Access Control Door Controllers Guide

By Brian Rhodes, Published Oct 22, 2019, 10:33am EDT (Info+)

Door controllers are at the center of physical access control systems connecting software, readers, and locks.

IPVM Image

Despite being buried inside enclosures or hidden inside ceilings, they are a complex component that ties everything else together.

In this note, we examine controllers and their main features including:

  • The three typical forms of controllers
  • The primary function of coordinating access at the door
  • Hardware compatibility across access management software
  • Typical input devices for access, including readers
  • Common types of outputs, including locks
  • IP vs Serial Connected Panels
  • Traditional DC vs. PoE Power
  • Controller features within standalone locks

Controllers *** ********* *** ****** *******

*** ******* **** ** *********** ** linking ***** ****** ********** **** ***** and ******* **** * ****** ******* point, ******* ** ** ****** * 'controller', '**** ******', ** '**************'.***** ******, ******, *** **** **** be **** **** '*** ******' *** the ********** ** ***** **** *******.

* ***** ** ***********

********* ** *** ******, *** ********** is ********* ******* ** *** ** the ********* ****:

  • **********
  • **********/**********
  • ***** ***********

Enclosure ****

*** **** ****** ***** ** *********** are ******* ******* ***** ****** ** a ***** ********** ********** ** '***'.

IPVM Image

*** ********* ** ********* **** ******* in * ****** ** ******* ******* above * ****, *** *** ****** passes ******* *****-**** ** *** *** to ******** ****** ** *** *****.

********** ** ********* *********** *** **** available ** ****-******* ******** (** ** more *****) **** ******* ******** ******** into * ****** ***, ****** ***** controller ***** **** ******* *** ** two *****. ***** ****-******* ************** *** often****** ** ******, *** **** ******, *** *** more ********* ** ****** ******** ** locating * ********** ** **** ****.

*** ******** ** ********** ****** ****** these ********** ****, *** ********* **** terminal ***** ** ***** ********** ****** connector ***** *** ********* *** ****** usable ** *** ******:

IPVM Image

Standalone **********

******* ****** ********** **** ****** ** as ** '*********', ** ****** ********* in *** *** *********.

***** ***** ********** *** *** ********* mounted **** ********* ****, ****** ********** are ********* ** *** **** *** as ********* ***********, *** **** * self-contained ***:

IPVM Image

**** **** ****** ** ****** **** small ******* ***** ****** **** *********** and *****/****** ****** *******.

***** ****** *** ******* ** ****** their *** *********, *********** ***** **** appliances *** ****** *********** ******* ** space.

Combo ***********

********* *** **** ********** ** ******* integrated **** *******, *******, ** ****** detectors ** * ****** ******:

IPVM Image

**** ********** **** ***** ********* ************ labor ******* ******** ****** ********** *** installed ** *** **** ** *** device.

*******, **** **** ** ************ *** be * ******** *********, **** *** vulnerable ********** ***** ******* ***** **** the ****** ** *** ********** **** of *** ****. ** ***** ** our***** ****** / *********** ********, ***** *********** *** ****** ****** connectors ** ******* **** ***** *** are *** ********* **** *** ****-******** openings.

***** *** ******** ** '***** *******' in *** ****** **** ********* ******* Intrusion/Burg ***** ******* *** ****** *******. While *** ******** ***********, ***** ***** systems ***** **** *** **** ********** of ***** ***** ** ******* ******** system ********** ** ****.

Which ********** ** * ****?

*** ****** ** ****** ******* ********** software ********* ****** **** *********** *** be ********. **** ****** ******** ******* only ******* * ******* ****** ** controller **** *******.

** * ******, ********** ********* ******* are ********* ******* ** *** *****, but * ************ *** ***** * range ** ********** ******* ********* ***** based ** *** ****** ** ***** it ** ******** ** *******.

Limited *** ***** ********** *******

****** ******* ******* ***** *** *********** or '******' *********** **** ******** **** with ******** ****** ********. ****** ******* and *** ********, ****** *********** *** not ********* *****/******* ******* ********* *************.

***** ****** ******* ****** *********** ******* is ***** *******, ***** *** * few ***-***** ********** ********* ********* ****, HID, ******, *** ******* *****, ** we ***** ** ******* ****** ********** *****.

** **** *****, ** ****** ***** may *** *********** ************ ** ******* company *** ********* ** ***** *** (e.g., ******* *********** ********** ** *****). While *** ******** *** ** *********** interoperable ******* ****** ********, **** *** often *** ****-********* *** ************ ******* systems (***:********* / ********* ****** ******* ******* Guide).

Controller ********* *********

********** ** **** ******, *** ******** of * ********** *** *******.

** **** ****** *** ****** ********** features *** '***-**' ****** ******* ***** access ******* ********** *** *** **** controller, ** *** ***** *****:

IPVM Image

*** ******* ******** *** ****** ************ of * ********** *******:

  • ********** ***********:*** **** *** ********** *********** **** the ****** *****/******?
  • ******:***** ** ******* **** ******* **** information ** *** **********?
  • *******:***** *** ******* **** ***** ********** by *** **********?
  • *****:*** ** ***** ******* ** *** controller, *** *** *** ******** ******* powered?

Networking ***********

** **** *****, *********** **** **** ports ** **** *** ** ********* to **** **** *** ********* ******:

IPVM Image

*** ********** ** *** *** *** general *** ** ******** ** ****** facilities **** **** ** **** *********** popular.

*******, ****** ********* *********** *** ******, especially ** ***** *******.**** ****** *********, ************* ******* ******************** *** ********* ******* **** ** terminated ******** ** ******* ******. **************** ********* ******, *************** ****** ** specialized **** **** **** *** **** place ** ** ********.

Common ****** ******

*** ******* ** ********** '****' *********** **** *** ****** system. *** ****** *** ***** ** inputs ********* ** *** ********** ****, but *** *********** ****** *** ***** types ****** *****:

  • *******
  • **** ******** ********
  • *******-**-**** & ****** *******

** ******* **** **** ** *** following ********:

*******

*** **** ******* *** ********** ****** control ***** ********* ** ********* *** credential ******.

IPVM Image

*******, *** ****** ** ******* ** the '*********' **** ** *** *******, and *********** ******* ** *** *******, vandalism, *** ** ********** ** ******. For **** ******, *** **** ** using ************* ****** ******* ****** ****** *** ***** way ** **** ****** **.** *** and********** *******.

*** ****** ** ****** ****** * controller ************* ****** ***** ** *** ****** of ***** ** *** *******. **** designers *** ********** ****** '*** ****** per *******', *******, ****-******** ************ ***** require *** ******* - * '**** in/ *******' *********** **** ***** **** supports * ****** ******* ******** ** range ** ****** ******.

***** **** ******* *** ********** ******, a ******** ****** ** ************ ********* to *** **** ** *********** ***** read, *** ******** *******, *** *** read *****. *** **** *******, ***** our********* ****** ******* *******.

**** ******** ******** (***)

*** ** *** **** ****** ****** are ******* **** ******* ********, ** order ** ********* ** * **** is ****** ** ******. **** *** are ****** ******* ******** **** *** closed ** **** ******** ** ******** door ********.

*** **** ***** ** *** *** the **** ***** *****, ******** ** our**** ******** ******** (***) ********:

IPVM Image

********** *** ** *********** *** *** general-purpose ******, ** *** *** ************ labeled ***** ***** ****** '**** *******' or '***' ******:

IPVM Image

*******-**-**** & ****** *******

***** ***** ** ******** ***** ******* "RTE" ** '*******-**-****" *******, *** ** override ***** ** ***** ** *********** free ******.

*** ******** ** ********** ***** ******* to *** ********** ****** **** ************** power ******** ******, ** ** ******* in****** ******* ******* ** **** (***) Tutorial, *** *** *** ***** ***** include ***** '****' ******* *** *** motion *******:

IPVM Image

Fire ****** ***********

**** ***** ******* *** ******** ***** into *********** ** **** * **** alarm ********* **** ******** *** ***** in ** *********.

Video ************ *** ******* **********

***** ***** ************ ** ********** ********** with ****** *******, ********* ***** **** be ********** **** *** ****** ******* management ********, ****** **** ******* *** controller.

Common ****** *******

*********** ***** ******* *** ******* *********, such **:

  • *****
  • ******/****** ******
  • ****** ********** ******* **** ******* ********** and ******* ********

*****

*** **** ****** ****** ************** **** ** ******** *******,********, *** ***** ***** ** *********** hardware.

IPVM Image

*** ********** ** *** ****** **** interprets * ***** **** *** ******* logic ** ****** *** ****. ** output ******, ** ***** ******** ******** power ** *** ****, ********** *** 'locked' ***** ** *** ********-***** ** a ********** ********** ****.

Sirens & ****** ******

*********** *** **** ** ***** ** chime ****** ** ******** ******* ***** on ******. ** *********** *** ** wired ** ***** **** * **** opens, ** ****** *** ** ***** to ******** ** ******* ****** ******* an *******.

IPVM Image

Other *******/*******

IPVM Image

**** ***** ***********, ****** ******* *** endless, *** ******** **** ******** *****, high-voltage *********, *** *** ******* *** be ********* *** ********** ** ****** control *******.

****** ************ ***** ********** ****** ***** include ********** ******** ** * ******* machine (*.*.: ****** ********* ************ ********** *********) *** ***** ***** ** * vending *******, ** **** ********* **** a******* ********** ******.

******* ****** ****** *********** ** *** triggering ** * ************ ****** ** record ** ******* ***** **** * credential ** ****.

Power ******* - ***-******* ** ***

*** **** ** ***** **** ** controllers ** ********* ****** ***-******* (**/** volt) ** ******* **** ******** (***). ** **** *****, ***** ***** from ***** ******* ** ******-******* *** controller ** ***** ****** ********* *******.

IPVM Image

** ** ******* ***** ******* ****** ******* ********, *******-******* ***** ** ******* ** a ****** ** ******* *************. *** all ******* *** ******** ** ** powered ** *** **********, *** ** cases ************,*** ****** ***** **** *** ********** may *** ** **********.

Controller ******

******** ********** **** ** ********* ********** by *** ****** ** ***** **** control.

****** ***** *** ******, ******, ****, and *****-**** ******. ***** ****** ********** a ******* ****** ** ***** *** available, **** *** *** ******.

Standalone/All-in-One *****

***** *** ******** **** ***********, ********** electronic ****** ******* ******** ***** ******* the **** ************ *** ******* ********* to **** *********** *** **** **** a ******* **** ******** *** ****, network *********, ***** ******, *** **** door ******** ********.

************, '******** *****' *** ***** ******** by ****** ********* ** *** ***** expensive *** ** ****** ********* ****** control ** ***** ********* ** ***** with ******** ***** ********.

IPVM Image

***** *** **** ********** ********* *** be ******* ********** **** *** ****, it *********** ** ***** ***** ********** the **** ********* (**** ******** **** the **** ********) ** ******** **** controller *******.

Comments (16)

GREAT article!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Thanks for the comprehensive write-up. For anyone just starting out, this article and all the related links is a good launch point when researching access control systems and the related components.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Small note regarding fire system integration: the fire alarm panel is wired to the power supply rather than the access control panel.

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

This may be covered later on in the training. My question is when using a mag lock my company will wire up from the power supply to RTE button then to mag (in series). But could this be done using the RTE motion or is it best to stay with the RTE button?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

In most areas, code requires 'direct' interruption of lock power when the button is pressed. This generally is easiest to accomplish by wiring the button in series with maglock power.

Does that help?

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

yes it does thank you sir

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Hi, I am looking for a ranking of the most popular 2 and 4 door controllers in North America.

Tks in advance

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Hello!

In terms of widespread use, Mercury Security 2 and 4 door controllers are used in partner systems, the EP1502 or LP1502 or MR62e and MR52 expansion boards are supported in 18+ platforms.

Other 'open' multidoor controllers are common too, including other HID controllers (VertX or Edge) and Axis. We detail their use in Open Access Controller Guide (Axis, HID, Isonas, Mercury), that includes this chart:

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

A varieties of door access controllers to choose from...

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

At our institution of higher learning, we use Schlage AD400 wireless locks that are networked via a PIM (Panel Interface Module) that is connected into the panel. It is mostly used in areas that would be very cost prohibitive to hard wire, and while you do save in labor, you will be for the life of the locks replacing the 4 AA batteries forever.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

you will be for the life of the locks replacing the 4 AA batteries forever.

Thanks for that comment. Especially for ethernet or WiFi standalone locks, this is a commonly cited drawback.

I am curious - do lithium batteries last longer?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

NO, and what's really bizarre, some batteries seem to drain faster than others, but what I'm not pleased with is the means to configure the units - you need a Palm pilot (remember those?) to connect to the device to program

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

I've tried to calculate the time it would take to equal the cost of hardwire installation but not all installed AD400 go to low battery at the same drain interval, due to door activity, PIM location, and configuration parameters. I do see the reader heads go bad and Heaven help you if you need an entire lock replaced, finding parts can be an adventure, especially in the current operating climate.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I do see the reader heads go bad and Heaven help you if you need an entire lock replaced, finding parts can be an adventure, especially in the current operating climate.

Wow. I didn't know that replacement parts were even an option - I thought the only recourse was replacing the entire AD lockset.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

BTW, at least in CCure, the number of readers will be different from the Status Monitor than from the Admin console if you use wireless readers as a middle device, PIM, is used to connect the wireless locks rather than the directly hardwired ones into the panel.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

In my experience, wireless locks are not the cheaper alternative. Yes, if the infrastructure is in place and the customer has a robust wireless network available, then it may be the cheaper alternative to running cabling. However, I've found that wireless can be a more expensive integration if the infrastructure needs to be updated. It is definitely a case by case basis.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts reporting, tutorials and software funded by subscriber's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.
Loading Related Reports