Access control hardware: Boards, controllers, and panels

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Access control panels and boards are the backbone for all access control systems. This piece of access control hardware will determine many of the basic functions of the system, including securely making all entry decisions. The controller board is the main source of security in an access control system. When a user presents a credential to a reader, the information is then passed to the access control board. The access control board, which typically stores a local copy of the user database, can determine whether that credential is authorized for access. The board is also connected to the access control door hardware to activate an unlock and let the user in once the credential is authorized.

Some access control companies only have software products, and require customers to purchase access control boards from a different provider. Of the companies that do provide complete systems including access control door hardware, some only have one controller board product, and many legacy providers still require on-premise servers in order to manage the system. Openpath offers complete, cloud-based access control systems, with different types of access control boards and panels designed to secure any size space.

Openpath Core Series access control panels and boards are designed to enhance the scalability and flexibility of a physical security system. The Core Series features additional inputs, configurable relays, and plug-and-play design for easy customization. Ideal for businesses that want to take advantage of automations and connected building systems, Openpath can connect to security camera systems, door alarms, and logical software to enhance security at every level.

  • Interoperability: To facilitate a fully integrated building security system, Openpath Core Series access control hardware features ports to connect to other physical security on-premise systems and logical software based systems.

  • Compatibility: Openpath Core Series panels support multiple types of access control door readers, with ports for Openpath Smart Readers and support for Wiegand readers, plus additional relays and inputs for sensors and additional devices. 

  • Reliability: Openpath access control panels feature CloudSync, an offline-first technology that allows the system to operate even in the event of an Internet outage. Openpath access control panels also have fail-safes such as support for backup batteries to ensure a consistent, reliable experience.

  • Compliance: The IT-approved Openpath access control hardware is FCC, CE, and UL 294 compliant, with high-level, end-to-end encryption for all communication. 

  • Security: To maintain the highest levels of security, Openpath hardware employs end of line (EOL) supervision and system monitoring to make sure the system is functioning 24/7, with tamper detection to thwart potential threats. Pairing with the Openpath cloud software enables real-time security alerts and customized automations via the Rules Engine feature.

Access control panels and hubs

When installing access control hardware, an access control panel that comes preconfigured is a great way to ensure a fast and effortless deployment. Openpath Smart Hubs are mountable access control units equipped with everything needed to get a physical access system up and running quickly. The self-contained Core Series Smart Hubs come with the Access Control Core and expansion boards, with options available to support the current wiring and power supply of the space.

One of the benefits to using an Openpath Smart Hub access control panel is the ease of installation and custom configurations. The Smart Hubs come with the modular controller board, which can easily be connected to expansion boards, Openpath Smart Readers, contact sensors, and Wiegand devices thanks to a range of available inputs and relay ports. The Smart Hub enclosure is wall-mountable with a built-in lock, and has space for a backup battery to ensure the system can withstand power outages as well. 

The convenient all-in-one access control panels are great for keeping IT rooms clutter-free and organized, with everything contained in a single unit. This makes maintenance and system updates effortless, with standard wiring to easily replace legacy systems.

Access control boards

Openpath’s individual access control boards are great if you want to customize the system from scratch, or if you already have a panel and want to add Openpath access control. 

The Core Series controller board is a great choice for larger deployments, such as multi-tenant offices, businesses with multiple floors in a single building, and large enterprise organizations. Designed to be modular to support effortless expansion, the Core Series access control board supports up to 24 doors on one network uplink, and the Core Series expansion boards contain extra inputs and relays for additional sensors, Wiegand readers, and locking hardware to fully customize the security system.

For small deployments, Openpath offers the Single Door Controller. This compact, standalone access controller is quick to deploy with no need to wire anything back, and mounts right above the door for added convenience. The Single Door Controller is an excellent option for small retail spaces or offices, with support for up to two entries. The Single Door Controller can also be added to a larger access control network to secure one-off spaces such as an IT room, storage space, or conference room.

Scaling with access control expansion boards

Instead of having to install brand-new access control panels or hubs for every new door added to the network, Openpath offers convenient expansion boards. Part of the Core Series, the expansion boards add scalability to an access control panel, with easy plug-and-play wiring to support additional doors and readers. The modular design of Openpath Smart Hubs makes it quick and easy to install expansion boards alongside the existing access control hardware.

Access control panel cost comparison

The biggest factor of budgeting for access control door hardware is the size of the deployment. An organization with multiple floors will need more access control equipment than a single-office business. However, not all access control companies offer control panels to accommodate different numbers of entries. Installing a one-size-fits-all access control panel could be an expensive mistake. Choosing the right access control hardware is crucial to future-proofing the system to accommodate for future growth, or the need to scale back. 

For example, it would be cost-prohibitive for a small office to install a 4-door access control panel when they only need security for one door. The Openpath Single Door Controller would be a much better option to reduce costs while still providing high-quality security. Similarly, an enterprise organization with thousands of doors would run up an expensive bill installing hundreds of 4-door access control boards, instead of hardware that supports more doors per network uplink. The Openpath Core Series controller boards can support up to 24 doors, and the cloud-based system centralizes the management to a single interface for all locations. Openpath has boards and access control panels to accommodate elevators as well.

See how Openpath works for you

As a complete access control provider, Openpath’s hardware line also includes Smart Readers that are award-winning for design, and a feature-rich cloud software platform for managing the entire system. When you install Openpath access control panels and boards, you’ll also get all the benefits of the cloud-based software including:

  • Touchless access and occupancy tracking capabilities

  • Offline alert monitoring and troubleshooting within the admin portal

  • Encrypted communication between controllers, readers, and credentials

  • Backwards compatibility with legacy systems

Want to learn more about Openpath access control? Schedule a consultation and demo with our experts today, or set up a site walk-through with a local, certified access control solution installer