Omnipro II fried...move to Elk M1 Gold? What will work?

ACEIV

New Member
Howdy!
 
Excuse the noobie question, but I built a home about 12 years ago with the OmniPro II system, with smokes, alarm, and many HAI dimmer lighting switches.  I added a few lighting themes, but basically it was an expensive alarm package.  It fried after a lightning storm a few years ago, and I am now just getting around to "fixing" it.  Come to find out my smoke detectors are obsolete, and OmniPro is soon to enter the scrap heap of dead tech.  So my research tells me that getting an Elk M1 Gold is probably the answer.
 
Questions for ya'll:
1.  Can I still use my HAI dimmers (UPB) with the HAI Module or will I have to get a PulseWorx UPB Powerline Interface Module?
2.  Will any 4 wire smoke/carbon detectors work with Elk?
3.  I assume I will need to switch out the keypad...right?
4.  I have a few motion sensors and glass break sensors...will they work?
5.  Will knowing any of the old (basic) programing of the zones help out with Elk programming?
6.  Is there cost effective way to do this transition?  I will be selling the house within a year, and need to get this fixed before I sell, but don't want to spend a whole lot.
 
Thank you!

Alex
 
 
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
How old are the detectors?  The suggested lifespan of the sensor is 10 years or less.  If they're older, or close, that could be a factor come time to sell.  No point jumping through hoops to work with what's going to get replaced, better to go with something that works with what's new.
 

RAL

Senior Member
ACEIV said:
Howdy!
 
Excuse the noobie question, but I built a home about 12 years ago with the OmniPro II system, with smokes, alarm, and many HAI dimmer lighting switches.  I added a few lighting themes, but basically it was an expensive alarm package.  It fried after a lightning storm a few years ago, and I am now just getting around to "fixing" it.  Come to find out my smoke detectors are obsolete, and OmniPro is soon to enter the scrap heap of dead tech.  So my research tells me that getting an Elk M1 Gold is probably the answer.
 
Questions for ya'll:
1.  Can I still use my HAI dimmers (UPB) with the HAI Module or will I have to get a PulseWorx UPB Powerline Interface Module?
2.  Will any 4 wire smoke/carbon detectors work with Elk?
3.  I assume I will need to switch out the keypad...right?
4.  I have a few motion sensors and glass break sensors...will they work?
5.  Will knowing any of the old (basic) programing of the zones help out with Elk programming?
6.  Is there cost effective way to do this transition?  I will be selling the house within a year, and need to get this fixed before I sell, but don't want to spend a whole lot.
 
Thank you!

Alex
1. You can definitely go with the Elk Pulseworx module.  Or you may be able to use an Elk M1XSP serial port expander to connect to your HAI UPB PIM. Someone with more experience with UPB on the Elk may be able to give a more definite answer on that. The M1XSP is less expensive than the Pulseworkx, so that seems like the preferable route if it will work.

2. 4-wire smoke detectors will work with any alarm panel, so you can reuse them with the Elk. But check their end-of-life status as Bill suggests.
 
3. Yes, keypads will need to be changed to Elk keypads.
 
4. Motion and glass break detectors will work just fine.
 
5. Knowing the current zone setup will make it easier to move to any new panel, as you won't have to figure it all out from scratch.
 
6. A more cost effective path might be to install a less HA-friendly panel, like a Honeywell Vista. You'd loose your UPB capability, but it would cost you a lot less.  The question is whether you'd be willing to live without that until you move.
 
Do you have any wireless sensors on the OP-II system?  Or are they all hardwired?
 

BobS0327

Active Member
The Omni Pro II has already entered the realm of dead tech since it was discontinued by Leviton about a year ago.  Have you contacted Leviton SA to determine if they still repair the OP2?  It's my understanding that Leviton charges a flat rate of $200 to fix any OP2 board. I think that would be a lot cheaper than investing in a new Elk system especially if you want to sell the house within a year.
 

ACEIV

New Member
Hi All,
 
Thank you for the responses!  I'll add some more detail.
 
1.  Smoke detectors.  I have 5 ESL 449CT smoke detectors connected by what appears to be 2 Honeywell 22 AWG wires, with each wire having a red and black pair.  They are combined in reds and blacks for putting in the positive and negative of the 449CT.  They are past their life expectancy, so I need to replace all of them.  I also have a System Sensor Heat Detector in the attic (can't read the model number, in REALLY small print) in the attic near my Heat pump.  I went to HD and Lowes to see what would work to replace them...and they had hardwired Kiddie and First Alert models that are all 3 wire.  I may have misstated that mine were 4 wire, I believe they are 2 wire (based on the comment from the electrical person in the store).  So my 2 questions...what would you replace the 449CTs with if I am doing the Elk System?  Do I also need to replace the heat detector after 10 years or is that different from a smoke detector?
2.  Lighting.  I have about 24 UPB HAI dimmer switches throughout the house.  They have all worked really well as just dimmers, and truth be told I like the blue light on them.  I would like to keep them in the system.
3.  Rest of my current setup.  All of my "stuff" is hard wired.  Based on a few of the posts on this site, I am not alone in my distrust of wireless and prefer wired.  If the new buyer comes in and wants to do all wireless, they can...however, as the recent video of the 8 year old girl in her bedroom being told "I'm Santa", I'll need a lot more convincing before I trust it.  I have wires for thermostats, however at the time there wasn't a thermostat that would work with my 2 stage geothermal heat pump...so just let it there.  I also have sensors on the 2 garage doors. 
4.  HAI repair.  My issue is that when it went bad, it sounded everything twice in one week - once at 2 am - the other at 4:20 am.  Through in a little of my PTSD into the equation, and I think it is worth, at least from a marketing perspective, to tell the new owner that it has a new system.  If I was to get it repaired, and they missed the issue, I can just see it going off at the worst time, causing unnecessary issues. 
5.  New house.  When I sell this home I will be building a more "elder friendly" home (single story, walk in shower, supports for grab bars etc.).  Putting a new system my current home might be a good trial run on whether to spend the money on the next house. 
 
I appreciate all of your expertise and guidance.   I do want to get the smokes back up and running as soon as possible, obviously, so I look forward to your suggestions.   Any other thoughts or considerations?
 
Thank you again!
 
Alex
 

TrojanHorse

Active Member
A nice option is the system sensor COSMO 2 wire smoke/CO detectors with the COSMOD-2W module that you use to interface them with the Elk. If you want to use 2 wire smokes you have to check the manual to see what is compatible (it’s a short list but I don’t know what they are but note they need to be hooked up to zone 16 then). But if you want smoke and CO I’d recommend the system sensor COSMO units.

BTW, a big box store will not have smokes you want. The only thing they’ll have is a box to mount the COSMOD-2W to...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

RAL

Senior Member
The 449CT is a 4-wire smoke detector.  They should be wired in a daisy chain.  I'm not sure I follow your description of 2 red/black pairs.  Is that at the smoke detector, or back at the panel?
 
The smoke alarms you see in Home Depot are stand-alone units that are not compatible with an alarm panel.  The 3-wire interface allows them to signal each other, so that if one triggers, they all will sound.
 
If you are going to go with an Elk M1, you will need to chose either 2-wire or 4-wire smokes.  If you go with 2-wire, you need to choose a model that is certified for use with the M1.   You'll find the list in the M1 manual.  If you go with 4-wire, you can use any 4-wire smoke detector.
 
Another option as TrojanHorse mentioned is to go with System Sensor 2-wire smokes, and then use a COSMOD-2W to connect it to the M1 as if it were a 4-wire.   This can give you the added benefit of using smoke/CO alarms and detecting both dangers in one unit.
 

ACEIV

New Member
Hi Again!
 
Thank you again for your responses.  I am still going back and forth.  Mentally, I feel burned by HAI (albeit unreasonably), and from a marketing perspective, selling a house in a year or so with "dead" equipment isn't exactly going to excite anyone.  I'm starting to lean towards just putting in a good alarm system with new smokes and call it a day.  As always, the tech is ever changing...so even if I will be buying/building a new home, things might change significantly by then. 
 
So couple more questions...
1.  It is going to cost about $1500 to put an new alarm and smokes in.  DSC seems to be the old faithful in the alarm industry, and as stated prior, I'm not a fan of wireless.  Are their alarms that ya'll prefer (other than mass merchandised Simply Safe etc)?
2.  I have 27 HAI dimmers in my house, most rarely used.  In your opinion is there a market for used dimmers or is it best to leave them there and chalk that up to pretty options for the new owner.  (still like the blue light at the bottom of em)
3.  I have 9 new in box dimmers..is there a demand for them?
4.  Is it worth parting out any of the rest of the system to help offset the cost of the new alarm/smokes?
 
Thank you again for your knowledge and experiences!

Alex
 

BobS0327

Active Member
2.  I have 27 HAI dimmers in my house, most rarely used.  In your opinion is there a market for used dimmers or is it best to leave them there and chalk that up to pretty options for the new owner.  (still like the blue light at the bottom of em)
3.  I have 9 new in box dimmers..is there a demand for them?
4.  Is it worth parting out any of the rest of the system to help offset the cost of the new alarm/smokes?
 
I phased out my old OP2 system in favor of a more modern system about 6 months prior to Leviton discontinuing the line.  I had a wide variety of parts ranging from keypads to expansion boards. The only items that sold were two keypads and a touchscreen.  Eventually, I ended up just throwing all the other OP2 hardware out with the trash.  There's really no demand for any hardware related to a discontinued system such as the OP2.
 
If I were selling my house in a year, I would install the least expensive system which would be most appealing to a potential buyer. Thus, the new system would be a good selling point whether it's a wired/wireless system.
 

jlehnert

Active Member
Don't forget that if you used EOL resistors when you installed the Omni, they will have to be replaced if you go with Elk.  It's been MANY years, but IIRC, the Omni uses 1K, while the Elk uses 2.2K.
 
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