Tech-Challenge #2: Why Did The Door Mysteriously Open For The Crackhead?

Like Luke Maslin and nearly everyone else here, I get those 911 calls from customers. Since I prevailed in the last challenge, I will post the next one. This was yesterday so it is fresh off the presses. (I would post video, but I don't have permission, and it really is not relevant). This is a card access control problem; not video, but still a good one that I am sure the technicians at heart will enjoy.

The scene is a large operations center that is staffed 24 X 7. Exterior doors locked, no schedules. Enterprise level system (Pro-Watch 4.1); we program initial up fits and additions, the customer maintains the data and performs routine additions and deletions, unlocks doors for extended periods etc. Several panels in this building, multiple doors. The main entrance is double glass doors that both open out. Simple maglocks are installed at the header of each door. The I-Class prox reader is on the door jamb, next to the handicap operator. The building has a backup generator and dedicated load power outlets. In place is a PW6K1IC controller, 4 -PW6K1R2 dual reader boards, PW6K2E2PS controller power supply for the boards and readers (batteries included), 1-AL1012ULM Altronix power supply with fire alarm interface installed. There is an Optex PIR for exit, along with a manual over-ride button on the inside. No one else could be seen anywhere in the video.

The system has worked flawlessly for 2 years. Yesterday morning, a local crack-head walks up to the doors, pulls on it and comes right on in. He has a seat and promptly goes to sleep. When the PD arrive, they wake him up and he was nice enough, but honestly does not even know where he was much less how he got in (he has no card, and on the video I could see that he did not touch the reader, did not go near the handicap access button, and while he may have been large enough, did not muscle the doors open. He literally walked up, pulled on the door and walked in). There are other doors on this panel and they all continued to function properly. It was 6:15 am, so I am thinking no one is even in that has the authority to make changes.

When the customer arrived on the scene he used his card and the system performed flawlessly 5 or 6 times. He was clueless. Called me, emailed me the video clip and sent off red flares. 30 minutes later the door did it again, the went back to performing flawlessly.

Our area tech was scheduled to be on-scene anyway, so he made that his first priority.

What was the issue?

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