For more than 40 years, school facility managers and security personnel responsible for selecting a door access system have essentially had one option: a local control panel hardwired to power and individually wired to a maximum number of door “readers.”
This meant high capital investment for the initial set-up, along with extensive wiring and installation. The cost per door would balloon for the first door (since it mandated installation of the panel) with additional doors at a lower cost – until the panel maxed out and the cost would balloon again for each new panel.
The latest door access technology now does away with the control panel entirely, piggybacks on the existing network wiring already in place, requires no hardwiring to building power and involves installation only of a single, standard network cable to each reader.
With this type of system, a business can scale up from one to 1,000 doors by simply adding new readers as needed at a predictable cost per door and same single cable installation. This takes much of the complexity and about a third of the cost out of the decision to install or expand a door access system.
Today, savvy school facility managers and security personnel are looking to such advanced door access systems for good reason.
The Douglas School District in Box Elder, SD, educates more than 1,400 students from age 3 through high school. The school district embarked on a well planned physical security plan for their various facilities consisting of video surveillance and access control in conjunction with a pre-existing alarm system.
“We knew we wanted an access control system that would utilize the same network backbone we had already invested in for our video system,” states Mike Mueller, buildings and grounds. “It was also important to have a system that we could deploy seamlessly in multiple locations. We foresaw the necessity of allowing the individual facilities to manage their parts of the system, but also needed the capability of a central point of monitoring and control on a district-wide basis.”
Internet Protocol (IP)-based technology is the same technology used for networking computers, printers and other peripherals in most businesses today
By piggybacking on the existing network cabling, facility managers and security personnel can quickly and easily install the IP-based door access readers to a common network switch with standard cables. With this set-up, the door readers are powered by the built in Power over Ethernet (PoE) feature already provided through the network switch and CAT-5 cabling, and does not require hardwiring to the building’s power.
“Most companies have already made a fairly significant investment in their network infrastructure,” says Chuck Crenshaw, CEO of ISONAS Security Systems. “It makes sense to use the existing system instead of installing a separate, proprietary system at additional cost.”
Established in 1999, the Colorado-based ISONAS designs, manufactures and distributes the PowerNet™ panel-free, IP-based security access control system.
In the ISONAS system, the reader is a network device with built in functions to act as reader and control panel. Each reader can store information in its own memory for up to 64,000 sets of credentials, along with a historical access log. The readers come with a keypad, card swipe or both and the reader can be programmed in a variety of ways including assigning specific permissions, groupings, time zones, etc.
The ISONAS system also includes its comprehensive access control management software - Crystal Matrix™ Access Control Management System, which can be used to manage an unlimited number of readers from a single, web-enabled interface.
“The proposal from Golden West Technologies for the ISONAS PowerNet system not only met all our operational and functional requirements, but also came in as the most cost effective solution from all the potential bids we received,” says Mueller.
Products from Altronix, Alarm Lock, Locknetics and Isonas catch the eye of Locksmith Ledger editors.
This an open architecture, web-based access control system lets users access, monitor and manage their access control system from any computer running a standard web browser