We recently installed a typical entry system for an attorney’s office which presented a number of unique requirements. They had a single entry door off an elevator lobby on the eighth floor of an office building. It was a fire-rated door tied into the emergency evacuation system and equipped...
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We recently installed a typical entry system for an attorney’s office which presented a number of unique requirements. They had a single entry door off an elevator lobby on the eighth floor of an office building. It was a fire-rated door tied into the emergency evacuation system and equipped with a mortise lever and a fail-safe electric strike (Security Door Controls #53-D)
The suite contained several attorneys. Although the receptionist was only there during normal business hours, the attorneys came and went and held meetings whenever they wished.
The main lobby of the building was already equipped with a proximity based card reader for after hours access control. The client wanted to use the same credentials to gain entry to the suite. The customer wanted a door intercom and the ability for the receptionist to query visitors and ‘buzz them in.’ They wanted to be able to easily enroll and delete credentials, and also to be able to create a report of who entered and when.
A site survey revealed that they indeed had a network and a server room.
A standalone type system would be required for this project. There was little if any chance of adding doors to the system at this location, but I learned they had multiple locations across the country.
The fact that the system needed to be able to enroll existing cards, be supported by computer, and still be cost-effective led me to select a new access control product from HID.
The HID Edge ES400 suited my needs for several reasons. First and foremost, the HID system would work with the existing cards. Perfect. Additionally it allowed me to use my own style reader. In this case, because the reader was to be mounted on the mullion, we considered both the HID #5365 MiniProx, and the new HID RP15 i-Class. The client selected the Miniprox because it looked just like the reader on the front of the building, only ours was charcoal gray.
Additionally, since the HID ES400 controller is separate from the reader, we could locate the electronics safely within the premises, in the server room. There are other brand readers with self contained electronics, and HID has one more, but I guess you could say that I’m Old School. I like to keep controllers inside the protected area, and not hanging on an exterior wall.
Since the electric strike was already there, and being powered by the building system, all we needed to power was the HID Edge, so we went with the handy IEI PIP 12VDC/1000mA plug in power supply, which is a grounded device with status LED. (For information on IEI products, visit www.ieib.com or call 800-343-9502.)
It looks like a wall wart, but is really a handy source of clean DC power at moments like this where you just aren’t hungry enough for a full sized enclosure power supply. The electric release was already on the fire alarm so the Life Safety part was covered already.
The PIP plugged into an orange receptacle (UPS powered) so the access control system would continue to get power in the even of a power failure.
For the intercom, we went with the reliable Aiphone LEM 1DL, wit an LED door station.
This is a reliable and essentially a bullet-proof intercom solution. If the client had wanted something more exotic, like video or multiple stations, Aiphone has those too. They even have VoIP technology, but this time we stuck to plain vanilla.
The Aiphone LEM 1DL is shipped in a single carton with everything you need but cable. The base station can mount on the wall or a sit on a desk and it is easy to operate. The integral switch contacts in the Aiphone are momentary make SPST, and designed to switch 350 mA. I generally make it a practice to use an isolation slave relay between the intercom and the strike power. This is to protect the intercom’s internal switch from unnecessary wear, cut down on noise in the intercom, and reduce possible voltage drop in the wiring between the intercom, power supply and door release. In this application, since I was connecting directly to the REX terminals in the EDGE, I went direct.
For information on Aiphone products, visit www.aiphone.com or call 800 692-0200.
HID Edge is a relatively new product. It derives its name from an IT term “Edge Device,” which refers to a network appliance which processes internally as opposed to communicating with a central server. This concept reduces network load, and is widely accepted practice among IT administrators who need to maximize bandwidth.
The Edge also can operate autonomously, without a network. In our application, our client liked the idea of keeping the Edge off the network. With the money these attorneys charge, I initially assumed they’d provide her with dual processor and SATA drives, but I was wrong. She plugs a laptop into the server room whenever electronic access control program management is required. Edge allows the end-user to simply connecting a laptop to the Edge for occasional programming sessions. HID EDGE is password protected.
Another big benefit is there is no additional software or interfaces required, just a network patch cord.
Using Internet Explorer, the client connects up with the Edge, and using the extremely intuitive GUI, enrolls credentials, identifies individuals sets time schedules and programs in other parameters.
The Edge GUI is called SOLO. While the PC is connected to the Edge, the Display includes a real-time activity monitor, displaying cards as they are presented to the reader. As the transaction occurs, the raw hex number of the credential is displayed. This number is used to enroll users and credentials. While I was testing the Edge prior to going to the site for the installation, I dug up a bunch of existing HID credentials. Some of them went back 20 years or more. They all were read by the Edge, no problem.
The Solo software has a pretty unique feature, door unlock time, which is globally set, can be configured to stay unlocked longer on a per user basis, to accommodate handicapped users. I’ve been asked for this so many times in the past, and this little unit does it.
There is the normal door open time, and the ‘extended’ door open time. Both time delays can be set to whatever value you want. The extended door open time can go as long as 27 minutes. Anyone that slow should telecommute, if you ask me. But it also means that the Edge could be easily used for other control applications other than doors.
The ES400 has a 1000-user capacity which was adequate for this application. Other HID access control products are available if the EdgeES400 does not meet your requirements.
Other versions of the Edge have integral readers, but we like having the reader separate from the controller. The Edge is provisioned with tamper protection if it is going to be mounted out in harm’s way. The Edge also has an auxiliary relay, a REX input; a door position sensor and a forced door output.
Applications sheets show how to configure the Edge for a wide variety of situations.
The Edge is a genuine Network appliance. It can be configured for PoE (Power over Ethernet) for the Edge and for the electric locking device as well.
As previously mentioned at this installation, the client could not make an IT person available, and I wasn’t interested in plugging things into the router.
The HID Edge is a work in progress with updates and enhancements being implemented on an ongoing basis. The tech support is excellent, and in the process of familiarizing myself with the Edge, I gained a little more understanding of network appliances.
I think the HID Edge is not only a device which operates on the edge of the network, but is a concept that represents a new leading edge in electronic access control.
It can be deployed easily and inexpensively without the need for proprietary software or other equipment. It can use just about any reader or keypad you want. It has an open-ended architecture that is being actively developed to provide additional functionalities.
For more information on the HID Edge, visit www.hidcorp.com.