Shenandoah's complete mess....


Active Member
Some disclaimers:

1) ELK Products, inc. can not use these photos to void product warranties :huh:
2) members are prohibited from ignoring my posts just because they now see me as "unclean" or "impure" or "cocoon trash"
3) man does not live on HA alone - and when i am not, these areas are off limits to our guests!

Ok for starters, remember that i had an existing two story house and outbuilding. Original security was the Elk's forefather - a Moose unit. I purchased the elk before closing and the moose came out on the day we took ownership... Was weeks later before Elk was running.. Namely because i had to figure out a way to handle the wiring. Prior wiring had half the house wiring in a junction box on the far side nehind a keypad, rest came into the Moose and i want one item per zone. So new i needed expanders right off the batt...

This is the old Moose location (as you can see was surface mount. My plan is to put in 14" enclosure recessed here, but the studs aren't going to make that easy. In addition to the input expander you see here, i'll be branching AUX/SAUX power for a couple of smokes / motions here.


Ok in terms of getting the wiring done, because of the house's design (open foyer and a lan-beam running from top of stairs towards the other side of the house, there is only one clear space inbetween 2 floor joists running the 30' between the attics on the single story sections on either side of the two-story cube (over garage and over my bed). As you can see in the following photo, that was occupied. We put one 2" in the same hole, but no o going the other way due to bathroom being above it and we couldn't cut into the plywood subfloor. so we came down another section and put in 45's to get close. I've filled most of this even though i laid the audio/IR cabling seperately outside it. And i still need to run more... debating my options...


And what the wife is on me to clean up. I know it looks bad - heck it is bad... I was in a rush to get the back to work at the end of my vacation and just haven't gotten back. I sure could use some help.

contents: RG6, CAT6 drops, 8-port netgear 10/100/1000 switch, 100bt/100fx (Gigabit was too expensive at the time) media converter (heads to the office panel below), elk ethernet expander, elk serial expander (this one is for hvac), elk zwave - waiting for the serial fix for Vizia rf and then this is gone), elk wireless, phone/network modules from leviton, cable amp, and passive splitter... In hind sight, i question some of the contents here - not sure if i like putting the small netgear switched in there and i don't think i like the leviton connections for cat cable eiether... but i did like idea of putting it all in a panel.

fyi - one long bundle of sable coming down with green/purple/etc is the old wiring for an intercom/audio system that was here. I ripped that out too, but wiring remains, though its not cat5 and won't work for most of todays systems...



Next to the big enclosure is the 14" elk panel... nothing much but the elk...

Ok, this panel is actually pretty neat/clean.
Contents: input expander, output expander, two relay boards and thre 24v wart. (most of the relays power 10 sprinller zones. One controlls garage door, one will eventually cycle my Metlund water pump, and i have other uses down the road...


This one is also messy. It's the one in my office/outbuilding
Contents: the other media converter, another 8port switch, cable modem, lynksys router, elk input expander for all the zones in the outuilding.


These are the 4-conductor speaker runs and cat5 for IR for whole house audio.

And i just got approval from the wife, to convert most of this closet into my equipment rack. Plan it to open the wall where the mail card holder is and maybe put some pull/out rotating racks there. Would house whole house audio and all A/V/HT equipment.... supplying upstairs family room as the HT setup, my master bedroom, and a tv wall mounted on a swivel arm in the kitchen for downstairs viewing.


I have no idea where to start in the cleanup... ;)
Automation Hardware:
  • Elk M1 gold
  • Elk M1XEP - ethernet
  • Elk M1XRF2G - wireless receiver
  • Elk M1XZW - zwave interface - doesn't play well with vizia rf at all :huh: (see below)
  • Elk M1XOV output expander
  • (2) Elk M1RB - relay boards (srinkers, garage doors, strobe, etc)
  • (2) Elk M1-KP
  • (2) Elk M1XSP - one is installed for thermostats - other is waiting for Elk's Vizia RF firmware when it will replace the M1XZW
  • (3) Elk M1XIN - input expanders
  • (2) HAI thermostats for A/C heat pump control
  • a bunch of Leviton Vizia RF 600W dimmers (and several 1 zone controls for virtual three way)
  • ands various motions/contacts/security sensors
  • Water sensors
  • A couple of APC UPS's. Both are supplying power into the key panels where power is needed (main, elk, office).
  • A couple of GE crystl keyfobs (one if use for sprinkler testing/maintainence - kind of cool on a lot my size)
  • I have 2 CAT6 and 2 RG6 (Monster quad shield) at most foreseen locations (did not due kids bedrooms, dining room, nook)
  • The family room has two seperate such drops on different walls anticipating the possibilities of locating the TV and also a (4) count ethernet drop for family pc location
  • Master bed will have some extra cat6 drops i think (i have a bunch of wires sitting up in the attic and not dropped so not used yet)
  • Wife's office has (3) cat6 only - will likely add a #4 - no RG6
  • My office has two drops - 1 with (6) cat6 and 1 with (4) of the same (no RG6) - but can easily add when i mount a tv if needed
  • For whole house audio i dropped 4 conductor Monster looping in the wall where volume controls will be along with cat5 for IR (excludes kids beds/upstairs family room, outbuilding)
  • I ran fiber, sprinkler wire(for aux/saux/relay switching), and i think (3) total cat6 between the two buildings
  • I have a lot of spare cat6/two-wire and 4-wire security cable run between the (3) elk panels in the house (and sprinkler - for same power needs above)
Coming soon
  • Elk WSV - water shutoff valve
  • GE/ESL 541-NCSXT 4-wire smokes
  • CO Detectors
  • more vizia rf stuff (plugins and in-wall units)
  • maybe a pentair intelletouch for the pool (and eventually spa) (would run backyard landscape lighting from theload center here and control relays from elk
  • Elk 930 - doorbell/ring detector
  • Elk P112K or Elk P412K power supplies (mainly for powering the water shutoff
  • relay controlled, upb, or if levton decides to makes a 20amp - several circuits for outdoor GFCI / christmas lighting, etc
  • whole house audio
  • home theater
  • htpc with wireless touchscreen panel for controlling all of this
  • either: cqc / mainlobby / netgirder / etc
feel good??? man that's make me feel even more sad :huh:

Some lessons:
1) In hind sight, if i wasn't limited to this closet, i would have preferred rack mounting the ethernet stuff... and probably using boards with those rather than the enclosure. but the closet was just so tight to spread out
2) i have no idea how to make the RS-485 wiring ro the elk devices look good in a panel. Maybe i'd be better off with 4-wire security cable... but i think all the expanders would look better in their plastic cases on plywood.
3) i wish i had run (5) 2 inch conduit runs in both directions from the closet
4) i wish i had a 28" panel for the elk so i could put all the expanders in there and not in the 42" one
5) i think maybe i should add a can under the elk or next to it for the audio/ir distribution

Dang, i'm more depressed everytime i open this closet
This is a great post - it makes me feel good :huh:

Makes me feel better to..... although I have finalized a few of my cans I still have one 14" and two 28" to go. I picked up an extra 14" plus some misc cans to spred things out more.

Hang in there shenandoah75 it takes a lot of time and technically it never ends.
not to worry, i won't even take pics of mine yet. It would make you feel good.

My plan is to run all the wiring (i'm actually getting close to "done", at least at the 95% level for wiring), then clean up the wires, then hire an electrician to review & fix any mistakes.

I'm betting the electrician still charges me $1500-$2000, even after all the time i'll put into cleaning it up.
I feel your pain shenandoah75.

One 28" can (main Elk), one 14" can (remote boards [X3]), and two 50" cans for cat 5, video and power. I am still tight for space. Pictures posted in a week or three.
Well, it's way further along than mine! Been here close to two years and I have NO low voltage wiring pulled... yes, some laying across the lfoors and down the walls, but nothing permanently in! Maybe next year...
Progress so far - spent all weekend on this so far...

Elk 14" panel is removed, all the elk stuff that was in both cans is now in the 42" enclosure and that's all elk. Added the 120/129 i bought off IVB which i hope to tie in for doorbell. Thanks for the recommendations on those datacom plates - they are perfect!!!! I plan to put the networking pivot rack mount above the enclosure, the pivot rack for audio / whole house connections to the right starting at the stud on the second piece of new drywall. If i continue with in-wall rack plans, that would go on the wall directly opposite.

Electrical changes:
(4) outlets in the right box (low) are powered by (2) 20 amp circuits.
(4) outlets in the middle (low) are the existing 20amp living room service
the box on the low left is where i tie in to the panel and the outlets up high.
basically i have 2 outletsin the enclosure on the family cirsuite and 2 plus the 4 up high that are tied into the cord coming out of that junction which goes to battery backup.

This way i can have the Elk Ethernet on UPS as well as my switch / fiber converter... but use the elk battery for the other stuff (and i can use it's own poer loss alarm too - no need for relay / wart on another input like i was planning)

- The Elk wireless will mount on the wall, once i get the wire bundles strung
- i will be buying a battery holder and maybe a spare battery for parallel and/or the 1amp power supply for the box
- once finalised, i'll tie up the wires better in the panel.

Any suggestions welcome...


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Thanks for the recommendations on those datacom plates - they are perfect!!!!

Those look great! I actually purcahased some of them too when I saw them on the other post.

Nice work on getting it all cleaned up! You have made some awesome progress. Isn't it amazing how quickly the weekend can pass by... :)
After seeing Brandon's ELK M1 installation, I was feeling really bad about my house's M1 installation.

Shenandoah75, you have made me feel much better after seeing this thread. :)

After seeing Brandon's ELK M1 installation, I was feeling really bad about my house's M1 installation.

Shenandoah75, you have made me feel much better after seeing this thread. ;)


Spanky, I work in an R and D enviroment and have seen first hand how electrical engineers wire things. You need to grab one of your technicians and have him fix it up for you.