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Author Topic: Elk M1...Still good or outdated?  (Read 113 times)

Experienced

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Elk M1...Still good or outdated?
« on: March 06, 2019, 11:57:17 PM »
Curious to see what others think about the Elk M1. Years ago it seemed to be all the rage for those interested in a combination security and automation controller...but lately it seems it's become stale and outdated? There doesn't seem to be a lot of posts about the M1 anymore, few updates to the equipment that's been around for years, etc. So what do you think...is the M1 still a good choice or has it been left in the past?

bramfrank

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Re: Elk M1...Still good or outdated?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2019, 04:35:56 PM »
"Left in the past"?

Is there something you are looking for that it doesn't do?  If not then it is a well built, mature device and you won't go wrong using it.

Note that whiz-bang modern devices tend to now be dependent on Internet-based gateways and are useless once the provider decides he no longer wishes to support the device, at which time your hardware becomes a paperweight;  further, these software-driven devices often are loaded with bugs.

Witness what happened when Interlogix decided to stop supporting the AdvisorOne and the endless list of bugs in the NX-595e and Modular Hub products.

Newer is not always better.
Able1 is a twit.  Correction, Twit is too mild a term.

Experienced

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Re: Elk M1...Still good or outdated?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2019, 08:08:29 PM »
"Left in the past"?

Is there something you are looking for that it doesn't do?  If not then it is a well built, mature device and you won't go wrong using it.

Note that whiz-bang modern devices tend to now be dependent on Internet-based gateways and are useless once the provider decides he no longer wishes to support the device, at which time your hardware becomes a paperweight;  further, these software-driven devices often are loaded with bugs.

Witness what happened when Interlogix decided to stop supporting the AdvisorOne and the endless list of bugs in the NX-595e and Modular Hub products.

Newer is not always better.

Just because a Ford Model-T can still take you from place A to place B doesn't mean I would want one...it's called keeping up with the times. And left in the past meaning there seems to be no innovation or even upgrade for the products. Until recently their home page still discussed a warning about Windows 10...Windows 10 was released nearly 4 years ago. Even their M1ToGo software lists compatibility only up to Windows 8...even though Windows 10 has been around for years and Windows 8 has been discontinued they still haven't updated the software.

Look at it's automation, there have been requests going back a decade for their rules to be able to handle 'or if' statements instead of just 'and' statements...something most other automation controllers like Homeseer have naturally supported for years. Take a look at the Elk website, they have a photo section of installs...in the last 3 years it has been updated 1 time with 1 photo. Look at the keypads...no new designs, still the same thing they' always had. Look at their Facebook page, despite being around for years, they don't even have 1,000 likes yet.

Heck, take a look at the Elk support page on this very forum, the last post was two and a half years ago...it seems like no one even uses it if there are no questions being asked on a forum dedicated to security systems. And speaking of which, I've never seen an Elk system in person in use. If I didn't know better, it seems like no one is minding the wheel. It doesn't exactly inspire confidence when it feels like they might go out of business tomorrow.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 08:10:12 PM by Experienced »

bramfrank

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Re: Elk M1...Still good or outdated?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2019, 08:55:15 AM »
Well, first of all, this is a forum dedicated to DIY security.  Elk is relatively expensive.  DIYers tend to be cheap.  You do the math and you'll have he answer as to why there is little activity in the Elk sub forum and lots in the Vista one, where complete systems sell for $80.

As to whether the product is worthy of installation consider that once installed, most systems, whether automation or security tend to be left in place and are NOT upgraded.  And the majority of installation tend NOT to be combinations of security and automation/home control.  There are a number of integrated solutions out there, like Interlogix's Modular and Self Contained hubs and DSC's Iotega, to mention a couple.  They tend to be loaded with features and likely would overwhelm the typical DIYer, not to mention that as these things get more complex they get more and more buggy (see my post about unresolved issues with  the Mod Hub) and note my company is the one that the local Interlogix and Honeywell reps send to bail out local alarm companies who get themselves into trouble.

Interlogix, Ademco and many others have had X10 control, in addition to wired controls in their products for decades.  The Lynx and Simon can control lighting and outlets wirelessly.  Other manufacturers have also had and have capabilities built into their hardware as well.  It never sold well and the consumer products you buy today on Amazon and at Best Buy are cute, but for the most part built like crap. 

To really do it right and reliably requires the likes of Control 4, Johnson Controls, Crestron, Sonance and others at that level.

Of course when it comes to home automation in the general sense the field is very crowded, whether with hubless Wi-Fi and BT components, or various Zigby, Zwave and other non-security controllers - and, by way of example, my brother fancies himself a tech type and his home is filled with crap that only I can get working for him and even then, it only keeps working for limited periods of time and then glitches out - he has to be nice to me to get me to go there on a semi-regular basis to get his wireless components to all talk together again.

In fact his ongoing issues (and he has been through several controllers and a whole bunch of intelligent baseboard heaters, thermostats, lights and appliances, all consumer grade) and the cost of proper automation are what keep me from upgrading from my old X10 which controls the lighting in my home just fine.

So once again, if it does what you want, then there's no reason not to use it.  If it doesn't, then look for something that does.
Able1 is a twit.  Correction, Twit is too mild a term.

 

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