Hardwire sensors?

Do people still use hardwired door/window sensors? We’re going to be building a new house this fall/winter, and I’m starting to work out the requirements for both alarm sensors and home automation components. Our last house we had a basic security system installed during a renovation, and it was all hardwire sensors (door, window, motion). The 2Gig panel appears to only have 2 hardware sensor loops. Is there some sort of expansion panel for using wired sensors?

Yes, people still install wired sensors on new builds or perhaps renovations like you mentioned. If I were building a new home I would probably wire for door sensors. I doubt I would wire for window sensors as I would use wireless interior motion detectors to cover the windows. But each person has different needs and preferences. One way to use wired sensors with 2GIG is to use a super switch takeover module.

You would need to put some thought into how you would power the super switch if you don’t have an existing alarm panel to draw power from. Another option is to use a Resolution Products wired to wireless translator. It does the same thing but it can run off batteries or a plug-in 12VDC power supply.


Thanks Ryan, I didn’t realize that’s what the super switch did. The installation instructions show using an Altronix AL624 to power it if there’s no existing panel. Plus a power supply and backup battery. Seems pretty straightforward.

How does using motion sensors help with a secure perimeter for “home” mode? Glass breaks would do it, but I wouldn’t use motion sensors when people are home. And even when they’re not, with pets they get tricky too.

Motion detectors only work in away mode. Each person/home has different needs but for me, at my place, if someone were trying to pry or break a window while I’m home I would hear it and wouldn’t need the alarm to detect it. When I’m away or asleep I arm in away mode and let the motion detectors do their thing. If you go the glass break route then you need window contacts for any double hung windows because glass breaks will only detect glass breaking, not windows being pried. Glass breaks can be tricky with pets as well. The 2GIG glass breaks are fixed at high sensitivity and are notorious for false alarming when dogs bark. We recommend the Honeywell 5853 if you have dogs even though they cost more because their sensitivity can be tuned. Resolution Products just came out with a 2GIG compatible glass break but we haven’t had a chance to use them yet and see how they stand up to dog barking.

I’m kinda with you on that, but the house we’re building is quite large and we would likely not hear window breaks on the other (guest) side of the house. And my wife is kinda paranoid about such things, so we’ll have to find some solution. Not sure interior motions sensors armed at night would be a solution for us, as we’re likely to trip them just going to the kitchen for a drink in the middle of the night…

We’re probably going to use a contractor for the design and install (there are a couple alarm.com dealers in the area), so I’ll see what they have to say. Anything that we don’t do in the initial install I’ll probably get through you.

Last questions, I think.

Since the Take Over module actually presents the wired sensors as wireless zones in the 2Gig system, what are the two hardwired zones usually used for?

And what happens when you run out of zones (48, I think)?

Make sure to talk to your window contractor if you’re planning for recessed window contacts. It’s a much less common practice these days because it often voids the window warranty. I would suggest getting the window company to either install them or give written approval for the low voltage company to do it saying it won’t affect the warranty.

Another good option for window sensors if you decide not to go wired are Mighty Mouse sensors. They’re wireless surface mount but not as big and ugly as typical window contacts.


There’s not a “normal” use for the wired sensor inputs on the 2GIG panel, they aren’t normally used. I’ve seen them used for a wired motion detector programmed to trigger immediately and not follow the entry delay to “supervise” the main control panel. That only works if you have a secondary touch screen somewhere else to disarm with or you always disarm from your phone. They’re also useful if you only have 1 or 2 wired sensors and you can get the wires to the touch control panel location, then you don’t have to spend money on a super switch or transmitter.

When you run out of zones you’re stuck. But an upcoming 2GIG firmware release is supposed to increase the maximum number of zones. Also if you’re doing wired window contacts that’s usually done in a loop where multiple windows share a zone which helps keep he number of zones down.