Security Solution Spotlight: The Magnasphere Switch

Aug. 8, 2023

Security Technology Executive (STE) magazine recently talked with Michael Keegan, a 39-year veteran in the electronic security industry, who currently serves as the Vice President of Security Product Sales for Magnasphere Corporation. Headquartered in Waukesha WI, the company developed and patented award-winning switch technology that is used in applications that range from security door sensors to automotive and industrial applications.

STE: Tell us about Magnasphere and your involvement with the company

Michael Keegan: Magnasphere was established in 2001 after the development of the Magnasphere switch.  The switch is activated by a tiny magnetic ball that opens and closes an electronic circuit.  Hence the name: Magna Sphere.  In 2002, the founders of Magnasphere submitted the switch in the SIA New Product Showcase, winning both the Product Achievement Award for Intrusion Detection/Prevention and Best of Show. I met the Magnasphere team in 2010 and was offered the Vice President of Security Products position.

STE: What differentiates Magnasphere from other door contact manufacturers?

Keegan: Since the late 1970s, all door contact manufacturers have used the reed switch since its origination in the 1930s. The reed switch does not provide security features.  It is simply a position switch.  Magnasphere’s switch is a secure technology that is resistant to lightning or voltage spikes, is not as fragile as glass reed and is anti-defeat.  Every Magnasphere door switch is balanced.  The device has gained a reputation as being the “go-to” contact for high-security applications and also meets the needs of integrators requiring door security in their everyday installations.  We manufacture recessed and surface mount contacts of all shapes and sizes, all with secure Magnasphere switch technology.  All our switches are manufactured in the U.S.

STE: Why is Magnasphere considered a leader in high-security contacts?

Keegan: In addition to the secure Magnasphere switch technology, our UL-634 Level 1 and Level 2 contacts incorporate integrated pry tamper and magnetic tamper circuits that are able to detect any attempts to defeat, remove or tamper with the contacts.  Magnasphere offers a two-switch option so that both Access Control Systems (ACS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) can be activated by one device.  The switch is also UL10C Fire Classified and the conduit-fitted models, along with a variety of brackets and accessories allow integrators to tackle even the most challenging installations.

STE: Does Magnasphere offer any other products?

Keegan:  Magnasphere also manufactures a panic switch that is available in both terminal connections and leads.  It is made with the Magnasphere switch and is ADA-compliant, making it a perfect solution for banks, convenience stores and even freezers.  A radar motion sensor and a fence climb and cut detection system that we call MACS (Magnasphere Anti Climb System) are also available. 

STE: Radar motion detectors are gaining popularity, tell us about yours

Keegan: The MSK-101-MM is an FMCW (frequency-modulated continuous wave) radar motion sensor.  It is designed to perform in all outdoor weather extremes. It’s a medium to small-range detector with new technology for motion detection that is perfect for trouble spots other technologies can’t handle. Locations that can’t tolerate false alarms, such as remote utility substations or high-value areas, find this to be a great solution – even in the harshest environments.

This radar unit is resistant to false alarm problems caused by small animals and can be used as a secure, request-to-exit motion sensor and as an egress activation that operates gates.  The MSK 101’s two unique features are its two alarm outputs and programmable distance coverage. Programming through a Wi-Fi dongle or micro cable allows for easy field setup.  Magnasphere has two models: a relay output or a POE version. 

STE:  How does your MACS system work?

Keegan: The MACS system is a three-axis MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) technology designed to overcome false alarm problems common among other fence protection systems.  Designed specifically for metal fencing, the MACS sensors are mounted to rigid, semi-rigid or chain link fences with a single clamping screw. The sensor is then calibrated to the resonant frequencies of that specific fence panel or area.  After determining the “note” of the fence, the MACS system can detect deviations caused by climbing or cutting in the instance of a chain link fence.  Unlike other fence protection systems, the MACS is not impacted by wind, rain, single bumps or vibration.  These types of events affect the amplitude but not the frequency.

Our distribution partners can be found at I can be reached at MKeegan@Magnasphere.