Review AJAX Hub 2 First Impressions Very Positive.
Review AJAX Hub 2 first impressions – Some months ago, AJAX distributor SecuSafe sent over a big box full of gear – an AJAX Hub 2 4G controller, along with a broad spread of sensors, keypads, sirens, remotes, as well as a wireless relay, a wireless integration module and a wireless wall switch.
There was so much gear in the box it was at once exciting and a little intimidating to think about getting it all installed. I decided the best place for a system like this was out in the country on a property of about 3 acres, with multiple buildings and line of sight out to around 250 metres.
The first issue I faced was miserable internet connection. There’s no cabled internet out here and the local 4G is pretty ordinary, even with a tower on the horizon – 1-2 bars with regular drop-outs. That’s not ideal for an electronic security solution with multiple camera sensors.
I started out thinking I’d use a 4G SIM in one of AJAX Hub 2’s 4G slots, but the 4G signal quality meant I couldn’t get consistent performance, making monitoring uncertain.
All this brought forward making a long-delayed decision about Starlink – I duly signed up for a rural service with the addition of the RJ-45 port module to support a local ethernet router.
Having gone through the Starlink process, next chance possible I packed the big box into the Forester, headed west and got stuck into installing the AJAX Hub 2 solution. Suffice to say, the process was easier than expected, yet somewhat more complex, thanks to the adjustability of the sensors and the flexibility of the app.
With a 4G SIM in Hub 2 supporting a dedicated RJ-45 cable (the former fitfully), the heart of the system stood up – watching the front logo go from red to green to white was very fulfilling after a couple of early false starts.
I managed this process using the AJAX app, which is at once spare and highly functional. Being admin, I had access to the whole system, and that continues to make the programming process a lot of fun.
I decided not to look at any documentation and just play the installation by ear – the only reference material needed was when I hopped onto the AJAX website to find out mounting heights for the 2 big external sensors.
These turned out to be a bit lower than expected, which explained my issues during early walk testing. I also needed to wrap my head around the near/far slider – in this application, far is best – and it really is best.
Let’s do some basic specs before we start. Of note, AJAX Hub 2 4G communicates with the security system devices using encrypted radio frequencies at distances of up to 2000 metres – way more than I need but good to have with a wireless system whose sensors have potential to be moved.
For parallel visual data transmission from MotionCams, Hub 2 uses AJAX Wings radio protocol, a high-speed protocol based on Jeweller encrypted and frequency-hopping wireless technology with a dedicated antenna. CMS connectivity is via Contact ID and SIA – as well as dual SIM cards.
Up to 100 devices can be connected to Hub 2, as well as 9 MotionCam sensors, 25 cameras, a maximum of 50 rooms and 50 users. I don’t have 100 devices, but the system SecuSafe sent over is very comprehensive for this application, allowing me to create a layered system that covers the house, as well as giving 2 layers of night mode sensing.
Programming the sensors and other devices was QR-code simple, and I undertook this on the sunroom table one device at a time after photographing the spaces then creating rooms (and external detection spaces) in the app.
This part of the install wasn’t just easy, it was fun. It was so much fun there’s a huge temptation just to roll on with the story and forget about limiting myself to first impressions, which I’m trying (and failing) to resist.
Review AJAX Hub 2 First Impressions Installation
I start inside, placing keypads, motion sensors, a siren, flood (under the internal water tank), air quality and smoke sensors. I then move outside, installing the external MotionCam Outdoor and MotionProtect Outdoor – the first on the rear verandah and the second on the front verandah.
These sensors were installed to provide a night mode that covers front and rear entries and windows of the house incorporating sleeping areas. An outer layer of sensing is provided by the big DualCurtain Outdoor sensor, which was located to cover natural approaches to the house and lower shed.
Obviously, getting all this right required walk testing, a couple of device moves, the pruning of a Calycine Hawthorn, and, given the agonising distractions of school hols, it took a couple of days to get the physical part right.
My first impressions were that this is fine hardware. The bigger mouldings – where flaws in shiny poly might show – were very tidy. The sensitivity of the sensors is great and highly responsive to sensor and app adjustment. The range of the external sensors is on spec.
Devices incorporate a moulded mount with integrated tamper, and everything ships with multiple fixings designed to suit anything you can possibly throw at it. This was important for me, and it will be for you, too.
In my case, the application was built around 1858. It features original lathe and plaster internal and external walls it would be a crime to drill, sun-dried convict bricks, hardwood wall frames and ceiling beams, and an adjacent fired brick section built in 1910, with friable internal plaster that crumbles into powder when drilled.
There are also some horrible repairs and extensions using pine floorboards and plasterboard I have scant regard for. Along with these fixing points, the system also incorporates the trunk of a convenient Clammy Locust tree situated right where the driveway splits, the trunk of which obsures this quite bulky sensor.
To handle my variables, fixing options include small screws for plaster or timber, long screws for timber, short screws for metal or masonry and double-sided tape for commissioning placement. I typically use Blu-Tack for commissioning placement. In this case, I used the double-sided tape to install a MotionCam in the living room, where render is so powdery it requires through bolting.
Operationally, I found the keypads, fob, button and app quickly became intuitive, thanks to the simple universal function symbols. The app was fun to use, not only from an operational point of view, but installation, too. A couple of days after the system was installed, I’m still tweaking sensitivity. Latency is very low, whether with operations or system/device programming.
Review AJAX Hub 2 First Impressions Wireless
No account of Hub 2, or any other product from AJAX, would be complete without discussing wireless range. The specifications talk about ranges of 2000 metres, and I was interested to see just how accurate this was. My longest potential line of sight from the house is about 250 metres and it’s cluttered, with plenty of plants and structures in the way.
To check how well my application worked with Jeweller, I walked the entire site with the little door sensor in my pocket and the phone app in my hand, including going in and out of new and old sheds, the latter built of heavy corrugated iron, watching wireless performance change in real time.
In my remote sheds – out to about 50 metres from the Hub 2 (which is badly located on a low kitchen chair near the router) – I had 3 bars of wireless. It wasn’t until I got past 100 metres from the hub that performance dropped to 2 bars. In the very top corner of the property at around 250 metres from the hub, the link dropped to 1 bar.
While I could have gone through the fence and kept walking another 1000 metres to an elevated position, I felt this performance was more than good enough for my application, which included getting signals through multiple trees, shrubs, a water tank and 4 external and internal house walls.
Review AJAX Hub 2 First Impressions Conclusion
It’s tempting to wonder – I certainly do – whether an intuitive wireless solution has DIY potential. The answer is yes, but at the same time this AJAX system is just too good and too capable of serious applications in the hands of professional installers for such a limiting categorisation.
Not only are the sensor choices excellent, there are integration modules, relays and contacts (I have not used them, yet), that take things to another level in experienced hands. Then there are the varied adjustments intrinsic to sensors, as well as the app. There’s a lot more going on with AJAX than I thought.
Having programmed, installed, and now lived with AJAX Hub 2 for a week or so, my early impressions are that this is a solid solution – end-to-end intuitive as only the best proprietary systems can be – and brimming with functionality.
Hub 2 is well worth a look, not only for installers, but for distributors and competitor manufacturers interested in keeping an eye on what’s happening at the cutting edge of modern alarm panels and the constellations of sensors swirling around them.
“Review AJAX Hub 2 First Impressions Are Very Positive.”