FSH FEW3800 EcoMag Lock
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Articles Product Reviews | September 23, 2012, 7:00am AEST
WHAT’S so neat about the FSH EcoMag FEW3800 is its ability to save very large amounts of money through major reductions in power draw, extrapolated over hundreds or even thousands of access points across major sites. The power savings are claimed to be 200 per cent, which on sites with large numbers of locks, is going to be significant.
The secret to this lock is its ability to reduce the power draw by falling to sleep until the lock is moved by an unauthorised access attempt and then waking up and applying full current to its windings in order to develop maximum holding force. Central to this is self monitoring capability facilitated by optical switches that detect the slightest movement in the door and spike power in response, all in a few hundredths of a second.
I got a look at the FEW3800 on the FSH stand at Security 2012 and was impressed with both the numbers and the instant response to unauthorised opening attempts. The FSH team had set the new lock up on one of their test rigs with an integrated meter measuring milliamps.
With the lock in sleep mode, consumption was a very frugal 90mA but when the ‘door’ of the test rig was shaken to awaken the lock, it ramped up to 350mA. It’s a smart piece of design. Ordinarily if you reduce the current running though the windings of a mag lock you’re going to reduce its holding power and its level of security but FSH has gotten around that, giving end users the best of both worlds.
The sleeping holding force of the FEW3800 is quoted as being a still considerable 140kg – far too much to allow the door to be opened by a would-be intruder before the full 250kg is applied.
FSH’s Trevor Mackle explains that while typical magnetic locks draw 300mA or more, the FEW3800 is much more economical.
“As you can see looking at the meter, our new device sleeps on less than 100 milliamps – that’s a 200 per cent power saving when you consider that when awake the lock draws 350mA,” he explains.
“And if someone comes to the door and pulls on it, there are optical switches behind the lock that sense the door moving and instantly pump the lock up to full power and to full hold. The lock has a sleeping hold of 140kg but as soon as someone pulls on the door it goes up to its full hold of 250kg.”
As Mackle explains, the EcoMag has the usual suite of smart FSH technology integrated into it that makes establishing lock status visually or audibly very easy.
“The EcoMag has an early warning system built into it and as soon as someone pulls on the door the integrated early warning system activates an audible alarm,” he says. ”At the same time it also sends a signal advising that someone is pushing on the door back to the access panel so the incident can be given an appropriate response.”
Mackle says another interesting feature of the lock is that it spikes momentarily if the door is opened too long. What this means is that if the door is only partially opened the power spikes drag the door closed and once secure it will go back to sleep. Mackle shows me how this works by releasing the door and then not closing it completely and it’s clear from the demonstration that a weak or faulty closer is not going to stop the FEW3800 from closing completely.
More of the neat FSH technology onboard includes a built-in long distance backlight, green being secure, red unsecure. These lights allow staff or security officers to check door status from a distance on larger sites, like big retail stores or commercial or industrial sites.
When it comes to the FEW3800, the way this works is that the early warning alarm feature triggers an internal alarm buzzer to sound intermittently and flash the long distance alert panel red when a would-be intruder is shaking the door from the other side.
When pressure is no longer being applied to the door, after 3 seconds, the buzzer will cease as the EcoMag returns to sleep/Eco Mode. At the same time, the long distance panel will return to green showing the door is secure. Of course, the optical circuits remain alert to the slightest movement of the door and will activate full hold in an instant should the intruder return. Additional lock monitoring functions of the FEW3800 EcoMag include door status, lock status, exit switch delay.
Features of the FSH FEW3800 EcoMag include:
* Door status monitoring
* Lock status monitoring
* Early warning signal and local alarm buzzer
* Accepts multi-voltage 10-28V DC supplies
* Sleep power consumption of 170mA
* Exit switch delay function.