Access Control Systems 101
( by Tew Bee Lay, Sales Manager )
I have been exposed to access control industry for the past 13 years and yet I continuously receive the same enquiries most of the time from potential resellers, dealers, installers and end-users. So what are the most asked questions…?
What are the necessary accessories needed for a door access control systems?
Why should we install entry and exit readers?
What type of locking device is suitable?
Do I really need back-up battery?
Can it be linked to video intercom system?
Therefore, I would like to provide a summary of the elements and how to implement a basic door access control system.
The basic door access control system will require the following items:
Power Supply/Adapter
Back up Battery
Locking Device
Emergency Breakglass
Door Sensor
Exit Push Button (optional)
Door Bell (optional)
Overriding Keyswitch (optional)
Audio/Video Door Phone/ Intercom
Converter Unit (for RS485 communication)

The most common one door installation will need a controller/reader terminal/fingerprint reader- the “brain”. Most of the units available in the market presently have the combination of a controller with built-in reader but of course there are also controller unit only which needs to link to a reader – either biometrics or RFID, using Weigand or RS485 communication.  FingerTec terminals provide the built-in controller/reader and selected models with Weigand input/output.  Those with Weigand interfaces could be used as a reader for 3rd party controllers. For template management, FingerTec Data Processor software can be utilized in this type of application.

It is quite normal for an office to implement entry and exit readers to capture the entry and exit transactions of activities.  This is practical when the access control terminal is also used as time attendance unit at the

same time.  Some would use exit push button for egress if the exit transactions are not required.  Exit push button can also be installed at the reception table to allow visitors to enter a door. 

Alternatively, the system also could be linked to an audio or video door phone through dry contact points to open the door from the reception table. 

Generally, the terminals will need the 12V power supply for operation with the recommended 7AH Back-up Battery which could last around 5-6 hours when there is a  power failure.  FingerTec Adaptec AC 12V/3A unit comes with input/output modules to enhance the installation security which prevents tampering of systems from external environment. It also prevents power surges to affect the terminals.

Should there be a need to install an external siren, it is recommended to link it to the Adaptec AC power supply. The choice of using Electro-Magnetic Lock (EM Lock), Drop Bolt or Electric Striker will depends on type of doors and the opening requirement like 90 degree or 180 degree openings. Another criteria of locking device to consider is the “fail-secure” mode (locked when there is no power-supply) or “fail-safe” mode (lock opens when there is no power supply).
The Electro-magnetic lock should always be installed on the inside (secure side) of the door. Installation is as simple as installing on the header of the door frame for out-swinging doors or using a Z-bracket for in-swinging doors. It is important to make sure the armature plate and the electromagnet align as closely as possible to ensure efficient operation. For glass door without any frame, a ‘U” bracket will need to be installed.
Click here for more information on door installation.

The need to install overriding keyswitch is for emergency purpose when the systems fails and door could not be opened from the outside. The caution is to install the keyswitch away from visible point of view to deter tampering of the unit. Normal condition is the need to install the keyswitch at the main door only.

Installing the emergency breakglass is a must at the internal side of the door as per required by the Fire & Rescue Department or known in Malaysia as Jabatan Bomba. Tenants need to break the glass in order to open the door when the door is unable to open or jammed. In normal situation, alarm will be triggered if the glass is broken and the door will remain unlocked until the glass is replaced.

Lastly, in most cases, door sensor is installed basically to detect door opening and initialize an alarm. This also acts as an alarm indicator when the door is forced open.

Please visit this link for the accessories of door access systems that FingerTec offers.

All FingerTec resellers must know all these information because even though it is basic, it is important to have handy when advising clients. Absence of this knowledge from FingerTec resellers who sell door access system can’t be taken lightly because clients could be advised wrongly which could affect the customer-reseller relationship or worse, it might cause clients some loss. Take sometimes to revise all the information given to refresh our minds with our job. Email me any questions you have, maybe I could assist.

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