Keypads are handy input devices used for a variety of security applications. They are the means that people communicate with the machine to gain access. Keypads are convenient because all you need is a finger and the right code. Keypads are pretty much familiar to everybody, and they are...
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Keypads are handy input devices used for a variety of security applications. They are the means that people communicate with the machine to gain access. Keypads are convenient because all you need is a finger and the right code. Keypads are pretty much familiar to everybody, and they are multi-cultural and multi-lingual. They don’t have to be explained in order for people to know what to do.
Keypads use different technologies for the buttons. Some keypads use individual switches for each button. Membrane keypads are also popular. The switch is built onto a circuit board and then a thin membrane with numbers printed on it is overlaid over the switches. These keypads are typically weather-resistant and favored because they provide the end-user with tactile feel so they know they have pressed each button properly
Some keypads are solid state, with no moving parts. Each button is a piezo transducer (or sometimes a capacitive switch). The Piezo type reacts to pressure from a finger on its surface to actuate. The capacitive type senses the capacitance of human flesh to activate the sensor. Capacitive technology is used for other door control equipment as well such as wall switches and exit bars.
Keypads can be standalone controllers, a part of an integral system, or be separate devices which connect to external control equipment.
Keypads are available with different numbers of buttons on them, and come in a variety of configurations. Some keypads have only five buttons where a single button represents two different digits.
Keypads come in single gang 3X4 matrix (like a telephone keypad) or narrow for mounting on an aluminum storefront.
Keypads on safes are usually round.
Some keypads are illuminated and others scramble the arrangement of the digits each button represents to thwart spying on a code while it is being entered into the keypad.
The security of a keypad system is a matter of technology and how and where the keypad is deployed. Keypads can be used to provide very high security solutions when integrated with other authentication.
When recommending an access control solution, the risk of unauthorized entry is an important element in the formula, as is the number of individuals who might be trying to take a crack at breaking in, and also whether the keypad is in a high traffic area, where someone standing there pumping in wrong codes would become obvious.
The accepted and most frequently deployed techniques are to use individually encoded credentials, each with a unique memorized P.I.N. (Personal Identification Number) for highest security, credential only for more moderate security, and individual memorized code only as the lowest level, preferably for low security doors within the protected area.
The following is a summary of some of the more interesting keypad products on the market today. Also see our Product Spotlight: Keypads & Readers on pages 50-51 for product summaries.
The HID ProxPro® proximity card reader’s weatherproof design and architecturally attractive enclosure allows easy mounting indoors or out. The ProxPro Reader is ideal for applications requiring a larger read range.
• Affords high reliability, consistent read range characteristics, and low power consumption in a single, easy-to-install package.
• Features multicolor LED, internal or host control of the LED, and/or beeper and a beeper “off” switch for silent operation.
• Provides Wiegand protocol interface compatibility with all standard access control systems.
• Offers an optional, fully integrated personal identification number keypad for heightened security.
• Can be mounted to glass (using the optional glass mounting kit).
For a longer read range, try the new generation ProxPro II Reader, which provides an additional inch (2.5 cm) of read range, requires just 5 volts for operation, and is lower-priced than the ProxPro Reader.
For more information, contact HID Corp., 9292 Geronimo Rd., Irvine, CA 92816. Telephone: 949-598-1600 or 800-237-7769. Web Site: www.hidcorp.com