They recently ran an article focused on Access Control Card Readers. To help with that article they contacted Charlie Thiel, General Manager and Ryan Waters, Integrated Security Specialist both of CSi. Below are some excerpts.
For many years, the card reader has been a given in an access control installation. First with proximity, then contactless smart cards, the technology has become so reliable and durable that it is easy to pick a reader, install it and move on. Potted, sealed and with no moving parts, readers rarely fail or cause trouble. Unless the user is adding doors or doing a complete card technology upgrade, once the reader is on the wall, it stays there for a very long time.
“We tend to upgrade more on the controller and software side first, due to the size of our customers,” says Ryan Waters, integrated security engineer, CSi, Allentown, Pa. “A lot of the new readers going in we are doing multi-credential. If we replace a reader, we tend to replace it with that to give them a more seamless transition.”
Card and reader compatibility can trip up the integrator, says Charlie Thiel, general manager for CSi. “We have had problems where we had actually put in a multi-class reader and it was a takeover situation and we didn’t have all the information about the card. They were also using a multi-tech credential that had a customized prox portion of the card so when they held it a certain way it would read the wrong number. Just from testing enough, we determined the problem.”
“Manufacturers are starting to adopt OSDP protocol with bi-directional communication,” Waters says. “We do a lot of remote monitoring and this gives us the ability to monitor more things, get more information from the reader and be more proactive in servicing our customers.”
Thiel adds, “We can’t really monitor card readers themselves now, but OSDP will allow that in the future. That would be something useful for a company like ours.”
“We go through an engineering process up front,” says Charlie Thiel, of CSi. “It has to work on paper. That is something we strive for: Trying to avoid those pitfalls in the installation and mitigating potential problems makes for a more profitable job and a satisfied customer.”