Two out of the three Frontpoint Systems have the pushbutton GE Simon XT control panel. The Ultimate Plan uses a touchscreen that also has Z-Wave connectivity.
The pushbutton pad performs all the functions of the touchscreen. It obviously is as intuitive and takes some familiarization perform using it becomes routine.
The pushbutton XT panel will connect to your smartphone app, but you have to have the Interactive package to take advantage of this feature. Upgrading to the touchscreen for either the Protection or Interactive plan is possible, but the extra cost, around $150, may be prohibitive. Users find that spending that extra $150 on more sensors or detectors may make more sense.
To learn how the app integrates with the system, check out our full Frontpoint security review.
What You Get
When you get your Protection or Interactive system from Frontpoint, the box will contain everything needed to setup and start using the system. The box has:
- Simon XT Control Panel
- Sensors and Detectors
- Yard and Window Decals
The accessories include any screws and tape needed for installation.
Everything in your system will connect, transmit and be managed through the control panel. It is the heart and nerve center of your home security network. Everything is connected wirelessly. The panel only transmits by cellular waves, so connecting a landline or Wi-Fi is not required.
The best place to place your new panel is at some central location in the home. Any flat surface that is off the ground will work fine. You should choose a convenient location that is easily accessed when you enter or before you leave your home.
The panel uses AC power so you must place it near an outlet. Do not use a kitchen or garage GFI outlet as the power use may trip the circuit in those outlets and cut off power. It probably should not connect it to an outlet that is controlled by a wall switch to avoid inadvertently turning it off.
There is a battery backup included in the box which will power the system for about 24 hours in case of city power loss.
The first step when you take the panel out of the box is connect the battery. In the rear of the panel, there are two red wires, one with a male and the other with a female end. Connect them together to activate the battery. The wires can be tucked inside.
After connecting the internal battery, plug the power adapter into the console and then into the AC wall socket.
The center of the panel has a standard phone-style push button numbers and symbols, star and pound signs, face. Above it is a small LED screen that will display the actions taken when you push the buttons in the correct sequence.
Beneath the LED screen, there are four buttons: a doors and windows, motion, disarm and status. Pressing them in a certain order or certain number of times will perform certain functions.
Along the left side, vertically spaced are three panic buttons: shield (police), cross (medical), and flame (fire).
On the top right there are the up and down arrow and OK buttons and directly beneath it the Silent and Bypass buttons. The siren speaker is in the upper left corner and the message and chime speaker in the lower right.
There are three different types of four-digit codes or pin numbers that your system will recognize. Once you purchase your system and it arrives, Frontpoint will provide you with a Master Code. This code can be used to arm, disarm or perform whatever other functions you want. If no code is provided, the default Master Code is 1234, 12345 or 123456. Once you setup your system, you should change the Master Code at the panel or online.
User codes can be created and provided using the Master Code. You can also deleted or disable a user code with your Master Code.
You will also create a Safe Code or a code to use with the alarm monitoring company to use in identifying you should an alarm activate.
You can change or delete any of the codes online.
Alarm Modes and Delays
You have three possible alarm modes: stay, away, and disarm. The stay mode, used when you are at home and want to alarm the system, enables all door and window and glass break sensors only. Motion detectors and other sensors will be disabled.
In away mode, every sensor is activated. You use this mode when the house is empty.
Disarm will disengage or deactivate all security sensors. Smoke, fire or Carbon Monoxide detectors will remain on even when you disarm the sensors.
There are two delays: exit and entry. The exit delay will give you 60 seconds to leave the house before the system is enabled. The entry delay gives you 30 seconds to enter your user or Master Code before an alarm sounds. You can program the system to allow more time if you prefer.
Arming the System
You can arm your system using the Away Mode or the Stay Mode. For the Away Mode, you press the Motion button under the LED screen once. The Motion button and the Doors + Windows button next to it will illuminate.
For the Stay Mode, there are two options. If you want a thirty second delay before the system actually arms, press the Doors + Windows button once.
If you want instant arming, usually used before you go to bed, press the Doors + Windows button twice.
The status button will light up if you have any system messages or messages sent by the monitoring station. If the button is illuminated, pressing it once will play your message. Once you have listened to it, you can press the Disarm button to turn off the button light.
Silent and Bypass
The Silent button will stop the beeps that you will hear during the thirty second delay before the system arms itself. You can also double the delay time to two minutes by pressing this button again.
The Bypass button lets you bypass certain sensors when you arm the system. For example, you may want the system armed but the motion detector in the den where a guest is sleeping disabled.
To disable a sensor, you press Bypass, and then enter the Master Code. Once you have done that, you can use the arrow key to scroll to the specific sensor you wish to disable and press OK.
The chimes function lets you audible test the system to make sure each sensor is working. You use the “up” arrow key and scroll to chime and press “OK.” Then when you open a door or window that has a sensor, or walk into a room with a motion detector, a chime will sound. This means the sensor is probably connected to the panel and functioning.
Setting up a Sensor with the Panel
Now that you are familiar with the pushbutton Simon XT panel, you can set up the sensors. Remember to keep the chime function on during the setup to let you check whether or not it has been installed properly. You should also number each sensor and write the number down on the location sheet provided with the instructions.
Once you sensors have been installed properly, you will need to call the monitoring station and have them activate your system.
Crash and Smash Protection
If anyone tries to vandalize or break open the control panel in an attempt to the disable it, the Simone XT models all have crash and smash protection. If the panel is, for example, crushed with a hammer, the monitor station will be notified immediately. You can be notified too by text or message if you have programmed the system to do so.