Elk Ethernet Interface


Senior Member
Was curious on what people thought: I am planning to connect my elk to a PC running homeseer or equivalent at some point and control from there. If I am going to do that, am I better off with DB9-RJ45 connectors to the controlling PC (to essentially run serial to the PC over cat5)?

It looks like the ethernet module is great if you are not planning on using another PC as it has a built in web-page and the like, but if you will have a dedicated PC, is it overkill?

Wasn't sure if I'm missing anything though.


Staff member
The ethernet module also allows you to connect with RP from any other PC. It is also a required component if you are going to get the RM touchscreen software, and of course, having this module means you don't have to have your HA PC located in the same area as your panel. Are you going to EHExpo in CA?


Senior Member
electron said:
It is also a required component if you are going to get the RM touchscreen software
I don't think it is truly required for everyone. It is required for RM users UNLESS you have your Elk connected to your PC via serial and use that reflector software on your 24/7 PC. So, for MOST consumers, it would be a requirement. For most(?) heavy duty HA geeks running an HA PC of some sort, then it is optional.

I have a 24/7 PC running HS and I am still planning on adding the Ethernet interface. My number one reason is so that I don't lose my email/pager notifications if HS and/or that PC ever take a dive. this would allow the M1 to send emails/pages directly to me with no computer required. Both the PC and the M1 depend upon my broadband access being reliable for this to work.


Senior Member

Are you going to EHExpo in CA?

I'm stuck on the wrong coast so won't have the pleasure of attending.

Actually now that I think of it, there are other situations: If you have, say a homeseer pc, but also want to control things from an MCE machine, the ethernet connectivity method would work, but the serial would not.

Not sure if the above scenario would work (any connection limit for multiple machines accessing the Elk?).

Then when you include the touch screen aspect (which I plan on using), it makes a lot of sense.

I went back and forth on this (ethernet connected devices are the way to go in general) and wasn't sure if with a dedicated computer it might be overkill (as the internal web server isnt required), but if nothing else the touch screens change this.

Thanks for helping to clear this up for me.


Active Member

I've got interest in the Elk M1 and trying to decide if a visit to EHExpo would be a worthwhile trip. I need to shuffle some scheduling, but can probably get there if you think Elk may have some significant product announcement???



Senior Member

While my plan is to do most stuff in the M1, my plan is also to augment the M1 with SW. I am going to use Charmed Quark (CQC) primarily because of the interface. I plan on having a large touch screen wall mounted in kitchen running CQC interface which will tie into the M1 via the M1 driver and XEP. It could be done with serial, but the XEP is really nice and clean and simple. Also as Wayne said, the email notification is great. I use it to notify certain armings and currently also have a daily test message. I rarely use the built in web server. Email alone almost makes it worth it.


If it is easy and inexpensive for you to get to the show and you are serious about an M1, an extra incentive would be their show special which is quoted from David as
Buy an M1 Gold System 4 package at the show and get either: Additional 28 inch structured wiring box or Two Day Training in Hildebran, NC, basic and advanced course, two days training, with two days room and meals included. Also buy a battery tester and get a case of batteries, 12 V 5ah or 8ah. Transportation not included.
That may give ya a little more incentive anyway.


Senior Member
Thanks Steve.

That is interesting on your choice of CQC. I haven't gotten to looking at touchscreens, but I had planned on doing a trial of both homeseer and cqc when I got to that point (on the controller side) to try and narrow it down for me. Homeseer seems to be the installed favorite around here, but I found the architecture of cqc to be intriguing.

I'd love to hear how that goes. I'm still putting the rest of my system together, and probably wont get to the automation pc for a bit.

If you have any recommended links for touchscreens, post them please...

I've been trying to determine if a tablet might be preferable or not to a full touch screen in wall or otherwise.


Senior Member
Here's why I like CQC (short version). My main want was an interface designer. That pretty much was CQC or Mainlobby. You can use ML directly with M1 since they have a plugin, but the ML architecture is the MLserver w/plugin and then ML interface designer plus any other media, weather, etc 'lobbys'. You could use just HS and its separate plugin plus ML. You could also use HS and Netremote as JohnW does.

I like CQC because it is all 1 product. With CQC you get the whole thing including the drivers. You don't have to buy all separate components, it is nice and integrated. You build your own interface that can control media, M1, etc. Granted, CQC is not HS as far as a strict HA package (at least not yet), but for interface and media control (primary market), it can't be beat. The price is right, it is super reliable (underlying OO architecture is way superior to VB), Dean's support is incredible and it gets better every day. 1.5 with the event system will make it much more usable.

I was actually going to make a post to ask about touch screens. Only thing I saw so far are some Elo wall mounts. Waiting to see the Elks before I do anything else.


Steve said:
Here's why I like CQC (short version).
I am in the same boat and am looking at CQC for the very same reasons. I wanted a solid interface designer with a system that could control both HA and Media. I just installed my M1G this weekend and got it working with CQC. I definitely like the way CQC has been structured and my experience with it so far has been very positive. They are also going to be adding the Web Server (beta) in 1.5 which will make it even more appealing.

Regarding touchscreens, has anyone used the airpanels with RDP as a solution? To support multiple touchscreens, you would need a Terminal Server (to support multiple instances), but I like the fact that there is very little configuration needed on the airpanel itself. I have setup a few medical offices using them to talk back to applications and had great success in the past.


Dean Roddey

Senior Member
If you are looking at the RDP scheme, then these little guys seem very interesting:


These would be for those rooms where you don't need a portable device, so you have to add a DVI or RGB standard touch screen to them, but they would require no local maintenance either since they are basically tiny RDP clients that can fit into a standard gang box in the wall. By the time you throw in $500'ish for a touch screen adn $300 for one of these, that's still a pretty low price for a local-maintenance free solution which gets you a 1280x1024 touch screen.