Recently we took on a relatively large and complex access control and entrance barrier installation project for a golf club in Reading, Berkshire. The client had problems with a relatively dated and non-functioning entrance barrier with an audio-only access control system, also non-functioning, that was being used as a communicator up to the golf club in order to grant entry. With modern advances in technology we were aiming to upgrade their current system to a new Video Intercom system by Dahua. This way it would allow the clubhouse staff to see who it was that was calling instead of just being able to talk to them.
The main issue is that the golf club is approximately half a mile from the entrance and all of the existing underground cabling was so old that it was likely to be the cause of the problems. So our team had to come up with a cost effective solution that did not involve an incredibly costly re-cabling process and therefore created a very difficult situation for us. The problem with upgrading them to a more modern IP based system was that we required some sort of network connection at the entrance gate that was connected to the clubhouse.
A lengthy surveying visit ensued; with one of our engineers tasked with finding the solution. After much deliberation (and plenty of walking), he believed he had found a way it could work…
An IP based video intercom system that was then wirelessly linked from the entrance gate to the top of a green keepers building that had a fibre optic network link back up to the clubhouse. Using an IP based system meant that we required a usable network which unfortunately was not present at the entrance where the access control system was to be located, so we had to find a way to link the clubhouses broadband with the entrance barrier. This was achieved by using wireless bridge antenna’s called LigoWave Echo 5’s. Within view of the entrance was the apex of a building used by the groundskeepers for storing their vehicles, within this building is a fibre optic network link that runs all the way back up to the clubhouse. By creating a wireless link between the building and the entrance it then provided the Video Intercom system with the active network connection it needed to be able to function.
So now that we had the solution it came time for the installation process to begin. The first thing that we tackled was replacing the old entrance barrier for the new one. This involved disconnecting the power and removing all internal cables including links to Proloop 2 loop detectors that acted as an automatic open on exit and a safety detector. Once the old barrier had been removed we placed the new one into position and connected up all the relevant cables to the control board. We then tested the gates operation by driving a vehicle over the exit loop detector and stopping it on the safety detector. So far so good.
Once we had the entrance barrier in place and operational the next step was to then tackle the installation of the access control system. Utilising the already existing fixing plate and mount, we fixed the new Video Intercom system to this. Although we did have to flip the mounting plate 90° so that is was in a vertical orientation. We then ran new cables for the control of the gate and an Ethernet cable for the unit and connected them inside the housing for the entrance barrier. Situated inside here was a network PoE switch and the control board of the barrier system. The intercom system was installed with a keypad module on it allowing for coded access through the barrier, this code was then set-up using a web interface for the device. We then tested the keypad module to make sure the code programmed would then send an open command to the barrier. Once we had this working we then needed to test the calling function of the intercom system and this could only work once it had required an active network to use.
Utilising a CCTV mast that was situated a couple of metres from the entrance barrier, we used existing coax cables for an old and decommissioned CCTV camera to pull Cat5 network cables through from the barrier housing and connected them to a PoE switch. We also took this opportunity in utilising the cables and installed two brand new 4MP IP CCTV cameras onto the mast that would later be connected to a recorder in the clubhouse giving them constant recordings of the entrance. One of the network cables was then also used for the LigoWave Echo 5 wireless bridge antennas. Once we had this mounted onto the mast we then had to install the second antenna onto the green keepers building using a strong aerial mast pole to give it plenty of height. This was then cabled into a network switch within the building that was connected to the clubhouse’s network through an underground fibre cable.
Once mounted and connected into the network we then had to carefully align both of the antennas so that they created a stable enough link to allow us to run the video intercom and CCTV cameras through their network and up to the clubhouse.
The final step in the installation process was to then install three iPad’s in three different areas of the clubhouse so that the staff can accept the calls created by the access control call station. The iPad’s were connected into the clubhouse network through the use of special apple network adaptors allowing us to use Ethernet cables instead of relying on a more unstable WiFi connection. Once connected we could then test call and make sure everything works.
Finalising the Installation
Now that we had all of the components of the system in place it was time to test and commission both the entrance barrier and access control system. This involved testing all aspects of how the barrier was to be controlled; the keypad and intercom calls up to the clubhouse. Rigorous testing ensued and everything was working as it should. Once we were confident in our work it was time to provide some training to the clubhouse staff. This involved showing them how to use the application for accepting the access control systems calls. The application enables them to speak to and physically see who is at the entrance barrier and then provide them with entry where required by pressing an unlock button. With the training complete and the staff members confident in the function of the system our job was done.
Going That Little Extra Step
As an installer of security products, whether its entrance barriers and access control systems or intruder alarms and CCTV, you always want to go that little extra mile for your clients. So with this installation we also installed a small automation device that was available exclusively to the golf club staff and its valued members. This device is app based through mobile devices and provided them with a way of either manually or automatically controlling the gate through their mobile phone. This enables them to open the barrier as they approach it without having to stop and enter a code or press the Video Intercoms call button.
If you have gotten this far and are still reading on then I commend your efforts. Here at RS1 we can cater to any requirement and situation and if you would like to have a free consultation or find out more about what we could potentially offer to you then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either through 0800 622 6542 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org