Don’t Turn Down Wireless Access Control Jobs

There is little difference between installing an offline, standalone lock and an on-line, wireless lock from Schlage

Have you noticed that many access control integrators, while expert at installing readers, access panels and a host of other hardware, have an aversion to doors and door hardware? Perhaps they're intimidated by all the hardware configurations or simply damaging a door with an errant drill bit. Whatever the reason, Schlage wireless access locks and exit trim provide an excellent opportunity for the locksmith. The next time you're asked to install Schlage wireless locks to an access control system, take the job.

Wireless is the fast growing segment in the access control industry. Installation time averages 45 minutes per door versus 8 hours for a wired door. Schlage wireless access control systems are a reliable solution for customers who do not want to spend big money on wired unless the infrastructure for it is already in place.

For business now and especially in the coming years, it is imperative that locksmiths become familiar and comfortable installing wireless locks. There is little difference between installing an offline, standalone lock and an on-line, wireless lock from Schlage. In this article, we'll cover basic installation of Schlage WA5200 cylindrical lock so you're ready when you receive the call.

The three primary issues you will face with a wireless access control system are:

1. Proper installation

2. Door thickness adjustment

3. Wire routing.

We will cover these topics. But, first, let's overview the lock and a wireless access control system.

Schlage WA Series modular locksets include the card reader, electric lock, request-to-exit sensor, door position switch, battery pack and RF communications package. Models include the WA5200 cylindrical lockset and WA5600 mortise lockset. Architectural options include two lever styles and five finishes.

Both models can be used on wood and metal doors. With both, users have a choice of credential readers, including HID, Indala and AWID proximity, Mifare and iClass smart card, and magnetic stripe readers. Reader operating temperatures are –30 degrees to 150 degrees Fahrenheit
(-35 degrees to +66 degrees Celsius). They are weather resistant for outdoor applications. An 8-AA battery pack provides up to four years of battery life.


The hub of a wireless system is a panel interface module, or PIM, as it plays a critical role. It ties the door you are installing to the entire access control system, wired and wireless. PIMs act as the bridge between wireless access peripherals, like WA5200 locks, and online access control panels and head-end access control systems.

PIMs radiate in a 360-degree doughnut-shaped pattern and communicate with assigned wireless devices up to 200 feet away indoors. It may be counter intuitive, but you don't need line of sight between your door and the PIM. Signals are able to penetrate cinder block walls, plasterboard walls, brick walls, and many other non-metallic materials for simplified system designs and implementations.

The reason these solutions are becoming more popular is because wireless locking systems offer an opportunity to solve problems that might once have been impossible or impractical.

Wireless locking systems provide the same online, real-time capabilities as wired systems and are compatible with most brands of access control panels. Access privilege changes and audit records are available at the central control terminal, all from a common database, which simplifies data entry and management. This also eliminates the need to go door-to-door to upload changes and download records, making wireless locksets a good alternative to off-line, standalone locking systems. In addition, all wireless transmissions are encoded using 128-bit private keys for heightened security.

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