Nov 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Tim O'Leary
Security solutions bring opportunities to contractors.
Most contractors are always looking for new business opportunities — especially with the increased competition they face from online direct marketers. Most contractors also understand the importance of customer service to their businesses. Busy clients are looking to simplify their lives by finding single-source solutions. Some may refer to it as systems integration, but it's all about providing a complete solution to the client. Providing electronic security and access control along with your video and sound systems might be a new opportunity knocking. By broadening out your offerings to include electronic security, you are migrating closer to becoming a single-source, multi-tech solution.
Because video and communications are important elements in security management, learning about and offering the types of products presented in this article would be an easy progression for the typical AV integrator. New products and markets are creating new opportunities for the enterprising contractor.
The challenges and opportunities presented by security and integration have never been greater. The merging of electronic security, fire, life safety, physical security, video surveillance, routable network infrastructure, and digital data and signaling processing has created an environment that beckons the AV contractor who is not afraid to learn.
VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS
Systems integration has evolved in response to the increased demand for high-tech solutions. CCTV has evolved into intelligent video surveillance. Intelligent video brings together images, processing, and connectivity into technologies able to provide what was merely theoretical a few short years ago.
The AvaLAN Wireless video camera kit could be considered a metaphor for cutting-edge integration. In addition to incorporating the latest in digital imaging technologies, it is designed to brave the elements and overcome distance and infrastrutural barriers with wireless telemetry.
AvaLAN offers integrated non-line-of-sight camera systems as well as wireless Ethernet bridge systems and accessories. The integrated cameras are unique because they are shipped as kits and use high-end components from respected manufacturers such as Videolarm, Axis, and Sony. Models include fixed and PTZ, indoor and outdoor, and they use the latest PoE (power over Ethernet) technologies They operate in the 902MHz to 928MHz range, not 2.4GHz (802.11), and, therefore, they will not interfere with datacomm WiFi networks. Because they are non-line-of-sight, they provide penetration of up to 10 typical building walls.
The kits' 128-bit encryption, 12 channels, 1.54Mbps raw data rate per channel (18.5Mbps site-wide), and 128-bit encryption with dedicated private keys (no IP addresses, no MAC addresses, no programming required) make them robust security devices.
Extreme CCTV's Reg-L1 DHC-imaging license-plate capture system incorporates innovations in active-infrared, optics, and Ambient Rejection technology to deliver high-contrast license-plate images. The DHC-imaging engine also results in clear, high-contrast images of new digital license plates, widely regarded to be the future standard format of license plates.
The Reg-L1 captures license plates from vehicles moving at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, allowing use for highway and other high-speed applications. Extreme's Metaphase LEDs and specialized lenses provide 12ft. to 75ft. of precision engineered performance for the most comprehensive distance coverage available in plate capture.
IP has made inroads into security technology — especially video. Network transmission protocols and digital signal processing have revolutionized surveillance. The IQinVision IQeye501 IP camera is one of these new-breed products that delivers high-speed IP video, great day/night performance, onboard digital recording, and up to 1.3-megapixel resolution in an attractive, low-profile package. Users can select the resolution they want, when they want it, from CCTV to HDTV to 1.3-megapixel.
The IQeye501 is easy to install and support. Its industrial-duty design ensures reliable operation in even the most demanding installation and network environments. Every feature-rich IQeye is flexible and can be custom-tailored to the application. From small systems using IQrecorder on-camera NVR software to enterprise-wide NVR/DVR systems, the IQeye501 lets you capture all the details.
The backbone of the electronic security industry has long been residential and commercial alarm systems. Ademco was one of the pioneers in electronic security, paving the way for an industry as early innovators and manufacturers adopted devices such as door contacts, motion detectors, alarm control panels, and tape dialers.
Ademco has become Honeywell, and the values of reliability and innovation remain. The high-capacity, feature-rich Vista-20P supports up to 48 zones of protection, graphic keypad support, and dual partitions. The panel's installation advantages, innovative user benefits, and robust system capacity make the value-priced Vista-20P an ideal choice for dealers and installations of all types — even for higher-end installations. Honeywell has a highly evolved technical support system that includes both telephone and online support. The company's panels are designed with both the installer and the user in mind. In my own personal experiences over several years and many installations, this equipment achieves high marks in user acceptance. Many national alarm franchises use Honeywell equipment, and franchising might be an attractive entry point for many integrators.
Although it has not quite arrived yet, the day will soon come when all security devices will be what is commonly referred to as network appliances. PoE (Power over Ethernet), VoIP (Voice over IP), and AoIP (Alarm over IP) are terms you'd better get used to and learn to the greatest extent possible. Devices such as cameras, motion sensors, and door locks will get their instructions and power and deliver their data and functions over the ubiquitous network.
Isonas ClearNet IP proximity reader controllers take this concept to new levels of convergence. The ClearNet reader-controllers are the first IP readers that connect directly to the data network, completely eliminating the need for traditional door-control panels. Each reader is supplied with Isonas Crystal Matrix Software, which puts realtime control of all door-control functions in the hands of authorized security personnel via the convenience of a PC and standard network. These network devices are simple to install, and they tap into existing networks using a familiar Microsoft Windows interface.
Isonas IP reader controllers offer a variety of choices so that you can compete in this high-demand niche. If you are looking to get into access control, these modular units might be a gateway for the contractor with a little network savvy.
STANDALONE ACCESS-CONTROL SYSTEMS
Standalone access control is a growing product segment that is based on door-mounted integral electronic controllers mechanical locksets. Once hampered by bulky electronics and abbreviated battery life, these technologies have come of age with feature-rich models that run for years before requiring battery replacement.
The New Kaba E-Plex 2000 (EP2K) offers many features and a low price point to suite a larger variety of applications. The EP2K is a PIN-based entry system like the E-Plex 5000. Unlike the E-Plex 5000, the E-Plex 2000 does not provide audit trail and software support. It does, however, provide the most often sought-after features of the E-Plex at an MSRP of less than $400.
The unit is designed for indoor or outdoor applications, and is supplied with a weatherproofing gasket. The lock ships as only a few major components and may be field-adjusted, and the cylinder may be removed for rekeying or replacement with your preferred keyway.
Networkable standalone access controls take the self-contained controller and lockset and add multiple-door security management software. Members of the Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies Locknetics On Board family are standalone systems, controlled by LockLink Software, that manage multiple access points, users, and credentials. Computer-managed products include Schlage CM door locks, Von Duprin CM CM933 Trim, Locknetics Universal access controllers and credential readers, and Recognition Systems HandKey CM biometric hand readers.
Schlage CM locks are available in cylindrical, mortise-latch, mortise-AutoBolt, and even unit-lock designs. CM locks use standard ANSI cylindrical door preps with minor modifications. Installation is simple and quick, and they are also available with a hardwired option for high-use applications or extremely cold climates. The modular CM locking systems manage up to 1,000 users and provide audit trails for the last 1,000 events at each door where a CM lock is installed. Users have many of the benefits of an online system without the expense of installing network and power wiring.
The LockLink 7.0 software application lets users seamlessly manage both offline and online access-control solutions available from Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. LockLink and LockLink Express enable users to easily add and delete users, determine which users can have access to specific doors at specific times throughout the day, and download recorded audit events, including who has been through the door and when.
MDI Security Systems' iTrust access-control system uses network technology on standard PCs, network browsers, and Internet infrastructures to provide multiple workstations and virtually limitless scalability. iTrust offers security dealers an enterprise-grade access-control solution that delivers seamless integration capabilities for small- to mid-sized federal, state, county, and municipal government agencies.
Unlike other systems, iTrust was developed from an enterprise platform and scaled down to meet the needs of entry-level systems. The same award-winning security functionality that has protected our nation's people, facilities, and critical assets for more than two decades can now be used by smaller government organizations that need the power of a proven enterprise integrated system, at an affordable price point. The full-featured, enterprise-grade solution can control two doors for less than $1,000. The system comes with eight workstations standard at no additional dealer cost, allowing for higher profit margins.
The new Security Door Controls 1511S Exit Check delayed-egress lock is another example of standalone modular technology that provides a unique solution — in this case, to life safety and loss-prevention requirements. Delayed egress is a special locking arrangement used on a variety of premises to protect occupants, cut losses, and provide full life safety features. When unauthorized egress is initiated, the Exit Check delays egress through the door for 15 seconds or 30 seconds. Meanwhile, the person exiting must wait while personnel or security respond. An integral digital countdown display and voice commands inform the person intending to exit of the seconds remaining to unlock. The door unlocks after 15 seconds or 30 seconds have elapsed, permitting egress. A signal from the fire/life safety system will release the lock for immediate, uninhibited egress in an emergency.
POWER SUPPLY SYSTEMS
Almost all systems integration requires reliable power. Among other things, power supplies are required for cameras, door locks, and card readers. Equipment must be provided clean power within the limits specified, over extended lengths of wire, and in all types of environments, and frequently, this power must be sustained in emergencies when line voltage is suddenly interrupted. That's what Altronix has been doing for years: providing high-quality power supply systems and solutions to system design problems.
The company offers a broad range of power solutions and relay and timer modules designed with the system integrator in mind. The AL600ULX power supply/charger is a typical product from Altronix, providing 6 amps of continuous power, field-selectable 12V DC/24V DC outputs, overload protection, and a lifetime warranty. If a power failure occurs on the supply voltage to the power supply, it switches instantly to battery. It offers transient protection as well as output regulation and the ability to signal AC fail and low-battery conditions remotely.
Connectivity is always an issue, and there is no such thing as one network protocol or topology for all occasions. That is where devices such as bridges, which enable the transition between differing protocols and topologies, come in. Cypress Computer Systems offers a wide selection of devices that extend the connectivity of all types of devices. Among its selection of solutions, the Cypress DPX-7000 is a dual-supervised reader extender, which allows the connection of two readers and associated devices (e.g. relays, REX, and door position sensors) up to 10,000ft. from the controller using only two conductors.
In installations where distances make cabling prohibitive and where other forms of telemetry are not suitable because of security, terrain, or environment, the Cypress puts it all over a UTP to get it done.
For More Information
Cypress Computer Systems
MDI Security Systems
Security Door Controls
Tim O'Leary is a security consultant and technical writer with extensive experience in all areas of security. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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