 2GIG-XCVR2e-345 transceiver.

As I would like to save costs in replacing the equipment, I guess I will go with GC2. Any downside in doing that? I honestly did not have any issues with GC2 as all I do is arm/disarm

Its older, discontinued and firmware updates for it dont occur very often. If you arent planning on incorporating newer devices then you should be fine.

Lastly, what are the things in the second photo? I see a large battery, but I don’t know what the other boards are for, and whether they can be compatible with a new GC2 panel from eBay and with Surety.

There was an older hardwired panel there that was taken over at some point. The board on the right is a 2GIG TAKE-345. It converts wired sensors into wireless and is likely still in use.

The board on the left is for the backup battery, it allows you to both power the TAKE-345 and have a battery backup on a charging circuit.

The TAKE-345 is a 345MHz devices and will work with another GC2 or GC2e

Again, appreciate your help. This clarifies. So, it is going to be either GC2 or GC2e with the old transceiver and LTE modules. I don’t plan to add any new sensors at the moment, so my old sensors and TS1 would work with GC2e even if I use the old transceiver/LTE I already have.

TAKE-345 is a new topic I don’t understand. The wiring inside my house was done when the house was built in 2018 and so I am not sure what hardwiring was needed when I have GC2 that would work with all the sensors wirelessly anyway? If anything, maybe the front door alarm.com camera, but no other sensors I have seem to be hardwired.

  1. In any event, is this difficult to make the new GC2/GC2e panel work with my existing TAKE-345? [[EDITS - While it was borderline illegible, there was a bit of leftover labeling on the cables and I think some of the wires are for motion sensors. The motion sensors I have show DSC logo and they do not appear to be wireless, which explains. I guess for TAKEOVER MODULE, I don’t need to worry about it as it is already wired up - I just need to try out and register the motion sensors using the serial number / port number (1-5) to pair them with GC2. Am I correct?]
  2. Regarding sensors/camera, how do I reenroll them to the new panel? Do I need to remove the sensor from the sticker and press some button, similar to how I’d do that for Blink cameras?

A quick update - fortunately, it appears the fault was with the LTE module. After I removed the module and plugged in the transformer, the panel came back online. I tried once again with the module attached, and the panel was dead again. In the process of removing the module, I lost the antenna into the drywall… so… I guess I will be using the system without the LTE module for some time… And upgrade everything if and when this system fails again.

Thanks again for all your help.

EDIT: @tyler

I spoke too soon. Since this GC2 was configured to have an LTE module, it is beeping an alert that the LTE module is missing/failing. Assuming there is no way I can fix this without knowing the installer code, what are my options?

If I purchase a new compatible LTE module and install it, can I use Surety without knowing the installer code on the panel? If not, do I need to factory reset the panel and reconfigure everything (including the sensors and the take-345) before I can use Surety? The previous installer is obviously unwilling to give out the installer code.

The firmware on this is 1.17.0.3.

I just need to try out and register the motion sensors using the serial number / port number (1-5) to pair them with GC2. Am I correct?

Yes. You can find set up instruction for the TAKE on a GC2 here:

Instruction manual for the TAKE-345 can be found here

regarding sensors/camera, how do I reenroll them to the new panel? Do I need to remove the sensor from the sticker and press some button, similar to how I’d do that for Blink cameras?

Cameras do not typically pair to the GC2, what cameras are you referring to? Only Alarm.com compatible cameras can be used with service.

GC2 programming guides can be found here:

Assuming there is no way I can fix this without knowing the installer code, what are my options?

You need the installer code to access programming. The default code is 1561.

If I purchase a new compatible LTE module and install it, can I use Surety without knowing the installer code on the panel?

Yes, but you need the Master User code (default 1111) to run a cell test. A cell test is necessary to jumpstart communication between the panel and service.

To run a cell test, navigate to Security → Menu-> Toolbox → Cell Phone Test

Thanks. I think I have a plan now. Since my firmware is 1.17, if I get a new LTE module, I’d need to update my firmware to 1.19.

  1. Would updating my firmware from 1.17 to 1.19 factory reset the panel and install an unbranded firmware with new master code and installer code? And in that case, I will have to reconfigure everything, right?
  2. I cannot tell if the panel (e.g., the insert for the LTE module) or the module itself is broken. Is there any way to confirm this without purchasing a bunch?
  3. If I somehow get the system up and running with Surety using 1.17 firmware + the old Verizon LTE module, can Surety reset the installer code without a factory reset? I think I saw a comment on this but not sure if I understood it correctly.

Thanks as usual!

Would updating my firmware from 1.17 to 1.19 factory reset the panel and install an unbranded firmware with new master code and installer code?

No. The update would not affect the panel programming.

I cannot tell if the panel (e.g., the insert for the LTE module) or the module itself is broken. Is there any way to confirm this without purchasing a bunch?

If the panel does not work with that module plugged in, but does work fine without it, it’s a pretty fair bet that the module is the issue.

If I somehow get the system up and running with Surety using 1.17 firmware + the old Verizon LTE module, can Surety reset the installer code without a factory reset?

After connecting to our service you can remotely change your installer code in our system manager tool.

None of this requires a factory reset.

You would only need to know the master user code to run the necessary cell phone test to connect it to service. This would be user code #1 associated with the primary panel user (probably the code you use to disarm)

I’ve finally managed to purchase a new LTE module as well as an easy updater tool from eBay. I was able to update GC2 to 1.19 just fine but I was unable to install a new LTE module… because the seller shipped an empty box, lol. Filed a report with eBay.

Anyway, turns out my TS1 is already on version 1.16 which seems to be the latest. It has my old provider’s banner on the bottom, but it communicates with GC2 just fine. Do I need to flash unbranded 2GIG 1.16 on TS1 or can I skip this as I am already on 1.16. I plan to sign up with Surety once I get a new LTE module so I would like to know if everything is good.

By the way, I was wondering if Surety could provide me with TS1 1.16 firmware that can be flashed with the easy updater tool instead of the firmware for direct flashing. That way, maybe I can flash an unbranded firmware just for the sake of removing the banner of my old provider. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks!!

The firmware update will not affect the logo in the bottom right, that is a separate bit of data Alarm.com can push. We can push commands to clear the logo back to the standard 2GIG one for active accounts. Until then, the logo will have no effect on functionality.

You can find firmware for the updater tool here.

Thanks the firmware you linked is 1.19 which I believe is for GC2, not TS1, right? TS1’s latest firmware I believe is 1.16. Since my TS1 already has 1.16 from the previous provider, am I correct that I do not need to update it to another generic 1.16 firmware? Thanks.

Also, for whatever reason, the version you linked is 1.19.4 instead of 1.19.3.1. I thought 1.19.3.1 was the latest according to Surety website… Firmware Release Information - GC2 - Product Updates - Surety Support Forum (suretyhome.com)

1.19.4 is the latest for the GC2. The biggest difference is support for the TS2 keypad. I’ll make sure that update page gets that added.

Since my TS1 already has 1.16 from the previous provider, am I correct that I do not need to update it to another generic 1.16 firmware?

Correct, there’s no need to reflash. There aren’t multiple 1.16 versions, they are the same version.

Thanks. Should I consider upgrading the panel from 1.19.3.1 to 1.19.4 if I have TS1 only that’s on v. 1.16? Any other changes other than adding support to TS2? Scared upgrading this in case things go bad. Also, I assume the firmware is not upgradable through OTA update from your end?

1.19.4 also looks like it has support for future LTE modules. There is no pressing reason to update.

I would not recommend an OTA update if you have an updater tool. It is safer to use the tool with the 2GIG GC2.