Moving should I stay with OmniPro II


Active Member
At my current house I installed an OmniPro II with all hardwired zones, the RC2000 thermostats, outdoor temperature sensor, and UPB lighting. The place I am moving to has no security prewire so the setup will be half wireless (windows and possibly doors). Additionally there is a detached workshop/garage 150 or so feet from the house. The house has two HVAC units and the shop has an HVAC unit.
I was hoping Leviton or Elk would have released a new panel by now. I've been considering switching over to the Elk M1 as their wireless seems more robust / enrollment doesn't require running back to wireless receiver. However I will be loosing the Zigbee thermostats and time sync/outdoor temp display on thermostat. With either panel I'm unsure of how I am going to connect the thermostat in the shop. Zigbee might be out of range and Elk states 500ft max on the serial expander and they need to be daisy chained. Is it possible to use two serial expanders for the thermostats? 
Lighting I'm highly considering Lutron RadioRA 2 as it just works. I briefly thought about Zwave, but I might just do UPB again. However I would probably buy the PCS switches as the HAI sometimes flicker with LED bulbs. At that price RadioRA 2 isn't much more.
For locks I was debating about Zwave, but there is the same issue with range to the shop. Maybe the better option would be to install door strikes?
Any thoughts? Depending on what I do I might order an OmniLTe to replace the current OmniPro II so I need to decide in the next two weeks.
You have to decide this, but recently when I moved, I took it all with me, and just about finished installing it. Why change if you are familar with it. 
For range problems, with a GE receiver, and with Zigbee, both can use simple repeaters. I'm not sure what distances your talking about?  You could put a Zigbee repeater outside in a weatherproof box. You may not realize it, but it is pretty likely if you have a smartmeter outside your house, your utility is reading it via Zigbee. So it can go long distances if done correctly. Zigbee lock range is short, but if you have a Zigbee Omnistat2, it should be fine if locks are not too far from it in your workshop. A Zigbee irragation controller could also act as a repeater if possitioned correctly.
Remember, the serial ports on the M1 can reside anywhere on the data bus, which is a 4000' end to end length. The OP serial needs to be connected to the host panel directly, either to a port or expansion.
The more robust solution for control for items like locks would be hardwired. Since there's no absolute standards for control,though zigbee, zwave and UPB are all strong players, anything that is mission critical should be hardwired and connected to the host panel.
I'm mainly torn due to needing so many wireless zones. The OmniPro II wireless support is a joke compared to Elk, DSC, and Honeywell. Both zone violation and tamper appear as zone not ready. Both low battery and supervisery failure appear as trouble. This means the console is going to start beeping trouble for a low battery. Additionally enrollment has to be done through the wireless receiver. I'll have to run up and down the steps to the basement each time instead of being able to go to keypad and there is no walkthrough test mode. Basically the wireless was an afterthought and shoehorned in to act like an expansion enclosure.

On the flip side the Elk M1 is lacking in automation. With RadioRA 2 the controller can't see/run rules on RadioRA 2 keypad button presses. With Russound I can't mute, unmute, or turn on all zones with a single command.

If there was a DIY Control4 like interface that didn't require me building every screen (CQC, etc) I would go with Elk. For a moment I was tempted to buy a DSC alarm and Lumina Pro as I could still use that with Haiku / Space.
As long as you are sticking with the basics, you don't have to build every screen anymore. With our V2 driver architcture, music, movies, lights, thermos, security and weather interfaces can all be auto-generated. You can add some more to the auto-generated content as well, if you want to extend it, but you have all of the existing stuff to go by as examples. Our Elk, Omni and RA2 drivers are all V2 enabled, and since they provide the bulk of the functionality, there's not a lot to it. We can react to RA2 button presses to invoke actions within CQC.
rsw686 said:
Additionally enrollment has to be done through the wireless receiver. I'll have to run up and down the steps to the basement each time instead of being able to go to keypad and there is no walkthrough test mode.
It may seem radical but its very easy to pair them when they are sitting nicely in your hand, then installing them in the location where they will stay. You only need to pair them once. No running required.
I decided to take the OmniPro II with me and last night swapped back in the Ademco panel that came with the house. I forgot how much I hate wiring the Ademco board (2k resistors on panel, 1k resistors on expansion boards), all grounds (siren, keypads, aux) under one terminal, etc.
It feels weird staying this, but my house feels dumb and has lost its personality. I've already left the lights on all night downstairs as I forgot they don't turn off themselves.
On the wireless any recommendations for GE wireless sensors to use on double hung windows? My current house only had a hardwired sensor on the bottom sash so if the upper was opened it wouldn't trip.