Yet another newbie


Active Member
Hello all,

First I would like to say after lurking a while I stand in awe of the volumes of usefull information and helpfull people here.

With that I have a few questions before I spend my whole wad.

At the moment our house has a GE Simon 3 monitored from Monitronics (It was here when we bought the house) all of the sensors are wireless.
What I want to do is get an Elk system compatible with the sensors I have now. I want to be able to access with my computer, controll my INSTEON lights
and eventually replace the Simon 3 security system and have it monitored somewhere other than Monitronics.

This what I have in my Automated Outlet wish list.

M1XSP - Lighting/Thermostat Interface
Price: $78.50
M1XEP - M1 Ethernet Port Interface
Price: $214.21
ELK-SWB28 - 28" Elk Structured Wiring Box with cover and lock ELK-SWB28
Price: $93.93
ELK-M1GKS - Elk System with new KP2 and no cabinet
Price: $585.64
ELK-M1XRF2G - Crystal Wireless Receiver for ELK-M1XRF2G
Price: $128.51

I already have a Powerlinc V2 USB with a serial adapter do I need to buy another one?
I have an old Mac G4, and various Windows/Linux boxes I would love to use Linux but something
easy might be better for software.

I would love any comment/suggestions that would help me get started.

Keith C
Welcome to cocoontech Keith... always nice to have new people added to the community.

I don't have much experience with Elk (I'm in the middle of my own install right now), but I have a 28" can with a serial port expander, an ethernet expander, and a data bus hub, and all of those plus the battery and power strip have it filled. if you think you might add anything at all ever in the future, get a bigger can from the outset.

as for software, I've been a HomeSeer user for something going on 6 months now, and it's very good at what it's very good at (if that makes any sense). you should probably evaluate exactly what you want to use the software for before you decide on what to use. each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and some might argue with the elk in place, you wouldn't need a software controller at all. if you are dead set on using linux, i think misterhouse is probably the most popular option, but it has an extremely steep learning curve and is always in flux with the number of people developing on it. i tried it for a couple of months on my linux box and ended up moving to HomeSeer on Windows for better stability (as well as more mature UPB support).

I think in the end, you just need to gather as much information as you think is necessary and make your own decision. Everyone on this board has their own unique combination of hardware and software and we would all love to hear what kind of decision you come to and your reasoning behind it. That's exactly the sort of thing that might help another new guy out in the future.
get a bigger can from the outset.
I like bigger cans, have a pair of 50" ones. ;) Seriously, they kind of fill up like hard drives, so think of what you need, pick a can it will fit into, then double it twice - thats the right size to get.
get a bigger can from the outset.
I like bigger cans, have a pair of 50" ones. ;) Seriously, they kind of fill up like hard drives, so think of what you need, pick a can it will fit into, then double it twice - thats the right size to get.

I concur on the size of the can. If you want it too look neat get the biggest can possible. I have a 50 inch can. Because of structure I can't fit a second inwall can in my closet so the rest of the stuff is going on plywood. Had I bought the 28 inch can I was thinking about, it would have been a mess! You can't run too many wires or have too much can space!
Looks like I am on the right track except for the can size, I appreciate all the comments.

So my next question would be is the 50" can that every is talking about an ELK can? I really like the white color with the ELK name stamped on the cover.

Also I think to save money I am just going to start with the ELK-M1GKS and ELK-M1XRF2G - Crystal Wireless Receiver.
the Elk does have a serial port and I can swap cables if I have to while I tweek.

Thanks again!
I think I may have run into a snag, I was checking my wireless sensors to make sure I didn't buy the wrong reciever for the elk and it seems I really don't know what reciever I need now.

My wireless transmitters seem to be the 60-670 NX-450 SAW version, what do I need to to let the elk see them?
You can use any of the Caddx receivers like the NX-448 or new NX-548, or you can use the new Elk RF receiver.
ELK is on the way, Thanks Brandon & Automated Outlet.

I have a feeling my post count is going to be in the thousands. :unsure: