In this article I will show you how to debug a door controller unit in the field if you are having issues with it.
Fault Light Is On
The fault light on the door controller goes on when there is issue with the power supply to the board. Typically there are three reasons for that:
- The positive and negative polarity of the input power to the board is reversed
- The board is getting undervoltage or overvoltage. Normally, the board should be supplies with either 12V or 24V DC
Status Light Color Meaning
Blinking Blue - It means that the board is trying to connect to the internet
Solid Blue - The board is connected to the internet but waiting to connect to our cloud api
Green - the board is fully connected to our api and internet
Door Not Unlocking - How to Debug
Does the board show a green status light? If not, this indicates that the board is not connected to the cloud and there is an issue with the internet signal or wiring, Confirm that the ethernet is plugged in and that there is an internet signal.
Check whether the red light above the relay lights up when the unlock signal is sent. You can send an unlock signal by using remote unlock at the door, or giving installer a test PIN. If not, this might indicate that the relay is not mapped to the access point inside the admin dashboard
Go to the admin dashboard account for this customer and check whether the Access Point object has the door controller and relay mapped. You can see this under Sites and Access Points -> Edit Access Point - Assigned Door Controllers section
Check if the power supply is sending power to the lock or not. Installer should check with a multi-meter if the door lock power is sending the proper voltage as per the door specifications
Check the wiring to the door lock. Ensure that one of the end of the lock power is going directly to the lock and the other end through one of the Swiftlane relays
Key card reader / Fob Reader Not Working
If the card reader is not working, here are some things to check:
Go to the admin dashboard -> hardware -> key card readers. Edit the card reader. Check if the door controller name and wiegand ports are mapped to this card reader object. Check if the Access point is mapped to this card reader. This sets up the logical association between the physical hardware wiring and the system configuration. This tells the system that if there is a pulse on the wiegand port of DCU ID ABC at Wiegand port 1, then check the card number against the "access point" permissions for that card number. Also it tells the system what relays to fire.
Go to Admin dashboard -> Sites and Access Points -> Edit Access Point. Ensure that the right relay is setup to fire up when the access is granted. Check the door lock wiring to ensure it's running through the correct door controller unit and relay board
Check the relay mapping to ensure that the right relay connected to the door lock is set up to fire up.
User doesnt have access to the door
Check the activity feed to ensure that user has access to that door. Often the card reader might be set up correctly but during testing the initial users or installers may not have the permission to the door. Add the user to the correct Access Group and Map those access group to the Access point in order to enable access to the door.
Check if the D0 and D1 wired are flipped
Check the activity feed for the message. If the installer is swiping a known key card, thats already in the system, but the activity mentions "Invalid key card" message, one of the reasons for this could be that the D0 and D1 wires are crossed. The D0 from the card reader is connected to the D1 on the door controller and vice versa.
Wiegand signals are sent as "binary" values - as zeros and ones - over the wire. This causes the card number to be received incorrectly. Specifically the wiegand card number would be "inverted". You can test this by following these steps:
- go to activity feed
- copy the invalid card number
- convert the hexadecimal value to binary using an online converter
- copy the binary value and use a binary inverter online to flip the bits
- Convert the new binary value back to hex using this online binary to hex converter
- Copy the new binary value into a wiegand key card number
- Check this new card number and facility code in the Swiftlane dashboard under Hardware -> Key Cards and Fobs and search for this number. If this number shows up, that means you have confirmed that the wires are crossed
Check the Wiegand wiring on the controller
Here is the standard wire color that card/fob readers use to indicate various wire outputs, please make sure the installer double checks the wiegand wiring at the key card reader as well as door controller
Here is a photo of various Swiftlane door controllers and their wiegand wiring layout
Check the voltage at the key card reader
This is applicable for the following scenarios:
- wiegand signal is very long - the controller and the door are very far from each other
- A vehicle tag reader is connected to the door controller (they are very power hungry)
- non standard cable like ethernet (cat5e / cat6) wires are being used in order to run card reader wiring
Ethernet wires are typically 24 or 26 guage, much thinner than the 22 guage specification for card readers. This can cause voltage drop at the reader. Please have the installer take a multi meter and check if they getting the full 12V DC or 24VDC at the reader end. A voltage drop can cause issues with the performance of the card reader.
Vehicle Tag connected to the door controller
STID vehicle tag reader needs about 1 amp of power. Hence it's best to take the wiegand wires from the spectre vehicle reader, but only connect D0, D1, GND, Buzzer and LED to the door controller. Please connect the POWER and GND to the main power supply inside the enclosure, which can provide significantly more power to these long range readers. Make sure to jump the vehicle reader GND between the wiegand port and the power supply. The D0 and D1 singals require a common Ground in order to correctly detect the signal otherwise it can cause noise. Refer to the installation manual for vehicle reader for more details.