Standalone Access Controls Bring Key Features to the Door

Aug. 2, 2017
Today's standalone access control systems effectively utilize many of these revolutionary advances in wireless

Wireless technology has been among the pivotal advances in security that has shaped the products and services the industry supplies and builds the expectations in consumers to seek them out.

The first and most influential transition in the security industry while I have been involved was wireless alarm systems.

Although wireless garage door remotes were around earlier, the alarm security industry was based on the wired alarm system. Each protection point (window, door, motion sensor) was wired, and keypads, power, sirens and communications (central station monitoring) required ‘hard-wired’ connections as well.

Although the transition to wireless alarms was relatively fast, it was not overnight and it did not affect all portions of the system.

Wiring for power, keypads, sirens and communications persisted, and even when wireless protection points were used, it was still common to locate the radio interface (receiver) in a central location and wire it back to the control panel.

Access control has also been strongly influenced by wireless technologies in many ways. The advances in electronics in general and wireless in particular have impacted areas of system design including:

Power: Advances in batteries and lower power consumption of circuitry has set the stage for wireless devices which generally require power.

Networks: Wired infrastructure has changed the world, but close on its heels, wireless networks have virtually overcome wired networks.

Credentials: Proximity credentials, Bluetooth and NFC are examples of wireless inundation of the access control credential space.

Control: The function of control is performed by both sending coded data, or a digital “on-off” signal, depending on the product design. This is a rather academic distinction where we generally identify a signal by what it does, what function it performs or what media is used to transmit it (remote lock/unlock, valid card read data, etc.). We have examples of both in modern access control equipment.

Communication: From the onset, the means by which alarm signals were sent to the central station was critical, thereby permitting a faster and centralized response, and allowing the alarm dealer to charge a recurring fee for central station monitoring. Initially, remote monitoring was by ‘dedicated’ lines which were direct connect, and leased from the phone company or over POTS (plain old telephone service).

One of the first alarm reporting options was a wireless backup which was a redundant connection to the monitoring station, or replaced the phone line completely.

These systems have become more sophisticated over the years, as telephone communication technology has transitioned. The security industry has faced numerous ‘sunsets’ as providers suspended different protocols, potentially leaving alarm customers with proprietary reporting equipment which would suddenly become obsolete in inoperative.

Standalone access controls are one of the newer classes of access control products, and these products effectively utilize many of these revolutionary advances in wireless. Below are some of the standalone products available today.

Yale nexTouch

The nexTouch™ Keypad Access Lock from Yale® combines a modern look and innovative access control technology with an array of bold new features, offering an attractive access control solution to a range of facilities.

With a heavy-duty design and ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 certification, nexTouch provides durable and reliable security from a brand trusted for over 170 years.

Featuring fully modular technology, nexTouch can be easily upgraded from a standalone lock to accommodate more advanced technologies, for more complex applications including multi-family and small business.

With user-friendly data-on-card wireless technology and effortless integration into your facility, create a door access control system with high security and low maintenance. Yale Multi-Family Lock Solutions give property managers high security door locks and wireless electronic access control technology that work together as a complete system – all backed by ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions.

For multi-family applications, Yale Accentra™ Software offers user-friendly, cloud-based wireless access control technology for remote management from any device – anywhere and anytime. Manage access rights for residents, visitors and staff easily and securely.

Features & Benefits

• Easy Traffic Control: Engineered to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-use access control solution to protect your facility and personnel

• Key-free convenience: Reduces investment and maintenance costs

• ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 certification

• Modular technology allows users to upgrade to Data-on-Card or ZigBee/ZWave wireless technologies as system requirements change and grow

• Capacitive touchscreen or pushbutton keypad available, for tactile environments and ADA compliance • Privacy mode enabled by a button push

• Up to 25 user codes in keypad only operation

• 9V battery power backup prevents lockout even if the batteries fail

• Available in four finishes and three lever designs

More Information:

Westinghouse RTS-Z

The RTS-Z is ideal for security-sensitive business, government, and institutional environments that value easy- to-use and easy-to- install access control. Set access control rights for each individual user to each individual lock and upload these access rights in seconds.

Register users as fingerprint only, PIN code only, or a combination of both on any lock or lock groups. This system boasts a combination of large user capacity, audit trails, built-in scheduling system and weatherproof design. Westinghouse RTS-Z is future proofed with regular firmware updates applied wirelessly via secure encrypted Z-Wave or via USB.

A Z-Wave Static Controller is optional for the RTS-Z and can be purchased separately.


  • Made in America
  • Up to 3,000 users per lock
  • Administrative Levels: 2 (3 Administrators, 4 Managers)
  • Multi-modal options with PIN codes, fingerprint and mechanical key (RIM cylinder)
  • Z-Wave Plus 5202 chipset with integrated Z-Wave controller
  • Mesh network extends range of other devices
  • Fourth generation advanced CMOS optical fingerprint sensor
  • Easy-to-read OLED screens (tested successfully with the visually impaired)
  • Keypads backlit for night-time operation 
  • Program at the lock or use optional software, including scheduling and holidays
  • Capture, review, and transmit audit trail history 
  • IP56 tested ensures resistance to humidity, dust, and rain
  • Rugged, automotive grade Zamak 5 enclosure
  • RS-485, USB and an included relay
  • Long battery life and can operate on a hard power tap
  • MS1 is an optional management software tool that allows administration of 9,999 locks
  • FCC, CE, UL, ANSI, ROHS Certifications
  • ISO/TS 16949, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 Compliant
  • Two-year warranty from date of purchase

Many options are available for almost any mount and latch. These include Grade 1 cylindrical, Grade 2 tubular, American MortiseExit Device version and mounting adapters so replacing locks is easy.

MS1 and MS1 Lite Software

WESTINGHOUSE MS1 SOFTWARE is for use with the RTS series locks. This software makes managing anywhere from 1 to 1,000/3,000 users a snap and can control any number of locks. The system will allow you to:

1. Manage users for one or more locks, including adding fingerprints, PIN codes and all individual user permissions, allowed entry times and more.

2. Query and analyze audit trails from any lock in your network.

3. Quickly copy locks to new locks, saving you time and money.

4. Backup and restore all of your lock databases.

5. Edit global lock settings for each lock, including global access times and much more.

6. Allow each lock to have a different set of 1,000/3,000 users and allows you to cut and paste individual users or even groups of users to any lock in seconds.

MS1 Lite Software is for use with the RTS series locks. This software makes managing anywhere from 1 to 1,000/3,000 users a snap and can control up to three locks. The system will allow you to:

1. Manage users for one to three locks, including adding fingerprints, PIN codes and all individual user permissions, allowed entry times and more.

2. Query and analyze audit trails from any lock in your network.

3. Quickly copy locks to new locks saving you time and money.

4. Backup and restore all of your lock databases.

5. Edit global lock settings for each lock including global access times and much more.

Both MS1 Lite and MS1 software are compatible with any of the RTS series. A license activation key may be purchased any time during the 30-day trial period.

More Info:


Trilogy Networx Locks bring many eliminate door-to-door programming and audit trail retrieval by communicating wirelessly via Ethernet or 802.11B/G, while providing all original Trilogy standalone lock’s functionality.

Alarm Lock devices require NO wiring; NO splitters or repeaters; NO hardwiring to the host/server; NO extra power supplies; NO access controller/panels; and no software or user licenses to purchase.

Trilogy also retains the popular receptionist remote release feature without having to run wires with its unique Trilogy Remote Release Kit which enables remote release for any Trilogy cylindrical lock.

The Trilogy also operates as a standalone system and doesn’t need to be on a network to deliver most of the essential access control features required for typical installations.

Wireless locks are fully keypad programmable and can be up and functioning even before their wireless network is configured, so IT departments don’t have to coordinate with physical security departments or locksmiths.

Trilogy provides an access system with advanced features & functions, like automatic schedules, event logs and support for 2,000 doors and 5,000 existing Prox Cards/Badges, without wires to run, and no access panels or power supplies to buy or install.

Free Alarm Lock DL-WINDOWS software doesn’t require a dedicated computer or a special computer network or costly server software licenses, it simply runs as a secure Microsoft Windows-based application, on any computer system (as basic as a desktop or laptop PC), a wired or wireless router, and a gateway module or on a an internal LAN with static IP address (recommended). MS XP and Vista supported (v4.01 or higher).

Locks support up to 5,000 users with 3- to 6-digit numeric PIN codes and PDL-Series also support prox ID card users (virtually all HID™ format proximity technology ID cards, fobs, credentials.)

The Trilogy is a Grade 1 durable wireless lock per door, installed in about an hour, all communicating to a single Gateway (each gateway controls up to 63 locks), networked to any non-dedicated Windows-based PC.

In addition to Wireless Trilogy Networx’ exceptional battery-life which exceeds 5 years, Trilogys feature new network-wide capabilities, executed from any lock or the network’s PC, including emergency priority global lockdown or unlock deployed in seconds, and you can activate (non-priority) system-wide free-passage or locking modes from the PC.

Trilogy installations can include both original standalone and new Trilogy Networx locks and seamlessly share one common database hosted on free Alarm Lock DL-WINDOWS software.

Seamless upgrade path for original Trilogy users: Intermix with existing Trilogy standalone lock installations and share one database and familiar Trilogy lock and software functions: Trilogy Wireless Networx Locks seamlessly integrate in an existing Alarm Lock Trilogy standalone door access system and share the same single DL-WINDOWS database (requires v4.0.1 or higher). Existing Trilogy users can easily add one wireless Networx Lock, or as many as two thousand, to an existing system seamlessly with no downtime.

Trilogy Networx and gateway modules have an integral transceiver for highly-efficient 900MHz bidirectional communications, for longer range and less interference than with more common 2.4GHz spread spectrum devices.

Schlage NDE with ENGAGE

Schlage’s NDE lock with ENGAGE technology enabled transition from mechanical keys to electronic credentials with technology that’s easy to install, easy to manage and easy to use.

Solutions featuring ENGAGE technology can be customized to fit any size of business or budget from a standalone system to the sophistication of fully integrated access control.

Schlage® NDE series wireless locks with ENGAGE technology are designed to fit into a standard cylindrical door prep, making it easy to upgrade without having to replace the door or modify the frame. Installation is complete in minutes using just a Phillips screwdriver, with no additional holes to drill or wires to run to the opening.

The NDE features a built-in door position sensor on the lock and strike plate, eliminating the time and cost to install and wire separate components. And since lever handing can be changed in the field in a matter of seconds, you can easily accommodate a left- or right-handed door.

NDE series wireless locks are powered by four AA batteries with a battery life of up to two years under normal usage.

NDE series wireless locks meet the highest industry standards for reliability and durability, including ANSI/BHMA A 156.25, ANSI/BHMA Grade 1, UL 294, UL10C, Industry Canada and FCC Part 15. They also meet ADA, RoHS, and LEED certifications

For basic standalone applications, the ENGAGE apps are used to manage locks, add and delete credentials and view lock history from anywhere. For applications where more advanced capabilities are required, the ENGAGE mobile app is used to configure and connect the locks to an access control alliance partner system.

Building IDs and NFC-enabled smart phone devices are common electronic credentials that work with ENGAGE technology. Both proximity and smart credentials are held up to an electronic reader to initiate the validation process and gain access. For basic access control applications, either type of credential works. Note, however, that smart card technology is rapidly growing in popularity.

The ENGAGE™ Gateway is designed to be used with devices that feature ENGAGE™ technology, including Schlage® NDE Series Wireless locks, to deliver real-time networked connectivity with NDE Alliance Partner systems.

Each ENGAGE Gateway can support up to five wireless devices for a wide range of applications including interior suite entries, offices, conference rooms and sensitive storage areas.

The ENGAGE Gateway provides the ability to leverage existing IP based or RS-485 infrastructure for maximum flexibility. Built in PoE provides the ability to connect to the network for real-time access control directly from an in- or out-of- network host; to further simplify installation the gateway can be powered over ethernet (PoE). Additionally, the ENGAGE Gateway is designed to work seamlessly in an existing RS-485 environment to extend access control to more doors.

Regular, frequent communication between the Gateway and linked ENGAGE™ enabled devices—like the NDE Series wireless lock—enable the Gateway to send commands such as lock, unlock and lock down from an ACP or IP host in real-time (commands are executed in < 5 seconds).

For 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.