Paid request - intergration with Elk M1 security panel


(Hemant Gupta) #1

A lof of us that have been using with Elk M1 Gold automation alarm panels have been looking for integration with smartthings. We believe it is possible because others have written integrations with Vera and Homeseer for the Elk M1 Gold that work very well.

Is there a good place to find a deleloper to write a device handler for us? I am sure that users (including me) would be happy to pay to get it done.

Thanks!


Elk M1 Gold integration using ELK-M1XEP Also Onkyo TX-NR3010
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

While not a full integration, but rather a modular replacement, it’s worth considering @heythisisnate’s Konnected.io product.


A software only integration would be most cost effective if you could get a large number of customers to group together to pay for the development.


(Hemant Gupta) #3

I think there is a decent number of us who use Elk. Early home automation adopters embraced it early on, and there is a strong community of users.

You can find others looking for the same thing here. It’s what encouraged me to find a developer to pay. I personally would contribute a couple hundred dollars to it’s development as it would save me from having to purchase and install a new panel.


#4

The Elk is a good solid security system, but I would be surprised if anyone can create something for SmartThings which is comparable to the integration with vera or homeseer.

Although SmartThings is a certified Z wave controller, it is designed as a multiprotocol cloud –-based platform. It doesn’t handle multiple controllers well, either as a secondary or primary. In fact, you can’t even add a second SmartThings hub to the same “location,” obviously a very different architecture than Vera, where adding a second Vera hub is the recommended solution for a number of use cases.

SmartThings is certified at the basic level, but does not include a number of advanced control and management command sets, such as controller shift and controller replicate. It also provides no mapping tools at all.

In fact, the company goes so far as to specifically advise against ever adding it as a secondary:

https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us/articles/204392790-Z-Wave-general-info

SmartThings strongly discourages adding the Hub to another Z-Wave network. We cannot offer support for disconnected Z-Wave devices or the inability to add devices through the Hub as a result of including the Hub into another Z-Wave network.

On top of all of that, ALL custom code, even device type handlers, written for SmartThings has to run in the cloud. That adds an additional point of vulnerability as well as possible lag.

And finally, SmartThings can and does push out firmware updates that can be neither refused nor delayed, which can take the hub off-line from anywhere from a few minutes to several hours and sometimes require resetting devices afterwards. I just mention that because elk is often deployed in areas where there is limited Internet connection or where maintenance access may not be available 24/7.

So… You may find someone who will offer to write this for you. I just want to be sure you understand that you are not likely to get something comparable to what you could get with a vera or homeseer integration, both of which are primarily Z wave platforms, not cloud-based, which integrate easily with multiple zwave controllers.

FWIW


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

What exact minimum functionality is required?


(Hemant Gupta) #6

Good points.

I wouldn’t want to use the Elk as a secondary z-wave controller, but instead to provide status information for smartthings. For example, if I walk past the hardwired Elk kitchen motion detector, smarthings would turn on the light. Or for smartthings to know when Elk is armed and to put the house into “away” mode by turning off lights and putting the ecobee thermostat in a reduced power mode. Most of us have a ton of sensors attached to our alarm systems, that it seems duplicative to also put new z-wave door, window, and motion sensors just so smartthing knows their status.


(Hemant Gupta) #7

For me, minimum functionality would be for smartthings to read status of zones, outputs, and alarm state. I suspect it would do this by connecting to the local ethernet module like the homeseer script does. I can probably find the homeseer script if it is helpful.

I don’t need any additional features else, but others would probably like the ability to arm and disarm the system.


#8

For me I would like to use the elk as the security system and have smartthings pull information from the elk so automations can be run on that end.

I don’t have an interest In smartthings arming or disarming the system.


(Nate Clark) #9

I’ve had a ton of requests for this for konnected.io. It’s on our roadmap for next year to create a product that can support connecting a wired system “in parallel” with a functional traditional alarm system.

If you have some electrical engineering skills, you theoretically can do this now with my DIY Prototyping kit and some additional resistors or other components. Unfortunately it’s not something I can officially support or provide documentation for at this time, but I know others have done it. There’s some discussion in this thread:

You’ll all be the first to know when we have a “productized” offering to do this.


#10

Thanks, however i have many wireless zones and this is where your product
does not meet all my requirements.

I have looked at this product, and if it could handle the wireless
zones…i would most likely move!

Jeff


(cjcharles) #11

Do you have the Ethernet module inside your alarm already? This looks like exactly what I’ve done for the Visonic series of alarms

It looks like I can create a similar module for the Elk series and potentially reuse the DTH with minimal modifications which might be nice given the time I’ve already spent on it!


#12

Yes I do have the Ethernet Module. If it is an easy port that would be great! If I can help out let me know. I think there is a manual called the ASCII protocol and interface manual which details the how to integrate to the M1 system. Let me know if you need it.


(cjcharles) #13

It wouldn’t be an easy port but it would be easier thanks to the code I have already done.

The challenge to getting this working is access to a elk device/panel, the arm and disarm is probably doable remotely but zone sensor change might be hard due to the subscription requirement. I wonder if anybody in the UK had a panel I could borrow for a week (sadly they are quite expensive when I checked eBay).


(Hemant Gupta) #14

If it helps, I am happy but your elk M1 system from you when you are done, or give you access to my panel.


(cjcharles) #15

@HGupta Would you share access to your panel through a VPN or port forward (I can give you a static ip from my side)? I understand that presents some risks on your side, but if you are happy then I am happy. Alternatively if a panel can be purchased and sent/borrowed then this will be doable from the checking that I have now done.

Edit: the integration with the serial connection (I.e. Without Ethernet module) is also possible from the looks of things. Which is more useful? Would you look to keep your Ethernet module anyway given you have it? Or does it have minimal usage at the moment?


(Jesse) #16

I also have an Elk M1 Gold that I use strictly for home security panel, currently with Vera, but moving to Smartthings.

I haven’t done any development on Smartthings yet, but am a software developer and willing to help develop/test. I have the ethernet module, which I use currently for Vera (via a plugin) to access arm/disarm and arming state data on the Elk.

@cjcharles this is an actively used panel, so I’m unable to share access to it, but willing to help develop/test. I’ll take a look at your plugin example tomorrow.


(cjcharles) #17

How is your Vera integrated? Through Ethernet or did you plug into the serial?

Suggest we have a chat as I think together we could get something working pretty quick!


#18

@cjcharles. I have a panel , but not used day to day. I would be happy to do some testing for you as well.


(Jesse) #19

There is a plugin for Vera (http://code.mios.com/trac/mios_elk-alarm-panel) that integrates it (for me) over ethernet. It’s pretty flaky though, as it seems to lose connection requiring a restart of one or more of the devices to get things working again (not sure which side the issue is on, though my guess is Vera/plugin, as the Elk remote programming app still works when vera no longer does).

I don’t have a smartthings hub yet, will be delivered on the 3rd. :slight_smile:


(Hemant Gupta) #20

Anyone have luck with the integration? I finally found the script that I used to use with homeseer. It worked very well, and was extremely fast.

This webforum has a freely available script for homeseer. The developer suggests that it would be pretty easy to adapt to other systems. Hopefully that means that it could be adapted to smartthings as well.

Hopefully this will help point you guys in the right direction. I haven’t programmed in 20 years, so I am pretty useless.