Selling Wireless Door or Gate Intercom Systems

Locksmiths today are faced with many changes that make running a profitable business even more challenging. This includes things like increased competition (locksmith spammers), do-it-yourselfers replacing their own hardware, the arrival of keyless entry locks, cars with remote control locks and keyless ignitions. Soon clients will be able to unlock cars and their houses using nothing but their smartphone. All this means that locksmiths need to remain vigilant for new ways to profit by adding new products and services to replace what may be lost to changes in hardware and technology.

Unfortunately, when it comes to access control devices like intercom systems, many locksmiths choose to pass this business onto security system installers when a customer asks for some sort of access control. Given the simplicity of installing some of these devices, there’s really no reason for locksmiths not to profit from this type of equipment.

One of the most challenging aspects of installing an access control device is running the cable between the door and the inside points of control. Fortunately this problem is eliminated by using wireless devices. Not only does wireless make installation easier, but it also gives the client mobility so they don’t have to be confined to one location to answer calls from visitors. In fact, in some cases they don’t even need to be home or in their business.

Wireless entry intercoms available currently use three different wireless technologies: two-way radio frequencies, digital spread spectrum frequencies, and new devices that use the cell-phone network.

 

Cell Phone Network Intercoms

A cell phone network intercom uses the same cell phone network as a mobile phone so no wiring is required. Just add cell phone service to the intercom, apply power, program some settings using text messaging, and you’re ready to go!

Unlike standard telephone entry units, a cellular intercom can call any landline or cell phone, no matter where in the world it is - not just a phone inside the building. That gives your client unlimited mobility to ensure they never miss a visitor. Even while they are away, they have the ability to activate a gate opener or electric door lock by pressing a key on their telephone keypad while talking to a visitor. Or they can send a text message to the door or gate anytime to unlock or open it. In the event of a party or other situation where they want their entry to remain open, they can send a text message to latch it in the open position. When they want the gate closed again, another message is sent to close it.

Another benefit of cell phone network intercoms is that clients can program visitors’ cell phone numbers into the system. Then visitors just have to dial the phone number of the intercom and the gate opens based on their phone’s Calling Line ID. Now any cell phone can become a remote gate or door opener.

Cell Phone Intercom features include:

  • Tough yet attractive vandal resistant entry units.
  • No range limits (just requires cell phone service at the mounting point)
  • Calls both mobile phones and land lines
  • Rings up to three telephone numbers in sequence when the call button is pressed
  • Available in keypad and non-keypad versions
  • Gate/door release relay built in, simply key press to open
  • Compatible with any door or gate opener that needs a switch closure to operate
  • Send SMS text message to the intercom to trigger, latch or unlatch the relay
  • Access control for up to 100 numbers using caller ID, at no call cost (ring intercom to open gate or door)
  • Using a limit switch (a burglar alarm-type switch), users can send SMS to the intercom to check if their gate or door is opened or closed
  • Open access mode –any non-stored number can call the intercom and press * to open when using a password.
  • Remotely programmable through text messaging
  • Can be powered from a gate operator supply or solar power.

 

Digital Spread Spectrum Intercoms

Like cell phone network intercoms, a full-duplex digital spread spectrum intercom, also called a simultaneous talk and receive intercom, provides clear two-way audio communication with the ability to simultaneously talk and listen, just like a telephone conversation, but it doesn’t require telephone service. However, unlike cell phone network intercoms, there are range limitations. These digital intercoms can communicate at up to 4000 feet in line-of-sight in ideal conditions.

With these intercoms, you place base station intercoms around your client’s home or business wherever they want to receive calls from visitors. These systems provide very high-quality audio without any per usage charges like cell phone network intercoms, but their cost is also higher and you lose the mobility cell phone intercoms give you. Regardless, these are excellent systems for more affluent customers who don’t want to tear up their property with trenching and running wires.

The full-duplex speakerphone capability has background noise immunity so when noisy trucks or other vehicles pull up to it, clear voice communication can still take place.

Dual built-in switch relays that can be used for remotely controlling gates or other devices from the inside intercom. There is also an input for a Request-to-Exit button or vehicle loop detector that can open the gate when activated. Another input can be used for “auto calling” the inside station when a vehicle loop detector or motion detector detects someone arriving at the intercom.

“Call” switch connections on the outside unit are used to connect a motion or photo beam sensor. When the sensor is tripped, the unit automatically goes into transmit mode. A ringing tone sounds on the Indoor unit(s) (and outdoor) and then whichever indoor unit answers the call, the call will become private between those indoor and outdoor units.

“Exit” switch connections are used like the Call switch, but the sensors are placed on the exit side of a door or gate. When the sensor is tripped, the Inside unit will be alerted. Two relays or switches inside the Outdoor unit can be used to activate a gate or door opener, turn on a light or ring a bell. These are commonly used to activate gate controllers. If you have multiple outdoor units, only the relays on the unit calling in are activated.

Digital Spread Spectrum Intercom features include:

  • Full-duplex speakerphone with background noise immunity
  • Dual “Strike” Relays for controlling two independent access points
  • RTE switch support
  • Aux input port for “auto calling” inside unit after detecting a vehicle or person
  • Multiple outdoor and indoor units can be utilized together.
  • Each outdoor unit can be assigned a unique “access point ID”
  • Vandal-resistant stainless steel outdoor enclosure with illuminated “Call” button
  • Indoor units: plastic housed desktop or heavy-duty stainless steel wall mount
  • Solar panel-ready: designed to easily utilize solar panels for power in remote wire-free applications
  • Long range audio communication: up to 4000 feet (direct line-of-site)
  • Robust radio communication with excellent interference immunity against cell phones, pagers and handsets.
  • 10 selectable radio channels for cross-talk immunity between adjacent facilities
  • Secure communication link – proprietary encryption
  • Simple “dashboard -like” interface that visually guides installer
  • Built-in lightning protection on ALL terminals - immune to 20K Volts, 10K Amp surges
  • Multiple base stations can be used. The base station that responds first to a callbox takes over communication

 

Two-Way Radio Intercoms

The third type of wireless intercom system uses two-way radio frequencies, which makes it the easiest of all the systems to install and least likely to have installation problems. Like a two-way radio, these systems are push-to-talk, which means only one side can talk at a time. The benefit is that their range can be measured in miles under ideal conditions. While your client may not need that kind of range, having this distance ability means they are far less susceptible to obstructions that could cause interference with communication. This makes installation worry free since there are very few instances that this system won’t work for your client. They are extremely simple to install and set up with very few technical issues experienced.

Another benefit of two-way radio technology is that handheld radios can be used to provide the client with the ability to move around the property and still take calls from the door or gate, and even unlock them remotely. If there are multiple points of entry, you can cost-effectively place these units at multiple entries and the client can even identify which entry is calling them (for up to five entries).

Two-Way Radio Intercom features include:

  • Simple push-to-talk operation, two-way voice communication to remote radio or base station
  • High-power transmitter enables intercom to transmit several miles or overcome obstructions for fewer installation hassles that low-power units give you.
  • Installs and sets up in minutes
  • Uses 9-12 volt DC or solar power
  • Easy, menu-driven LCD display feature changes
  • Tamper and weather resistant enclosure with stainless steel face plate
  • Audio surveillance feature decodes a 2-Tone signal which activates the transmitter for 15 seconds so you can listen to area around the intercom
  • Relay can be used to activate a gate controller, switch on a light, sound an alarm or any other application where remote control of an ON/OFF switch is required
  • Remote activation of relay
  • Two modes of relay operation, Momentary and Toggle
  • Relay closure timing: 1 to 255 seconds
  • Internal rotating volume control adjustment
  • Intercom can be set for one of five channels
  • Fully expandable to an unlimited number of stations. Add additional intercoms to your system as needs change
  • Antenna and antenna mounting bracket included
  • Intercom mounts using standard 5/16” lag bolts or regular bolts
  • Gooseneck hole mounting pattern on back (gooseneck pole not provided)
  • Call tone sent on call initiation
  • Transmitter power adjustable between 1 and 2 watts
  • 38 CTCSS interference eliminator codes (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System)
  • Squelch setting adjusts the threshold at which signals will open (un-mute) the speaker
  • Programmable automatic turn-off feature to conserve solar panel battery life (callbox cannot receive calls in Automatic Turnoff Mode unless someone presses its button first)
  • When used with transformer or high-wattage solar power, the call box can be set so it always receive calls
  • Low battery alert tone is transmitted if solar power battery voltage drops below an acceptable level
  • No FCC license required for operation

 

Stop Giving Away Profits

If you’re not installing intercom systems now, why not add them to your product portfolio instead of giving away potential profits to someone else? If you are selling them, why not add some new products to your portfolio so you are better able to serve your varied customer needs?

IntercomsOnline.com has all the products listed above, and we have an easy-to-join reseller program that enables you to boost your profits by offering custom communication solutions whenever a client has a need for a system. We enable you to propose solutions even if you’re not an expert. When you join forces with IntercomsOnline.com, you get the benefit of their expertise in gate and door intercom systems. You can offer solutions to your clients without having to go it alone.

For more information, visit www.IntercomsOnline.com/locksmith or call 615-662-4141.

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