Stepping Up To The King Cobra

Nov. 15, 2004
The Schlage King Cobra is a perfect security upgrade for mechanical keys and push buttons.

The Schlage King Cobra is a perfect security upgrade where mechanical keys are still being distributed to employees, or where mechanical pushbutton locks with single, shared, difficult-to-change code combinations are relied on to secure an opening.

The Schlage King Cobra is a manually programmable electronic access control lock with the durability and style that make it suitable for a wide range of applications. Presently, two versions are available: the narrow stile version for aluminum storefront doors and the version intended for solid doors. This article discusses the solid door cylindrical lockset version.

The robustness and user-friendly programming has meant no callbacks for us from any of our King Cobra installations, except for additional units or more iButtons for the systems.

Schlage describes it as the next step towards migrating up the security pyramid from a Level 1 patented mechanical key foundation to Level 2 electronic access control. Additionally we like the ability to program the King Cobra to operate as one of several traditional lock functions on the door to suit the situation or time of day.

We've found that clients anxious to make the transition to access control are initially intrigued by the King Cobra's feature set. Once the unit is installed, they readily adapt to the system programming and management and they are impressed with its reliable operation and obvious physical integrity as a lock.

The Schlage King Cobra family offers the unique benefit of an iButton credential in addition to a keypad for gaining access, but the user decides on a user-by-user basis whether a credential must be used. This is a slight departure from other systems which may use time zones or authorization levels to determine entry requirements. The system administrator makes the decision to apply access privileges on a user-by-user basis, or to allow the King Cobra to operate as a traditional passage lock.

iButtons are virtually indestructible and nearly impossible to duplicate. They fit neatly on a key chain. When an iButton is lost or stolen, it can be easily deleted from the lock and a new one re-issued.

For customers with multiple doors or multiple sites, the same iButton may be used by an employee or administrator at multiple locations without hassles with facility codes which is the case with some other credential based access controls.

Although the King Cobra is designed to be used on a large range of door thicknesses, a special adapter plate is required for thinner doors. This accessory must be ordered separately. The backset is also a critical parameter, since the latch cannot be modified in the field. Backset shall be either 2-3/8" or 2-3/4". Be certain you have the correct shim and backset latch so that you can proceed with the installation.

It's safe to say that retrofitting will be required for the majority of situations. However, whether a new installation or a retrofit, drilling the door for this lock involves little more than prepping for a typical cylindrical lockset. You need to determine the height on the door for the new lock. Then mark the door as you would for a typical cylindrical lockset, mark the few additional holes required, and drill.

The Schlage King Cobra Family includes the Vandlgard clutching lever design. Until the lock is actuated by the proper code or credential, the lever is disconnected from the lock mechanism (free wheeling), thereby protecting the lock mechanism from damage from vandalism or attack. When the proper code is entered, an authorized credential is presented, or the unit is programmed into an active function (such as passage function) the outside lever engages the latch mechanism. The inside lever is always engaged with the latch so free egress is assured.

The Schlage King Cobra Family features a Schlage Everest cylinder. This design provides a solid mechanical key solution and allows for the King Cobra lock to integrate into an Everest master key system already in place.

Schlage restricts the distribution of Everest keys to commercial locksmiths, which means that key holders cannot easily get their keys duplicated at a home centers or hardware stores. By limiting the available points of sale for key blanks, Everest limits the unauthorized duplication of keys. And, with the availability of Schlage's Everest Primus, you can upgrade sensitive areas of your Everest key system to a high-security Primus® key control system without completely rekeying an entire facility. King Cobra can also accommodate Schlage IC cores.

For many King Cobra applications, keys are issued only on a limited basis to management and maintenance personnel for use as emergency overrides.

Our case history installation was performed at a local Rescue Squad on their administration office. Office equipment, supplies and documents are kept in this office. Additionally, squad members pass through this area to access other areas of the building.

The door was previously equipped with a storeroom function lock fitted with a high security cylinder. The Squad wanted a solution that would make it more convenient for the team to get through the door and less expensive for the squad to rekey or obtain additional keys.

The installation went smoothly. It was necessary for us to replace the faulty door closer on the subject door to ensure the security of the door was maintained.

We've had no call backs on this installation, and based on the positive feedback we've received from the client, we anticipate we'll be asked to provide a Narrow Stile King Cobra for the front door in the near future.