Self-Contained Access Control: Standalones And Beyond

Sept. 2, 2019
Installation is generally wire-free, but this newest category of products deliver full-featured electronic access control

Self-contained access control can include readers and keypads to authenticate access control requests, mechanical locking mechanisms to control the opening, and usually batteries to operate. Self-contained units generally use levers to operate the latch with only a small amount of power required, which allows the exterior trim to be actuated. The majority of locks are used where free egress is required by code, so no system power is consumed to accomplish an egress.

However self-contained systems do not necessarily function autonomously. In some cases these systems use credentials designed to shuttle information between the door units and the central management system, or use wireless to establish a virtual network which enable real time communications over distances limited only be the network environment in which they are installed.

Yale nexTouch™

The Yale nexTouch™ Commercial Keypad Door Lock is billed as one lock platform using three technologies: cylindrical, sectional mortise and keypad exit trim.

The nexTouch keyless electronic door lock combines a modern look with durability ideal for multi-family property, small business office space, retail space, hotel, airport, restroom, or mixed-use commercial building. All nexTouch Locks are easy to use and install, and allow you to manage access with up to 500 unique PIN codes. The nexTouch is ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 Certified and weather resistant.


  • Ideal for restrooms, offices, storage closets and more
  • Seamlessly retrofits mechanical cylindrical locks for easy upgrade to access control
  • Free-wheeling lever style resistant to vandalism 

Sectional Mortise

  • Great for multi-family residences or common areas
  • Available in a variety of decorative lever styles
  • Optional deadbolt for added security

Keypad Exit Trim

  • Ideal for retrofit projects, an ideal way to upgrade an existing exit device for easy, key-free access.
  • Offers easy upgrade from mechanical exit trim to key-free access management
  • Compatible with many pushpad exit devices, including competitor models
  • Available in touchscreen and pushbutton keypad options, in a variety of finishes and lever designs
  • Privacy mode, 9V battery power backup, and many more convenient features


Aperio is a global wireless platform that allows you to expand your access control footprint – quickly, easily, and affordably – using existing platforms you trust. Available across a broad range of locking hardware from ASSA ABLOY Group brands, Aperio provides the flexibility to address a variety of applications throughout any facility.

 Aperio wireless devices include:

  •  Adams Rite A100 narrow stile electronic trim and G100 digital glass door locks,
  • HES K100 cabinet locks and KS100 server cabinet locks,
  • Corbin Russwin and SARGENT IN100 locks,
  • SARGENT PR100 locks, and
  • Securitron R100 surface mounted readers.

Aperio technology utilizes local wireless communication between the lock and a communications hub to connect to an online electronic access control system. This offers facilities an easy, affordable way to expand the reach of existing access control systems and secure additional openings.


  • Utilizes IEEE 802.15.4 wireless communication between the lock and an Aperio hub that is connected to the electronic access control system
  • Real-time communication to the access control system for greater security and control
  • Real-time door status monitoring
  • Advanced data security with standard encryption techniques
  • AES 128-bit encryption
  • Global wireless platform that addresses a wide range of applications and security requirements
  • Supports HID® 125 kHz proximity or 13.56 MHz iCLASS® (full authentication, all formats) credentials

Alarm Lock Trilogy

The first professional grade self-contained access control locks I ever installed were Trilogy Locks. The early Trilogy had a metallic telephone type keypad and a tough metal housing. Both were very robust. Trilogy could be configured for door hand and swing on-site. Trilogy had a mechanical lock body and latch familiar to locksmiths. Trilogy programmed right from the keypad, no programmer required, and Trilogy had LEDs to help the installer and alert the end-user.

The Trilogy created the self-contained access control category, and not long after that they introduced wireless networking which made the Trilogy a truly versatile networkable self-contained access control platform.

Included in the Trilogy portfolio is their wireless networking platform, the ArchiTech designer access line, new IP based features, and Trilogy’s ongoing program to adapt Trilogy to be used in enterprise class access control from manufacturers such as Continental Instruments and Lenel.

The expanded Trilogy T2 Series Electronic standalone pushbutton locking line now includes cylindrical, mortise, narrow stile & exit trim.

  • Alarm Lock Trilogy® T2TM  Standalone Digital Cylindrical Lock
  • Alarm Lock Trilogy® T2 Cylindrical Lock With Lockdown via Keyfob
  • Alarm Lock Trilogy® T2 Series Mortise Lock
  • Alarm Lock Trilogy® T2 Series Narrow Stile Lock
  • Alarm Lock Trilogy® T2 Series Exit Trim

Trilogy NetworxTM Locking Products are networked to save staff labor, eliminating door-to- door programming and audit trail retrieval, by communicating wirelessly via Ethernet or 802.11B/G, all while providing the dependability, functionality and long battery life, original Trilogys are known for.

The expanded Networx linecombines to provide a quick, easy, economical access system for up to 2000 doors and 5000 users, with advanced features & functions, e.g., automatic schedules, event logs. But, with no wires to run, and no access panels or power supplies to buy or install, it can be a great time and budget saver for buildings, campuses or office suites. At its simplest, it’s one Grade 1 wireless lock per door, installed in about an hour, all communicating to a single Gateway (your choice of gateways controls up to 63 locks), networked to any non-dedicated Windows-based PC.

In addition to battery life exceeding five years, they feature new network-wide capabilities, executed from any lock or the network’s PC, including emergency priority global lockdown deployed in seconds, and you can activate (non-priority) system-wide free-passage or locking modes from the PC. For existing Trilogy installations, original standalone and new Trilogy Networx locks can seamlessly share one common database hosted on free Alarm Lock DL-WINDOWS software. For real-time access applications, Networx Locks offer enterprise network integration with several leading platforms.

Trilogy Networx Locks communicate wirelessly via Ethernet or 802.11B/G for a comprehensive wireless networked door access control system, eliminating door-to-door programming and audit trail retrieval and providing all standalone Trilogy lock functionality plus network-wide and emergency lockdown features

In 10 seconds, activate emergency global lockdown from the Networx PC, any Networx lock or Keyfob (RR-4BKEYFOB). If desired, locks may be selectively programmed to be excluded from emergency global lockdown function, i.e., they will ignore the command. System-wide free-passage enable or disable, can likewise be activated from the Networx PC

Locks easily retrofit standard or any Networx locks and support up to 5000 users with 3-6 digit numeric PIN codes and PDL-Series also support prox ID card users (virtually all HIDTM format proximity technology ID cards, fobs, credentials.)

Seamless upgrade path for original Trilogy users: 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 v4.1.x or higher). Existing Trilogy users can easily add one wireless Networx Lock, or as many as 2.000, to an existing system seamlessly with no downtime.

Secure 128bit AES PC encryption and proprietary RF-link lock communication encryption protects the system from interference or tampering (WEP or WPA compatible with wireless modem).

Wireless locks are fully keypad programmable and can be up and functioning even before their wireless network is configured.

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 an internal LAN with static IP address (recommended).(v4.1.x or higher).

Networx locks can be used as wireless, single-door controllers in real time too. Use with Continental Access®, CA4K®, Lenel OnGuard® Integrated Access Control & Video Security or Software House Connect Partner®

ArchiTech Series Networx Locks are an ideal access control solution; elegantly blending advanced wireless access control convenience within any décor, in an attractive, infinitely customizable designer locking form factor, in choice of trims and finishes. Ideal for educational, commercial office or multi-dwelling residential settings, these stylish, durable locks, leveraging proven Networx access control technology, offer a choice of ID credential technology, and can be used to control access a door at a time; across a wireless network; or as an integral part of a new or existing enterprise security system—spanning a few, or thousands of doors, in one building, a campus or multiple sites around the world.

Customize To Match Any Aesthetic Look, For Every Décor - Over 300 locks, levers, roses and finishes to choose from, durable ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 hardware over 300 locks, levers, roses and finishes

• Future-Proof Multi-Technology Access ID Credentials Replace Cumbersome Keys – HID® Prox, Mag Stripe, Smart Cards, PIV, keyfobs and remote buttons

• Emergency Lock-Down option via lock, button, keyfob or server (where networked).

• Flexible System Programming Locally using a USB Gateway or remotely across a wireless network (using free Alarm Lock DL-WINDOWS Windows-based software) or integrated on an enterprise class IT environment, in realtime, using LENEL.

iLock is an easy smartphone mobile solution for unlocking your ArchiTechTM Series Designer Access Control Locks from any smart device without the need to carry cumbersome ID cards or keys. Password protected access is secure through the use of Bluetooth LETM and proprietary encryption. An optional feature requires  a password for each unlock request.

The ArchiTech platform uses universally-compatible Bluetooth LE technology, so they can use any smart device to unlock ArchiTech on your door(s); and do so from afar, at a comfortable, customizable range of up to 30 feet away. For even greater security users can add an optional passcode, entered on their phone App.

Hager HS4

Hager HS4 is an ideal system which enables the upgrade of existing mechanical locks to EAC. Besides a comprehensive line of electronic cylinders, and world class software, Hager offers the business, marketing and training components to launch the locksmith as a Hager dealer.

The HAGER BLUEnet Repeater serves as a bridge between the gateway/note and the BLUEnet enabled device - Allows the signal to be extended to BLUEnet enabled devices outside the normal gateway/node BLUEnet operating range. - Does not need to be wired to the gateway/node (powered by 12v power supply)

HS4 Narrow Wall Reader is ideal for mullion and narrow stile mountings, high traffic openings and interior and exterior applications It updates users’ credentials and communicates network updates.


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.