Salto - Does This Qualify For A Door In An Access Control Bid?

I just got beat on an RFP by a lot from another vendor that used this solution, with half of the doors using "off-line" GEO mortise locks (it was an RFP for 3 exterior and 6 interior doors for a police station). It appears that these devices do not update to the system (users, status, events) until a SALTO card swipes it and then eventually swipes a wired online reader. Same holds true to get credentials to one of these. Still, cost per door is very low. Does this qualify for a door in an access control bid? Specs say must provide reports for users, doors, use, etc. but I see many instances where the card may not touch a wired reader for days (only 5 wired controllers and 5 readers so no reads on the way to secured side). Can a card swipe be long enough to exchange credentials to the cylinder and acquire events and battery status? Wouldn't you need three hands to use these (one for card, one to turn device, and another to open door)?

Any input from members would be appreciated. (Appeal due on Tuesday). (Kind of a neat low cost option, though, for maybe secure rooms like closets, equipment rooms, etc.)


I am going to let Brian respond but, for background, see: Salto Access Control Reviewed

They are using the "data on card" Salto solution.

FYI the for the "data on card" solution you must have atleast one hot spot (reader). To use the system you have to hit the hot spot first. When you hit the hot spot the system A) programs the card and B) pulls the info (where you have been) from your card. When you hit the hot spot the system also valadates your card for a preset time: 24 hours, 36 hours, week... This is to prevent lost cards from being used.

Check out the video below to see how it works. Its a little old but you will get the point. Hope this helps.

Specs say must provide reports for users, doors, use, etc. but I see many instances where the card may not touch a wired reader for days.

This is true. However, SALTO 'engineers' around it by placing the wired/networked readers at main access points (typically main entrances/exits) so changes are propagated to cards on a regular/daily basis, even if specific doors are not updated for several days.

Also, user cards can be set to expire/ and be invalid unless refreshed by a networked reader for 'urgent' changes. You can force all cardholders to refresh cards on certain intervals.

Wouldn't you need three hands to use these (one for card, one to turn device, and another to open door)?

Yes, on the entry side. The ecylinder need to be twisted to retract the latches, and then the door needs to be tugged open. But while different compared to strikes/maglocks, this isn't significantly different than mechanical keyed entry.

However, Egress is a different matter. You need to allow emergency egress at all times. No locking people in a room, or requiring a lever handle be turned even if unlocked. SALTO could be a non-code compliant choice if used on the egress side of a door.

Any input from members would be appreciated.

The biggest operational knock on Salto's 'Virtual Network'/Data on-card system that we've heard is that because the doors are not networked, functions like 'Lockdown' or manually locking/unlocking doors from an interface is not possible. If you want immediate response, SALTO should not be used.

There are ways to wifi connect certain SALTO locks, but those do not seem to be the ones proposed in the RFP you mention.

Does that help?

Thanks Brian. I guess I was right in my understanding of the system. This would probably be a better approach if there were readers going out as well as in to the building (it would dump cards that hit the GEO devices). In this instance, there are (3) readers outside exterior doors, and (2) readers from public lobby area. It is very likely that users of GEO doors may egress end of day and never move the data to the system. Users inside the faciliy, if their credentials change, would not be updated (blocked from internal door use) until they leave then come back to work.

Neat concept, but obviously the end user with the RFP does not understand the shortcomings. Winning bidder did not meet spec. Luckily for this one, Freedom of Information Act allowed me to review all bids.

Luckily for this one, Freedom of Information Act allowed me to review all bids.

Wow, that strikes me as a really fast turnaround time for a FOIA request! How long did it take?

Sounds like a not so well written spec. The language should have made it clear whether or not the access control system should be fully-online or not. Unless this is a high-security facility, I would guess that the end-user may be happy with the solution proposed provided that the cost savings is significant.

Good luck with the appeal.