Technology Primer

A technology primer for locksmiths entering this access control market.

SmartCards: Contact and contactless SmartCards are the newest card type which promises to eventually overtake pure Proximity as applications and security requirements begin to get in sync with the available card and reader technologies.

One big differentiation between Wiegand, Magstripe and Contact SmartCards vs. Proximity and Contactless SmartCards is that the former requires physical contact with the reader, while the latter does not.

This translates to important reliability and convenience issues. Wherever physical contact occurs, so does wear and tear. Also the design of readers which involve physical contact is intrinsically more subject to vandalism and the affects of environment.

Contactless technologies utilize readers which can be environmentally sealed and which do not necessarily need to make physical contact with the card or the user in order to read. (They do, however, have to contend with other sources of RF interference which might exist on-site, but that's a completely different topic for another day.)

Another differentiator between SmartCards and the all the others is that SmartCard send AND receive data, while the others only send it. That, along with the designed-in processing and relatively large data storage capabilities of SmartCards, means that the comparison is like the proverbial apple and orange.

There is a lot of legacy hardware out there that still works just fine, but it has already reached its performance limitations. Where access system capability needs to be transitioned to higher levels of security and functionality, or where systems are being added onto and investing in outdated hardware is unacceptable, multiple technology cards are a good solution.

One common package used in the university and healthcare markets are combining magstripe with proximity. These cards will operate with both magstripe access controls and proximity readers.

Another promising merger is proximity with biometric. While biometric technology is considered extremely secure, it is also more expensive. A security director may opt to use biometrics on only the most critical areas of the site.


The HID ProxPoint Plus is a 125 kHz, value-priced proximity reader. This small-sized, low-cost reader features a beeper and multicolor LED which can be host and/or locally controlled. Features include:

  • Potted reader suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Power requirements: 5-16 VDC.
  • Current requirements: 20mA avg / 75mA peak at 12VDC.
  • Dimensions: 3.135" x 1.70" x 0.66" (7.96 x 4.3 x 1.68 cm).
  • Classic Series covers available in black, gray, white or beige. Designer Series covers available in black or gray.
  • Base part numbers: 6005 (Wiegand), 6008 (Clock-and-Data).
  • 18" (45 cm) wire pigtail standard; consult factory for 9-foot (2.7 m) pigtail available by special order.
  • The HID ProxPro II 125 kHz New Generation Proximity Card Reader is ideal for medium-range applications. Features include:
  • Available with Wiegand or clock-and-data interface.
  • Optional glass mount kit available for mounting the reader behind glass.
  • Potted reader suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Power requirements: 5-16 VDC.
  • Current requirements: 25 mA avg / 125 mA peak at 12 VDC.
  • Dimensions: 5.0" x 5.0" x 1.0" (12.7 x 12.7 x 2.54 cm).
  • Available in black, white, gray or beige.
  • 18" (45 cm) wire pigtail standard; consult factory for 9-foot (2.7 m) pigtail available by special order.
  • Base part numbers: 5455 (Wiegand), 5458 (Clock-and-Data).
  • HID's MaxiProx 125 kHz Long Range Proximity Card Reader is ideal for Long read range distance (up to 8' with ProxPass ® ). Features include:
  • Autotune allows read range to be maintained within four inches of metal.
  • Wiegand, clock-and-data, RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485 output modes are configurable.
  • "Parking hold" feature ensures accurate detection of vehicles in parking lanes.
  • Power requirements: 12 or 24 VDC (configurable).
  • Current requirements: 200mA avg / 700 mA peak at 12VDC; 260mA avg / 1.2A peak at 24 VDC.
  • Dimensions: 12.0" x 12.0" x 1.0" (30.5 x 30.5 x 2.54 cm).

For more information on HID products, contact your local locksmith distributor or HID Corp., telephone 800-237-7769, Web Site:

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