New Long Range Wireless Access Solution (Allegion)

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 26, 2015

Delivering access control to parking lot gates or elevators usually means spending tens of thousands on special cables or trenching. However, Allegion is claiming it's new kit can do everything for a fraction of the historical price.

In this note, we examine how it works, which access platforms it works with, and see if it is really less expensive than other methods.

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Comments (8)

Good article, but I think there are a few points that need clarification with the PIM400 receivers (I just happen to have brushed up on these for a couple of projects). There are two options for receivers (I realize the kit your are reviewing is specific to one of them, but some of the details in the article seem to pertain to the other):

The PIM400-TD2 gets hardwired to the reader port, lock control relay, and door status inputs of an access control panel. There are no proprietary communication protocols, just Wiegand/C&D card information and dry contact signals. Because of this, it can be used with any standard access control panel, and is not limited to Mercury based systems. Its advantages are ease of use and universal compatibility. Its disadvantages are the expense of needing a reader port for each remote reader and the limit of 2 readers per receiver.

The PIM400-485 talks over a 485 network to the access control system. Because of this, it does require an integration with the access system, but these exist for a large number of access systems and are not limited to Mercury based systems. See Integration Partner List. Expect to pay the access manufacturor a per lock integration license fee, but this is much less than the cost of adding a reader port. Each receiver accommodates up to 16 remote readers. The advantages are a higher level integration with less physical equipment, and the potential for greater economy of scale if several remote readers are used. The disadvantages are a more complicated setup and needing to have an access system for which the integration exists.

As an additional note, WRI400 connected readers can be mixed and matched on the same receivers with AD400 wireless locks also managed through a 3rd party access system.

This is an important detail, and I appreciate you explaining this! Very helpful.

I have clarified the post to avoid confusion. Thank you for setting things straight on the PIM400-485 vs PIM400-TD2.

I was going to say some of the same things as Dan here. You do still need to correct much of this report:

The PIM400-TD2 is essentially a transparent "extender" device. The access control panel has no clue that it even exists. It is not a "Mercury Security based device". The interface is TTL and relays/dry contacts. It's like a Weigand-to-wireless modem for 2 doors.

The PIM400-485 on the other hand, is a much-tighter integrated device. The access controller directly communicates with this device. As Dan said, it supports up to 16 Wireless devices. These can be AD-400 locksets, WRI-400 modules, or WPR400 portable wirless readers. To a Mercury-based system, it is presented as an interface module supporting 16 readers.

Note also that there is a product called the PIM400-1501, which essentially is a pre-packaged Mercury and Allegion board pre-wired in the same enclosure.

I'm typically in favor of using established standards and products that are a company's core business rather than someone's solution to a niche problem. A standard WiFi implementation & a standard wireless adapter would make any ethernet connected panel work just fine. WiFi can be omnidirectional or directional, there are lots of great industrial products on the market to get ethernet to where you need it with plenty of bandwidth, and the panel shouldn't care how that ethernet gets delivered, that's the value of standards.

This stuff gets done all the time with our product to avoid trenching or reach distant gates/doors and I'm sure many others as there's nothing special about our controller/product in this regard.

While I don't disagree with this point you made regarding getting ethernet to a particular point in space, the use-case scenario Brian discusses does not involve a full-on controller at the gate. If you want to do that, then yes....you have lots of standard ways to get an ethernet connection at a distance.

Where solutions like this might be worthwhile, would be if you don't want to add a full-on controller for one remote gate, or if your system has a "conntroller-to-interface-module topology", or if your host software has a per-controller limitation/license, or if you don't want to consume IP addresses at the site and the associated IT concerns. I think there are uses for both models.

My key point is to avoid niche solutions, is Allegion going to staff up and become leaders in the wireless industry? I worked with a very large VMS/Camera company that developed wireless specifically for video. It worked really well, but after investing 5 Million in development costs, selling $20 thousand of it and having their one Wireless engineer quit, they killed the product.

Personally, I'd rather go with a solution that uses vendor's core products, access from and access company, wireless from a wireless company. That way I know they are fully engaged in the product and being successful long term.

BTW, I have the same philsosophy for restaurants, stick with their strength. i.e. don't order the stir fry from a place the specializes in burgers and vice versa.

Allegion (previously Schlage) has been making wireless access for almost 10 years, if not more. I'm not sure when the original series came out, but the AD series has been around since 2008/2009, I believe. And if I'm not mistaken, the PIM has remained fundamentally the same for a long time, and is still compatible with the old locksets.

It's not a matter of access from an access company and wireless from a wireless company. Allegion is a wireless access company.

We have used infinias for remote gate ac (dog parks for park districts) where we just used a ptp bridge from ubiquiti and the infinias unit powered locally to power the strike and wireless bridge and then back to a pc to manage the users -- works really well -- next week we have a garage door install for a parking garage where we will be using a long distance reader from AWID with credentials that will stick on the vehicle windshield (the execs didnt want to have to click a button or have a fob to hold out the window to a reader - just wanted it automatic as they get close to the door) I will post how the install goes.

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