After racing stock cars for more than 30 years, NASCAR legend Mark Martin has learned that flawless performance requires a perfect blend of functionality, adaptation, reliability, and speed. When he’s racing at 200 miles per hour, there is no margin for error or equipment failure. At his home, however, he spent nearly a decade dealing with a frustrating control system that never performed as it should have and required constant troubleshooting. It got so bad that he was ready to give up his dream of having a simple home control system that just worked, until he saw the ELAN g! system.
NASCAR legend Mark Martin (right) hired Ryan Heringer of Sound Concepts (left) to simplify his home control system with ELAN g!
Martin put up with a system he found difficult for 10 years, and it got to the point where he just wanted to simplify and have a satellite receiver next to each TV. He hired Ryan Heringer of Sound Concepts to remove the previous system, “but when he showed up at the house, he said I needed to see the ELAN g! system before giving up,” Martin said. “He showed me his iPad with the ELAN g! app, and right away, I realized that this was the type of system I had wanted all along. I was still a little hesitant because of my experience, so we started by only integrating the AV, surveillance cameras, garage doors, and the driveway gate. Now we’ve added HVAC and will likely continue to add more features as we’ve done at our home in North Carolina.”
In addition to being one of NASCAR’s most recognizable names for three decades, Martin is an avid pilot who flies his own small jet airplane between his homes in Arkansas and North Carolina. Once the g! system was up and running at his Arkansas home, Martin realized there was a lot more he could do to make his life simpler. He has a private airplane hangar near each home and frequently travels between the two, so he and his integrator came up with a plan to put ELAN g! systems in the North Carolina home and both hangars.
“Obviously the hangars don’t need as much integration, but it’s been incredibly helpful to have the cameras and security accessible on my iPhone, even allowing me to check the weather before I fly, so I know immediately if it’s raining or foggy at my destination. For the homes, I now have the ability to turn on the outdoor lights and set the heat or air conditioning while traveling, so it’s exactly how we want it when we arrive. The security integration also gives us a much greater peace of mind, and we know that god forbid anything should happen, we have cameras and a DVR that will record the event and help us resolve it.”
Managing multiple properties from a single app is a great feature, but there was one major part of the system that Martin wanted to be sure of before expanding it to all of his properties—ease of use.
“I’m not a tech wizard by any means, but I know how to use an iPhone, so with the ELAN g! app, I can operate my shades, HVAC, lighting, door locks, driveway gate, and more. That’s one of the reasons we started out small at the Arkansas house. If we thought it was difficult at all, we wouldn’t have expanded that system or installed additional systems at the other house and hangars. Honestly, it's so easy to use that I can’t imagine someone not being able to master it quickly.
“My wife uses it and likes it, and we both learned the basics right away, and then, got more familiar with some of the more advanced features, like the door lock logs that show who used the doors throughout the day. That’s been a wonderful feature too, because we’ve created unique codes for people who work at the house, so they can come and go, and we know who was there and when they came and left. Then if we change providers, we can erase those codes, so it’s very convenient and keeps people honest.”
While the iPhone and iPad app is great for home control, anyone who’s tried one of those cheap ‘universal remote’ apps for a phone knows that it’s incredibly tedious and annoying to pull out your phone every time you want to change the channel or adjust the volume. That’s why Martin paired each TV with an ELAN HR2 remote. It has Wi-Fi and IR, so there’s always a solid connection, and it doesn’t have to be pointed at the TV to work. Plus, it includes a touchscreen that makes it easy to make adjustments to lights, heat, shades, and more if users need to.
“Another great thing is that we don’t have equipment by the TVs anymore. There’s no cable box, no Blu-ray player, no wires anywhere in sight. Instead, everything is tucked away in a rack in a storage room. Ryan set it up to be very user friendly, and if any of the equipment needs to be reset, which happens with all technologies, all I have to do is hit a power button on top of the rack. He even made separate power buttons for each component and labeled them so I can troubleshoot minor issues myself. That’s one thing I learned for sure, that having the right installer can make all the difference. Sound Concepts has done a terrific job on every installation, and I have been recommending the company to my friends. The only complaint I have about the system is that it didn’t exist 10 years ago.”