Product Testing: Securitron M680E Magnalocks

Oct. 2, 2018
M680E series Magnalocks have EcoMag® technology which uses up to 80 percent less energy as compared to earlier models

As with many other inventions, security products have often been developed to meet a need. When Canadian fire officials were looking for a safer locking system, an inventor developed what is said to be the first modern magnetic locking system in 1969.

Magnetic locks have one feature unmatched by other types of locks. There are no moving parts. All magnetic locks consist of an electric magnet and an armature (strike plate). Normally the electric magnet is attached to the door frame and the strike plate is attached to the door. While the strike plate is firmly attached, it is still allowed to have a small amount of movement. This allows the strike plate to shift slightly which makes up for any mis-alignment between electromagnetic lock and strike plate. Optimum holding force is achieved when the strike plate and electromagnetic lock surfaces are in complete contact.

Holding power between electric magnet and strike plate is achieved by energizing the electric magnet. Electromagnetic locks are usually considered fail-safe since any disruption of electric power to the lock breaks the magnetic bond and holding force between strike plate and electromagnetic lock is lost.

Electromagnetic locks generally do not have a connection to lever handles or door knobs. A typical electromagnetic lock installation would include a release button which is used to interrupt the current and unlock the door. A timer may be installed to keep the door unlocked for a given amount of time to allow passage. Fire codes may require a second unlocking system such as either a motion sensor or a push bar containing an on-off m switch used to interrupt power.

Advantages of using electromagnetic locks include: ease of installation, simple and quick operation, operation from remote location, no moving parts contributing to long product life. Disadvantages include: power required at all times, original cost is usually higher than other types of locking systems, additional components required for operating the product.

ASSA ABLOY Electronic Security Hardware provided their Securitron M680E Series Magnalock for review. M680E series Magnalocks have EcoMag® technology which uses up to 80 percent less energy as compared to earlier models. The box contains all necessary components for installation. Most maglocks are simply shaped like an unattractive square chunk. The first noticeable feature of Securitron’s M680E series Magnalock is the sculpted surface shape which adds some style to any doorway.

Securitron M680E series Magnalocks are designed to operate at 12/24 VDC. According to the instructions, best energy efficiency is achieved at 24 VDC. Power must be rectified and filtered to meet minimum electrical specifications. Maximum static holding force is 1200 lbs. M680E series locks have been tested to 250,000 cycles by UL.

Before installing a M680E Magnalock, determine and assess the condition of the door and frame which must be sturdy enough to meet or exceed the holding force of the Magnalock. Door and frame must also be constructed to provide adequate flat areas for the Magnalock installation. Additional brackets are available if flat area clearance is a problem. Finally, wiring to the unit must have some way to be adequately concealed against vandalism.

A comprehensive 26-page installation manual is included so detailed installation instructions will not be mentioned here. M380E Magnalocks weigh approximately 13 lbs. To simplify installation, a mounting plate can be removed from the M380E unit. Template pins are included which are temporarily installed in to assist in easily positioning the mounting plate in correct proximity from the strike plate. Once the mounting plate is installed, the M680E is inserted into position on rails cut into the mounting plate. Special blind nuts are included in the package for securing the M680E unit to metal door frames.

A housing for the strike plate is first installed to the door surface. The heavy strike plate is then inserted into the housing which facilitates installation of the heavy strike plate. A 5/16" sex bolt retains the strike plate in place.

A series of dip switches are located on a circuit board. Instructions included with the M680E Magnalock provide directions on setting the Magnalock to indicate lock status, timer delay period, PIR sensitivity, LED indicator. Jumpers can be installed on the circuit board if the M680E Magnalock is to be used with an access control system. Jumpers can control REX mode, door position mode, and BondStat mode. A terminal board provides connections for power, anti tamper, door position and Bondstat. Instructions show how to wire the M680E into a fire alarm relay. A troubleshooting section in the instruction manual provides possible actions to take and what the possible cause might be.

M680E Magnalocks are available as an M680EBD model offering built-in smart voltage sensing controls, Securitron's integrated patented BondStat, tamper sensor and door position monitoring. M680BDX models contain the same features and M680EBD plus including REX and optimum PIR beam for better cover accuracy. For further information contact your local ASSA ABLOY locksmith distributor or, 800-232-7329.