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Access Control

access control Access Control Basic Principles

Access control put simply is the control of access to buildings. Sometimes referred to as door entry systems but access control can provide control over access to car parks, secure outdoor areas and essentially any area where you wish to control or limit the access to authorised persons only.

We all appreciate that locking a door, gate or barrier is a simple way of controlling who can access an area, however this is impractical when many people may require access as the issuing of keys to hundreds or even thousands of people presents a logistical nightmare, in addition should a key be lost the lock may require changing with the issue of new keys all round. Additionally this form of access control relies upon every user locking the door behind them every time they pass through which we all know is the weak link.

Taking a simple access control scenario, a front door to a reception area of a company, using the traditional lock and issuing all authorised persons with a key leaves a problem as visitors to the company require access. A simple access control system will provide a means to lock the door electronically, a release switch by reception allows the receptionist to open the access controlled door to people and a simple keypad outside the door will allow staff to access the building with a PIN number. An addition to the system may be an egress switch fitted inside the building adjacent to the door to allow people to leave the building with a simple press of the button rather than relying upon the receptionist.

To achieve a simple system as above using conventional wired technology you will need an electronic lock suited to the door, a keypad rated for external use provides a timer to allow people to open the door when either the receptionist door release button or egress switch is operated, or a correct code is entered and should include multiple access control codes and the ability to remove/add codes as required, a push to make switch for reception, another push to make switch (possibly marked push to exit) for the egress switch, a 12VDC power supply to provide power for the lock and keypad and a rechargeable battery to keep the system working in the event of power failure, The wiring whilst simple will require the following, 240V fused spur for the power supply, 12VDC cables from the power supply to the keypad, 12VDC cables from the egress switch and reception desk switch to the keypad, 12VDC cable between the keypad and the lock.

This access control system can be simplified with the use of radio systems, the RF Magnet kit and accessories can provide all the above functionality with radio replacing the cables, a battery operated keypad for outside the door is available, a miniature radio PCB is available to retro fit into any push to make switch to convert it to radio control, hand held radio (key fob) buttons are available to release the lock, fixed radio buttons for reception desk areas are available (once fixed they are more difficult to lose) all these are designed to operate the RF Magnet  direct without cables, the only part requiring wiring is the lock, which requires 12VDC from a power supply.

All the above access control and radio system switches can be used with the Digiway door opener for a comprehensive and simple disabled access control system although the Digiway door controller will require a connection to the mains supply.

If the reception desk is located in such a position as the receptionist can not see the access controlled door (or the persons waiting to enter) then it may be appropriate to install an audio link to allow the receptionist to talk to the person requiring access prior to releasing the door, such access control systems are available with built in key pads to allow staff to enter the building without delay, a visitor presses the "call" button to speak to the receptionist who can make a decision to open the door, typically this is via a telephone handset with a door release button (and monitor for video if chosen) built in.

More sophisticated systems may use video as well as audio to allow the receptionist to both see and talk to the person prior to admittance.

Video and audio access control entry systems are ideal for situations such as blocks of residential apartments,  starting with a one to one system which will allow entry from a single door to a single apartment and increasing to multi way systems with either numbered buttons - one per apartment or a menu system allowing a persons name to be chosen, some systems connect into the PSTN (public service telephone network) and place a telephone call to the apartment allowing mobile telephones, DECT telephones etc to be used as part of the access solution, these systems are pricey but save on cable and maintenance so can prove highly cost effective.

Taking access control to the next level of control is the use of access control cards or fobs which are a low cost small device/card with a pre programmed number held within, these cards/fobs are detected by a "reader" by the door, the reader is connected to a controller which has sophisticated electronics to allow card/fob addition/deletion and then "controls" the door, some systems incorporate rules such as time windows or dates when cards are not allowed access, many of the audio and video entry systems above can have an optional "reader" built in for a neat installation.

Once choosing to use cards/fobs as part of an access control system you should consider the following questions, single doors/gates/barriers can have a standalone reader/controller as a simple solution at the point of access, single/dual door entrance systems should consider built in readers as part of the video/audio entry control plate, linked to a standalone controller within the building, multiple door (single way controlled or both way access controlled) systems should consider an "online" access control system, the controllers are all linked back to a control PC where all card/fob management, time zones and rules can be set i.e. Mr Smith is allowed anywhere on site except the computer suite but only during 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday.

A new development in access control systems is the use of ultra long range RFID fobs, these are simply carried by authorised persons and will open the access controlled door, gate, barrier as they tag is seen in the area, this provides hands free access control which can be perfect for car parks,  hospitals, food preparation areas, disabled residential premises and many other uses.

Author Philip Wilkinson 

20 February 2009

Online Security Products, suppliers of professional CCTV, Door Entry, Access Control and Intruder parts from top manufacturers. We supply a vast range of professional products from leading manufacturers at low prices  to trade and industry. Established in 2007 our staff are highly experienced having worked in the security industry for years.

CCTV Distributors

WELCOME TO Online Security Products. Distributors of professional CCTV since 2007

Online Security Products are authorised UK Distributors for Dahua, Genie, Twilight Pro, Samsung, Cobra, Olix and Vista CCTV products and parts

Online Security has unrivalled expertise as distributors to the UK CCTV industry. Online Security supply innovative, high quality and competitively priced CCTV Cameras, IP Video Solutions, NVR and DVR Digital Recording Surveillance Systems.

Online Security Products provide CCTV security solutions from global manufacturers such as Dahua, Genie, Samsung, Cobra, Vista, Dahua and Uniview to trade and professional installers dealing with complex projects and to technically aware end users.

Online Security Products Ltd. team have a lifetime of experience working within the electronic security industry, specialising in distribution of CCTV from global brands such as Dahua, UNV Uniview, Vista, Hilook by Hikvision, Cobra, Samsung, Twilight and Genie CCTV.

Online Security Products staff have over 40 years experience in the CCTV industry

OLSP Limited t/a Online Security Products authorised distributors of Dahua CCTV

Online Security Products. suppliers of professional CCTV equipment to CCTV installers across the UK and Europe at low trade prices, one of the leading CCTV suppliers in the UK.

Authorised resellers of Dahua, Olix, Hilook by Hikvision, Vista, Genie CCTV, UNV Uniview, Twilight, Computar, Ganz, Samsung, Vicon, Cobra, Venom.

Dome cameras, Bullet cameras, Eyball cameras, PCB cameras, Vandal dome cameras, Covert cameras, AHD cameras, HDCVI cameras, IP cameras, HDTVI cameras, DVRs, NVRs, Hybrid DVRs and Security cameras.

Online Security Products Ltd. distributes CCTV products from the following manufacturers;

  • Dahua
  • Hilook by Hikvision
  • Olix
  • UNV Uniview
  • Vista
  • Genie CCTV
  • Cobra
  • Twilight Pro
  • Samsung Techwin
  • Ganz
  • Computar

CCTV systems have recently moved from 720 X 576 pixels per frame to 1920 X 1080 pixels per frame (1080P) as a starting resolution, using conventional CCTV co-ax or cat5 cables and called Analogue-HD these CCTV cameras provide 2MP resolution and 16:9 widescreen format. There are competing HD CCTV formats such as AHD, HD-TVI, HD-CVI etc. however most CCTV DVR recorders are multiple format, however you should check that the recorder you select is compatible with the CCTV Camera you like. Alternately there are IP systems available, utilising CCTV NVR Recorders these offer up to 12MP resolution and are increasingly popular due to ease of installation, an NVR with built in PoE simply requires a CAT5 cable between camera and recorder.

Intruder Alarm Distributors

Online Security Products offer a vast range of professional Intruder Alarm parts from many major UK manufacturers including Scantronic, Risco, Castle Care, Pyronix, Ajax and Texecom.

Intruder alarm systems are designed to protect buildings by making a noise or calling keyholders/police/fire authorities when an intruder, personal attack or fire alarm is activated. Often Intruder Alarm systems are installed to Insurance requirements, these systems are graded and must be designed, installed, commissioned and maintained by a registered company. DIY Intruder Alarm systems are possible for technically aware users, however most manufacturers will not provide any support either for the design, installation, fault finding or repair of a Intruder Alarm system, referring end users to specialist Intruder Alarm installers for this service. If you do choose to DIY an Intruder Alarm system we would recommend the Secuplace kits/parts as they will accept technical support calls for these products, click here for more.


Access Control Distributors

Online Security Products are leading UK suppliers of professional Access Control products at trade prices to Access Control installers.

OLSP Limited Access control systems typically provide control to one or more doors within a building, most systems use RFD fobs or cards to act as tokens giving permission to open a door, gate or barrier to only those who are issued with them, typical access control systems comprise an electric lock, a controller, a reader, a power supply and if their is more than one point may be networked together to manage cards/fobs from a central location i.e. a PC.


Door Entry Distributors

Online Security Products are suppliers of Professional Door Entry systems to the trade at great prices, we supply parts from most leading door entry system manufacturers including CDVI, Aiphone, BPT, Comelit, Videx, Fermax, Bitron.

OLSP Limited t/a  Online Security Products Door Entry products typically include an external call point which can be audio only or audio and video, in a standard Door Entry system the external Door Entry call point acts as your doorbell calling audio or audio and video door entry points inside the property, the internal door entry points can operate and electric lock or an electric gate. Variants of Door Entry systems include wireless systems using DECT technology to a dedicated portable handset, or some Door Entry systems utilise GSM to call telephones, most will store multiple numbers and transfer if unanswered to the next number. Some Door Entry systems can utilise WiFi to communicate with tablets and smartphones as well as fixed Door Entry points.

Time and Attendance Distributors


Online Security Products have been selected as authorised distributors of ZKTeco as part of their drive into the UK market.

ZKTeco specialise in time and attendance and door entry solutions incorporating advanced biometrics including face recognition systems alongside advanced CCTV solutions.

ZKTeco CCTV solutions are ideal for all domestic, retail and commercial applications and are continuously improved to meet the ever more demanding requirements of today's CCTV users.

About ZKTeco

ZKTeco is a global leader in biometric technology, with over 20 years of international presence and an established sales network in over 130 countries. With 33 regional offices worldwide, ZKTeco specializes in the manufacture and development of a large variety of solutions, including access control, WFM, turnstiles, CCTV, metal detectors, X-Ray inspection, integrated security solutions and embedded fingerprint modules.

ZKTeco provides business partners with advanced solutions in all the core sectors it specializes in, offering technical, R&D and sales support, RMA service, specialized customizations, instructive training programs of its European partners, and direct distribution of all solutions in the European market.