State-of-the-Art Door & Electronic Access Control Make-Over

A small high-tech software firm had leased a new space and they needed to get things secured. They wanted their security put into place quickly so as to minimize losses, but also stipulated that the installation process could not interfere with the company's operations. Although I'm sure they were planning the move for months, they failed to do any planning for their access control, thereby creating the urgent situation.

The company had already been using a Locknetics CM 5100 series unit on their main entry door of their old location, and had distributed iButton credentials to the employees, so they were familiar with that system, were happy with the CM lock, and had an investment in iButton credentials.


The Locknetics 5100 series lock is a standalone, microprocessor controlled, electromechanical locking system. The 5100 employs a heavy-duty mechanical design with fewer moving parts than a standard cylindrical lockset, for ease of installation and high reliability. It is powered by four, standard AA batteries, providing up to 80,000 activations.

Operationally, the outside lever is normally locked and the inside lever is always free to allow egress. Electronic access control is achieved by entering an iButton Key.

Standard features of the CM models include up to 1,000-user memory, real-time features including time zones and holidays, and audit trail of up to 1,000 events.

Optional Audit Trail - Key Override (ATK) will note any use of the mechanical key on the audit trail report. Manual and computer programming is supported by all models.

They were also accustomed to programming their CM lock using the LockLink software.

LockLink Express is a single management software designed for facilities with basic access control needs. Compatible with Windows®-based PC operating systems, LockLink Express manages the Locknetics On Board and e-Bolt family of products available from IR Security & Safety.

LockLink Express access control management software is a powerful, yet easy to learn. The easy-to-use software serves the needs of smaller access control systems while providing features commonly found on much larger systems.

LockLink Express is recommended for systems with fewer than 500 users and/or 100 access points. New users or access points can be entered into the system in seconds. On products equipped with SmarTime real-time based functions, the system operator can easily control both users and access points based on time of day, day of week, credential needed, and/or period of time.

Reporting capability is available to show audit trails retrieved, access privileges granted, and time functions established by either user or door.

Because the new door they wished to control was a storefront, and because the CM 5100 series is for solid doors and not adaptable to narrow stile applications, they decided to use the CM on another door to a sensitive area within the premises, and seek a new solution for the exterior employee entrance door.

On our initial visit, we were scheduled to remove their CM lock from their old location and install a narrowstile King Cobra on the employee entrance, which was a single duronodic storefront type opening.

The client had initially approved of the Narrowstile King Cobra because it was designed for their door, and it utilizes iButtons. However, when the client became aware that they would have to manually program this unit instead of using their LockLink software and that the King Cobra did not have a real time clock and therefore could not be programmed to unlock in the morning and relock in the evening, as they were accustomed to doing with their CM 5100 lock; the installation halted, and it became necessary to revaluate the opening, the application, and what would best serve the client's needs.

With its unique narrrowstile design suited for aluminum storefronts, and its iButton compatibility; the King Cobra is an impressive placeholder in the Schlage Locknetics access control lineup.

No wiring is required to install King Cobra. It is battery powered and requires no external network connections or external electric lock since it's all on board.

The narrowstile King Cobra is suitable for new installs and retrofits, and is designed to be used with Adams Rite 4711 type latches and accessories, as well as many types of exit devices. A selection of Ives by Schlage offset pulls also complement the function of the trim.

The King Cobra is currently available as manually programmable only, meaning that all system administration (adding and deleting users and iButtons) must be performed at the keypad. Additionally, the King Cobra does not provide any type of audit trail (door usage activity reports, or listing of enrolled credentials/users).

The King Cobra also does not have an on board real-time clock, which means it does not support scheduling. The King Cobra, does, however provide a robust, reliable, and handsome piece of electronic security hardware that does a job and which clients find appealing. Up to 100 individual user codes may be entered right at the keypad and the system is based on a robust mechanical chassis with vandal resistant features such as the Vandalgard™ clutching lever.


Additionally, the aluminum door and frame upon which we were to install the system had, shall we say, issues. The door closer was leaking and the door was slamming.

Over the years, a variety of devices had been installed, including an electromagnetic lock (the armature was gone); a touch-sense bar (which was inoperative); an armored door loop (which was intact); a deadlatch with a lever and outside mortise cylinder (the latch was very worn and the lever had a hole drilled in it and a makeshift hook was attached with duct tape apparently to ‘dog down' the latch). Wiegand swipe readers were on the interior and exterior walls adjacent to the door as well as a REX station control.

We located an electrical closet on the second floor where the old access controller and power supplies were tucked away. This equipment was similarly jury rigged and showed signs of aging and overheating.


The customer accepted that the entire door system required a complete makeover, and he asked for our recommendations.

He requested that we reuse whatever we could of the existing equipment, but he also stipulated that he wanted the following features:

  • A latching lock which did not require battery backup to maintain door security in a power failure.
  • An exit device because the door was an emergency exit.
  • The ability to program the system the same way he was programming the CM 5100
  • A system that could be programmed through the software to unlock in the morning and relock in the evening and observe holidays.
  • Continued use of existing iButtons and
  • The system should be completed in a week.
Once the client got comfortable that we were competent and helpful, he gave us a floor plan. We sat down and reviewed his key usage with him, then recommended a keying scheme. He told us to rekey every lock in the place. He also asked for us to give him a quote on a couple of dozen Orbit passage locks in 626. We also supplied a few Schlage levers and BC-162X 626 DCDB's. We finally supplied this client with about 75 keys.

Because the client wished to continue to use his existing iButtons and software, and also wanted to be able to unlock and relock on a schedule, we selected the Locknetics CT-1000 with a Locknetics iButton reader as the controller.


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 and 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.

The CT-1000 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.

Universal controllers can be programmed and audited by the offline interface ports on the various reader and keypad models available from Locknetics.

CT1000 units provide 1,000-user and 1,000 audit trail events with SmarTime™ capability.


Determining the best IR electronic access control (EAC) solution is pretty easy by using any of the many technical resources available to locksmiths from IR. One way is to attend EAC University classes offered regionally to gain a hands-on experience with the products and working knowledge of how to specify wire and program them. IR's on-line resource, the, leads through the design process and even prices out your system; or you can call their tech support line and get quick, knowledgeable help.

If you are unfamiliar with the IR product line, or just entering the EAC business, we highly recommend the EAC University Seminars. During our Basic Level 2 Training, we learned the elements of an electronic access control system; how to wire them together to control a locking device; the various terms used in Electronic Access Control nomenclature, the feature set of a typical controller and power supply, and programming techniques using a PDA and access control software.

The class provided an excellent technical orientation and foundation for beginners and it provided useful tricks, tips and techniques for the more experienced attendees. Additionally, taking the class and then passing an on-line test enables you to become a Level 2 Certified IR Security Dealer.


We wanted our locking solution to be secure, reliable, robust and latching. We were dealing with a narrow aluminum frame door and jamb that already had been drilled extensively. We had an existing door loop and door contact to re-use. We also needed to specify hardware that was not only cost-effective, but also readily available, since the client wanted the system installed yesterday.

We determined that the Adams Rite #8421M Exit Device and #3082E Electrically Actuated Trim would meet all our requirements, and it was available for immediate shipping from our favorite distributor.

Adams Rite offers an extensive choice of hardware options, and has created an “Ordering Matrix” form which enables you to precisely specify every detail of your device. We printed out the ordering matrix sheet and used it while conducting our survey of the door. Besides the obvious things, like door (type)/rating, handing and architectural finish, the ordering matrix prompts you to determine details such as face shape, backset, and operating voltage and options such as outside trim function and monitoring switches for the device.

If you've properly specified the device, it arrives ready to install, but Adams Rite also includes exhaustive instructions and extra parts so that if you messed up, you'll be able to adapt the system to fit your door (within limits, of course).

Our box of Adams-Rite hardware contained our whole locking and door control solution -- the exit bar, the latch and the outside trim. It would interface with the EAC access control, provide fail-secure positive latching mechanical security, provide for emergency egress, and offer an integral mechanical override key and mechanical dogging capability, ‘just in case'.

Based on the power requirements of the electrically actuated trim, the Controller and the iButton reader, we specified the Locknetics #505 power supply. This was after we realized that the power supplies in the electrical closet were more a liability than an asset and would be better discarded than re-used. (Had we realized this earlier, we could have ordered out CT-1000 with the #505 power supply built-in.)


The 500 Series Power Supplies are available in three models, and each one is UL Listed as a General Purpose Power Supply. The 505, 510 and 515 Series all feature low voltage DC, regulated, filtered power supplies with a built-in battery charging circuit and are designed to provide easy system interface with Locknetics locking devices, station controls and consoles.

A NEMA Grade 1 approved enclosure is universal throughout the line, measuring 12”x12”x4”. The 500 Series provides a built-in battery charging regulated, with a built-in battery charging circuit.

Standby battery kits (SBP1 or SBP2) can be added to the 505 Series power supply at the factory or in the field. A key lock cover, power line cord and emergency interface relay module (EIR-5) are available as factory installed options.

Our finished system is representative of state-of-the-art access control. It is streamlined, utilizes a minimum of system elements, provides flexible and powerful programming and control capabilities, and was extremely straightforward to install and wire.


We were able to obtain all our system parts within a week of receipt of order, and we scheduled the installation day. We knew that the client needed to be able to physically lock this door at the end of each day, so we would need to finish up whatever work we started on a particular day so that the door could be secured.

When we arrived to do the installation, an immediate “sea change” was required because since our last visit, the door closer on the subject door had quit working properly, and the door was slamming dangerously every time it was opened.

Examining the concealed door closer revealed that it was a Jackson, and it had been manufactured in 1984. This indicated to us that portions of the old system were probably 21 years old as well, and that the door closer certainly had held up for a long time.

The time it took for us to remove the defective door closer, go back to the shop to obtain the replacement Jackson closer and install it in the 12-degree Fahrenheit winter morning put us behind schedule, and being able to complete the project by the end of the day became a concern. The Jackson was a concealed-type closer, so the entire replacement process involved working off a ladder with the door open the entire time, and the frigid air and ice-cold aluminum took its toll on us.

Although the door had an existing deadlatch installed, it was too high on the door for code so it was going to be necessary to mortise in the deadlatch supplied with the Adams-Rite # 8421M.

We had already performed some preliminary pre-wiring during the week before the parts had been delivered. This involved removing the old readers and REX station in the lobby, removing the old hardware off the door (except the latch, lever and mortise cylinder), powering down and removing all the old power supplies and controllers from the second floor electrical closet and toning out wiring from the second floor to the lobby and the door loop we would be using for the new installation.

This involved isolating and identifying a pair for power between the second floor and the lobby, then checking for shorts between each conductor and between each conductor and ground. A pair of wires had to be brought around the door from where the electrified trim was to be installed to the hinge edge of the door near where the armored door loop was located. We drilled a ¾-inch hole in the edge of the door to facilitate wiring. This hole will be later covered with a plastic chassis plug.

We would also be connecting the pair from the optional monitor switch we were going to install in the #8421M. This switch would provide a REX signal to the CT-1000. Although the #8421M opens manually by depressing the bar when egressing and a REX was not required to enable egress, the signal from the exit device would suppress forced door messages in the CT-1000 activity reports which would otherwise occur if the door were opened without a REX signal. If the client later decided to monitor the door using the CT-1000 auxiliary alarm relay output, the proper switches would be there and no further upgrade of the exit device or system would be required.

We were planning to install the new iButton reader at the same place where the old Weigand reader had been, but it was necessary to prep the brick wall for the reader faceplate and to remove the old Weigand reader cable and install the special cable supplied with the TR-81 iButton reader.


The TR-81 iButton reader is a machined stainless steel single gang plate with an iButton port and LED indicator. The Schlage iButton® utilizes the Dallas Chip, an indestructible, highly secure and versatile device. The iButton is a computer chip enclosed in a 16mm stainless steel can.

All iButtons use their stainless steel can for their electronic communications interface. Each can has a data contact which is called the lid and a ground contact which is called the base. Each of these contacts is connected to the silicon chip inside. The lid is the top of the can and the base forms the sides and the bottom of the can.

The two contacts are separated by a polypropylene grommet. By touching the iButton to the reader, communication from the iButton to the reader occurs using a 1-Wire® protocol. 

By providing iButton keyfobs in addition to access codes, managers achieve a higher level of security by preventing unauthorized entrance. An access control administrator can choose to require a pin code, an iButton or both a pin code and iButton to gain authorized entry.

Because iButtons can be easily and quickly added or deleted, security can be enhanced while also cutting down on the labor time and cost that rekeying the door would involve.

For enterprise-wide systems, an iButton credential can be enrolled and or disallowed in as many locations as are required without concerns about facility code, or enrollment code conflicts.

Finally, there was an existing door position sensor on the door which we wished to re-use for the new system, so again we needed to isolate the pair for that device and confirm it operated properly, and that the twisted pair cable was intact and free of shorts.

The client requested that the #505 power supply upstairs in the closet be hardwired, so we rigged up a temporary line cord so we could get the system up and running.

I told the client to instruct the electrician to identify the location and identity of the circuit breaker which was powering the #505 by clearly marking it on the junction box to which the #505 was to be connected. I also instructed that the feed to the #505 be on a switch to be located in the same junction box. I also asked that the line cord be returned to me when the electrician had completed his work.

Powering up the system went flawlessly. With power applied, the TR-81 blinked when the exit bar was pressed, indicating that it was releasing the trim lever. Programming was handled by the client.

The other lock work was completed easily within the time frame. The client had us install the CM 5100 on a door the first day they moved into the space. Then after they had time to make up their minds about how we were going to proceed with the employee entrance and we completed that project; we removed the CM 5100 again and reinstalled it again. The CM lock only requires a three-hole prep in addition to the usual face and cylinder bore, and we installed one of the Orbit passages and cleanly patched the holes in the door sing the CM, with a Don-Jo Stainless reinforcing wrap-around.

For more information, contact your local locksmith distributor or the following manufacturers mentioned in this article.

Locknetics, an IR company, Phone 866-322-1237, web site
Schlage, also an IR company, Phone 800-847-1864. Web site:
Adams Rite, Phone 800-872-3267. Web site:
Jackson Corp., Phone 877-394-8338. Web site,
Don-Jo Manufacturing, Telephone 800-628-8389, Web site