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

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...
Hikvision HDTVI Power Over Coax Tested on Feb 05, 2019
After years of delay, Hikvision's Power Over Coax (PoC) HDTVI models are finally shipping, aiming to make HD analog installs as simple as PoE, with...
8MP HD Analog Tested (Dahua / Hikvision) on Jan 30, 2019
HD analog has promised higher resolution for years, but has lagged substantially behind for years. Now, both Dahua and Hikvision have started...
Designing Access Control Guide on Jan 30, 2019
Designing an access control solution requires decisions on 8 fundamental questions. This in-depth guide helps you understand the options and...
Cable Trenching for Surveillance on Jan 21, 2019
Trenching cable for surveillance is surprisingly complex. While using shovels, picks, and hoes is not advanced technology, the proper planning,...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Bad: Dahua Villa Video Doorbell Tested on Jan 11, 2019
Doorbells are one of the hottest segments in the residential market but Dahua's Villa Video Doorbell is the worst we have tested.   We bought and...
Managed Video Services UL 827B Examined on Jan 09, 2019
Historically, UL listings for central stations have been important, with UL 827 having widespread support. However, few central stations have...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Casino Surveillance Pro Interview: James Lathrop on Feb 15, 2019
James Lathrop has been working in casinos for almost 25 years. During that time, he says he has held "just about every job you can do in the...
Hikvision 2018 Revenue Tops $7 Billion USD But Growth Slows To Low on Feb 15, 2019
Hikvision's annual revenue topped $7 billion for the first time in 2018, although growth slowed sharply. In this post, we analyze the latest...
Hanwha Smaller Multi Imager Tested (PNM-9000VQ) on Feb 14, 2019
Hanwha's first repositionable multi imager PNM-9081VQ tested well, but was huge, over 12" wide and weighing in at over 10 pounds. Now, they have...
ADT And 'The Defenders' Silent About Massive Complaints on Feb 14, 2019
ADT's largest dealer, "The Defenders" has been the subject of a massive number of complaints over many years and many forums, most recently a CBS...
Hikvision Chairman Praises United Front on Feb 14, 2019
Hikvision’s controlling shareholder held a meeting last month praising the United Front, a Communist Party organization known for its secretive...
Sales Turnover At Anyvision on Feb 13, 2019
Anyvision raised a $43 million Series A and according to their newest investor: what you need to do is push the gas pedal and build an...
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...
Uniview / UNV Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 12, 2019
Uniview / UNV, the self-proclaimed #3 China manufacturer, while starting late, has been working to make inroads internationally. In IPVM's 2019...
Nortek Mobile Access Reader BluePass Examined on Feb 12, 2019
Nortek's Linear access control division claims to make mobile credentials "more secure and easier to use than ever before" with their BluePass...
Solink Raises $12 Million - Company Profile on Feb 12, 2019
Most industry professionals have never heard of Solink, a company whose tagline is: It's time to revolutionize the way business uses...

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