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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI,

Just got an elan system with new house. Very excited, but technology is changing fast, and has nearly made the elan system outdated in the time it took to build the house (6 months).

Is there a way to get a hold of the elan programming, so i can add my own radio ra2 dimmers? If i connect these dimmers to the lutron repeater, will this populate to the elan system?

The reason I ask is that the elan dealer options are very pricey, and i have been able to use nest, harmony, and myq garage control to basically perform the same functions as elan, at thousands of dollars less.

THis reminds me when we sold IBM ps/2 PCs, their microchannel architecture basically shut them out of any third party extension cards and peripherals...

:eeksurprise:
 

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I do not have Elan, but in general - the thought is Elan is 1 stop/1 app for everything, and it makes things talk to each other. When you use Myq to open your garage, can it also turn on interior lights? Can your Harmony remote turn on your lights, change your TV channels, pick audio streams in the house and open the front door? These are things that I know are possible with Control4 (which I have) but I am sure are available in Elan as well.

It is more than just opening/closing a door. The more robust systems (control4, URC, Elan, Savant, Crestron, etc) are about making all individual things talk/work with each other.
 

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Are we talking an Elan g! system?

You need to ask the Elan dealer who installed the system what arrangements, if any, might be possible.

To the best of my knowledge Elan will not recognize the RA2 devices without manual intervention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are we talking an Elan g! system?

You need to ask the Elan dealer who installed the system what arrangements, if any, might be possible.

To the best of my knowledge Elan will not recognize the RA2 devices without manual intervention.
Regarding the lutron radio ra2 dimmers: I found the instructions from lutron to get the dimmers on the lutron system and repeater-- the repeaters are included with the elan home system that is installed. However, i'm not sure if the repeater recognizes the new dimmers will they populate to the elan g! 7 system automatically or do they need dealer intervention?

I would love to call the dealer, but i sense they are tired of my questions. It is nearly 500$ to purchase a single dimmer and have it programmed to be recognized by the elang g! system... So for ten more loads that would be 5k!

All the info for getting the lutron dimmer to work with the repeater is available online. Many companies are competing for this business and actively working to integrating all parts together. For example, I used an older myq bridge for the garage door opener. When I had purchased it less than a year ago, there was an annual fee for the service, so i didn't bother using it. Now when i used it, and there is no registration or use fee.

I did contact elan corporate by phone and email to alert them of this tremendous opportunity in the emerging market of the internet of things. At nearly $500 per lighting load for a dimmer, i will have to look for another solution. I sincerely hope any Elan people are reading this and take rapid action, jump in the pool and make connecting stuff easier and more DIY.
 

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Perhaps you can negotiate an arrangement with the dealer to obtain the software in return for not asking them anymore questions?

My electrician and I took a look at RA2 and while it is a fine system in some ways, it is just way too expensive to my way of thinking.

I think some of these companies see HA as chance to make lots of money off of rich folk with fancy homes, who want the latest toys.

Certainly the prices do not reflect the manufacturing costs.

I started with a HomeLogic system and settled on UPB devices from Simply Automated which worked just fine.

But when Elan took over HomeLogic they dropped support for all UPB brands other than PCS. PCS is a fine brand but it is perhaps the most expensive in the UPB realm.

Why Elan did this I don't know but to me that negated one of the advantages of UPB which is multiple vendors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I could negotiate with the dealer, but don't have any more arms or legs to barter with....

Market forces will prevail. I like the elan product alot, but c'mon need to play nice with basically everything else out there...
 

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I like the elan product alot, but c'mon need to play nice with basically everything else out there...
What you are asking for is, for all intents and purposes, impossible. It would take a nearly limitless engineering staff to keep up-to-date 2-way drivers for "basically everything else out there..."

Elan g! is designed to be robust, reliable and easy for the end user to interact with. Part of being robust and reliable is creating SOLID drivers from reliable 3rd parties who design their products for integration. For example, Sonos is hard to integrate with, because they don't have a published API. All Sonos drivers are reverse engineered, and if Sonos chooses to make changes to their system than those drivers must be rewritten.

I understand your pain, as an Elan dealer I do wish there were more drivers available. However it is FAR more important to us that there are GOOD drivers available. In the long run it is preferable that we have one rock solid thermostat driver than having Nest and Ecobee and Honeywell Lyric and etc.

If you are a gadget concious, DIY-leaning homeowner the bigger dealer supported systems may not be ideal for you. Our average customer doesn't care if we install Nest or HAI, Sony or Epson, Triad or Monitor Audio. They just want their system to function as intended with as little work on their end as possible. I think that may be the disconnect between the design intention, and how you would like to use the system. It isn't an issue of being outdated, it is about a focus on solid integration, not being an early adopter for every new standard.
 

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For the DIYer there are ways to make a system like Elan, where you cannot write drivers of your own, work with devices that are not directly supported.

It's a bit of work but it is an option.

Given the availability of small, inexpensive devices like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, etc you can create a one-way or two-way "protocol converter".

For example, a converter that allows Elan to communicate with what appears to be a AVR that Elan supports to a AVR that Elan does not support.

I had a situation where the device I wished to connect did not have a complicated protocol but it was HTTP based, which Elan did not support.

So I wrote a simple program that accepted a set of ASCII commands via a serial port and generated the required HTTP which went out via a Ethernet connection.

I didn't attempt to make a two-way converter as one-way was adequate in this case but it could have been a two-way. Just a question of more time and effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
THanks for the comments.

Perhaps another way to look at the dilemma is an opportunity for Elan home systems. To be able to integrate more readily available off the shelf products, nest, dropcam, harmony, etc, but offer a level of security not available with DIY off the shelf home automation running over the net. So in essence, Elan could offer integration and add value of more security...

Pivot. Shift... the new mantra in current businesses.

I have seen similar products and companies that maintained their own island, and then eventually no one wanted to take the ship to that island: IBM intro'd PS/2 systems with microchannel architecture, but nothing but IBM approved peripherals worked. Those peripherals were just too expensive. Since I grew in Rochester, NY, i can offer many more examples, such as Xerox and Kodak...
 
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