Purchasing Elk-M1G

surdev

Member
Ok a little background information, right now we are in the construction phase of our new house. During framing we pre-wired our house for Security and HA. Our plan is to use ELK-M1G for Security/ HA and use CQC to control M1.

We won't be moving into our new house till the end of October, so I am not ready to purchase any hardware. But I need to take advantage of this new Smarthome Fall Sale. So I am here to get help in filling up my shopping cart.


Here is the list of items I am planning on purchasing,

Elk Security and Automation System Panel Interfaces with INSTEON Lighting Control Products

M1 16 zone Input Expander

Two-Way Speaker and Microphone for the M1

Since we are going to have 2 Keypad and 1 Input expander(may be 2), do I need to purchase this M1 Databus Hub

Is there anything else I need to add to the list.

Thanks in Advance,
Suresh.
 

tech-home

Active Member
I would look at an extra keypad (kp2)our even the touch screen. Maybe even a ethernet port expander.

By the way I think most of the Elk dealers here will match that (maybe more), inculding myself if given a chance.
 

wuench

Senior Member
First of all, take a look at this thread:

http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?showtopic=5291

I think you may want to look into a bigger can. The 14" is not really big enough for anything but the M1G and battery IMHO.

Also,

What about an ethernet expander? Do you want ethernet control?
Do you want to control your HVAC? Then you need another serial expander. (M1XSP)

I also recommend you take a look at the other dealers. SH prices are high, in general. And you'll get better service from the dealers here, (also IMHO).
 

surdev

Member
tech-home said:
I would look at an extra keypad (kp2)our even the touch screen. Maybe even a ethernet port expander.

By the way I think most of the Elk dealers here will match that (maybe more), inculding myself if given a chance.
Iam keeping an eye on KP2 as the second kp for upstairs, but since it is not going to be used for main control, i am considering this http://www.elkproducts.com/products/m1/M1KPAS.htm

Any reason to use Ethernet port expander, iam going to control M1 thru the serial port.

TIA,
-Suresh.
 

wuench

Senior Member
The ethernet interface will give you the ability to access the M1 remotely and I believe it is requied for touchscreens as well, if you ever plan on those. It uses the serial port on the M1, so you won't be able to use that for control.

Also, there is a package that has the KP2 instead of the KP1. I believe it is the same with an S on the end. And it is usually something like $10 cheaper than the KP1 system packages.
 

surdev

Member
wuench said:
The ethernet interface will give you the ability to access the M1 remotely and I believe it is requied for touchscreens as well, if you ever plan on those. It uses the serial port on the M1, so you won't be able to use that for control.
I am planing on using CQC for my automation and controlling ELK. In that case do i still need to get the ehternet interface which is around $250.

Thanks,
Suresh.
 

tech-home

Active Member
You will also need a ELK-M1XSP for lighting, if your going to have it hooked up to the Elk. That way you can leave the on board serial for CQC.
 

IVB

Senior Member
If you think you'll be DIY'ing and tweaking some of this stuff for the frist few months to get it all setup the way you want, get the ethernet adapter - it will make your life MUCH simpler. The reason is twofold:

1) A serial port is an "owned" resource, meaning when you hook it up to CQC, it will "own" that COM port and not let anyone else use it. However, you will need to use ElkRP for the intitial setup and any future rules modifications. This means that you'll have to either stop CQC, or unload the driver to release the COM port, then open ElkRP, make your mods, then exit ElkRP, then restart CQC or re-add the driver.
I found myself contantly tweaking ElkRP in the beginning, and now still probably 2x/month, in order to modify rules/etc.

2) Serial control can only be done by sitting at the PC that has the cable connected, or via VNC over it. For me, both of these options suck as the server has no dedicated monitor, rather it's A/B'ed with the HTPC. VNC is awful to use for anything real.

In the end, I found that $250 money VERY well spent as now I can just open ElkRP from any PC, point it at the adapter, and go. No unloading of CQC necessary.
 

v1rtu0s1ty

Senior Member
wuench said:
First of all, take a look at this thread:

http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?showtopic=5291

I think you may want to look into a bigger can. The 14" is not really big enough for anything but the M1G and battery IMHO.

Also,

What about an ethernet expander? Do you want ethernet control?
Do you want to control your HVAC? Then you need another serial expander. (M1XSP)

I also recommend you take a look at the other dealers. SH prices are high, in general. And you'll get better service from the dealers here, (also IMHO).
Did you say monitor HVAC? Is that the furnace in my basement? If so, it's a carrier brand. Can I monitor it? That would be really cool! What are the advantages then if now monitored?
 

wuench

Senior Member
I meant control your thermostat. By attaching the M1G to your thermostat you can write rules to do things like automatically changes setpoints when you arm/disarm the system.

You need to use one of the supported thermostats (HAI, RCS, Aprilaire). The make and model of the furnace and or airconditioner don't really matter. You control it through a serial connection. So you need an additional M1XSP serial interface for that.
 

surdev

Member
IVB said:
1) A serial port is an "owned" resource, meaning when you hook it up to CQC, it will "own" that COM port and not let anyone else use it. However, you will need to use ElkRP for the intitial setup and any future rules modifications. This means that you'll have to either stop CQC, or unload the driver to release the COM port, then open ElkRP, make your mods, then exit ElkRP, then restart CQC or re-add the driver.
I found myself contantly tweaking ElkRP in the beginning, and now still probably 2x/month, in order to modify rules/etc.
This make sense IVB!

But spending extra $250 is making me to think a little, my wife already started THE TALK :lol: when I mentioned about purchasing ELK now. I need to find a way to sneak this is in :rolleyes: :lol:
 

surdev

Member
tech-home said:
You will also need a ELK-M1XSP for lighting, if your going to have it hooked up to the Elk. That way you can leave the on board serial for CQC.
I think the kit comes with ELK-M1XSP (M1 Lighting & Thermostat Interface)
 

v1rtu0s1ty

Senior Member
surdev said:
tech-home said:
You will also need a ELK-M1XSP for lighting, if your going to have it hooked up to the Elk. That way you can leave the on board serial for CQC.
I think the kit comes with ELK-M1XSP (M1 Lighting & Thermostat Interface)
I can't tell because I still don't own one. By the way, about 10 mins ago, I got the GO signal from wife to purchase ELK-M1. Woohoo!!!! I'm like a kid! Hehehe. Something must be on that ELK, huh!!!
 

IVB

Senior Member
surdev said:
This make sense IVB!

But spending extra $250 is making me to think a little, my wife already started THE TALK :lol: when I mentioned about purchasing ELK now. I need to find a way to sneak this is in :rolleyes: :lol:
Option A: Listen to the wife, in which case it is better to ask forgiveness once than permission repeatedly. Order it as part of your initial order and tell her that shipping sucked as opposed to having to put in a 2nd order later.

Option B: Desensitization approach (which I took)- Start ordering one thing at a time, at least 1x/week, so she gets used to seeing the UPS truck pull up. My wife constantly questioned me until I told her that I spent less on all this stuff than she did on the living room furniture I'm not allowed to sit on. And she can get incremental value out of HA, while there's zero incremental value from a new white couch as opposed to the old green ouch.

Sure, she bitched me out, but now when she starts to question me, I just say "we can always craigslist the couch...". That usually pisses her off and she won't talk to me for a few days, which really means I've got a window to order stuff and get it fedex'ed. After all, what's the difference between her being pissed and not talking to me and her being pissed and not talking to me.

Man, I ought to write a book on healthy spousal relationships...
 
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