Replacing an access control system can be very costly and time consuming, especially if you have to make infrastructure changes to accommodate the new system hardware. Nobody wants to go through that if they don’t have to. By using the following example, you can implement a new design while taking advantage of the existing wiring from the old system so all you have to do is swap out the hardware.
- Figure out what type of communication the current system is using. This step is important because you need to know what kind of wiring you have and where. The type of communication you currently have will determine what type of new hardware you need.
- Count your hardware. Make sure you know how many doors you need to control access to. This not only gives you the information you need to come up with a new design, but also gets you familiar with how the current system works and what the future parameters will be.
- Compare the old hardware to the new. Compare the number of readers the old and new control boards can handle. Every piece of information here is important because even though two manufacturers may have similar system architecture, the features per board are always different. Make sure all the features of your existing system are covered with the new hardware.
- Time to design. Once you have gathered all the information from the first three steps you can start to put together the layout of the new system. Manufacturers will provide spec sheets for the typical layout of their products. Using these as a guide, you can start to fit the hardware into place depending on the existing wiring you have.
- Get creative. In a perfect world, after going through the first four steps you will have a fully functional system design that’s ready to be installed; but since that rarely happens, you’re likely to find problems along the way. This last step can be hard, but keep your focus on the infrastructure you have and let that guide your way.
While the above steps describe the basic needs of hardware replacement, it is also paramount to understand what the future needs of the access control system are. Prior to beginning these steps, analyze what the current needs of the access control system are and what the future needs may be.
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