How To Configure A Fingerprint Reader To Work With A Wiegand Access Control?

I am looking to add a fingerprint reader to an access control system. The access control system supports wiegand. I found that the suprema line of reader has pretty good reviews and they support wiegand output.

How do I go about programming them to work with such an access control? Does the reader have to be hooked up to a network as well, and there it pull the data as to which fingerprint is associated with which code?


Is it a single reader app or multiples?

Central management or at the door programing (key point).

Card/biometric population size?

Most fingerprint readers support for 3-4 wiegand formats for template/card database matching.

Suprema line is good and so is the ZKAccess line (different price points similiar feature sets)

Takes about 60 minutes to digest and program in a simple stand alone mode.

Software should be free.

For now it will be a single reader, but mounted outside, so I would need a serpate reader for enrollment properly. They want to option of eventually adding more readers.

The current population size is 40 but will increase over the next few years to be a about 150.

Currently the building was wired with only a 18/6 by the door, so I will probably have to get a cat5 there as well I guess.


Multiple stand alones can be connected or simply go with a 2,3,4 door panel for expansion.

Suggest at least two technolohy reader (bio and card/fob) as some populations may be challenging with fingerprint readers depending on the technology you select.

Check out for different products. They are helpful, work pretty well and are cost effective. The inBio series has the expanded capabilities/enrollment etc. Speced some FR1200 readers for outside (winter) application and they have stood up well.

Hello David:

These are good questions, and we will do a short post this week that describes the 'how to' here.

At a high level, here is how your application works:

The fingerprint reader is a seperately managed and perhaps networked device, because you maintain a library of fingerprints (enroll/delete/update) on that unit directly.

However it typically will interface with a controller via wiegand through the 'Data 0' and 'Data 1' wires, typically white and green.

This connection is the crossover link between the fingerprint reader and the access system. The database of users in the access system is still very important, because all the fingerprint reader does is tell the controller 'User A just scanned their finger' via the weigand connection, but the access database decides whether 'User A' is allowed through the door or not.

Does that help?

Yes it does. Thank you. So I guess in the fingerprint database it has each user correlating to a site code/user code. As far as the access control is concerned, it just gets passed on the weigand code. Is that correct?

Thank you

Yes, that is correct.

The controller has no idea what sort of reader it is connected to in many cases. It just recieves a unique ID from it, just like it was a card reader or PIN keypad.

In many cases, Suprema included, you can define what code is sent via weigand when a user scans a finger. You can actually use the same code as their card or PIN (ie: if the user has the card number '5164' in the system, then the weigand interface pushes that same code to the controller to when they scan a finger.

There are a lot of options for that particular piece of the integration, but that is the most simple.

(Suprema Employee, edited once)

Hi David,

There are three ways for you to work with Suprema Fingerprint readers:

1- Fingerprint templates stored on devices => fingerprint matching on device => need Ethernet connected to the reader (it will work in "disconnected mode" for the access control but you need the network connected again in order to add/remove any employees fingerprint template in the devices). Suprema devices support basically 2.5K to 20K employees (case of 1 finger in 1:N, one to many mode)

2- Fingerprint templates stored on the server => fingerprint matching on server => need Ethernet to the readers (cannot work in "disconnected mode"). You still have the possibility to use "Way 1" as a backup if network is temporary "down".

3- Fingerprint templates stored on a smart card (iClass SE, DesFire/Mifare) => 1:1 fingerprint matching on the device => no need Ethernet in that case: can work in disconnected mode all time. Inconvenient: employee having his smart card is mandatory for getting access to the site

Easiest way for you to ask your questions about Suprema:

(Sorry John/Brian for this little part of adverstising, I am a natural born biz dev, couldn't resist).

Using Wiegand out of the fingerprint reader, you can send a "Card ID" (possible HID "Secure ID") or a "user ID" (that you define in your access control system). As for understanding the wiegand configuration (these explanations work with competitors products as well but I am not sure if they all have the same convenience/parameter settings).

Click on the first top result at the page linked below:

If you want to remove the assle of the sync of this "Unique link key" between your two systems, you can check existing integrations with common access control software and controllers (BioConnect = Biometric advanced template management plugin):

Also works with Face infrared recognition (nice for touchless requesting environnenment like hospitals with less that 1K employees)

Hope this helps you well,