The common rule of thumb heard in museums is “Please, do not touch.” That rule did not apply at the 50th Annual ASIS Int’l Seminar & Exhibits in September. Attendees were encouraged to touch, prod, pull and sample products from more than 800 exhibitors at the Dallas show.
Among those prying hands were those of Security Sales & Integration technical experts Bob Dolph (see “Tech Talk” on page 28 of December’s issue) and Al Colombo (see “Fire Side Chat” on page 32 of December issue). The two wore out their shoes, but not their welcome as they stopped by a multitude of vendor booths and put products to the test at the Sept. 27-30 event.
Bob and Al filtered through the vaporware, overly complicated equipment and malfunctioning hardware to find products they believe address the needs of dealers and integrators. Both have combined their lists of 15 products to produce this year’s SSI ASIS Top 30.
The products in the Top 30 are listed alphabetically and don’t necessarily represent a “best of” list. Rather, they are a representative sample of items that could be beneficial to those who install security and fire systems.
This year’s ASIS expo was heavy on the continuing integration of IT and physical security, and products picked by Bob and Al emphasize that theme. They range from readers to panels, and software to systems.
Take a look at these varied and valuable products, starting with Al’s picks:
Al’s Picks ...
IP Intercom Easily Interfaces for Network Use
The KCS-IFA network video interface by Aiphone Corp. of Bellevue, Wash., enables end users to interact with visitors at their main entrance over a PC connected to a LAN.
The system consists of the KC-IFA network video interface adaptor and the KC-DAR video door station. The former allows one door station to communicate with an existing, on-site video server so individuals within the facility can interact with a visitor at the door.
The KC-DAR surface mounts next to an outside door and contains a color camera that the operator can tilt up and down or move side to side. Because this product is IP-based, someone with proper authority can access the same door station from a location off-site, providing the LAN is part of a wide area network (WAN).
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Integrated System Uses Open Protocol
One of the most important issues facing security dealers in the years to come will be their use of systems integration. Those who embrace it will continue to grow and achieve great things. Those who do not may find the playing field limited.
At ASIS, Fairport, N.Y.-based Bosch Security Systems introduced its Building Integration System (BIS).
Based on open systems design and open protocol connectivity (OPC), BIS can manage CCTV, video imaging, fire alarm monitoring, security, building management functions, access control and more. Best of all, BIS uses multiple signal transmission technologies and data protocols to accomplish this feat.
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Wireless Button Connects With Emergency Kiosks
The Circle-of-Safety, offered by Code Blue of Charlotte, N.C., combines the emergency kiosk technology that Code Blue has become widely known with wireless technology manufactured by Active Control Technology Inc. (ACT), of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
The result is a personal protection system that colleges, high-rise facilities and others can put to good use when it comes to protecting people in outdoor environments, such as parking lots.
When someone outdoors activates a personal pendant transmitter, the nearest Code Blue emergency kiosk will activate, causing security personnel to take note. The transmission range of ACT pendants is approximately 200 feet.
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Software Uses Multiple Databases
Exton, Pa.-based Compass Technologies recently introduced a revised version of the Compass 5E access control software. This modification incorporates industry-standard database formats, such as SQL 2000, MSDE, SOAP and XML extensible markup language.
This new version of the software allows end users to manage up to 1,024 card readers and 30 workstations - as well as other user databases such as HR or University Register systems - through the new NavigatorTM interface.
In the near future, Compass will release a suite of browser-based thin-client workstations that support Microsoft’s Net format.
Reader Service Card Number 352
Module Extends Controller Distance 10,000 Feet
The Dual Supervised Reader Extender (DUPREXTM) by Cypress Computer Systems of Lapeer, Mich., allows security dealers and system integrators to extend the reach of their access controllers to 10,000 feet.
DUPREX comes in four flavors: UTP, radio, fiber optic and Ethernet-based. The UTP-based extender allows the connection of two readers, associated locking devices and peripheral access equipment using a nonshielded, twisted-pair cable. The DUPREX RF provides the same capability using radio, the DUPREX FO utilizes fiber-optic cable and the DUPREX E uses Cat-5e cable.
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Loss Prevention Solution Helps POS Accountability
The Smart Safe Solution from FKI Security Group of Albany, Ind., offers a closed-loop loss-prevention solution to retailers whose employees handle a lot of cash over the course of a day.
An FKI Smart Safe establishes an audit trail by dispensing money to cashiers on demand as well as counting it at the end of the shift.
Smart Safe integrates a number of security technologies using CCTV and access control concepts to better control a company’s cash and transactions.
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Adaptors Bridge Analog to Digital Data Gap
Progress is necessary in today’s high-tech world of security, so GE Infrastructure - Security, of Austin, Texas, has created a bridge linking analog legacy video products with today’s digital camera control systems.
The GE analog-to-digital adaptors provide a ready means whereby legacy products - such as cameras and VCRs that output composite video - can continue to serve end users’ present and future security needs.
Video is converted into a 2MB MPEG-4 data stream. Connectivity to PTZ cameras is made possible via RS-232 or RS-485 data protocol from an encoder-enabled keypad or PC.
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Graphical Interfaces Designed for Residential Use
The FA850KP and FA850KPi are graphical user interfaces (GUIs), manufactured by Honeywell Security of Syosset, N.Y., that offer a host of features high-end homeowners are sure to want.
The model FA850KPi, for example, provides online reporting using the Internet for the signal path. In addition, homeowners can access their personal Web content - such as stock reports or a Web site that dispenses the weather - upon entering the home. Remote access to the home is also available using the FA850KPi.
Both models integrate with video cameras throughout the home, enabling homeowners and other authorized individuals a look at the inside and outside of a residence.
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Key Control Hardware Tracks Usage
The Keybank, in combination with Key-Pro Software, offers high-level security for the physical accounting of facility and fleet vehicle keys.
The Keybank system, made by Morse Watchman of Oxford, Conn., employs a thumb reader for user identification.This enables the Keybank system to track key usage to establish detailed audit trail reports of system activities. Each key, or set of keys, is attached to a Keybank addressable block that fastens and locks into a master board.
Within the Keybank block is an addressable circuit that enables the system to identify each set of keys. Only authorized users can remove them. Once they do, they can input a key number, allowing them to remove the keys in question.
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Embedded DVR Secure From Network Threats
Integral Technologies of Indianapolis recently upgraded the camera capacity of its DVXe embedded DVR to 32 cameras. This DVR will process images at a rate of 120 images per second, recording them and four channels of audio on a 900GB hard drive.
The DVXe sports several features that make it a welcome addition to any corporation’s security program. For example, it operates on what Integral calls a locked-down platform, which means it is not subject to viruses,Trojans and other security risks that can jeopardize networks. Best of all, the DVXe integrates with other video products.
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Monitors Accept Multiple Inputs
Seeing is believing, and the new line of LCD monitors made by Panasonic Security Systems of Secaucus, N.J., provides high-quality color viewing with a smaller footprint.
The line includes the 15-inch PLCD15VA, the 17-inch PLCD17VA, and the 19-inch PLCD19VA, all of which support the use of analog,VGA and S-VHS.
According to Panasonic, the VGA inputs are scalable, accommodating both video and VGA, and will accept almost any video image source.
Additional features include auto-centering, which aids in the viewing of VGA images, simple icon-driven menus and an adjustable color temperature.This allows security dealers to adjust for various lighting conditions.
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Ball Valve Allows Monitoring of Critical Equipment
The BVA, a new supervisory- enabled ball valve made by Potter Electric Signal Co. of St. Louis, allows fire technicians and alarm dealers to monitor valve position to assure operations in mission-critical systems.
The switch portion of the BVA contains two SPDT switches and is housed in a NEMA 4-rated enclosure.The cover is secured using two tamper-resistant screws and one tamper screwdriver is included with each kit.
Reader Service Card Number 359
IR Lenses Bring Light to Dark Environments
New York-based Tamron USA recently introduced a line of infrared lenses, which are required to derive optimum performance when using day/night cameras.
Unknown to many security dealers is the fact that light refracts differently through a camera lens during daylight hours than it does after dark, resulting in a shift in the focal point of an image.To the end user, this shift translates into a blurry picture.
The Tamron line of IR lenses are designed to compensate for this refractory shift, thus maintaining a constant focal length whether it is light or dark outside.
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New Console Improves Security
Winsted Corp. of Minneapolis has a new line of designer consoles that improves security by making it easier for security personnel to view displayed video images and the information that often accompanies them.
The Talon custom console surrounds the operator, making it easier and faster to take in changes as well as view displays. The power of Talon is in the way the console allows the installer to adjust individual displays both vertically and horizontally to optimize viewing angle.
Talon will accommodate up to 15 42-inch monitors as well as surface-mounted displays, control units, and other command and control hardware. Cable access is made possible at the rear of the console.
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Power Supply Crosses Applications Easily
How often have you wished you could simplify cross applications with one power supply for both fire and access systems?
AlarmSaf of Wilmington, Mass., grants installers’ wishes with its “BeaconPower” power management system.Now, you can have a common central power control for door holders,smoke dampers, mag strikes and other items. I was especially impressed with the board/panel layout and the easy-to-service connectivity configuration.After all, there’s nothing wrong with making life a little easier for the service and install people out there.
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Camera Makes High-Definition Affordable
As we have seen, digital video is getting really exciting and there is much more to come. One area that is really starting to take off is the high-definition (HD) CCTV cameras. Up until now,many of the super high-resolution cameras also offered a very high price tag.
CoVi of Austin,Texas, has the EVG-1000 - a HD camera that has a 1280 x 720 image sensor to give you enough high-quality image data to take advantage of electronic PTZ. I believe you will also find the price very attractive for the HD performance that you get.
Monitor viewing area can be adjusted up to the HDTV 16:9 aspect ratio. It even has a built-in adjustable privacy zone. The camera has both day and night modes with an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
Sensor Can Act as a Fiber-Optic Mag Contact
We have all noticed how everything today is going to fiber. Why not? It is the best of all worlds. If you are not a fiber optics guru, you will have to become one soon.
Fiber Instrument Sales (FIS) of Oriskany, N.Y., has an interesting device called the Cover Cop.
Originally designed for their Utility Cover Surveillance system, it is a patent-pending sensor that goes in-line on a fiber optic security circuit. When activated, it will slightly attenuate the fiber. This is one of those new devices that you have to take a moment and think, “Where else can I use a sensor like this?”
The sensor is currently designed in two flavors - one being a mechanical plunger and the other a magnetic proximity sensor. That’s right, a fiber-optic mag contact without power or sparks that provides high security and is easy to install.
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Receiver Capable of Monitoring Via Intranet
One of the biggest questions I have heard about Internet monitoring is “How secure is the connection?” Many companies have gone internally to a more secure Internet communications format known as a private LAN or Intranet.
Honeywell Security of Syosset, N.Y., has introduced the 7810iR-ENT enterprise receiver, which has the capability of receiving not only Internet but also secured Intranet monitoring data through the company’s fully redundant, 24/7 AlarmNet control center.
The system works with the 7845i-ENT communications module that can be connected at the alarm site. The receiver can handle up to 1,000 accounts; installs behind firewalls without compromising network security; and can be easily installed in conjunction with a Honeywell Security receiver or directly with your central station automation package.
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High-Speed Camera Domes, Switchers Utilize IP
When it comes to IP technology, Monmouth Junction, N.J.‘s Infinova has so many things going on at once, it is hard to know what to pick first.
The InfiNetTM Series takes advantage of IP networking flexibility and economy. New “VIP” (video over IP) features are now built into the company’s matrix switchers and high-speed domes.
The V20xx Series is a video matrix switcher that is Ethernet controlled and utilizes Video over IP (VIP).
The V17xx Series includes the latest IP PTZ domes, called Net- DomeTM. They come with their own built-in video server and feature MPEG-4 for optimum picture quality.
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Prox Reader Can Be Linked to IP Network
Isonas of Niwot, Colo., has introduced the new RPC-001-IP Clear- Net proximity reader, which does not need a dedicated controller and can be connected directly to a TCP/IP network.
Each prox reader is actually a controller that has its own IP address. You can connect an unlimited number of IP readers through standard Cat-5 cabling.
Another connection option is to a serial network using highly reliable RS-485 communication standards.
Be sure to check out the complementary “PowerNet Box,” which will provide power and interconnectivity for any Isonas reader controller serial subnetwork.
Reader Service Card Number 370
Compact Camera an Economical Solution
As you know, I get extra excited when I find a new recurring revenue source for our SSI readers. Amityville, N.Y.‘s NAPCO now has the Vcam-i/24 Network/IP Video camera that is designed to provide your customers
economical, 24/7 color camera transmission over an Internet connection.
NAPCO has truly put together a turnkey package, as the cameras come with 24-month subscriber Web access that is password-protected.They also have the ViiP-Gateway, which can connect up to four standard analog cameras into an IP connection. Additionally, the system supports Wi-Fi, PocketPC, and WindowsTM Mobile.
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System Signals Transmission of Power, Video
Rolling Meadows, Ill.‘s Northern Information Technology Inc. (NITEK) is a company that has been designing and manufacturing CCTV video transmission systems for more than 20 years.
It now offers a new “UTPLinks TM system.This product allows for the transmission of power, video and control signals over the same unshielded twisted pair (UTP). It provides a convenient breakout balun on the camera end, which distributes power, video and control.
Reader Service Card Number 376
Outdoor Motion Sensor Climbs Technology Ladder
For years, Protech of Reno,Nev., has been providing reliable outdoor motion-sensing technology.Now it has a new version of its successful technology called the Piramid LT. No, the “LT” does not stand for light, but for “ladders and towers.”
The Piramid LT is a directionally controlled outdoor motion sensor. It uses Protech’s proprietary Stereo Doppler Microwave technology combined with passive infrared (PIR). A typical example would be mounting the device at the top of a tower ladder and then selecting it to only produce an alarm as someone climbed up the ladder or structure.
The LT units use enhanced immunity to ignore fast-moving targets such as flying birds or moving vehicles.
Reader Service Card Number 371
Management System Uses Web-Site Interface
You have heard the saying “No bigger than a breadbox”? Well, a company based in Wellesley,
Mass., called S2 Security introduces its S2 Netbox, a physical security management System in a small-form network appliance.
S2 has a new system architecture that makes it possible to deploy systems of various sizes that scale from single facilities to multisite organizations - all connected over a network.
Because the browser interface looks and operates like a Web site, users adapt to it with little training.
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Access Control System Covers Bases
Sargent/Essex of New Haven, Conn.‘s new Profile Series v.S1 door lock is a fully integrated, networked access control system. One can be used to monitor lock status, open/close control, all lock downs, and change access combinations and levels. All this from a networked desktop PC.
Only three primary components are required for this system. They are the TEKControl software, TEKLock Gateway and the Profile Series v.S1 locks.
Installation is simplified by being able to tap into an existing Ethernet LAN, thereby eliminating the need to home-run cabling for each lock.
Reader Service Card Number 373
Camera System Scans at 21 Million Pixels
One of the biggest problems with selling CCTV cameras is the customer wants to see everything and everyone in the parking lot and read all the license plates.
The Spectrum SentryScope TM from Spectrum San Diego makes this possible. If you are looking for a CCTV Cadillac, this could well be it.
The SentryScope is an ultra-high resolution camera. It provides 21 million pixels per image, which will allow you to recognize faces and license plates at 200 feet.
Reader Service Card Number 380
Speaker System Sounds Off Security Protection
Many of you may remember Takex of Sunnyvale, Calif., as Pulnix. The company has changed its name and still has a great line of active infrared beams and PIR sensors. In reviewing its products, I noticed one which people may not be aware. The Sensor Speaker PV-12 has some interesting applications for the security dealer that has everything.
The Sensor Speakers produce a 2W (100dBs) prerecorded speech-synthesized voice output. The 8-second message can be recorded on-site.
It has a built-in 40-foot PIR sensor. Recorded memory will last at least 20 days with no power. The operating power is only 500ma. Sometimes, nice things do come in small packages.
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Card Reader Is Highly Programmable, Low Cost
I have always enjoyed dealing with companies that make a variety of products that address a particular industry need. An old favorite of mine, Viking Int’l of Hudson,Wis., has done it again.
The ES-1 Wiegand card reader/keyboard system is for one door and up to 250 users. It can program up to three ES-1 units simultaneously with a touch-tone phone. Use it with any 32-bit Wiegand system.
It has a data-logging output and logging software is available. It can also be programmed for one-time visitors and bidirectional (exit/entry) control. If that doesn’t impress you, the dealer price will.
Reader Service Card Number 369