Installing an ELK M1 Gold


I am in the process of installing an Elk M1 Gold system in my house. It looks awesome, but as it's my first installation. The basic system I am installing consists of the following:

  • M1 Gold with 16 onboard zones * 16-zone expansion unit * 2 Keypads, one with a weigand reader * Thermostat/lighting/serial interface * Ethernet interface * Two-Way Listen-In Interface with 3 speaker/microphones * RCS TR-40 communicating thermostats (qty 3) * 4WTA-B Smoke detectors (qty 7) * CO Detector * Motion detectors (qty 6) * Perimeter contacts (garage doors, windows, doors) * Outside and inside temperature sensors

Each of the sensors, detectors, and contacts will have its own zone so I can have flexibility in controlling the environment.

  1. How exactly are the security contacts wired up with the EOL resistors? I am using contacts that are closed when the door/window is closed. Should the resistor be in parallel or series with the switch?

  1. The smoke detectors I am using are iSeries 4WTA-B with an EOLR-1 relay attached to each. Each smoke is on a separate zone so I can easily see which detector has tripped. Is this a good approach? How do I get all detectors to go off when one goes off?

  2. I will be installing a supervised bell/siren in the main living quarters, as well as a siren in the attic. Do I need anything else?

  1. Can you think of anything else I should consider?

Thank you for your assistance!


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  1. Wire the sensors in series with the EOL resistors. In other words, the circuit flows from the control panel thorough a resistor (which you place right next to the sensor if it's a recessed magnetic door sensor or inside the sensor if it's a motion or glass break detector). The circuit continues through the resistor, through the sensor and back to the control panel.

  1. Yes, that will work fine. Smoke detector asounders are fired byt changing the polarity of the 12VDC which powers them. In order to make all the smokes sound at once you need to install a "Reversing Relay" inside the control panel and feed the power to the smoke detectors through the relay. Here's an example of the relay (my website):
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  1. If your home is set back from the road or if it's hard to see house numbers from a passing patrolo panel, consider installing an ELK strobe on the outside of the house, perhaps under the eaves.

  1. Yes, lots but it would be easier to narrow it down if we chat by phone first.

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Thank you for the information. Upon further investigation with the distributor of my Elk system, he advised I do not need to have all fire detectors sounding when one goes off. I will be installing an echo speaker/siren in the living space which will not only announce the alarm, but can tell me exactly which zone has been tripped.

Regarding the EOL resistors, I am still a bit confused. If the resistors are in series with the contact switch or motion detector, then it should not matter where along the loop the resistor is placed. There will basically be three states: closed when the switch is closed, open when the switch is open, or shorted when the leads are somehow connected together. If someone cuts the line, this will have the same effect as opening the door. Am I missing something?

The outside strobe is a great idea, as my house is set in the woods back from the main road a couple of hundred feet.

Thanks again!

Gary wrote:

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garydidio via


I thought I would share my home automation, security and whole-house audio adventure with you. I have owned some property in Upstate NY in the Adirondacks for quite some time, and am finally getting an opportunity to build on it. The plans are to initially build a 3-bay garage with one high bay for my camper and a one bedroom apartment on the second level as a second home. This phase will be completed in another month. Eventually I will be building a timberframe home overlooking the lake, but that will not be for a while.

I wanted to post some pictures, but the system won't let me! :-(

Since this is a second home and I will not be there all the time, I thought it a good idea to automate the house so I can manage and control it while I am not there. I also wanted to load it up with the latest gadgets since I want to enjoy the time I spend in the house when I am not mountaineering.

There are three major systems going into the house:

  1. Whole house audio system using SpeakerCraft components 2. Network and telephone distribution system using Leviton 3. Home automation and security using the ELK M1 Gold system

Whole House Audio

I had initially designed a system using Leviton's audio components (I am a fan of the Leviton line of products), but upon further investigation, decided to go with SpeakerCraft. With the Speakercraft system, I have divided the garage/apartment into 8 zones (high-bay garage, two bay garage, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, screen porch, deck, and patio). The living room will contain a 5.1 surround sound system consisting of a 50" plasma TV, in-ceiling speakers and an in-wall subwoofer to conserve space. I am working with an audio subcontractor for this part of my adventure.

The system is composed of the following:

  • MZC-88 Multi-Zone A/V Amplifier Controller -- This device has 8 independent zones, 2 built-in AM/FM tuners with 10 presets per zone, and a whole host of other features * MODE (Music On Demand Experience) Keypad -- Pretty slick device that enables me to fully control the zone, including complete control of my iPods and playlists * Yamaha 5.1 A/V amplifier (which one, I have not decided as yet) * AIM surround sound speakers * I-Pod Interfaces * 50" Panasonic Plasma TV * Other keypads and speakers

Using this system, each zone in the house will have complete control of a variety of sources for both audio and video. I have taken care to run CAT-5e and coaxial cables from my media closet to various locations throughout the structure so I can not only listen to and view, but each location can also act as a source. My contractor kids me all the time that with the amount of wire I have put in the structure, I am going to disrupt the Earth's magnetic poles!

Network and Telephone Distribution

This system is fairly straightforward and is composed of the following:

  • Two CAT-5e cables from my utility closet to each telephone/computer location (one for telephone and one for computer) * Leviton 42" SMC structured wiring cabinet * 24-port telephone/CAT-5e structured wiring panel * 2 100MPBS Ethernet switches (one for the first floor and one for the second floor) * Linksys router/firewall * Satellite internet (which one, I do not know at this time)

I have also included provisions for integrating this syetm with the whole house audio system and home automation/security system so my computers can be integrated into the systems, providing complete control.

Home Automation and Security System

This is the system I am currently working on. It is based on the ELK M1 Gold with all the whistles and bells, including:

  • 32 input zones * 2 kepads * Weigand reader for codeless entry using a key FOB * Thermostat/lighting/serial interface * Ethernet interface * Two-way speaker/microphones * Temperature sensors * Smoke and CO detectors * etc.

Using this system, I will be able to completely manage and monitor the house from my primary location in Massachusetts.

Rather than deal with different types of wire and always thinking of future expansion, I ran CAT-5e wire to all the detectors, devices, etc. I even installed some PVC piping from the utility closet to the media closet and attic for future expansion, including the implementation of outside cameras that will be linked to the system so I can remotely view what is going on.

So, I don't really have any questions, but would appreciate everyone's thoughts I what I am doing. Thanks in advance!


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garydidio via

That will be fine as long as the sound is loud enough to wake a sleeping person in any bedroom. If you don't need the sounders the smoke detectors will be less expensive. Just be certain that the sound is loud enough for your home.

Electrically, it doesn't make any difference where the resistor is placed. The

3 states remain the same. However, there is a significant difference in how it functions. The purpose of the resistor, as you know, is to *supervise* the circuit against shorting or cutting. If the resistor is placed inside the alarm control panel and someone accidentally or deliberately shorts the wire at the sensor, the panel will not see a change. This is a bad thing. By placing the resistor at the "end of line" (next to or inside the detector), you are supervidsing all of the wiring between there and the control panel.

If it's that far back, use a more powerful strobe. System Sensor makes a model S1224MCKW that's very bright. It's intended for outdoor annunciation of a fire alarm. You can scratch off the word "Fire" if you like. Here's a link (my website) to info on it:

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No problem. Best of luck.

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Robert L Bass

SpeakerCraft has a line of architectural (in-wall and in-ceiling) speakers called Proficient Audio. They sound excellent and prices are quite reasonable. I've sold hundreds of them. I used them in my previous home and will be installing them throughout the new place as soon as I'm back on my feet.

Good stuff.

Best in terms of bang/buck ratio.

You may also want to take a look at Xantech's MRC88 (8 sources x 8 zones).

I used the Yamaha RXV-3000 for a couple of years but I wasn't happy with it's performance. I recently picked up a Pioneer Elite HT receiver. I like the sound and it's more flexible. It has multiple, assignable component and digital video I/O ports which made configuring all of my components much eqasier.

Again, give Proficient (SpeakerCraft) a listen.

When we were looking for a plasma unit for our vecation home in Brazil, I looked at a fair number of models. Our TV room there is small so I selected a 42" model. The Panasonic models were among the best we saw, but serrvice was an issue. Unfortunately, the only brand that had local service was an off brand. The image is good but not as fine as I'd like. Oh, well.

Heh, heh, heh. Sounds like something I've done a few hundred times. :^)

Whereabouts in Mass are you? I used to live in Belmont about 40 years ago.

Sounds like you're pretty much on the right path. If you need help with any of this, feel free to contact me.

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