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electic door locks

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by meirman, Aug 18, 2003.

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  1. meirman

    meirman Guest

    How is it possible that hotels in NYC and elsewhere with electric
    looks were not able to open the doors because of the black out.

    Don't these things come with instructions in case of power failures?
    Shouldn't they be able to run off of a car battery, for example, even
    if nothing else runs. They could skip identiy checking and only open
    for master key cards.

    Or why don't they have keyholes with metal keys for backup?

    What if someone hurt himself in the dark and couldn't get to the door
    to open it? What if only the hotel is out of power, and someone
    wants to get his luggage or violin and fly out of town?


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  2. the Wiz

    the Wiz Guest

    Because the locks are computer-controlled and the computer was dead. The
    fail-safe on these locks is that people can get OUT of the rooms without power.
    Power is required for entry only.
    A system tech with wiring diagrams might have been able to release the locks
    with a battery if they were DC, but it might not have been possible with AC
    operated locks. Had the hotels had a properly configured backup generator
    (power for the security computer *and* the lock mechanisms), there would been no

    My power failure gear includes a kerosene heater with 4 days fuel (for winter),
    a Coleman stove with a week's fuel, a windup/solar radio, flashlights, oil
    lamps, canned food, dried soup, and 20 gallons of water. If the phone lines are
    up, I have corded phones that work without power (it's amazing how many people
    have only cordless phones). If my ISP is alive, the network UPS is good for
    about an hour (DSL) and the laptop battery is good for about 3 hours (dialup)
    plus a car charger if a vehicle can be started. If the cellular service
    provider is alive, there are two spare batteries for the cell phone.

    The longest I've been without power in recent years is 36 hours in January of
    2000 (ice storm, not Y2K), but 300,000 customers in Memphis, TN, were without
    power (some for more than 12 days) in July/August this year because of a severe
    storm. They really weren't interested in New York's 2 day blackout. The
    various media outlets may have New York as the center of their worlds, but much
    of the country has a different outlook ;-)

    More about me:
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    VB6 - MySQL how to:
    My newest language - NSBasic for the Palm PDA:
    Drivers for Pablo graphics tablet and JamCam cameras:
    johnecarter atat mindspring dotdot com. Fix the obvious to reply by email.
  3. Mark Haase

    Mark Haase Guest

    Most of the appeal of card keys is that a customer can't copy one (or
    lose one) and break into the room at a later date. Each time a card is
    issued, its written with a new code and the lock is reprogrammed with
    that same unique code also.
  4. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

  5. Mark Haase

    Mark Haase Guest

    Ahh so the door is not programmed remotely, but is actually programmed
    via card key? So the only connection it needs is power...
  6. Mark Haase

    Mark Haase Guest

    This question also got me interested...a quick google turned this up:

    This system, at least, is battery powered. I suspect nearly all of them
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