Kaba E-Plex 2000: Curb Appeal Without The Sticker Shock

Kaba has provided strong, powerful security solutions since 1862. Today, the company’s worldwide operations serve millions of customers in more than 150 countries. Kaba defines the future of access control as Total Access, the integration of all access control devices, from door hardware to mechanical locking systems, to electronic access systems and data collection.

The E-Plex 2000 is part of the Kaba Access Control family of products which includes:

  • Peaks patented key control systems
  • Simplex mechanical pushbutton locks
  • PowerLever self-powered electronic locks, 4000 Series
  • E-Plex 5000 electronic pushbutton locks
  • Solitaire magnetic card locks online access control systems.

The new E-Plex 2000 offers many of the features of the E-Plex 5000 but at a lower price point to suite a larger variety of applications. Like the E-Plex 5000, the E-Plex 2000 is a PIN (Personal Identification Number) based entry system, but unlike the E-Plex 5000, the E-Plex 2000 does not provide audit trail and software support. It does, however, provide the most often sought after features of the E-Plex at a low list price.

The new E-Plex programs almost identically to the E-Plex 5000, which was evaluated in the January 2005 issue of Locksmith Ledger. It is programmed at the lock keypad without using any software. Installation is quick and easy as there are no wires to, or through the door, eliminating the risk of damage from pinched wires. Here’s a rundown of the features, installation and programming.

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality and cosmetics of the E-P2K. It features a heavy-duty housing and telephone style tactile keypad. It also has key override and bright LEDs and loud sounder. The unit is designed for indoor or outdoor applications, and our unit arrived with a weatherproofing gasket.

The lock components seem different than those used on other Kaba products, but they do not seem to be lower quality. The override key cylinder in our demo was a six-pin Stage ‘C’. The cylinder is in the lever and is protected by a plastic insert.

The lock ships as only a few major components and may be field adjusted for door hand and swing, and the cylinder may be removed for rekeying or replacement with your preferred keyway.

The electronics and batteries for the EP2K are in the faceplate of the unit. The escutcheon which mounts on the interior face of the door only serves to hold the interior lever and provide physical mounting of the system to the door. Only three screws go through the door to hold the two halves together, but they seem totally adequate. Therefore door prep is even easier than for most other standalones.

The E-P2K uses three ‘AA’ type batteries, which are placed into a battery holder which slides up into the housing and is secured with a security screw.

The original E-Plex 5000 used a unique method to reset the electronics (return the programming to the factory defaults) which involved turning the override keyswitch, and depressing buttons on the keypad. The E-P2K requires that one of the mounting screws be removed and a concealed switch be actuated in order to default the unit. This procedure is not difficult.

Programmable features of the EP2K will probably meet the needs of 95 percent of your applications, and if you encounter a project that needs more, Kaba has a corral full of horsepower ready to be unleashed.

All programming for the E-P2K is via the keypad. The degree of difficulty is proportionate with the number of users you need to enroll, the length of the access codes, and how quickly you need to get it done.

A bit of customer training may be required to familiarize the client with enrollment and deletion of user codes, etc., unless you’ve sold them a service/maintenance contract to perform all the programming and housekeeping duties.

Essentially no training is required for end-users to gain access, beyond their needing to memorize their code.

It helps enormously if the client prepares a list of users’ names and codes prior to your arrival to perform the installation, saving you the time it typically takes when the employees are shown the new lock and are asked to pick a PIN.

I usually suggest that the entry code length be four digits, and that employees simply use the last four digits of their Social Security number. This is a number they’ve very likely to remember and very unlikely to share with others. Although there are some theoretical programming conflicts which may occur when assigning PIN’s, they’re easy to work around and rarely occur. You can also just call Kaba’s Tech support for quick and courteous help.

PROGRAMMING & OPERATING FEATURES

Factory Mode/Access Mode: The E-P2K ships in Factory Mode. This means the Master Code is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. The door will unlock by entering this code into the keypad.

Until you reprogram the Master Code to something else, you will not be able to perform programming of additional users. Once you have changed the Master Code and completed the other programming steps, you (or your customer) can go in and reprogram the master code again without affecting user data or other parameters. If you or they make a mistake while programming the Master Code, it may be necessary to reset to the factory defaults, in which case all user data will then be purged and it’s back to Square 1.

Master; Manager; Access & Service Users: Like its big brother the E-Plex 5000, the E-P2K can hold a total of 100 users, with only one Master User allowed. That leaves 99 more available users. These users may be any of the remaining user groups (Manager; Access; Service), although as a practical matter, the number of manager codes is usually limited, since the managers have programming privileges which could cause chaos if mis-used or programmed incorrectly.

Master User: Can perform all programming steps, including changing the Master User PIN, and changing the Access Code Length.

A Manager User Can do everything except.

Define the Access Code Length. (Changing this would deactivate all existing user codes)

Modify the Master User Code

Resetting the E-P2Kto defaults

Adding/Deleting/Enabling/Disabling a Manager Use.

Access Users can open the lock (if no other block has been invoked) and cannot perform any programming.

Service Users can open the lock until the specific defined time has expired and cannot perform any programming.

Some installers may opt to assign themselves the Master User Code and assign the client as a Manager User to avoid the possibility of the client damaging the programming and then blaming the installer or the hardware.

Access Code Length: User code length must be the same for all users and may be from 4 to 8 digits in length. Four is a good length. It provides plenty of possible codes, makes it easy for users to remember their code, and makes for fast throughput at the controlled opening.

Unlock Time: This determines how long the lever remains active once a valid code is entered. Since the lever is only inches away form the keypad, it would seem a short unlock time would be required for the typical scenario. Programming in a longer than necessary unlock time only increases opportunity for piggy-backing.

Passage Mode: This mode provides a passage mode operation of the E-P2K for up to 24 hours. Some facilities like that. They keep the lock in passage mode during business hours then only require a PIN for access after hours.

To initiate Passage Mode, a Master or Manager User enters the appropriate command code into the EP2K. The E-P2K will remain in passage mode for the set time period or until a Manager or Master User cancels passage mode.

Tamper Time: The E-P2K has the ability to monitor the keypad for wrong entries. Invoking a Tamper Time will substantially reduce the likelihood of successful guessing by preventing the keypad from accepting any code for a selectable Tamper Time period once the required number of wrong guesses have been keyed in. Once the

Tamper Time has elapsed, the E-P2K beeps and the green LED illuminates, and the system is once again open for business.

Keypad Buzzer Volume: The volume of the beeper which signals button depressions and other system operations may be programmed for four volume levels: Off, low, normal and high.

Access Users & Service Users: An Access User is a PIN which normally opens the door. A Service User is a PIN which only works during a defined time period. A Service User might be a cleaner who is granted access during certain hours on certain days.

User Codes and Service Codes may be programmed into memory, then enabled/disabled as groups. Individual User and Service Codes may be deleted or enrolled as required.

Lockout Mode: Enables the Master to deactivate all Access Users & Service Users at once.

Programming becomes a lot simpler than it may appear, once you’ve gotten your client to give you a list of users and you’ve established which features will be required. Work from a written list, and keep the door in a closed position while programming to minimize ‘keypad bounce’ which can occur if the door is allowed to move while you’re trying to key in data into the keypad.

The E-P2K is bound to be a big seller because it carries the trusted KABA name and the most sought after features, at a low list price.

For more information, contact your local locksmith distributor or Kaba Access Control, 2941 Indiana Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27105. Telephone: 800-849-8324. Web site: www.kaba-access.com.

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