Just installed my GC3 system with the Verizon cell communicator. 2GIG CDMAV-A-GC3. However I’m only getting 1 out of 6 reading on the signal strength. I did not see an included external antennae included with the package…is there supposed to be one? If I find an antennae and want to hook it up to boost signal strength, do I HAVE to disconnect all power and the battery from the GC3 Unit? Or can I leave the battery in place and just use the option of changing/updating the communicator vs entering a ‘new’ one? If I disconnect AC and battery power, will I lose all my programmed sensors? Please help. Thanks
Welcome to the suretyDIY forum!
The environment around the panel can negatively effect its signalling, especially metal, ductwork or large appliances near the panel’s install point.
Have you tried moving the panel’s install location to get a better signal? Outer walls tend to work best.
This coverage check tool can help determine which carrier is best for your location.
I did not see an included external antennae included with the package..is there supposed to be one?
No, there is not external antenna included with the cell sled, it is internal.
If I find an antennae and want to hook it up to boost signal strength, do I HAVE to disconnect all power and the battery from the GC3 Unit?
The 2GIG ANT2X is compatible with the GC3 should an external antenna be required
If you are working inside the panel you will want to power it down. Unplug the power supply first, then the battery to power it down. Once done then plug in the battery then power supply. This does not wipe any programming that you may have already done.
Thanks Tyler - unfortunately the unit is already mounted on the wall where I need it to go. When I try your coverage locator link, it says verizon is ‘full’ but AT&T is “error”. Thanks for the link to the other antennae and for the info.
it says verizon is ‘full’ but AT&T is “error”.
That would indicate the AT&T coverage map responses aren’t syncing with ADC at the moment. I get the same for my address currently.
unfortunately the unit is already mounted on the wall where I need it to go
If reporting as full coverage for Verizon, that’ll typically indicate that signal strength should not be a concern in general, but this will be determined by placement as well. Generally I would look for 2/6 or better. You’ll typically want to follow your provider’s instructions regarding installation location (it looks like this is not regarding a suretyDIY subscription, correct?).
If you would rather not move the panel to test, the ANT2X can be run up into the wall and into the attic for better reception, though it’s not a guarantee, and will typically not be helpful if the home has a metal roof.
Thanks Jason - I installed it myself so I guess that makes me the “provider” and I don’t have it monitored yet. I am considering suretydiy for my monitoring along with one of your competitors. I’m sort of testing out the type of support I receive from each. So far, I’m impressed with the fact that SuretyDIY is willing to help me out even though I did not buy my equipment from you. Plus, you’re about $7/mo less expensive than the other guys although the way Surety prices out its service and then adds all the ala carte extras makes it difficult to know whether I’m comparing apples to apples as far as monitoring.
In testing the system further in the past couple hours (I go and check it every 10-15 mins) and the signal strength fluctuates between 1 out of 6, 2 out of 6, and 3 out of 6. I’d say 2 is the average reading but 1 shows up too. Why might it fluctuate like that so often? Every time I perform a radio test it says "successful’ and to contact my CS for report if that’s of any help.
Speaking of monitoring - does Surety offer redundant backup central stations? So if your CS is on the east coast and it gets wiped out by a hurricane, can you reroute my monitoring to another regional US area in order to maintain continuity for me? I’ve been told I should look for this when considering an alarm monitoring company. If you do have redundant locations - where are they?
although the way Surety prices out its service and then adds all the ala carte extras makes it difficult to know whether I’m comparing apples to apples as far as monitoring
Everything can be found here.
Are you saying you’ve looked at other providers who, for example, offer a sort of “ultimate plan” where energy monitoring, video, svr, etc. are bundled in? I guess my question in that case is are you going to use all those additional features you are paying for?
At suretyDIY we like to provide choice. Users may want three levels of video service and SVR access but only Basic Interactive. They may want Video on its own. They may have 40 energy monitoring devices but no need for Video at all. We feel a focus on kits and bundles does a disservice because when it comes to home security, video, automation, and monitoring, one size most certainly does not fit all.
Why might it fluctuate like that so often?
You may be linking to different towers, or you may have a local environmental interference. Fluctuations are fairly normal, although I wouldn’t typically expect it to swing between 3 and 1 multiple times within an hour sitting in the same spot. It is very difficult to say because signal strength is only part of the story, additional diagnostics are available to your Alarm.com service provider.
does Surety offer redundant backup central stations?
Monitoring America, our current primary central station, is in the process of opening a second location. They are in Oklahoma. We also utilize AvantGuard for some areas, which has redundant locations in Idaho and Utah. They generally do not see hurricanes.
Generally, with the enormous third-party Central Stations, you will see much slower response times due to the sheer volume. It’s a trade-off.
Thank you Warren - I still have the issue with Verizon signal strength on my communicator which my panel varies the signal strength often between 1 and 3 (most often it is 1) My plan is to purchase an AT&T version as it appears the signal is stronger (4 bars) when I station an AT&T based phone directly on top of my GC3 install as shown in the screenshot linked below. I know this is not a scientific test but do you think I can reasonably conclude that an AT&T based unit will offer my GC3 an appropriate level of signal? When I place my verizon phone over my Gc3 the phone only shows 2 bars consistently.
I know this is not a scientific test but do you think I can reasonably conclude that an AT&T based unit will offer my GC3 an appropriate level of signal?
Phone cell reception does not correlate with M2M (machine to machine) signaling, and does not always offer an accurate representation of what you should expect, no. While it probably means cell signaling is available if the reception is particularly strong, it doesn’t indicate much more than that. I do not recommend using phones to determine the carrier.
It looks like AT&T responses are back on the coverage check tool. If it indicates full coverage for AT&T, you would be good to go.