Tech Tips: Wired, Wireless & Hybrid System Architecture

Oct. 2, 2017
State-of the-art hybrid solutions can save money and labor while enhancing system performance

One of the most important topics I cover in my locksmith certification classroom training is wiring; and announcing that this will be next, lecture, the class responds with both groans and positive enthusiasm.

Many locksmiths became locksmiths to work on mechanical locks, and they just don’t like wire. At the other extreme are those individuals who are comfortable with electronics and wiring and see wiring as an integral part of security.

There is good news and bad news for both schools of thought. Mechanical locks and mechanical lock mechanisms are the foundation of physical security, and skills with them and mechanical keying systems are essential to provide the most professional level of service for your clients. The role of wiring has also evolved in security technology. The term wiring traditionally meant the way things were interconnected, and thanks to the quantum leaps achieved by science over the last 50 years, wire has been replaced with other methods to build the infrastructure of our systems.

We use wire to bring power to our equipment. Advances in technology have resulted in some exciting alternatives to wiring for power. Lower power requirements and improved battery designs have enabled battery powered equipment to shake off the reputation of unreliable gadgets and rise to the ranks of professional security hardware. 

Security surveillance cameras also require power.

Standalone door controls, wireless security alarm systems, and battery powered door control accessories are prime examples. However with few exceptions, wire is still the only way to bring power to locking devices such as electromagnetic locks and locksets and architectural hardware.

Other interconnections are traditionally wired, such as data connections from the input device (the card reader, biometric sensor or keypad).

Network infrastructure is the other main interconnection required for many security applications. Security cameras, door controllers and what were formerly referred to as standalone locks no longer stand alone but are part of networks which enable performance factors which were once only available in purely networked systems.

One challenging aspect of wiring is upgrading existing cable systems. The challenge is taking existing wiring which meets code, and is otherwise physically intact, and adapting it to a state of the art communications protocol. This saves the client a lot of expense and inconvenience and frequently will be the nudge the customer needs to buy your new system.

Another challenging aspect of wiring is adapting you and your team to new hardware and installation techniques. Terminating and testing category cabling comes vividly to mind!

The art of wiring, as I explain in my class is partly acquiring the skills to install the wiring:

The wiring which may be required

  • inside the door itself
  • in the door frame,
  • through walls (reader to controller, or camera to hub)
  • throughout the building vertically and horizontally to establish the backbone for your system.

Know the proper wire types for your application (gauge and fire rating)

But perhaps most important is knowing the technologies available to integrate wired and wireless technologies to form state-of the- art hybrid solutions so save money labor and enhance system performance.

Selecting the proper wire gauges and wire fire ratings are beyond the scope of this article and besides they are topics we have frequently discussed in The Locksmith Ledger and are available for our readers to access online at

The actual installation of wiring is truly an art form: it requires practice and skill to leave an installation that is a testament to your skills rather than a sin against what is referred to as “Professional & Workmanlike Practices.”

Installing wire also at times strenuous manual labor performed in dangerous conditions. Ever use a Bosch Bulldog SDS? And check out the OSHA website for important information on workplace safety. (Some of my closest calls involved ladders.)

In my classroom presentation I provide OSHA handouts in hope that the handout and eloquent words will resonate in my students’ ears and they take the time to practice workplace safety. Trying to save time, or save a buck with unsafe shortcuts can cost you your health or life.

This article’s goal is to help you adapt to the thinking that there are tools and options for you to avail yourself of and introduce some of them to you in the form of entertaining informative in-service training.


Altronix’s Entrada Access Control FACP (Fire Alarm Control Panel) Adapter Kit provides FAI (Fire Alarm Interface) for two locks while maintaining PoE (Power Over Internet) to access control panel, including receiver and transmitter.

These adapters are specifically designed to interface with network door controllers. They route power (PoE/PoE+) from a PoE switch or Midspan to the Network Door Controller and accommodate up to two Fail-Secure strikes or Fail-Safe mag locks. The receiver features a supervised Fire Alarm Disconnect which releases locking devices while maintaining power to the Network Door Controller. The Fire Alarm Interface feature allows multiple units to be interconnected enabling any or all to be affected from a single FACP trigger input.

More Info:


transform your infrastructure into an ip network with NVT technology. It’s referred to as IP migration, and it’s a growing market. Reports are that most companies are less than 28 percent IP deployed and stuck on outdated technology.

I’ve specified and installed NVT for years. There is nothing worse than powering up your camera system and getting poor images  with distortions, hum bars, missing cameras. You think your work is finished, but in fact it has just begun. The meter is running, the client is watching and your reputation and bank balance are on the line.

NVT provides the design consultation and the products so that you won’t face this this hell.

One of my memorable (in a good way) installations involved multiple cameras from field houses and poles around a sports complex. Pan-Tilts, direct burial cabling, and bridging back to the enterprise EAC head-end in a main building. And it all worked. For a guy like me it was big fun.

NVT’S product line up includes:

  • NVT Phybridge Long Reach PoE Switches
  • PoLRE 24 port and LPC Switches
  • FLEX 24-port and 8-port Switches
  • CLEER 24-port and EC 10-port Switches

Hundreds of thousands of customer users around the globe rely on NVT’s innovative technology. NVT’S valued clients span many industries, including education, government agencies, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, and more.

NVT Phybridge is recognized by many organizations such as Gartner and CRN for its innovative IP-enabling technology. NVT switch technology delivers Ethernet and PoE over a single pair of wire with four to six times the reach of traditional switches.

Key features: 

  • Repurposes existing infrastructure
  • Designed for plug and play deployments or managed options
  • Eliminate risk and disruption by leveraging existing proven infrastructure
  • Point-to- point design allows for flawless migration when the time is right
  • No dependencies or impact on the production network—build a separate LAN for IP Security or extend your LAN in a highly-secure and simple manner.
  • Long reach Ethernet technology reduces latency vs. DSL and Homeplug-based solutions
  • GUI interface makes configuration, troubleshooting and management simple and efficient
  • Physical separate LAN
  • Out-of-band management ports
  • Port locking eliminates access to the network

 More Info:

Platinum Tools EZ System

I struggled with applying RJ45 connectors to category cable for years. It is tedious and frustrating. And when you are faced with having to apply many of these, for example when installing cameras, it can drive you crazy. There are so many ways for it to go wrong, and the time and materials wasted is dismal.

Of course the real pain begins when you connect your equipment and it doesn’t work. Using a tester tips you off and a good tester will identify which end has the fault, but you still have to cut off the connector which is bad and do it over.

When I discovered the Platinum EZ system, it was a transforming experience. A truly great innovation, and Platinum keeps improving on it.

The EXO ezEX-RJ45 Termination & Test Kit is the perfect one stop cable preparation, termination and test kit. Includes all the termination, preparation and test tools need to properly terminate ezEX44 connectors (Cat 5e & Cat 6 cables). All tools, tester and connectors come neatly organized in the Platinum Tools heavy-duty nylon Hanging Tool Pouch.

Kit Includes:

  • EXO Crimp Frame with EXO-EX Die™
  • LANSeeker™ Cable Tester
  • Scissor-Run Electrician's Scissors
  • Cat 5/6 Cable Jacket Stripper
  • ezEX™44 Connectors (30 pcs)
  • Platinum Tools Hanging Pouch

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Aperio Technology

Aperio is ASSA ABLOYS entry into the growing selection of hybrid EAC solutions. These products each have their own set of features which differentiate them each, and you may settle one for all your jobs, or selectively use systems on a per job basis depending on the application, and your client’s requirements.

Of special interest was Aperio’s ability to integrate with existing systems and card populations, and the variety of accessories (such as cabinet locks) which can be managed under the Aperio system.

Aperio technology was developed to complement new and existing electronic access control systems, providing end users with a simple, intelligent way to upgrade the controllability and security level of their premises. The heart of Aperio is a short distance wireless communication protocol designed to link online electronic access control.

The Aperio Au100 Series Escutcheons provide affordable online door control of internal doors, with few components and easy installation with no changes to existing access control installations.

No separate management software is required; it uses existing access control system management software. The heart of Aperio is a short distance wireless communication protocol designed to link online electronic access control. 

  • Enhances security for internal doors
  • Eliminates key management issues
  • Authorization changes in real time
  • Encrypted communication
  • Audit trails and time zones through existing system

An access control system is standard equipment for companies and public administrations; providing buildings with a very high level of security.

However, installing access control doors is very expensive due to the extensive wiring required. This is why access control systems often only cover doors with very high security requirements. Typically, all other doors have mechanical locks and therefore cannot be monitored and managed. If a master key is lost, there can be major security risks, not to mention the unsatisfactory set of circumstances for security officers - this is where Aperio technology comes in. Doors merely need to be equipped with wireless Aperio battery powered cylinders, escutcheons or locks with integrated RFID readers, then linked to the access control system online via a communications hub.

ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio technology allows security and facility managers a convenient and cost-effective solution to increase the number of doors that can be monitored.

Aperio is HID genuine certified technology that supports a range of credentials including: iCLASS, MIFARE, DESFire, SEOS, Legic and 125 kHz Proximity (HID PROX/ EM410). With such a vast range of credentials supported there is generally no requirement to replace issued credentials.

AH30 COMMUNICATIONS HUB and EAC INTERFACE 1 to 8 Communication Hub

• Live real time access & audit

• Significantly reduces cost for integrated access control doors

• Reduced time and effort required for installation

• Connects up to 8 Aperio devices

• Operates on a transmission range of about 25 meters

The R100 Wireless Reader with Aperio® Technology is a great idea for deploying a card reader in difficult locations such as glass walls, historic sites, or where the building’s walls are impenetrable to most installation methods or for temporary strategic deployments.

Product Features:

• Adheres to glass surface without any connecting wires

• Online transaction audit trail capability

• Low battery signaling and reporting

• Green status LED indicator

• Shortened wire pull from panel to hub provides cost benefit in installation

• Fully-encrypted AES 128 wireless communication

• SecuriCare three-year, no fault warranty


  • Low frequency model supports PROX and EM PROX
  • High frequency model supports iCLASS®, iCLASS Seos™, iCLASS SE, ISO14443B UID, Mifare, Mifare Plus, Desfire SE, Desfire EV1, NFC
  • Aperio wireless hub connects to an access control system with Wiegand wiring plus additional tamper and low battery signal wires


  • R100-1H- SE R100, iCLASS SE, Wireless Reader with 1:1 Hub
  • R100-1H- PA Gate Lock, 12/24VDC, Standard Fail Safe
  • R100-DCA Gate Lock, 12/24VDC, Monitored Fail Locked

More Information:

PowerJump® ICPT

Securitron’s PowerJump® ICPT is a revolutionary product because it solves a problem and it is wireless! I’ve used many door cords and power transfers, but this one was a definite departure from the others.

You have to be sure the device is appropriate for the door and the lock you are powering, but it’s such a great idea to not have to cross drill the door, or get involved with the hinges or door loops.

The Securitron PowerJump ICPT ports power contactlessly and invisibly across the door gap to run electrified hardware on the door. With flexible installation placement on the latch side, hinge side or top of the door, it transfers power without pins or wires, eliminating points of vulnerability and wear... and no need to core drill the door!

Product Features

  • Transfers power wirelessly across door gaps of up to 3/16"
  • Flexible mounting: can be installed on hinge side, latch side or top of frame
  • Dual Voltage output 12VDC or 24VDC field selectable
  • Continuous or intermittent duty
  • For fail secure devices
  • Use with electrified locks, latches or other door hardware requiring up to 6 watts (0.5A@12VDC) of power
  • Adhesive backed templates for accurate installation
  • MagnaCare® lifetime replacement, no fault warranty

More Info:

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.