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Some questions before I finally order my ELK M1 pieces

GoetzC

New Member
I'm finally jumping in with both feet and getting an M1 and have a couple few lot of questions before I place the order tomorrow. 
 
A little background -
  • I currently have an ISY994i with a dozen or so Insteon switches/outlets/etc...
  • 2 story home has unfinished basement with wiring already pulled to both keypad locations(garage entrance and MB)
  • 3 basement windows have wiring for impact sensors
  • 2 of 5 main level entrance doors are wired as well
  • 2 adults, 2 kids, 1 dog
  • I embrace my inner geek and enjoy home automation
  • Error tolerance is low so WAF needs to be high 
Goals-
  • Self installed and monitored
  • Remotely accessible with notifications
  • Integrated with ISY to turn lights on when doors open, lights off when armed, etc...
  • Monitor 5 entry doors, 2 garage doors(open and closed sensors), 8 main level windows, and 3-4 glass break detectors on main level
  • Intercom/custom recorded messages heard throughout home
 
I am planing to use a SWB28 in basement and the kit SWB14 in the garage to allow for expansion(irrigation/???) down the road. Planning on XEP, XRFTW, and DBH. The 2 main keypads will be KPNAV and the kit keypad KP2 will be kept with M1 for programming(based on research/reading I've done this is suggested over touchscreens).
 
Now the questions-
  1. Will the TWSF speaker/mic combos be enough to do intercom from the keypads or do I also need the TWA audio amplifier? Would there be a benefit to use the TWA(3 zones of amplified audio)? Assuming you can only speak from the keypad location do I just need 1/keypad and then use the SP12F anywhere I need to hear the messages? I expect I'll need 2 per level so 6 total speakers and each floor will have 1 keypad.
  2. Will the Elk 120 or 124 drivers be better suited for my desire for custom recorded messages? Do the "4 and 8 channels" refer to number of recorded messages? Why would one chose one over the other? I believe the M1 has siren sounds so I don't see the need for the additional sounds of the 120 and preloaded messages... what am I missing here? The goal is simply to playback some messages for the kids as reminders.
  3. Which wired glass break detectors and impact sensors would you recommend? I prefer these to be hardwired as the wires are mostly run already.
  4. Will an Elk 6022 3 zone sensor work to monitor each garage door? I could easily hardwire 2 sensors to each door to know if the door is opened or closed but it seems the 6022 with it's two hardwired zones would eliminate the need for the long home runs. Either way I thought I'd use two wide gapped magentic sensors on each door to monitor the open/close status. Thoughts?
  5. XRFTW wireless receiver- what is an average range?Terrible question right so how about this: what is best practice? Should I mount it in SWB28 in basement or should I put it in SWB14 in garage near the main floor on the opposite end of the house? Worst case scenario I can buy a second XRFTW and cover both ends if necessary, just wondering what gives me my best chance of using only one.
  6. How should I power the remote SWB14 in the garage? P212s?
  7. Should I put a DBH in the remote SWB14 as well?
  8. I don't think I'll have enough wired zones to need a XIN or see a need for XOVR or RB at this point... am I missing anything else? 
Thank you in advance for any/all advice you have. This system has been in the works for a few years so I've read a lot but the more I read/research the more I realize there are many ways to do things and this is not something I do often enough to expect to get right the first time. I subscribe to the motto that when you need help, seek the experts... that is why I'm asking you all.
 
 
 

giesen

Active Member
GoetzC said:
I'm finally jumping in with both feet and getting an M1 and have a couple few lot of questions before I place the order tomorrow. 
 
A little background -
  • I currently have an ISY994i with a dozen or so Insteon switches/outlets/etc...
  • 2 story home has unfinished basement with wiring already pulled to both keypad locations(garage entrance and MB)
  • 3 basement windows have wiring for impact sensors
  • 2 of 5 main level entrance doors are wired as well
  • 2 adults, 2 kids, 1 dog
  • I embrace my inner geek and enjoy home automation
  • Error tolerance is low so WAF needs to be high 
Goals-
  • Self installed and monitored
  • Remotely accessible with notifications
  • Integrated with ISY to turn lights on when doors open, lights off when armed, etc...
  • Monitor 5 entry doors, 2 garage doors(open and closed sensors), 8 main level windows, and 3-4 glass break detectors on main level
  • Intercom/custom recorded messages heard throughout home
 
I am planing to use a SWB28 in basement and the kit SWB14 in the garage to allow for expansion(irrigation/???) down the road. Planning on XEP, XRFTW, and DBH. The 2 main keypads will be KPNAV and the kit keypad KP2 will be kept with M1 for programming(based on research/reading I've done this is suggested over touchscreens).
 
Now the questions-
  1. Will the TWSF speaker/mic combos be enough to do intercom from the keypads or do I also need the TWA audio amplifier? Would there be a benefit to use the TWA(3 zones of amplified audio)? Assuming you can only speak from the keypad location do I just need 1/keypad and then use the SP12F anywhere I need to hear the messages? I expect I'll need 2 per level so 6 total speakers and each floor will have 1 keypad.
  2. Will the Elk 120 or 124 drivers be better suited for my desire for custom recorded messages? Do the "4 and 8 channels" refer to number of recorded messages? Why would one chose one over the other? I believe the M1 has siren sounds so I don't see the need for the additional sounds of the 120 and preloaded messages... what am I missing here? The goal is simply to playback some messages for the kids as reminders.
  3. Which wired glass break detectors and impact sensors would you recommend? I prefer these to be hardwired as the wires are mostly run already.
  4. Will an Elk 6022 3 zone sensor work to monitor each garage door? I could easily hardwire 2 sensors to each door to know if the door is opened or closed but it seems the 6022 with it's two hardwired zones would eliminate the need for the long home runs. Either way I thought I'd use two wide gapped magentic sensors on each door to monitor the open/close status. Thoughts?
  5. XRFTW wireless receiver- what is an average range?Terrible question right so how about this: what is best practice? Should I mount it in SWB28 in basement or should I put it in SWB14 in garage near the main floor on the opposite end of the house? Worst case scenario I can buy a second XRFTW and cover both ends if necessary, just wondering what gives me my best chance of using only one.
  6. How should I power the remote SWB14 in the garage? P212s?
  7. Should I put a DBH in the remote SWB14 as well?
  8. I don't think I'll have enough wired zones to need a XIN or see a need for XOVR or RB at this point... am I missing anything else? 
Thank you in advance for any/all advice you have. This system has been in the works for a few years so I've read a lot but the more I read/research the more I realize there are many ways to do things and this is not something I do often enough to expect to get right the first time. I subscribe to the motto that when you need help, seek the experts... that is why I'm asking you all.
 
Here's how I would (and have done it) others may disagree:
 
2. The 4 and 8 channels refer to how many recorded messages you can have (either 4 or 8). Keep in mind these are dumb devices and the recordings are played by a simple contact closure, so you need as many outputs on your Elk as you want recordings to play (a particular recording is played by activating a particular output). This is a really expensive way to get a very minimal amount of custom recordings, you're better off with a raspberry pi or something playing the recordings.
 
3. I'm looking for some of these as well, looking at the GE 5812NT/R5812NT glassbreaks, not planning on impact sensors.
 
4. Those would work, but since you're going to be a SWB14 in the garage anyways, I'd put an M1DBH, M1XIN and an M1XOVR in the can along with a remote power supply (P212S is a good but pricey option), and run all hardwired zones (which should be easy in a garage anyways - no fishing through walls). You're going to want to have at least two outputs for opening your garage doors (and maybe more if they have features like lights, locks, etc), and wire is cheap. Also you'll want a sensor for the entrance between the house and the garage (if it's an attached garage), and maybe even a sensor for the deadbolt too (to make sure it's locked). This chews up zones or wireless sensors very quickly so the investment in the M1XIN/M1XOVR starts to become more attractive. You can then use them for your future sprinkler project.
 
6. P212S will work but is pricey, can probably get something from Altronix for half the money.
 
7. I did, along with M1XIN and M1XOVR
 
 
I would really reconsider the self-monitored bit, there are times when you just can't deal with an alarm, especially if it's you that's in trouble (ie fire/medical). I don't know about where you live, but around here basic monitoring can be had for $10/month, it's really a small price to pay.
 

RAL

Senior Member
GoetzC said:
I'm finally jumping in with both feet and getting an M1 and have a couple few lot of questions before I place the order tomorrow. 
 
A little background -
  • I currently have an ISY994i with a dozen or so Insteon switches/outlets/etc...
  • 2 story home has unfinished basement with wiring already pulled to both keypad locations(garage entrance and MB)
  • 3 basement windows have wiring for impact sensors
  • 2 of 5 main level entrance doors are wired as well
  • 2 adults, 2 kids, 1 dog
  • I embrace my inner geek and enjoy home automation
  • Error tolerance is low so WAF needs to be high 
Goals-
  • Self installed and monitored
  • Remotely accessible with notifications
  • Integrated with ISY to turn lights on when doors open, lights off when armed, etc...
  • Monitor 5 entry doors, 2 garage doors(open and closed sensors), 8 main level windows, and 3-4 glass break detectors on main level
  • Intercom/custom recorded messages heard throughout home
 
I am planing to use a SWB28 in basement and the kit SWB14 in the garage to allow for expansion(irrigation/???) down the road. Planning on XEP, XRFTW, and DBH. The 2 main keypads will be KPNAV and the kit keypad KP2 will be kept with M1 for programming(based on research/reading I've done this is suggested over touchscreens).
 
Now the questions-
  1. Will the TWSF speaker/mic combos be enough to do intercom from the keypads or do I also need the TWA audio amplifier? Would there be a benefit to use the TWA(3 zones of amplified audio)? Assuming you can only speak from the keypad location do I just need 1/keypad and then use the SP12F anywhere I need to hear the messages? I expect I'll need 2 per level so 6 total speakers and each floor will have 1 keypad.
  2. Will the Elk 120 or 124 drivers be better suited for my desire for custom recorded messages? Do the "4 and 8 channels" refer to number of recorded messages? Why would one chose one over the other? I believe the M1 has siren sounds so I don't see the need for the additional sounds of the 120 and preloaded messages... what am I missing here? The goal is simply to playback some messages for the kids as reminders.
  3. Which wired glass break detectors and impact sensors would you recommend? I prefer these to be hardwired as the wires are mostly run already.
  4. Will an Elk 6022 3 zone sensor work to monitor each garage door? I could easily hardwire 2 sensors to each door to know if the door is opened or closed but it seems the 6022 with it's two hardwired zones would eliminate the need for the long home runs. Either way I thought I'd use two wide gapped magentic sensors on each door to monitor the open/close status. Thoughts?
  5. XRFTW wireless receiver- what is an average range?Terrible question right so how about this: what is best practice? Should I mount it in SWB28 in basement or should I put it in SWB14 in garage near the main floor on the opposite end of the house? Worst case scenario I can buy a second XRFTW and cover both ends if necessary, just wondering what gives me my best chance of using only one.
  6. How should I power the remote SWB14 in the garage? P212s?
  7. Should I put a DBH in the remote SWB14 as well?
  8. I don't think I'll have enough wired zones to need a XIN or see a need for XOVR or RB at this point... am I missing anything else? 
Thank you in advance for any/all advice you have. This system has been in the works for a few years so I've read a lot but the more I read/research the more I realize there are many ways to do things and this is not something I do often enough to expect to get right the first time. I subscribe to the motto that when you need help, seek the experts... that is why I'm asking you all.
 
1. The TWI/TWA don't really provide an intercom capability that would allow someone else in the house to hear what is being said at one of the microphone locations.  Rather, they allow someone on the phone line to hear what it being said and respond through the speakers.  The main advantage of the TWA is that you can set different volume levels for each set of speakers. 
 
There are several options for adding microphones.  You can use the M1TWM standalone mic, or the M1TWS or M1TWSF for  a combination speaker and mic.  So place the mics in any area where you think you'll want to be able to listen in.  You don't necessarily have to place a speaker right next to each keypad, but it helps to have it somewhere nearby so you can hear messages as you use the keypad.
 
2. Yes, the number of channels refers to the number of messages you can record and trigger independently.  Although the M1 has siren sounds, unless you hook up a separate set of speakers, you won't hear both the output of the M1 and the 120/124.  You could run them through a mixer and amplifier to a single set of speakers.
 
3. I use Visonic Glasstech glassbreak detectors and am happy with them.  I chose them based on the advice of others here on Cocoontech. 
 
4. You could use the 6022 3-zone wireless detector that way.  As far as what magnetic contact to use for the garage door, you should use one that he designed for garage doors, rather than a simple wide gap contact.  Some people like the type that mounts the sensor on the track, like the GRI 4700A, rather than the frame  of the door.
 
5. It's hard to quote an average range, since every installation is different and local factors can affect that range.  I'd say you shouldn't have any trouble going a couple of hundred feet, and you might do better.   You definitely shouldn't mount the M1XRFTW inside a metal can.  It should be at least 10 feet away from the M1 itself of anything that might cause interference.   A good place to mount the receiver is in something like a first or second floor closet, where it will be out of sight, but still relatively easy to get to if necessary.  The M1XRFTW includes its own plastic housing, so you don't need anything else to mount it in.
 
6. What power you need for the can in the garage depends on what you plan to place there.  The P212S isn't a bad choice, but if you may want to consider a heftier power supply that can provide 4 Amps, vs the 2A that the P212S can deliver.   You don't want to load any power supply right up to its limit.  No more than 80% is a good rule of thumb.
 
7. Different folks have different opinions about the DBH.  Some like using them, others don't.   If you have only 2 devices in the remote can, I wouldn't bother using one there. 
 
8.  The nice thing is, the M1 is easy to expand.  If you don't have anything you need to install in the remote can right now, don't worry about the power supply choice or a second DBH until your plans are more definite.   Or, add a second DBH if/when the stuff in the remote can grows beyond 2 data bus devices.
 

GoetzC

New Member
Thanks giesen and RAL for the replies. I appreciate the advice.
 
giesen - The reason we're choosing self monitoring initially is for two reasons. I want to thoroughly test and work out the kinks before I enlist someone else to monitor it and also because we are primarily focused on occupant safety and home automation not necessarily home/possession protection, at least right now. 
 
 
One additional quick question - 
 
9. In the garage SWB14 I will hardwire the 4 garage door sensors to a M1XIN and have 12 left for other things. I want to remotely open/close the garage door opener and I know from reading there are a few ways to go about it... I'm mostly curious about the Elk hardware needed in the garage can for that. If I don't want to homerun back to the M1(why would I with a garage can right there?) what will I need? I assume the M1RB to trigger the open/close for each door but do I need the M1XOVR and a power supply as well?
 
FWIW my current irrigation system(also in the garage) has 7 zones but I only use 4-5 normally so I think the M1RB's 8 outputs will fit my future plans as of today.
 

RAL

Senior Member
You'll need an M1XOVR in order to be able to drive outputs to control the garage door and the irrigation system.  The M1XOVR has 8 voltage outputs and 8 relay outputs (essentially, it has an M1RB built in).  If you want to control more than 8 things that require a relay interface, then you'll also need an M1RB, or some individual standalone relays like the 912B or 924 that can be driven from the voltage outputs.
 

GoetzC

New Member
Here is what I plan on ordering later today.
My apologies... the formatting is lost when I attempt to post it.
 
Item Description QTY 
M1GSYS4STW Wireless saver kit 1
SWB28 28" can 1
M1XEP ethernet interface 1
M1KPNAV touch keypads 2
6021-BR window sensors 9
SM21BR extra window sensor magnets 1
6023-BR door sensors 3
M1XIN zone expander 1
M1XOVR output expander 1
M1RB relay board 1
M1DBH hub 1
M1TWSF flush speaker/mic combo(2/floor) 6
M1TWA two-way audio amp 1
SWG glides 3
SWS battery shelf 1
SWNS1 standoffs 2
SWD1 grommets 1
124 voice driver 1
999 tape 1
? Wired shock sensors 3
? Wired glass break detectors 3
? Wired garage door sensors 4
 

RAL

Senior Member
GoetzC said:
Here is what I plan on ordering later today.
My apologies... the formatting is lost when I attempt to post it.
 
Item Description QTY 
M1GSYS4STW Wireless saver kit 1
SWB28 28" can 1
M1XEP ethernet interface 1
M1KPNAV touch keypads 2
6021-BR window sensors 9
SM21BR extra window sensor magnets 1
6023-BR door sensors 3
M1XIN zone expander 1
M1XOVR output expander 1
M1RB relay board 1
M1DBH hub 1
M1TWSF flush speaker/mic combo(2/floor) 6
M1TWA two-way audio amp 1
SWG glides 3
SWS battery shelf 1
SWNS1 standoffs 2
SWD1 grommets 1
124 voice driver 1
999 tape 1
? Wired shock sensors 3
? Wired glass break detectors 3
? Wired garage door sensors 4
 
With that list, you will definitely need an auxiliary power supply, and maybe two aux supplies, depending on how you want to divide up the power.
 
Ignoring the XIN, XOVR and XRB in the garage, the items in the 28" can total 1.3A (or 1.6A if you include the XEP).  So you need an aux supply right there.  A major power user there is the TWA, which can draw a max of 1A all by itself.  When you include the items in the 14" can, you are up to 2.0 Amps (or 2.3A with the XEP).
 
How you power the boards in the 14" can in the garage could go two ways.  You could place another power supply there to do the job, or power it from the aux supply that you'll need for the main can.  You didn't say where you live, but if you live in a cold climate and your garage gets down around freezing in winter, having a power supply out there isn't such a good idea.  Batteries lose capacity in the cold.
 
If you choose to go with a single aux power supply, then the P212S wouldn't be my recommendation.  With 1A from the M1 and 2A from the P212S, you'd be cutting it very close when you allow for some headroom, and would have no excess capacity for future expansion.  I'd go with something like the Elk P412 or an Altronix AL400ULPD4 or PD8.   You can often find an Altronix on eBay for $50 to $75 in new condition (cheaper than the Elk). If you go with the Altronix, get an Altronix LPD (low battery disconnect) to go with it.
 
Elk has a current draw spreadsheet on their web site that can help you with your power calculations.
 

giesen

Active Member
Also one warning, the M1KPNAV is a nice keypad but very small. With my big meat hooks I sometimes have to enter the code 2 or 3 times because I accidentally mis-press a key. I plan to replace it with a Windows or Android-based touchscreen in the future
 

GoetzC

New Member
Thanks again guys. The touch keypads are were my "interior decorators" addition to the project. Personally I'll almost 100% be using an app myself and the kp2 for programming. Touch keypads are for my wife and kids.

I have some dumb power supplies already I'll use until I figure out what my long term needs are. Based on your input and my subsequent reading I'll need one for sure in the garage can and something for the TWA.
Fwiw-everything will be on a rather robust ups I use for my other hobby(saltwater aquariums).
 

giesen

Active Member
Strangely enough the M1KPNAV is much nicer for programming because it's graphical and menu based. That being said I suspect you'll do virtually all of your programming using the ElkRP2 software as anything else is pretty painful
 
I'd probably recommend other than Elk's RF and forgo the voice driver until you get the M1 installed. Very good chance the voice annunciation would cover what you are looking for in about 80% of the installs I've seen and put in myself.
 
The XOVR is a real power hog, so plan accordingly. I'm also not a fan of the DBH on installs, especially with aux power supplies and using KP zones/triggers. Law of diminishing returns and easier to just physically daisy the cable than break out the pairs for the zone, power and trigger.
 
Assuming your garage is attached to the house, I wouldn't waste the time and effort to put in a second can and remote devices out there. Just as easy to pull the copper back to the main panel. Copper is cheap, the hardware isn't.
 
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