I moved into a house with an installed Elan audio distribution system installed. There were no manuals or instructions, just one lonely FM tuner sending its output to 6 different locations around the house. I wanted to do a very simple addition: add an iPod dock to allow me to distibute the music from my iPod around the house.
Problem: Elan locks down the capability to make such changes, requiring one to hire an Elan dealer to make this change. I was fairly certain that it was a simple change and getting a dealer out for a house call would be overkill. But upon further investigation, I discovered Elan has a custom built "learner" box and software that is required to make any changes to the keypad programming. So, biting the bullet, I went through a bunch of rigamarole to locate a dealer, traded numerous phone calls with him, finally got him live on the phone. Yes, he was willing to come out and look at the system, for a $100/hour fee. But, he needed a few days, as he had to go find the manuals and re-read them .... he hadn't worked on one of these systems "in a few years." Not reassuring.
Solution: I was able to acquire the Via!Learner box, plus the Via!Works software and manuals. I programmed my keypads and everything is working great. The total cost was much less than I would have paid the installer. And I can make future additions and changes at any time at no cost.
Word to the wise: Along this journey, I had one Elan dealer tell me the Via!Learner box is tied to a specific copy of the Via!Works software and would not work unless the two were paired. Total BS!! I acquired the box and the software separately and they work flawlessly.
My system has a Z630 preamp and Z100 keypads. I understand the learner box and software can also be used to program Z!Pads and other Elan devices as well.
To assist anyone else travelling the same path I did, I'm willing to make the box and software available, assuming we can come to some arrangements to share costs and guarantee return of the box (I'm not interested in selling it, I have lots of ideas brewing on how to improve and add to my system). Contact me through this forum.