How to define a "deadbolt zone"?


Senior Member
I need help implementing an idea I have for improving my home's security system. The goal is to ensure all doors are properly secured (closed and locked) before the alarm system can be armed.

I'll need to monitor two parameters for each exterior door:

1. Closure state (open/closed) via a door-mounted magnetic switch.
2. Deadbolt state (locked/unlocked) via a microswitch mounted within the doorstrike.

How should I define a door's deadbolt zone? I believe it should be "Burglar Entry/Exit" because this zone type offers an entry/exit delay. My concern is how the ELK M1 will treat the following "unlock and open the door" scenario:

1. Unlock the deadbolt and trip the deadbolt zone.
The entry delay timer will begin its countdown.

2. Open the door and trip the door zone.
Is the entry delay timer, initiated by the deadbolt zone, reset? Does a second entry delay timer begins its countdown? How does the M1 handle two Entry/Exit zones activated concurrently? Does this pose problems?

I'd appreciate any insight into how the M1 would handle this situation.
I'm interested in this too as I was planning to do the same.

It will begin the countdown on the first entry/exit zone tripped, nothing additional will happen when you trip another entry/exit zone.

Also if you want the timers to be different between the deadbolt and door you can use Enrty/Exit1 and Entry/Exit2 with different times setup. If you trip them both it will restart at the lowest level. i.e. You have deadbolt set for 60 seconds and door for 30 seconds, you trip the deadbolt 60 sec timer will begin, you trip the door it will jump to 30 seconds and continue countdown from there. After that you can't restart it, it will continue until 0 or disarmed.

Also, if you are going through the trouble to run wires to the deadbolt hole for a switch, you might just consider wiring it up for an electric door strike instead. But it does sound like a great idea, monitoring the deadbolt.

What micro switches are you planning on using?
I'm going to be replacing the doors, so wiring a switch will be easy... as long as I don't hit the wires with a nail. :)

I haven’t decided for sure on switches but thinking a pin switch is the best option, but I'm open to suggestions.

Provided I can run the wires through the door, I'll be hardwiring my Powerbolt 3000 deadbolts so they will function similar to an electric door strike.

I have a lot planed, including a peephole cam on the front door, we'll see how much happens in reality.
Great! Thanks for the information.

I've attached a photo I found of a switch similar to the one I purchased locally. It uses a "roller lever" to provide less resistance and more leverage. I also attached a diagram showing how the deadbolt presses against the roller lever.

When I have time, I'll post a few photos of how I plan to install the switch.


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Definitely interested in seeing how you are going to install this. Hopefully those micro switches won't wear out too fast.
What about something like this?

Here are smaller switches that can do the same thing. There are many variations of these too.

these are about 1/4 the size of the one pictured above


and this one


These are very small and require a magnet to be attached to the end of the deadbolt.
Reed switches, used for proxmity 1/8" x 1/2"

Here is a link to switches, some as small as a dime

I initially considered a pushbutton switch but found a problem with its installation.

Any switch you use needs to be mounted so that it is activated when the deadbolt is fully extended. If it is mounted too close, the deadbolt can't extend fully; too far and the switch is never activated. If the switch's plunger has very little travel (< 1/8"), it becomes very difficult to mount the switch at the optimal distance from the deadbolt.

I considered using a tiny pushbutton, with about 1/16" of plunger travel, that would fit within the deadbolt's recess in the door frame. However, I realized that it would be very difficult to mount it "just right" so that the deadbolt made reliable contact yet didn't crush the tiny switch.

If you opt for a pushbutton switch, like the one you posted, it is liable to have a deep barrel to accomodate the plunger. It must be mounted axially (i.e. along the deadbolt path of movement) so it requires a deep hole in the jack stud. The attached diagram shows an idealized installation ... in reality, you'll have to experiment with the switch's precise mounting depth (i.e. not necessarily flush with the jack stud). That's not easy given that it is located in tight spot.

A switch with a roller lever provides at least 1/8" - 1/4" of travel and makes it easier to mount the switch so that it is easily activated yet does not impede the deadbolt's movement. Plus it is not mounted axially but is orthogonal to the deadbolt's path (see the diagram in my previous post) thereby allowing you to put it on the jack stud's surface. You can easily move the switch to find the optimal location before attaching it to the stud.

A photo will help make all of this clearer ...

I'd prefer to use a magnetic switch but you can't mount a magnet at the end of the deadbolt. The magnet would protrude beyond the end of the deadbolt. The gap between the door's edge and the door frame can be as little as 1/8". Closing the door would knock the magnet off or simply prevent the door from closing. Drilling the deadbolt to accomodate a magnet sounds like a way to compromise its strength.


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I set my system up with these a few months ago and it's working to my satisfaction (got the idea somewhere on this board).

For each deadbolt I ordered one of these (i.e. window plunger sensor):
from here:

Next, I removed the metal square cover on the door jam where the deadbolt goes in and there was a plastic square box insert that pulled out. I drilled a 3/8" hole into the bottom of this plastic insert and pushed the plunger switch through so that the flange on the switch was flush with the bottom. I made several loops of electrical tape on the bottom side of the switch to prevent it from coming back out. I needed to remove some wood to deepen the hole where the end of the switch (and EOL resistor) would reside in the door. The entire assembly fit perfectly and the screw on the switch could be adjusted to account for the deadbolt length.

I put all the deadbolts on ELK burglar/entry setting but disabled the chime. Now when I go to bed, if the Elk keypad is green then I know that all the deadbolts are in and I can arm the system.

sunknee, wow, that looks like the best and easiest solution. and cant beat the price. nice find. now to see if i can incorporate that into an electric door strike.

123, you bring exactly right implications. good work. nice drawing.

got to love this board! explains the addiction? LOL
Sunknee, hats off to you! That pushbutton's adjustable screw-plunger simplifies installation and resolves the issues I mentioned. I have more doors that can benefit from your technique. Thanks for the valuable information!
Thanks for the comments. Sandpiper gets credit for this one in this thread a year ago:

I only have had the setup running for a few months and I don't know how much abuse the plungers will take. I did buy another set just in case. Also, I used white plungers but you can order dark colors to blend in.

Now another method of trying to do this would be to put a 3/8" magnet door sensor where the plunger goes and attaching a flat (with the hole through the center) rare earth magnet to the end on the deadbolt. You would need to drill a hole at the end of the deadbolt and probably tap it for a screw to hold the magnet. I've seen these magnets that are thin. Glue may work but eventually it would fall off.

Here are some examples of magnets with holes in them:
Rare earth magnets

This would have about 1/2inch of play to activate the sensor. Enough for the bolt to be partially or fully in. The size of the magnet would dictate this.

My two cents.