New Cabinet Lock-In-A-Box from RCI

June 1, 2008

Drawer and door cabinet locks have depended on wafer lock construction for decades. Wafer locks are useful for keeping prying eyes or young children from getting to the contents of a cabinet, but that is the extent of their usefulness. Locksmiths learned long ago how to pick open wafer locks, and it is usually not a very involved process.

Rutherford Controls (RCI) has just introduced a new CL2 electronic cabinet lock which is operated with iButtons. There is no mechanical key bypass. This unique cabinet lock can be installed as the primary locking device or as a secondary locking device in addition to an existing drawer or cabinet door lock. The CL2 is designed for interior use.

Each user carries his or her own iButton key. An iButton reader is installed on the outside of the cabinet. The user simply presents his or her iButton into the iButton reader. A correctly enrolled iButton key will release the CL2 cabinet lock for a five-second time period. After five seconds, the cabinet lock will return to a locked position. The CL2 uses a spring-operated latch which automatically locks the cabinet whenever the door or drawer is fully closed.

RCI iButton electronic locks use an internally-mounted battery. According the RCI, the battery will operate for over 50,000 operations before needing replacement. It is not necessary to remove the CL2 cabinet lock in order to replace the battery. A Phillips screw retains a small cover plate in position. When the screw is removed, the battery can be easily removed and replaced. A Duracell “J” type battery is required.

The RCI iButton lock will accept up to 160 individual user keys. Keys can be set to operate more than one iButton lock. This allows an administrator to have a key which operates several iButton cabinet locks while each user might have a key which operates only their own individual cabinet lock.

RCI CL2 iButton locks are shipped with one each of four separately colored iButton keys. Yellow keys are for users; black keys are called shadow keys; blue keys are for adding users and red keys are for deleting users. Additional iButton keys can be ordered as needed.

An LED indicator light is mounted on the front surface of the CL2 unit. During the initial installation of each CL2 lock, the ‘add’ and ‘delete’ keys must be enrolled.

1.         Present the blue ‘add’ key to the reader. The LED will flash once.
2.         Present the red ‘delete’ key to the reader. The LED will flash twice.

The ‘add’ and ‘delete’ keys have now been enrolled.

1.         Present the blue ‘add’ key to the reader. The LED will flash once.
2.         Present a yellow ‘user’ key to the reader, followed by presenting a black ‘shadow’ key. The LED will flash once. (User and Shadow keys are always enrolled in pairs).

1.         Present the red ‘delete’ key to the reader
2.         Present either the yellow ‘user’ key’ or the companion black ‘shadow’ key to the reader. The LED will flash once to show that the user key and shadow keys have been deleted.

Each yellow ‘user’ key has a companion black ‘shadow’ key which should be catalogued by user name. This allows the administrator to delete either individual lost yellow user keys or keys not returned by former users.

A flush surface at right angles to the door or drawer front is required for mounting the lock. The lock case is approximately 3 1/2” deep, 3 3/4” wide and less than 1/2” thick. A paper template simplifies placement of the lock case. The lock can be mounted in either a horizontal or vertical position.

The iButton reader has approximately 15” of cable and the lock unit has approximately 7” of cable. This allows the reader to be installed up to 20” away from the lock at any convenient location on the frame of the furniture. The reader is fastened with a push-on washer. On thin material, drill an 11/32” hole through the cabinet at the desired reader location.

On material thicker than 3/16”, the installation hole must be counterbored. Drill an 11/16” hole from the inside of the cabinet and stop approximately 3/16” from the outer face of the cabinet. Complete drilling through the cabinet using an 11/32” drill bit. Insert the reader cable from the outside of the cabinet, and then fasten the iButton reader in place using the star clip washer.

Proper strike plate (pawl) placement is important. The strike plate must not cause the springlatch to bind. Instructions suggest using double-backed tape to temporarily test placement of the strike before final installation of the strike plate screws.

Note: Batteries should be replaced on a timely basis. In case of complete battery failure, the strike plate has an access hole for releasing the springlatch. When all else fails, a tiny hole can be drilled through the door or drawer face to access the springlatch.

A good idea would be to keep measurements of the strike plate location on file in case the access hole would have to be drilled at some future time.

For further information contact your local locksmith distributor or RCI, web site or telephone 800-265-6630.