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running wires to the headend

v1rtu0s1ty

Senior Member
ok guys, I need your experties again. :)

In my drawing on the other thread, all the security wires from first and second floor goes to one hole location in the first floor to reach the head end on basement. In reality, I think it is impossible since there are tons of wires. It would really look crap.

So guys, how do you run all the wires from the first/second floor to the basement? If it was me(no experience),I'm going to drill a hole in the bottom sill/frame/osb since that's the only way I know. ;)

Show it to me guys! :p
 

IVB

Senior Member
You could just put a few zone expanders up on the 2nd floor, run them in series (not sure how many you can string). Then, just run the 1 pair of 18/4 from the zone expander down to the main cabinet. Use a Data Bus Hub to make it all simple.

You will need to run an 18/4 from main->zone expander for power purposes. It'll hook up the 2 constant power terminals (VAUX) and 2 switched power terminals (SAUX) on the main elk board.

Finally, based on the # of sensors, you may want something like the PD9 to distribute power easily. I tried twisting all the wires together, but it was ugly and kept coming loose. I just ordered the PD9, hopefully that'll make life easier.
 

v1rtu0s1ty

Senior Member
IVB said:
You could just put a few zone expanders up on the 2nd floor, run them in series (not sure how many you can string). Then, just run the 1 pair of 18/4 from the zone expander down to the main cabinet. Use a Data Bus Hub to make it all simple.

You will need to run an 18/4 from main->zone expander for power purposes. It'll hook up the 2 constant power terminals (VAUX) and 2 switched power terminals (SAUX) on the main elk board.

Finally, based on the # of sensors, you may want something like the PD9 to distribute power easily. I tried twisting all the wires together, but it was ugly and kept coming loose. I just ordered the PD9, hopefully that'll make life easier.
That's a cool idea. How does a zone expander look like? Does it only need one 18/4 wire to connect to the main ELK M1 Gold? And with this kind of approach, all my wires on the second floor gets terminated only to the zone expander?

Can you please show me the link of the exact product? I also have a 2 pvc pipe from attic to second floor, however, the builder told me that I cannot use it until I move in. ;)

Thanks! :)
 

v1rtu0s1ty

Senior Member
DavidL said:
Expander:
http://www.elkproducts.com/products/m1/M1_...m_Expanders.htm
Data Hub:
http://www.elkproducts.com/products/m1/M1_Data_Bus_Hubs.htm

I would still try to run all the wires home run if you can. Are the walls still opened up?
Yep, they are still open. I guess, I just need an idea on how to run wires. Let me show a real modified picture of how it's going to be if I do it. Picture be here in a few.

I think, I should not run all the wires in a single hole in the first floor. I'll just make sure that in the basement, they will still end at the same location. I just need wire management.

How did you do it guys if not using expanders?
 

Digger

Senior Member
It would probably be a lot easier to have a zone expander on each level of the house. I beleive they are about $80 each and then you need a can for them. There are a lot of advantages to this since if you needed to add something in the future your run would be a lot shorter. The costs savings on the wire would not make it a wash but the slight additional cost would be well worth the time savings (and aggravation).

The Zone expander hooks up the the RS485 bus. So the 18/4 is all you need and you terminate your last device. Heck I added a keypad in the master bedroom and just hooked up to the RS485 line in the closet in the next room. It saved me a LOT of time and aggravation. I ran about 12 feet of wire rather than about 40 (in a completely sheetrocked house). If you run out of zones 2 years from now on an expander you just add another one right there.

The Zone expander on the 2nd floor is located in a closet and the wires run up to teh attic and down into each room. Very easy to add devices later.

You can add Supplemental Power Supplies in the cans with battery backup if you need in the future. I would also run an additional 18/4 from the panel to the cans for Smoke detector power and sirens etc. Actually a few extra's would be good. Then if there is anything else you might want to do in the future you can pull wire for those (Cat 5, Coax, Etc).

I think I mentioned this in another post a few weeks ago.

Sorry I cant provide pictures.
 

v1rtu0s1ty

Senior Member
here is the picture of where I want to terminate everything. It's going to be in the living room. Underneath is my basement. On the basement, it's the place I want to put my control room(home theater equipment, home security like ELK, Russound CaV6.6). And there will be a 8 ft 19inch wide rack.

http://restricted.dyndns.org/target/living..._with_wires.jpg
livingroom_with_wires.jpg
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I still can't get any of your links to work but why not get your HVAC installer to put in an extra 3X12 inch air duct that is open in the attic and feeds down to an opening in the base of the wall behind your rack? You coud send all the wiring you want down that and it would look nice and neat. One extra piece of ductwork should not be a drastic increase to the overall cost of your HVAC install.
 

IVB

Senior Member
DavidL said:
I would still try to run all the wires home run if you can. Are the walls still opened up?
Sorry, not understanding what you think the upside to that is. If you homerun them, you're still going to have to put them in an expander [presuming you've got more than 16z]. For example, i'm putting 1z to a sensor, so I can tell which one tripped. Sounds overkill, but I can get by with only 3 $75-ish expanders.

All I meant was to re-lo the expander you'd probably use anyhow in the main can to a floor-level location. And if you end up with too many expanders, well, they're cheap, simpler than all that dang wiring.

V1: You may need >1expander per level based on # of sensors and your desired granularity.

Also, your diagram is generally correct, but you'll probably need 2 runs of 18/4: One for the expander signal, one for power. [2 for VAUX which is constant power for most sensors, 2 for SAUX which is a switched power source for smokes]
 

v1rtu0s1ty

Senior Member
upstatemike said:
I still can't get any of your links to work but why not get your HVAC installer to put in an extra 3X12 inch air duct that is open in the attic and feeds down to an opening in the base of the wall behind your rack? You coud send all the wiring you want down that and it would look nice and neat. One extra piece of ductwork should not be a drastic increase to the overall cost of your HVAC install.
I will call my builder and ask if I can use the PVC in attic to basement. I hope he'll allow me to use it. Assuming the builder didn't allow me to put wires there since technically, the house is still not time, what are the disadvantage of using the zone expanders?
 

pkoslow

Active Member
I'm in agreement with the majority here.

Use the zone expanders to distribute your wiring points. It saves labor and materials as the sensor wiring runs can be much shorter. As mentioned before, it's common to have zone expander(s) on each floor of a multi-story home. Use the small Elk boxes mounted in a closets to hide them.

Paul
 

pkoslow

Active Member
v1rtu0s1ty said:
using zone expanders, will ELK still know which sensor tripped?
Yes,

These zone expanders simply add more inputs. They are all still individually addressed with the controller.

Paul
 

v1rtu0s1ty

Senior Member
pkoslow said:
I'm in agreement with the majority here.

Use the zone expanders to distribute your wiring points.  It saves labor and materials as the sensor wiring runs can be much shorter.  As mentioned before, it's common to have zone expander(s) on each floor of a multi-story home.  Use the small Elk boxes mounted in a closets to hide them.

Paul
I hope someone can show me one zone expander in action. This way, I will have an idea how I would mount it. So if I'm planning to put 1 zone expander for each floor, how many data bus do I need in the head end?

Here is a modified zone expander ascii drawing:

http://restricted.dyndns.org/modzoneexpander.txt

And now, I just need to find out where the ideal locations in the first floor and second floor. Tips please. ;)

And also, with the wiring I have in my first floor(see old drawing below), do I really just need 1 zone expander? By the way this is how I understand zone expander connectivity. For every zone expander, 2 runs of 18/4 wire is needed.

1st_Floor_wiring.gif
 
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