Help with new security system

I am trying to build a small business security system that will let me use key cards for employees to enter and exit the building without setting off the alarm. I don't need to track employees per se. Just have the cards allow entry and exit and interact with the main security system. We are installing a new entry door that will allow an electronic actuator to unlock the door. I am trying to locate control panels that allow for both a keypad and a key card system. Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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Have you ever done this before? How much time and energy are you willing to spend to learn how?

Reply to
Crash Gordon

Hi Denis,

There are several systems on the market which can do what you want. Honeywell makes a Vista-128 series control panel which can interconnect with their VistaKey system. The Honeywell system is intended for larger commercial premises. ELK Products makes a "residential" home automation system that could be used for combined security and access control. The ELK-M1G system is UL listed for residential use but if you're not going to use it for fire alarm and you're not doing the installation to comply with a requirement of your insurance company, that doesn't matter. Alternatively, you could install any of a number of small access control systems. These aren't "security systems" in the sense of alarms but they can limit access to those with a card. Either of these approaches can be done by a DIYer with a modicum of tool skills and a bit of patience.

Another approach would be to install electronically operated door locks such as the Trilogy series from Alarm Lock Systems. These do not require a card -- just a code. Each employee has a unique code which can operate one or all locks. Codes can be added or deleted at will. The beauty of this approach is it doesn't require special exit mechanisms. Doors operate manually from the inside. Hit the push bar or turn the handle to exit.

One consideration which may affect your selection is fire sprinklers. If you have a fire suppression system and you install magnetically operated locks, you'll need to tie the access control system into a UL Listed commercial fire alarm or sprinkler alarm to comply with building codes. If you use electronic locks which allow instant egress this isn't an issue.

Reply to
Robert L Bass

to unlock the door.

There are many types of "actuators". Many internal door "actuators". that pin the top and bottom of a door may have duty cycle limitations. You could have too many employees coming and going in too short a time and overheat those type units. See what type "actuators" you have by looking here:

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you have a magnetic lock or strike. Those are seldom a problem with duty cycles, although some can get very hot in just normal operation.

Next the card reader and cards come into play.

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key card system.

There are many that can do that. In the available to authorized dealers only section you'll find: Bosch G Series can do up 8 doors.

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DMP XR500 up to 16 doors
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In the available to any dealer section you'll find: The DSC PC4020 (Maxsys) Yes, it can do it too but, yuck, it's really nasty, not CP-01 and end of life. Might not be legal to use in your area. It could be the cheapest solution, in every sense of the word.
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Napco panels are available to any dealer but the access control portion is available to authorized dealers only, with a limited edition panel that could be available to nearly any dealer. Napco panels can work with Continental Instruments panels and software to do the same thing as an integrated panel.
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Honeywell makes a Vista series panel that is CP-01 that can be used with NStar panels, but doesn't work as well as the Napco integration. Other than Vista being CP-01, they can be wretched panels to install and program, especially when programming relays. This and the NStar is the mainstay of "Last Choice Security" in many cases. Best to stay away from it if other options are available. These panel tend to sell well because it is sold to nearly anyone without the need for training, experience, or credentials of any sort. Beware of those that suggest it. Those that sell or recommend do it in many cases because that is simply all they can get. Many have never worked on real access control system like Software House, AMAG, Lenel, JCI and the like and simply don't know any better.
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You may wish to check fire codes in your area to be certain you understand regulations involving access controlled doors, and include fire alarm interrupt regulations. Don't buy anything until you understand what permits are necessary and what type engineering plans need to be submitted.

"D B" wrote in message news:

Reply to
Just Looking

Thanks to all for the advice. I'll start researching the products you all have suggested and see what will work out for us. As for the fire codes and doors, I'm lucky in that we have an architech to take that responsibility off my shoulders, he knows all the codes for our city and state and deals with that daily.

I've asked my company owner to use a contractor to take care of the security system installation but he wants me to do the work. I'm the company systems administrator with prior electronics training so they assume that I'm the perfect one to handle this job. I installed our video surveilance system with a digital DVR per the company's direction and now get to handle the new security system as well.

Again, thank you for your help so far. I hope I can ask additional questions of you if needed in the future.

Sincerely, Denis Boudreau

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