Replacing ADT with Elk M1 with ISY-994i

skyphyr

Member
Hi all,
 
So I've just purchased an Elk M1 Gold, the ethernet expansion, an ISY-994i, and powerlinc modem. (The kit of these stuff from SmartHome specifically).
 
I seem to be in a situation similar to that from another thread on here where someone was shifting from an ADT system to Elk. Though, in my case, my wireless receiver is an SA5882-3ENH. From the look of what's written on the box, though I've not checked around the house in full, there's 13 sensors in total - some motion, glass break, door, and window sensors. 
 
Am I better off grabbing a ELK-M1XRF2H, to support the existing wireless gear? If I do go this path, can I also get the two way wireless Elk sensors and an ELK-M1XRFTW to add to the system? Math tells me no as they each add 144 zones and there is already a bunch of wired ones. If this is the case, it seems wasteful in either direction, for adding extra sensors, the Elk ones seem better, so I don't like the idea of spending similar amounts on new Honeywell compatible ones. Perhaps there's some way I can use both that hasn't become apparent to me in my research so far?
 
Other things I'd like to do include hooking up the HVAC, Generac generator, and garage door opening (apparently there's already a sensor in the wireless ones there) to the system. Door locks, cameras, light switches etc are also appealing.
 
Any recommendations on the best path forward would be great.
 
Cheers,
 
Alan.
 

skyphyr

Member
Oh, and the option of wiring it all is totally there, too. Any recommendations for best practices for doing this would be great. I'm going to run cat6 throughout the house, which I've yet to find a less unfun way to do, but I'd guess running security and camera wires at the same time isn't going to add much pain.
 
Cheers,
 
Alan.
 

RAL

Senior Member
Hello Alan - welcome to Cocoontech
 
If you want to re-use the wireless sensors, you'll need to add the M1XRF2H to your M1.  The SA5882 isn't compatible with the M1's data bus.
 
Adding the M1XRF2H is probably the most straightforward way to go.  Switching to the Elk M1XRFTW isn't going to offer a significant enhancement over what you have already and will cost you more to replace all the existing wireless sensors.   At this point in time, there's a greater variety of wireless sensors available for the Honeywell system than the Elk. And because of the wide use of the Honeywell system, they tend to be less expensive than the Elk wireless sensors.
 
Although the wireless receivers can support up to 144 zones each, you don't have to configure all of the zones.  So it is possible to connect both an Elk and and Honeywell receiver to a single system, say for 32 zones each, plus wired zones.  However, mixing wireless receiver types isn't generally recommended, as it's easy to shoot yourself in the foot if you don't configure everything properly.  But there are a few folks here on Cocoontech who have done it.
 
If you have the ability to hard wire all the sensors, that's a great way to go, and will give you the greatest reliability.  The wireless stuff is very good, but weak batteries can cause flaky behavior.   Easy enough to fix with new batteries, but still a hassle. And on occasion, the electronics in a wireless transmitter just dies - something that doesn't happen with a simple wired door or window contact.
 
Pull 22-2 cable for the door and window contacts and 22-4 for the motion sensors.  I wouldn't waste Cat6 cable on those.  If you're wiring up smoke detectors, use 18-2 or 18-4 fire rated cable (FPL/FPLR  or better).  Smokes should be wired in a daisy chain fashion, rather than home run.
 
If I were in your shoes, I'd probably start off with an M1XRF2H and use the existing wireless sensors, just to get up and running quickly.  If you need to add more sensors, go wired for those where it isn't too difficult to run the cable.  Eventually, if you replace all the wireless with wired, you'll have a receiver and sensors you can sell on eBay and recover some of the cost.
 
Honestly, given 99% of the applications out there and what is commercially available, Elk's RF devices really don't offer a huge benefit with 2 exceptions, the smoke detector (though most likely not a compliant solution for it's intent)panic button and the keyfob. As stated, in your case, the best option is to put the Honeywell receiver on the system and stay on a single platform.

The true fact of the matter is the more wiring you can run, the better, and cheaper. The labor is the difference. You could buy a bag of contacts and a reel of cable for the price of 2 transmitters alone.
 

skyphyr

Member
hi RAL and DEL,
 
Thanks for the advice. I've taken the lazy option of grabbing the M1XRF2H to get all the existing ones up and running, and I'll run cable for the new sensors.
 
Cheers,
 
Alan
 

RAL

Senior Member
There some good sources for contacts and cable.  Automated Outlet a good one to deal with, and is a supporter of Cocoontech.  I've also bought from other places, including Amazon, Monoprice and eBay.
 
Make sure any cable you buy is rated for running in walls, at least CL2 or better
 
One thing to watch for when buying cable is that much of the inexpensive stuff is not solid copper, but rather copper clad aluminum (CCA).  Often, the manufacturers don't disclose that it is CCA in the description or on the box.  But a low price should raise a red flag. 
 
These days, a 1000' spool of solid copper Cat5e sells for about $100.  22/4 runs around $85 for 1000'.   CCA cable is about half those prices.
 
I look for cable that is made in the USA and has a UL Hologram sticker on the box or spool.
 
Logico and Fluid are two brands I stay away from. Or brown or white box cable with no brand name and most stuff from China.  Though Monoprice does sell some solid copper cable that comes from China.  Just read the description carefully.
 
From posts in this other thread, some trustworthy brands of cable are:
 
Signal, General Cable (GenSpeed), Coleman Cable (CCI), Paige, Standard Wire and Cable Company, and Structured Cable Products (SCP), as well as ICC, Siemon, Honeywell/Genesis, and Remy.
 

skyphyr

Member
Thanks, RAL. This is great info. 
 
So, I'm fairly sure I understand what my next steps are now to hook this up. 
 
Once the M1XRF2H arrives, I'll need to hook it up to the data bus. For the moment, the only thing I have which needs to hook up there is the keypad. If I've understood correctly, I can either add a second home run for the M1XRF2H, or daisy chain it in between the M1 and the keypad. It hasn't been explicitly stated anywhere which way is better. I did see two home runs listed under an ideal setup in the keypad diagram, so is that preferable? (I'll need the jumper on the M1 until I have the second home run).
 
I found a Honeywell 5816 which doesn't have the second part (is that called the contact plate?) there any more, just some glue where it used to be. What can I use to replace this? Just any similar magnet?
 
With all that, I believe I'm done with bringing the existing pieces over and will be on to making new threads here with questions on other things I want to add.
 
Cheers,
 
Alan.
 

skyphyr

Member
Damn, I knew I'd forgotten something. I don't have phone service, but the old line is still here (and hooked into the ADT system). Is there any reason to hook it up to the M1?
 
Cheers,
 
Alan
 

RAL

Senior Member
skyphyr said:
Thanks, RAL. This is great info. 
 
So, I'm fairly sure I understand what my next steps are now to hook this up. 
 
Once the M1XRF2H arrives, I'll need to hook it up to the data bus. For the moment, the only thing I have which needs to hook up there is the keypad. If I've understood correctly, I can either add a second home run for the M1XRF2H, or daisy chain it in between the M1 and the keypad. It hasn't been explicitly stated anywhere which way is better. I did see two home runs listed under an ideal setup in the keypad diagram, so is that preferable? (I'll need the jumper on the M1 until I have the second home run).
 
I found a Honeywell 5816 which doesn't have the second part (is that called the contact plate?) there any more, just some glue where it used to be. What can I use to replace this? Just any similar magnet?
 
With all that, I believe I'm done with bringing the existing pieces over and will be on to making new threads here with questions on other things I want to add.
 
Cheers,
 
Alan.
 
 
If you only have a single keypad, plus the M1XRF2H to connect to the databus, then yes, you can connect each one as a home run.  You'll need to install the terminator jumper on each of them, and leave the jumper off of J3 on the M1.  The M1XRF2H should be installed at least 10 feet away from the M1.
 
If you prefer to daisy chain them, that's ok, too.  But if do a home run for everything using Catx cable, that makes it easier to change the configuration later if you expand the number of devices on the data bus. The extra conductors in the Catx cable will allow you to make a virtual daisy chain of the devices, though at the cost of additional wire length.  For most residential installs, that is not likely to be a problem.
 
You can get a replacement magnet for the 5816 by ordering a 5899.
 
 
skyphyr said:
Damn, I knew I'd forgotten something. I don't have phone service, but the old line is still here (and hooked into the ADT system). Is there any reason to hook it up to the M1?
 
Unless you plan on activating the phone line, I would leave it disconnected.  Otherwise, it is just a potential source for an electrical surge to enter your system from a nearby lightning strike.  Why create an unnecessary risk?
 

skyphyr

Member
Hi RAL,
 
Thanks very much for the info. Apologies for the delay. Finally getting back to sorting all this out today.
 
Cheers,
 
Alan
 
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