HID's SE Readers Examined

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Oct 13, 2014

The HID card readers you may have used in the past are changing.  As old stocks of standards like R10 and R40 readers dwindle, new part numbers and a new series takes their place: iClass SE.  In practical terms, what does this change mean, and more importantly, is it a benefit?

In this note, we examine HID's iClass SE readers, survey what has changed, and how it may impact your designs.

What ** **?

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Reader **************

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Better ********?

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Comments (3)

Hi Brian,

I just wanted to make one quick adjustment to your last paragraph,

By themselves, SE readers will do little to increase system security, but as a 'link in thechain', they can protect both credential data and access systems from direct attacks.

I know you were making a comparison with standard iClass, but I don't want anybody to get the wrong idea - these readers do greatly improve security for the majority of clients who are still on 125kHz prox.

This is an important post. There are too many people making up their own details on access credentials.

One improvement I found interesting is a Bluetooth interface. No card needed, just a Bluetooth app on your phone. The Bluetooth field on the reader can be adjusted for near or far reads. I saw it work from 1 foot to almost 20 feet. You can either wiggle your phone or present it to the reader for access to the door.

The NFC on the reader is kind of worthless here in the US. The phone carriers wont let certain security certificates be installed on the phone rendering NFC sort of worthless for this app. Maybe one day we will catch up with Europe and Asia on this.

While card readers are becoming more advanced, so are their power requirements. Older HID prox-only readers seemed to manage fine on a power budget of just 35-40 mA. Multi-class increased the requirement and the newer SE readers average 75-90 mA with peak current draw of 200 mA.

In the past, most control panel boards were able to power the readers directly. As we move to SE multi-class readers we now have to power readers separately just as we power locks separately. In adequate power to these card readers will provide a variety of inconsistent read events. I'm sure over time, control panel manufacturers will increase their card reader budgets and some manufacturers may do it today, but not the ones we are currently using.

just my two cents...

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