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Best method to mount ELK M1G to Leviton Structured Media Box (SMB)

ddennerline

Active Member
I have been looking through all the pictures and posts of ELK setups, and there are some clean installations. I wish the Elk black package was “plug-n-play†compatible with Leviton SMB. I have thought of several ways to install the Elk, but there is no clear choice.

1) Buy Leviton 12" Universal Security Brackets (PN#47612-1SB). Option is rather expensive at $50. Plus the box is only 9.5†long, so the bracket will extend 1-2†past end of box – possibly wasting space.

2) Install metal screws into SMB that match the predrilled raindrop holes in back of alarm box. You probably would need to build/use some sort of template as reference. The original Elk 14†box came with two bolts that contained threads on 50% of shank. The Elk SMB had two perfectly placed holes that bolt screwed into. On the backside of M1G there are two teardrop holes. You could probably use the same technique – except use metal screws. The problem here is that you will have to be careful to make sure everything lines up. Also, moving the Elk around after the fact could be near impossible

3) Use Velcro strips around the edge. I have been using this technique in combination Multipurpose Adapter Plate (ELK-SWP) to mount router and DSL model successfully. The benefit here is that Elk can be moved around by simply uplifting the bottom half of Velcro (albeit with lots of elbow grease). The con is I don’t know if the I want a $500 device secured using $4 tape. I think it will hold, but long-term I am not sure.

4) Screw the whole box into the SMB. If the M1G front covert is removed, then 4 screw holes are exposed. The problem here is once the device is screwed in – trying to relocate it is rather difficult. The point (in my opinon) of the SMB is malleable of devices installed within enclosure (to some extent). I understand that moving things around after the fact is probably difficult job too. I just hate concreting devices into box and creating addition holes.

5) I did see someone mentioned using magnetic strips Custom-magnetsDOTcom. This seem s to be most compatible with intention of SMB, but again will it hold up long term.

Ideally, ELK would sell an enclosure/kit that allowed alarm panel to be seamlessly integrated in Leviton SMB. I mention Leviton because for better or worse this is what is sold at big box home store.
 

scriptx

Member
I agree! Though I can't offer much in the way of options, I am going to drill and mount two metal screws into the tear drop holes. I would much rather use the plastic Leviton plugs rather than the metal screws, however, the tear drops are not compatible.
 

sic0048

Senior Member
I drilled and screwed mine into my Channel Vision can. I even moved it once after doing that. Simply drilled and screwed a new set of holes.

Not a big deal to do, certainly is the cheapest option, and the original set of screw holes isn't noticable nor effects the can in any way. You're going to make a bigger mess of the can trying to use velcro IMHO (or two sided tape, etc, etc).

Screw it I say :p
 

jaysonc

Active Member
I used the double sided tape ELK sells. It provides about a 3/8 lift and the adhesive is very tough.

It works so well that I actually use it to to mount all devices in my enclosures except the batteries.
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
What size panel do most people use for their Elk install?

Im sure it can vary depending on how many expansion boards and/or other accessories are used - just looking for average size.
 

sic0048

Senior Member
I mounted two 50" channel vision cans in my closet. They were the biggest things that fit. I use 1 for my elk and 1 for other stuff. I still have enough room to install a smaller can and will probably mount the 14" can the ELK came in for some sort of power distribution center.

Can space is like rack space IMHO - you can never have too much!
 

felixrosbergen

Senior Member
My ELK is in a Leviton 42" SMB. I used the original screw that came with the ELK.

You can pop the ELK cover off and then pop the circuit board out off the black casing. I did that and then drilled the hole right through it. Mounted the black back piece, put the board in and put the cover over it.

If you need to drill for any other reason in your panel (e.g. for mounting channel vision stuff or OnQ stuff in a leviton panel) better do it al before you start mounting things. It's not fun to have metal drill shaving flying all over the place when the components are in. I had stuff covered up with cloths and then did a big compressed air blowout before i switched anything back on and still had my fingers crossed.

I worried about how to mount and place my stuff forever..what is the best place for this and that..what about if i want to add this or that..in the end i sort of realized i was spending hours thinking about it and nothing was getting mounted so i just started. Many pieces will be snap-in anyway, so try and snap it all in place before you start any wiring and see if you like it and adjust if needed. In the end a cover will go over it (maybe in a few year... lol ) and who cares at that point.
 

wuench

Senior Member
1) Buy Leviton 12" Universal Security Brackets (PN#47612-1SB). Option is rather expensive at $50. Plus the box is only 9.5†long, so the bracket will extend 1-2†past end of box – possibly wasting space.

I doubt it will consider it wasted space once you mount it as you still need the space on each side to attach wires, etc.

2) Install metal screws into SMB that match the predrilled raindrop holes in back of alarm box. You probably would need to build/use some sort of template as reference. The original Elk 14†box came with two bolts that contained threads on 50% of shank. The Elk SMB had two perfectly placed holes that bolt screwed into. On the backside of M1G there are two teardrop holes. You could probably use the same technique – except use metal screws. The problem here is that you will have to be careful to make sure everything lines up. Also, moving the Elk around after the fact could be near impossible

This is what I did. I was stumped at first too, but (like MavRic stated) I soon realized that you can easily remove the Elk board from the plastic case and line up the holes using just the case.

As for can size, I have a 42" and a 14" for batteries etc. I couldn't see anyone going lower than 28" if you intend to mount flat/parallel to the can. The only size bigger than 42 is 50 and you'll have to go to channelmaster for that. I didn't even know they existed at the time, or I probably would have gone that route.
 

ddennerline

Active Member
Thanks for all the ideas and feedback. I guess drilling is probably not too bad if done when SMB is empty.
In terms of SMB size, I started out using the 14†Elk that came with standard package believing (falsely) that some power that be had predetermined customer’s most common setup. I soon came to conclusion after adding a few “options†that 14†is too small. I purchased a 28†for HA/Alarm components. The 14†was used for Router/DSL/Cable. Well it turns out that because I have to am going to run multiple Ethernet drops, my five port Gigabit router, will not have enough ports. I have to add a new Switch. Today, I uninstalled the 14†box. I am in process of install 42†Leviton SMB.
The moral of story is I think it’s easily possible to use two 42†boxes if you want Voice, Internet, Home Automation, and Power Backup to fit together. If you don’t get it right from the start, there will be lots of pain. I cannot figure out why Elk would sell the standard package with a 14†box because IMHO the reason to buy an Elk is for its expandability. I think one 24†would be the minimum if you only wanted intermediate HA/alarm functionality. When referring to intermediate, I am including (sorry not putting part#)
1) Ethernet gateway
2) Databus card
3) Extra voice/alarm card
4) Battery backup
5) Extra input expander card
6) Lighting control board (Zwave, Serial expander)
 

sic0048

Senior Member
One more thing to mention if you drill - be careful about drilling through the can and continuing through the rear drywall. The Channel Vision cans I use have about a 1/4" space between the back of the can and the drywall on the other side of the wall. If you are not careful, you can drill right through the drywall and have nice little holes in your wall. Don't ask how I know. ;)

Of course the good news is that it isn't that hard of a fix..... or so I've heard ;)

I also ordered the ELK plastic standoffs and use them to mount other boards in the can rather than using an adapter plate. The standoffs are much cheaper and you generally still have to use them even with an adapter plate. So I decided to skip the plate all together.

I had read that the plastic standoffs where not very good, but I actually really like them. They seem to be sturdy enough to hold the components firmly. To use them, I simply hold the board up where I want to mount it in the can and mark the location of the mounting holes. I use a drill bit that is the same size as the mounting holes (something like a 1/8" bit). Then the plastic standoffs fit just right in the hole and secure the board very well.

I think Dan used some regular metal computer standoffs which allowed him to stack several boards on top of each other. I'll probably use that method if I am mounting several of the same boards, but for the XEP and other boards that I just have one of, the plastic standoffs work really well.
 
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