General Lock Helix 100 Biometric Fingerprint Reader

A standalone Helix 100 is tied into an existing access control system using the Wiegand output to establish a networked Helix 100 system.


The SIOB powers the Helix 100 and initiates the operations necessary to provide access (relay, REX, Wiegand output, etc.). The relay has a rating of 1Amp @ 24VAC/24VDC. Depending upon the locking mechanism, the Helix 100 can be operated using a one Amp or larger 12 VDC power supply. A Helix 100 and a single SIOB require a total of 13 Amps. The SIOB provides 5VDC power required by the Helix 100.

The Helix 100 is designed to operate 12VDC electromagnetic and electromechanical locking devices. Using a one Amp power supply, the locking device current demand cannot exceed about .80 Amps. A larger power supply is required if the locking device demand exceeds this amount. Be sure not to overpower the on-board relay. If the demand is greater than one Amp, a separate relay is required.

As a standalone system, programming and access is accomplished via the built-in sensor. The Helix 100 has the capacity of 100 finger templates and up to 20,000 log transactions maintained on the database. When more than 50 finger templates are programmed into a standalone Helix 100, the processing speed slows down relative to the number of users.

When networked, the Helix 100 database for the finger templates and log transactions is maintained on the computer. The system begins to slow down when more than 200 finger templates are programmed. Log transactions are only limited by the personal computer capacity and speed. The Helix 100 is designed to operate in outdoor and indoor environments and is IP 65 rated.

The three important differences between a standalone Helix 100 and a networked unit are the ability to incorporate time and date access control, customized audit trail capability, and the ability to operate on multiple doors controlled by multiple Helix 100s with only a single enrollment for users. A transfer program in the software enables finger templates to be enrolled at different Helix 100s.

In addition to the network configuration, the Helix 100 can be programmed to operate as a network with emergency standalone fallback. The advantage of the emergency standalone fallback is if the network goes down, the Helix 100 will continue to operate as a standalone. The Helix 100 in standalone mode will only provide access to those finger templates that are programmed into the unit itself.

Recommendation: Program management finger templates into the Helix 100 to be certain those in authority can gain access if the server connection is lost.

In network mode, a single Helix 100 can operate up to 31 Secured Input/Output Boards (SIOBs). Individual finger templates can be networked to operate the locking device daisy-chained to a specific SIOB or more than one SIOB. Up to 45 Helix 100s can be wired into a networked access control system. This means that within a single networked access control system, up to 45 Helix 100s can control up to 1395 SIOBs.

For instance, in a locker-room setting, one Helix 100 can be set up to operate numerous individual lockers via separate SIOBs. In this example, an individual can place an enrolled finger on the Helix 100 to trigger his or her specific locker from the chain of numerous connected SIOBs.

IMPORTANT: Secured Input/Output Boards cannot be operated by more than one Helix 100.

For this article we will discuss tying a standalone Helix 100 into an existing access control system using the Wiegand output and the set-up of a networked Helix 100 system with emergency standalone fallback. A networked Helix 100 is connected to a personal computer using an Ethernet LAN (Local Area Network), operating the Helix 100 software. The Helix 100 has a 10baseT LAN interface.

The Helix 100 does not have any proprietary protocols and can be tied into the existing access control system reader interface using the Wiegand output of 26 to 64bit, having configurable timing and formats. This enables the standalone Helix 100 to become an additional credential requirement for controlling access. Fingerprint templates are created using the Helix 100 sensor and are stored in the Helix 100 database. The finger templates are programmed to operate the Wiegand output, not to unlock the access control lock mechanism.

Note: Before installing the Helix 100, contact the existing access control system manufacturer to discuss compatibility issues.

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