Now They're Talking!

Smart locks move from stand-alone to network communication.


Upon verification, the host access control system sends a lock or unlock command to the interface board, which sends power to the locking mechanism. User access levels and event information reside in the host access control system. The Schlage VIP series locks support magstripe and HID proximity configurations. In addition to the locking hardware, the lock includes a door monitor switch and request-to-exit switch linked to the secure side lever. The lock sends a signal to the host when there is a legal exit, forced door or propped door condition. The host system records unknown cards and access attempts outside user access levels. An optional internal switch within the lock detects and logs the use of a mechanical override key.

Geoffrey Access Systems, a New Jersey-based access control system provider, adapted their panel to connect to the Schlage VIP lock directly, without an interface board. The Geoffrey system manages on-line and off-line locks and integrates access control technology with CCTV and badging features. The hardware cost-locking hardware, request-to-exit switch, door monitoring and card reader-is comparable to systems with these components installed separately and linked by wiring. However, the installation cost of network-compatible locks is considerably less because there is only one hardware preparation and single cable termination. The lock installs using standard door reinforcement and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) door preparation. The wired hinge or pivot requires only four wires for data and power transfer.

A network integrated lockset is of particular value on fire rated doors, particularly on remodel projects. Current building codes prohibit field modification of rated fire doors and frames by personnel other than the door manufacturers' technicians. Metal doors with internal raceways pre-built into the door structure allow technicians to install network compatible locks without voiding the testing laboratory labels. Listed frame assemblies do not require modification for electric strikes and remain intact. Stand-alone battery-operated locks will continue to enjoy strong sales due to their advanced access control capabilities at low initial cost. Building owners and managers who need the features of real- time monitoring and control will find that integrated access control locks and alternative energy sources will provide reliable solutions to their security challenges.

Dick Zunkel is a frequent contributing writer to ST&D.