New in Keypads
Another hot item found at the ISS Expo was high-tech keypads, which have become smarter in recent years, with new capabilities. Sentinel Systems Corp. has added some of the features from its high-end Model 3200i keypad into a new version of its Model 315. The 315 now has a standalone mode, so in the event the access system loses communication with the office computer the keypad will continue to function as normal.
Tenant status and unit codes are stored in the keypad and updated by the property-management software. As long as the unit has power, it continues to allow operation as normal. All of the keypad-activity data is stored in memory and, once communication is re-established, that information is sent to the office computer. This ensures the activity log stays up-to-date and has no gaps.
While on the face many keypads might have the same look, the technology has changed. We don’t often hear about all the upgrades and changes that take place on the component side of the equipment, but be aware there have been numerous changes in performance, stability and reliability. The keypads and other electronic security components we use are nothing short of small computers. Just as computers continue to evolve, so do these devices.
Also, like computers, keypads sometimes need an upgrade. If your system is more than five years old, check with your vendor to see what upgrades are available and what is recommended.
IP-enabled equipment is fast becoming the standard in all areas of security. This boom in IP has affected the CCTV industry the most, but is now making its way into alarm and access-control equipment. This movement will soon allow all system components to “talk” to one another.
The first major improvement has been in megapixel cameras. These cameras are much the same as the ones you would use to take photographs in that they provide a digital image that can be enlarged or zoomed in on with little to no distortion during playback. There are now 1- to 16-megapixel cameras, and while the higher-end versions are expensive, cameras in the 2- to 4-megapixel range are affordable and offer several benefits for the self-storage industry.