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Will wireless security system interfere with ISY?


iowaj

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We have an ISY system with many switches installed by the previous owner and have finally gotten the hang of working with it.  The previous owner also installed an Elk M1 security system but have not been able to connect with it thru my Macbook and not all the devices needed to provide the security we would prefer were installed by the previous owner. We do not care to figure out how to add these devices or to play with the Elk M1.  Given that, we have received quotes from 3 companies on upgrading the system with added features and monitoring.  All of these involve removing the Elk M1 system and some options are wireless.  I am wondering if anyone else has a wireless security system installed by a company and if they have had any issues with that wireless security system interfering with their ISY/insteon lighting system. Thought I'd ask before taking this leap. Thanks for any input!

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I've had 2 different alarm systems with wireless since I've had dual-band Insteon. I've never noticed a problem.

 

My current alarm system has the capability to sense and notify when its being interfered with or jammed. I have not seen a message like that in its log

 

Paul

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The key to RF interference is the frequency. Insteon devices operate at 915 MHz, Z-Wave at 908 MHz. As long as other RF device operate at other than those frequencies, you will be OK. WiFi is at 2.4 GHz and/or 5.0 GHz. In addition to those frequencies, there are channel withing those ranges that further protect against interference.

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We have an ISY system with many switches installed by the previous owner and have finally gotten the hang of working with it. The previous owner also installed an Elk M1 security system but have not been able to connect with it thru my Macbook and not all the devices needed to provide the security we would prefer were installed by the previous owner. We do not care to figure out how to add these devices or to play with the Elk M1. Given that, we have received quotes from 3 companies on upgrading the system with added features and monitoring. All of these involve removing the Elk M1 system and some options are wireless. I am wondering if anyone else has a wireless security system installed by a company and if they have had any issues with that wireless security system interfering with their ISY/insteon lighting system. Thought I'd ask before taking this leap. Thanks for any input!

Have you given any thought to what you'd like to do with the Elk components you're taking out? I'd be interested in buying the M1XFR2H (Honeywell wireless module) and M1KP2 (Keypad) if they're installed...

 

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

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Honestly, don't get rid of the Elk M1! It's one of the premier security systems available, and interfaces seamlessly with ISY like no other alarm system.

 

You can add a wireless transceiver to it and wireless sensors to supplement or replace existing sensors.

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I agree. You won't find a better system than the Elk and it works very well with the ISY. There a few Elk dealers here and many of us have an Elk. You will get great support from Elk and Elk users.

 

Short and to the point.

Best regards,

Gary Funk

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I agree. You won't find a better system than the Elk and it works very well with the ISY. There a few Elk dealers here and many of us have an Elk. You will get great support from Elk and Elk users.

 

Short and to the point.

Best regards,

Gary Funk

Is there a way to access the Elk with a Macbook Pro?  And is there a company that will act as a central monitoring station for the Elk?  I just don't have a lot of time to mess with this system.

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Is there a way to access the Elk with a Macbook Pro? And is there a company that will act as a central monitoring station for the Elk? I just don't have a lot of time to mess with this system.

The ElkRP software is Windows only, but runs fine in Parallels, VMWare Fusion, and (I suspect) VirtualBox. After configuration, I rarely need to use it, though. I control my M1 through my phone (currently eKeypad) and ISY programs.

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We have an ISY system with many switches installed by the previous owner and have finally gotten the hang of working with it.  The previous owner also installed an Elk M1 security system but have not been able to connect with it thru my Macbook and not all the devices needed to provide the security we would prefer were installed by the previous owner. We do not care to figure out how to add these devices or to play with the Elk M1.  Given that, we have received quotes from 3 companies on upgrading the system with added features and monitoring.  All of these involve removing the Elk M1 system and some options are wireless.  I am wondering if anyone else has a wireless security system installed by a company and if they have had any issues with that wireless security system interfering with their ISY/insteon lighting system. Thought I'd ask before taking this leap. Thanks for any input!

 

If true security and long term reliability is the ultimate goal please consider having the entire security alarm system hardwired. Wireless systems have been pushed on to the market because its easy, cheap, and requires no skills. The vast majority to run cabling is the primary cost in today's market besides equipment.

 

It doesn't matter what kind of battery the system uses these are long term maintenance and costs born on the end user forever. The reality is once the system has been commissioned very few people take the time conduct proper system checks. This is analogous to those same people who can't even complete the following scheduled tasks.

 

Many of the long time members who have read my replies have seen this list:

 

1. Smoke Alarms

2. AFCI / GCI

3. Sump

4. GDO

5. HVAC

6. Fridge / Freezer

7. Hot Water Tank 

 

A hardwired system requires no batteries to replace or long term costs. They inherently offer more secure communications and reliability and not limited by physical barriers. They also don't have the same range related issues that come with wireless.

 

If your going to spend money you might as well spend it once and spend it right the first time. 

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Pretty sure I asked this question a year ago and was told the software was not available.

The ElkRP software is Windows only, but runs fine in Parallels, VMWare Fusion, and (I suspect) VirtualBox. After configuration, I rarely need to use it, though. I control my M1 through my phone (currently eKeypad) and ISY programs.

Software is available as mentioned by rccoleman

 

Short and to the point.

Best regards,

Gary Funk

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If true security and long term reliability is the ultimate goal please consider having the entire security alarm system hardwired. Wireless systems have been pushed on to the market because its easy, cheap, and requires no skills. The vast majority to run cabling is the primary cost in today's market besides equipment.

 

It doesn't matter what kind of battery the system uses these are long term maintenance and costs born on the end user forever. The reality is once the system has been commissioned very few people take the time conduct proper system checks. This is analogous to those same people who can't even complete the following scheduled tasks.

 

Many of the long time members who have read my replies have seen this list:

 

1. Smoke Alarms

2. AFCI / GCI

3. Sump

4. GDO

5. HVAC

6. Fridge / Freezer

7. Hot Water Tank 

 

A hardwired system requires no batteries to replace or long term costs. They inherently offer more secure communications and reliability and not limited by physical barriers. They also don't have the same range related issues that come with wireless.

 

If your going to spend money you might as well spend it once and spend it right the first time. 

Thanks for this response.  We did have one company pushing wireless on us because they said it was the best, latest thing to work with new technology. I was skeptical and also questioned whether wireless would interfere with ISY hence my initial question. All  of the system we currently have is hardwired.  It is just missing a few key pieces and am not sure why the previous owner failed to wire those.  I am also told by a couple of companies we can use the wiring we have for existing devices to connect into a new system and simply add 2 or 3 wireless devices needed to complete the system along with a cellular device for monitoring. We would have to replace the brains and keypads if switching over to a company that will monitor it.

.

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If you do not want to do it yourself, find a company that installs and services Elk. I'm sure you will find one. Start there, rather than contacting random security companies who may or may not prefer to use Elk.

 

These companies are just trying to sell you a complete new system that you do not need.

 

Do these companies propose to re-used existing hard-wired sensors, or replace them with wireless? Since you have the bulk of what you need already installed, it would be foolish IMO to start over. You have a great system that is just missing a few things that you want. Have the things you want installed. Ah, I see my answer above in your latest post. I would reject out of hand any of the companies that propose to replace everything. And then reject the rest as well. ;)

 

What are the "key pieces" that you are missing?

 

ELK does have wireless products if that is your choice for the additional components.

 

OF COURSE you can get cell-phone backup, and OF COURSE you can set it up with a monitoring service.

 

FWIW, a friend is preparing a 30,000 sq ft warehouse he owns that has recently come off-lease with Iron Mountain. They left a 200-zone security system. He told them nooooo prooooooblem, you can leave that behind! Follow his lead. I'd wager the most expensive part of any (wired) security system is the cost of installation.

 

I'm a software developer and use a Mac. Sometimes I have to do some things with Windows or Linux. When i do, I just load-up a VM on the Mac. (I use VMWare, I prefer it to Parallels - for one, it is available for OSX, Windows, and Linux hosts, and if I do install a Linux box (as I have had in the past) I could actually move VMs between systems. I could run a Windows VM on my mac this week. And run it on a Linux box the next.

 

You may not even need the Elk software that runs on Windows (see others comments). But if you need it or want it, my experience is that Windows running on VMWare will not bog-down your machine, etc. (unless running some intense task, which this is not!). It is helpful, though, to add as much RAM as you can. Do that, and you will not really even notice it is running. (And anyway, is this something just need for configuration and test?)

 

While there is some software that won't run in a VM, most do.  Sounds like there are those here who run the Elk support software in a VM with no trouble.

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Thanks for this response.  We did have one company pushing wireless on us because they said it was the best, latest thing to work with new technology. I was skeptical and also questioned whether wireless would interfere with ISY hence my initial question. All  of the system we currently have is hardwired.  It is just missing a few key pieces and am not sure why the previous owner failed to wire those.  I am also told by a couple of companies we can use the wiring we have for existing devices to connect into a new system and simply add 2 or 3 wireless devices needed to complete the system along with a cellular device for monitoring. We would have to replace the brains and keypads if switching over to a company that will monitor it.

.

 

Yes, that is perfectly fine simply by replacing the hardware of choice. There is no problem deploying wireless sensors where hard wiring is near impossible to route or where costs are prohibitive. But wireless should never be the primary method to protect a homes occupants or buildings premises.

 

Wireless can be used as method to offer additional layering and that just makes sense and is OK.

 

If the original home owner did not wire for the following I would urge you to build this into the project costs: Monitor Sump, Low temperature, Fire, CO.

 

Leak Detection for primary areas such as washer, toilets, HWT, dishwasher, fridges with water / ice maker. Also if the previous owner did not install a key pad in the master bedroom please do so. A dedicated panic button should also be considered and located in a secure location like a closet.

 

This simple but critical panic button requires no thinking just a simple inserted finger push. Lastly, regardless of the brand and technology being used please ensure a *Duress* code / pass phrase is enabled and noted in the CS station. Of special note you need to inquire how the CS will handle the duress code when on the phone.

 

This is to ensure the occupant will not be killed if monitored . . .

 

Lastly, please ensure regular testing, calibration, and validation is performed to ensure a reliable system 

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edit: removed my dumb question "do you own an ISY", because it is answered in your first post!

 

But I will ask some less dumb questions.... You say you have an "ISY system, with many switches installed", left by the previous owner.

 

Specifically which model of ISY? It is likely ISY99 or ISY994.

 

You don't really have an "ISY system". Those switches aren't ISY. They are *probably* Insteon, but might be Z-wave or even X-10.

 

The Insteon switches can do most of what they do without an ISY. The ISY is handy for setup (saves a lot of running-around punching buttons). And it can use programs to do some things that aren't possible with scenes.

 

Just want you (and us) to understand what you have.

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Oh, everyone here has forgotten to ask a key question, and may have made an assumption.

 

Do you own an ISY?

 

 

We have an ISY system with many switches installed by the previous owner and have finally gotten the hang of working with it.  The previous owner also installed an Elk M1 security system but have not been able to connect with it thru my Macbook and not all the devices needed to provide the security we would prefer were installed by the previous owner. We do not care to figure out how to add these devices or to play with the Elk M1.  Given that, we have received quotes from 3 companies on upgrading the system with added features and monitoring.  All of these involve removing the Elk M1 system and some options are wireless.  I am wondering if anyone else has a wireless security system installed by a company and if they have had any issues with that wireless security system interfering with their ISY/insteon lighting system. Thought I'd ask before taking this leap. Thanks for any input!

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And is there a company that will act as a central monitoring station for the Elk? I just don't have a lot of time to mess with this system.

If in the U.S., I've had great success with Watchlight (alarm relay). They charge $120/year with (I think) a $35 setup fee...

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