Access Control Panels and Networks

  • Access Control Panels perform the heavy lifting in Alarm/Access Control Systems.
  • Every single function that Access Control Systems perform in the real world occurs first in the “mind” of an Access Control Panel.
  • All Access Control Panels share certain attributes and components.
  • Alarm Input and Output Control Components may be internal or external to the basic Access Control Panel.
  • There are a variety of Access Control Panel Form Factors that can be used in a variety of locations as system needs dictate.

An Alarm/Access Control System comprises the following elements:

  • Field Elements
    • Credential Reader
    • Door Lock
    • Door Position Switch
    • Request-to-Exit Sensor
  • Alarm/Access Control System Panels
    • Access Control Panels
    • Alarm Input Boards
    • Output Relay Boards
  • Server(s)
  • Workstation(s)
  • Communications Infrastructure
    • Communication Boards (Protocol specific — RS-485, etc.)
    • Digital Switches
    • Cables and Conduits
  • Software
    • Operating Systems
    • Software

the Access Control Panel must communicate with the Access Control System. It must be able to make access control decisions locally based on information stored about the user presenting his credential and then after operating the access portal, and it must report the event to the master Access Control System database archive.

Access Control System Panel elements

So the Alarm/Access Control System Panel includes all the elements shown in below

  • Central Processing Unit
  • Power Supply and Battery
  • Input/Output Interfaces

Power Supply and Battery

Each Access Control Panel is equipped with a low-voltage Power Supply that converts Mains AC Power to Low Voltage DC power. Access Control Panels are often also equipped with a back-up battery to ensure consistent power in case of a sudden voltage drop or other disturbance. The battery should be sufficient to power the panel and its locks for up to four hours.

Input/Output Interfaces

Most Access Control Panels have the following Input/Output connections:

  • Between 1 to 16 Credential Reader Inputs
  • Between 1 to 16 Door Position Switch Inputs
  • Between 1 to 16 Door Lock Control Relays
  • Between 1 to 16 Request-to-Exit Sensors
  • Between zero to 8 Alarm Input Points
  • Between zero to 8 Output Relay Points

Access Control Panel Functions

Every Access Control Panel must do the following functions:

  • Receives downloaded data from Server
    • Time Zones
    • Portal Configurations
      • Credential Reader Type/Time Zone for Operation
      • Lock Type, unlock time, re-lock function, etc.
      • Request-to-Exit Sensor (Normally Open/Normally Closed)
      • Portal Operation Time Zone
    • Database of Authorized Users for Portals under the control of the Access Control Panel including:
      • List of Authorized Users (their credential number).
      • Portals Authorized on this Access Control Panel.
      • Time Zones Authorized for Each User on Each Portal on this Access Control Panel.
  • Makes Access Control Decisions
    • Receives request from the Credential Reader
    • Queries the on-board memory for the authorization for this user for that access portal
    • Makes the access control decision (Grant/Deny)
    • If the decision is to grant access:
      • Unlocks the door.
      • Suppresses the door alarm.
      • Re-locks the door on closure.
      • Resets the door alarm on door closure.
  • Receives alarm status information from the Alarm Inputs
  • Directs the Output Control to activate a relay
  • Communicates all event data to the on-board memory
  • Communicates all event data to the Server
  • Communicate with other Access Control Panels

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