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ELK M1 via ethernet to Alarm Relay - lots of disconnects


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#1 personalt

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:46 PM

I have my ELK M1 monitored via alarm relay via ethernet and I get lots of disconnects. they show up in logs as ETHERNET TROUBLE events..

there was a thread about it last year but I dont see anyone that either got it working better or mentioned another solution..
http://cocoontech.co...__fromsearch__1
Anyone work this out with alarm relay? Is there anyone else that monitorings directly over internet from the m1s ethernet module? I have a nice Verizon fios connection but no copper phone line. My fios is super stable, I keep a small VPN conneciton open for weeks at a time without a disconnect so I know my internet is good.

I originally had these disconnects make an annoucment over the speakers but I guess I must have gotten annoyed that is was waking my son so I turned it off 6 months ago.. I re-enabled the annoucments and sure enough I still get the disconnects a few times a week.

#2 DELInstallations

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:35 PM

Might be a heartbeat issue with their CS computer and not necessarily your ISP.

#3 personalt

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:40 AM

Is there other monitoring company that people have used and had better luck with ip monitoring then alarm relay

Edited by personalt, 27 January 2012 - 03:40 AM.


#4 Linwood

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:50 AM

Yes please, I also am interested. I'm trying to pick a monitoring company and so far it is hard to keep from eliminating them all. :blink:

I also want to use a HAI C3 as backup, so will do what looks like regular dialup plus IP (I think). And I wanted Listen-in on the C3. Here's my list so far:

Geoarm - no listen-in, but the rest seems OK.
Next Alarm - wont' call me back
Alarm relay - says they do everything, but these old reports scare me (and they want $20/mo extra for listen-in)
SafeMart - Waiting for confirmation they can do Elk with IP, but otherwise looks decent.
Frontpoint - GE only

Not easy to choose.

#5 DELInstallations

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:29 PM

I can't comment regarding CS's that deal direct to a consumer, as I don't have that issue.

I haven't had issues regarding any of the items mentioned, however I don't really like how the C3 functions and inherent issues from a pro installed standpoint, however many of the DIY crowd seem to be fans of the unit.

#6 Work2Play

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 02:58 AM

I don't like any of the systems that fake a dial-tone. If you're going to switch to a new communication method, your panel should be fully aware so it can monitor the success of transmission and choose another method if necessary.

Unfortunately, that means the only decent method for the M1 is probably the Uplink, since it communicates directly rather than pretending to be something it's not (a POTS line, with a CO on the end answering). With the uplink, the M1 will know if it was successful or not, and will know if it needs to try the next option in line.

#7 personalt

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:14 AM

At this point in the game I like the idea of ip so just looking for another monitoring service that does IP.. any recommendations?

#8 DELInstallations

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:12 PM

Also depends on the flavor of communications routing, if going with a cellular, if it's a full data or simply a dialer capture based unit. There's a huge difference and most people only worry about the route the data takes, not how it's transmitted from the panel to that point.

#9 tadr

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

I have my ELK M1 monitored via alarm relay via ethernet and I get lots of disconnects. they show up in logs as ETHERNET TROUBLE events..

there was a thread about it last year but I dont see anyone that either got it working better or mentioned another solution..
http://cocoontech.co...__fromsearch__1
Anyone work this out with alarm relay? Is there anyone else that monitorings directly over internet from the m1s ethernet module? I have a nice Verizon fios connection but no copper phone line. My fios is super stable, I keep a small VPN conneciton open for weeks at a time without a disconnect so I know my internet is good.

I originally had these disconnects make an annoucment over the speakers but I guess I must have gotten annoyed that is was waking my son so I turned it off 6 months ago.. I re-enabled the annoucments and sure enough I still get the disconnects a few times a week.


I thought "Ethernet Trouble" indicated a problem between the Elk panel and the XEP, and NOT a problem between the XEP and the central station (i.e., alarm relay). Can someone confirm?

#10 personalt

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:43 AM


I thought "Ethernet Trouble" indicated a problem between the Elk panel and the XEP, and NOT a problem between the XEP and the central station (i.e., alarm relay). Can someone confirm?

I dont think this is true but I guess it is possible. I dont recall seeing these entries in the log before I got monitoring but I could be wrong..

I am ready to can alarm relay but cant seem to find anyone else that does the ip monitoring....

#11 DELInstallations

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:37 PM

One of my sites using POTS with an XEP connected for remote access/email only and the CS gets CID reporting for ethernet trouble (comes as expansion module trouble/fail) whenever their ISP has issues or connectivity goes down for any period of time. I'm sure the log reflects similar, I just didn't look into it deeply, but I believe the ethernet trouble indicates either situation is true.

#12 ultrajones

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:23 AM

I have my ELK M1 monitored via alarm relay via ethernet and I get lots of disconnects. they show up in logs as ETHERNET TROUBLE events..

there was a thread about it last year but I dont see anyone that either got it working better or mentioned another solution..
http://cocoontech.co...__fromsearch__1
Anyone work this out with alarm relay? Is there anyone else that monitorings directly over internet from the m1s ethernet module? I have a nice Verizon fios connection but no copper phone line. My fios is super stable, I keep a small VPN conneciton open for weeks at a time without a disconnect so I know my internet is good.

I originally had these disconnects make an annoucment over the speakers but I guess I must have gotten annoyed that is was waking my son so I turned it off 6 months ago.. I re-enabled the annoucments and sure enough I still get the disconnects a few times a week.


I have been attempting to work with Elk and Alarm Relay for over a year on this and other issues, but I have not made any progress. I have provided detailed packet captures, but still no acknowledgement an issue exists. Can you do me a favor and isolate your Elk M1 from the public Internet for about 45 minutes? I believe you'll experience the following:

1) The Elk M1 will indicate an Ethernet Failure and Restoral over and over (even though the Elk M1 is isolated from the Internet).
2) Alarm Relay will never notice your alarm is no longer reporting.
3) As soon as you restore your Internet (after 45 minutes), you'll get a call from Alarm Relay.

The expected behavior should be:
  • One Ethernet failure message written to the logs.
  • Alarm relay should notify me that my alarm is no longer reporting heartbeat.
  • One Ethernet restoral message once the Internet is restored.
Regards,
Ultrajones

#13 Linwood

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:50 AM

The expected behavior should be:

  • One Ethernet failure message written to the logs.
  • Alarm relay should notify me that my alarm is no longer reporting heartbeat.
  • One Ethernet restoral message once the Internet is restored.



I am not doing monitoring via IP so take this just as an interested spectator's observation who does networking a lot:

Why would you expect only one ethernet failure? I think that would depend on how it was isolated.

If you broke the link, e.g. unplugged it at the Elk card, I might expect one failure as it would get a link down internally.

But if you just disconnect elsewhere, it is purely a reachability question. I would expect the Elk to try to communicate repeatly on some schedule (however the IP protocol they are using is set up), and fail each time. I would expect each failure to be logged, unless it has some throttle internally.

And even if you broke the link, I might expect the Elk's job that periodically tries to communicate would still log an error on some schedule not just once. Maybe.

Now to your middle point -- I would expect Alarm Relay to notice the absence and notify you. I agree. But the skeptic in me says (1) home internet connections (not necessarily yours) are highly unreliable, (2) home equipment on those internets even more so, (3) typical home users fooling with home internets casuse a lot of outages, and (4) alerting each time a home internet dropped out would mean a LOT of work, and my guess is that (5) Alarm Relay turned off all notification purely for absence of continual connectivity, but refuses to admit it (or their staff may not know).

NextAlarm, for non IP reporting, will not notify you from lack of periodic tests either. I do not know about IP monitoring. But I tried to get them to "call me if you do not receive at least a test once a day" and they simply do not do that. They will have the periodic test send me email so I can notice, which is almost but not quite as good.

I would further speculate (with no data whatsoever) that what is happening is on restoral, the M1 is sending up its last trouble notifications, the actual explicit code for trouble IS being handled by Alarm Relay, and so they tell you.

All speculation without any data, take it for what it is.

Edited by Linwood, 12 February 2012 - 10:51 AM.


#14 ultrajones

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:26 AM

When I signed up for the AlarmRelay service, one of the things they stated they do is notify you when your Alarm no longer reports. This was of interest to me so I get notified if someone simply disconnects my Internet on the outside of my home.

I am ok with multiple Ethernet failures, it is the Ethernet restore that is unexpected.

Regards,
Ultrajones

#15 Linwood

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:09 PM

When I signed up for the AlarmRelay service, one of the things they stated they do is notify you when your Alarm no longer reports. This was of interest to me so I get notified if someone simply disconnects my Internet on the outside of my home.


It sounds like they are not doing what they promised. Have you considered leaving it disconnected for a long time, see if they would ever call? (Recognizing of course some danger from real alarms while disconnected if you lack a backup reporting mechanism)

Maybe they wait X hours to see if it comes back (and when I say 'they' I mean maybe it is built into their system, whether or not the people in customer service know).




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