Posts Tagged ‘ Access Control Board ’

How to Integrate a 2 Door DX Access Control Board and Our DVRs with Alarm Inputs

Written By:
Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Access Control has been a booming part of the security industry, and within the last year we started to dabble in it ourselves. We have written several articles on wiring as well as how to configure the software, so this article’s purpose will not be demonstrating that. I will show a bit of wiring, but my main goal with this article is to connect a 2 Door DX Access Control Board to a 32 CH DVR we have in our office. You may be familiar with the alarm inputs of the DVR or you may not, makes no difference. The reasoning for connecting this board to the alarm inputs on the DVR is simple. For example, you might have a side door to your building and you want to know every time someone enters or exits it. It may not be practical to have the live recording showing all the time that shows you when a card is scanned via the DX software. If you had an entire security system from us including cameras and a DVR, you could mount a camera on both sides of this door and every time someone enters or exits have the camera blow up full screen on your monitor. Well, what if I am busy and not watching the monitor? I can show you how you can also have the camera send a snapshot to your email when someone swipes a card or pushes the push to exit.

Keep in mind that the reader and push to exit are on opposite sides of the door, so you will have to configure this in a way where when either is used to enter or leave you get a snapshot of both cameras, outside and inside, and the DVR will start to record on both channels as well. It is easy so lets get into it.


First, you need to wire the access control system, and you can see a picture representing my explanation below. I have 12v power coming into the board powering the entire board, and it will also power the lock and the push to exit as well. Then I have a jumper going from 12V+ to the COM (Common) port for DR1 (Door 1). This jumper powers the pole in that relay for your NO (Normally Open) or NC (Normally Closed) Device for DR1. The mag lock I used is a NC device so I then have a wire running from the NC of DR1 to the 12v+ of the lock. Then there is another wire running from DR1 GND(Ground) to the 12V- of the lock. This gets power to your lock through the board and allows it to be controlled as a NC device.

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Now, you need to have the reader setup and access allowed in the software for your card or fob. As I said before, this article is not to teach you how to wire, I am assuming you have the reader hooked up, and at this point the lock wired and access granted within your software for your fob.

Now we need to get the access control board wired to the DVR. This is exactly the same as wiring the lock to the board. You will run a wire from the NC of DR1 on the board to the first alarm input on the back of the DVR. Then run a wire from the GND of DR1 on the board to the ground a few spaces to the right of the alarm in on the DVR. That is all that needs to be wired to the DVR for this to work. Easy, right? See Below.

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Now all that needs to be done is to wire the push to exit to the board. The one I am using uses the red wire for normally open, and the white wire is for COM. You need to run the NO from the push to exit to a block to the right of the 12V+- for the board so the NO of the exit button goes to P1 (Push 1), then the COM for the exit button runs to the GND to the right of P1.

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Now all that is left is to configure the DVR to do what you want it to do. I have my DVR configured to have channel 1 go full screen when the reader or push to exit are used, and I will also have an email with a snapshot be sent to my email. The way you need to do this is to go into the main menu and find the alarm tab, then you will need to configure the alarm input#1. The event type will be “Local Alarm” and set for alarm in 1, and for this scenario it is a NC Device. Then we will set “Record Channel” to 1 and 2. This way both cameras on both sides of the door record. Then for the two channels to go full screen you need to enable the tour under display, but make sure the only tour selected is for 36 view in this case. Ultimately, you need to enable the tour and have only the full camera grid selected so 16 if its a 16 channel so on so forth. Then, back under the alarm tab enable tour and select channels 1 and 2, or which ever two channels are on this door. Then when the lock releases it will go from all cams to channel 1 then after 5 seconds switch to channel 2 then after another 5 seconds it will go back to all cameras. For email, make sure the email page is configured and once it is, under alarm enable snapshot and “send email” then select the two channels you need the snapshots from and you are all set. Please review all my pictures and make sure everything is configured correctly. If you need any help with a setup of your own please feel free to contact our support at (866) 573-8878 option 3 and we will be more than happy to help you.



How To Wire an Access Control Board (DX Series) – PART 1

Written By:
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Many customers have contacted us to help them with their access control needs and sometimes it can be cumbersome to explain. In this article I will show you How To Wire an Access Control Board. I will use our DX Series 2 Door Access control Board (ACP-DXEL2), a Proximity Card Reader (ACR-DXRF01), an electronic door strike (ACDS-DX1500SE), 22-8 wire and a power supply with at least 3 or 5 amps.

In this article I will cover the steps to wire the electronic door strike and access control reader to the board and test the system.

Note: In order to make the system work, our Free Access Control Software needs to be installed in your PC. You will need to program the Access Control Board in the software, create a user, and assign at least one card to that user. Also, it is necessary to create at least one zone in the software to properly identify in the logs which door has been triggered.

Lets look at the components we will be using:

2 Door Access Control Board – DX Series

2 Door Access Control Board - DX Series

Weather Resistant Access Control Reader – DX Series

Access Control Reader - RF01

Fail-Secure Electronic Door Strike – DX Series

Electronic Door Strike - Lock fail secure

If we take a closer look at the access control board you will noticed certain labels on each of these terminals. On some access control boards you will have two reader inputs per door terminal and a push to exit input as well. These two reader inputs are there if you want to use a reader to exit the secure site of the room without using a push to exit button.

The first setup I will do is the wiring of the power supply I will be using. I’m using a 12V 5amp power supply and from there I will be using a distribution block to run my power to some of the components. It also keeps it clean when explaining the wiring.

This is another diagram that shows where each device goes where:


Looking at the diagram we can see that there are two reader ports in this board per door. You can also see the outputs (Door Strikes, Mag-locks) and other ports such as Ethernet and the fire controller port.

I will explain the wires on this RFID reader. These readers have 7 wires. Each wire is colored and is important to know where each of these wires go where.


These are the wires that we will need to connect to the access control board. The last two cables can be connected together and connect to the LED port of the Board. Having these two cables together will basically make the “beep” and the light work the same as the sound. In other words if the sound is 2 beeps then the light will blink 2 times along with the audio.

The red and black cable are very important to be connected correctly and not crossed, otherwise it will damage the equipment and the access control board. The green and white are the data cables (Wiegand). These should be connected correctly so when cards are scanned through the readers it sends the data to board and therefore access is granted or denied.

Power connections to the board and outputs are easy. Lets take a look at the power terminals and relay terminals from the access control board. Depending on the output you use, the connections to the relay terminals could be different.

Power-Outputs wiring

If you noticed from top to bottom, the board has different inputs. The top port will be the power input for the board itself.  You will need to run a jumper cable from the 12V (positive) port to the COM port; this will allow the relays on the board to operate.

Also if you pay close attention to the power supply, you could also run the 12V (positive) cable to the COM port directly.

Let’s take a look at the connections of the electronic door strike. Usually strikes are Normally Open (NO) devices. Normally Open devices (NO) require power to change its state. These devices sometimes are referred to as Fail Secure, as they require electricity to unlock.  For this demonstration I am working with a Fail Secure Strike, which means that if the power fails, the strike will stay locked.

Lock fail secure

This particular strike comes with 2 cables which have no order in how they are connected to the board and power supply. To connect the electric strike to the board, simply run one of the wires to the (NO) port of the Access Control Board, and the other one to the negative port of the power supply. That’s all there is to it.

You could test the connections manually if you login to the board through the web service. You can download this Web Configuration Tool to find the board in the network and enable the web service of the access control board.

After you have set that up, then you can access the access control board by its IP address. The default username and password is abc for username and 123 for password.

Once you have access to the board you can click on “Open Door” to activate the strike and test your connections. You could also configure certain things like door delay, add cards, change the board’s time, etc.

NOTE: The connections in the board are labeled properly. Reader ports will have RD1 or RD2 depending of how many doors the board supports. Also The board outputs will be labeled as well. These can be labeled as DR1, DR2 etc. There are also other ports and these can be for push to exit buttons and door contacts.

If you would like to have access to the board remotely, the only possible way will be accessing a computer on the network where the board is connected.

At this point if you have followed everything in here you should be confident that the system will work after you configure the software. I will be making a Part 2 of this article that will explain how to configure the software, add departments, personnel and upload those settings to the board.


Access Control Demystified

Written By:
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

If you’ve never worked with or around an access control system, it may seem like a complex convoluted nightmare of wiring, circuit boards, card readers, and rather confusing software.  In the text to follow, I’ll explain and attempt to remove the mysticism that stands between you and access control wizardry.

One of the most important concepts to understand is that there are 4 basic components in play at every door: inputs, the controller, outputs, and the software.

An input lets the controller know that an event has occurred. For example, someone swiped a card, someone opened the door, someone left the door open, someone on the inside requested to exit, etc… Think of these as the eyes and ears of the system.

Then there’s the controller. Based on how you’ve configured your controller, it will take all the inputs related to a door and determine how to react. Keep in mind, the logic for how to react is usually software configurable. For example, when someone swipes a badge, it determines if it should unlock the door or keep it locked. Think of this as the brains of the system.

All that input and logic is practically nothing without the outputs from the controller. This is typically a relay that either turns a device on, or off. For example, mag-locks, door strikes, alarms, buzzers, lights, etc. The limit to what a controller can use for an output with today’s technology is really limited only by your imagination. Think of these as the hands, feet, and mouth of the system.

Lastly, there’s the software. This comes in many different forms. However, it is extremely important for you to master this component of the system. The software tells the controller how it should react to the various inputs. It also allows you to configure various options. I’ll go into this more later. In the meantime, think of this as the subconscious mind of the system that tells the controller how to react.

Access Control Inputs:

So you have a door you want to control, and you’re wondering what types of input you may want. There are a few obvious choices that come to mind rather quickly. Let’s start with those:

Basic Card Readers:

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These come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and even vandal proofing. However, there are other differences that you will find far more important than aesthetics.  For example, it is extremely important that you pair your reader with the appropriate card types.  For example in the four pictures above, the 2 brands of readers do not support each other’s cards. Furthermore, within each manufacturer you may find cards that work with certain models of readers and not with others. To make your life easier there are hybrid readers capable of reading multiple types. These are usually a bit more costly and only needed if you somehow ended up with an odd mixture of card types. For the most part, I encourage you to stick with 1 type of card and matching reader throughout your entire organization.

There’s also the protocol with which the reader speaks to the controller. Just like when you engage someone in conversation, it’s generally best if you speak a common language. Just like languages, some readers and controllers can speak in multiple. Among the most common communication protocols (languages) that readers can speak you will find Wiegand with varying “bits”.

While I could bore you to death with exactly how the Wiegand protocol works, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that the most important factors are that both the reader and the controller are configured to the same EXACT protocol. It is also exceptionally important that they be wired appropriately.

Most readers will have between 6 to 8 wires coming out of them. There are some industry standards for color codes, but ALWAYS consult the manufacturer for proper wiring. Red is usually Positive, but if it’s not you could end up with unanticipated results (and that funny smell of burnt capacitors.) The wires you will typically find are:

DC Voltage Positive +, DC Voltage Negative – (also referred to as ground), D0 or Data 0, D1 or Data 1, Beep or Buzzer, LED control

As I mentioned, these will vary depending on the model of reader. Some may be present, others may not. You may even find additional options.

Advanced Card and Bio-metric Readers:

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These readers take things a little further than “do you have the right card?” In secure environments you may want to authenticate a person based on something beyond the physical card. For example, do you have the card AND do you know a pin code. You may also have a situation where you need to give access to someone without ever meeting them to give them a physical card. Perhaps you want to allow their cell phone to be their key or just a combination of numbers. Maybe you need extra security and you want an access card to be present, a finger print to be matched, AND a code to be given. The possible combinations are limitless. These advanced readers require a little more effort to configure and enroll your users. However, in the right situations they are definitely worth the extra effort. These typically have the same inputs and outputs as normal readers but they use special programming to configure the additional features.

Request to Exit devices:

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So you’ve got all that fancy reader stuff in place to keep unwanted individuals out. However, you need a way to allow those who have entered the building to exit.  Some controllers will allow you to place a second reader on the inside of the door to allow egress. However, in all but the most secure environments, you will find that fire codes require you to allow simple and quick egress. Most installations will require a “Push to Exit” button and a “Request to Exit” PIR/Motion sensor. These devices usually require very limited wiring. Most likely you will need power (commonly 12v DC, but consult the devices manual) and a simple 2-wire connection to the controller. Most commonly the controller expects this circuit to be normally open and will react by opening the door the moment the circuit becomes closed. Many controllers allow you to configure the functionality of this input to be either normally closed or normally open. They may even allow you to specify a delay in reaction time. In addition to the PIR and Push to Exit you can use a wireless relay to toggle door release. You could use almost any device that has a relay to trigger a door event. These devices can be wired directly to the locking mechanism if desired. However, this prevents the controller from logging how the unlocking event was triggered. I only recommend this if you have no need for a record of when someone exited the building.

Door Contacts/Closure Sensors:

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These things are very simple switches that tell the controller if the door is open or closed. This can be useful in certain controllers for triggering an alert or an alarm if a door is left open beyond a specified amount of time. This will discourage people from leaving a door ajar and allowing a potentially unwanted visitor to wander in.

These typically only require a 2-wire connection to the controller and are generally wired as normally closed. If someone tampers with or disconnects the wires from the contact it will consider the door to be open.

Not all contacts are attached to the door in plain sight. Many are built into the locking mechanism. Door strikes often have a relay that senses if the door is latched are not. Mag Locks tend to have a closure sensor that detects when the plate is firmly pulled to the magnet. These make excellent closure sensors.

It should also be noted that you can wire a closure sensor to a buzzer or an LED without the need for a controller. You may need a relay to accomplish your desired result, but the only limit is your creativity.

Access Control Outputs:

So you’ve got all these fancy entry/exit devices in places to tell the controller what’s going on. Now it’s time to give it the ability to interact with the door.

Electronic Door Strikes:

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Door Strikes are typically used on doors that have a mechanism that allows egress by simply turning a door handle or pushing on a push bar. These are often used in environments where you need the system to “Fail-Secure”. Fail-Secure means that in the event of a power failure the door should remained locked. Some Strikes can be configured to either “Fail-Secure” or “Fail-Safe” but the most common use is in a Fail-Secure environment. Fail-Safe is the opposite of fail secure, in a power failure the door remains unlocked allowing entry/exit to anyone.

Door strikes are typically wired to the Normally Open side of the door controller relay. This means when the door should be locked, no power is sent to the strike. When the door is supposed to be unlocked, power is applied and the latch is released allowing the door to be opened.

Most door strikes only have 2 wires (for power when activated). However, others may contain a closure sensor as mentioned in the Inputs section. This makes the strike both an input and an output device for the controller.


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Mag Locks are large electromagnets with a lot of force. They commonly come in 600lb, 1200lb, and 1500lb of pull strength. The amount of force that would be required to pull a door open is not something a normal person can achieve easily. This makes them ideal for a locking mechanism. Although they are usually fail-safe devices as they only have strength when energized with electricity.

Mag-Locks typically only have 2 wires that need to be attached to a Normally Closed relay on the door controller. This means that when the door should be locked, the circuit remains closed and power flows to the mag-lock. When the door should be opened, the circuit is opened blocking the flow of power and releasing the magnet.

Many mag locks will also have closure or bond sensor which can report the door status to the controller. This would make them both an input and output device if used.

LEDs, Buzzers, Sirens, DVRs, NVRs, Alarms, The endless possibilities:

Controller boards can be used to control a wide variety of equipment. Usually this is done through the door relay or through an alarm condition relay. It is important to note that you may need to use an external relay (as in not the one built on to the board) if the voltage of the device your trying to control differs from the other devices the on-board relay is controlling.

While it may seem complicated, it’s very simple. A relay is a switch that is controlled by another device. If you apply power to a relay, it switches from its “Normal” state to its “Abnormal state”. If you wire a device to “Normally Closed” then it will allow electricity to flow to the device until power is applied to the relay at which point it will stop the flow of electricity to the Normally Closed side. Conversely, if you attach a device to the “Normally Open” side of a relay it will prevent the flow of electricity to the device until power is applied to the relay, at which point it will allow the flow of electricity to the device.

With that being said, you can wire almost anything to a relay. Some common uses you will see include LED’s and Buzzers to alert that a door is open, an input on a DVR/NVR to trigger the taking of a snapshot or video of an event, connection to an alarm system to warn of after-hours door openings, etc… again, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and willingness to wire in the devices you want.


It is also worth mentioning that many controllers support connectivity to a network. They can use this for outputs. Such as sending an e-mail when a door is left open or when a disabled card attempts to gain entry. Consult the manufacturer of the controller to determine what your options are.

Access Control Boards:

These come in a massive variety of functionality. Once you’ve settled on the manufacturer you like, it’s time to determine what your requirements are.  Most commonly this will be determined by the number of doors you need to control and the end users expectations of functionality.

While I could show you a lot of different examples, for the purposes of this document we’re going to look at a single door controller and briefly examine its functionality.

DX Series Single Door Controller:


Starting at the top left is a connector for a reader. You may notice, there are 2 of these. As I mentioned previously, you can control egress in certain situations by placing a reader inside the door. This controller allows for 2 readers at a door. This is not a requirement, 1 reader is sufficient per door in most cases. The pins on this board for the reader are as follows:

+12 = Positive (+) 12V DC

GND = Ground or Negative (-) 12V DC

D1 = Data 1 (One of the two connections that Wiegand uses to communicate)

D0 = Data 0 (The other connection Wiegand uses to communicate)

LED = Controls the LED on a reader to let people know they were granted access. This can also be tied to the beeper or buzzer in a reader to give an audible sound or both to provide audio and visual indication.

The second reader connection is the same as the first. So I’ll skip the second 5 pin connector.

The 2-pin connector facing up is intended for 12V DC power for the board

The 2-pin connector facing to the right near the top  is for the door contact or door closure sensor.

The 3-pin connector is a relay for controlling the outputs at the door. Remember, unless otherwise told by the manufacturer, you should wire mag locks to the N/C or Normally Closed side of the relay and Strikes go to the N/O or Normally Opened side of the relay. The common goes back to whatever polarity of power is needed to activate the device.

And the bottom right facing connector is for your push to exit/request to exit devices. You can tie multiple devices into this allowing the door to be released in a variety of ways.

This board also contains an RJ-45 jack (difficult to see from this angle, but it is the silver box looking component near the center of the board. In this instance the RJ-45 is for connecting the controller to a network for programming. It should be noted that there are some controllers on the market that use RJ-45 connectors for low voltage and not just data communication, you should always consult the manual before connecting one of these boards to a switch or other networking equipment.

Access Control Software:

Software is an area that I will only briefly discuss because this is probably the most diverse area of an access control system. Some controllers use built in software on a web interface, some require a computer running a commercial piece of software, and still others require Enterprise class software with large scalable database support. Make sure you understand the needs of your users, the capabilities of the software, and the requirements of the software before purchasing a controller. Software prices range from free to extremely expensive. So make sure you factor this into your design.

At its core, the software is usually merely a method for telling the board what users get access to which doors and at what times. This can come in the form of adding a card or setting a pin.

Depending on the controller, the software may also provide additional features such as setting egress delays, or specifying alerts via e-mail, or even changing the way inputs/outputs work. Keep in mind this will vary between manufacturers, controllers, and software options.

More advanced software can provide additional functionality such as time and attendance reporting and integration with CCTV or alarm systems. Consult your manufacturer for an accurate list of features and functionality.

The End:

While there are additional aspects and details that can be involved in access control, We have covered the basics of an access control system and the interactions of the various components.