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Security or Security/HA? CADDX or ELK?

MRL

Active Member
I need to replace an old wireless stand alone security system. I'm torn between ELK system with CADDX wireless vs. the less expensive CADDX system/wireless. I currently have ZWave light switches under control of CQC. I know CADDX does not support ZWave. I would like my security system to control some lights. I am not planning on leaving my home theater PC running 24/7 so the security system needs to take on some home automation.
I have been a professional software developer for more years then I care to admit. I have built PCs from scratch. My hobby is home theater. I am leaning towards the more expensive ELK because I feel it will be more fun to play with. I downloaded some ELK software demo and am very impressed. I understand the CADDX programming is from the dark ages. I would be doing the complete install myself from scratch.
I joined this forum since I feel most of you are really into this stuff as I am and hope to be with the new security system. Is the ELK install as easy as it looks? ELK seems to be a major player in the industry. I do not think I am making a mistake here. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

Guy Lavoie

Active Member
There are several Elk threads that you can read on this board which will answer many of your questions. Just search for Elk in all the forums. You can then ask any specific questions that come to mind.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
You can't actually search on the word Elk because it is under 4 characters. There is however a dedicated Elk Products section under Marketplace.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
No matter what system you install, you will be hit with some industry buzz words like: normally closed switches, EOL Resistors, Central Station Monitoring, data bus termination, etc.....

Most documentation assumes a general knowledge of basic security/home automation system operation, but will briefly explain what is going on. Feel free to ask questions.

Welcome to Cocoontech.
 

Digger

Senior Member
Installation of a Caddix or an ELK (or anyone elses) would be about the same. Programming an ELK with the included RP software...... priceless.

Seriously it is VERY easy to program with the RP and the ELK seems to be much more feature packed. I weighed the cost of the ELK against a Honeyell System last year and went with the ELK since in the end the price was comparable (when you added all of the additional modules the Honeywell would need to do the same functions if it could). I find the RP is easier to use then the Honeywell and Napco software. I have not used the GE software but from what I read in their manuals the RP seems a lot easier.

The support at ELK is also superior plus you have this forum to ask questions.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
MRL said:
I need to replace an old wireless stand alone security system. I'm torn between ELK system with CADDX wireless vs. the less expensive CADDX system/wireless. I currently have ZWave light switches under control of CQC. I know CADDX does not support ZWave. I would like my security system to control some lights. I am not planning on leaving my home theater PC running 24/7 so the security system needs to take on some home automation.
Hi MRL:

You made a couple of statements that caught my attention:

I need to replace an old wireless stand alone security system

What ever system you decide you FIRST need to make sure it is compatible with your wireless devices.

...the security system needs to take on some home automation

So it sounds to me like you need something a little more than what a "standard" security system would offer you.

I have installed my own Caddx NX8e security system and integrated it with my Ocelot and HomeSeer automation devices. I also used the Caddx DL900 software to program the Caddx panel itself.

I also recently spent a lot of time programming the Elk M1 Gold system and interfaced it with HomeSeer. I also programmed the Elk with their RP software.

Having experience with both systems I can tell you that the Elk M1 Gold is far easier to program and it is LOT more versatile than the Caddx. These extra features and versatility comes at an increased price, but I think in your case, this extra cost is warranted because of your automation needs.

The Caddx was not really meant to be a "home automation" device. You can get relay output modules for it (as I have done), but integrating them into home automation applications is a real pain. Plus the programming is not nearly as flexible as the Elk's and their is NO included voice announcement system.

If you "just" wanted a home security system and had no intention of integrating it with home automation needs the Caddx would work well.

I would highly suggest you read the Security System Install How-To if this is your first DIY installation. :)
 

MRL

Active Member
What ever system you decide you FIRST need to make sure it is compatible with your wireless devices.

My wireless devices are 14 years old and total clunkers requiring a 9-volt battery that does not last 1 year. The company that made my old system is long gone. The wireless units go in the trash. I would use the CADDX NX-448E 48-zone wireless board with the ELK and use the CADDX micro NX-454 door/window units.

I'm going to sleep on it one more night but I expect to order the ELK/CADDX hardware. I've done some electrical work in the house (my computers and network equipment run on dedicated lines) and so far no fires! I have a graduate degree in civil engineering and was forced to take electrical engineering courses. I knew I should have saved the textbooks. I do remember E=IR. Isn't that all you have to remember?

After wandering around this forum for countless hours, I am convinced that the ELK is my next toy. Thanks in advance to all who will, i'm sure', see HELP! posts from me.

After all, in life, he who dies with the most toys wins!
Or as my wife says - the only difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys!
 

elcano

Active Member
Be careful about documentation. Elk documentation is very complete and easy to understand. Caddx documentations seems to be there just to check it out from their to-do list and force the people to go with a formally trained installer.

Seriously. It is like reading an unknown language for me.
 

johnnynine

Active Member
upstatemike said:
You can't actually search on the word Elk because it is under 4 characters. There is however a dedicated Elk Products section under Marketplace.
Yes this drives me crazy on the search section of the site. I can't search for elk, m1, cqc, and a few others that I have run into. :) :(
 
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