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Replacing a pre-wired Honeywell with an Elk


MickeyExplorer

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Hello!  We're building a new house which is almost done, and I want to replace the prewired system (which I did to get the sensor wiring done at build time) with an Elk so I can integrate it with other home automation things (ISY, maybe Homeseer too, etc).  They wired it up yesterday and here's what I saw (pic attached, I have others)

 

* Above the structured wiring panel, they added a metal enclosure with the Honeywell unit.  

* They combined several sensors per zone (twisting the wires together).  They did label each zone but not each individual wire.

* They added a 2000 ohm resistor right there at the panel for each zone, which according to the sticker on the panel door is what it needs.

 

So here's what i'm thinking after I take possession:

 

* I replace THEIR metal enclosure with the one from the M1 gold kit (my wife would prefer white to their light brown anyway, and I figure the mounting will be easier)

* I get enough M1XIN units to handle each zone individually rather than combining, because that gives me more options when I integrate with other HA stuff.

* The fact they put their resistors at the panel means I can just remove them and tell the ELK not to care about EOL resistors.

* I snake cables from the alarm panel down to the structured wiring panel right below it and mount the M1XEP unit in the structured wiring panel.

 

Questions:

* Do my thoughts make sense?

* How many M1XIN units can you get in the typical M1 Gold enclosure?  I need to get an exact count but it looks to me like there are about 20 sensor wires so I *should* just need one for now.  Will it fit?

* Is there any reason why or why not to put things in the structured wiring panel vs the alarm enclosure?  Right now we're thinking self monitoring but are there rules or guidelines about that?

* If anyone has suggestions on Elk dealers (US, Arizona, if it matters) I'd be happy to take them.  I'm pretty handy with IT stuff so in addition to supplying the units I might just need the occasional question answered.

 

Thanks so much for your help!

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1. EOL: Its industry standard that EOL resistors be placed at the sensor(s). This will ensure the system can identify a open, short, or intersected line. The only reason you will ever see EOL resistors at the can is because the installer was lazy. Leaving out the EOL resistor will automatically lower your security level to a 2 rating.

 

2. Panel Enclosure: The panel should be secured properly with sufficient anchors so it can not be pulled off the wall. The door should be secured using tamper resistant screw(s), tamper sensor, and all wire bundles enclosed from behind.

 

3. Monitoring: Most if not all insurance companies will offer the home owner a discount on their annual insurance premium. Next, self monitoring offers absolutely no protection in the grand scheme of things and only reduces annual costs. Self monitoring also reduces your security rating another point. 

 

Failure to have a active connection to an ARC / CS defeats the whole purpose of *Monitoring*. The ARC's sole responsibility is to watch over your family and home while you're asleep, away, or not available.

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It is a shame they didn't put eol resistors in properly.  Perhaps you can still do it.  If you can pop out the sensors and install them there, I would.  There is also a benefit to put them at the panel, but I'm just not remembering what that benefit is right now.  But I promise you there is one.  So at the very least I would use eol (or I guess beginning of line) resistors somewhere on each run.

 

Monitoring is only about $100/year using watchlight.  I have had a very good experience with them for something like 8 years and running now.  You should definitely just spend the money for proper monitoring.

 

Part of the deal with the putting your system in a can is to prevent tampering.  If it is in a locked closet, then this becomes less critical.  I have a dedicated closet for all of my equipment and didn't put any of it in a can. which I love for ease of modification.  The standard Elk can will have no trouble holding a lot more stuff than your are talking about installing.

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