Elk Hardware Questions


Active Member
I am planning on purchasing an Elk security panel in the next few weeks. I have not yet decided if I will get the M1 Gold or the EZ8. I do have a few questions about the hardware required to achieve my ultimate goal.

Currently I am using HomeSeer to handle lighting control with X10 devices. I also have a W800RF for my Palm Pads, DS10’s and X10 motion sensors. Once I have the Elk installed I will move all lighting control to it.

After reading through the forums, Automated Outlet and the Elk website I have determined that I need the following hardware to accomplish this.

EZ8 Configuration:
1 - ELK-M1EZ8KB Control Package Kit
1 - M1EZ8 Main Serial Interface – For ElkRP programming and PLC Interface
1 - M1XSP Lighting/Thermostat Interface, Serial Port Expander – W800RF Interface

M1 Gold Configuration
1 – M1GSYS4 Control Package Kit (RS232 and PLC ports included)
1 - M1XSP Lighting/Thermostat Interface, Serial Port Expander – W800RF Interface

I also assume that if I wanted to be able to provide PC monitoring/control of the panel, such as the my.Elk script, I would need an additional M1XSP for either configuration.

If I have missed anything please let me know.

my.Elk (and other Elk drivers) use the main serial port, it's actually the only port you can use to monitor/control the M1 series.

If you are going to use the M1 as an alarm panel as well, I would recommend the M1 Gold. You get more inputs, the voice module, telephone control and more.
Well the house is not currently wired for security, except for the front & back doors. I am considering installing a couple of glass break detectors, 2 smoke/fire detectors, and one temp sensor. What other things might I use the inputs for?

The panel will be initially utilized for lighting control.

No such thing as too many inputs B) Have you done the math, and checked how much the difference is between the 2 packages you listed?
Well you are right about the inputs. The telephone control and listen in features are the one item that I am undecided on. Anyone have any input on those capabilities? Is it something that is really used often or just something nice to have?

I have visited the thread on several occasions the past couple of weeks, it has been of great use.

I will have to give the Gold some more thought.

Well I at least like and use the telephone support. When I am testing stuff and moving all around the house I just grab the cordless phone press '***' and can then turn lights on/off, turn the strobe on/off, sprinklers, etc. You could use a laptop and WiFi to the XEP but the phone is just very convenient. It is also good for security so that if you are monitoring yourself it can call you in addition to emails, etc. The difference in price is $250 but I always believe with getting the most you can afford when it comes to technology since it moves so quick.
I cannot access my Elk from some corporate networks, so some days the phone is the only way that I can control my house remotely. Things like turning the alarm on after the person that clean the house leaves (not teaching her to turn it on yet). I also can turn the water heater on my way home when arriving earlier than planned. It gives you a lot of control that you can use in the now and in the future.

While there is an alternative to all those trivial things, the main reason for having the phone line is getting notification for house events - of which a burglar alarm is the most important. Right now I'm still calibrating sensors and the system is programmed to call me, but once everything is steady state I'll program the M1G to call the private security guards in charge of the security here if anything happens.
Thanks for all the responses. I had my wife look at some of the comments and now she is seeing the benefits of the telephone control and the additional inputs.

I am now leaning towards getting the M1G.

Thanks Everyone