Inner Range WideBody Enclosure Review
Inner Range’s new WideBody enclosure is a step forward for the company in a number of ways. Fundamentally, it allows the installation of 8 doors and 16 readers in a single housing with plenty of expansion and lashings of onboard battery backup.
WANDERING around the engineering department at access control manufacturer Inner Range in Melbourne with CEO Vin Lopes is an enjoyable experience. All around us team members are working on new products that expand the company’s thoroughly-proven technology suite. As well as taking a looking at Inner Range’s cloud-based Webtegriti, a new 8-zone expander module and a project (it was the new SIFER reader) about which I’m sworn to deepest secrecy, I get a look at the new Integriti WideBody Enclosure. It’s a simple piece of kit in some ways but it has to be seen in context – as an extension of cost-effective applications of Integriti.
This unit is designed to support small or large scale access control solutions. With everything necessary for up to 8 doors housed in a single enclosure, the need for additional hardware is greatly reduced. WideBody is a facilitator that makes cost-effective access control solutions…more cost effective. Yes, it sounds simple and that’s because it is simple conceptually, but virtually no other access control manufacturers do this. Typical small access control systems with attendant alarm zone expanders and LAN boards demand multiple power supplies and multiple enclosures causing techs multiple headaches.
Physically, the WideBody is 580mm long, 510mm wide and 95mm deep. At this size the unit is big enough to allow plenty of onboard expansion yet small enough to be compact while doing so. That slim profile is useful, too. Control panels always get shoe-horned into silly spaces and access controllers are no exception. You find them in risers, in network or comms cupboards, lathered onto mounting boards, screwed to walls behind racks in dusty network rooms.
“WideBody is an enclosure with enough power onboard to handle 8 doors supporting 16 readers (read-in and read-out), with long backup times, as well as supplementing fire alarm egress switching, all in one low-profile box”
What I like about WideBody is that it tucks considerable capability into a comparatively small footprint. I’ve seen plenty of sprawling access control installations over the years. Integrators bolt banks of controllers over large sections of wall because the density of module carrying capacity is not available and because each enclosure has a limited power supply. If you want more doors, you have to have another controller or power supply to support them. It means more expense, more wall space and longer installation times.
Inner Range’s WideBody Enclosure resolves those issues. It’s big enough to hold the Access Controller, Unibus Access expanders plus additional LAN modules and all the power supply you could want. The unit we’re looking at has 4 modules installed – 2 flush and 2 high-mounted. And while we’re poking around, Quenten Knoll reaches over and attaches a hinged mounting plate with an additional 3 modules on it. This sits over the top of the other boards, held up by a pair of special props.
Here's that big 8Amp supply
Facilitating WideBody is power – lots of it. There’s a hulking 8-Amp 13.75V DC smart power supply inside this enclosure capable of supporting a pair of 18-Amp hour batteries. That’s 36-Amp hours of battery backup – plenty enough to support small and medium access control and intrusion alarm applications for a very long time.
“We’ve never had a product like this before,” Lopes explains. “WideBody has enough power onboard to support 8 doors with 16 readers (read-in and read-out unlike our competitors), while giving very long backup times as well as fused power distribution and switching, in one low-profile box.
“If you look at this particular setup, that’s an intelligent LAN access module there and those are Unibus modules that go on after it. You can add zones and relays and expand the system and at all times there is sufficient power to handle your needs without using an additional enclosures – that keeps installation simpler and less expensive.”
Something else Lopes is pleased about is the fact WideBody can handle a fused power distribution/switching board. WideBody manages this important function in an elegant and dependable way, which is great news for installers.
“See this little board,” Lopes says, pointing. “Power comes in here and then goes out in 4 different ways.”
This power splitting and switching is important because it allows power to doors to be removed so they fail open as they are required to do in certain circumstances, yet the ability to power other parts of the system is retained.
“The Australian Fire standard says all doors have to be unlocked to allow free egress from a building in the event of fire,” Knoll tells me. “That means when a fire alarm activates, all the exit doors must release. And it has to be done by low-level DC switching of power.
“The fire system usually has direct override of egress doors to ensure they are opened in an emergency situation. A Wide Body fitted with our fused power distribution and switching board can supplement the fire system by allowing you to cut power to doors directly from the access control system,” he explains.
“You bring the fire alarm input to the switching relay board, which allows the access control system to monitor the status of the fire system, and upon alarm – the relay can cut the power to the door locks without cutting the power you need to support other functions.
“The design of the switching relay hub allows you to supplement the emergency egress function of the fire system, it can throw open all your emergency exit doors – no programming whatsoever. You run a wire, you set the input dipswitch and bang, you’re done.”
Inner Range’s Wide Body enclosure is a nice piece of kit. It’s well made, well thought out, has good ventilation, plenty of accommodation and is secured with a key-lockable front cover with front and rear tamper monitoring. Its ability to compartmentalise small, medium or very large access control solutions while offering power and space for expansion makes it a winner.
By John Adams