Elk questions


Active Member
I'm thinking about ditching my Napco Gemini alarm and getting the Elk EZ8 or M1 Gold. I'm having trouble deciding which one. I am not really interested in voice recognition features, but I do want to hear voice or wav alerts letting me know which zone was tripped. Does the EZ8 do this?
Elk doesn't do VR.

To hear voice announcements go with M1.

Remeber the ez8 doesn't have an onbaord serial port.
Acording to the manual here are some other differences

Highlighted Features of the M1G (Gold)
• Automation (“Whenever/And/Thenâ€) Rules Capacity 528
• Serial (RS232) Port Supported 8 w/expanders
• Phone Number Capacity 8
• Number of HVAC Thermostats † Supported 16
• Total Number of Outputs Supported 205
• Advanced Lighting † Options (Pre-set Dim, Extended, Levels, Scenes) Yes
• Analog Zone Definitions Supported Yes

I am not sure if they have changed this from the old M1 to the EZ8
I guess I could get homeseer to do the voice announcements.

If I were to get the EZ8, would I need to get 2 of the serial port expanders (one for the homeseer computer, and one for the W800?
At its base cost, I might be able to swing the M1Gold, but I am afraid of all the little addons and plug ins that I would have to get. Already, I am beginning to think that I didn't really need homeseer if I had gotten the M1G earlier.
Difference between the M1G and M1EZ8:

When you buy the EZ8, and you want to hook it up to your PC, you will need to get the M1EZ8 Main Serial Interface, since the EZ8 doesn't come with a serial port (The M1G does). This is the same port which will be used for programming, and monitoring with the Elk plugin (or my.Elk).

You only need the M1XSP (the serial port expanders) if you want to hook up other interfaces such as the W800RF32, so in your case, you would only need one of them.
Two quick questions before I order:

1) So I need to order one M1XSP for the W800RF32, and one M1EZ8MSI for the computer?


2) can the M1EZ8 control X10 devices right out of the box, or do I need some sort of x10 add on controller?


1) yes
2) both the M1G and M1EZ8 require an optional X10 interface, such as the PSC05

Did you take a look at the differences between the M1G and M1EZ8? I have the M1EZ8, but would love to upgrade to the Gold someday, just for the voice features and phone control alone.
I would strongly suggest going for the M1 if possible. The difference in cost is $206 and for that you get at least these things alone which I think is worth it...
  • Full voice to announce all your alarms, etc, which you indicated you wanted. It would be very time consuming if not downright difficult to reproduce all the built in automatic voice stuff in Homeseer

  • Phone support. I can walk around my house or outside with a cordless phone and control the system. It is great for testing things like sprinkler control, garage control, etc. not to mention normal alarm control and notification

  • You get snap in connectors which makes wiring much easier
And there is more. If you can swing the extra $206 I think it is worth it, after all it is an investent in the future which you will have for a long time and you won't kick yourself later wishing you had done it the first time you wanted one of the features.
electron said:
Did you take a look at the differences between the M1G and M1EZ8? I have the M1EZ8, but would love to upgrade to the Gold someday, just for the voice features and phone control alone.
I did look at the differences. I don't have a phone line (and my hatred for bellsouth will prevent me from ever getting one again). The only clear benefit for me for the M1G is the ability to hear voice alerts, but homeseer's speaker application does a really good job of this since it plays through my MCE computer's output which plays through my TVs speakers throughout the house.

Money is tight right now, so I will have to go with the EZ8 for now.

If anyone wants to upgrade from the EZ8 to the M1G, I'll be happy to buy their old board from them.
I that is the normal way to connect it to HS (I don't have HS, but I do have the ethernet module for the M1G and am very happy I bought it.)

The other thing to consider is what you will integrate. If you use the ethernet module you will need a serial expander, that will add another $45 or so (I thought $75 but the main serial expander on the EZ8 is around $45 the subsequent ones are close to $75. That just brings the number down a bit if it helps your decision.
IMHO I would take that same $200 and buy the M1 instead of the EZ8 and add the XEP later. Don't get me wrong, I love the XEP but the same $200 I think you would be happier with the M1 plus it would be alot easier to just add the XEP later as budget permits instead of changing over to an M1. Just my $.02