ELK Serial & Ethernet Interfaces, Do I need both?


Senior Member
I am getting ready to purchase an ELK system. I also own CQC, so I definitely need a serial interface, but do I really need the ethernet interface?

What does the ethernet interface allow me to do that the serial and CQC won't?

I just want to make sure I am getting the correct components. I don't mind getting the ethernet interface, but it is also expensive, so I don't want to buy it just to find out that I'll never use it.

Thanks for the help.
If CQC is the only thing that you want talking to the Elk, then you don't need the ethernet port. But keep in mind that there is only one "full power" serial port, so that means that you cannot use ElkRP to tweak your Elk configuration without stopping CQC and/or disconnecting CQC.
If you can swing it, I'd recommend the XEP 1000% Besides the inconvenience of having to have a pc by the Elk and swapping cables to go between RP and CQC, the XEP also gives you the virtual keypad (Java client access to M1) and ability to send email. Trust me, you'll never not use it if you have it.
The Elk has 1 serial port on the mainboard. If everything is controlled directly by CQC and you won't hook up anything via serial to the Elk, then don't get the serial expander, just get the ethernet interface. As Steve & WayneW mentioned, you can only have one program talking to the Elk at a time. You will CONSTANTLY be tweaking the Elk via ElkRP during initial setup, and it will drive you bonkers to constantly have to stop CQC and start ElkRP, then vice-versa.

I did that for 3 weeks before I went insane and got the ethernet interface. I never did buy the serial expander, don't need to now.
Just in case it was not clear, CQC will connect via serial or ethernet, so we are all basically recommending connection via ethernet. The XEP ethernet card connects to the M1's onboard serial connector. You will buy a M1XSP serial expander for lighting, HVAC, etc, but it is not needed for CQC.
Thanks for the help guys. So it sounds like I'll be getting the ethernet interface and forgoing the serial interface for the immediate future. I eventually want to add lighting control (I've really been looking at OnQ ALC system). Once I cross into that territory, I'll have to get the serial interface, but that may be a while.

That's $60 that I can spend somewhere else now (it won't be hard :lol:. Thanks again.
Yeah I was debating on getting it too & got it to be safe. Glad I did as you use it constantantly to change the programming. I cannot imagine doing that through the keypad. I still need to install the smoke alarms and more motion detectors. Love the system.
sic0048 said:
I eventually want to add lighting control (I've really been looking at OnQ ALC system)
Just a heads up about ALC, it looks like OnQ isn't really supporting it anyore. I was really planning on using ALC for my house but I have since changed to the iLine system by EDT. It installs just like the ALC sysem, but it is still being supported and I think it may be a little higher quality for about the same $.

Just my .02 on that... :lol: