Putting Elk into "production" mode

IVB

Senior Member
I'm on the verge of having enough sensors where my Elk is going to have better security coverage than my ADT system. I still have another 30-odd sensors to put in [window, CO, smoke, heat], but am wondering why I continue to pay ADT when I have a better answer.

Question 1) I wanted to double-check in case there's something i'm not seeing, but is there a problem with finding a monitoring service and contracting with them immediately, then periodically/weekly running more sensors and turning off Elk long enough to add them? I can't see why there would be since I'm the programmer extraordinaire on this, and the monitoring dudes really just hang out and wait for the Elk to call them if there's a problem, but wanted to confirm.

Question 2) Is there a how-to guide or good thread on selecting the right monitoring service [or questions I should ask]?
 

tuantu

Active Member
I used NEXTALARM.COM and pretty happy with it. You can call them and request your system to be in TEST mode so you can do whatever you wish.

The only "complain" that I have about them is it seems like everything is done via email, NO real person to talk if you have any serious questions.

Another precaution is if you go to their website to sign up for monitoring service it may tell you ELK panel is NOT compatible and you have to email their customer service telling them your panel is CID format compatible and everything would be fine.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
IVB said:
but is there a problem with finding a monitoring service and contracting with them immediately, then periodically/weekly running more sensors and turning off Elk long enough to add them?
According to Spanky, real men don't turn their Elk off, they wire it hot. Personally, I haven't had an issue with adding sensors or expanders without shutting down. But then, mine is not monitored yet either.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
Wow! Don't blame me for making sparks!!! :lol:


Real men might not turn off the power, but safe installers do.

You will have no problem turning off the power even if monitored. To be safe call the central monitoring company and tell them you have your system on Test Mode. All transmissions will be ignored until you call them back and tell them to take your system off Test Mode.

Powering down and powering back up the control will not send a signal to the central station.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
Yes, the M1 does report AC power failure and low battery, but not if you completely turn the power off.

There will be a system startup entry in the log when power is turned back on. To report to the central station system restart, it would have to be handled through Rule programming.
 

rfdesq

Senior Member
tuantu said:
Another precaution is if you go to their website to sign up for monitoring service it may tell you ELK panel is NOT compatible and you have to email their customer service telling them your panel is CID format compatible and everything would be fine.
I have preliminarily signed up with them and there was no problem with the ELK M1 online.
 

tuantu

Active Member
I signed up with Nextalarm.com September 2005 and maybe ELK panel was new to them. Just out of curiosity when did you sign up?
 

rfdesq

Senior Member
I signed up with Nextalarm about 1 month ago. My recollection is that the ELK M1 panel was listed as a drop down choice.
 

Zang

Member
I can set-up monitoring through my company for $12/month paid quarterly. My service is out of Colorado but that shouldn't matter if you're in the US. As I get more customers I will eventually get a price break so I'm currently trying to get people monitoring under my company so I can get to the break point sooner. I would need a lot of the information about what the code setting on your system are to do it but I don't see why I couldn't just tell them you are my customers and get that price. If anyone is interested, I can look in to it further.
 

IVB

Senior Member
How would your service compare to nextalarm?

I notice their price is $9/month if paid yearly, $15 for month-month. I don't yet know what other types of questions to ask, and i'm loathe to just use price as the differentiator when it comes to something as important as security.
 

Zang

Member
Mine is monitored by a UL Central Station which use DSC Surgaurd receivers (they charge $1/month extra to monitor ITI or Ademco). When they are notified, they start through the call list (not Internet). Additional features are availble (daily test, open/close) for additional fees - not sure if Nextalarm offers them. I just glanced through their info so I'm not any expert by any means. If the Internet features are something you like, Nextalarm might be the better option since at this time mine doesn't offer that.

I'm just starting to install security and thought passing the cost through would be a way to save a few bucks to members and get me some customers so I could get to a competitive rate sooner. Like I said, I'm new to it all and am relying on my Central Station's experience (started in 1963).

I can do monthly too but the problem is that if there was a lapse in payment, the service would be shut off since I can't afford to carry anyone at this point. Quarterly billing would give a bit of a cushion. I don't know that my provider would be any better option, just another option that appears to be a few dollars cheaper on the short-term costs. I'm just looking for ways to help myself and save others at the same time.
 

tuantu

Active Member
Zang

Why should anyone pays more for the monitoring service if all the things you said about daily test, open, close, etc can be programmed into the ELK M1G and automatically be done.

With the M1G and Nextalarm.com setup you can actually view each one of your zones and their activities on their website. You can also add or removes zones by going to the website.

Bottom line is it's going to be difficult for you to compete for business unless you can demonstrate how your SERVICE and knowledge can be better than someone else.
 

Zang

Member
I'm not "being difFicult" I was trying to give a different option (like I said). I was just passing through the information from my Central Station. They charge additionally for daily test monitoring and open/close reports. They don't have the Internet options Nextalarm does. And they are 3 dollars cheaper than Nextalarm on a monthly rate not more expensive. I'm in Nebraska so I doubt there is much "SERVICE" available with either option. The discussion was about monitoring and I was trying to give an option, that's it.
 
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