E-Plex Wireless: An Easy Transition to Wireless Access Control

At first glance, many locksmiths may think wireless access control is not for them. They choose to stay in their comfort zones with key systems, mechanical pushbutton locks, and perhaps stand-alone electromechanical products. However, there are...


Once the decision is made to “Go Wireless,” there are a variety of choices available to address different applications and preferences. For example, if it is desired to avoid using an IT network, up to 100 wireless access points can be configured with wireless routers to communicate with a wireless gateway that is plugged into a PC using a USB connection. For applications where using the IT network is desired, gateways can be connected to network drops and then wireless routers are used to communicate between the respective gateways and wireless access points. Where redundancy is required, a mesh network can be configured so that if one router goes offline, the wireless lock or controller will communicate to the network via an alternative router. Should a wireless lock ever fall completely offline due to a complete network failure, it will continue to grant/deny access at the door based on the most recent parameters it has received from the Enterprise Software.

Enterprise Software features include access schedules, access groups, audit trail reports, and various other tools for centralized management of both wireless and offline locks. When utilized in wireless mode, the software has a “dashboard” that gives a variety of real-time functional feedback, such as user access including photo, door battery status, router signal strength, and other parameters.

The E-Plex Wireless System operates using ZigBee wireless technology standards and offers low power and fast data transfer advantages, but the system can be adapted to also communicate with existing Wi-Fi networks.

E-Plex Enterprise Software can also support a broad range of credential options including PIN codes and the following cards: PROX, Mifare®, DESFire®, iClass™. The card access products can be configured to require PIN only, card only or PIN + card.

 

Installation

Installation of E-Plex products is easy with Kaba’s patent pending Lectrobolt™, which eliminates any wires through the door. Various E-Plex Locks already in the field can be upgraded to wireless by purchasing a Wireless Antenna Kit and Enterprise Version 3 Software.

For traditional door lock applications, there are two different antenna options available. One mounts on the inside of the door, and the other on the outside of the door. A key factor in deciding which antenna kit should be used is determined during the site survey where the best wireless communication path to the respective gateway or router is confirmed.

E-Plex Wireless Gateways and Routers are the same physical unit. They are shipped from the factory as a router and can easily be configured in the field to be a gateway.

If needs change after the locks are installed, the locks can easily be moved to another door, often without any cost other than the time it takes to relocate it. Kaba’s E-Plex offering includes a solution for virtually any access point including:

  • Cylindrical (with and without privacy thumbturn)
  • Mortise (with and without deadbolt)
  • Universal Exit Trim
  • Narrow Stile
  • Controller
  • Magnetic Lock
  • Electric Strike

Key override options include:

  • Best and compatible small format interchangeable cores
  • Large format removable cores (ASSA®, Medeco®, Yale®, Schlage®, Sargent®, Corbin Ruswin)
  • Conventional cylinders

E-Plex products are also recognized for having long battery life due to Kaba’s long history of efficient power management. Since high-use wireless locks utilize more power and communicate with the network every few seconds, an optional High Capacity Battery Kit using four C size batteries is available in lieu of the standard four AAs. The High Capacity Battery Kit has approximately double the number of cycles as the four AAs.

The E-Plex product families that can be operated using the E-Plex Enterprise Software and converted to wireless include:

E3200/E5200 = PIN Only

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