Looking for some input

torgrimj

Member
HI all,

Just found this forum, looks very interesting.

I am in the midst of deciding which system to go with. I was almost ready (or so I thought) to order the new Omni IIe from HAI. Then I was doing my research to discover the ELK M1. This looks very interesting as well.

I would like to do the following with whatever new system I select:

Security System Need about 12-16 zones initially
Thermostat control
Touch panel (future)
Compose lighting integration
Homeseer integration
Ethernet port would be a nice feature
Wireless might be future option
Card/Key Access control (This looks interesting) Can work access cards be integrated?
Software that I can program and change the entire system (all installer software)
Web server/software
Programming ability with all parts of the system
Must be certified for Canada (Ensure we get insurance discount)

Thanks in advance for your feedback. It is much appreciated

Jeff T.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
BraveSirRobbin said:
One important thing you didn't mention is your budget.
If he could afford/justify the HAI, I am sure he can afford/justify the Elk. <_<

Yes, I am pretty sure the M1 can do everything on your list. I just don't know about Canadian certification. The M1 is easy to program and Elk makes all the software you need available at no charge and no hassle for DIYers.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
WayneW said:
BraveSirRobbin said:
One important thing you didn't mention is your budget.
If he could afford/justify the HAI, I am sure he can afford/justify the Elk. :D

Yes, I am pretty sure the M1 can do everything on your list. I just don't know about Canadian certification. The M1 is easy to program and Elk makes all the software you need available at no charge and no hassle for DIYers.
So you are saying that with an "unlimited" budget you would not go with the HAI canned system offering touch screens, video integration, voice announcements, excellent UPB integration and slick looking Windows MCE interface??

What about the other slick integrated systems such as Control 4 and Digital Media Research?

I'm not a big HAI fan, but if I had a large budget I would at least look at their products as shown in my CES Review.

You are making an assumption that one would want to go the cheapest route and piece all the subsystems together. While this may be true, this is why I first ask for a budget, then start with the recommendations <_< !
 

torgrimj

Member
I would not say my budget is unlimited, but given that I think I would like to start in the $1,000 - $2,000 range. I am not looking at going all out right awy, but wanting to start with the basics. As an example the touch screen would be a future option.

Out of the gate I would be looking at the controller, tstat, console, x-10, compose, temp sensor, and security (sensors)

I want to be able to grow into things like touch screen and Key fobs etc...
 

Mike

Senior Member
torgrimj, when I first came to Cocoontech, I was fairly certain that I was going the HAI route myself. So much so, I had replaced the thermostat that was in the house when I bought it (very old) with a HAI one.

I later bought an Elk, and have been happy with it (almost finished with my installation) and have integrated thermostat control, lighting (still testing), smoke and carbon monoxide detection to it.

I've been real pleased, and have had fun working on it. Plus, there are many people here with Elk's and there is even people from Elk who frequent the boards and comment/provide help (Spanky!).

I'll give you an example from last night (Sunday evening): I had an intermittent issue with a module I had just installed and I posted what was happening here. Soon afterwards Spanky had posted some suggestions. I tried them out, found I had created a bad connection cable which was causing the issue and I'm back in business. Needless to say I was happy and impressed.

All other things being equal, would the same have occurred with HAI? I'm not sure (from what I hear perhaps not), but they would be hard-pressed to keep up with Spanky.

The few items that HAI had clear advantages over the elk (touch screens, aesthetic temperature/humidity sensors, and the like) are all in the works. Touch screens I think are due out in the next few months.

Hope this helps as it sounds like you are in a position similar to where I was a short time ago.

If you do get an Elk, I recommend the ethernet module (I was on the fence at first wondering if serial was 'good enough', but I am real glad I got it).
 

Mike

Senior Member
In the US, for insurance discounts, the requirement is that the alarm be monitored, not that it is UL listed, right? I hadn't heard of this (not that me not hearing about it would mean anything) and thought you just needed the monitoring station to be UL listed, not necessarily the alarm panel itself.

Anyone have any experience with this?
 

Mike

Senior Member
Ahh, I know I have seen companies mention their UL listing and the 'certificate' they provide to prove that you have a monitored system.

Then again, I suppose if there were an issue and you did not meet their qualifications they might just not pay the claim (I would hope not however).

When I get to that point I'll post what I find with mine. I'm still setting up the system so will be a bit.
 

torgrimj

Member
So what are some recommendations on getting started for equipment? If I go with the Elk M1 and I would like to go with the Ethernet module? I have X-10 and Compose that I would like to integrate. What size of Cabinet should a person go with? I currently have a 28" Onq cabinet, that is allready fairly full with structured wiring and distribution of data, voice, and video.

Thanks again.
 

jlehnert

Active Member
temperature/humidity sensors
Not a HAI benefit. I still subscribe to the HAI mailing list, and the general feeling is that the temp/humidity sensors are only slightly better than sticking your finger out the window. Only slightly....if it's 30 below....with a 55 mph wind. Otherwise the finger is more accurate.
 

Mike

Senior Member
jlehnert said:
temperature/humidity sensors
Not a HAI benefit. I still subscribe to the HAI mailing list, and the general feeling is that the temp/humidity sensors are only slightly better than sticking your finger out the window. Only slightly....if it's 30 below....with a 55 mph wind. Otherwise the finger is more accurate.
Interesting, I hadn't heard that. Then I guess it doesn't matter what they look like if they don't work well
 

Digger

Senior Member
In residential applications most insurance companies are looking for a Central Station that has been evaluated by UL and covered under their Certificate Services Program (where they periodically spot check for their requiremetns). On the premises end (the home) some (not all) authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ's) such as city or town building inspectors or fire marshals require UL Listed equipment (UL in a circle). For Canada it would be cUL in a circle. There are also UL Installation Standards as well that the local AHJ may require the installer to adhere to.

In California there are California State Fire Marshall requirements. They require UL Listed equipment (I am not sure if they accept Factory Mutual as well). They have some requirements that are above and beyond even some UL requirements.

Any system that has UL has gone through a significant test program and evaluation. With this type of product there are both saftey and performance requirements that must be met prior to the Listing of the product. There are some products that are not UL Listed that may very well meet or exceed UL requirements or they may not (you just dont know).

I dont know if the HAI system is Listed but if it was me I would wait a few weeks for the M1 just from the awesome support I have seen on this website alone. In addition the ELK was designed by the same Engineers from the old Moose products which have an excellent reputation. Lastly the M1 was designed to comply with ANSI/SIA CP-01 Standard for False Alarm Reduction that more and more localities are becoming interested in (and some may even require).

And yes I bought the ELK (ripped out a Honeywell). Its been in for about 7 months or so and no problems at all. I am about to buy the ethernet and serial modules and get into lighting control.

I do not work for ELK nor am I a salesmen :D
 

DavidL

Senior Member
torgrimi,
Don't forget MainLobby software. Cinemaronline.com has a very robust ELK plugin now and the HAI is mostly finished. it will be done before you would need it. Elk is available today. You can basically do everything you can do with a keypad and a whole lot more.
 
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