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How to interface a wireless doorbell with the Elk M1


Products you'll need:

  • Elk M1 Gold or any alarm/automation panel that supports analog zone (I will give instructions for Elk M1 Gold, as this is the one I only have)
  • A very long two-conductor wire -- like a speaker wire (you'll want something much longer than you need -- for example: you'll want a 25' wire even though you're going for a 15' wire)
  • Any wireless doorbell -- perferably battery operated (why would you want to go with A/C while you can go with a battery-operated wireless doorbell when the electricity goes out?) I've chosen a $15 Heath Zenith wireless doorbell, bought from Home Depot. Don't forget the C-type batteries.
  • Wire Nuts (easier than having to solder two wires together)
  • Multi-purpose screw driver (even though you can use individual screw drivers, it helps to keep al the screw heads in one place -- different sizes of flat heads, Philip heads, etc.)

Before you begin:

  • Test to make sure the wireless doorbell still works after you install in the batteries for both the transmitter and the receiver.
  • Keep the transmitter close to you when connecting the receiver to Elk, so that you can see the drop in voltage when you press the doorbell.
  • Don't disconnect the wires that connect to the battery contacts. You may not get the response if placed near Elk M1 Gold, like too much interference coming from Elk M1 Gold or maybe there are too many metal objects that will degrade the signal's path to the wireless doorbell.

Step-by-step

  1. In the doorbell transmitter, use the jumper that came in the bag and insert the jumper in the first pair of pins at the bottom of the transmitter (in case of "horizontal direction (battery at the top and pins at the bottom)," insert the jumper to the first pin at the way left). If the speaker is connected to the doorbell receiver, you should hear a single "ding." (For those who are deaf, just insert the jumper as instructed in this paragraph.
  2. Unscrew the circuit board from the enclosure.
  3. Cut off the two wires that connect to the internal speaker.
  4. Wire-nut the two wires that will go to the Elk M1G control panel.
  5. Connect M1 Gold to your computer and turn on Elk M1 Gold.
  6. You may get a trouble message. If so, just set the zone type to analog.
  7. In your keypad, go into System Diagnostics, choose to check for zone voltage, and scroll to the selected zone where your doorbell receiver is connected to.
    • Normally, you should see 3.8 volts, but sometimes it may flictuate.
      A high voltage, like 3.8, means "off." This is like if you're not hearing a sound from the wireless doorbell.
    • Press the doorbell, and you will see a change of voltage -- in this case, mine mentions 3.1 volts (this is the low voltage).
    • If connected to a speaker, the "ding" should sound about 4 seconds long. After that, Elk will show 3.8 volts.
  8. You could have the rule performed every four seconds to determine if it's at 3.1 volts; however, it's ineffective, because it's a "hit-or-miss" and there's a lack of precision when changing the duration of time for "condition-checking the voltage." So, here's what I'll set this up for:

    Rule #1:
    WHENEVER EVERY 1 SECONDS
        AND Wireless Drbell (Zn 1) IS EQUAL TO ANALOG VALUE 3.1 VOLTS
        AND DrBllActiv'd (Counter 3) IS EQUAL TO 0
            THEN ANNOUNCE Visitor at FD (Task 14)
            THEN SET DrBllActiv'd (Counter 3) TO 1
    Rule #2:
    WHENEVER EVERY 1 SECONDS
        AND Wireless Drbell (Zn 1) IS EQUAL TO ANALOG VALUE 3.8 VOLTS
        AND DrBllActiv'd (Counter 3) IS EQUAL TO 1
            THEN SET DrBllActiv'd (Counter 3) TO 0
    It's not that instant, but 1 second is good enough and that you have a counter for the two rules for making sure that rule #1 gets executed only once when there's a voltage change and that rule #2 will set the counter back to the original value once the voltage change equals 3.8 volts.

Once you do all that, then you have a wireless doorbell integrated into your home automation network! You can even set this up so that the rule will determine which arming state it's on, so like if the security system is in away mode, you can have it not make any sound -- no announce, no beeps, nothing.

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