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Elk and zwave not a good match

jlegault

Active Member
Guys, I just wanted to let all the people thinking about future hardware purchases know that the Elk zwave interface is not finished. It's fairly buggy at this point with no roadmap to get better. This could be a function of Homepro devices however, every other zwave controller (controlthink SDK, homeseer, ZTH) I have used works flawlessly with the various ACT zwave systems I've worked with. I sorta get the sense that Elk has moved on to support the insteon and upb craze given their lack of ambition to help me with my problems.

The landscape of automation systems is so diverse at this point and that feedback from users with the same system configuration you are planning is scarce. I hope this helps someone who is planning their dream system. On paper, zwave seems like the perfect lighting system, and the Elk the perfect security/automation backbone. But together they don't dance. It's a shame.

Anyone want to buy am Elk M1G system or 40 zwave modules?
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
jlegault,

I'm really sorry to hear that your alarm unit is having troubles. What problems are you seeing, exactly? I know that some of the functionality requires their programmer software to set up--which may be available to customers, and should definitely be available to security dealers.

Are you sure you don't have a beta unit?

Chris
 

Squintz

Senior Member
I use the Elk and Z-wave combo and I love it. My lights turn on instantly with motion detection and are shut off after no motion for 30 seconds just like I have them setup. The only think I whish the elk could do is poll for the status of the switches. I have worked arround this by setting CQC up to talk to my USB controller and its ONLY job is to poll for the status of the switches. CQC also talks to my elk which allows me to send commands to the elk based on logic performed by CQC and the USB controller. It is not a pretty solution but it works.

My Elk Z-wave setup has been flawless.

What specific problems have you had? Maybe you are doing something that I have not tried yet.
 

AutomatedOutlet

Senior Member
I know that some of the functionality requires their programmer software to set up--which may be available to customers, and should definitely be available to security dealers.

Not true Chris. The software that comes with the Elk allows full programming.

You might be thinking of the HAI that has 2 versions of the software - End user and installer - both are available to end users though.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
AutomatedOutlet said:
You might be thinking of the HAI that has 2 versions of the software - End user and installer - both are available to end users though.
Not to hijack the thread, but HAI charges end users that want/need the installer software, right? Elk's configuration software is all free.
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
AutomatedOutlet said:
I know that some of the functionality requires their programmer software to set up--which may be available to customers, and should definitely be available to security dealers.

Not true Chris. The software that comes with the Elk allows full programming.

You might be thinking of the HAI that has 2 versions of the software - End user and installer - both are available to end users though.
Ah, so the software is not only available to customers but it comes with the unit. Very nice!

Thanks for the clarification,

Chris
 

tech-home

Active Member
I think Elk & Zwave could be better. As mentioned before there needs to be a polling option.

This would be really nice for the new touchscreen control.
 

jlegault

Active Member
My specific issues are with turning scenes of lights on. Large scene commands sent out by the elk do not work with specific switch models (ZDW120, ZDW103), even though they work fine from other controllers like the ACT/Intermatic USB via homeseer and the ZTH100. It's hit or miss if a scene command even executes, and recently I have only been able to make groups of light turn on by sending individual switch commands using the output timer pattern that lets you serialize events with delays in between. Even individual zwave commands can fail at times. I have never once had a similar issue with my hand held controller, or the USB controllers. Well I take that back, I had the unfortunate luck of receiving one of the earlier ACT USB controllers that barely worked at all. My hardware may be faulty, but ELk has not offered to replace it or help me diagnose the issue further on a specific timetable. I was put in touch with the fellow who originally designed the unit for Elk, but have not heard from him in many months since our initial conversation where he promised to send me new firmware.

I am not sure what people are referring to w/r to the zwave programming. As far as I know (and that's not much), you must use a hand held controller to program the network and then transfer that to the zwave unit via a button on the elk zwave controller. It would sort of be infeasible to setup a zwave network from a controller that has a fixed location. The RP programming software provided allows you to work with the zwave network once the units, groups, and scenes have be transferred to the elk controller (which acts as a secondary zwave controller).

Feedback on switch status would be a luxury for me at the moment, though I have been hacking this with good results in homeseer.
 

HoustonFirefox

Active Member
I too an underwhelmed with the Elk-Zwave relationship.

My Elk controls my Z-wave lighting without any trouble but here is the rub:

I spent $70 each on three Z-Wave motion detectors that work just dandy with HomeSeer (HS can detect the Z-Wave motion detectors) whereas the Elk cannot.

Elk says that the Z-wave commands cannot be "heard" from any controller that did not initially "send" the command.

My question is this: If that is indeed the case, how can the "secondary" Z-Wave USB controller attached to my HomeSeer PC "hear" the zwave motion detector and turn on a light without flaws, 100% of the time?

Seems to me that Elk might not have the in-house expertise to update the firmware on the Z-wave add-on for the Elk panel. That's a shame since I paid a lot for it and only get half the functionality that I was looking for.

The rest of the Elk system works like a champ, it's just the Z-wave interface that leaves a lot to be desired.

(Grumbling in Houston) :)
 

Squintz

Senior Member
Reading what you two have said I now know why I have not seen any issues. It's because I have not attempted scenes or used motion detectors yet. I am sorry to hear about your troubles.

Have either of you contacted Elk about the issues yet? Are they being supportive? The people at Elk are usually very supportive and if you work with them I would imagine they would try and resolve any issues you have.
 

Tombo

Member
Not to mention they charge 135 bucks or more for a zwave interface that does little. I would like to use Zwave motion detection and also some Zwave switches(controllers) that the Elk Zwave could pickup and put in as an input for a rule based command. It needs more work to be useful.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
The ELK M1XZW can work with up to 4 thermostats.

Zwave software upgrades for some of the new switches are in process for the M1XZW.
 
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