ELK and nextalarms' ABN adapter


Active Member
I installed the ABN adapter from nextalarm yesterday, and I am shocked at how often it loses a connection to nextalarm. Its unbearable!

about 20 times a day, I get an error message from the ELK letting me know that there is a phone fault.

Is anyone else successfully using this?

I wonder if the problem has to do with me also having a vonage line.
Interesting. I don't have one, but I liked that adapter as it seemed to make a lot of sense.

I don't have vonage, but I remember a lot of people mentioning the vonage box locking up and I think possibly have to reset that or the modem.

If it happens that frequently, can you take the vonage out of the loop for a few hours and see if you get the same issue? Even at night to avoid loss of phone service maybe.
Thanks Mike.

I pulled the vonage router out of the loop to avoid confusion.

From the Elk logs, it appears that everything works for exactly one hour, and then phone fault. Sometimes it restores quickly, othertimes it may take several minutes for the phone fault to go away. Then one hour later, it loses its connection.

If it keep going out, then I will also pull out the router than I am using (a linksys befsx41) and just plug in the ABN adapter by itself.

I've had trouble with this router before with Aol Instant Messenger....it kept dropping connections. Its a bug that a lot of people have encountered and than linksys has not addressed. Unfortunately the vonage router (also made by linksys) is also slightly defective: after a few hours, the DHCP server fails and computers that are set to obtain a IP address automatically never get one.

I really wish some company would make a decent router!
Just curious, did you go straight to the ABN, or did you try connecting the Elk up to your Vonage line before resorting to the ABN? I use VoIP, and while I had some reliability problems using NextAlarm's default protocol of Contact ID, all has been fine reliability wise using SIA with the Elk connected straight to my VoIP line. Note, however, that many of nextalarm's internet functions only work with Contact ID.
hgupta1 said:
I really wish some company would make a decent router!
FWIW, I've had absolutely no problems using a Linksys WRT-54GS router with 3rd party (dd-wrt) firmware (which adds a ton of features) for well over a year (maybe two). Beware though, that the Linksys routers have been dumbed down since I bought mine - the later versions have to be hacked to work with 3rd party firmware. I've also recently purchased a Buffalo WHR-G54S to replace a problematic D-link DI-624 (which has a VERY common problem of constantly rebooting). I haven't installed it yet (it's only going to be a 2nd access point), but specifically purchased it because it's based on the same chipset as the Linksys routers (the ones that DO work well with DD-WRT).
A few things with that router (I have had problems with it myself). First, make sure you are running the latest firmware. Then make sure uPnP is OFF. That will make it reboot ocassionally. Hopefully you dont need that.

I just replaced mine yesterday with a DLink as I was having problems with VPN and it seemed to be rebooting again (check the logs). I got tired of it.

Hope this helps.
I turned off the vonage router and still had problems. Then I pulled out the the linksys befsx41 router and plugged the ABN adapter into the vonage router, and still had the problems.

I haven't been able to test the ABN adapter by itself yet since I was expecting an important e-mail. I am beginning to suspect that it is defective as well. The power light seems to flash very often.

It really makes me mad that nextalarm's tech support is not open on weekends. It seems like alarm monitoring is a business that is urgent enough to require 24/7 tech suppory.

Hmm didn't expect that. Can you try it going from cable modem to abn adaptor? That would avoid any extraneous equipment and would confirm further.
Unfortunately I was never able to get the ABN adapter working just by plugging it straight into the cable modem. There is no reset button on it to reset all the changes I made to it (like static IP).

Nextalarm thinks that the problem is global (!!!) and promised that they are working on a fix.
No, I mean have you tried not using the ABN at all... just connecting the elk to your VoIP adapter though the standard phone line connections.

EDIT: Saw in the other thread that you tried no ABN before buying it. FWIW, I also had problems (actually, much more than you) when I first did it, but haven't had any since switching to the SIA protocol. You lose some of NextAlarms internet enabled features that way, but at least I get reliable reporting. Since you're having problems with the ABN, you may want to consider pursuing returning it... the money saved could go towards an M1XEP if you don't already have one, and then you could switch to Alarm via internet once they enable it, and gain all the added benefits the XEP gives you.
I think I am going to return it and try SIA reporting or getting a phone line. I haven't felt secure since the ELk m1 tried to call out to report an emergency and the call failed.

I am actually fed up with NextAlarm. Their solution to the "Phone Fault" error message was to turn off phone line monitoring in my elk system! :)

I also hate that they outsource their alarm monitoring to another company. Whenever I get calls from the alarm company, they don't seem to know what an ABN adapter is or who nextalarm.com is.

They also told me that they have no timeframe to implement the XEP!

Attn ELK:
Please work out an agreement with an alarm monitoring company to provide internet monitoring using the ELK XEP!
I'm sorry to hear you had so may problems. On the bright side, I suspect you just spared a bunch of people trying NextAlarm. Like I said before I was considering them once I finish off my system.

If you find a good monitoring solution, please share it.

I agree regarding the elk, but I thought they just implemented a standard format, problem has been monitoring stations supporting it, not that Elk implemented something proprietary.
I finally got NextAlarm to do something about the incessant phone fault errors. (I had to let them know that I would take them to court if an emergency occurred and the alarm system couldn't dial out). Someone higher up in the company finally contacted me and got the problem resolved (it was something on their end).

Anyways, it no longer beeps. I'm going to have to test it very frequently until my confidence in it is fully restored.

I did talk to the guy about ELK XEP. He said that Next Alarm is most likely going to go with their own proprietary system instead of the Elk compatible Osbourne-Hoffman receiver because they have encountered a glitch that makes would require a $20K piece of equipment to resolve. So I'm not crossing my fingers for the ELK XEP anymore.

I noticed that bellsouth has finally started offering featureless residential phone lines for $12.50 a month...perfect for alarm systems. (They were at $35 a month when I first looked to getting monitored) .

Between vonage and the ABN adapter, I've spent more money now for much worse service. If I can get bellsouth to bury the line instead of stringing it from the rooftop to the pole, I am definitely going back to plain old monitoring. (and probably switching to Alarm Relay as the monitoring service).
hgupta1 said:
I did talk to the guy about ELK XEP. He said that Next Alarm is most likely going to go with their own proprietary system instead of the Elk compatible Osbourne-Hoffman receiver ...
Well, that's very disappointing to hear. But fortunately, no contract required, so I can jump ship as soon as someone else offers XEP support at a reasonable price.

This seems as good a place as any to chime in. I talked with several large central monitoring companies at EHX. One of them did say that they do ip monitoring and he would hook me up with one of his dealers. Well, I went thru a few of them and they either were not interested or wanted to charge like $30 month. So I gave up that route and spoke to a large place locally that I knew that I knew already used Osborn Hoffman receivers. They will not do ip monitoring at any price because they have concluded it is too unreliable. Granted we are a unique bunch and understand our systems, but they experienced where people changed DSL to cable, disconnected their systems, etc which obviously killed their ip connection. These people then did not understand why their monitoring did not work, so the monitoring company just gave up for now because there were too many issues. The first guy tried to talk me into becoming a dealer of his but that was not something I was interested in. I will try again at EHX in November to see if I can find someone else who may be interested but for now ip monitoring does not look too hopeful.