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Security system tutorial needed

htsource

Active Member
Hi guys,

We bought a new house and it'll be ready May 2007 - yes, so far away but it gives me enough time to do my homework!

Anyway, I'd like to get more information on security system to tie to Homeseer for whole house security/automation.

I'm not familar much with security system so I maybe asking some stupid questions :)

It seem the ELK M1 Gold is getting popular, I checked the web site and it has lots of features, a lot that I like to have as well. Our current home has DSC2500 in which it has no connection to Homeseer.

What I'd like to do is to have all motion, door, window sensors monitored by the security panel in-dependent of the Homeseer PC. This way, if Windows is crashing, the house is still protected. However, the security system should provide feedback to Homeseer for control. For example, motion sensor from security panel will report whenever motion is detected, door is opened, etc.

At the moment, I do have all windows, doors, and rooms monitored but through WGL800 plugin and X10 motion sensors, door/window sensors. They're working great but I want better realiblity.

The price for the ELK M1 Gold is around $550 from Automated Outlet. It doesn't seem to include any sensors. I assume the sensors can be purchased from different brands, or I have to stick with ELK brand?

So will this ELK M1 do what I want (i.e. 2-way control to Homeseer)? Are there any other alternatives? What about getting the system monitored by a 3rd party security company? Our existing system is monitored but they installed the system for us. I don't know if I can install the system myself and call someone to have the system monitored by 3rd party. I'm in Canada if it makes a difference.

Your help is much appreciated.
 

bfisher

Active Member
Yep, Elk M1 is pretty popular since it provides some automation capability in addition to security. As with most security systems, you can use pretty much any sensors with it.

I chose to go similar but different route. I chose to go with a dedicated alarm panel (Caddx) and a dedicated automation controller (HomeVision Pro) and skip Homeseer (HVPro has a built in web server that I use). HVPro and Caddx talk to each other very nicely so it's transparent they are two seperate controllers. M1 is very good - if it was out when I started I might have considered it (it can't replace everything I'm doing, but its probably getting closer). Most automation systems will communicate just fine with HS.

For automating lights, I chose UPB, but you should also consider ZWave and Insteon. UPB has been extremely reliable for me, but I believe the other 2 are supposed to be as well (much better than X10 - but more expensive).

As for monitoring your alarm system - yes, there are companies around that will monitor it even if they didn't install it. I'm sorry, I have no recommendations for Canada, but I'm sure google can find some for you.

Welcome to CocoonTech!
 

WayneW

Senior Member
htsource said:
So will this ELK M1 do what I want (i.e. 2-way control to Homeseer)? Are there any other alternatives? What about getting the system monitored by a 3rd party security company? Our existing system is monitored but they installed the system for us. I don't know if I can install the system myself and call someone to have the system monitored by 3rd party. I'm in Canada if it makes a difference.
Wired sensors can be any brand, they are universal (other than 2wire smokes). Keypads must be Elk.

Yes, the M1 interfaces nicely with HomeSeer. You can use Electron's free full featured script or a paid plug-in on the HS board. The M1 also interfaces with CQC.

You should not have a problem getting it monitored. See http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?showto...t=0&#entry25796 And you will probably find multiple choices in the $10 range rather than the $30 range you previously forced to pay (which possibly subsidized the "free" hardware). The panel is easy to install, especially if you already have the sensor wiring done.
 
I also went with Caddx for security and am now working on adding automation components. It has been working flawlessly for a couple years now. I particularly like the fact that as I add automation I leave the security system completely alone. If the ELK M1 was out when I was deciding, I might have chosen it instead. However, I'm very happy with the panel I chose.

I had all the pre-wires done while the house was being built and then installed the panel, keypads, and sensors on my own. Once I had it up and running I found a local installer to come check it out for me and then do the final programming to connect it to the monitoring company. It was a win-win for both of us, I got the system I wanted, a good price on monitoring and confirmation that I did everything right, and he got a new account for about a half hour of work.
 

htsource

Active Member
Hi guys,

Thank you so much for the replies, much appreciated.

Is the ELK plugin easy to integrate with Homeseer for triggering events, etc? I've been a user of HS but I'm not a programmer so if it's too easy to set up, it would be no good for me.

Simon
 

WayneW

Senior Member
htsource said:
Is the ELK plugin easy to integrate with Homeseer for triggering events, etc? I've been a user of HS but I'm not a programmer so if it's too easy to set up, it would be no good for me.
Yes, use Electron's my.elk to map your Elk devices to HS devices. Then you can whatever you want with them in HS.
 
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