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Question on security and automation system for a c


I am working on a larger installation of a security and automation system for a commercial warehouse and appreciate any Input and feedback.

The building is 250’x 60’x 16’ divided in 6 individual Bay Units’ plus a 24’x50’ office in the front and a 3 BDRM apartment in Bay Unit 6 @ the end of the building. I want control and Input on the whole building via a main controller in my server room in the front office. This also will house a digital CCTV system with six outside cameras and six indoor cameras.

I am looking at the ELK MI-G or the HAI- OmniPro II for my main controller. I want to use Sub panels in the individual Bay Units which communicate back to the main controller. All the bays have motion Sensor, door-window switches, glass break sensors, 3 4-wire smoke alarms, outdoor siren and strobes and Thermostats and of course 2 Keypads for entry. The Bay units need to be able to have different key codes for the key pads.

The Omni expander enclosures manual clearly spells out that you can do this more or less – but I am not sure if the M1XIN Zone expander be installed in its own enclosure in a remote location and communicate back to a M1 Gold board???
The manual for the M1XIN Zone expander does not mention a remote installation – but the M1 Gold manual shows diagrams with keypad and M1XIN Zone expander cards connected up to 4000 feet from main controller…
Can somebody verify that this will work for my application? What else will I need? I like to have additional back-up power on the sub panels for power outages protection.

Greatly appreciate any Input. Thanks!


Active Member
Hi Tron,

For starters, many here consider the M1G to be an excellent security system, with some nicely integrated automation features. I have no experience with the HAI gear, so I won't comment on it. The available memory for rules in the M1G is sort of limited. In my own case, for my home, I find that I use up the vast majority of the rules just for security. I use a Homevision controller for the automation functions. The M1G and Homevision (or most HA controllers) can communicate via rs232 ascii strings. Makes for very tight and reliable integration.

Any of the Elk keypads, i/o expanders, etc that connect via the Elk 485 bus can be located remotely from the main panel. Elk does make several supplemental power supplies that could be used to power remote devices, but I can't say that there is any supervision built into these power supplies.

You can have a keypad in each of the 6 bays, and these keypads can be assigned to that "partition" of your alarm system. Elk refers to these as "areas", and the M1G supports a maximum of 8 areas. You can use a keypad in your main area to arm/view/disarm any of the other areas, or use the ElkRM software.

Your list of sensors (per bay) could likely be done with a single 16 zone expander. Adding horns, strobes, etc at each bay draw a lot of current. A siren is probably around 1 amp alone. The base M1G can handle up to 2.5 amps maximum.

With such a comprehensive installation, I would urge you to call an Elk distributor or call Elk direct - they are very helpful and a great company to deal with.



Active Member

For information on the HAI line of controllers, you may want to visit the HAI controller forum. It is a forum that is frequented by a diverse group of people ranging from home owners to commercial installers and it is dedicated to providing information on the HAI line of controllers. It has two sub forums, one for a general discussion of the HAI controller line and a second forum for HAI controller programming questions.



Senior Member
For sirens there are piezo "screamers" that draw very little current (under 50 ma each for many). I think ELK just came out with one that fits in a single gang box that draws around 30 ma.

For power supplies there are many that are supervised but they are more expensive. Altronix, Preferred Power, Napco and others have decent selections on their websites and they should work with almost anyone's panels. There are other manufacturers as well.

I dont know the HAI or GE lines that well but the ELK can be expanded VERY easily. Price wise its probably in between the GE and HAI but the support is probably the best at ELK. The ELK is also UL LIsted for Commercial Burglar but not Commercial Fire (but none of the ones mentioned are to my knowledge)

The only Combination Commercial Burglar/Fire panels I know of are the Honeywell/Ademco and Napco systems. Neither company has anything like the ELK or HAI as far as automation though and would not be what you want in the end in my opinion.

My money is that after research you will go with an ELK. :lol: