Upcoming Keypads Prewire


Active Member
I know the new keypads are not due for release untill the end of this year or starting of next year. But I am doing a prewire for a house, I am already planing on running Cat5 from the Elk M1 to the locations we would want Keypads. Is there any other wires I will be needing?? What about preping the drywall? Single Gang or Double Gang Mud Ring? Will it need it's own type of mounting?

Any bone you can toss me here or off the board so I can be preperred would be GREAT.
Run at least Cat 5 wire back to the control or structured wiring box. There are two mounting options:
1. Surface mounting of the LCD Keypads. They will mount to sheetrock and one or two gang electrical boxes. The wire will enter from the back.
2. Recessed mounting of the LCD Keypads. There will be a custom back box for recessed mounting. It is too big for a two gang electrical box. Run the wire and tie it off behind the sheetrock. When installing the backbox, cut the hole and your wire should be there. LOL

Touchscreens will always have a custom recessed backbox. I would run two Cat 5's to a Touchscreen because of the many things it can do in the future. Future Proof It!!

There are options on the LCD keypads for a zone, but I would not use them. Run all zone inputs back to the control. Here again, future proof it. The next generation controls may or may not have zone inputs.

Should you have a basement or multi level house, it is convenient to install chases from the attic to the lowest level for running wire. You will appreciate it when you have to get a wire from the attic to the basement or lower level of the house. I used 3" PVC pipe running in a wall from the attic to the basement.

Run 22 guage, two conductor wire to all doors and windows for security switches. Run 22 guage, 4 conductor wire to locations for motion detectors and system smoke detectors.

Home run everything back to the structured wiring box. You will appreciate this when something stops working and you have to figure out what is happening.
A small touchscreen will have no problems, but be safe and run two Cat 5's. A larger touchscreen with an embedded PC will require more current. Future Proof!!
It's to bad they are not released yet. I could have sold about 10 to 15 with this job. Any way of getting a sneak peek?
I keep seeing mentions of new keypads and touchscreen in the different posts but could not find any further info on them. Have features of these new keypads been discussed and if so, can someone point me in the right direction? If not, could we please get at least some basic info on these screens. I have looked at the Elan Via for my z system but would much rather get an Elk screen which will have full control of the M1 panel and hopefully much more.

IIRC, don't you need to use firewire (or equivelant) for a UL complaint installation? Of I'm I getting senile in my old age?
I was wondering if anyone can confirm that the new keypads will be compatible with the EZ8 and not just a "high-end" option for the Gold?

I am likely to purchase my system in the near future, but neither my wife nor I care for the look of the current keypad, but i also don't think I have a need for the extra featues of the Gold.

Knowing that the the touchpads will work with the EZ8 will make me feel more confident about my purchase.

thanks for any info you can give me.
Sounds like you want Spanky to respond. If you consider how you can expand the EZ8 through various modules, it wouldn't seem to make much sense to not allow them to be used in both cases (it would limit the number that were sold).

I am looking forward to these... (I have the gold however)
Back from China. I will be posting some pictures soon. Good place to visit, but I can not handle the food!! Hard to find steak and potatoes.

All new keypads are compatible with both the M1 and EZ8 systems.

On the question of firewire and a UL installation: Explain a little more on your IIRC question.

Although some inspectors in some states require UL Listed devices for home installations, very few home installations are certificated UL installations. Check with the local building inspector for inspection details before wiring.
Thanks for the info and quick response

"post-wiring" my new house right now and will probably have questions once the hardware install begins

I have installed my fair share of alarms in the past, but technology has definitely come a long way since since I did my last install about 10 years ago
Spanky, I see that you recommend prewire with Cat5 for the new keypads. Is that a precaution or do they actually require Cat5. I have only 4 wire going to my keypads now and I'm wondering if I need to rewire to use the new keypads.

Thanks, /gww
Hey Spanky,

In retrospec, you're right. I was taught to always run firewire for the "life-safety" portions of the system (smokes, power, siren, keypads) to assure that they will not be disabled by a in-wall fire (at least not immediately). But as you point out, most homes are not UL certified installations. It's amazing how quick the "I've always done it this way" becomes the equivilant to "the code requires it". :blink: I always felt the keypad portion was unneeded (who cares if you can't turn off the system during a fire), but I figured NFPA must have a few instances were a fire disabled a system by burning through keypad wires. I would personally still go with firewire for the smoke/power/siren connections.
The expansion devices on the M1 data bus uses RS485 wiring protocol. If you are wiring outside the control box all expanded devices should be wired according to RS485 wiring standards which is to put everything in series on the data A and data B wires with 120 ohm terminations at each end. Using this wiring method you can go 4000 feet +.

If you have only 4 wires run to a keypad, the M1DBHR is available which recreates 4 data buses and only 4 wires are needed to each device.

If you have only two expansion devices you can still run them with termination resistors at each device.

The instruction manual on the M1 and M1EZ8 explains the data bus in great detail or get on the web and search for RS485 data bus.

The nice thing about running CAT5 cable is that you have 8 conductors: 2 for power, 2 for data in, and 2 for data out to the next device if needed, and 2 extra. The two extras will come in handy for something like a remote speaker.

Keep up the good work.