Should I get an ELK now?


Active Member
As I've discussed in other posts, I'm in the process of doing as much HA as possible in my existing home to gain experience / decide what technologies, etc. to go with for the house we're going to be building soon.

Powerline is a no-brainer because not having access to wires, etc. is not an issue. But I'd like to get into as much as possible otherwise as well.

Martin demo'd the ELK for me yesterday and I was impressed. I'd of course like to get one now and start playing with it. But how limited will I be not having access to the walls? There is an existing security system installed by the builder that I suppose I could swap out. But the panel is in the master closet, the opposite side of the house from where I have all my CAT 5, etc. run to.

What about wireless security? Would that be a good option that I could take with me?

Aside from security and tieing into the UPB, what are some other things I could do with the ELK right now to make it worth my while?
Well, the biggest thing you can do with the Elk now is learn! BSR has had an Elk for his friends place for a while so when it is put it he will be an expert! I would not use wireless for security unless you need to, wired is always better. As for panels and other stuff being in separate places, there are several options. Read through this thread for some details. You will be very happy with an Elk and UPB setup and I'm sure will be visiting Martin for your weekly fix.
If you are going with hard-wired light switches you might want to consider a Stargate.

If you will be mostly going wireless for security you may want to consider a Caddx Nx8e. (You will be using Caddx wireless stuff even if you go with the Elk).
I wouldn't go wireless in the new house. The idea was to do that in the current house so I could put the Elk where I want, etc. I suppose I could just get the Elk to learn / play with HA and leave the current security system as is.

I also like the idea of putting the Elk where the current alarm panel is and just running a Cat5 from there to my equipment closet ... put the rest of the Elk components there.

Lots to learn. ;)
Hi Randy,

Yeah, if you wanted to play with the elk, you could install it in that closet but not screw it into the wall. I would leave the existing panel where it is and just route the wires to the elk. You would then need to replace the keypad.

With that being done, you can run the elk and learn but still be able to easily revert to the old panel when you're ready to move.
If you don't have one yet, it's ALWAYS a good time to buy an Elk.

Seriously, I really like mine. As for location, I'm not sure if you have concerns about interfacing it with other hardware, such as a PC. You can easily do that via a wireless connection over your Wi_fi LAN.

And as Martin or someone pointed out, you do have to buy new keypads. The other, existing sensors should work fine.