Help Center Topics & Common Questions

maglocks Help Center and FAQs


Help Center Topics

Locking Components:
Access Control Components:
Access Control Software:
Hotel Locking System Questions:
Industry Definitions:
General Questions:
Programs for Distributors and Installers:


Q-1: Are there building and fire code requirements for door locking systems?

When access control hardware is installed on doors in a new or existing building, it’s extremely important to be aware of the fire, life-safety and building codes that impact these applications. Failure to take these code requirements into account could result in liability for blocked egress routes and fire door assemblies with labels which are null and void.

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Q-2: What is Fail Safe or Fail Secure electrified hardware?

Fail Safe and Fail Secure refer to the way electrified hardware work when power is removed. The basic definition is applied from the secure side of the door. The secure side is the outside or key side of the door. For both terms, the word "Fail" refers to power as in "Power Failure". Here are the basic definitions and a way to remember the differences

  • Fail safe products are unlocked when power is removed. Power is applied to lock the door.
  • Fail secure products are locked when power is removed. Power is applied to unlock the door.
  • Remember, Fail safe / Fail Secure refers to the status of the secure side (key side, outside) of the door. If you are standing outside a closed door and the power is removed (Power Failure), you would be in a Fail Safe condition if the door unlocks. You would be in a Fail Secure condition if the door remains locked. Also, most electrified hardware allows free egress from the inside (non-key side) of the door.
  • Fail Safe = Power Failure door unlocks providing safe egress.
  • Fail Secure = Power Failure door remains secure and locked.

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Q-3: What are mechanical locks? and what are the different types?

There are many types of mechanical locks and we use them everyday. They include tubular, cylindrical, mortise, interconnected and deadbolt styles. Here is a brief definition and typical use of each type;

  • Tubular locks have a center spindle assembly that extends through the center of the lock body and latch, allowing for retraction of the latch when the level or knob is rotated. While this type of lock is very common on interior doors and in residential applications, they are considered the least secure lock type.
  • Cylindrical locks sometimes called bored locks are stronger and more secure than tubular locks. The latchbolt assembly interlocks with one side of the lock chassis, making it easier to install, replace and rekey. Cylindrical locks are available in different formats that provide various levels of security, all of which use the same type of key. This allows for like-keyed and master-keyed systems that use a variety of locks.
  • Mortise locks are considered even more secure than cylindrical locks. They require a mortise or pocket to be cut into the door where the lock is fitted. The mortise assembly includes the lock body (the part installed inside the mortise of the door), Lock Trim, strike plate and keyed cylinder to operate the locking/unlocking function of the lock body. Mortise locks are stronger and heavier duty that cylindrical locks and are used often in hospital and school applications.
  • Interconnected locks are comprised of two locks that are connected together so operating the level handle will retract both the latchbolt and the deadbolt simultaneously. The latchset is either a cylindrical or tubular lock with a deadbolt above. These locks are most commonly used on dwelling unit entrance doors in multi-family residential buildings.
  • Deadbolt also called deadlocks, are available with a single cylinder or a double cylinder. the single cylinder deadbolt operates by a key on the outside and a thumbturn on the inside. A double cylinder deadbolt requires a key for unlocking on both sides of the door and cannot be used on doors that require free egress. Deadbolts are typically not allowed to be used on a door with another lock or latch installed as the egress code requirements mandate one motion to unlatch an egress door.

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Q-4: What are electronic locks? and what are the different typed?

An electronic lock is controlled by a reader, such as a keypad, card reader or biometric terminal. If the user has the correct personal identification number (PIN), card or biometrics, the door unlocks. There are two main types of electronic locks; Standalone also called non-computerized and Networked also called computerized.

  1. Standalone locks / readers use the same credential (keycard, code (PIN), etc.) as networked locks. However, they are not connected to access control systems and software. As such, they require the administrator to physically visit each lock to administer access rights and retrieve tracking (audit) information.
  2. Networked locks are connected to an access control system (door access control system). This allows the administrator to easily change access rights and track movement throughout the facility from anywhere they are connected to the network.

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Q-5: What is a credential or credentials?

Credentials or keys are the tools that give authorized people access. Although modern security systems differ in the types of credentials, a standard brass key is the most widely recognized. When a brass key is lost, new ones must be duplicated and frequently the locks must be replaced. Here are a few types of credentials;

Access Control Credential also called a Keycard
  • Patented key management systems are a patent-protected key management system, keys are only available to authorized individuals through professional locksmith channels to prevent unauthorized key duplication. However, a lost key still represents a security risk and the key remains capable of unlocking the lock.
  • Keycards as keys to avoid the cost of keys, many organizations have moved to keycards. From the highest to lowest levels of security, card options include magnetic stripe cards, proximity and smart cards. If a keycard is lost, its number is simply erased from the system and the user receives a new card and number.
  • Biometrics as keys a biometric reader uses your an authorized person's body as identification. A hand, for instance, can be placed on a reader. If it matches the template created when the person was enrolled, access is granted. Biometrics provide the highest security and greatest convenience.
  • Readers just as the key fits a lock, a keycard or biometric requires a reader, which is typically located next to a door. In some cases, the lock and reader are combined into one unit. The affordability and security of smart cards continues to improve making them likely to continue to grow in use for all kinds of environments. If you purchase a card reader, it should have the capacity to read all types of keycards, proximity, magnetic stripe and Smart. Purchasing multi-technology readers can eliminate the expense of installing new readers if you ever switch keycard types.

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Q-6: How do electromagnetic locks work?

The term magnetic lock refers to a type of lock that uses magnets to open and secure a wide variety of things, ranging from doors to hidden compartments. Magnetic locks can offer the seamless concealment of door or compartment. It is an extremely powerful force. This immense power can also hold a door closed in the absence of a bolt. But a lock that holds a door shut would need to be able to be turned off. Electromagnetic locks use electricity to make metal temporarily magnetic.

The simplest way to explain magnets is how we all learn about them in elementary school. In a magnet, there is a north and south pole. Between similar poles, the magnets repel, and opposite poles attract. That said, magnets are very complicated aspects of nature that represent complex aspects of quantum mechanics. The spin of the electron while orbiting the nucleus of an atom is what causes a magnetic field. The spin of the paired valence electrons in an atom must be parallel to one another to make the substance magnetic.

electromagnetic lock

This only naturally occurs in three elements: iron, nickel, and cobalt. Each magnetic field that an atom creates is called a domain, and they are not necessarily organized in a material to give it a single north and south pole. Much more often, the three aforementioned metals will have a chaotic organization of poles that do not make them attract other magnets. What makes something a magnet, in the way that most people understand the word, is when those atomic domains are uniformly structured in a material. This can be accomplished naturally in rare earth metals (most commonly lodestone) or artificially with the use of an electrical current.

Adding an electrical current created a door locking solution that would unlock with the loss of power (or, for example, a series of doors that could be opened by the pulling of a fire alarm). When there is no emergency to disable the locks, the magnets can be manipulated with a key (Keycard, Keypad, etc.) that temporarily interrupts the electrical current. After a few seconds, the current will return, and once the door has closed it will magnetically bind the door to the door frame. This lock set up is constructed by fixing a plate of magnetic metal (usually iron) to the door, and the electromagnet to the door frame. The strength of the magnetic force holding the door closed will depend on how the coil is wound and constructed on the electromagnet; the strength of the current (how much electricity is being used); and the material that the coil is wrapped around.

Advantages of electromagnetic locks:

  • The lock will open in the case of an emergency.
  • The lock can be made to open with any electrical signaling method (key code, swipe card, motion sensor, biometrics, etc.)
  • Common electromagnets can remain closed under as much as 1,200 pounds of force.
  • The lock and holding force of the magnet can be increased by increasing the current.

Disadvantages of electromagnetic locks:

  • The security can be overcome by interrupting the electricity in the building.
  • The door may be able to be pried open depending on the gap between the door and frame.
  • The holding force of the door may be lesser depending on the model you purchase.

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Q-7: What is an Electric Strike? How does an Electric Strike Work?

electric strike

An electric strike modifies the existing strike on your door frame, allowing your door to be unlocked via electronic means instead a physical key. This way, your door can remain locked to public access, while authorized users can access your space easily without manually turning the latch. The strike cavity refers to the hole in the door frame where the door latch fits. On the perimeter of the cavity is a keeper, where the dead-latch rests when the door is closed. On a normal strike, the latch will have to turn and contract back into the door lock before you can swing the door open. However, an electric strike modifies your strike so that the latch does not have to turn at all. Instead, a modification is made on the keeper, allow it to pivot outwards when an unlock is activated electronically. Think of it as creating a lid on your door frame that is powered by electricity.

Most electric strike models are tested up to 500,000 cycles, where they can withstand traffic involved with access control applications. Therefore, electric strikes are used as parts of many electronic access control systems to provide added security and convenience for traffic control and offices with high turnover rate. Most electric strikes can be made to accommodate odd frame conditions and other problems, hence they are a versatile fit for most doors that need an upgraded level of security.

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Q-8: What is the holding force for a magnetic lock?

A magnetic lock has a metal plate surrounded by a coil of wire that can be magnetized. The number of coils determines the holding force which characterizes the lock:

  • Micro Size: 275 lbf (1,220 N) holding force.
  • Mini Size: 650 lbf (2,900 N) holding force
  • Midi Size: 800 lbf (3,600 N) holding force.
  • Standard Size: 1,200 lbf (5,300 N) holding force.
  • Shear Lock: 2,000 lbf (8,900 N) holding force.

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Q-9: What are the electrical requirements for a magnetic lock?

Diode Bridge, Bridge Rectifier

The power for an electromagnet lock is DC (Direct Current), around 5 to 6 watts. The current is around 0.5A (Amps) when the voltage supply is 12VDC and .25A (Amps) when using 24VDC (the actual ampere may vary slightly between manufacturers and if there are one or two coils in the block). It is also recommended to verify that the magnetic lock carries the UL mark. Generally, the specification of the electromagnet lock is dual voltage of 12/24 VDC. If using a rectifier to convert AC power, a full wave bridge rectifier (Diode bridge) should be used.

A diode bridge is an arrangement of four (or more) diodes in a bridge circuit configuration that provides the same polarity of output for either polarity of input. When used in its most common application, for conversion of an alternating-current (AC) input into a direct-current (DC) output, it is known as a bridge rectifier. A bridge rectifier provides full-wave rectification from a two-wire AC input. The essential feature of a diode bridge is that the polarity of the output is the same regardless of the polarity at the input.

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Q-10: What is access control? What are the components of an access control system?

Door Access Control System Diagram

An access control point can be a door, turnstile, parking gate, elevator, or other physical barrier, where granting access can be electronically controlled. Typically, the access point is a door. An electronic access control door can contain several elements. At its most basic, there is a stand-alone electric lock. The lock is unlocked by an operator with a switch. To automate this, operator intervention is replaced by a reader. The reader could be a keypad where a code is entered, it could be a keycard reader, or it could be a biometric reader. Readers do not usually make an access decision, but send a card number to an access control panel that verifies the number against an access list. To monitor the door position a magnetic door switch can be used. In concept, the door switch is not unlike those on refrigerators or car doors. Generally only entry is controlled, and exit is uncontrolled. In cases where exit is also controlled, a second reader is used on the opposite side of the door.

In cases where exit is not controlled, free exit, a device called a request-to-exit is used. Request-to-exit devices can be a push-button or a motion detector. When the button is pushed, or the motion detector detects motion at the door, the door alarm is temporarily ignored while the door is opened. Exiting a door without having to electrically unlock the door is called mechanical free egress. This is an important safety feature. In cases where the lock must be electrically unlocked on exit, the request-to-exit device also unlocks the door.

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Q-11: What is an IP access controller?

An IP access controller is an electronic security device designed to identify users and control entry to or exit from protected areas. A typical IP access controller supports 2 or 4 basic access control readers. It may have an internal web server and support configuration via a browser or via software installed on a host PC. The main features that distinguish IP access controllers from older generation of serial controllers are: [1] IP access controllers connect directly to LAN/WAN and have all the inputs and outputs necessary for controlling readers, monitoring door inputs and controlling locks. [2] IP access controllers have an on-board network interface and does not require the use of a terminal server.

Advantages of an IP access controller:

  • An existing network infrastructure is fully utilized; there is no need to install new communication lines.
  • There are no limitations regarding the number of IP controllers in a system (the limit of 32 controllers per line is typical for systems using RS-485 communication interface).
  • Special knowledge of installation, termination, grounding and troubleshooting of RS-485 communication lines is not required.
  • Communication with IP controllers may be done at the full network speed, which is important if transferring a lot of data (databases with thousands of users, possibly including biometric records).
  • In case of an alarm IP controllers may initiate connection to the host PC. This ability is important in large systems as it allows reducing network traffic generated by frequent polling.
  • Simplifies installation of systems consisting of multiple locations separated by large distances. Basic Internet link is sufficient to establish connections to remote locations.
  • Wide selection of standard network equipment is available to provide connectivity in different situations (fiber, wireless, VPN, dual path, PoE)

Disadvantages of an IP access controller:

  • The system becomes susceptible to network related problems, such as delays in case of heavy traffic and network equipment failures.
  • IP controllers and workstations may become accessible to hackers if the network of an organization is not well protected. This threat may be eliminated by physically separating the access control network from the network of the organization. Also most IP controllers utilize either Linux platform or proprietary operating systems, which makes them more difficult to hack. Industry standard data encryption is also used.
  • Maximum distance from a hub or a switch to the controller is 100 meters (330 feet).
  • Operation of the system is dependent on the host PC. In case the host PC fails, events from IP controllers are not retrieved and functions that require interaction between readers (i.e. anti-passback) stop working.

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Q-12: How does a door access control system work?

When a credential is presented to a reader, the reader sends the credential’s information, usually a number, to a control panel, a highly reliable processor. The control panel compares the credential's number to an access control list, grants or denies the presented request, and sends a transaction log to a database. When access is denied based on the access control list, the door remains locked. If there is a match between the credential and the access control list, the control panel operates a relay that in turn unlocks the door. The control panel also ignores a door open signal to prevent an alarm. Often the reader provides feedback, such as a flashing red LED for an access denied and a flashing green LED for an access granted.

That is a description of a single factor transaction. However, credentials can be passed around, thus subverting the access control list. For example, Chris has access rights to the server room, but Ronald does not. Chris either gives Ronald his credential, or Ronald takes it; he now has access to the server room. To prevent this, two-factor authentication can be used. In a two factor transaction, the presented credential and a second factor are needed for access to be granted; the second (additional) factor can be a PIN, a second credential, operator intervention, or a biometric input.

There are three types (factors) of authenticating information:

  1. something the user knows, e.g. a password, pass-phrase or PIN
  2. something the user has, such as smart card or a key fob
  3. something the user is, such as fingerprint, verified by biometric measurement

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Q-13: What are the common security risks for door access control systems?

The most common security risk of intrusion through an access control system is by simply following a legitimate user through a door, and this is referred to as tailgating. Often the legitimate user will hold the door for the intruder. This risk can be minimized through security awareness training of the user population, or more active means such as turnstiles. In very high security applications this risk is minimized by using a mantrap, sometimes called a security vestibule, where operator intervention is required presumably to assure valid identification.

The second most common risk is from levering a door open. This is relatively difficult on properly secured doors with strikes or high holding force magnetic locks. Fully implemented access control systems include forced door monitoring alarms. These vary in effectiveness, usually failing from high false positive alarms, poor database configuration, or lack of active intrusion monitoring. Most newer access control systems incorporate some type of door prop alarm to inform system administrators of a door left open longer than a specified length of time.

The third most common security risk is natural disasters. In order to mitigate risk from natural disasters, the structure of the building, down to the quality of the network and computer equipment are vital. From an organizational perspective, the leadership will need to adopt and implement an Incident Response and disaster recovery Plan.

Similar to levering is crashing through cheap partition walls. In shared tenant spaces the divisional wall is a vulnerability.

Spoofing locking hardware is fairly simple and more elegant than levering. A strong magnet can operate the solenoid controlling bolts in electric locking hardware. Motor locks, more prevalent in Europe than in the US, are also susceptible to this attack using a doughnut shaped magnet. It is also possible to manipulate the power to the lock either by removing or adding current, although most Access Control systems incorporate battery back-up systems and the locks are almost always located on the secure side of the door.

Access cards themselves have proven vulnerable to sophisticated attacks. Enterprising hackers have built portable readers that capture the card number from a user’s proximity card. The hacker simply walks by the user, reads the card, and then presents the number to a reader securing the door. This is possible because card numbers are sent in the clear, no encryption being used. To counter this, dual authentication methods, such as a card plus a PIN can be be used.

Many access control credentials unique serial numbers are programmed in sequential order during manufacturing. Known as a sequential attack, if an intruder has a credential once used in the system they can simply increment or decrement the serial number until they find a credential that is currently authorized in the system. Ordering credentials with random unique serial numbers is recommended to counter this threat.

Finally, most electric locking hardware still have mechanical keys as a fail-over. Mechanical key locks are vulnerable to bumping.

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Q-14: Is it easy to program and configure door access control software?

Cobra Controls offers access control security software based on the .NET infrastructure to manage 4 door, 2 door, and 1 door TCP/IP ready network access control panels. Unlimited number of controllers, unlimited number of doors, and more than 60,000 users can be added to the database. Cobra Controls .NET security software is extremely flexible, easy to configure, and best of all free of charge when purchasing ACP systems. Cobra Controls .NET based software is the key to unleashing the ACP series wide range of powerful features while maintaining stability and long term performance. All Cobra Controls products come with a 2 year warranty. We use the industry standard 26-bit Wiegand communication format for all of our panels and readers making our system completely NON proprietary. Visit our Cobra Controls Video Library page for more details.

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Q-15: What is the registration process for new Cobra Software?

To register your Cobra Controls software, you will need the [a] controller serial number and the [b] controller version. Both can be located inside your Cobra Controls panel box;

  1. Serial Number: the controller board contains a sticker with the label S/N# (Serial Number). The serial number can also be found in the software in the 'controllers' section and the serial number is also provided on the original purchase invoice.
  2. Version: the controller version can also be found inside the Cobra Controls panel, on the inside of the panel door. The version will be 'ACP-N' or 'ACP-T'. The controller version is also highlighted on the original purchase invoice.
  3. Registration: please visit Cobra Controls Software Product Registration to access the software registration page.

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Q-16: Where can I find the Cobra Controls controller serial number?

The Cobra Controls controller serial number is located in three places [1] inside your Cobra Controls panel box - The controller board will have a sticker on the front labeled "S/N#" also, [2] in the software - Under the "Controllers" section. In addition, [3] the serial number should be listed on your original purchase Invoice (depending on place of purchase).

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Q-17: How do I determine the Cobra Controls controller version?

The Cobra Controls controller version can be located on the inside door of your Cobra Controls panel box - A label will display ACP-N or ACP-T. Also, the version should be listed on your original purchase Invoice (depending on place of purchase).

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Q-18: IP-Rating certification - what do the letters and numbers stand for?

IP ratings are made up of four characters. Five in some very rare cases, but you're unlikely to ever see those referring to a locking device. The first two characters, I and P, stand for Ingress Protection or how good it is the device at stopping dust and water from getting inside it. The third digit is the number that specifically indicates the devices rating for dust protection. Protecting against small solids (dust/sand for example), with a maximum rating of 6. This ranges from no protection at all against dust or dirt entering the device to 6 indicating resistant to dust entering the device. The last digit is the liquid or water resistance rating, with a max rating of 8. if a device is listed as IP68, you know it offers the highest IP rating for both dust and water resistance. Based on the IP-rating certification.

What does IP67 mean? there is a large number of combinations when it comes to IP ratings. IP67 devices, for instance, have the same dust resistance as an IP68-rated. However, the '7' indicates the device has been tested to survive being submerged up to 1 metre deep in water. Any more than that and the water could push through any protection in to the internal components of the device. When it comes to solids, the devices have been tested against dust and found to be dust tight. Anything with a "6" as the third character is as impervious to dust as can be tested and certified on this particular scale.

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Q-19: What does intrinsic Safety or Explosion-proof mean?

Intrinsic safety (IS) is a protection technique for safe operation of electrical equipment in hazardous areas by limiting the energy, electrical and thermal, available for ignition. In signal and control circuits that can operate with low currents and voltages, the intrinsic safety approach simplifies circuits and reduces installation cost over other protection methods. Areas with dangerous concentrations of flammable gases or dust are found in applications such as petrochemical refineries and mines. As a discipline, it is an application of inherent safety in instrumentation. Note: High-power circuits such as electric motors or lighting cannot use intrinsic safety methods for protection.

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Q-20: What web browsers are supported by maglocks?

We have carefully designed maglocks to work with most web browsers. We recommend that you always use the current version of browsers to make sure that our web pages display quickly, and that you have the latest security updates. If you use older browsers, you might notice that some functions and features stop working or work somewhat erratically as we make upgrades to maglocks. For more details, visit our recommended and supported browsers compatability page.

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Q-21: What is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)?

RFID is an acronym for Radio Frequency Identification. The term RFID is used to describe all techniques that use radio waves to identify something. Usually RFID systems consist of the following components:

  • A reader, that is connected to (or integrated with),
  • An antenna, that sends out a radio signal,
  • A tag (or transponder) that returns the signal with information added.

The communication can be one-way (only the tag that sends information to the reader), or it can be bidirectional. But the basic principle is always used to identify a tag (or transponder). The tag is carried by a person, an animal or an object and usually contains a number (in a certain format). RFID readers and antennas are sometimes integrated and sometimes more than one antenna is connected to one reader. The antenna is the part that actually transmits and receives the radio signal. The reader is the part that deals with the generation of the signal, the modulation, the conversion of information, etc. For more details, visit Buyer Guide: Understanding RFID Access Tags and Readers.

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Q-22: What are Poles and Throws (SPDT and DPDT)?

Most electronic circuits contain an on/off switch. In addition to the on/off switch, many circuits contain switches that control how the circuit works or activate different features of the circuit. One way to classify switches is by the connections they make and two important factors that determine what types of connections a switch makes are;

  • Pole: - switch pole refers to the number of separate circuits that the switch controls:
    • Single-pole switch controls just one circuit.
    • Double-pole switch controls two separate circuits. A double-pole switch is like two separate single-pole switches that are mechanically operated by the same lever, knob, or button.
  • Throw: - the number of throws indicates how many different output connections each switch pole can connect its input to. The two most common types are single-throw and double-throw:
    • Single-throw switch is a simple on/off switch that connects or disconnects two terminals. When the switch is closed, the two terminals are connected and current flows between them. When the switch is opened, the terminals are not connected, so current does not flow.
    • Double-throw switch connects an input terminal to one of two output terminals. Thus, a double-pole switch has three terminals. One of the terminals is called the common terminal. The other two terminals are often referred to as A and B.

When the switch is in one position, the common terminal is connected to the A terminal, so current flows from the common terminal to the A terminal but no current flows to the B terminal. When the switch is moved to its other position, the terminal connections are reversed: current flows from the common terminal to the B terminal, but no current flows though the A terminal.

Single and Double Throw Circuit


Switches vary in both the number of poles and the number of throws. Most switches have one or two poles and one or two throws. This leads to four common combinations:

  • SPST (single pole, single throw): - a basic on/off switch that turns a single circuit on or off. An SPST switch has two terminals: one for the input and one for the output.
  • SPDT (single pole, double throw): - a SPDT switch routes one input circuit to one of two output circuits. This type of switch is sometimes called an A/B switch because it lets you choose between two circuits, called A and B. A SPDT switch has three terminals: one for the input and two for the A and B outputs.
  • DPST (double pole, single throw): - a DPST switch turns two circuits on or off. A DPST switch has four terminals: two inputs and two outputs.
  • DPDT (double pole, double throw): - a DPDT switch routes two separate circuits, connecting each of two inputs to one of two outputs. A DPDT switch has six terminals: two for the inputs, two for the A outputs, and two for the B outputs.

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Q-23: Which power source; 12-voltage or 24-voltage?

Power sources can be AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current). In the context of electrified hardware, AC power is intended for intermittent duty (like momentary unlocking for an apartment main entry) while DC power is used for continuous duty (like an access control system for an office building’s main entry doors.) Most applications in today’s access control systems are DC supply. However, it is important to consider if the device requires a 12-voltage or 24-voltage power source. Depending on the manufacturer and model, they can be:

  • 12-volt only
  • 24-volt only
  • 12-volt OR 24-volt
  • 12-volt TO 24-volt

For example. An electric strike can draw power from either a 12-volt or a 24-volt power source. It draws current equal to 0.50 amps at 12-volt, but only 0.25 amps at 24-volt. These numbers indicate a requirement of about half an amp at 12-volt but just one-quarter of an amp at 24-volt. If you start adding multiple devices and are able to run them all on 24-volt, you can run more devices off of a power supply that supplies 24-volt than one that supplies 12-volt.

For example; If we want to run two electric strikes off of a 1-amp power supply; Running the strikes at 12-volt, would use 1.00 amps [0.50 amps x 2 strikes = 1.00 amps at 12-volt] – 100% of the 1-amp power supply would be consumed *. However, if you run the two strikes at 24-volt, you would only be using 0.50 amps [0.25 amps x 2 strikes = 0.50 amps at 24-volt], which would allow you to add a third strike, if desired.

* Please note that it is not recommended to exceed 75-80% of the total current of the power supply; so in this example, you are limited to one strike using a 1-amp power supply at 12-volts and three strikes using a 1-amp power supply at 24-volts.

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Q-24: What is a 626 or US26D hardware finish code?

In the United States there are two finish code systems: BHMA finish codes (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) and U.S. finish codes, created by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). In general, U.S. finishes describe only the color whereas BHMA finish codes describe both color and base material.

Architectural Hardware Finish Designations and Descriptions

The most notable exceptions to this rule are US32, polished (bright) stainless steel, and US32D, satin stainless steel. These U.S. finishes describe both the finish and the base material. The corresponding BHMA finish codes would be 629 for polished stainless and 630 for satin. BHMA finish codes are different for different base metals. For example, BHMA 626 is satin chrome plated brass whereas BHMA 652 is satin chrome plated steel.

  • Polished (or “bright”) finish - is a finish that has been buffed until it reflects like a mirror. You can see your reflection in a polished finish.
  • Satin Finish - the opposite of a polished finish is a satin finish. You cannot see your reflection in a piece of hardware with a satin finish.
  • Antique Finish - is a finish that is similiar to Satin with black accents to appear aged when first installed.
  • Living finish - is a finish that has been designed to age naturally over time, such as US10B, oil rubbed bronze. Individual hardware items with living finishes will age differently over time depending on use and slight differences in how the finish was applied at the factory.

For more details, visit Buyer Guide: Hardware finish Descriptions and Color Codes.

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Q-25: Should I shed my hotel card key after I check-out?

A customer called recently to ask if hotel key cards are encoded with personal or financial (credit card) information, and so should be they take home and shred the hotel card key after they check-out. We thought that would be a good opening to offer a description of how hotel locking systems work.

The quick answer is there is no personal or financial information encoded into the hotel card key. The encoding process is only used to provide access to pre-assigned areas (for example, your hotel room, workout room, building entrance). It is also important to understand, the card key encoding machines are not connected to the hotel's computer system, the encoding systems are stand-alone platforms specific to encoding door access control so there is no direct interface to transfer a customer's personal or financial information (for example, credit card number) onto or into the card key.

The hotel card key contains the following; The card key has encoding into its magnetic stripe or smart chip or RFID chip a rotating code and a serial code of some sort to distinguish one key from another (i.e. two master keys will have the same key code but different serial codes.) When you check in, the hotel employee inserts the card key into an encoding machine that records onto it the next sequential code for the lock on your room. The sequence advances when an expired card is swiped or a new card inserted. When you first enter your room the lock recognizes that the next sequential code is being used and invalidates the previous key. If you obtain a second key later for someone else, it often messes up your key. In this case, the hotel employee may have encoded a new key rather than a duplicate. The sequence change means that the previous guest (in this case you) can no longer get into the room.

Hotel locking systems are extremely secure systems. If a master key goes missing, it's a relatively trivial procedure to rekey the entire hotel. Hotel locks are not wired into any system, they have batteries in them. They have several key sequences programmed into them, guest key, maids key, supervisors key, master key, emergency key. The emergency key is unique in that it will release the deadbolt, necessary in a fire or medical emergency. The lock also has a memory that remembers the time, date and key code for every entry. In the event of a problem the security staff just needs to read and print the log to see who entered the room at what time.

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Q-26: Does maglocks maintain a Sustainability Policy?

It is in the best interests of our company and society as a whole that our company promotes and progresses along a clear, goal oriented path to sustainability. To that end we will strive to achieve a vision of performance based on our four pillars of responsibility and commitment.

  1. Economic success: the wise use of our financial resources
  2. Social responsibility: respect for all people
  3. Environmental responsibility: respect for life and the wise management and use of natural resources
  4. Business responsibility: set clear goals and objectives and track our progress towards those goals

For more details, visit our Sustainability Policy and Business Commitment.

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Q-27: Is the maglocks website accessible to people with disabilities?

We are striving to ensure this website is open and accessible to everyone. Our website is designed to comply with the U.S. Access Board’s January 2017 update of the Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines for Information and Communication Technology [Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended].

The U.S. Access Board updated the 508 Standards and 255 Guidelines jointly to ensure consistency in accessibility across the spectrum of information and communication technologies (ICT) covered.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader, eye tracking device, voice recognition software, etc.) and have difficulty accessing information on the maglocks website, contact us for assistance.

The January 2017 refresh for the 508 standard and the 255 Guidelines included the following amendments;

  • Enhancing accessibility to ICT for people with disabilities:
  • Making the requirements easier to understand and follow;
  • Updating the requirements so that they stay abreast of the ever changing nature of the technologies covered:
  • Harmonizing the requirements with other standards in the U.S. and abroad.

For more details, visit United States Access Board.

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Q-28: Do you offer programs for Distributors (Dealers) and Installers?

Cobra Controls Authorized Dealer Program is a comprehensive initiative, designed to help our dealer/integrator partners grow their business. Our array of dealer programs are perfect for the small, mid-level and large integrator, offering discounted prices, FREE technical support, lowest price guaranteed, full 12-month repair and replacement warranty, no restocking fees, online account specific pricing and much more. If you are installing and/or reselling Cobra Control products, then Cobra Controls has a program for you! To apply, please refer to the program structure Cobra Controls Authorized Dealer Program and complete the brief Dealer First registration form. Available in either of two formats (a) Adobe PDF or (b) Microsoft Word.

Registration.pdf Registration.doc


Fax the completed Dealer registration form to 1.518.843.3399 along with a copy of your tax resale card, contractor license or business license. You can also attach the information to an email and send it to: . Please allow 4 business days for processing and you will receive a confirmation email and welcome package.

Features and benefits differ by program. For more information, Please refer to the program structure Cobra Controls Authorized Dealer Program.

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