Digital Deadbolt by Sunnect

Owners can operate the deadbolt lock by pressing the correct combination of keypad buttons or by tapping a tag key on the sensor


There were dozens of booths at the recent ALOA show in Dallas and each one had something to sell. I was initially attracted to the Sunnect booth for several reasons. Sunnect is marketing the AP501 digital deadbolt lock. While there are other digital locks on the market, the Sunnect lock caught my...


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There were dozens of booths at the recent ALOA show in Dallas and each one had something to sell. I was initially attracted to the Sunnect booth for several reasons. Sunnect is marketing the AP501 digital deadbolt lock. While there are other digital locks on the market, the Sunnect lock caught my attention because it looked like a quality piece of hardware that customers would like to have on their doors. While some digital products may look like add-ons, this lock had the look of original equipment.

Sunnect AP501 digital deadbolt locks combine looks with performance. A sturdy cover envelopes the outer keypad. As the cover is moved upward, it reveals a keyboard with each button surrounded by a blue backlight. Above the keypad cover is a tag key sensor. Owners can operate the deadbolt lock either with tag keys or by pressing the correct combination of keypad buttons using an owner-chosen passcode. A passcode can be from three to 20 digits in length.

In order to operate the deadbolt lock using the keypad, the cover must be moved upward to reveal the illuminated keypad. The user first enters his or her passcode and then moves the cover down to the closed position. If the correct passcode is entered, the AP501 lock will automatically unlock. If an incorrect password is entered three times in a row, the AP501 will lock down the keypad for one minute. If an incorrect passcode is entered, the ring surrounding the tag key reader will show a red illuminated color. After a one-minute period, the deadbolt returns to normal operation and a correct passcode can be used to operate the lock.

Tag keys look similar to small transponder auto keys and can be attached to an owner’s key ring. To operate the Sunnect Digital Deadbolt using a tag key, a flat metal portion at the tip of the key must be touched against the tag key sensor. A blue ring of light surrounding the sensor will then illuminate, indicating that the bolt is moving to the unlock position. Up to 20 tag keys can be registered per lock.

Sunnect AP501 digital deadbolts fit into a standard 2 1/8” crossbore hole, 1” edge bore hole and door thicknesses of 1 3/8” to 2”. The deadbolt is adjustable for either 2 3/8” or 2 3/4” backset. If a door has been previously prepped for a standard cylindrical deadbolt, no additional installation holes are required.

Two cables from the keyboard and deadbolt unit must be inserted through the inner mounting bracket. Three bolts then anchor the inner mounting bracket to the exterior unit. The two cables must be plugged into receptacles on the interior unit and fastened to a cable hook before the interior unit is set in place onto the mounting bracket. Four screws are used to retain the interior unit in place.

The three-part strike plate incorporates a door frame reinforcer. Two additional holes for 3” screws are required. These screws firmly fasten the strike plate assembly into the interior door frame structure for maximum holding strength.

A magnet encased in the strike lining box interacts with the lock sensor in the bolt unit as the door is closed. When the strike magnet and bolt sensor are aligned (door fully closed), the deadbolt automatically relocks. A lock on/off switch located on the inner housing can be switched off during times when the automatic locking feature is not required. An open/close button on the interior trim is normally pushed for electronic unlocking. An override knob is also included which can be manually turned if needed to unlock or lock the door.

The interior unit contains a battery compartment. One screw on the top of the unit must be removed to access the compartment.

Four AA alkaline batteries are required. According to Sunnect, the batteries should last approximately one year assuming ten locking and unlocking operations per day. Results may vary according to temperature, humidity and battery quality.

When battery power becomes low, a red light and musical tones will be displayed each time the lock is used. Complete battery failure is indicated by lack of a blue backlight when outer cover is raised.
Two terminals located near the bottom of the outer unit can be used to solve a complete battery failure situation. A nine volt battery can be pressed against the terminals to send temporary power to the AP501 lock. The battery replacement procedure will not change or delete passcode or tag key registrations.

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