[hackerspaces] Open Access Control for Hacker Spaces v1.0

john arclight arclight at gmail.com
Fri Apr 9 23:28:07 CEST 2010

We looked into this and you are, unfortunately, kind of screwed if you
need "rated" hardware. Installing non-approved hardware on a fire exit
can void its rating and get you in trouble with the

Some places will allow your "panic exit" device to be a  large button
mounted  near the door.
You may be required to buy "fail open" strikes, but this is probably
cheaper than the bar type.

One more thing: You might have good luck buying what you need used at
a builder's salvage store or similar. Also, check with your local
locksmiths as they normally don't reuse hardware that is removed for


On Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 2:11 PM, Lokkju Brennr <lokkju at gmail.com> wrote:
> What I'd really like to see is either a cheap source for, or some
> project to build your own, door strike and/or other actual securing
> mechanism.  The access control I've found easy, it is the physical
> unlatching of the door that is expensive.
> Right now we're really trying to find one that will work on panic bar
> equipped doors, and that is a nightmare - regular strikes are around
> $75-$100, but panic bar strikes are in the $400 range.
> Loki // brainsilo.org
> On Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 2:06 PM, Royce Pipkins <royce.pipkins at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Interesting. I am coming close to being finished with my own access control
>> system that will initially be used at Bucketworks and then later at
>> Milwaukee Makerspace (If Milwaukee Makerspace ever gets a space to access).
>> As soon as I get it all going I'll share all my stuff as well. (I'm in a
>> rush to just plain finish for right now, hopefully in another week)
>> I went with two Arduino's. One on the outside that runs an 2x16 LCD,
>> Sparkfun's ID-12 RFID reader, and a 3x4 keypad in case of a lost card or a
>> special event with a special non-member access code. The exterior Arduino
>> talks via RS-232 to an interior Arduino that runs the door strike (or
>> whatever) via relay and also talks to a Drupal server via RS-485. An
>> addressed master-slave protocol is used on the RS-485 side so that you can
>> have about 30 access control units on a single bus before you need a
>> repeater or a separate bus. The user list is kept in Drupal, not in the
>> Arduino. A program running on the same server as Drupal will be the master
>> of the RS-485 and will turn access requests on the bus into web calls to
>> Drupal and relay the access granted/denied response back down the bus.
>> Anyway the thought behind the RS-485 was to be able to have centralized
>> control of access to more than just doors. Perhaps we'd control access to
>> heavy machinery as well so that only those who'd been trained on a given
>> piece of equipment could turn it on.
>> So, I guess my suggestion is to pull the user list out to a web server of
>> some type.
>> I gather this Wiegand 26 thing is a pre-made module that can collect an RFID
>> tag or code from a PIN pad?
>> Regards,
>> Royce
>> --
>> The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.
>> B. F. Skinner
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