Electronic Security for Office Buildings

Aug. 3, 2015
Electronic access control is only as good as its power supply

Providing security services to the commercial sector is the bread and butter for many locksmiths, even if they also are involved with the other segments of the market. Today’s commercial customers are increasingly turning to electronic security, with options including electromagnetic locks, electronic locks, complete access control systems and video surveillance. All of these high-tech security systems share one need: a reliable power source.


Altronix Corporation offers a comprehensive line of Security, Fire, CCTV, Access, Nurse Call, and Automation products.The security industry requires electronic components which can perform flawlessly under rigorous conditions, 24 hours a day. Most Altronix products carry a 'Lifetime Warranty' and are 'Manufactured in the U.S.A.'

In addition to producing a wide range of components (relays, functional modules, etc.), Altronix offers OEM design and manufacturing services to create custom electronics for commercial and industrial applications. Altronix serves both domestic and international markets through a worldwide network of distributors.

Altronix has also recently expanded its line of products specifically designed for outdoor deployment.  The new eBridge200WPM Outdoor Transceiver housed in an IP66-NEMA4/4X rated enclosure provides the ability to send IP video/data and PoE/PoE+ at distances up to 300m over coax, or 500m over CAT5 or higher at 100Mbps, and can also provide Hi-PoE (60W) for devices that require more power. It is a highly cost-efficient and effective means of extending your network outdoors. 

Altronix has also launched an enhanced line of outdoor power supplies under their popular WayPoint brand that carry a UL listing. These recently introduced products feature lightweight IP66 NEMA4/4X rated enclosures, lockable latches, and integral flanges for simplified wall or pole mounting, and provide a provide a robust power solution for PTZ and fixed cameras, heater/blowers, IR illuminators and virtually any video surveillance or security product that’s exposed to the elements.

The Locksmith Ledger contacted  Altronix’ Ronnie Pennington, National Accounts Manager and Paul Rizzuto, Technical Sales and Training Manager for information regarding power supplies, the meanings of specifications and a sampling of their latest new offerings.

Can you tell us about new power supplies with monitoring or other significant new features, and a selection of weatherized products?

One of the most exciting developments with power supply/chargers is the ability to remotely monitor, report and control these devices. Although some degree of network communications has been available, it has been limited. The recent introduction of LINQ™ technology from Altronix fills the void in network communications for mission critical power distribution applications. It allows multiple products at multiple sites to be easily integrated and managed remotely. LINQ also monitors diagnostics and reports via Email/SNMP notifications to greatly reduce service calls and system downtime while creating RMR opportunities.

What are the disadvantages of knock-off brand power supplies?

It is always recommended to source power supplies from a reputable manufacturer.  Your power supply is the foundation of your entire system.  When using knock-off branded power supplies, you are opening yourself up to reliability issues, the lack of competent technical support, and not being covered by a warranty. Without dependable power supplies, the system is at great risk.

Why do installers locate (power supplies?) equipment outdoors?

ALTRONIX: The project may not provide for an indoor option and/or the consultant specifically called for outdoor power. Another reason is due to the voltage drop associated with longer cable runs.  Tools like the Voltage drop calculator on the Altronix website help with these calculations. The labor and material costs to run indoor low voltage power greater distances to operate outdoor devices utilizing thicker gauge wire is prohibitive.   Location of the main power source (Typically 110VAC or 220VAC) is another factor to be considered.

What are the ratings governing outdoor equipment and what do they exactly mean?

Several ratings that you may see when looking at Outdoor equipment are set by the IP rating or the NEMA rating.  The ratings below are what you will most often find.

IP66 – Able to protect against powerful water jets

IP67 – Able to protect against immersion up to 1 meter

Nema4 – Same as IP66

Nema4X – Same as IP66 but also protects against corrosion.

What is the difference between linear and switching power supplies?

Both switching and linear power supplies provide a steady flow of voltage and current.  A Switching power supply does this in a much more efficient manner.  Here are some pros and cons of each:

Linear Pros:

  • Reduced EMI or RFI
  • Less ripple and noise
  • Faster transient response

Linear Cons:

  • Severely Reduced efficiency.
  • Larger heat sinks are required to remove heat.
  • Precise AC voltage input is critical.
  • Unit is larger in size.

Switching Pros:

  • Highly efficient.
  • Less heat dissipation.     
  • Input voltage range is wider.
  • Unit is smaller in size.

Switching Cons:

  • Slightly higher EMI and RFI.
  • Slightly higher output ripple and noise.
  • Moderately slower transient response.

For what applications are each type best suited?

Linear Power supplies are recommended to be used when powering devices like prox readers. These devices send communication signals to an access control panel.  If a switching power supply is located to close to the reader, the increase in RFI/EMI may compromise the communication signal.

Switching power supplies can be used to power virtually all other devices (i.e. REXs, Keypads and lock hardware).

Are linear designs being phased out?

No, however switching and offline switching power supplies continue to gain the majority of market share.

What do line regulated and load regulated mean?

Line regulation is the percentage the output voltage will change when the line voltage changes from the rated minimum to the rated maximum.Load regulation is the percentage the output voltage will change when the current draw changes from the rated minimum to the rated maximum.

The Altronox power supply line includes the following products:

ALTRONIX EFLOW Series Power Supply Chargers with LINQ Technology. When coupled with the Altronix LINQ2 Network Communication Module, eFlow power supply/chargers provide remote IP access to real-time data to help keep systems up and running at optimal levels. These units minimize system downtime, and eliminate unnecessary service calls, which helps reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) - as well as creating a new source of Recurring Monthly Revenue (RMR).

WayPoint – Outdoor Power Solutions

NetWay1DWP - Outdoor Hi-PoE Injector

eBridge200WPM - Outdoor Hi-PoE over Coax/CAT5e Solution

For more information, contact your local distributor or visit www.altronix.com


One of the handiest devices for retrofitting security to buildings is the electromagnetic lock. My earliest building projects involved installing electromagnetic locks on storefronts which would be controlled by manual keyswitches and timers that automatically lock and unlock the main doors.

Securitron introduced their electromagnetic lock decades ago, and have continued to bring innovations to this product group.

To electrically control an opening, a Securitron M62 Magnalock can be the basis for a premium door control system. Drawing only 3 watts, a Securitron Magnalock operates efficiently with a smaller power supply and operates longer on battery backup than a mag lock which requires more power. Securitron Magnalocks consume less energy, generate less heat and outlast the competition.

Other M62 features include:

  • 100% waterproof design
  • instant release circuit with no residual magnetism
  • automatic 12/24VDC dual voltage
  • 1200 lbs holding force

SECURITRON offers an extensive selection of installation brackets and system accessories to design the entire locking system.

Securitron® EcoPower™ is a highly efficient power supply designed to work with low-powered electrified access control devices such as the M62. EcoPower reduces standby power supply power consumption to 8.5mW, a 99 percent reduction compared to current generation switching and linear power supplies.

Suitable for interior and exterior gate applications, the Securitron GL1 Electromechanical Gate Lock with 2,000 lbs. of holding force supports a standard mortise cylinder, which enables a key override if necessary. It also includes a self-aligning receiver, enabling it to handle 100 lbs. of pre-load and can be used in harsh environments on less than perfectly aligned gates. The GL-1 electronics are coated to protect them from moisture.

Models available: standard fail locked, standard fail safe, fail locked monitored and fail safe monitored. The GL-1 gate lock is ideal for access control of swinging or sliding vehicle, pedestrian, and stock gates, or interior crib access control.

Camden Door Controls

Camden Door Controls Inc. is a global manufacturer of door locking and activation products for commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. The company is ISO-9001-2008 certified. Camden products are available through distribution.

Camden products include EXPRESS™ pushbuttons and key switches, EXACT™ magnetic locks and door strikes, EXPRESS INDUSTRIAL™ heavy duty switches and  INVISION™ CCTV cameras and access control systems. 

Camden Door Controls’ new CV-602 M-PROX2™ two-door proximity access control system is an ideal upgrade from keypads; providing the convenience of proximity access, as well as access scheduling and an event audit trail.

CV-602 M-PROX2™ consists of a small controller (installed on the secure side of the facility), and vandal and weather resistant mullion mount proximity readers. This new system provides the low cost and easy installation of Camden’s popular MProx™ one door system, while adding system software, which is both PC and Window 7™ compatible and a USB interface that supports daily, weekly and holiday scheduling, credential enrollment, and provides a 3,800-event audit report.

Additional features include up to 2,000 users, individual and batch card/tag enrollment, programming via the front panel or computer, 26. 34 and 37 bit Wiegand protocol (with site code), latching or timed door open, and anti-pass back alarm.

CV-602 M-PROX2 is available as a control unit only, or in 1 reader or 2 reader kits. These kits contain everything needed, including controller, software, USB cable, prox readers and 5 'starter' prox. cards.

More Info: http://www.camdencontrols.com or call 877-CAMDEN-9.


One of the last independent security hardware manufacturers in the USA, ROFU takes pride in product durability, quality, relationships built, technical expertise and their excellent customer service. As locksmiths know, these are the benefits doing business with a small company. ROFU has most products in stock and orders received before noon ship the same day.  

ROFU Products include: Power Supplies, Electric Strikes, Magnetic Locks and accessories and Key & Exit Switches.    

Since in electrified door control the power supply is the backbone of the system, ROFU has selected two of their power supplies for your consideration.

Features include:

  • UL for USA and Canada
  • Filtered & regulated DC output
  • Short Circuit protection
  • Built-in backup battery charger
  • Housing Dimensions: 8 1/2″ H x 9″ W x 3 1/4″ D
  • Interior Space available for Battery: 4″ H x 3″ D x 8 1/2″ W

More Information: www.rofu.com