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Triggering an Electronic Lock with a Security Camera Alarm Output

Alarm Trigger Setup

Many of our security cameras have a built-in camera alarm output that can be utilized for a variety of devices such as strobes, sirens, flood lights, etc.  But, did you know that these alarm outputs can be used with our access control devices to trigger the unlocking and locking of doors?  Today, we are going to utilize our alarm output to trigger a door to unlock.  Basically, upon motion, our door will unlock to allow entry with a slight delay to allow for a clear snapshot of the subject entering the facility or limited access entryway.

Say you have a customer-only door that you only wish to open when a customer is present.  In addition to taking snap shots of the customers as they enter as well as sending you alerts or pictures of them, you can have the camera automatically unlock the door during these specific hours of operation.  Or, for example, say we have an employee-only room but you want to know exactly who was in that room and when.  This can be used in congruency with the camera’s snapshot feature to trigger the door to unlock with a delay, thus ensuring you get a full picture of the employee who entered the door as well as a date/time stamp of when they entered. This can be obtained by increasing the delay at which the door unlocks and thus opens.

So, today we are going to to go over how to use the camera alarm output on a camera to trigger a door look such as an electronic door strike or magnetic lock.  I’ve chosen to use our 3 megapixel IP Vandal Dome (IPVD-EL3MPIR) and our 1500lb. DX series fail safe strike lock (ACDS-DX1500SA-L).  I’ve also chosen our single channel relay (ACA-Relay-1) to relay the signal between the camera and the lock and the power supply. For the power supply I used our Power-12V3A to provide power to the lock.  For additional cable I recommend our SC500-22-6-SHST-G as it works far better than the Cat-6 cable I utilized for our short run.  It is well worth noting there are a variety of cameras and access control locks that can be utilized with this setup. I certainly encourage you to give our Sales Department a call, and we would be glad to give you a complete list of options of cameras and locks that can be utilized in this manner.

Wiring Diagram For Camera Alarm Output

First, we are going to go over the wiring process and how to hardwire these devices into the relay.  The power supply should be connected to the ground and the hot to the common relay terminals.  The strike should be likewise connected to, in our case, the ground and normally-closed (NC) part of the relay terminals.  Your alarm output should be connected with the alarm out to the ground and +12V terminal.  This should allow a complete circuit until told otherwise from the alarm output.   This allows for current to flow only when the alarm output allows.  When motion is tripped you should also notice a red light on the relay showing the flow of power through to the lock.

Once we’ve done the hard wiring of everything it’s time to configure the camera.  The easiest way to test the wiring is to trip the relay from the camera with the relay or alarm out button located at the top right hand corner of the screen.  It will be the siren like icon located just below the the setup tab after you have logged into the camera.    This is an interesting feature in and of itself as it allows you the unique ability to lock and unlock the lock on manual command, thus allowing you to cancel the entry of the person at the door should you not wish it.

Once you’ve tested the relay, the next step is to configure the camera under the setup tab located on the top right hand of the screen.  From here you will go to the Event tab on the far left hand side of the screen and click the alarm sub-menu.  Make sure the tab for relay out is checked and set the delay for the alarm by the number of seconds you wish to delay.

Next just above alarm-in the sub menu is a video detect event.  You want to ensure that you are inside the motion detect panel and have enabled this feature as we will be using it as the event to trigger the unlocking of the strike.  Following this, we will need to click setup on the working period and set the schedule we want this event to be trigger-able.  Say it’s an entrance for customers, and you only want it to trigger from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday (typical business hours). Here is where you would specify these details.   Once you’ve saved these settings you should click the area set up button and assign the area you wish to have the camera trigger motion within.   Say there is a tree in the background that waves in the wind and you do not want it to affect your door. You would make sure it is not included in the selected area for motion detect.  Again, be sure to save your settings!

Having completed this, you can now test the camera’s motion and you should at this time see the  un-lock triggered after the motions set delay.  This will guarantee that clear snapshot, and allow the person to enter the facility or room. This allows you the peace of mind to let traffic flow as normal without feeling any loss of security.  You also have the ability to look back at each event via email if you chose to click the email notification box in the settings.  With this added feature you will find your camera can be used for many things in addition to typical surveillance options, simply by including it in controlled or limited access areas.  This feature set up is not unique to this lock or camera and it is highly encouraged that you give our Sales team a call to see which camera and lock would best suit your needs!

(hope you enjoy the complete video)

Dan Millard
Dan Millard
US Army, Team Sergeant Private Investigation Loss Prevention Security Casino Surveillance

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