Customizing Access Control Solutions To Meet Customer Requirements

July 1, 2008
The most challenging part of designing and selling access controls systems is custom fitting systems to each client’s precise requirements.

A large variety of access control solutions are available to the dealer, so there will probably be multiple solutions to present your customers.  As the security professional, it’s your job to guide them through the decision making process, taking into account your customer’s orientation with regards to technology, and expectations for the system.

Other trades are entering the access control market, notably network providers, electricians, and alarm installers, often without adequate knowledge of life safety and physical security fundamentals.

Part of the locksmith’s role, therefore, is to serve as sales engineer, along with system designer. Don’t view the sales process as something which is standing between you and making another bank deposit. Some ‘old school’ locksmiths who are used to doing cash rekeys and lockouts have this problem. They are used to instant gratification.

Of course, the other side of the issue is the locksmith who can’t take ‘yes’ for an answer. Do not drown the client with spreadsheets and links and detailed information to the point where he is frustrated and confused.
Experience will be your most effective tool in achieving sales and customer satisfaction.

The client had about ten employees in an office setting. The office was in a complex where a variety of professional offices were located, in not what was considered a high risk. Of course, if you take unnecessary chances, you can elevate the risk level all by yourself.

Employees were forgetting to lock up at night. They wanted a system that would lock and unlock the door on a schedule. They also liked the idea of supplying credentials to their workers, in lieu of keys.
The front door was white aluminum storefront, and it had a deadbolt with exterior cylinder and interior thumbturn.

They had a few specific requirements. One was that they wished to keep the door unlocked during business hours and they did not want to have to operate a lever or knob to get through the door.
They expressed no interest in real-time activity logging, or forced door or propped door alarms.

I am not sure why they didn’t want a lever or other manually activated lock on the door. Hearing this for the first time was somewhat of a shock. I had already suggested a standalone type lock with i-Button credentials (the Narrow King Cobra 2 with SMS Express Software as a cost effective and clean solution.)

There was an existing pull handle and a push bar on the door, and dealing with that would be additional effort. But the no-lever rule put an end to the King Cobra standalone approach. So I put together an electromagnetic locking solution using Securitron components.

They really liked the i-Buttons so for the access control I specified the Schlage CT-1000 controller, keypad reader and i-Button keyfobs. The Schlage Locknetics CT1000 Universal controller provides access control solutions for doors secured with electrified locking devices.

The controller is managed by LockLink® and LockLink® Express software, the same software that programs the CM5100 series as well as other Locknetics systems, enabling comprehensive site management under one software.

The CT-1000 controller is standalone and hardwired access controller that operates on 12/24 VAC/VDC. It supports a wide variety of card readers, keypads and credential types. Readers and keypads are available for both narrow stile and single gang installations in Lexan and architectural finishes with and without keypads.

The KP 74+ is a Lexan body narrow unit with metal buttons suitable for outdoor as well as interior applications.

CT1000 units accommodate 1000 users and 1000-event audit trails with SmarTime™ capability. Universal controllers can be programmed and audited by the offline interface ports on the various reader and keypad models from Locknetics.

The CT-1000 has proven to be reliable and the software extremely user-friendly. In most of these installs, the client wanted to use a PDA to program the CT-1000. This involves loading the software onto a desktop, then connecting a PDA interface to the computer, and using the PDA as a portable programming device at each door location.

This client didn’t have any PDA’s, so they would bring a laptop to the door whenever they needed to do programming. It was one door, only a few credentials, so programming sessions would be infrequent.
I hid all the electronics in a convenient closet, and did a really clean installation. I used a Schlage #510 X EIR power supply.

The Schlage Security Management System offers a variety of standalone networked and enterprise grade access solutions. This enables the dealer to create a system that is properly scaled and priced for each application.
When we couldn’t use any of the standalones, we transitioned up to the CT-1000 single door controller. I suggested a maglock instead of an electric release because with an electric release, it would be necessary to dismantle the hardware on the door. The maglock is easy to install, and in this situation, no other hardware was required on the door.

Life safety is my primary concern whenever I install a maglock, and a recognized and approved setup is using a Securitron XMS REX motion sensor in conjunction with a Securitron EEB-2 REX Exit Button.
Securitron’s XM1 and XM1N are complete, UL listed, dual voltage integrated electronic egress packages designed to operate on a magnetically secured door while fully complying with US building codes (BNBC, SBC, UBC, NFPA) under the rules for Access Controlled Egress Doors. The XM-1 consists of Securitron’s model XMS egress motion detector and the EEB2 integrated push button/timer. The EEB2 mounts in a single gang cut-out. The XM1N also includes the XMS motion detector but substitutes the EEB3N integrated push button/timer which mounts directly on a 1 ¾” narrow stile door frame.

The XMS Passive Infrared Request to Exit Device is a motion detector specifically designed to reliably release magnetic locks. A person approaching the door is “seen” by the motion detector just before reaching the door.
Securitron recommends that an emergency exit button be used in conjunction with the XMS to meet applicable building codes and specific life safety issues.

For normal egress, the motion sensor will detect an individual leaving the premises, and unlock the maglock.

If the motion sensor fails (internal component failure, smoke obscuration), pressing the exit button triggers a 30-second timer built into the EEB-2 and unlocks the door. Without the delay, it would be necessary for an individual to hold the button and push on the door at the same time to egress. This is not consistent with the Life Safety Code.

Both the EEB-2 and the XMS are wired in series with the power to the maglock. The XMS also has terminals available to send a REX signal to the CT-1000.
I also installed a door position sensor on the door. This allows timed control of the  unlock, and would enable us to upgrade the system for Forced Door or Propped door alarm if the client later wanted these essential security features.

I installed a Securitron MKN narrow keyswitch with LED indicator. Since this was the only door to the suite, they needed a means to override the maglock in the event of a problem. I connected the LED indicators so that RED indicated power to the lock, GREEN indicated unlocked, and NO LED meant no power was going to the door.

The MK series is normally delivered without cylinders but will accept any U.S. brand 1-1/4” or 1-1/8” mortise cylinder with any cam including the Schlage Everest. The cylinder is simply screwed into the MK on site and may be keyed as necessary.

The basic unit is delivered on a brushed stainless steel narrow stile face plate. Both standard and tamper screws are furnished. It includes a spring-loaded momentary or push on/push off alternate 5 Amp SPDT switch (DPDT Optional). A red/green bicolor LED which operates on 12 or 24 VDC is also standard. The LED may be connected as desired to prompt the operator.
I used an Altronix RBUL relay to control the LEDs.

When I initially wired the door components, I used a quad to the XMS. Pulling wire through this door frame and through the wall for the EEB-2 exit button was difficult. The interior wall was constructed of several laminations of plywood. I kept drilling, but never did hit a void.

I wanted to both switch the maglock, and also transmit a REX to the CT-1000 and realized I was one wire short. So I added another RBUL for the REX signal. I was determined not to repull the XMS cable. Adding the RBUL increased the load by 30mA (and then, only while the XMS was detecting movement.) The cost of the relay was a fraction of what my time would have cost to go back into battle with pulling a new wire.
I suggested we rekey the deadbolt and the keyswitch to an Everest proprietary keyway. They liked that idea.

My clients were satisfied because I provided an easy-to-learn and use system, with a few extra safeguards, along with an impeccably clean installation.