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How to get started with UPB and ELK M1

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  • How to get started with UPB and ELK M1

    I'm about to order an ELK M1 to add to my HomeTroller S6 Pro, which only has a single Z-Wave connected device. (I'm just starting out) I would like to use UPB and was considering the Pulseworks PIM. With these devices, how would I program and manage the UPB switches? I'm new at this and looking for advice before I learn the hard way. Is there any other hardware I need?

  • #2
    The easiest way to program UPB devices is with the free UPStart software, available for download from PCS Lighting, Simply Automated, and other sources. With regard to other hardware, depending on the size of your house and the complexity of your house wiring, you may find that you need to add an active repeater at your electrical panel to improve signal reliability between the two split-phase "legs". (I would recommend waiting until you know you need one, though, before adding it. You may need to call in an electrician for that job.)

    My experience with UPB has been positive, but it's a powerful protocol that presents a very wide array of capabilities and options, which can be confusing on first (and second) encounter. Start slowly, try things out, and get some experience in setting up a switch, saving the file, exporting the file. Learn how UPStart conventions work with (and against) HS conventions. You may find that you alter your plan for naming devices, etc. and having just a few will reduce the pain of going back and erasing plug-in devices, renaming things in UPStart, re-importing them, and trying again.

    UPB will handle a a good deal of the job of automating things on its own using links, simplifying the job of programming in HS, and making the system more robust by allowing it do most of the work autonomously, but there is a learning curve and it will take time and experience to get a good handle on how to get the two systems to work together to best advantage for your application. It's a bit of a challenge to do it well, but rewarding if you like those kinds of challenges because both HS and UPB are solid and they work really well together.
    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

    HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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    • #3
      Thanks UM. I've done basically nothing in HS at this point, so don't yet have a sense of naming conventions and such. A lot to learn, but I like your idea of starting small and learning. Once I get ELK M1 and get it installed, I'll try one UPB switch and give it a shot. Still undecided which brand to to go with.

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      • #4
        I have about 50 UPB devices and have used ELK for 15 years. I would recommend that you have HS3 control the UPB devices and automation of these devices (beyond what is done natively through UPB links). With the HS3 ELK plugin, I can communicate both ways between systems. I use HS for home automation, thus lighting (UPB) is controlled by HS3. In addition, the ELK connected motion detectors are also visible to HS3 as devices, and I include motion from the alarm motion detectors in my HA schemes. You can also incorporate zone violations (such as door openings, etc) into you HS3 events.
        tenholde

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tenholde View Post
          I have about 50 UPB devices and have used ELK for 15 years. I would recommend that you have HS3 control the UPB devices and automation of these devices (beyond what is done natively through UPB links). With the HS3 ELK plugin, I can communicate both ways between systems. I use HS for home automation, thus lighting (UPB) is controlled by HS3. In addition, the ELK connected motion detectors are also visible to HS3 as devices, and I include motion from the alarm motion detectors in my HA schemes. You can also incorporate zone violations (such as door openings, etc) into you HS3 events.
          Thanks for the insight. Still haven't had time to hang the ELK on the wall (got to get the elevator, central vac, ERV, and Somfy shades done first) Nice to know the comms works both ways.

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