E-PLEX 5700

June 1, 2007
Keepin' It All Kaba

The E-Plex 5200 and 5700 are programmed via wireless communications. Communication is via an Infrared Transfer Function with a handheld PDA.

The highly successful E-Plex series of locks continues to grow, and as a result, Kaba continues to add new features and more power. Kaba has incrementally introduced models to the product line so that the needs of clients with more sophisticated control requirements but no desire to deal with the cost and maintenance of hard-wired solutions can be met.

Kaba is taking care of its dealers by making sure Kaba products are competitive with respect to feature sets and pricing, so that the dealer can "Keep It Kaba" throughout a facility with a cost-effective solution for every security level required.

While the demand for single-code mechanical locks remains remarkably robust, the demand for the features and advantages electronics bring to the door has developed into an important niche within the access control market.

For decades, the access control market was either a single-code mechanical device (The Simplex), or some sort of multi-component solution involving discrete locking devices, keypad or readers, control boxes…. and electrical wiring.

There wasn't much in between until technology made it possible to package the keypad, reader controller, lock and power source and mount it all right on the door.

The Kaba E-Plex line provides a comprehensive end-to-end set of standalone solutions in a Grade 1 commercial lock.

Versions are available for use with exit trim and with mortise and cylindrical locksets and several flavors and lock core options. E-Plex is available in the following architectural finishes:

• 605 Bright Brass

• 606 Satin Brass

• 625 Bright Chrome

• 626 Satin Chrome

• 676 Black

• 744 Dark Bronze

A huge advantage to locksmiths is the fact that the E-Plex 5X00 Series uses the same mounting footprint. This means that once the locksmith can install one model of the E-Plex, he can do others because of the mechanical similarity. This makes upgrades easier, too.

All the units are default programmed to provide limited functionality right out of the box. So if your best lock installer hates electronics, he can still go out and do his thing with the E-Plex.

Manual programming of E-Plexes is a script-based process. That is, you follow steps, and fill in the blanks.

Typically the locksmith will perform initial commissioning of the unit, and then assist the end-user while he or she learns the nomenclature and gains confidence with managing the system. Sometimes, the locksmith will perform ongoing E-Plex programming under a service agreement, or on a per call basis.

The recently introduced E -Plex 5700 series brings the choice of PIN only; PROX only or dual authorization (PIN & PROX) to the E-Plex solution. As with the E-Plex 5200, the 5700 supports 3,000 access credentials; 30,000-event audit log, and access schedules. Remote unlock passage and privacy are also available features.

The E-Plex 5200 and 5700 are capable of up to 16 access schedules and are programmed via wireless communications. No wires are required to upload or download data because communication is via an Infrared Transfer Function with a handheld PDA (Personal Digital Assistant).

The E-Plex 5200/5700 software is point-and-click Windows-based, which requires no special knowledge to operate. On-screen instructions guide the user through set-up, managing users, managing access schedules and doors and establishing authority levels.

The software easily manages up to 3,000 users; 16 access schedules and 32 holiday/vacation blocks per lock, and a virtually unlimited number of users and schedules holiday/vacation blocks in the software database.

Visitors and guests may also be enrolled with programmable expiration dates, and service users may be programmed for one-shot access or come-and-go access for one to 24 hours.

System data is password protected and may be imported from existing databases and spreadsheets.

The E-Plex 5700 uses 125kHz, 26-84 bit HID Prox cards or tokens which are enrolled using an enrollment unit which connects via USB to the host PC.

Installing the software requires that both the AACS (Advanced Access Control System) Software as well as the PDA software be installed. The AACS software must also be registered with Kaba.

Starting the program for the first time will require that a new user name and password be set for the Level 1 Operator, and also a new master PIN be established.

So no one forgets to do this important step, until this Master Pin is set in both the software and in each lock, programming cannot be performed.

The default Master PIN supplied in each E-Plex is 12345678, which is convenient to use to initially test the functionality of the E-Plex after installation, and it is also easy to remember for the time between installation and programming. While in the default mode, the door can be accessed only using this code. Once the default Master Pin is changed, any and all programming commands can be performed at the lock keypad. For instance, the door may be put into PASSAGE mode so anyone can use the door, or the unit can be placed into Master LOCKOUT mode so no one can use the door.

Master lockout mode is most effective if the Master PIN is changed from the default.

The Master LOCKOUT command is especially useful in an emergency when the door needs to be locked down quickly without using a programmer. Some competitor's systems inhibit manual activity on a door if software is used.

Once the software is running, the interface is easy-to-read and straightforward. As previously mentioned, the Windows-like guide will be immediately familiar to anyone with minimal computer experience, and the Main Menu Items should be easily recognizable to anyone with previous experience with access control programs. Drop down menus are:

File: Backup Restore, export and import users form this menu

Door Groups: Used to define and program door groups

Access Schedules: Used to define and program Access schedules

Holidays/Vacations: Used to define and program Holiday or Vacation blocks

User Groups: Used to define and program User Groups

Users: Used to define and program users. For each user, their name is entered and then the user group user type and PROX card credential ID are specified.

The user PIN is generated automatically by the software, which can be changed by the operator.

Doors: Doors are numbered or named, and the lock function is set. These will be either Entry, Privacy, etc. Specific lock configurations such as Unlock Time, Tamper Count, Buzzer Volume, Manual Passage Duration, Tamper Shut Time and defining the lock model.

Access Assignment: Access schedules, Holidays, users and passage enable or disable are assigned in this screen.

Program: The database is transferred to the PDA (which is sitting in its docking station). You then “hotsync” (transfer) this program data to the PDA and then take the PDA out to each door.

Audit: The PDA's collected data is imported into the program for viewing or printing.

Reports: Offers a selection of reports which enable hard copies and wide dissemination of the various programming you've done can be examined and evaluated.

Reports include:

• Access Schedules Report

• Door Groups Report

• Holidays/Vacations Report

• List Archived PC Activity Report

• List Audits & user Tables Report from Downloaded Doors

• List Door Uploads

• List Door Reports

• List Doors by User Report

• List PC Activity Log Report

• List Users Report

• Operators Report

System Setup: Here is where the system hardware is set up, operators are added or deleted, Passwords are changed, and the PC Activity Log is archived.

Help: The entire software user guide is here to read in electronic form. Technical help is available by contacting the office in Winston-Salem , NC , at 1-800 849-TECH (8324).

A Toolbar directly below the main menus displays icons for each of the Main menu items.

Individuals with limited experience with PC's and handheld programmers should not be reluctant to learn this product. The mechanical aspects of this product are identical for all the units in the line, and the software and programming is well-designed and easy to understand.

If you have any kids at home older than 5, bring the rig home and they'll have it up and running before dinner. But it might cost you a pizza and a movie, which they deserved anyway because they have a dad who is a locksmith.

If you are not fortunate enough to have at-home tech support and have limited computer skills, you can become an expert yourself by availing yourself of Kaba University . They're coming to your town soon. You'll get certified and your company's name will be listed on the E-Plex Web site as a factory trained dealer.

Or you can visit their Traveling Road Show which must be the hardest working act in locksmithing judging by their non-stop itinerary; or drop by their booth at one of the national security shows.

Don't wait. You do not know how many opportunities you are letting by. You need an E-Plex demo in your showroom to talk it up to customers that you indeed have electronic access controls. In addition, slip a little mailer in with your invoices to commercial accounts.

For more information, contact your local locksmith distributor or Kaba Access Control, www.kaba-ilco.com, telephone 800-849-8324.

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.