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Help using existing wired system with Elk M1

RAL

Senior Member
urbanscribe said:
super helpful as ever
 
About 2 - smoke detectors --->
 
You could transfer the smoke detector wiring as-is to the Elk to see if the work.  But that seems like a wasted effort, since you will need to replace them anyway with 2-wire smokes.  But I would hesitate to advise you on how to connect them in an incorrect manner, even if it is just for test purposes.  It will be too tempting to leave them as-is until you get around to replacing them.
 
let me ask it another way.  Why do you think i need to replace the fire detectors.  Not necessarily a problem but just want to understand why they should be changed if they connect to DSC now?  is it that how it is connected is wrong/dangerous/stupid (saw that above but not sure WHY), or is it that these units may be old enough and cheap enough to change.  i'd love to understand better why the FD are wired wrong i guess.
 
 
You will need to change the existing smoke detectors because they are 4-wire detectors and are all home run back to the panel.  The proper way to wire smoke detectors is in a daisy chain manner so that all the wiring can be monitored for faults.   With the home run wiring, the wiring is all in parallel, and a fault in the wiring to any one of them would not be recognized.  This creates a life safety hazard, and that hazard is present with the DSC system now. 
 
Some might argue that you still have some protection the way it is, and some protection is better than none.  But it doesn't meet code, and in the event of an actual fire, your insurance company may latch onto that as an excuse to deny coverage.
 
That leaves you with two options.
 
1. Replace the smoke detectors with 2-wire smokes and re-use the existing wiring.  2-wire smokes on a 4-wire cable will allow you to wire them in a daisy chain manner, even though the cables are home runs.
 
2. Keep the existing smokes and run new cables to create a proper daisy chain.
 
urbanscribe said:
if i need to change the FDs then:
 
1. can i use the existing wiring?  wireless smokes are > $100 and there are a bunch
2. if i have 10 old ones now then are newer more efficient that they were 5/10 years ago such that i need only 5 (or if i have 10 then i should upgrade/replace 10)
3. should i get 2 wire or 4 wire new fire detectors?  
4. any models you recommend
5. do i over complicate things if i look for FD and Monoxide detectors combined?
6. how can i best re-use the existing wiring for FDs.  am i right to assume (a) replace all with 2 wires, ( B) connect all the wires to zone 16 on ELK M1 with jumper change?
 
1. You should be able to use the existing wiring if you reconnect the panel ends to form a daisy chain for 2-wire smokes.
 
2. I don't know where your smokes are located, but most building codes say you need one in each bedroom, one outside any sleeping areas, and one on each floor.
 
3. If you want to re-use the existing wiring, you will need 2-wire smokes.
 
4. For 2-wire smokes, you need to get models that are approved for use with the Elk M1.  There is a list in the M1 Manual.  System Sensor i3 is one model.
 
5. It complicates things somewhat to add CO detection, but not too much.  System Sensor i4 series COSMO-2W is a good model for this.  You'll also need a COSMOD2W module to split out the CO and fire alarm signals.  The instructions for the COSMOD2W contain wiring diagrams.
 
6. See comments above on wiring re-use.  If you use the COSMOD2W connected to COSMO-2W detectors, you connect the COSMOD2W to the M1 as if it were a 4-wire smoke detector, so it can actually go on any zone, not just zone 16.  But if you use the i3 series, smoke-only 2-wire detectors, then yes, you would connect them to zone 16 with jumper set for 2-wire operation.
 
thanks Cocoonut
 
1) ​can i assume that i will need to put a EOLR 2200 ohms resistors on the fire detectors themselves (not at panel) on the I3 themselves since i need them supervised?
following the diagram on page 3 of https://www.systemsensor.com/en-us/Documents/i3_Thermal_Manual_I56-2170.pdf
 
2) to use the home run wiring as a daisy chain, can i just connect the daisy chain at the panel by opening the home runs and connecting them together
obviously, right?
 
3) can i daisy chain 10 of them?  no risk of too long a total run length?
 
alex
 
 
 
urbanscribe said:
thanks.  trying to digest and understand.
 
can you point out maybe a tutorial/video or documentation to help.  
 
1. how to tell if there is a EOLR resistor at the contact side?  is there a way to test the wires or only by opening up the devices built into the door or frame?
is there a way to test a few circuits and tell wether it is likely that the EOLR are not there as is likely
 
2. how to transfer the fire detector wiring AS IT IS INTO THE DSC to how i would like it on the ELK?
should we not try that first before replacing the smokes.  again i think they may be only 5 years old.  unless impossible i would think that they can be hooked up to the ELK to see if they function
 
3. mapping the wired end contact to the board wires 
will look more into the probe.  saw the video.
may be another noob rated video or tutorial would be help.  
 
4. DATA BUS and panels.
can you guys tell whether the 3 panels were DAISY CHAINED or HOME RUN.  trying to figure out how best to hook the new ones (standard keypad) to the ELK with existing wiring
should i get the RETROFIT kit (Elk M1DBHR) - is in necessary or do you see a way to use normal data bus setup.
 
5. theoretically it would seem that the first step is to IDENTIFY the wires THEN check if they are GOOD (closing and opening properly)
can you think of a solid method to confirm that the contacts/devices work properly BEFORE just hooking them up and registering them and hoping?  
 
let me know if there is anything else i can take pictures of.
 
FYI.  i build a wireless only ELK before in my prior house so i know the system reasonably well but am honesltly clueless (but catching) on LEGACY issues 
1. Doubtful there is an EOLR at all. Multimeter would answer, but you've got bigger fish to fry if you don't have hermetically sealed contacts installed. Your system is of the age where you really need to look at that.
 
2. Don't. You have serious issues that need to be addressed before you migrate to a new system. The cost and unknown to fix appropriately will outweigh reuse. You can't just move the EOLR to the device and call it a day; you need to install power supervision relays and other items that would move the cost and complexity up in the same realm of replacing the detectors from the start.
 
3. Either meter with assistant or toner will work (single person). Start as I described. The 4 conductor cables should be obvious, they're going to be motions or glassbreaks. It appears the multiconductor ones are most likely keypad wires and the 2 conductor ones are going to be doors/windows or combination of both.
 
4. Existing (3/4 maybe) are homerun. Looks like the multiconductor (fits with vintage of the install) might give you the ability to daisy the data for an M1. Either way, there are options if that is not possible.
 
5. You need to use a multimeter to ohm out the cable and contacts to see what the loops have for resistance first. Zip cord is notorious for rotting from the inside out.
 
@ RAL, look closely at the cables connected to the bus. Extra pairs taped off and the same with the tracer cables. Looks like they set up for a row/column style keypad of the day. Conductor for every digit or key.
 

RAL

Senior Member
DELInstallations said:
@ RAL, look closely at the cables connected to the bus. Extra pairs taped off and the same with the tracer cables. Looks like they set up for a row/column style keypad of the day. Conductor for every digit or key.
 
DEL - Ok, I think I see what you're talking about. Cables in the top right corner of the upper wiring box.  One has a "21" label on it. Looks like 8 or maybe 10 conductor cable?
 
[Edit] Or are the wires from the multiconductor cable from the other wiring box on the upper left side?
 
I hadn't traced the individual wires from the data bus connection all the way back to the jacketed cable, as I lost what went were in the tangle of single wires. I just saw the 4 red, black, green and yellow wires at the terminals and assumed it was just a 4-wire cable. But looking for those colors in the wiring box, it becomes more clear.
 
So if the cables are not just 4 conductors as I had assumed, then you're right. He could just use the extra conductors to make a daisy chain and wouldn't need the M1DBHR.  Your experienced eyes are much better at spotting these details than I am!
 
thanks
 
if helpful here are some more detailed pictures of the board connections and the junction box.  let me know if there are parts you want me to photograph in particular
 
1) a few questions included
 
 
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15659778/elk/IMG_8016.jpg
 
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15659778/elk/IMG_8017.jpg
 
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15659778/elk/IMG_8018.jpg
 
2) can you clarify/expand on
 
So if the cables are not just 4 conductors as I had assumed, then you're right. He could just use the extra conductors to make a daisy chain and wouldn't need the M1DBHR.  Your experienced eyes are much better at spotting these details than I am!
 
how would i accomplish this?
 
Just need to put it in the realm of what existed in that day and what was commonly installed. Either a keyswitch based system, which would probably be 5-6 conductors or maybe 8, depending on tamper loop OR if they roughed for the common panels of the day, either Ademco, Napco or Moose, the likelyhood is a 4 conductor (which is easy enough to spot) or if Napco, you'd have column/row and panic wiring, so at least 5 pair or more.
 
I only see about 5-6 powered devices, the rest are non-powered loops. Doesn't appear to be that big of a system overall, a decent amount of fire and heat detectors most likely.
 
What you see is why I hate people putting terminal blocks, strips and junction boxes in......seemed to be the popular way for many to install their system in the day instead of running cabling to the main panel or limit what went to the panel....and add a ton of failure points or make the system harder to service
 

RAL

Senior Member
urbanscribe said:
thanks
 
if helpful here are some more detailed pictures of the board connections and the junction box.  let me know if there are parts you want me to photograph in particular
 
1) a few questions included
 
 
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15659778/elk/IMG_8016.jpg
 
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15659778/elk/IMG_8017.jpg
 
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15659778/elk/IMG_8018.jpg
 
2) can you clarify/expand on
 
So if the cables are not just 4 conductors as I had assumed, then you're right. He could just use the extra conductors to make a daisy chain and wouldn't need the M1DBHR.  Your experienced eyes are much better at spotting these details than I am!
 
how would i accomplish this?
 
 
Answers to questions you noted on your photos:
 
1. Yes, those are the keypad connections.  I think I see 3 wires on each screw terminal, which would make sense if you have 3 keypads.  It should be easy for you to trace them back to where the cables enter one of the wiring boxes.  The box on the top left, maybe?
 
2. The color bands on the resistors aren't quite clear in the photo. Are they Green, Blue, Red, Gold, which would make them 5600 Ohms? [Edit]: Ok, in one of your other photos, the color bands are clear and are Green, Blue, Red, for 5600 Ohms. That would be the correct value for an EOLR.  To me, the bands look more like Brown, Black, Red.
 
Properly installed, EOLRs should be at the contact or sensor.  But sometimes installers will not want to bother with installing them there, and will place them on the panel, instead.  Wrong way to do it, but not uncommon.
 
It doesn't look like any wires from cables are connected to these two zones (7 & 8).  So I'm not sure why they are there at all.
 
3. Those resistors are clearly 5600 EOLRs.  Again, they should be at the contact end. But the installer put them here instead.
 
4. Yes, the terminal strips are there to bridge the wiring from the zone cables to the DSC enclosure.
 
5. I believe those red cables are the cables to the smoke detectors.  The large wire nuts on the red and black wires are the power.  It's difficult for me to tell what is going on there with the other wires.  Looks like 4 yellow wires come out of that bundle go to 4 of the zone inputs on the DSC.  Do you know if they are configured as multiple fire zones?
 
===
 
Here are some drawings that show how you can use 6 conductor home run cables to create a daisy chain for the Elk keypads.
 
The first drawing is drawn as a view with the cables all going back to the panel, with cable to cable connections at the bottom (the "home" end).
It's a confusing drawing with the tangle of wires there, and not easy to understand how this makes the daisy chain.
 
So I've also drawn it from a logical point of view, to make it easier to see how the daisy chain is formed.
 
Note that the last keypad in the chain only needs a 4-wire cable, since there is nothing further down the chain.  This is the keypad where you would install the termination jumper.
 
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@ RAL
 
3. Multiple fire zones, EOLRS installed across contact pairs of the FA. Installed in parallel on the terminal block.
 
4.True
 
5. They are the FA devices, that's a given. Very doubtful they'd pull different cable given what exists in the JB and panel already.
 
Basically, it looks like an appropriate system was installed, had issues and the DSC installers basically molested it at that point, causing bigger issues.
 
From what I can see, looks like he has more than enough cable to make up the bus properly (and forget about a regular DBH here....no category cable and trying to put 45's on this cable is going to cause more service issues).
 
thanks drvnbysound and DEL.   
trying to digest the last two comments.   was planning to do with the retrofit ELK-M1DBHR retrofit kit (on its way) to simplify my life.  
if not appropriate can you let me know what you are pointing out?
 

RAL

Senior Member
urbanscribe said:
thanks drvnbysound and DEL.   
trying to digest the last two comments.   was planning to do with the retrofit ELK-M1DBHR retrofit kit (on its way) to simplify my life.  
if not appropriate can you let me know what you are pointing out?
 
If all you have is 4-wire home run cables running to each keypad, then the M1DBHR would give you a way to use those cables to connect the M1 keypads to the M1.
 
But if you have cables of at least 6 wires running to each keypad, then you don't need a M1DBHR.  You can use the extra wires in the cable to create a proper daisy chain as shown in the drawing in my earlier post.  Although you could use a M1DBHR in this situation, it would be unnecessary.   Since it's not inexpensive, why waste the money?  All you really need are some wire nuts or crimp connectors.
 
If the cables to each keypad were Catx cables, then you could use a M1DBH, which requires RJ45 connectors on each cable. But with your non-Catx cables, you won't be able to use regular RJ45 connectors.
 
totally agree
 
the cables from the three keypads to the DSC controls are 4 wire only
these are relatively new compared to the rest but still 4 cables
running 6 cable cat5/6 wire would be a pain to get where they need to go
the keypads are already exactly where they should be and wires landed with 4 wire as per above
 
i think the legacy bus may have to be the way to go.  
 
Are you sure that you only have 4 conductors at the keypads? Doesn't look that way in what I saw. They look like old grey multiconductor cables with tape around them, same age as everything else. I'd investigate a little more because it really doesn't look that way in the pictures at all.
 
I don't see any later cables installed in any pictures you've posted. All looks the same install vintage.
 
I think you need to look inside those cans or pull a keypad off the wall before you just start tossing parts at it.
 
so
 
i confirmed that there are more than 4 wires.  not sure why i assumed only 4.  thanks
 
FIRE DETECTORS
 
as far as i can figure out here is how the 6 FDs are hooked up to the current DSC panel
 
diagram (sorry for simplicity)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/s62olepgm7pnucl/fire%20detector%20wiring.pdf?dl=0
 
1) why would they have wired it this way?
 
2) earlier it was mentioned this was dangerous.  why?
 
3) if i wanted to connect these 6 4-wire FD to the ELK M1 - each to a separate zone not Z16, could I?
should I?
and if i should not why is that?
 
4) if i replace all 4 of them should i use 2 wires 
how do you all feel about the i3 2WT-B?
any others you recommend if i have to replace all 6 of them for them to work with ELK?
 
5) the wiring in the JB is quite RIDGID
any idea what kind of wire that is?  it only bends with force and can be shaped.
any idea why it was used?
 
pics of the wiring
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0cbyxmhqw7xqdzg/IMG_8080.JPG?dl=0
 
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