Specific Questions on new 2GIG install

Hello-
I’m preparing to order equipment and get my 2GIG setup installed. My home is a ~2500sq ft single floor ranch with a single-door double wide attached garage over a full basement with walkout. I’d like to get this system up & running fairly quickly and get setup with suretycam for monitoring. I’ve developed a few questions that I’m hoping someone can offer advice on. I’ve been going through the forums, instructional articles & videos here, and also on YouTube.

  1. Low Temperature Door/Window contacts

I was surprised to see the 2GIG DW10 rated only down to 32F. I live in the Northeast and our Winters routinely get into the negatives. I’m looking for door & window contact sensors I can use in my garage (1 large garage door & 2 man doors). The exterior doors sometimes frost over from the cold. Event when it’s not that cold, it definitely drops below freezing.
With respect to the garage door, I’ve seen the Instructional article by Jason (how-to-monitor-your-garage-door-always-know-if-it-is-open) that discusses using the 4532L Wired Contact with RE201T 2Gig. Alternatively, I’ve considered the Honeywell 958 overhead door magnetic contact. I’m unable to find operating temperature specs for any of these devices. The 2GIG DW10-345 wireless contact sensor documentation (here) explicitly specifies an operating temperature of 32-120F.

What are typical solutions for this? Has any had experience using these switches in this type of environment?

  1. Thin magnets for double hung windows

I have 25 double hung windows in the house. In most cases the windows are installed in tandem – two double hung windows next to each other.

I’d like to use at most one contact sensor per window. Given the number of double hung windows, it’s impossible to individually sense all sliding sashes with 48 wireless zones, even if I wanted to. I believe the only possible solution is to use 1 sensor per window with sensor on one sash and magnet on the other sash.

These are vinyl windows and the spacing between sashes is very small – 1/8” or so. As far as I can tell, there are NO sensors on the market with included magnets thin enough to work. I have a DW10 on hand and the included magnet is far too thick. I’m considering picking up thin (1/16”) neodymium magnets at a local craft store (such as these perhaps) and see if they work.

Does anyone have advice or experience on this?

  1. DW10 External Contact Connector leads?

Many window/door contacts support 1-2 external switches. The 2GIG DW10-345 supports 1 external switch. I see that internally the DW10 provides a connector plug to support this – but external sensors are shipped with bare wires. Are there standard 2-pin leads that can be used to connect external signals to the DW10 plug or wire termination equipment to add these plugs?

See the 2GIG installation instructions here. They refer to this as the two-pin J1 connector.

  1. Wires run length & wireless reach

Being a ranch, the house is ~70’ long. I’m concerned about both wireless reach and wire run lengths. I expect to add devices to the basement (where there is a walkout door & windows) and the 1st floor. I expect to place the panel on the 1st floor in a relatively central location to boost both sensor & cell reception.

Wired sensors may make some long runs from the corners of the basement to the panel. I already have 22AWG/4 CL2 I intend to use. What’s an acceptable run length from sensor to panel?

I’m curious about other’s experience with distance from control panel through interior structure. I understand I could use a repeater but this seems like a pretty big single point of failure risk to those sensors that would require the signal boost to operate.

  1. How long & what gauge wire for panel power?

The panel draws 14VDC @ 1.7A = ~24W.

I intend to fish the power wire through the wall and plug into an outlet in the basement. I can install an outlet in the basement for this purpose but I’d rather not if I could avoid it. I believe the 22AWG wire I have may be good enough for a short lead but poking around at online recommendations, perhaps 18AWG or even 16AWG would be better. Any advice is welcome.

  1. 2GIG cell connection

More of a general question… I’m concerned about the “all-in-one” nature of the 2GIG panel and its ability to work in a “Smash & Crash” scenario. Even with all sensors set with 0 dialer delay, I have to believe the control panel needs to dial, wait for answer, establish a connection, and transmit data to report the alarm is tripped. It seems to me this could take at least 10 seconds.

Is this how the connection to Alarm.com over cell works? Or is there a constant connection with frequent heartbeats sent to Alarm.com? It seems to me the latter would be too expensive for the monitoring company. I’m just trying to understand what I can practically expect from the panel.

Thanks in advance to anyone that can share experience and/or advice!
-Todd

I live in the Northeast and our Winters routinely get into the negatives. I’m looking for door & window contact sensors I can use in my garage (1 large garage door & 2 man doors).

The Resolution Products RE201 is rated down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit so I usually use that one in garages if I have to use a wireless sensor in a garage. The better solution is to use a wired sensor in the garage and run the wire into the house where you can hook it to a 2GIG-DW10-345, an RE201, a 2GIG-TAKE-345 or even one of the wired inputs on the 2GIG panel itself.

Wired sensors may make some long runs from the corners of the basement to the panel. I already have 22AWG/4 CL2 I intend to use. What’s an acceptable run length from sensor to panel?

Are these devices powered such as wired motion detectors or wired glass break detectors? I don’t think I’ve ever run into a problem with wire length for sensors unless they’re sensors that require power. I’m sure there’s a limit for non-powered sensor wire based on it’s gauge, I just haven’t hit it. If you’re concerned, the thicker the better.

Many window/door contacts support 1-2 external switches. The 2GIG DW10-345 supports 1 external switch. I see that internally the DW10 provides a connector plug to support this – but external sensors are shipped with bare wires. Are there standard 2-pin leads that can be used to connect external signals to the DW10 plug or wire termination equipment to add these plugs?

Use gel filled b-wire (beanie) connectors for this. Or you can use a Resolution Products RE201 which has 2 wired sensor inputs instead of just 1 and they are screw down terminals instead of bare wires.

I believe the 22AWG wire I have may be good enough for a short lead but poking around at online recommendations, perhaps 18AWG or even 16AWG would be better. Any advice is welcome.

If you haven’t run the wire yet then why not use 18AWG? It’s much cheaper to buy a little wire now then to be wrong and have to re-run the wire later. That being said, I’ve used 22AWG with 2GIG panels when the length is less than 39ft when in situations where 22AWG wire was already in the wall. If you have to use 22AWG and you have a 4 conductor cable then double them up to increase the gauge. See this post:

I’m concerned about the “all-in-one” nature of the 2GIG panel and its ability to work in a “Smash & Crash” scenario. Even with all sensors set with 0 dialer delay, I have to believe the control panel needs to dial, wait for answer, establish a connection, and transmit data to report the alarm is tripped. It seems to me this could take at least 10 seconds. Is this how the connection to Alarm.com over cell works? Or is there a constant connection with frequent heartbeats sent to Alarm.com? It seems to me the latter would be too expensive for the monitoring company. I’m just trying to understand what I can practically expect from the panel.

When the 2GIG panel sends a signal to Alarm.com it’s more like a text message than a phone call. With older alarm systems that communicate over analog telephone lines they had to actually dial and connect before they could send a message, like a fax modem. With cellular alarms they just send data. In the tests I’ve run over the years it usually takes 1 to 3 seconds for a 2GIG panel to send a signal to Alarm.com. My tests aren’t definitive, that’s just what I’ve observed. I can’t guarantee that it will always take 1 to 3 seconds to send a signal to Alarm.com.

You will get better performance when the panel can send an alarm signal than when Alarm.com has to resort to crash and smash protection and assume an alarm has occurred. That’s because Alarm.com has to wait a minute or two from the time it received the initial “alarm pending” message before it can reliably assume the panel has been smashed. So it’s better if you hide your main control panel and put a TS1 out for the bad guy to smash. Some customers even disconnect the speaker on the 2GIG main control panel to make it silent so they can hide it and they only use a TS1 to disarm.

We very much appreciate all the great questions and interest. I just have 1 request. In the future, please break your posts with multiple questions out into separate topics so they’re easier for others to read and benefit from. Try to limit each topic to 1 question or subject. Thanks and good luck with your system!

Alternatively, I’ve considered the Honeywell 958 overhead door magnetic contact. I’m unable to find operating temperature specs for any of these devices. The 2GIG DW10-345 wireless contact sensor documentation (here) explicitly specifies an operating temperature of 32-120F.

If you want to stick with a sensor with an extreme temp range, use a wired overhead contact and a 5816OD Honeywell contact. These have a wired input and are intended for direct outdoor use. -40˚ F to 150˚ F

I’m considering picking up thin (1/16”) neodymium magnets at a local craft store (such as these perhaps) and see if they work.

Perhaps, but the shape/size/strength of the magnet will affect the magnetic field, magnetic gap, and therefor reed switch performance. Make sure to thoroughly test.