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Is m1 still best option?


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#1 Sendero

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:30 AM

I've had an M1 based system in my house going on 12 years now and it's worked great for me, particularly the expandability for garage door sensors, Insteon light controls, ethernet control, integration wth CQC and now Home Assistant, etc. A buddy is building a new house and has asked me if he should go with an Elk as well, as he's always liked the setup I have at my house. Has anything changed much in panels in past 10 years? Is Elk still a good choice or are there better now? Integration with Home Assistant is a key thing for him as well, as he's like to integrate lighting, multiple types of sensors (rain, leak detection, driveway traffic, etc). 



#2 sic0048

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:04 PM

The ELK is perhaps the only alarm left that tries to integrate home automation into the panel itself.  So if you plan on using the panel to host automation, then ELK it is.  
 
Otherwise, if you are going to tie the panel into a larger home automation system and NOT use the panel to actually host any automation functionality, it is an expensive alarm panel.  Personally if I was doing it all over again, I would buy a "dumb" alarm panel that was approved for my larger home automation system (also CQC in my case).  That's because I spent all this money for the ELK, but CQC host handles 100% of my automation.  I actually use the alarm status to trigger a lot of automation functionality, but nothing is hosted on the ELK itself. Therefore I could do the same thing with a dumb DSC system that cost 1/3 the price of the ELK.

Edited by sic0048, 03 March 2021 - 01:06 PM.


#3 upstatemike

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:40 PM

Does DSC still make a panel with more than 64 hard wired inputs? Seems like the current product line tops out at 64. Even my old Stargate does 80 and if I ever replace it with a dumb panel+HA Controller I would need at least 80 wired inputs for automation in addition to whatever I configure for fire or security. My Elk has 11 input expanders with 80 zones shared between Elk and Stargate. so what brand would be the natural substitute for the M1in terms of scalability?



#4 ano

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 04:40 PM

Does DSC still make a panel with more than 64 hard wired inputs? Seems like the current product line tops out at 64. Even my old Stargate does 80 and if I ever replace it with a dumb panel+HA Controller I would need at least 80 wired inputs for automation in addition to whatever I configure for fire or security. My Elk has 11 input expanders with 80 zones shared between Elk and Stargate. so what brand would be the natural substitute for the M1in terms of scalability?

Look up PowerSeries Neo. Supports up to 128 zones.  148 outputs, 16 keypads, 8 partitions. And a design much newer.  



#5 picta

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 09:55 PM

Otherwise, if you are going to tie the panel into a larger home automation system and NOT use the panel to actually host any automation functionality, it is an expensive alarm panel.  Personally if I was doing it all over again, I would buy a "dumb" alarm panel that was approved for my larger home automation system (also CQC in my case).  That's because I spent all this money for the ELK, but CQC host handles 100% of my automation.  I actually use the alarm status to trigger a lot of automation functionality, but nothing is hosted on the ELK itself. Therefore I could do the same thing with a dumb DSC system that cost 1/3 the price of the ELK.

 

Elk does not just host automation, I would use it over any "dumb" panel for the ease of programming over the network interface and support for Honeywell wireless sensors. I tried Ademco panel and it was a nightmare to configure. Considering that I frequently add new automation functionality, I would not wish to do that via the "dumb" system. So took down Ademco, and replaced it with Elk. Recently added a micro door sensor to the pill case for tracking and reminding medication intake, took a few minutes to do the whole thing.
 



#6 Mark S.

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 06:46 PM

I suppose I was spoiled starting with Stargate a bajillion years ago.  It ran all my automation (lighting schedules, HVAC, sensors and actions) almost without fail for decades.  Adding Homeseer opened up many more possibilities, but Stargate was still not reliant on HS running - HS depends on Windows, so it eventually goes down for all sorts of reasons - but Stargate just kept doing what it does no matter what.   I still maintain this approach with ELK - it runs what I consider mission-critical stuff - all lighting and HVAC schedules, garage doors, water sensors, security events, etc. - operating independent of HS, but I can still monitor or intervene via HS.   ELK is the only remaining "security and automation hardware controller" that I am aware of that can do this.   As long as I can, I will not rely solely on a Windows-based system for automation - I've been burned way too many times by Microsoft.



#7 upstatemike

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 07:12 PM

I have a similiar setup except I never got rid of Stargate. When I installed the Elk M1 I configured the first 5 Elk expansion cards to share inputs with Stargate so anything on those 80 zones is seen by both systems. 



#8 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 09:56 AM

I have a similiar setup except I never got rid of Stargate. When I installed the Elk M1 I configured the first 5 Elk expansion cards to share inputs with Stargate so anything on those 80 zones is seen by both systems. 

Wow, that Stargate is still working!?!?  These old school systems were great though.

 

I remember when I installed my Elk, I still had my trusty Ocelot...because the ladder logic code and flexibility it offered (especially with timers) just made sense to me! :)



#9 picta

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 02:19 PM

My Stargate is still working also. It was an amazing automation system, especially at the time it was released. 20+ years and counting!



#10 sic0048

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 11:18 AM

Elk does not just host automation, I would use it over any "dumb" panel for the ease of programming over the network interface and support for Honeywell wireless sensors. I tried Ademco panel and it was a nightmare to configure. Considering that I frequently add new automation functionality, I would not wish to do that via the "dumb" system. So took down Ademco, and replaced it with Elk. Recently added a micro door sensor to the pill case for tracking and reminding medication intake, took a few minutes to do the whole thing.
 

 

That is a valid point. Having software like the Elk PR2 programming software certainly makes programing the ELK very easy and you can do it from a comfortable chair anywhere instead of trying to do it in an alarm closet.  I certainly have taken advantage of that through the years.



#11 Sendero

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 10:56 PM

OK, so sound like the ELK is still relevant and appropriate, though maybe not optimal. So if it were me looking for one for a new house I'd probably stick to the ELK, but for a buddy with no history or experience the DSC may be an easier option (as long as they have <64 inputs). 






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