Tech Tips: Cloud Electronic Access Control for a Storefront Door

Jan. 2, 2019

We are often contacted by Locksmith Ledger readers and individuals who visit our website. They bring us their technical problems and ask for solutions. We welcome these challenges and encourage our readers and visitors to our website and discussion forums to ask us questions. We are happy to help.

I have been involved in providing technical support for several decades; sometimes over the phone and sometimes in person and sometimes via email. Whenever it was possible I preferred to visit the site, because just because someone asks, it doesn’t mean he or she is going to purchase something or even be a viable customer.

I always attempt to qualify the caller as a legitimate prospect before investing my time and resources on them. Even if they misrepresent themselves over the phone, an in depth conversation or site survey will reveal the truth.

Get the client to take pictures with their phones for you. And if you, like me have been doing this a while, you have previous projects and research in your archives to call upon. Rarely are you starting from scratch.

So here was the email received by The Locksmith Ledger, and how we progressed with coming up with a solution.

There is more than one right answer.

“Hi, I have an MS 1890 lock on the exterior narrow stile commercial glass door that has the commercial brown pull handle. I want to replace the mortise lock with a lock that has remote access from anywhere in the world. I travel a lot and many times my indoor soccer facility requires use. I'd like to provide one-time access codes and not have people with keys/cards/etc. What options are there for a remote access lock?”

Reviewing the images of the entry door to this facility shows that it is a duronodic outswinging door with an Adams Rite MS-1890 swing bolt with an exterior cylinder and turnpiece on the interior. There is a door closer on this door.

This lock is very effective for physical security of a storefront door, although, let’s face it, this is a glass door, so it’s value as a physical barrier is up for debate and reminds me of that annoying saying you hear when you are trying to sell security that “A lock only keeps honest people out.”

But the project is interesting in that it involves upgrading the locking hardware on a storefront, and the client has expressed a rather exotic requirement for remotely controlling the opening.

I sent him an email:

So currently, unless you have a manager on premises, the place is closed. Is that correct?

Client says: YES

So can I assume that while the premises is locked, you wish the option to remotely provide access?

Client says: YES. I travel a lot and would like the remote access to let staff in, customers who’ve booked a time slot and for those last-minute bookings where I or staff wouldn’t need to come in.

With the new locking arrangement, the door would be locked from the outside, but would permit safe egress when patrons wished to leave.

Client says: YES currently even when we’re there, front door is locked from the inside and customers unlock when leaving.

You can't do much with the locking arrangement you have now. The door is either unlocked or it is locked. And it is not so good that they could manually lock themselves in with the thumbturn on the interior.

Here was my last response:

You can use a latching lock or an electromagnetic lock for the door.

I have material lists for either approach, but I would imagine you would need to contact a locksmith or installer in your area for the installation and they often like to specify what they install. But you can use my list as a starting point, since my product knowledge is up to date, and based on my contacts with the manufacturers' tech support,  and on many years of installing this stuff myself.

The latching lock provides the security of a latch but requires a skilled installation. 

The electromagnet is easier to install but is failsafe, meaning it requires power to lock. 

Both types of system will require a power supply designed for door controls, and it can be supplied with rechargeable batteries.

This means that if there is a power failure, in the case of the electromagnetic lock, the door will remain locked for as long as the battery holds which, depending on the size of the battery you specify, can be a few minutes or several hours.

This gives you time to go to the site and lock the swing bolt. 

If there is no power, no one will want to use the facility anyway.

In the case of the latching lock, it will remain locked without power but will not electrically unlock, just with a key to get in or the paddle to egress.

The other issue with the electromagnet is building codes. 

Your installer would need to check with whoever enforces the building codes in your area as to whether an electromagnetic lock is allowed for your occupancy rating. 

This person is referred to as the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) often it is the fire marshal, other times it is the building department. 

There is no expense to ask, and locksmiths and security professionals do it all the time to be sure they are in compliance.

I've installed literally thousands of electromagnetic locking systems.

Component List

We contacted ASSA ABLOY Electromechanical Security Hardware with our requirements and received the following product recommendations:

  • 1 pc. Steel Hawk - 4300-30-201-313 ( 1-1/8" back set ) 4300-40-201-313 (1-1/2" back set )
  • 1 pc. paddle - 4590-02-00-313 ( push to left ) 4590-04-00-313 ( push to right )
  • 1 pc. exterior lever trim - fixed pull by others
  • 1 pc. mortise cylinder with 10 keys - 4036-01-01-313 ( comes with 2 keys, have a home improvement company cut the additional 8 keys )
  • 1 pc. power supply with battery backup - BPS-24-1 with B-24-5 battery back up Linear Power Supplies

NOTE: In the November 2018 issue of The Locksmith Ledger we had a similar application where we suggested the Steelhawk 4300 for a similar storefront application. Read that article here: Tech Tips: Bluetooth for Storefront Locks,

The 3080 Series Entry Trim provides outside activation for doors with any type of Adams Rite exit device and deadlatch. The locked handle is protected from vandalism and forced entry with a breakaway clutching mechanism. Breakaway clutching mechanism protects the locked handle from vandalism or forced entry, in either direction. All models share the same core components, so levers can be changed without having to replace the entire trim.

The 3080E Electrified Entry Trim provides a solenoid that will allow the handle to be turned to unlatch the exit device. This means that when there is no remote activation, the handle is locked in place and the trim is locked and the exit device remains latched. When there is remote activation of the trim's solenoid, the trim is unlocked from the outside and the exit device remains latched. Because the continuous duty solenoid enables remote activation of the locking function of the trim without unlatching the exit device on the door, this trim is great for stairwell and fire door applications.

Product Note: For optimal security, Adams Rite recommends that the 3080 and 3080E Series Entry Trim is used in conjunction with Medeco high security cylinders, when a cylinder is required by the application.

The mag lock and power supply recommendations call for ASSA ABLOY ESH brand Securitron products:

  • 1pc. electromagnetic lock - M62 Securitron M62
  • 1pc. REX Motion Sensor - XMS Securitron XMS
  • 1 pc. REX pushbutton, narrow, illuminated - PB3EN with the PB3-LK Securitron PB3 Series
  • 1 pc. Keyswitch, narrow, illuminated - MKN Securitron MK
  • 1 pc. power supply with battery backup - BPS-24-1 with B-24-5 Linear Power Supplies


For remotely controlling the door and use smartphones, one system I like is Kindoo.

You can use KIN D, which does not require an access control system, to activate your lock. All the users must use their own cell phone and download a Kindoo app from which they may use to access the facility once the owner has granted them access from his own cell phone via the same app downloaded to his phone. That KIN D will read the low energy Bluetooth signal generated by the Kindoo application installed on a cell phone.

The owner must pre-purchase the user slots that he can use to assign to certain users and revoke them once done. Those revoked user slots can be re-used to assign to another user. The owner cannot use the app from a remote location to lock and unlock the door. However, he can do just that within 30 feet of the door once it has been configured.

Power Transfer

The Command Access patented Concealed Door Loop (CDL) is a low cost method of transferring low voltage power from the door frame to the locking device.

Whereas typical door loops are surface mounted and remain constantly visible, the CDL slides into the door and/or frame completely concealing itself when the door is closed.

The good news is that when you use this loop, you will probably never have to replace it because it was vandalized. The bad news is that you will probably never have to replace it because it was vandalized.

If your business model is built upon the recurring revenue generated by vandalism to your installations, then used the more familiar surface mounted variety. We used to install electromagnetic locking systems on bank ATM vestibules, and the indigents would regularly rip them off as if they were handles in the subway.

There are models for Continuous and Butt hinges and ¾” offset pivots.

Installing this product requires some of the same considerations as does installing electromagnetic locks and running wires in aluminum storefronts, and so reading the installation instructions is a good idea.

To determine the best location for installation, please take the following into consideration:

1. Be sure that the opening does not exceed 180º swing range.

2. When door is closed the total length of the CDL (6”) will be concealed in a combined space within the door and door frame. Make sure there is ample space for the CDL armored cable to move freely.

3. Be sure to select a location on the door for the CDL that does not compromise the structural integrity of the door when drilling the 5/8” hole.

4. Be sure to select a location on the frame for the CDL that will not come into contact with any reinforcement or anchoring brackets within the frame when drilling the 5/8” hole.

5. For best results, position the CDL in a location that allows the armored cable to easily travel inside both the door and door frame and provides proper wire slack for free movement.

6. Wire cable MUST slide freely within the CDL’s armored cable. Installing a cable that is too thick to slide freely will result in premature failure due to flexing and stretching.

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.