Switching from Simon XT

I’m a Frontpoint customer looking to replace an intermittent/unreliable Simon XT.

I have just a few questions!

  1. First I’m trying to figure out if the fault truly lies with the panel, or if the sensors are playing a role also. All sensors have fresh batteries, but doors within 15 feet of the panel are not reporting reliably. Generally speaking, do GE sensors have a good reputation for implementing supervisory signals? I ask because the Simon XT has not alerted me to any of these problems, thus far.

  2. Based on the answer to #1 - Would I be able to reuse my GE door/window/garage door sensors with 2gig or Qolsys?

  3. Cellular reporting with Frontpoint / Simon XT / Alarm.com is terribly slow. SMS and Push Notifications take 30 seconds or more to arrive. I see that new panels are beginning to implement WIFI. Has any manufacturer (2gig or Qolsys) taken advantage of this to bypass the slow cellular network when a WIFI connection is available?

Also, do you offer discounts if I post a Youtube video demonstrating Simon XT Crash and Smash reporting? lol

  1. GE sensors have a good reputation for reliability and I'm not aware of any general supervisory issues with them. My first inclination would be to check whether supervision is enabled for your sensors but I'm not sure whether sensor supervision can even be disabled on Simon XT like it can on 2GIG. You might find more information about that in the Simon XT manual, search for supervisory and RF time-out. If you're experiencing the problems with all sensors then it sounds like the problem is more likely with the panel than the sensors. I would bet on that. However, it's possible that a sensor is malfunctioning, transmitting recklessly and interfering with the other sensors so you never know. The only way to know for sure would be to start removing or replacing parts and isolate the problem.
  2. Qolsys is compatible with GE sensors so it should work with them out of the box. 2GIG is compatible with Honeywell sensors and would require a wireless translator to use your GE sensors.
  3. Qolsys already has WIFI and Alarm.com dual path communication. It's super fast. 30 seconds is really slow for cellular though, you must have poor cellular signalling. 8-15 seconds is normal for sending Alarm.com commands via cellular.

Sorry, no discounts for making videos but we do have a referral program if you’re a customer and you refer new customers to suretyDIY.

Thanks. That is exactly the kind of information I was looking for.

Would the Qolsys panel work okay side by side the Frontpoint system until it is ready to be put into service? Are there a lot of option cards for the Qolsys (like 2GIG) or does it come fully equipped out of the box?

Also, I see that the Qolsys panel runs Android. Neat! Is this unlocked for end user apps and development?

Yes, it should be able to work side by side the Simon XT and share security sensors, although I’ve never tried that myself. I’ve done that with multiple 2GIG systems though. It would not be able to share Z-Wave devices as they can only be enrolled in 1 system at a time.

Qolsys is fully equipped out of the box, it has a built-in Verizon CDMA communicator and WIFI.

No, you can’t install arbitrary Android apps on it. You can only run Qolsys apps. I’ve heard that in early development versions of the panel they let it run regular Android apps but they learned pretty quickly that doing so causes problems with reliability and security/life safety certification so they had to lock it down. Maybe some day they’ll allow specific “approved” apps from 3rd parties?

Yes I could see where their hands are probably tied on development issues.

Wish list:

  1. Support for viewing of third party DVR systems from the panel, ie. MPEG/RTSP H.264. An example of an Android app that does this is IP Cam Viewer. Two-way communication with a door camera in general would be a “nice to have.”
  2. Access to panel events history via web service ie. JSON, to be consumed by other security products.

By the way, does the panel ship with the installer settings unlocked? Do these settings remain unlocked after enrolling in the monitoring service?

Lastly, is the 27.95 monthly cost all-inclusive: taxes, cellular access, monitoring, etc? What is the term?

Thanks for all the detailed answers – makes all the difference in the world.

We ship the panels unlocked and leave them unlocked. The $27.95 does not include sales tax which may be applicable in your location. It does include everything else including cellular charges. There are some add-on features you can get for an additional charge if you want. See our pricing page for details. We’re month to month, no contract.