Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Access Control and Surge Protection Use it or loose it.



You can find access control systems everywhere now.
There an excellent way to allow who goes where and when in a building .
and help to cut down on internal theft. But they have an Achilles Heal That if not properly installed leaves them very vulnerable to damage from power surges and anomalies.
This is why some systems last for years while others need new control boards and readers installed every couple of years and some times work and some times do not.
The control boards are very complex and have sensitive components on them which require the installer to make sure they have discharged any static electricity on there body before installing them.
The boards also have relays on them which activate the locks which are vulnerable to electrical back strike each time the magnetic coil operates in the lock.
With this in mind a system must be properly installed or you will be buying a new board.
The first layer of defense starts with the AC power supply there should be some type of good quality surge suppression where the transformer is plugged in be it a surge protected plug strip or single plug in suppressor like the one made by Ditek corporation DTK-1F on the left picture.

http://ditekcorp.com/product-details.asp?ProdKey=11


Even better is additional surge suppression on the breaker or load center providing power to the outlet this adds additional staging to prevent problems from coming in from outside the building while the plug in unit protects against internal surges like big ac units and elevators turning on and off.

The next critical are most of all is at the lock itself and the relay contact. a surge suppressor needs installed across both points especially if its a magnetic lock to prevent back strike in the
system.
Some access control company's provide them such as Securakey and Honeywell Vista Key while others you have to buy them.
and every access control manufacturer highly recommends them.
I like a combo surge protector made by.Ditek model DTK -ESS in the picture at far left

http://ditekcorp.com/product-details.asp?ProdKey=48

These provide an extra heavy duty layer of protection to the card Access system.

It costs around $75.00 to protect a Card access system which can run thousands of dollars But if you do not expect problems. I have had system running well over 10 years with no problems .

Also remember any time any of the wiring leaves the building from the access controller either underground or thru the air it is critical to protect those lines with surge protection as well.

But then again when you have a company who is always looking at making the most and spending the little they can when they design and install for you then you get what you paid for nothing but grief and aggravation.

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