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Elk M1, Insteon, Venstar, Z-wave- Will they all work together


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#1 andyhutch1947

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 10:11 AM

I am building a new home and trying to put together the automation system.

I am very interested in the Elk M1 or the EZ8 and I want to use Insteon as the primary control.

I want T-stat control and have been looking at the Venstar T1900 to use with a York heatpump/gas furnace.

I am going to have Kwikset door locks with Z-wave technology.

I have window coverings that are Z-wave controlled.

I thought there was a module or accessory for the Elk that would allow the Insteon and the Z-wave control.

I have read articles stating that the Venstar will not work 100% with the Elk and requires the ISY-99i.

Anyone out there with similar systems or anyone willing to share your experiences for me?

Would it just be better to forget the Elk and replace with other system, use ISY-99i and try to find other route for door lock other than Kwikset that work with Insteon? Window coverings could be controlled by using IR controller from remote.

I have to order components within next couple of days. No wonder I can't get any sleep at night!

Thank you in advance for your help.

#2 Bercaw

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:28 PM

I'm dealing with the same issue, it's a real headache. Please share your solution when you have it.

Thanks you!

#3 matrix77ny

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:17 PM

I'm dealing with the same issue, it's a real headache. Please share your solution when you have it.

Thanks you!



Think i just read something about Elk releasing a Z-wave controller for Elk M1
Might be some months away.

#4 Lou Apo

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 12:37 AM

Insteon becomes infinitely better when you have an ISY. In fact, I consider ISY to be the first thing you should buy if you are doing Insteon.

You will need a security system, If you are going to get an ISY, you should go with Elk assuming the ISY module for Elk actually does get released any day now like promised. In the mean time, Elk still runs Insteon lights very well and having an ISY makes that process much more efficient. (I wouldn't even think about trying to manually add all of my lights and scenes into Elk, ISY does it automatically as an export/import).

Insteon has door lock controllers using morning industries lockset. I don't own any of them so I won't comment on how well they work. They also have a way to link to somfy motorized drapes. Again, I don't have it.

Personally, I would try to pick a technology and do as much as possible within that technology.

#5 az1324

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:21 AM

I would probably pick a central controller that does zwave and insteon (vera, hometroller) and a cheaper security system if you can accommodate your needs that way.

#6 IndyMike

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 08:38 PM

Hello Bercaw,

Lou and I have similar systems (Insteon/ISY99/ELKM1) and have similar high regard for the ISY99.

The only thing I can add are some notes on the Morning Industries lock. I've had one installed on my garage entry for 2 years now and it has performed flawlessly. The Morning lock is not a 2-way device. It will lock/unlock on command but cannot report status. I use a proximity sensor (non-contact) mounted in the door jamb to sense the deadbolt position using the ELK. This way I have confirmation that the lock has performed it's function.

I have the ISY set to Email me when the lock doesn't trip the proximity sensor. This has occurred twice in two years - both times were due to low batteries. This door is used on average 25 times/day. I'm amazed that the batteries have lasted that long.

Not quite as convenient as the ZWave Kwikset (which can be interrogated), but it does it's job well for less than half the price.

My original post is located here : Morninglock

Note that my original post used Morning RF "fobs" hardwired to Insteon IOlincs (LOW WAF). Smartlabs has since come out with an "integrated" Morninglinc that cleans things up.

#7 Work2Play

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 12:04 AM

My original post is located here : Morninglock

I actually stumbled across that post a couple weeks ago when I ordered my Morning Industries lock.

The lock works great and WAF has been excellent (she has a keyless car so now she never has to take her keys out of her purse). The only thing I've noticed is that the range of the remote is pretty low - like 10ft... I have fresh batteries in the lock, but whatever came with the receiver. I'm hoping to just mount it behind my keypad which is like 2.5 ft away.

What kind of sensor did you use to detect the lock status? I like that idea!

#8 Lou Apo

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 02:30 PM

I actually stumbled across that post a couple weeks ago when I ordered my Morning Industries lock.

The lock works great and WAF has been excellent (she has a keyless car so now she never has to take her keys out of her purse). The only thing I've noticed is that the range of the remote is pretty low - like 10ft... I have fresh batteries in the lock, but whatever came with the receiver. I'm hoping to just mount it behind my keypad which is like 2.5 ft away.

What kind of sensor did you use to detect the lock status? I like that idea!


WAF. . . ??wife acceptance factor?. Is it that bad that we need acronyms for this? Oh my. Can't let the wife even see this forum. :icon_pai:

#9 Work2Play

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 03:49 PM

Yeah - watch how quickly your wife starts having a problem with the money and time you're spending on home automation when it gets in the way rather than helps her out! Most of us keep the wives away from the forum; and more importantly, away from anything that shows how much money we're spending!

#10 IndyMike

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 03:50 PM

The lock works great and WAF has been excellent (she has a keyless car so now she never has to take her keys out of her purse). The only thing I've noticed is that the range of the remote is pretty low - like 10ft... I have fresh batteries in the lock, but whatever came with the receiver. I'm hoping to just mount it behind my keypad which is like 2.5 ft away.


Hi Work2Play,

I'm not sure if you are trying to operate the Lock from the inside or outside. My "remote" is interfaced to an IOLinc as is roughly 30' from the Lock (inside). I've never had a problem communicating over that distance, even when my 90 gallon "recyclables" container gets pushed in front of the remote. Programming is different - in order to program the lock to the fob you do need to be quite close.

The antenna is located beneath the battery box cover. If you have a metal door you may be absorbing/shunting the RF signal. Try removing the battery cover first. If that improves things you can try adding a rubber gasket (1/8") between the door and the lock.

What kind of sensor did you use to detect the lock status? I like that idea!


I have a simple Jamb switch to monitor door open/close activity. I sense the deadbolt position with this: APS4-12M-E2-D. They are non contact, will operate off the ELK Aux voltage, and are very "selective". The respond to ferrous metal in a fairly narrow area in view of the "sweat spot" (sensing coil). Unlike a magnetic reed, you can encase these with steel on five sides (leaving to coil surface open) and it will still sense a metal object passing in front of the sensor.

I've used the above in both sliding door foot locks and deadbolts for ~ 2 years. I love the functionality of these little things.




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