Integrating Electronic Components

A recent barrier gate project required us to coordinate not only contractors and electricians, but also the various components required to develop a working system.

Our system was comprised of several high technology components, and while it was not the most complicated design ever, it was nonetheless satisfying to hear the customer’s praises and appreciation for how it was all meeting and exceeding their expectations.

Good technology makes it all seem easy. And not-so-good technology makes it harder than it has to be. So we base our designs on products which have proven themselves to us in the past, and hopefully we will learn from mistakes and in the future not repeat them.

Every mistake wastes time, and time is money and wasting money eats away at the bottom line. We need all of our bottom line.

Following is a listing of the components chosen for this application, plus the reasoning behind their selection.

HID ProxPro 5355

We always choose HID readers. Which model we use is based on a few basic questions:

  • Is the reader mounting on a mullion?
  • Is an integral keypad required?
  • What technology is the credentials?
  • Is an extended read range required?

For this project, the reader was to be mounted on a Door King pedestal, and the client did not think an extended read range was necessary, I selected the ProxPro 5355 125 kHz Wall Switch Proximity Reader

I favor using a PVC watertight box for mounting readers on pedestals. One reason is this dimension matches up to the pad on the pedestal. It also gets the reader away form the metallic pedestal so there is no loss in range. The box is a good place for splicing.

As it turned out in this situation, the client pulled a last minute switch and asked for a keypad on each pedestal.

Although HID offers the 5355 in a keypad version, and my access controller would have supported it, I stuck to the original planned 5355.

The ProxPro® proximity card reader’s weatherproof design and architecturally attractive enclosure allow easy mounting indoors or out.

The ProxPro Reader is ideal for applications requiring a larger read range. It offers high reliability, consistent read range characteristics, and low power consumption in a single, easy-to-install package.

ProxPro 5355 Features include:

  • Multicolor LED, internal or host control of the LED, and/or beeper and a beeper “off ” switch for silent operation.
  • Wiegand protocol interface compatibility with all standard access control systems.
  • Optional, fully integrated personal identification number keypad for heightened security.
  • Mounts to glass using the optional glass mounting kit.

For more information, visit

Intelli-M® Door Controller

We selected the Intelli-M® eIDC Ethernet-enabled integrated door controller because it is a PoE access control system controller which provides fully distributed intelligence for access control and alarm monitoring.

The eIDC Ethernet-enabled door controller is packed with powerful features that can fit in a small, compact 2-gang box to control all peripheral door hardware.

It is easy to install and program.

The Intelli-M eIDC controller can operate independently with its embedded Web server or with Intelli-M eIDC controllers through the server-based Intelli-M® Access security management software.

Our project had two controllers. Our application required that card holder activity reports be available for billing purposes. The combination of eIDC controller and Intelli-M software was cost-effective.

The Intelli-M controller uses discrete readers, so the controller can be located within the protected area, making for a higher level of security than with a reader using integral electronics.

Our readers were on pedestals, and the controllers were installed in the office structure.

Intelli-M is considered an edge device solution; the controllers are designed to be installed out at the door and leverage corporate infrastructure. Access control devices are typically very low bandwidth and don’t introduce enough new load on the network to require upgrades.

Our controllers were connected to a switch, and the switch connected to a wireless gateway. Even in a less than ideal network environment, the Infinias controllers communicated flawlessly with the host PC

The eIDC has three outputs (2-OC, 1-Relay), four inputs, support for two card readers and plenty of I/O available. It supports 64,000 cards, 16,000 cached events, web mode for single-door use and the ability to monitor a second or third door.

Our application involved one reader per controller, and we required a single dry contact output to activate the gate operator.

The eIDC can be powered directly with a 24V DC 1A power supply, with Midspans power injectors or a POE switch. For our application we used a PoE switch. 

Infinias hardware products come with a two-year warranty.

Features of the The Intelli-M® eIDC include:

• PoE (Power over Ethernet) carries both data and power for the controller and peripheral door hardware

• Peer-to-Peer Communication keeps data flowing even if a server connection is interrupted

• 100% Distributed Intelligence

• Small Form Factor makes installation in tight spaces easy

• 3-State Alarm Monitoring for Normally Open, Normally Closed, and Trouble (either cut or short)

• Anti-Passback

• 16,000 Local Event Buffering

• 2 Reader Ports support proximity readers with or without keypads, or any logic device (such as an Egress Button or REX Device) that provides a combination of control of both entrance and exit for a single door

• Supports DHCP and Static IP addresses

• AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 128-bit Encryption

• Embedded Web Server provides complete control of the device without the need for a server for stand-alone doors

• Integrated, non-mechanical, infrared tamper sensor for high reliability and precision

• Built-in warning buzzer provides a local alarm without requiring an external alarm device

For more information, visit

Essex SKE-34S Keypad

For this project, the client added a last-minute requirement for a keypad to operate a vehicle barrier gate. Since it would be an outdoor installation, the SKE-34S was my first choice. The EssexX SKE-34S is a versatile keypad we use whenever a standalone keypad is specified. It is water tight and has no moving parts.

The SKE-34 is a heavy duty, self contained Access Control Keypad with features suitable for most residential, small commercial and harsh industrial access control applications. The SKE 34 has an integral 2A relay on board and may be powered from 5VDC, or 12 to 24VDC.

The SKE 34 has Stainless Steel construction and proprietary Piezoelectric Billion Cycle Switch Technology™ for performance in any environment (heat, rain, snow, ice -up to 3/8"). The SKE-34 is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Programmable through the keypad, the SKE-34 features 502 codes (1 Master, 500 User and 1 Temporary) and three Programmable Outputs (1 SPDT Relay rated at 2A at 24V max, and 2 Open Collector 1/4A max to ground). The SKE-34 can be used to control a fail-safe or fail secure electric locking device or anything else that is controlled by a switch. So you can control three different devices with individual PIN codes.

It can also be used to control a garage door or electric gate. Two 1/4A grounding outputs are available which can drive a relay (separate relays required) to open a second door, trigger a CCTV camera or doorbell, or control an auxiliary device.

The SKE-34 is available with a Stainless Steel Bezel (SKE-34S), Brass Finished Bezel (SKE-34B), Black Bezel(SKE-34K) or keypad with no bezel (SKE-34X). 

For door frame mounts, the SKE-26 is a narrow, mullion mount self contained keypad with similar features to the SKE 34, only it is available with an illuminated keypad.

I was concerned that end-users might have difficulty entering the entry codes at night, since the keypad would be in darkness, so I installed an Essex SH-34SI-12 Illuminated Spy Proof Housing. It is a LED illuminated hood perfect for the application.

The SH-34SI-12 operates at 12 vDC and draws 40ma. Essex also has a 5 Volt version and an unlit version. The SH-34SI-12 looks great and does the job of providing a spyproof shield, protection from rain, and excellent light on the keypad.

Essex SKE-34S features include:

  • Self Contained Access Control
  • 3 Programmable Outputs
  • Up to 500 User Codes
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Laser Marked Keypad Graphics
  • Lower Cost Self Contained Design
  • Weatherproof -40°C to +70°C
  • Waterproof in 100 percent Relative Humidity

For more information, visit

TrendNet Switches

When the job required a PoE (power over Ethernet) switch for the eIDC access controllers, I knew where to look after my IP camera installation last summer which utilized PoE switches.

For that project, several exterior pole mounted wireless IP cameras were installed, and we used Trendnet switches on each pole to interface the camera with the wireless bridge. The system has worked flawlessly, so I specified the same Trendnet switch for this job.

The Trendnet TPE-S44 8-Port Smart Switch integrates Power over Ethernet (PoE) and network management features into a cost-effective and scalable solution. The TPE-S44 reduces equipment cost by delivering data and power over existing network cable infrastructure.

Features include:

  • IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) Standard Compliant
  • 8 x 10/100Mbps Auto-Negotiation and Auto-MDIX Fast Ethernet RJ45 Ports
  • Built-in 4 PoE Ports (Port 1 ~ Port 4)
  • Supports PoE Power Maximum 15.4 watts for each POE port
  • Supports PoE Powered Device (PD) classification identify
  • Full Wire-Speed Non-Blocking Reception and Transmission
  • Store and Forward Switching Method
  • 96Kbytes RAM Data Buffer and 1K entries MAC Address Table
  • Extensive Diagnostic LED´s on the Front Panel
  • IEEE 802.3x Flow Control for Full-Duplex Mode; Back Pressure Flow Control for Half-Duplex Mode
  • Three-year limited warranty

For more information, visit

APC Backup Power Supply

The client mentioned that lightning and power surges were pretty common occurrences at their location.

I got an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) from my distributor when I ordered all the other components for the project, but didn’t pay much attention to what I was getting. They’re all alike, right? NOT.

A couple of weeks after we had finished the project, the client called and said they had experienced a power failure after a thunder storm, and the UPS beeped and failed to power the equipment. He wanted to know why. I went to the site and verified that the UPS was not powering the system when line voltage was removed.

It took three phone calls over several days to reach the manufacturer’s tech support, and I couldn’t really understand the technician, nor could he understand me.

First he wanted me to send it back, and then he said it was a firmware problem.

I hung up and called my distributor, and said I didn’t want the UPS he shipped and never send me one of those ever again.

Then I ordered an APC to replace the one with the firmware issues. I installed the APC and all is well.

With all the work that went into selling this project, then installing it, then commissioning it, it was extra aggravating to have a problem with the UPS.

The client’s network and PCs (supplied by others) were running on APC UPS units, and I wished I had used better judgment and ordered an APC in the first place.

The Back-UPS family offers guaranteed power protection for wireless networks, computers, gaming consoles and other electronics in your home or business. Models supply battery backup during outages and unsafe voltage fluctuations, as well as provide protection from damaging surges and spikes.

They’re available in 'tower' or 'floor' styles (“floor” style shown in this brochure), and together with a variety of standard features, they are the perfect choice to protect your data and keep you connected

“Battery Backup & Surge” Outlets keep CPU, monitor and another critical device running when the power goes out or fluctuates outside safe levels.

“Surge Only” Outlets protect printers, faxes or other equipment without reducing battery capacity (including three power-saving “Controlled” outlets on the BE750G).

PowerChute Software lets you use your computer to access additional power protection and management features:

• Preserves your work, shuts down system during outages

• Restarts your system, minimizing work disruptions

• Enables customization of your Back-UPS settings

• Monitors and displays power and battery status

Data Line Surge Protection guards against surges and spikes traveling over data lines. Combination Power Button/LED Indicator provides visual and audible status of unit. The Building Wiring Fault Indicator lets you know if there are problems in your building’s wiring.

Push Button Circuit Breaker enables quick recovery from overload. Automatic Diagnostic Testing ensures your unit is ready when you need it.

For more information on APC backup power devices, visit