Access Control Components: Getting Them All To Work Together

We modern locksmiths are working with a wider variety of technologies that ever before, so therefore when approaching installations and service calls, it is imperative that we put our thinking caps on and be extra observant so as to avoid issues...


We modern locksmiths are working with a wider variety of technologies that ever before, so therefore when approaching installations and service calls, it is imperative that we put our thinking caps on and be extra observant so as to avoid issues associated with compatibility in integration. Here are a few examples.

Recently I was sent out of state to install an access control lockset, and wire in a new emergency door control system. Both needed to tie into the existing electronic access control system. I thought I had done my homework.

The standalone lock, a Schlage VIP, is truly a hybrid device. The model we were installing had an integral card reader and was designed to hardwire to an external PSU, and run data back to a host controller. We had to remove an existing ancient mortise lock, cross-drill the door, re-drill the door for the VIP, mount the door loop, get the wire up off the door over to the wall, then complete the wiring and programming.

I was instructed to bring a Schlage IC core, and zero bitted change key and core key.

We encountered the usual problems but managed to successfully install the lock, power it up and establish a connection with the head-end.

We had planned ahead, and had the data cable installed prior to our arrival. The data link was RS-422, so a two conductor shielded cable was used. I brought a switching type plug in power supply.

The major issues were getting the old mortise lock off (I used a saws all) and cross drilling the door (I brought a bunch of bell hanger drill bits)

Unfortunately the project manager failed to determine that the facility was on Corbin-Russwin, so we had to install the zero-bitted cylinder and tell facilities they would have to deal with the problem of either combinating the core and creating the change and core key, or locate an IC core with their keyway and master it to their system

Next we moved on to the emergency door release system. I had verified the theory of operation with the customer, got approval of the equipment by again emailing the client images of the hardware, established where the device would be mounted, arranged for them to pull the wire and communicated in painful detail the connection points and function with the project manager so the system could be programmed to provide the desired results.

I made a wiring diagram, preprogrammed and pre-tested the device, and threw it all in the van.

Installation and wiring went smoothly, and we performed a functional test prior to departing.

Then the client called to report issues with the operation of the system. I was able to determine from his responses to my questions that the hardware was working properly, and the head-end was receiving its input from my device and responding back to my unit with appropriate echoes. But the head-end was not controlling the doors as we expected.

I threw the ball back to the project manager, who after several hours of on-line programming and phone calls for factory support, reported that it was now working properly and we would not have to return to the site.  We support the system over the Internet from our office for routine programming issues and troubleshooting (adjusting holiday schedules, and troubleshooting malfunctions, etc all the time).

The problem traced back to a detail in the configuration. I asked the program manager if he had contacted the factory when he was initially setting up the project, and he said he hadn’t.

I sold a six-camera video surveillance system to a retailer. I offered her a great deal by recommending a 16 channel DVR with a 1 TB hdd, which we buy from a Korean manufacturer who has a distribution center and office in California.

Unfortunately we ran into problems when our tech tried to install the viewer application in the client’s laptop. It turns out the software is Windows OS, and the laptop was an Apple. I did not know the viewer app was Windows only, and also never asked the client about what kind of computer she planned to use with the system. This was the fourth of these DVRs I have sold, but the first time I encountered this problem.

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