Intercoms For Access Control & Security

Applications include vehicle entry gates and healthcare providers like managed care facilities.

Using intercoms in access control enhances the security of any system. One obvious reason is because intercoms involve a human in the process. An employee can carry on a conversation with the entrant, and often receive visual confirmation.

Hopefully those in control will exercise good judgment in how they control access into the premises. I use the word hopefully because at one time I installed apartment intercoms in New York City, and in multiple dwellings, this was unfortunately not always the case. Tenants did not always screen individuals they allowed in.

Today the public has matured, the technology has evolved and more people take their security seriously. Entry systems are more sophisticated, and facility management places a higher priority on keeping entry system functioning properly.

In suburban markets, the locksmith is far more likely to deal with single point or commercial building security. Intercom work can involve the integration of voice (telecom) and or video with door and gate control systems.

Vehicle Gate Intercoms present a special set of challenges, namely, wiring challenges, environmental conditions, and specific issues regarding gate and user interfacing.

Recently I was hired to provide an intercom system for the main entry gate into my client’s industrial site. This application was for what is referred to as a point-to-point system. This means that the gate would only communicate with the guard station. Sometimes multiple points of control are requested.

The gate was far from the main building and we didn’t want to have to trench through the paved parking lot. There was an existing cable trough to a junction point and another from the junction point to the main building where the guard desk was located. The main issue was distance. It would require about 1000 feet of wire to connect the two stations.

The Aiphone AP-1M can go 490 feet using #22 gauge cable, and 1200 feet using #18 gauge. wire.

The Vehicle gate was accessed by both passenger vehicles and big trucks. Some had credentials which would open the gate after hours. However some would not, such as deliveries, guests, employees who forgot their credentials, emergency services, etc.

Did I mention this was an outside vehicle gate? There was no protection from the elements and rarely any protection from wayward vehicles.
Inside the building, the guard is surrounded by video monitors, the access control workstation, telephones, intercoms, the fire alarm panel, and employees. The inside intercom station had to be loud enough and durable enough to withstand abuse.

We used an Aiphone AP-1M master station in conjunction with an Aiphone 8 Ohm hands-free horn. This system was selected because it had the power to run that length of cable, had plenty of volume and clarity within the building, allowed us to connect a ‘Call’ button out at the gate to notify the guard that there was someone out there requiring their attention, and was hands-free so there was no handset required by drivers.
Using the correct cable is imperative if you expect the Aiphone to operate correctly. We did, and the Aiphone has worked perfectly since deployment.

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