Clients Really Do Not Care About Access Control System Boards but They Should!

When a new access control system is being installed or an add-on to an existing system is being done, little thought or concern is put into the boards that control the system.

The main system controllers, input boards, output boards, and reader control boards are a crucial part of the entire system. Without them, there would be no system.

More than likely, most system owners do not know what these boards are, where they are, or in some cases that they even exist.

Most Common Mounting Locations

When a survey is done on an existing system and you want to add more equipment, one of the questions that will be asked is where your existing panels or cabinets are located.

This is a very important question so that pricing is done accurately based on the distance and route from those boards to the location of the new devices.

The most common location for the control boards with earlier system designs is to place them above the doors themselves. With more recent designs and with greater emphasis placed on IT room layout and size, you will see these locations being utilized much more.

Placing the control boards above the doors may be convenient at the time but when you go back and troubleshoot an issue, that is when it may not be such an advantage.

Advantages to Placing Control Boards
in the IT Room:

1. Safety of Personnel

In hospital environments where Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) plays such a vital role in the safety of patients, the last thing you want to do is have to open a ceiling tile close to patient rooms or inside ORs.

2. Saves Time on Service Calls

If it is just a simple reset of reader power, that can be done first and very easily. If the reset works, this can save up to an hour rather than adhering to ICRA requirements.

Advantages to Placing Control Boards
in One Location

For new installations, going to one location for multiple doors and devices is a good move on many levels.

  1. Keeps a clean, uniformed look in the corridors above the ceiling
  2. Allows for more space for other trades
  3. Gives easier connectivity to the network and access control power

Every facility and system design may have their own unique reasons for deciding where the boards and cabinets will go.

Hence, it is worth the time to discuss the mounting location for your access control system with the system provider or designer. The end user input to this design factor should be welcomed and encouraged by the vendor.

Matt Seymore

Accounts & Technology Manager