Stealth Cabinet Security

May 3, 2010
When installed, the keyless and wireless StealthLock from Compx is an invisible cabinet locking system

Wireless technology and digital keypads have moved into electronic security and each represents trends which are taking security off hard wire and mechanical keys. These technologies are gaining popularity as end-users become more knowledgeable and the technology improves and the cost continues to go down.

CompX has deep roots in security and securing furniture, and they have introduced a unique product called StealthLock which is designed to do some specific tasks extremely well for a reasonable price.

StealthLock is keyless and wireless, requiring no drilling or alteration to the container onto which it is installed. A couple of screws are required to mount the lock body to the fixed portion, and to mount the hasp to the moving door. When installed, the StealthLock is an invisible cabinet locking system.

Because of its small size, the StealthLock is suitable for cabinets and lockers used in closets, kitchens, education and healthcare environments, adding a non-obtrusive level of protection otherwise unavailable or impractical.

The StealthLock consists of a Receiver Latch, Transmitter Pad, and Strike Plate. The latch mounts on the door of the container. The Receiver Latch is the brain of the system and it mounts within the container being protected. The StealthLock is supplied with a disposable alignment tool, which assures that the installation will go quickly and correctly, on the first attempt.

Each cabinet being protected requires a separate Receiver Latch to secure a single door or drawer; however, multiple receivers may be controlled with a single transmitter keypad. The only limitation in this regard is that the keypad must be within a receiver’s range, which is typically 15 feet. The StealthLock is not recommended for use on metal cabinetry because metal may block the RF signals emitted by the keypad transmitter.

StealthLock uses readily available AAA batteries (four required for the receiver Latch), and a coin type CR2032 (one required for the keypad transmitter.

The StealthLock conserves Battery Life with a predicted 6,000 cycles = 4 open/close cycles per day for two years. Battery failure in the device is cleverly avoided by an integral watchdog circuit. Once commissioned, the StealthLock counts how many times it has been activated, and starts issuing alert signals after 5500 activations. CompX suggests that batteries be replaced annually, as you would smoke detector batteries.

If you are really worried about battery failure, there is a hard-wired plug-in power supply available for the StealthLock, which would require routing a low voltage wire into the cabinet.

As a fallback, the StealthLock is designed with a break-away type latch, so in an extreme emergency the locked door may be forced open without destroying the furniture or destroying the StealthLock. The StealthLock is designed to pass the ANSI/BFIMA 50-pound pull strength specification. Replacement latches are available from CompX.

Operation of the StealthLock is simple. The keypad is a membrane style, and a small green LED illuminates when a button has been successfully depressed. The receiver latch emits an audible, but not deafening click when it receives a command to lock or unlock.

The receiver latch cannot be locked or unlocked manually, only electrically. However the door may be deliberately left ajar and the receiver latch can be electrically locked, so that when the door is returned to the closed position, it will automatically lock. This is better than with a deadbolt-type lock where if the bolt extends while the door is still ajar, the protruding bolt will prevent the door from closing.

The StealthLock comes in two versions: Standard and Dedicated. With the standard version, keypads may be used to control multiple receivers, while with the dedicated version, each keypad is electronically matched to its receiver, so that a keypad cannot be accidentally (or intentionally) programmed to operate more than one receiver. It is easy to imagine applications where one version would be desirable over the other, and each version has its place and purpose.

Regardless of the version, every StealthLock has the following multiple operating modes, allowing for custom tailoring of the lock for each application.

Self-Lock Mode: When the open command is executed, the receiver will automatically relock in 10 seconds. This is ideal for situations where a busy parent, teacher or health professional may not want to have to enter a second code to relock the cabinet. If the open command is issued and the door is never opened, it will relock after 10 seconds.

Passage/Manual Mode: When the open command is executed, the receiver remains unlocks indefinitely until the lock command is issued. This is a great idea for when a storage cabinet will be made accessible for an extended period. The door will be able to open and close but will not latch until the lock command is issued.

It is easy to envision adding a magnetic catch to a door, to augment the latch so that it will remain in the closed position without actually being latched or locked.

Single Use Mode: This function allows the user to select their access code at the time of operation. For example in a library where personal article may need to be cached away temporarily. The supervisor code would be used to override or reprogram the lock if necessary.

StealthLock kits are offered in several configurations to meet the requirements of different markets and usages. Product components are offered individually so that any of the described configurations and use possibilities may be achieved, and multiple StealthLock install can be effectively managed.

CompX Security Products sounds new but it is the manufacturing umbrella for the former National Cabinet Lock, Fort Lock, Chicago Lock and Timberline Lock. Its STOCK LOCKS distribution program includes product from all four of the CompX brands and offers over 1,500 stocking products on the shelf at its two shipping locations, Mauldin, S.C .and Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

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