Long Range Access Control Readers Tutorial

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Nov 10, 2017

One of the classic challenges for access control are parking lots and garages, where the user's credential is far from the reader. With modern access systems, the basic methods of increasing the read distance mean using special readers, credentials, or a combination of the two.

In this note, we look at the options for reading access credentials long distances apart (enhancing readers or credentials). We also cover the importance of physically designing reading points and discuss using different frequencies to gain range (UHF/Microwaves). Finally, we contrast option costs, and list their relative weaknesses compared to standard card readers.

Inside we address these aspects and more:

  • Are Boosted Cards or Long Range Readers Better?
  • How Specific Project Requirement Impact Choices
  • Credentials Often Determine Range
  • Overview of Long-Range UHF/Microwave Formats
  • Uncommon, But Effective Cellphone Dialers
  • A Comparison Table Contrasting Options

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

  • *** ******* ***** ** **** ***** ******* ******?
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[****: **** ******** *** ********** ********* ** **** *** ************* revised ** ****]

Card ** ******?

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** **** ***********, ********** **** ***** ***** ** ***** *** options:

*****:****** **** **** ********* *** ********** *** ****** ** ******** antennas *** ******** ** '******' *** '**** ******' ***** ** tags. ***** ****** ***** ******** *** *** * ' - 10' ** *****, ** **** ******* ********* *** **** ** the ********** *** ******** ******** *********** ** *********. ********* ********* credentials ** ***** ********** *** *** $* - $** *** card, *********** ******* **** ** ********* *** * ***** ******. The ***** ***** ** ***** **** **** ****** **********:

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Credentials ***** ********* *****

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  • ****: ***** ******* ** **** ***** ********* **** ******* * feet *** ** ** ** ****. ******* ** *** ******* distance, ******* ** **** ******** **** ** ******* **** *** same ************** ** ******** ********** *********: ******** **** ** ***** must ** **********, ******** ******** ******* *** ** ******* ** interference, *** ****** *********** ** ******** *** ********** *********.

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Individual ******* ****** *******

******** ********* ** ******** ** ****** **** ***********, ********** ** the ********** ** **** ****. *** ******* ****, ******* *** reader ** ******* ** * ******** ** ******* ****** ******* distance ** * ****** ******* ******. **** **** ********* *********, users *** ***** ** ******** ** **** **** *** ****** and ***** ***** ****** ***** ***** ** * ******.

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****** ** *** ***** *****, * (***** *****) *********** ****** is ******* ** * ******** ****** **" ** * ******** credential:

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Overview ** ****-***** ***/********* *******

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Uncommon, *** ********* ********* *******

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Comparison *****

*** ***** ***** ********* *** *** ****-***** ******* ******* ** this ****:

Comments (7)

We had issues with a install of MaxiProx Readers that were back to back, In Out gates. We found the card would get read by both in and out gate at the same time. Some times to powerful is also a problem.

Only way to fix it was to line the inside of the Box the Maxiprox was attached to with Tin foil to block the transmission going behind the reader.

Undisclosed A,

Prox readers are not directional. The RF energy is emitted by the antenna of the reader in the form of 2 bubbles: one in the front of the reader and one in the back of the reader. If the antenna is in the front of the reader, the RF bubble will be larger there (ie more range in the front than the back). All prox readers that are not backed by some substance that is RF-blocking (like Ferrite, for example) will read from the back of the readers. Even very small readers (with a range of 4-6 inches) installed back-to-back on a standard door will interfere with each other. You will often have to install the "in" reader at 38 inches and the "out" reader at 44 inches instead of having them back-to-back at 42 inches.

Brian,

We have found hat the most frequent method of controlling a gate is no longer the installation of a long-range reader but rather the use of wiegand remotes such as this (with a prox chip inside for use on regular doors also):

RF-REM2-433-HID26

they work hand-in-hand with wireless receivers that have a standard wiegand output that will connect with any door module that accepts a 26-bit wiegand input (so basically an access system will see this as a regular prox reader and each remote will have a unique ID just like a prox card)

I worry a bit about the security of these. There are still a few static ISM RF devices out there that are vulnerable to a replay attack ... with luck this isn't one of them :) The 26 bit Wiegand respectfully has to go. The credential of the future is the mobile phone. They have BT, WiFi and the cell network for transmission. GPS for location. rbl

This may be out of the scope of the discussion, but we have had very good luck with the Federal Signal (now 3M) Identity series long range readers. Tag is attached to the rear view mirror (optional) and the reader detects the tag and opens the garage doors long before the car approaches. The # of card "reads" is adjustable, as is the range and direction. It has yet to fail us. It took 3M a while to get up to speed on the product after acquistion, but they are very helpful.

When I was a systems administrator in 2005, I used Asterisk to create customized IVR based on caller ID where caller would be presented with unique menu to their doors. "press 1 to open door A, press 2 to open door B etc...Dual Authentication via pin and caller-id.

I've assisted with the installation of a couple of Nedap readers. The company is pretty good to work with. A few learning notes:

Seems obvious after the fact, but when they state '15 foot read range' that is a straight line from the reader to the credential. If you go back to high school geometry, that is the hypotenuse of the triangle. Which means, depending on the height of the pole you mount it on, (it's recommended to be 8-10 ft off the ground) you're actually only 6-8 feet from the base of the pole/gate/etc.

The big reader, 'Transit Ultimate' is what we ended up going with after much troubleshooting. It's got a wider read range (about 150d) and we got read ranges in excess of 50 feet in some situations.

It's cool because the Ultimate has a relay output built directly into it, so you could use it as a garage door replacement if you wanted to, and not bother to use the Weigand output or tie it to an access control system at all. (it also runs on 12v, so you COULD solar power the thing if you needed to. Also has 120v AC direct input)

Don't forget the special credentials that you have to use with it. They aren't cheap.

We used this for a trucking company with about 25 vehicles. Allowed them to turn into their loading dock without needing to get out of the car to pin in or hold up the turn lane (the reader picks them up far enough away that the gate is opening as they make the turn)

It's an option worth looking into.

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