Security System Wiring Basics


Active Member
Hello everyone!

Sorry for all of my questions. I read through SBR's Home Security wiring guide about 10 times, and read through the EOL guide as well. I still have a bunch of questions about how to wire a security system.

Currently I'm interested in getting an M1G. This means that I can't afford one for a month or two, but I want to prewire the house in preparation for getting it. I will be installing the sensors and running the wire in a new house, currently framed without drywall. Specifically, I really need to get sensors on 5 windows, and wire up at least a few motion detectors, and a few glass break detectors.

All of these questions are going to be tailored towards eventually hooking everything up to an Elk M1 Gold. Please keep in mind that I don't have it yet so I don't exactly know what features it has. Also, i'm new to home security, so I don't know much about it.

1. setting up a circuit with an EOL (end of line) resistor is better than not doing it, correct? From what I read/found out, you can monitor more codes with the EOLr, than by not using an EOLr and setting the Elk M1 Gold to monitor the circuit as normally closed?

2. Can anyone explain the best way to wire a sensor? I already know that it's best to put the EOL resistor on the end of the circuit near the sensor (as opposed to the end of the circuit in the panel).....but how do I put the resistor in? Does it get soldered in? I'm a visual person, does anyone have pictures of this?

In regards to wiring a sensor, does the leads from the sensor get soldered to the wires I homerunned to the panel, or do I use twist plugs? Or do I just simply twist the wires together by hand and electrical tape them or something?

3. I read in this thread that it's best to use 1/4 watt resistor for an End of Line resistor. Does this sound correct? Having read, I know the panel comes with resistors, but I don't have a panel now, and I want to just get the prewiring done at this stage.

4. In regards to affordable glass break sensors, possible something like I need to run 3 or 4 conductor wires for it?

5. Generally, should I run 3 or 4 conductor wires for motion detectors?

6. Before I drywall, is there anything else that would be very usefull or 'cool', that I can prepare for now, that the Elk is capable of? This question is based on my lack of knowledge of the Elk M1/home security.....I just basically want some ideas as to what it's capable of, and see if it's in my budget to prep now for them :ph34r:

7. Oh, so which sensors should I get for my windows? Basically, I'm trying to figure out which one to get, based on the four different Stubby Reed Switches that has.
A. = 2020-12W - GRI 3/8" Magnetic Stubby Reed Switch, Closed Loop
B. = 3030-12W - GRI 3/8" Magnetic Stubby Reed Switch, Open Loop
C. = 38stubby - 3/8" Magnetic Stubby Reed Switch
D. = 1125W-N - 3/8" Magnetic Stubby Reed Switch

Which one of the above would you recommend to use with a Elk M1 Gold? When a sensor says open loop, does that mean it needs an EOL resistor? Vice versa, if sensor is closed loop, it would not need an EOL resistor?

Thanks for all your time and assistance. If any of you have other quides or resources that have really helped you, please post them up. I'm not afraid to do a smackload of reading. Most of my questions above are things that I haven't found, or just want confirmation.

I also apologize for being such a noob. I'd rather ask stupid questions now, than have to rip out drywall and redo something because I did it the wrong way...

Very quickly as I am off to work.

You don't need to use EOL resistors if you don't want. True they will tell you if something happened to your wiring if it opens or shorts, but if you are carefull on how you run your wiring and crimp/solder your connections AND ring out the wiring with a meter (test open and closed conditions as well as leakage) then I don't think they are necessary (my opinion, others disagree).

I like solder and shrink wrap for my connections. There are crimp lugs that Automated Outlet sells along with a crimper that others here have used (crimp has gel inside to minimize corrosion).

You want sensors that are closed (shorted) with the magnet in place.

Your sensor type that you will use will greatly depend on the type of windows you have (how they move in their tracks). I ran into a problem with two of mine when I found out they have steel cables that run along the sides the recess up into the upper frame (couldn't put sensors on the "sides" of these windows).

As far as wiring, we have a Wiring Guide here on CocoonTech that you should browse through.

Run FOUR conductor wiring to motion sensors and glass breaks. Also, keypads take four conductors minimum, though a lot of people also run Cat5e for wiring keypads (look at data base hubs from Elk).