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Super easy Arm/Disarm App for Elk M1 - Alarm Relay Alula BAT-Connect Cellular


zorax2

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I’ve searched the threads trying to find something easy to use, inexpensive and painless to install for arming and disarming my Elk M1 with a phone app. Given feedback posted here, I didn’t want to use the Elk’s own C1M1 Dual Path communicator as it would have increased cellular monitoring fees above normal fees and required a paid app.  Given I only wanted basic arm / disarm, eKeypad, Agave, etc. were more than I wanted to work with given that the Alula app will always be supported.  With this solution, I believe I can still use other apps via the M1XEP if I choose to do that down the road.

The solution I found when I upgraded from internet monitoring with my M1XEP to backup cellular monitoring was to upgrade my account with Alarm Relay to add on cellular monitoring using their relatively inexpensive BAT-Connect cellar communicator and the accompanying Alula app.

In terms of installation, it’s fairly easy to install with one minor change to their instructions.

First, connect Open Collector OC1 to an open hardwired zone and place a resistor across the zone. 

Second, configure the zone as a momentary keyswitch zone which allows “Away” arming and regular disarming.

Third, connect a 12V programmable output to the Y-IN  terminal.  Special tech note – do NOT put the recommended 2k resistor across the Y-IN and 12V terminals as it will not work properly.  I worked with Alarm Relay and Alula directly to troubleshoot and found that using no resistor works properly.

Finally, go to automation rules for the Elk M1 and setup the following rules:

WHENEVER Home (Area 1) ARM STATE BECOMES ARMED
    THEN TURN Output ### OFF

WHENEVER Home (Area 1) ARM STATE BECOMES DISARMED
    THEN TURN Output ### ON

I continue to highly recommend Alarm Relay for incredible service, great responsiveness, and very affordable pricing.  The Alarm Relay technicians have always been fabulous to work with in solving any programming concern with the Elk including finding a way to properly integrate the app and the BAT Connect cellular backup with my Elk M1 panel.

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It appears that just using the "Elk" URL of the ISY's in-built webserver is much easier:

UDI Portal > Go to my ISY > Elk > Arm Away (or whatever)

No expenses (besides the UDI Portal subscription), no configuration, it just works.

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Don't you need to have a paid DDNS service to use that feature as well as need to use a web browser on your phone to do that?  Just curious as I've never tried that.

I do like the Alula app in that I can set it up on any of my family member's phones and they can use Facial ID to open the app and arm / disarm without storing or remembering passwords.

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There is no need for port forwarding to the ISY, nor a DDNS service. The UDI Portal and the ISY have a bi-directional connection (websocket). There's no need to install any applications on the device(s). All modern consumer computing devices including all mobiles in the last 5+ years come with a web browser already installed.

All you need is a UDI Portal subscription. Then browse to UDI Portal, then Go to my ISY > Elk > Arm Away (or whatever) .

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Wow - thanks for that idea and instructions - I had no idea that was possible.  I already have the Portal and gave it a try and it works exactly as you described.

I think the Alula app will be easier for my kids to use rather than the browser on the phone but I'm thrilled to know there is another way for me to access via the Portal.

Thank you very much for the suggestion and description of how to do it!!!

 

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There is no need for port forwarding to the ISY, nor a DDNS service. The UDI Portal and the ISY have a bi-directional connection (websocket). There's no need to install any applications on the device(s). All modern consumer computing devices including all mobiles in the last 5+ years come with a web browser already installed.
All you need is a UDI Portal subscription. Then browse to UDI Portal, then Go to my ISY > Elk > Arm Away (or whatever) .

I assume you’d also need the Elk Module on ISY?


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  • 3 months later...
On 6/30/2020 at 2:10 AM, zorax2 said:

I do have the Elk module installed and do believe it is required to integrate the Elk with the ISY.

Thanks for posting.  Been searching for a 5G alarm communicator cellular backup.  Thinking about Alula but wasn't sure if it works with Elk so your post was insightful.  While researching, I also came across Elk Cloud.  Not sure if it helps your situation and I'm not sure if you are aware of it so here's a link that details it:

https://planetm1.net/

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On 6/29/2020 at 8:38 PM, zorax2 said:

Wow - thanks for that idea and instructions - I had no idea that was possible.  I already have the Portal and gave it a try and it works exactly as you described.

I think the Alula app will be easier for my kids to use rather than the browser on the phone but I'm thrilled to know there is another way for me to access via the Portal.

Thank you very much for the suggestion and description of how to do it!!!

 

Once you have the above, you can also access your ELK via the MobiLinc app on your phone. You can control outputs, see all your zones, and arm /disarm accordingly. 

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  • 3 months later...

Curious about your experience with Alula Bat Connect with ELK M1. The brochure mentions 3 connect modes -ethernet / cellular / wireless. Did you use one connection with a " roll over " backup in the event one connection mode dropped? What features with the Alula app have you used and does it work well. The Google Play Store reviews for Android are not favorable. 

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