Critical Components of Access Control Design

Oct. 27, 2008
Specialized products make for tailored systems

Access control systems are comprised of a number of critical components which are required for security safety control and convenient operation of the system. An increasing number of access control systems are being deployed on a greater range of applications, and a growing number of specialized products are required to permit the installer to tailor the system to meet each client’s precise requirements.

Within a single enterprise, it is not unusual to find that the range of systems required will include keyed locks, mechanical and electronic standalone access; networked credential based access; security monitoring points; life safety subsystems; and door/gate operators, (just to name a few).

The system integrator’s design experience will be a combination of learning new products to satisfy a client’s specific product request, or offering a customized solution based on a site requirement for which the client has requested a solution.


Access Easy Controller (AEC) is a new generation access controller that uniquely combines the features of a web server and security system into one complete unit. The Bosch Access Easy Controller (AEC) is designed for small and medium-sized commercial enterprises, such as corporate offices and retail chains.

Using any of the popular browsers (e.g., Netscape, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox) and operating systems, the AEC is a network-ready system that connects easily to any TCP/IP network via an Ethernet port and operates over any Ethernet network (e.g., LAN, WAN or VPN). Remote connection can also be established with a standard dial-up serial modem.

Scalable, affordable, easy to install and operate, the AEC requires little training or maintenance and may be the perfect solution for your next project. The Access Easy Controller solution is easy to program and manage, and any client computer in the network can access it to manage the database, monitor activity or control devices. The system offers an open architecture and interfaces with standard Wiegand readers.

The Access Easy Controller can send out e-mails based on triggered events or transactions under normal or alarm conditions. Each mail message consists of a full description of the event or alarm, location, ID and date/time stamp. E-mail can be sent to multiple recipients or relayed as Short Message Service (SMS) to mobile phone users via certified modems. This function provides an unlimited means of selectable information transfer.

Additional AEC system features include:

• Access control using a card reader or a card reader plus PIN code.
• In/Out readers (anti-pass back) for high security areas.
• Intrusion alarm input point monitoring.
• Arm or disarm Access Easy Controller alarm zones using a card reader.
• Manual door control.
• Automatic door control based on schedules.
• Automatic arming and disarming of input points.
• Output control based on schedules.
• Special scheduling options for holidays.
• Built-in reporting capabilities.
• Attendance capturing.
• User dial-in support.
• Input/Output logic programming for control automation.
• Real-time activities and status update.

An initial four- or eight-door Access Easy Controller system can expand quickly and easily to cover 16 doors. Each Access Easy Controller system has options for up to 32 input points and 32 output relays that can be software configured.


Frequently a site will have special security requirements where optional accessories are needed. Securitron’s optional patented Senstat feature provides true lock status sensing. In many electrically controlled door security systems, status sensing is provided by a magnetic switch on the door itself. This indicates the door is closed but not necessarily secured. Securitron’s Senstat monitors the lock rather than the door and therefore provides higher security.

As of the beginning of 2007, the Senstat option is now replaced by a new and improved BondSTAT magnetic bond sensor. This feature is the next generation of electromagnetic lock monitoring technology from Securitron. Most typical door position switches indicate whether or not a door is closed. BondSTAT takes this type of monitoring to the next level and notifies your access control or alarm system that the door is accurately secure.

BondSTAT’s magnetic field monitors the entire surface of the armature, not just the center or corner. Either in vertical or horizontal position the BondSTAT is secure when the armature is within a lock tolerance of >95% lock voltage present. When the established lock tolerance is compromised the armature will recognize that the Magnalock is no longer secured. Any variation in the armatures position beyond the established installation perimeters will initiate a signal indicating the Magnalock is not generating at its full holding potential. This next generation of monitoring is essential for installations where security is of the utmost importance and is preferred by prisons and detention facilities.
BondSTAT delivers superior Magnalock monitoring capability for unparalleled security and peace of mind. The BondSTAT magnetic bond sensor is now available on most popular Magnalock models to include the M32/M34R/M62/M82 and SAM.


Dortronics EZ-Access Control System is a Door/Gate Control with Audit Trail, ideally suited for two independent doors with one reader each, or one door with two readers for In/Out control. For full system functionality, secured EZ-Prox cards, key fobs or the Dortronics #8160xWG heavy-duty keypad can be used to gain access.
EZ-Access users can easily be programmed into or out of the system using a programming card or master code entered by the keypad, without the need for a computer or complicated software. With Dortronics’ EZ-Access Control System, text file history reports are viewed with standard computer programs such as Notepad or Excel, and audit trails are easily downloadable with the EZ-Logger software provided.

The 2-door controller is equipped with two heavy-duty SPDT 10 amp relays, one for each controlled door or gate. For added versatility, a 5 VDC output and a 12 VDC output can each be used to trigger external relays for CCTV, etc. The EZ-Access door controller has a capacity for 2,000 active card holders. This 26-bit Wiegand compatible system is also ideal for exterior doors or gates.


Dreaming of selling that 1,000 door system? The fact is that many access control systems are limited to the number of doors you can protect. Some systems start as one or two doors. They grow as your customer’s company grows or their realization of the value of access control matures. They have complete trust in you as their dealer at this point. Manufacturers therefore offer products packaged with the beginner and future expansion in mind. The best way to approach any project is to specify a product that has the ability to grow.
Kantech Access Control Starter and Expansion Kits make it easy for the first time system and also enable the access control system to grow. Kantech benefits any size organization in ways such as the following:

• Save money by avoiding the need to re-key a facility every time an employee or tenant leaves.

• Improve bottom line with better employee performance and punctuality by tracking time and attendance.

• Reduce workplace hazards and enhance safety by keeping unauthorized personnel out.

Kantech Access Control Starter Kits include components required to build an effective and reliable access control system. Kantech Expansion Kits provide all of the necessary equipment to expand a Kantech access control system by up to two doors.

A means of indicating the locked/unlocked or secure mode is helpful in many installations. For example, visual indication allows guards to perform quick perimeter checks without needing to physically test each door. For high traffic access controlled doors, visual indication is helpful for individuals to know their credential has been accepted and the door will open for them. Since maglocks do not make any noise when they unlock, individuals might experience “face plant,” a term used to describe when a person plows into a locked door thinking it is unlocked.

Dortronics #7201 Door Status High Intensity LED Indicators can be clearly seen in virtually any lighting condition, including bright sunlight, and are also easily viewed from off-center angles. The new 7201 Series High Intensity LED Indicators are available in a variety of configurations for outdoor and indoor use. Outdoor applications utilize weatherproof High Intensity LEDs mounted on a gasketed plate for harsh exterior environments. Basic units feature high intensity red and green LEDs on a single panel and are designed to easily mount in a standard electrical box enclosure. The 7201 Series High Intensity LED Indicators will interface with virtually any type of access control reader or proximity device to convey door security status to system users or security personnel. The units can also be ordered in multiple configurations with key switches for specialized access control applications.


Whether a door has a keyed lock; a standalone or even a network based card reader, local door monitoring and annunciation may become necessary. A propped door alarm indicates when a door has been left open, propped open or forced, and depending on the type of propped door unit; interface with building systems, or provide local alarm indication. Dortronics System’s 7286-PT Series Door Prop Alarms are programmable for custom configurations, can be easily integrated with card access systems and feature local and remote audible alarms.
The 7286-PT Series Door Prop Alarms provide power to the electronic locking device and the mirrored door switch output. Responding to an authorized request for an access signal from the card access control, the 7286 unlocks the door.

After the allotted door open time has expired, a local warning tone begins to remind the user to close the door. If the door is not closed before the end of the warning period, then the door prop alarm sequence is activated and a steady alarm alert is emitted.

The door “open” time can be preset from 5 seconds to 90 minutes and the local warning tone can be preset from 0 seconds to 5 minutes.

The alarm can be reset automatically or manually by key switch, a card access system, or Dortronics’ 7600 Series annunciator/controller. In the automatic reset mode, the alarm will be silenced by simply re-securing the door, or upon expiration of the “reset” time delay. In addition to the optional reset key switch, a push button with momentary switch contacts is available to provide an REX signal to an access control system.

The 7286-PT Series is also supplied with LEDs for indication of Door Secured, Authorized Unlock, Door Open and Door Held Open. This device is easily interfaced with stand alone or computerized access control systems as well as the Dortronics 7600 Series Annunciator/Controllers without the need for additional relays or complex computer programming of the card access system. The 7286-PT Series Door Prop Alarm is available in single or double gang wall plate designs.


Power is the blood and power supplies are the heart of component access control systems. The power supply will energize the locking device(s); power the card reader and controller electronics, and interface with fire and life safety systems. Therefore selecting the proper power supply is a critical step in the access control system design process. New products and resources are being introduced to assist in this process.

Honeywell Power Product’s HP400ULACM4 and HP600ULACM8 power supplies are designed for access systems requiring independent lock control. Activated from a card reader, keypad, push button, or PIR; outputs power locks, strikes, door holders, and other access devices. A fire alarm control panel interface can trigger emergency exit, HVAC shutdown, elevator recall or other auxiliary devices. These power supplies feature a larger enclosure for easy wiring, LED diagnostic indicators, supervisory contacts, and a battery charger.