Access Control Case Study
Project at glance:
Location: 2810 Hemphill Park, Austin Texas
S.A. Locksmith & Security in San Antonio Texas was awarded an access control job in Austin Texas. The job was to replace two old tele-entry access control systems which controlled access to elevators, doors, pedestrian and parking garage gates, about 20 in total, and held information of about 500 residents. The two old Access control and tele entry systems were:
1. Old Linear tele entry and access control units.
2. Old Sentex tele entry and access control units.
The old systems did not have enough memory to add additional residents to the database. In addition, the individual control panels were not connected to a network, so any deletion or addition of residents had to be done separately, at the location of each control panel, one at a time. There was no communication between the various panels!
In order to reduce cost, the requirements were to use the existing wires and to use the old readers, key fobs and transmitters, as much as possible. The project involved 3 parking garage gates, several pedestrian gates and several tele entry doors and gates.
As we will see, the requirement to use the old wiring was very challenging, since the new systems required more wires than the old system had.
Photos of the Old System
Old Sentex Access Control
Old Sentex Access Control
Old Linear Access Control
After evaluating the customer’s needs and the existing wiring, we came to the conclusion that the best solution would be to use the ‘Linear’ systems (now Nortek) and use their more advanced Tele-Entry systems.
We suggested using the AE-2000 plus systems for the tele-entry controllers and the AM-3 plus for the general door and gates controllers. These systems also include transmitters and option to add a remote receiver (the AE2000 plus also has an internal receiver). We used the Transmitters and receivers to control 3 parking garage gates.
Linear AE2000-Plus installed
Linear AM3 Plus
Altogether we needed to use 10 control panel, 4 of them were Tele-Entry systems. In addition, we needed to use several Linear AM-CRI modules to extend the number of card readers each system can hold and support. We also added an AM-RRR remote radio receiver to the system to control an additional parking garage gate.
The Linear access control system can hold up to 8 panels (units) per network so we ended up using 2 networks: Network A and Network B.
It actually worked well, since the project was divided into two separate groups of buildings, so panels connected to Network A controlled one building complex, and panels connected to network B controlled a second building complex.
To make it convenient for programming the control panels from the offices, we ran wires from network A into an office in one building, and wires from network B into an office in the other building.
Wall Connection for Network A
Wall Connection Network B
Card Reader – Linear
AM-RRR-Remote Radio Receiver – Linear
Challenges we encountered:
The job became more complicated because of the requirement to use the existing wires of the old installation. Typically, there are many wires connecting the panels to card readers, to elevators, to electric strikes and to magnetic locks.
Because of the large size of the two building complexes, many of the panels were located far away from each other and on different floor levels.
One of the tasks we had to perform was to connect 2 groups of panels to two separate networks.
In order to establish a network connection between the panels we needed 3 additional wires to connect between all the panels of each group.
This required running additional cables between the units which were located in different places and on different levels of the buildings.
In addition to running extra wiring for the two networks, we also needed to run several extra wires from some card readers to the AM-CRI.
Each Linear AE2000Plus or AM-3Plus supports 4 relays but only 2 readers. In order to add two more readers to each panel, we needed to use the Card Reader Interface box (AM-CRI) which can add 2 more readers.
The problem was that each reader had to have seven wires. In the old system, only 6 wires were connected to each card reader, so we were missing 2 wires for each AM-CRI expansion boxes. As a result, we needed to run additional wires between some card readers and AM-CRI units.
Programming the access control system:
The Linear (now Nortek) software is user friendly, it has great documentation and is very easy to program. All control panels can be programmed from the offices and adding/removing tenants is now a simple task.
In conclusion: The Linear (now Nortek) access control system was a good choice for this project. S.A. Locksmith & Security was able to use much of the existing wiring of the old Sentex system and complete the job in a timely manner and save money to the client.