EVL4+Sidekick Review

Information and support for EnvisaLink modules.

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EVL4+Sidekick Review

Postby hokie21 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:07 pm

I recently upgraded my EVL3 to an EVL4 and added the Sidekick cellular backup device. I thought I would give a short review of the Sidekick and what I learned from my installation.

I ordered the Sidekick and EVL4 directly from Eyezon. They shipped it to me in the U.S. from Canada, so I think that accounts for the higher than expected $30 shipping fee for two small items.

Updating from the EVL3 to EVL4 was very easy. I really appreciate that the mounting holes for the two PC boards are in the exact same position. I didn’t have to drill new holes to mount the plastic standoffs to hold the EVL. I was able to use a portal menu selection to copy my existing zones from the EVL3 profile to the EVL4 profile. I did need to re-enter my contacts and users in the portal.

I used masonry anchors and screws to mount the SideKick to the concrete wall next to my Vista 20P panel. The interconnect cable provided with the Sidekick is only 14 inches long. Luckily it was long enough for my installation. If I had previously mounted the EVL in the other side of the alarm panel box, I would have had a problem. A longer Sidekick cable would be an improvement.

I did need a little back and forth with Eyezon support to sign the cellular agreement and get the device provisioned. It wasn’t too painful and my device was set up in half a day.

I tested it by disconnecting my Ethernet connection and sending an alarm to the alarm company in test mode. The alarm was received after about a minute delay for retries on the now missing Internet connection to be exhausted. What did surprise me was that I did not get any app indication or text message for the events that were reported over Sidekick. EyezOn says that they will be addressing that shortcoming soon. This is a particular issue for me as I have “log-only” reporting for pumps and generators that I do not get central station phone calls on, but I still depend on the app and text messages for status.

There are three green LED indicators on the Sidekick, but their position on the bottom of the enclosure makes them very difficult to see for a wall-mounted device. They are labeled OPR, ACT and LTE and were always green in my installation. Unlike the EVL documentation, there is no explanation of these indicators with the Sidekick. There is also a green LED inside the box where the light peaks through at the top of the case. This is also undocumented.

The EyezOn portal allows you to see the in-service, out of service status of the Sidekick. The signal strength of the LTE signal is also reported. This is very helpful.

When the Internet connection goes down, EyezOn notifies you in ten minutes. Loss of the cellular connection is provided after 24 hours. I would prefer a quicker notification of a cellular outage.

I’m very happy to have the security of cellular backup for my alarm system at an affordable price.

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