Posts Tagged ‘ access control ’

Access Control Anti-PassBack – Why Use it and How to Configure It!

Written By:
Tuesday, July 21st, 2015


What is Anti-PassBack?

Anti-PassBack is a feature in our access control software that can be used to make sure people scan in and out of your building in that order. You need to have 2 access control readers per door; one on the outside and one on the inside. When an employee comes in they will scan their card on the outside and the door opens. Then when they leave, they must scan the reader on the inside in order to get out. If they do not scan out, the card will not work on the outside reader again, and so they will not be let in. What that means is if they scan in, in the morning and do not scan out, the outdoor reader will not let them in the next time they try and scan in. You must scan in, scan out, and then they will have access granted from the outside again.

Why would I use Anti-PassBack?

The only reason why I would use Anti-PassBack is simply for tracking when employees are coming and going and how often they are coming and going. It is also useful for when you require employees to have their access control cards on them at all times. In my testing I used two users, Kuchuk and El Jeffe. If Kuchuk walks up to the door first, and before he can scan in El Jeffe says “Dude I forgot my fob at home, can you scan in and throw me your fob out the window so the cameras see me scan in?”.

Unfortunately for El Jeffe, this will not work, because the user Kuchuk scans in, throws his fob to El Jeffe and the card will not let him in a second time, unless that user scans the indoor reader to get out first, and then he will regain access from the outside.

How Do I Configure Anti-PassBack?

First thing’s first. You need to build your access control database in the software. You need to start by getting your access control board on your network and then adding it to the software. You can do so by using the tool below. This is a web service enabler which is where you change the IP address to your scheme.

Web Service Enabler –

Once you have done this, you can add the board into the software by choosing “Basic Config” > “Controllers” > “Search” and then add your board to the software. Once you have done that you need to add your departments by choosing the “Department” tab under Basic Config and “Add Top”. For my article I used “Article Test” as my department name. Once you have that, it is time to add users. The way I like to do this is to add them by swiping the cards, look at the top left of the software and choose “Auto Add Cards By Swiping”. When you have that up scan the first card, choose the department, and click OK. As soon as you have added the card, go to Basic Config > Personnel > and enter the name that will go with that card. make sure to do this for every card you scan so you do not get confused and be sure to label them as you go so you know which card belongs to who.

Now that all of your departments, and users have been added to the database you need to enable Anti-PassBack. At the bottom left side of the software choose “Tools” > “Extended Functions” > 5678 is the password. Look at the picture below (left) and see that “Activate Anti-PassBack” needs to be enabled. To enable it, check the box for it and click OK. The software will make you close it and reopen it, if you click yes to do so it will do it on its own and all you have to do is log in again. Now when you go into “Access Control”, you will see a new tab for Anti-PassBack. Open it up, choose your board, and click edit. I am using a 4 door board so mine looks like this, below (right). In this case I will choose No. 1 /No. 2 No. 3 / No. 4. This is showing you that readers 1 and 2 are grouped to the same door and 3 and 4 are grouped to another door.

Anti-PassBack Art.Anti-PassBAck Art2

That wasn’t so hard was it? Now all there is to do is to upload it all to the board and watch it work. To upload it all to the board go to “Basic Operate” > choose “select all” > “Upload” and pres ok. It will let you know this is successful. As soon as this says it was successful you are ready to go. I will show you that it works here by monitoring the readers. I will choose select all, then monitor, and if you see the picture below you will see how it works. Notice how Kuchuk scans in, then passes his fob to El Jeffe but El Jeffe is denied access. El Jeffe then throws the fob back to Kuchuk who then scans out and back in successfully. Then you will notice that El Jeffe has learned his lesson and comes to the office tomorrow with his fob, scans in, scans out for lunch and then back in all successfully. Remember, once you have scanned in, you can not gain access from outside without scanning yourself out first.


I have to say, not too many people will have a need for this feature, but if you do feel the need to know when employees are coming and going this is the best way for you to know. If you have a guy who decides to take several smoke breaks a day to the point where it gets out of hand, he will have no choice other than to scan in and out every time he leaves the building in order to get back in. That will tell you, as the employer, how much of your time he is wasting. If for any reason at all you feel like you need some help or a clearer explanation please give us a call at (866) 573-8878. Thank You!


Access Control and How it can Benefit Your Business

Written By:
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015



In most business environments, companies know the real benefit of having an Access Control System in place at their office, buildings and other facilities. However, there are still many companies that wish to rely on the old-fashioned lock and key system. In this article, we’ll discuss the real benefit of an Access Control System installed and configured properly.

The most obvious benefit is that your users do not need a physical key to open or gain access to your premises. Beyond that obvious benefit, comes the ability to restrict a person’s entry by time of day, day of week, or even permanently revoke their rights on a specific date. You may wish to do that with an outside contractor who has a definitive last day that they should be entering your office or facility.

You can also implement an enterprise wide system that will allow specific users access to only one door while allowing others access to as many doors as you have in the system. All this can be done using something as simple as an RFID card, fingerprint, pass code, or other form of identification. This would allow you to issue a credential to the CEO of the company that opens all of the doors in all of the facilities of your enterprise while issuing the exact same type of card to a Janitor who is only allowed entry at 1 door during pre-set hours and days of the week.

Taking it a step further, you can require multi-factor authentication. That is to say you may require a user to present a card, enter a code, and provide a thumbprint in order to gain access to the more sensitive areas of a facility such as an IT room.

You can mix the number and types of authentication required based on the persons role, the sensitivity of the area, or other business standards.

Moving well beyond simple allow/deny entry methodology, an Access Control system can be integrated with payroll departments to confirm that an employee arrives on time, and can provide alerts to appropriate managers and human resources if an employee fails to show up at an expected time.

This could help in quickly allocating resources to fill in for missing personnel rather than wondering if someone is in the building or not.

A supported access control system can also be either directly integrated with CCTV surveillance equipment software or used with a stand-alone with basic time look-up based on events. For example, if you’re concerned that someone is presenting somebody else credentials to gain access to an area they are not meant to be in, you can easily look-up who presented the credential (Anti-Pass).

Furthermore, you can take immediate action in restricting the misused credentials to avoid any unauthorized access until disciplinary action can be taken. Access Control Systems can and should be integrated with any Fire alarm panel. NOTE: In order to have this implementation, your Access Control board MUST have the required inputs to integrate this with any Fire Alarm System. We also suggest that you talk to your local fire station to make sure the installation is up to City Codes and regulations. This will provide faster egress (exiting) in the event of a fire by allowing otherwise locked doors to be used as a point of exit in the event of a fire.

No one needs to play with keys or worry about which doors are locked. A system can be configured to accept an input directly from the fire alarm system to the access control system to trigger unlocks of all doors.

In extremely secure environments, you can also design access control to provide an audit that would allow you to quickly and accurately determine which users entered what areas of your facility and the path they took to get there.

This will also provide you with a detailed idea of who may have been present at the time of an incident. For example, if an employee slipped and fell but claimed no one saw it, you would immediately know who might have been in the area as a witness to the event.

There are a wide variety of types of credentials available to authenticate a person for access control. Some are as simple as a pin code; some are more complex requiring fingerprints and facial scans. The most common method currently deployed in commercial applications is the card reader. This has been considered “secure enough” for most applications. However, it can be greatly augmented with the use of another factor of credential such as a pin code or a fingerprint.

Many people are willing to “loan” their card to a trusted friend, but most are unwilling to also provide their entry code. You can take security even further by integrating your access control system with your burglar alarm panel. It is not uncommon that you would want the Access Control System to notify law enforcement.

Usually a denied credential or miss-typed pin would not be cause for an alarm. However, there are situations that would be appropriate. You may for example, configure a “duress” code that all employees are given.

In the event they are forced against their will, they could enter the “duress” code and trigger a silent alarm. They could then present the legitimate code to gain entry, with the knowledge that the appropriate law enforcement department has been notified. You can also say goodbye to costly locksmiths. While it’s true that the initial installation of an Access Control System is significantly higher than that of a standard lock and key system, there are more benefits in the long run.

The “lost my key” condition is easily resolved with a simple phone call to the administrator of the system. If configured, the administrator may even be able to unlock the door to a building from anywhere in the world. Combine that ability with a well-designed CCTV system and they can also verify who they’re granting access to before they release the lock. Issuing a new credential is trivial in costs with the average RFID card being around $1 USD.

In conclusion, a properly configured access control system can save a business time, money, and lost man hours. It can also provide an extra level of security and safety features that greatly enhance traditional building level security and safety systems.

For more information and to learn more about Access Control, check out this link on our website.


Incorporating EcKey Bluetooth Technology with Colorado’s Amendment 64 Security Alarm System and Lock Standards

Written By:
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014


Colorado Marijuana Law known as “Amendment 64”

On December 10th 2012 Colorado approved Amendment 64 into their constitution. Article XVII; Section 16 was born so that the cultivation and retail sale of Marijuana was legal statewide. With all the new laws of course there will always be rules and regulations. The one I will be talking about in this article is section R 305. I will also be introducing the Bluetooth Access Control, the ECKey EK6 and EK7.


R-305 Security Alarm Systems and Lock Standards.

A – Security Alarm Systems Minimum Requirements.

One of the requirements when operating a Retail Marijuana Establishment is they must have a Security Alarm System that covers all perimeters, windows and entry points. They also need to have some sort of real time monitoring established. Well here at we have access control hardware and software that allows you to monitor every entry point to your business.



R-305 A-3 States that a Licensee shall maintain up-to-date and current records and existing contracts on the licensed premises that describe the location and operation of each Security Alarm System, at we have the most knowledgeable Sales Representatives on staff to sketch any scheme necessary when purchasing and installing our access control and locking systems.

4field of view2

Video example made by one of our Sales Representatives Dan Millard.

You can keep records of ALL incoming and outgoing traffic, from employees to customers. For personnel with special access you can grant them entry using the ECKEY EK6 (a blue tooth access control reader) configured to an existing alarm system or to one of our access control boards.



The other option if you don’t have an existing alarm system would be the ECKEY EK7 standalone bluetooth reader connected to an electronic door strike or maglock to grant access to employees or customers. This setup would also work great in an indoor or outdoor greenhouse cultivation environment. A benefit with the ECKEY EK7 is that you can use the Vizpin mobile app to control access to the unit.

There is also an EC Key app that is available for all iPhone and Android smartphones. The app allows your Smartphone to set access control and administrate your system the easy way.

Even if don’t own a smartphone, EC Key readers can work and pair with any discoverable Bluetooth device.



EK6 uses a secure 128 bit Bluetooth encryption to convert your device’s ID to wiegand data and send back to your access control system. The EK6 proximity reader solves the hassle of having access cards, fobs, biometrics and keypads that all have to be touched by either typing in an access code, or touching your hand or finger on a scanner. With access cards you never really know who is actually gaining access to places they are not supposed to be in. The EK6 is hands-free using your smartphones Bluetooth technology to gain access through doors, garages, gates and any other place that you want to keep secure. The EK6, when triggered by a user’s Bluetooth signal, will generate a virtual card number and the device sends the Wiegand data to your access panel, and the panel will either see the card user as a valid user and open the door or an invalid user and not open the door.


Installation of the EK6 is simple. The Bluetooth reader can be integrated into any existing reader or access control system. Upgrading from keypads, cards, fobs, and biometrics is easy and affordable. I have been in the security business for many years and I will tell you this Bluetooth reader is brilliant. If I didn’t want certain employees in my office, supply closet, building, liquor room and places where money and inventory is kept, securing these places using hand-free devices like a smartphone would have been PRICELESS back in the day. Everyone knows that just like American Express, “no one leaves home without it” (meaning your cell phone).

4Electronic Door Strike - Lock fail secure






VIZpin Guest/Access Control

EC KEY management software lets you configure and manage your EK7 standalone reader. Once downloaded and connected properly you will be able to access the EC KEY software and adjust the set-up, security pin, time of day, users, audit and the ECKEY information tabs. Your unit will arrive with detailed instructions on how to install and configure you Bluetooth reader, but if you run into any issues or obstacles, please feel free to contact us here at our Technical Support Department. You can always contact us Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm.


Knowledge is Power! – Access Control and Circuits.

Written By:
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014


As you may all know serves The Surveillance Industry as well as the Access Control Industry. These two industries are different from one another and it can be overwhelming when installing or troubleshooting your system, mainly because transitioning from surveillance equipment to access control is not the same. Access control requires some knowledge of how circuits work. In this article, I will go over some basic circuit knowledge that will allow you to install or know what to do in a case where you will need to troubleshoot your system. This knowledge can come in handy especially in an emergency situation.

Lets start by going over open and closed circuits.

When a device has a label that reads “Normally Open” this means that in a normal state there is no electric current flowing through the circuit. Think of it as a momentary switch (ex. door bell) when the button is depressed it completes the circuit this allows the flow of electricity and the device will turn on a chime in the case of a door bell.

Lets see how a door bell circuit works.


The image on the top illustrates the circuit in an open state where there is no flow of electricity, the image on the bottom shows the circuit in a closed state where electricity will flow, allowing the coil on the electromagnet to become energized and with the assistance of a spring giving you the ringing sound.

Now that we know the differences between open and closed circuits I will go over how an access control panel functions and then we can move on to see how they should be connected and why it is very important to know these two basic circuit functions (Normally Open and Normally Closed).

An access control system is simply a controller that triggers ON or OFF circuits by means of relays. This means that any output from the relays can turn ON or OFF [Open or Close Circuits] devices such as a Mag Lock, which is a high powered Magnet that is normally rated in pounds. Closing the circuit in a MagLock will create an Electromagnetic bond that keeps the door closed until there is an input from a reader to the control panel. The control panel opens or closes the circuit using its relays. The diagram shown below illustrates how a Mag Lock functions in the “Control Panel”. In this case it is the “Switch” part.


Lets see how a “Strike” circuit works. As you can see it works similar to the Mag Lock where the circuits closes and a coil will retract a rod that will allow the person to gain entry. This is called a solenoid.


Here is a Video on how this is accomplished.

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s move to some other details such as Fail Safe devices. These are devices that even when there is no power the device will continue to be in a locked position, keeping the door secure. Fail Safe devices are typically door strikes.

Electromagnetic Lock Types.

With Door Status Switch: This device will show an open or closed door status to the system, allowing you to know if there is a door that is malfunctioning or someone has propped the door with an object.

With Delay: This will give you a few seconds before the mag lock will release the door. This is most common in a high security area.

The use of Mag Locks or Door Strikes are the most popular ways to control the entry or exit of a building.

Lets see how a one door system with a stand alone controller looks like.


This is the easiest way to get a small business with only one door up and running with their access control. In the picture above, we see a Door Lock [Door Strike] connected to the Stand-alone controller with door sensors, as well as an exit and Reader. The user identifies himself with the use of a Card or Keyfob at the reader which sends a signal to the controller. The controller goes in its database and sees that this user has access and then completes the circuit to the Door Strike allowing the person entry.

Seems simple?

Lets try it with a control board instead of a standalone. This is good for a medium size business. In this illustration you will see integration with other devices such as a surveillance system by using its alarm outputs. We can now use the cameras as another form of a motion sensor. We can also integrate the system with a fire alarm panel. There is a lot of possibilities, and it is all about knowing the limitations of each board and system.


Lets move on to battery back up and the use of fuses and Diodes.

When it comes to any security system, one will have the needs to keep these systems running even when there is not power present in the building, either by a malfunction of the Electrical System or by tampering.

There are different capacities of inverters such as 200VA, 250VA, 350VA, 400VA, 450VA, 500VA, 625VA, 1200VA, etc. The capacity of the inverter should be chosen based on how much watt of appliances you power at a time.

For a UPS with 875Va we can use a maximum load of 640 watts. For a UPS with 677Va we can us a maximum load of 540 watts

The main thing we have to understand is that whatever may be the UPS wattage, the battery backup will not vary. The battery backup will only vary depending on the battery Ah and the Usage Load.

To calculate UPS backup, We have a simple formula.

UPS Backup = Battery Ah * (Volts/Load) * (1/Powerfactor)

For Example:

Lets calculate the back up for a system UPS

Load is the usage power. Suppose we are running a PC then the load is around 300 watts.
Power Factor varies for device to device, the average power factor is 1.4

Voltage is the voltage of the battery.
For a single battery the voltage is 12v.
If the batteries are connected in a series   Voltage = 12 * no. of batteries.

Battery Ah is the battery ampere used for the ups,

System UPS battery AH is 7

Then   Battery Backup

=  7 * (12/300) * (1/1.4)
=  7 * (0.04) * (0.7)
=   0.19 hours
=    19 Minutes

Note: You can use the same formula for calculating the battery backup for UPS or an INVERTER.

Battery back up systems can become complex if you are looking to power the devices for more than 30 minutes. Knowing how to calculate what you need is crucial when purchasing the correct back up system or building your own.

This also functions for a Solar Power system. In the case of a Solar Powered System you will have to take into account the Solar Cells as well as the location and knowing peak Sun hours. Here is an article that goes into detail in regards to solar power.


Lets move on to the Function a Diode can have on an access control System. For this we need to know what a Diode’s function is. A diode is a small device with two terminals [+ side is called the Anode and the – side is called the cathode]. This device allows the flow of current only in one direction. This means that in a case where there is  malfunction and there is a device with a short, it will protect the device by not allowing current to flow back into the circuit.

Fun Fact: ;P

A Diode can be found on Light Emitting Diodes also known as LED’s. They work by electroluminescence. Try saying that 3 times, lol.  They work in the same principal where the + side [Anode] and the – side [cathode] and a Semiconductor crystal is in between these two. Depending on the semiconductor is the color that it will emit.


Lets move on to Fuses.

Fuses are devices that have have a small strip of metal, usually encased inside a cylindrical glass with two ends that connect to a terminal.  They are widely used in the electrical industry as well as the electronic industry. These devices will allow current to flow, but when the amperage is high above its rating the small strip inside will melt, cutting electrical flow while preventing damage to the circuit.

The Fuse is represented by these symbols.


Now that you know about how the circuits work when it comes to Access control, you can safely install your equipment as well as make a wise decision as to what you need. Keep in mind that the conductors carrying the signals from one device to another is also important, as well as grounding properly each control board if utilizing more than one. Consult our Sales team for any questions that you may have and we can also assist you with Designing the perfect system for your needs.


How to Install Access Control Software Standard Server Version from IDTECK

Written By:
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Access control is the ability to allow or restrict access to a place or to have the ability to deny or allow the use of a resource. The idea behind this is to control certain users and resources at a specific place so there is full control of how, when and where the resource is utilized.

Access control can be done manually or completely automatic, but how would you keep track of who, when, and how the resource was accessed? The short answer to that is Access Control Software.

Many access control devices are network capable, which means that they can be accessible over a web browser or through a software via TCP/IP. These devices can also have a Web Service Interface that can show you basic information such as logs, alarm events, etc. Most of these devices that have that capability are very limited on the things you can configure.

Every access control is different in the way they might require a specific set of settings to successfully connect with the main software. In this demonstration I will be showing you how to configure the Standard Version of IDTECK’s Access Control Software.

This software will require 2 sets of programs and setups. One is the server communication and the access control software itself. It is necessary to install SQL for the database of the software so it will be easy to export any database with settings later on. SQL Express comes with the Standard version for free so there is no need to acquire a greater version, unless there is a necessity to have advance settings on SQL. Other than that it should be straight forward.

NOTE: To make sure the installation runs smooth make sure that the following requirements are met:

1.- Windows 7 x32 or x64 bit
2.- At least 10GB of Space on your Hard Drive
3.- Make sure no other SQL Instance is running on your PC
4.- Minimum of 4GB of Ram and a Dual Core Processor with at least 2.00 Ghz.

Software installation

Download the Server version of the software from here:

Double click on the icon and proceed to install the software. Follow the prompt and install all of the necessary updates until you get to the section where you will need to named the Instance. See picture below

IDteck SQL Instance

After naming the instance of your SQL installation you have to make sure you remember the password because this will be required to configure the communication server. Click Next and the SQL process will begin by decompressing the files and preparing the installation process. When done, the following window will appear:

Customer Info

Type a name and a company name to continue the installation. Select all of the features on the list and click Next.

Database Selection

On this section make sure the database server is typed as shown in the picture above. Select SQL server authentication and use the following default username and password (sa) and (1234). Note: If you change the password then you will need to type that info under the password field. Click Next to begin the installation process:

SQL Finish Installation

Click Next to begin the installation. Check the following picture summary to make sure you have all of the SQL features that will be installed.

SQL Copying Files

When the installation is completed, the following 2 icons will appear on your desktop. These icons are essential to the software and a few more adjustments need to be made before we fire up the communication server.

Idteck Comunication and server

The next step is to make sure we have the software executed with administrative rights. To do this, right click on each icon and click on the compatibility tab, then select the “Run this program as an administrator”.

Run As

Double click on the IDTECK communication Server to begin configuring its settings:

Server Settings

After the software launches, click on server setup and the following settings will show as the picture above. Click on the Server IP and make sure that the IP is your computer name\IDTECK. The Database name will be STARWATCH_STD. Username is “sa” and password is “1234”. Authentication should be DB Authentication.

Note: if you change this (username and password) when installing the software then you will need to input the right information. Click OK when done and the result should be as show in the picture below:


Double click on IDTECK STANDARD Server Icon and input the username and password. The default username and password is admin.

Software login

After all this the software will open up and will display the following interface. From here we can prepare the software to communicate with the device you are trying to manage.

IDteck Software Interface

Note: This software is free with a limit of users and doors that can be run without a license. A pop-pop will show after the software is launched:



Notice that because the software doesn’t have a device configured in it, the software will display certain errors. See picture below for reference.

No Comunication

To add a device go to “Device Setting Wizard” to configure the Default Site settings. Click the checkbox labeled “Whether to use” and click on the “Site Setting” button. A site settings box will display for you to type the communication server  IP address. The IP address will be the one your computer have. You can find out what IP address your PC have by going to command prompt and execute the ipconfig command.


Site Settings



At this point you will need to follow the steps to build your database for your access control and configure the connections between the software and your access control equipment.

For more information about this software play the video below to see a quick video demonstration of the operations and configurations of this software.