Tech Tips: Adding An Electronic Locking Device

Jan. 2, 2017
The biggest challenge here is wiring the electric lock, followed by protecting the wires from vandalism. Products from Securitron and Marray can make the job easier.

Our Tech Tips series of columns began with adding door status monitoring to an existing door. Up to this point, we have not mentioned the locking arrangement on the door.

The door may have latching hardware. Latching means there is a mechanical engagement between a movable beveled bolt in the door and the frame. A strike plate is typically in the door frame, which provided a reinforced place for the latch to reside, thereby holding the door closed (latched).

Generally the latching hardware has an integral means of unlatching the hardware. This integral means usually is operative at all times from within the protected area, allowing free egress.

Free egress is an important concept in locking hardware and doors. In the overwhelming majority of cases, building codes mandate that doors must allow free egress. Just about anyone can figure out and accomplish getting out the opening any time without the lock/latch impeding them.

Although some door hardware latches, not all door hardware LOCKS. A locked door prevents going through the door, generally from the unprotected side of the door to the protected side of the door.

Door hardware that allows passage in either direction and does not have the mechanism to lock is referred to a passage function.

Not all locking door hardware LATCHES. Another locking arrangement is the electromagnetic lock. These do not latch, but secure the door with magnetism. Without the availability of power, the electromagnetic lock cannot lock. It requires power to lock. This is referred to as a failsafe lock; power to lock; remove power to unlock. All electromagnetic locking devices are FAILSAFE.  The electromagnetic lock does not have an integral means of unlocking it, and requires auxiliary controls besides a power source to be a complete door locking system.

FAIL SECURE locking devices are those which are normally locked and require power to UNLOCK. Most latching type electrical locks are available as either Failsafe or Failsecure. However, each locking device is different and close attention must be paid to be certain you order correctly for your application. The subject of whether to use Failsafe or Fail secure is beyond the scope of this Tech Tip, but definitely of extreme importance.

Among the types of latching electric hardware are cylindrical electrified locksets, mortise electrified locks  and electric door strikes.

Specifying and installing electrified door hardware is a pretty essential part of door control, which includes access control systems and life safety systems.

Our Tech Tips project has so far dealt with monitoring and annunciating a door. We now have some of the basic information to add the control function to our circuit.

An electrified cylindrical lockset is perhaps the easiest and most aesthetically pleasing solution for electrically locking and unlocking a door. This is because the ‘prep’ for the electrified lockset is pretty much identical to an un-electrified lockset.

The big difference is getting power to the lockset.

Wiring The Electric Lock

The lockset is out on the edge of the door that is opposite the hinge edge. Wiring the electric lock, (once you have gotten the wire to the door frame) is the challenge with electrified locksets.

The traditional method involves an electrified hinge, a power transfer door loop, and then passing the wire from the transfer to the lock.

If the door is wood, or if the opening is a fire door, or if the door is a wood fire door, special tools and knowledge are required to accomplish a code compliant installation.

In most situations the wiring will be a pair of #18 gauge stranded wires. 

One of the most innovative developments in power transfer came on the market from ASSA ABLOY.

The PowerJump® ICPT permits power to be transmitted from the frame to the door using inductive coupling. There are some restrictions as to its application, but the huge benefit to installers is being able to locate the ICPT on the edge of the door where the lock is located, thereby eliminating the sometimes daunting task of getting wires to the lock from wherever the power transfer is mounted.

Here is the official Securitron product description: “The Securitron PowerJump Inductive Coupling Power Transfer ports power contactlessly and invisibly across the door gap to run electrified hardware on the door. With flexible installation placement on the latch side, hinge side or top of the door, it transfers power without pins or wires, eliminating points of vulnerability and wear... and no need to core drill the door.”


  • Transfers power wirelessly across door gaps of up to 3/16"
  • Flexible mounting: can be installed on hinge side, latch side or top of frame
  • Dual Voltage output 12VDC or 24VDC field selectable
  • Continuous or intermittent duty
  • For failsecure devices
  • Use with electrified locks, latches or other door hardware requiring up to 6 watts (0.5A@12VDC) of power
  • Adhesive backed templates for accurate installation
  • MagnaCare® lifetime replacement, no fault warranty


  • UL10C fire-rated: 3 hour
  • CAN4-S101(ULC-S104) fire door conformant
  • ANSI A250.13 (±150 psi) Windstorm Listed
  • FCC Part 15 and Industry Canada Compliant

Endurance: 2,000,000 cycles

Operating Temperature:-40 to +120F [-40 to +49C]

Electrical Input: 24VDC only 500mA max
Output: 500mA @ 12VDC, 250mA @ 24VDC

Preventing Vandalism

A major problem I’ve encountered with power transfer hardware is their vulnerability to vandalism. A door loop hanging on a door makes an ideal target. We used to install them on ATM doors in New York City, because that was what the banks wanted, and it resulted in a steady cashflow replacing them as vandals would rip them off the door as fast as we could install them.

The Securitron Concealed Electrical Power Transfer (CEPT) is a version of a proven design that Assa Abloy brought out a few years ago.

I love the look and durability of these bionic looking devices. Clients are always impressed, and even when the door is fully open, these things resist attack.

CEPT is unique in that it available with lots of optional features. These include:

  • Mortises into the edges of the door and frame
  • Tamper resistant. No exposed openings prevents foreign objects from reaching the wires or jamming the device
  • All metal construction including backboxes - no plastic
  • 10 wire configuration includes 2-18 gauge wires for higher current devices
  • Available with CAT-5E and ElectroLynx compatible connectors
  • Four architectural finishes: US32, US04, US10 and US10B
  • Installs above 2nd hinge
  • 7/8" knockouts on back boxes accommodate EMF-type fittings
  • Tested to 1,000,000 cycles
  • Will only function with butt hinges - up to 6"
  • Will not work on center-hung or balanced doors
  • Will work with Continuous Hinges - Check with Continuous Hinge Manufacturer as to their cutout availability and charge for this cutout

Another option from Securitron is an electric hinge. The electric hinge (and its cousin the electric pivot) were the first step up in the evolution of the door loop.

Electric hinges allow a totally inconspicuous installation which is highly immune to vandalism. The concept is to replace and existing standard hinge with an electrified one, so prepping the door and frame is simplified.

The two issues with electrified hinges are the tiny wires used which are difficult to strip and solder, and the fact that the hinge has a finite life cycle after which it will fail and have to be replaced. Don’t be too concerned though; this life cycle can be several years.

More Info:

Marray Industries

Typically the system designer and installer can select products from a variety of manufacturers and sources to obtain the best suited product at the appropriate price point.

In my opinion, Marray Industries is a great source for a variety of electric door locking products, accessories and technical resources.

The Marry product line includes:

  • Cylindrical Locks ( Electric )
  • Door Monitoring Switches
  • Drill Bits
  • Electric Swing Clear Hinge
  • Electric Trim
  • Electrification Kits
  • Electrified Exit Device
  • Electrified Hinges
  • Modification & Repair
  • Mortise Locks ( Electric )
  • Perfect Raceway Tool
  • Pivots
  • Power Door Loops

Marray designs and sells factory direct electrified UL listed access control locks, electric hinges,  electronic panic exit devices, fire listed electrified storefront and offset pivots, power door loops (armored door cords), REX switches and related equipment. Marray’s trade names are Dor-Cor (to drill fire doors  and RediRex. 

Marray, Inc., has been a name brand door hardware modifier for over 15 years. Their patented products have allowed for users of access control locking hardware to realize significant savings, while at the same time, spending less time on a jobsite to accomplish their installations. 

Since all businesses are concerned with lower costs, faster implementation of projects and reliability of any purchased products, Marray has made it a core business strategy to only release products into the marketplace that are rigorously beta tested in actual field installlations. 

Marray is also the designer and trade name holder of the Perfect Raceway Program. This program allows for Certified Personnel who complete the Intertek class program, to drill fire rated doors in the field for the installation of access control locking hardware. Visit their page for more information on the Perfect Raceway Program. 

More Info:

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.