[ISC] 2006 West Security Expo


I attended the ISC 2006 Security Expo held at the Sand's Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV on April 5. During that time I visited many booths and spoke with a variety of technical and sales people. This information was quickly taken down and will be (hopefully) correctly presented in these review postings. Please be aware that there may be inaccuracies in some details including pricing information. So please, take all this information as a "quick first look" only! ;)

Elk Technologies

I visited the Elk Technologies Booth and spoke mainly with our fellow Cocooner David Steele, Elk's Chief Engineer. This was the first opportunity I had to personally meet David! :D

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Elk Booth at ISC 2006 West

David started by discussing the new touch pad (shown below). Future features that will be included in the touch pad are station to station intercom (between touch pads), IP camera support, and whole house audio interface to common systems such as Nuvo and Russound.

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Elk Touch Screen

They have a few technical challenges to iron out, mainly with the Java interface in a CE environment.

The new smaller keypads were also on display. I must say, I really like the way it looks and the sharp blue background on the LCD display.

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Elk New Keypad

They have a "flush" mount and a "recessed" mount as shown below.

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Recessed Mount

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Flush Mount

Next was looking at their "arming station" which fits inside of a single gang electrical box. On the top sits LED's of different colors that match the security keypad so you will know if the station is faulted or armed (status). You can also disarm the panel from it as well! :)

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Elk Remote Arming Panel (to the right of the rocker switch)

I also saw a proximity card reader that can arm and disarm the panel when a security fob is placed in front of it.

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Elk Proximity Unit

In the "hey that's kind of cool" category, David showed me some custom Elk Keypad Skins that an outside vendor can generate. The pics don't do these keypads justice as they look a lot better in person (note the custom images on some of the buttons).

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Elk Red Custom Keypad

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Elk Blue Custom Keypad

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Elk Black Custom Keypad

Future design ideas that are brewing in David's mind are:

Interface the Elk M1 with the Dallas "One-Wire" devices. This will be done by developing an interface box to the RS-485 "Keypad" bus.

Interfacing RFID capability (using Wiegand chip devices) with the same interface box design concept.

Interface thermostats to the Elk Touch Screen.

It was a pleasure chatting with David and the Elk Technologies staff. The future is looking very bright for this company! :(
Looks good. Btw, I believe it is 'Wiegand', but you might want to verify that one.
On the new keypads, how is the contrast? I know when HAI went to blue LCD keypads, there have been some complaints about poor contrast. Also complaints that the keypad is unreadable unless you are looking at it straight on.

Edit. None of my customers have complained about the new HAI keypads, but now I'll put one to regular use myself. I just blew my garage keypad tonight (spark from static electricity), and I don't have any more of the green ones on the shelf, so it will get replaced with a blue one.
You blew out a keypad from a static discharge? That should not happen. I would try and have them replace it. In fact I would think they wuold want it to determine what the problem is so they can change the design to prevent a reoccurance.

Most mfg's test their designs for this and if its a UL Listed Keypad the design should have been tested by them for this as well. They use a 10 Kv pulse (10 positive pulses and 10 negative pulses where ever they can get a discharge on the keypad).

Many of the mfg's use a silicone membrane now for the keys and it significantly minimizes this from happening. They also use lightpipes for the LED's to recess the LED's. I would guess that HAI does the same. You may have had a discharge sneak by the seam for the LCD screen or something.

I am curious to know where the discharge occurred since I have tested many keypads myself for this.
Yes, it surprised me also. The spark went from my finger to the metal plate surrounding the keys on the pad. The keypad still "works" (I can turn the alarm on and off), but the LCD display is gone. I tried disconnecting the pad without sucess, but I need to try resetting the keypad also.
Sounds like you fried the LCD Driver. Shouldnt happen. I would ask them to replace it. For them the cost is insignificant and they should want it back for examination.