Introducing IPVM's Test Door

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 06, 2013

Over the next few months, we will release videos teaching and testing access control. The physical foundation of this is a new custom built door. In this note, we explain the specification of our door, how it is built, and why those details are important for subsequent tests.

Member Feedback

Members provided feedback on what they wanted in a test door. One aspect was very clearly: do not base test findings on 'approximate' doors with non-standard dimensions and construction, but rather seek out a 'cut down' real door that mounts in a real frame, with standard cutouts, hardware preparations, and real alignments.

In the sections that follow, we breakdown the details of our test door with short videos. The image below provides an overview of the door and the attributes we discuss:

Test Door Overview

We chose this model based on a number of factors, including:

  • Real World Specifications: A cut down door grants the ability to test EAC components constrained by realistic dimensions.
  • Common Type: A hollow core steel door is the same type used throughout modern buildings.
  • Rough Dimensions: Our test door measures 2'X3'X1.75"; this standard thickness is key in hardware interface with frames.
  • Rigid: Unlike a wood door, our steel door is ideal for mounting a range of EAC components according to manufacturer's specifcations without damaging the mounting surfaces.

Catch the video below for a short overview of our test door:

Door Leaf Detail

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

Key points about the door leaf itself:

  • Hollow core, but not Hollow: Like every steel door, our hollow core door is made up of sheets of steel welded together, but the middle contains stiffeners and insulation. This can complicate running cables inside the door.
  • Mortise Door Prep: Our door is fabricated to accept standard mortise locksets. This allows us to test 'standalone' access hardware and otherwise test with hardware with the most demanding alignment specifications.
  • 18 GA Steel: Our door is built with ~0.05" thick skin. 18 gauge steel is fairly thick compared to budget doors constructed using 24 or 26 gauge material. The most strict specifications call for 18 gauge thickness, and our door provides a good platform to estimate the labor required to install or mount hardware to a very secure opening.
  • Righthand Reverse Swing: The direction a door opens - or 'swing' is a key feature when specifying hardware. Our door has a 'right hand reverse' swing, one of the common orientations.

We discuss these high points in the video below:

Frame Detail

Key elements of the frame include:

  • Frame Profile: While the shape of frames vary in the field, typically based on the style of wall they are mounted into, our test door uses a "Double Rabbet" profile used in most types of stud and masonry construction.
  • Factory Welded: There are two basic types of frames: Factory welded, or Knockdown. Those type of frames come to job sites in three or more pieces and are mechanically assembled into openings. Our 'Factory Welded' frame is fabricated at the factory and shipped to the job in one piece, and usually is installed before or during the time the wall is built.
  • Strike Box/Hinge Mortar Shields: Our door is built with these feature, added to protect components hung on the door from seeping mortar. These features can simplify or complicate cabling access components.

The video below captures details of a seldom covered element: the steel door frame.

Comments (11): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Access Control

Introduction To Burglar Alarm Systems on Jan 04, 2017
While alarm systems are popular, balancing between the right level of protection, the appropriate components and an acceptable price can be very...
2017 Access Control Book Released on Dec 15, 2016
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing, significanlty updated for...
5th Acquisition for ACRE, Adds ComNet on Dec 14, 2016
Mercury, Siemens Security, Vanderbilt, ACT and now ComNet. While other companies are trying to get out of security, emerging conglomerate ACRE...
Access Control Integration Statistics 2016 on Dec 13, 2016
When it comes to connecting access control with other security systems, integrator survey results clearly show it is not common for most.  However,...
Secured Combo Controller - Hartmann Access on Dec 12, 2016
Typically, combo controllers are risky, because they combine sensitive door controllers with readers on the exposed unsecured side of the...
Paxton Drops US Reps, Plans Major Expansion on Dec 07, 2016
Paxton is gearing up to make a big run at  US access control success. The first step they have made is to cut all US Rep Firms, in anticipation of...
Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Dec 05, 2016
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Free Online NFPA, IBC, and ADA Codes and Standards on Nov 29, 2016
Finding applicable codes for security work can be a costly task, with printed books and pdf downloads costing hundreds or thousands. However, a...
Solutions to 5 Common Access Control Problems on Nov 21, 2016
Effective security is more than just good equipment. In fact, thousands of dollars in electronic access control can be wasted if they are not used...
Massively Strong Maglock (Securitron) on Nov 16, 2016
One of the market's strongest maglocks has a twist: the 4,000 pounds claimed bond power is not purely magnetic. Securitron's hybrid MM15 maglock...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Top ISC West 2017 Booth Trends on Jan 16, 2017
There are significant moves among many major manufacturers on the ISC West show floor, and very few prime spaces left unoccupied. In this report we...
Genetec Favorability Results on Jan 16, 2017
In the race to the bottom and flight to 'solutions', Genetec has taken a contrary path. The company remains independent, focusing up market,...
Free VMS Software Directory on Jan 13, 2017
Many Video Management Software (VMS) providers offer free versions, either open source, for a limited number of cameras or for a limited amount of...
Milestone Essential Subscription Removed on Jan 12, 2017
Subscriptions may be the future for Milestone and VMSes but not right now. Responding to negative feedback, Milestone has removed subscriptions...
Alarm Reporting Formats Overview on Jan 12, 2017
Alarm reporting formats are methods for communicating complicated information quickly, using plain old telephone service. It is still the main...
Amazon Sales of Hikvision China Cameras on Jan 12, 2017
Hikvision has become widely available in the US, including on popular retail outlets like Amazon, with over 2,600 results: 4MP Hikvision outdoor...
Last Day IP Networking Course January 2017 on Jan 12, 2017
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals plus it includes live training, personal help and...
ONVIF Favorability Results on Jan 11, 2017
ONVIF has been one of the most debated aspects of the video surveillance industry. On the one hand, its aim to increase interoperability has been...
Honeywell Ademco Vista Intrusion System Tested on Jan 11, 2017
One of the biggest brands in security holds one of the most common intrusion lines. We bought and tested a Honeywell Vista 15P intrusion...
ADI Battles Manufacturer Partners on Jan 11, 2017
ADI is battling their manufacturer partners, building up their own competitive house brand W-Box, while manufacturers still fund ADI's business...

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