Quiet Door Hardware Examined

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 06, 2012

The incessant buzzing of electrified door hardware can drive people crazy. Is noisy door hardware the norm? In this note, we examine the causes of 'noisy' door hardware, examine the business case for buying 'quiet' hardware, and compare the cost of 'quiet' technologies to common alternatives.

Overview

Major hardware manufacturers claim their exit devices are 'as quiet as a churchmouse'. Below is a recent advertisement pitching this:


Why Noise Occurs

Hardware noise occurs when the solenoid, the heart of these devices, gets energized. When a credential is read, the system automatically energizes hardware so the door can swing open. Take an exit device, for example. When 'secure', the device unpowers the solenoid (quiet), and throws the latch. When activated to permit entry, the solenoid is powered up, and the latch is retracted, allowing the door to swing open.

When the device applies AC power, it effectively 'bounces' the polarity of the solenoid at 50 or 60 cycles per second. Since the frequency is so rapid, the net effect still holds the solenoid in an energized position, but generates a noticeable 'chattering' noise. This noise is often referred to as 'buzzing'; as in 'Why don't you buzz that person in?'

The Solution to Noise

This problem is significantly mitigated when using DC only powered solenoids (versus the more common AC). Instead of polarity reversing rapidly 60 times per second, a strong steady impulse of power in one direction holds the solenoid thrown. The only noise that emanates is whatever is physically created by the solenoid to hold open the strike.

Typically, AC powered solenoids can produce ~70 - 80dB of sound, while DC powered solenoid device produce ~20dB. (Decibel comparison charts denote a quiet library typically measures 40 dB.) However, depending on device, this power selection may influence performance like speed of movement, heat produced (efficiency), or gauge and distance of wiring.

Alternatively, products like the Adams Rite ES or SDC Quiet DUO latch retraction kit further reduces this noise by getting rid of the solenoid entirely. Instead of the solenoid being continuously energized, it uses a motor to to drive and pull the latch open. A geared assembly is used to pivot the latch in and out of position, and the motor only is energized in pulses when moving the assembly. 'Ultra quiet' motorized hardware versions produce less than 10 dBs, notably less than even DC powered solenoids (though 20dB is quite low itself - less than a quiet bedroom at night).

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Where Quiet Counts

Controlling noisy openings may be important in several types of buildings. Hospitals, hotels, and libraries all desire quiet operations, and eliminating the constant buzz of doors being opened maintains peaceful environments. Other applications may include waiting areas next to main entries, where the high-cycle opening of doors may disrupt patrons or patients.

Comparison

For no additional cost, solenoid driven hardware can be adjusted to operate quietly. In recent years, devices allow 'field selectable voltage' and will operate with either AC or DC power. As a result, the 'noise' of hardware is something controlled in power supply design. Choosing a DC power supply to operate these devices mitigates noise.

If you need something very quiet, specialty items like motorized 'ultra quiet' SDC Quiet DUO are available for ~$425. However, this device is ~$100 more than 'traditional' solenoid assemblies.

Interestingly, despite several trade magazines running full-page ads, pricing for the Adams-Rite SE device is not yet available, and we are unable to include it in this report. When pricing hits the street, we will update this post accordingly.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...
Pole Mount Camera Installation Guide on Apr 11, 2019
Poles are a popular but challenging choice for deploying surveillance cameras outdoors. Poles are indispensable for putting cameras at the right...
Large Hospital Security End User Interview on Mar 21, 2019
This large single-state healthcare system consists of many hospitals, and hundreds of health parks, private practices, urgent care facilities, and...
Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Private School IT Manager Surveillance Interview on Feb 22, 2019
This IT manager describes himself as the "oft-maligned IT person" whose "opinions may not always be appreciated by the integrator crowd." But he is...
Outdoor Camera Mounting Hardware Guide on Feb 21, 2019
Mounting cameras outdoors can be challenging, requiring understanding different types of equipment and methods. In this guide, we teach this...
BluB0x Company Profile on Feb 20, 2019
BluB0x has doubled in revenue every year since its founding in 2013, according to CEO Patrick Barry. We originally reported on them in 2015. At the...
Security Installation Tools Guide - 22 Tools Listed on Feb 19, 2019
In this guide, we cover 22 tools that security installers frequently use. This is one part of our upcoming Video Surveillance...
Cisco Meraki Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on Feb 13, 2019
Cisco Meraki says their cameras "bring Meraki magic to the enterprise video security world". According to Meraki, their magic is their management...
Dahua Intercom Tested on Feb 07, 2019
Video intercoms are a growing market with video surveillance manufacturers expanding into this niche. IPVM is continuing its series of video...

Most Recent Industry Reports

H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
Register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...
The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Apr 17, 2019
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact