ELK M1 successor

guho

Member
What would be a good successor to my Elk M1 Gold? I've lost faith in ELK coming up with a good successor (announced ELK E27 alarm engine keeps getting postponed and doesn't aim to be a drop-in replacement). I have 319.5MHz wireless GE sensors and a lot of hardwired sensors. I also control lights via UPB from the M1 Gold. Does the Inception panel support UPB? If not, what other panels on the market support hardwired and UPB? The panel needs good integration to Homeseer 4 as well.
 

Mark S.

Active Member
I'm not sure there is one, and sadly I fear that the era of consumer-managed alarm and home automation is waning, so there may never be one.    I am concerned that even ELK may take a more proprietary direction.  The more common approach seems to be the income-producing cloud-based ADT and Ring subscription-type systems.
 
One of the things that got me into automating home security, lighting, etc. was the fact that I could play with electronics and programming on a casual basis and customize Stargate/Caddx//ELK/Homeseer/etc. to do exactly what I want.  It was a fun and rewarding hobby.  But it seems like things are evolving to the point that you have to either 1) use the canned ADT/Ring systems with the "you'll get what we give you and you'll like it" attitude, which takes the fun out of it, or 2) become much more deeply involved in specialized stuff like MQTT, Tasker, JSON, and coding to roll-your-own, at which point it ceases to be a hobby at some point.
 
Sorry for getting a little off-point there, but I fear that ELK (and other OEMs) will no longer support limited-acceptance technologies like UPB or X-10 anymore, simply because they have to pursue the market.   I do hope that ELK comes through, but if there is another DIY-friendly OEM out there, I'm in.
 

ano

Senior Member
Mark S. said:
I'm not sure there is one, and sadly I fear that the era of consumer-managed alarm and home automation is waning, so there may never be one.    I am concerned that even ELK may take a more proprietary direction.  The more common approach seems to be the income-producing cloud-based ADT and Ring subscription-type systems.
 
One of the things that got me into automating home security, lighting, etc. was the fact that I could play with electronics and programming on a casual basis and customize Stargate/Caddx//ELK/Homeseer/etc. to do exactly what I want.  It was a fun and rewarding hobby.  But it seems like things are evolving to the point that you have to either 1) use the canned ADT/Ring systems with the "you'll get what we give you and you'll like it" attitude, which takes the fun out of it, or 2) become much more deeply involved in specialized stuff like MQTT, Tasker, JSON, and coding to roll-your-own, at which point it ceases to be a hobby at some point.
 
Sorry for getting a little off-point there, but I fear that ELK (and other OEMs) will no longer support limited-acceptance technologies like UPB or X-10 anymore, simply because they have to pursue the market.   I do hope that ELK comes through, but if there is another DIY-friendly OEM out there, I'm in.
I was going to say exactly what you did.  Consider ELK is a small company so I wouldn't hold my breath they will release a new major product.  Leviton bought HAI to do this and even they realized they really can't because the market isn't there.
 
But some things are looking up.  There is "Thread" which could unify things, and there will always be a need for home security systems, so its not a hopeless situation.  Amazon, Google, etc. all realize they are not going in the right directions, so we will see what is going to come about.  A technology like Zigbee could be used for both sensors and 120V control, so that is optimistic.  But otherwise, we are at a void currently. Lets see what happens.
 

jeditekunum

Active Member
I dont hold much hope for a new Elk product and even less for a product that the community here desires.

I just saw on the Elk forum comments by Elk employees like: E27 Alarm Engine is not a replacement for the M1 Gold control. This is a new/different offering.
and: The M1 Bus Devices () will not work with the E27. the E27 has a different bus protocol.

Almost certain that the bus protocol will be encrypted just like the newer DSC Neo line. Thats a very strong hint of a totally locked-down proprietary platform. Another comment says no UPB support and that another interface module would need to be developed to enable it. In other words, like most the industry trends, we (Elk) will decide what our customers can do with our products. May even be subscriptions to keep the software working.

I dont currently have any Elk products and I will never buy any if they go anywhere down that road. I do have a Loxone automation controller that is very close to such an undesirable product. There has been an explosion of proprietary add-on products and a proprietary wiring setup. They are still supporting their DMX bridge but I suspect they now wish they never had it. Software isnt a subscription or purchase YET. In my case I didnt buy anything beyond the controller and DMX add-on as I was highly suspicious of their plans even 4 years ago.

At this point the only thing that Ive looked at this year - in the alarm realm - that I like is Bosch. The B Series (B3512/B4512/B6512/) seems to be the most modern without the proprietary downsides. The documentation appears to be very good - and, importantly to me, not anchored in archaic vudu of ancient panel terminology. The programming software is readily available and seems of much higher quality than others. They are hopefully much more stable as a company than most.

My preference is going to be very limited purpose products that I can integrate into whatever automation platform I want. Keep the alarm panel basic with no automation functions - just a way to integrate. Today my automation core is Loxone but I suspect that will be replaced with open source or personally developed in the future.
 
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