Altronix Claims Tango 'Eliminates Electricians'

By Brian Rhodes, Published Oct 15, 2019, 10:10am EDT

Power supply provider Altronix claims its new Tango power supply 'eliminates the need for an electrician, dedicated conduit and wire runs'.

In this report, we examine their claims and Altronix feedback, including:

  • What Is Altronix Tango?
  • What Makes Tango A 'Game Changer'?
  • Do Competitors Offer Similar PoE Transformers?
  • Can Tango Avoid Expensive Labor?
  • Which Access Projects Does Tango Benefit?
  • But high-voltage power connections and PoE midspans/injectors needed

What ** ******** *****?

***** ** *** * conventional ***** ****** **** converts ***/*** *** ** 12/24 ***, *** * transformer **** ******** (***) 802.3bt *** ***** **** 12/24VDC *******.

*** *********** ** * printed ******* ***** **** snaps ** ******** **** power ****** **********, *** rather **** ********** ******* 'high-voltage' ***/*** ***, ***** power ** ********* *****.***, *** *******-*******, ** to **-**** ******* ** PoE.

*** *******'* ***** ***** gives ** ******** ** ports, **********, *** ******* appearance ** *****:

***** *** *** ***** port, *** **** ****-**** (non-PoE) ****, *** ******** 12 *** *** ** VDC ***** ****** *****.

Where ** ***** **** ** ** ****** ******?

***** ** ********* ******* a *** ****** *** a **** ********** *** access ********** **** ***** and ***.

Tango *****

***** *** * ****** price ** ~$*** - $500, *** ** ********* from ************.

What ***** ***** * '**** *******'?

******** ****** ******* *** transformer ** '****-********' *** low-voltage ******** ********:

**** ******** ****-******** ******** eliminates *** **** *** an ***********, ********* ******* and **** **** – providing ********** ******* ** using ***-******* ********** *** wiring *******.

*******, ******** ********* **** more ************ ******** **** IPVM ***** '*** **** electrician ***** **** ***** eliminate?':

**** ** ***** ********** on *** *********** **** is *** **** ** have ** *********** ******** the ***** ****** ******** with ******/******.

***** *********** **** *** the **** *** ******** electricians ** **** *** high-voltage ********** ** *** voltage ***** ******** ** instead ***** *** ****** via *********** **** ** typically ********** ********** ****** like ** ** ***-******* integrators.

Do *********** ***** ******* *** ************?

***** ******* ***** *** transformers/splitters, *********:

*********, ***** *** ******** to '**********' ***** *** machine ****** *** ************* use *** *** *** traditional '********' ********* **** Altronix.

* ***** ********** *** potential ********* ** ******** Tango ** *** ***** above ** ************ ******* for **** ** *** 24 *** *******, ***** most ***** ******** *** either ** ** ** VDC.

*******, **** ***** ***** are ****** ** ~$***, which ** *** **** than *****.

Why ****** ******** *** ** *********** *****

********** *** ******, ************ are ***** ****** ** join ****-*******/***** ******** ** power ** *****-**-*** *** voltage ** ********** **** door ***********, *******, *** RTE.

******** ********* *** ***** for ** *********** ** these ****:

** * [*******] ********, an *********** **** *** cable **** * ********* circuit ******* ******* ******* or ***** ** *** power ******.

**** ******* ****** *** in *** **** **** trays ** ******* ******* or ****** ******* *******. What ** ***** ***** is *** **** ** the *********** *** *** cost ** ******* *** all *** ********** ***** i.e. *******, ******** *****, etc.

******, ** *** ******* install ***** *****, **** when ****** ******, ********, and ******* ** **** by ***********, * *********** amount ** ********* ** the *** ** *******, conductors, ******* ******, *** outlets *** ***** ****** from ************:

High-Density ***** ****** ******** ***** *******

** ********** *** *****, Altronix ******* ** ******* of *** *** *** VAC ****** ***** ** 802.3bt ******* *** * Tango *********** *** ***** up ** * ****** doors:

*** * ***-***** ******, at ***** *** ******** low-voltage ******** ** ******* PoE ***** ***** ** required. ********* ** ********** codes, ********* ***** ******** for *** *********** *** locks (*.*.: ******* ** maglocks) ***** ** ****** and **** ** *** 802.3af (~***) *** ***** could ** ******.

Can ***** ***** ********* *****?

********** ** ***** ***** 'prevailing ****' ***** ***** apply, **** ************* *** Tango *** ** **** expensive ******* ** *** use ********* ***** **********.

*** *******,** *** * '**********' electrician ******** **** **** is $**.** *** ****, while * ***** ******** electrician ** ~$** - $75 *** ****.

*** * ****-**** ******* job, *** *********** ***** cost ~$***, ***** *** tech ~$***, * ********** of $** *** *** job.

**** *** ***** ***** 'prevailing *****' ** *** apply, *** **** ** a **** ****** *** connections ** **** **** the ********** **** ** an *********** ********* ******** power *** ******.

However ******** ******* ********

**** * ********* *******, using ***** *** *** always ** **** ********* though. *********** ******* ****:

  • ********* ***.*** *****: ***** *** ** common, **** ***** *** PoE ** ***, *** Tango **** **** **** input ********* ** ******** outputs. *** **** ************, using ***** **** **** require ** ********** ***.*** midspan ** *********, ** additional **** ** ~$*** - $***.
  • ***** ********* ******: ***** ***** ~$*** - $***, *** **** cost *** ** **** than ***** *** ***** high-voltage ********* **** ******* panels, *******, *******, *** conductor ** ****.
  • ********** ******** *****: ** **** *****, electrical **** **** ******** a **** **** ** permitting, ********, ** ****** from *&*'*, ***** *** and ********** **** **** not.

Does ***** ********* ************ **** ******?

****** ****: **. *** Altronix **** ***** ***** high-voltage ***** **** *** injectors ** *******.

*** *** ********* ******* an *********** ** ******* power ** *** **. So ** ***** ******** to ******* ** ***** Tango ***** ********** ******** electricians.

**** *********:

*********, ******** *** ** PoE ******** *** ********* found ** * ****, usually **** * ***** strip ********* **** *** units *** ******* ****.

**** ***** ********** ** the *********** **** ** the **** ** **** an *********** ******** *** power ****** ******** **** 115VAC/220VAC. *** ********** *** plug * ****** **** an ******.

*** **** '***** *****' generally ***** ******* ** this:

*******, ***** '*** ********** can **** * ****** into ** ******' ** a ***** *********, ** electrician ** ******** ** install *** ******, ** begin ****.

**, ******** *********** ***** is ********** ** ****** free ******* *** ********* to *** *** ************* midspans, *********, ** ********.

Altronix ****-** ***** ******** ******

*** ** *** ***** that '*** ********** *** plug * ****** **** an ******',******** ***** *********** ***** supplies **** '* **** line ****' **** ********** ****:

***** **** ******* ******* low-voltage *********** *** ** should **** ***** ****-******* plugged ***********, ** ** a ****** ******** ***** security ********** *** ********** non-union ********.

Vote / ****

Comments (47)

I was excited about this product when I first saw it at GSX. After taking a closer look at it though I would still rather use the eflow power supplies and accessories. To me a traditional power supply will be much more reliable over the long run.

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Equipment racks often come with power strips installed thus no electrician for that step.

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Electricians install power to the power strips, and rack outlets are not always allowed for access to use.

In fact, I've worked on several projects where open outlets were available, but the IT department was not willing to allocate power to a physical security system.

Budgets and maintenance burdens can be big obstacles to just using utilities like PoE.

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Good, one step closer to POE everything. Sick and tired of massive access control head end equipment, silly point to point wiring diagrams for terminal blocks, etc.

Assa? where is your Poe mortise and cylindrical lock sets?

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Assa has POE locksets.

PoE Locks

"The IN220 combines superior aesthetics with the energy efficiency and streamlined architecture of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) access control. PoE-enabled access control allows facilities to leverage existing network infrastructure for enhanced security and easier, more cost-effective installations. Featuring multiCLASS SE® technology, it supports multiple credential types, including mobile devices, for a future-proof solution that is convenient and secure."

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I use some of these, the read range always get's complaints from customers that have hardwired readers. I would look at Assa to have the hardware lock itself along with the Mckinney POE hinge ready to be connected directly to the switch. Some other technology is needed but that is exactly what I am point at Assa to create, for instance Assa Abloy should just buy out Proxy and imbed the BLE module into the lock. This would at least be a step into mobile/cloud access control system design and for me personally help eliminate Altronix, Lenel, Genetec dinosaurs all together. Add BLE to the lock, make lock POE connect lock to the cloud, done. Really not worried about all the old access control systems that feel they need to stay low tech, OSDP/RS-485/Wiegand/Homerun composite cable, hoffman gutter box wearing, power supplies with battery backups mounted to plywood and again some old point to point CAD drawings by the grey haired old guy wearing Birkenstocks in the back room complaining about his Quaker Oatmeal.

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Image result for eye roll emoji gif

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The only time I have come across these was when Assa was slipping them in the Div 08 specs. As soon as architect/owner/gc figured out how much these transfer hinges and locksets cost, they were quickly removed.

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I don't see them selling any of this

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Where does battery back up fit into this equation? Traditionally this would be installed at the PSU to hold up door locks in the event of failure.

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There is a built in battery charger in this device so you will still need a cabinet.

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Tango has contact inputs from standard Lithium Ion LiFeP04 batteries, so this includes backup inputs like 'traditional' PSUs.

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I understand the concept of hey we need power here and now we need an licensed electrical contractor. This would allow you to work around this requirement. However our current installs that use centralized LifeSafety Power power supplies and I can configure any way I want to based on the project requirements. So you don't need two power supplies as stated above. I have configurations that include triple voltage 24VDC, 12VDC and 5VDC with based on the project requirements and some old readers that were 5VDC.

When we install access control every mercury panel is independently fused, along with every request to exit device and lock. This prevents system disruption in the event a fuse blows, a wire is shorted and pops a fuse, or simply for general service of the system.

Unless I I missed something this board doesn't have 8 fused output board like the ACM8. To keep with my concept above it should also have an 8 output aux board.

Having to use the PoE injector is another point of failure when the IT guy disconnects it because he doesn't know what it is for. When the switches have the 90 watt capability then this would be better.

FAI connection. Not that we like to use magnetic locks but there are locations where the AHJ wants the electric strikes to be failsafe vs. fail secure. I don't believe there is a FAI connection on the unit so this would not work.

This would work in the case where you have an edge based access control system for an example LP1501 and MR62E panels at the door location and you already have PoE going to them but you need more power then is available via PoE+ (25 W) PoE+ which provides 12 Vdc @ 1.25 A including reader, lock and AUX output. Another situaion is you may need 24VDC for the locking hardware that is being installed by the door hardware vendor. However you may see these vendors just build it into their controller, or intelligent reader.

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Manufacturers need to understand Division 28

Security integrators are generally not responsible for AC power so who cares?

Owner direct sales has contract terms that require an electrician to provide power where required

I’d be adding cost to a project that already has accounted for the electricIan

this is another poorly thought out business case with a solution to a problem that does not exist

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On plan and spec stuff sure but the importance depends on how much of you business is plan and spec. If you are doing an install for a private customer on an existing building it helps not to have to add an electrical sub

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If I need one of these for each door, I can see this being viable for a small IDF where only a few doors are being controlled, but in a larger implementation, it just seems this will take up too much wall space compared to traditional power supplies.

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The prevailing hourly rates quoted are unrealistically low.

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That's interesting, and not the first comment made to that point. The values in the post are taken from NYC's table, but what are more realistic values?

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For example, in NYC a 'prevailing' electrician security tech wage is $32.40 per hour, while a fully licensed electrician is ~$56 - $75 per hour.

We do not perform work in NY, but I can tell you that the rates in NJ are higher. In NJ security work is classified as Electrician not telecom. Rates depends the what county and some counties depend on the region within the county. (North or South). You need to take in the consideration of the wage and then the benefit for a total cost.

Department of Labor and Workforce Development | Current Prevailing Wage Rates

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[Full Disclosure: I'm employed by Altronix]

To clarify some above comments regarding the Tango. The Tango1B is designed to stack with the ACMS8 (dual voltage access control module) or PDS8 (dual voltage power distribution module) allowing 8 fused or PTC outputs from the ACM/PD8. When used with the ACMS8 this configuration supports the FAI (fire alarm interface) of the ACMS8 and supports 12 and 24VDC locks individually selectable by output. When stacked, the space of a single power board is used saving space in the enclosure. Also, the battery charger output is a 12V Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFeP04) charger. I hope this clarifies the application intent.

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Thanks Bryan, interesting. Can the Tango be used by itself/unstacked then?

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Yes sir.

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Can the Tango be used by itself/unstacked then?

so it doesn’t take two to Tango?

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Image result for boo gif

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appeal to first base ump: (Brian)

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Thanks for the clarification - much better!

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Doesn't look like a compelling product during installation on a new construction project but this may be useful in a retrofit. I could see several scenarios where this type of device could be used. I still find it amazing that 90W can be pushed over a CAT cable. Looking to see what other devices can be added using 802.3bt.

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Queue union lobbying to make the pulling of ANY structured cabling illegal for anyone besides licensed electricians.

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I agree with UI#4 - most of our work is a tender situation (UK) - our clients dont care (enough) to figure out 1 access control quote includes PSU that doesn't require 230V (UK) and one that does - they will purely look at the cost for the access control system and choose the cheapest.

We also often have the requirement for battery back up of 4 / 8 or even 24 hours.

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So its a device to remove the POE from a cat6 and drop its voltage for 48 to 12 or 24...... and i need this why? So now I not only need this device , i need a 802.3 90 watt injector as well. Or a 90w port on a switch. And that is good for about 1 door worth of Panel, reader, REX and light door strike. And $500 at that !! Before the Injector !!! I cant see this making sense at this price . Especially when their EFLOW102NB 10 amp power supply is about $140 without a can , requires no injectors or POE ports and can run MULTIPLE panels , readers and locks. Requires only 1 connection to an outlet when used with a power cable. Am i missing something ?

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Anyone using the new Mercury high POE board? MR52e, dual reader board OSDP only. Not thinking it’s a “game changer” with OSDP only but for that application it does real work I think.

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I have been extremely reluctant to use POE devices because of the power backup available. Almost all IT departments will backup their Servers and Switches for (perhaps) 20 minutes. However, most of my customers want their entrance devices backed up for a minimum of 4 hours! Some may want (need) much more than that.

I just can't imagine a door going unlocked (or locked if one is using a fail secure device) after the power has gone out for only 20 minutes. That's just not realistic.

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Tho Im not a fan of this device. I did read enough about it to see that it has its own battery backup like any conventional power supply would have

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John - Sorry. I apparently didn't read far enough. If it can extend the backup period long enough, it might be a game changer for me. Why are you "not a fan"?

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Cost. I have been installing access control for about 15 years. Either its a new construction and the power supplies will be above each door and this will already be figured into the job , or its a new install into a retro , In this case we find a com closet and use an existing outlet. Cant recall ever not having an outlet in a com closet to plug into . Or its a changeover ... and 9 out of 10 will use the same lock power supplies over again. So its either about $200 for a 10 amp supply that runs off the 110 volt and can supply power to loots of locks and panels or $500 for 1 that still need a 90w injector to get full function from , which range from $130 to $160 . So now were at $660 . Ok lets add a backup battery. Now it cant be your regular 7ah security panel battery. It need some L ion pack.. Add another $150. we just got to $810 for those counting. Now i did see where they say that this thing has enough ass to run 8 doors worth of panels, locks and readers. Although i think this would be near its peak output as they are not taking into account voltage / power drop of cable ... anyway ... could it have a niche ? Yea probably . But this thing just sounds like an answer to a problem that does not exist. How many times have you had to bring in an electrical contractor cause you couldnt find an outlet for you access panel power supply ?

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Brian - I, too, have been installing access controls for quite some time however it appears your knowledge of power supplies goes well beyond mine. Can you explain the need for an additional "90 W power injector"?

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Hello Robert:

I think you meant to direct this to John G, but I can help!

As it pertains to Tango, "the need for an additional 90 W power injector" is because that is what Tango uses for input power, not typical 115 VAC.

One needs to supply the PoE power input for Tango to be powered/transform power to 12/24 VDC.

Does that help?

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Brian - I am more confused than ever! I thought the Tango Board got it's input power form a POE enabled switch. Doesn't the switch provide the 90W of power needed?

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You are correct, whether it is a 802.3bt (90W) switch, injector, or midspan, that is where the power originates.

The IEEE definition is to call it a 'PSE', short for 'Power Sourcing Equipment' and can be a number of different devices.

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Thank you. So, I'm guessing one would only need to furnish the injector if the network switch does NOT furnish POE. If that is the case why would you provide a TANGO product? Why not just furnish a conventional power supply? Are we doing this simply to run everything over the CAT6 cable?

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Why not just furnish a conventional power supply?

I think you've raised the most common objection to this product!

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Thank you. I feel whole again.

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You just unlocked expert mode

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It's an interesting circumstance you raise. Altronix provides for battery backup on Tango connected devices only via an onboard charger/contacts for a bank of Lithium Ion LiFeP04 batteries.

Those batteries are optional equipment and not furnished by Altronix in Tango, but most access applications will spend at least an additional $150 for batteries for a short ~2 - 4 hour run time.

For longer, 8 - 10hr runtimes, battery banks cost $500 and more. Exact battery size and pricing is subject to design requirements, but any backup power requirements will add hundreds of dollars to a Tango deployment.

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[Full Disclosure: I'm employed by Altronix]

To clarify a couple of discussion points. The battery supported by the Tango is a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFeP04) not to be confused with a Lithium Ion chemistry. The charging output is designed for a 12V battery. The Tango design includes boost converter circuitry so that the 24VDC supply is included in the battery backup.

Also, the NetWay8BT midspan allows direct connection and charging of SLA batteries (48VDC stack) using 4 batteries in series, supported by the RE2 rackmount battery 2U enclosure.

If the host rack for the midspan is providing secondary power that would be an option too.

Battery use should be a design consideration based on application, system load, and applicable code requirements.

As for the marketing side of the Tango, I don't expect it to replace the ULX and eFlow power/chargers but will serve applications where 115/230VAC (primary power) is too costly or undesired in the enclosure.

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Thanks for the clarification!

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