TDSi’s comprehensive product range features extensive integration and network capabilities
TDSi’s comprehensive product range features extensive integration and network capabilities

TDSi's extensive suite of products has been designed with integration and network capability to the forefront, with IP connectivity a standard feature across the range.Amongst the company's most recent product developments are the addition of an IP option to the proven MICROgarde range and an updated version of the access management software system, EXgarde PRO, which provides powerful integration capability.MICROgarde IPMICROgarde IP is a powerful addition to TDSi's range of controllers.  Available for both one and two door controller options, this product offers all the functionality of the established MICROgarde system - with the added benefit of being able to be directly connected to a LAN or WAN.MICROgarde offers an extremely cost-effective, entry level controller, containing many of the features that would ordinarily only be found in much larger, more expensive systems. Operating with TDSi or third party readers, the system has an operational capacity of 5,000 card holders and is capable of supporting up to 400 doors - as well as controlling the automatic release of fire doors, upon an active input.Featuring distributed intelligence, MICROgarde controllers can operate as a fully integrated part of a system network, providing users with full control and event reporting - which may be customised to suit specific needs.Integration Capability with EXgarde PROEXgarde PRO is TDSi's market-leading, fully featured access management software application that delivers a wide range of functionality through a user-friendly interface.The new version, V3, offers unparalleled integration capabilities, providing users with a flexible and dynamic platform and the ability for complete building and security management.Through the use of a suite of database tools, EXgarde PRO delivers seamless integration with a wide range of proprietary and bespoke systems - such as Schools Information Management Systems, HR, Payroll, Time and Attendance, CCTV, Fire, Intruder and One-card software applications, offering the potential for considerable resource savings, in both time and cost.Powerful and versatile, EXgarde PRO is capable of controlling a single door at one site with a small number of users, right up to thousands of doors across multiple sites with thousands of users.

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TDSi offers combined IP and PSU with latest model of popular MICROgarde Controllers
TDSi offers combined IP and PSU with latest model of popular MICROgarde Controllers

TDSi is pleased to add a new model to its MICROgarde controller range, offering integrated IP and PSU. The MICROgarde entry level range of networkable access control products give many of the benefits of a bigger system, without the need for a big budget. For organisations exploring the world of access control for the first time, MICROgarde offers easy installation, reduced cost of ownership and highly competitive pricing to offer the best value and most practical access control system available. The addition of this latest model means MICROgarde I and MICROgarde II can be purchased with IP, Power Supply or both, offering customers greater choice. MICROgarde also delivers unrivalled flexibility of system design. Available in one or two door versions, TDSi has designed the product to cater for the diverse range of needs and situations that may arise. All controllers feature distributed intelligence (with a battery backup), meaning the controller operates and makes decisions even when communication to the host PC is lost. Should this happen, events are stored within the controller until communication is restored and this is uploaded with no loss of data. MICROgarde also offers a further money saving and practical advantage by its ability to be integrated with other TDSi or third-party systems such as CCTV, biometrics and photo ID cards - to make the most of other building services investments. TDSi has also designed MICROgarde to make the life of installers easier, with a number of useful features to significantly reduce the effort and time required for installation and/or integration. To find out more about the benefits of installing and using TDSi's MICROgarde controllers please visit: www.tdsi.co.uk/microgarde or contact us on 01202 723535.  

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TDSi has launched a re-designed power supply unit for its EX series access control units
TDSi has launched a re-designed power supply unit for its EX series access control units

TDSi has launched a re-designed power supply unit for its EX series of access control units.The new unit incorporates a range of key design and performance enhancements, resulting in significant improvements to the ease, speed, and therefore the cost of installation.Key features of the new system include:Low profile case - new design makes the installation less obtrusiveFully accessible mains input connections - allows the incoming supply to be connected without the need to dismantle any part of the caseHigh-quality 3 A output - minimises noise and maximises reliabilityFused distribution of power - provides individual fused supplies for both the access control unit and the associated locksKnock-outs for interfacing to trunking and conduit - provides multiple installation optionMultiple rear cable entry optionsSimple cable screen termination clamps - provides reliable connection of the cable screensSpace for standby battery with charging facility - provides un-interrupted operation in the event of power failureLEDs to indicate power supply or fuse failure - provides diagnostic aid in the event of a system problem TDSi's range of EX-series units continues to provide users with the widest choice to meet their access control needs, as well as the ability to support future expansion of the system, if required.  The company's EXpert range also provides for more advanced hardware integration - such as lift control and alarm point monitoring.

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Now available from TDSi, SOLOgarde is a dedicated stand alone door controller
Now available from TDSi, SOLOgarde is a dedicated stand alone door controller

Now available from TDSi, SOLOgarde is a dedicated stand-alone door controller.  Providing a high-quality, cost-effective access control solution for a wide range of applications, SOLOgarde is fast and easy to install and to program. Capable of supporting up to 1,000 users, SOLOgarde utilises the highly secure MIFARE® smartcard technology, enabling users to carry and use just a single card for multiple applications.The SOLOgarde controller provides a great deal of flexibility.  For example, the ‘toggle mode' feature allows the system to be used to set or unset an intruder alarm for specific users.  The same functionality may be used to allow specified cardholders to unlock and then lock specific rooms for a period of time, simply by presenting their card to the reader at the start and end of the period. The unit has been developed with the needs of disabled users in mind; a DDA user group automatically applies an extended lock time for card-holders assigned to that preset group. SOLOgarde features an innovative hand-held programmer.  Easy to use, the programmer completely eliminates the need to manage and control shadow cards, allowing not only the easy and clear management of all user cards, but also enabling more advanced functionality - including controller settings and diagnostic features. A second reader may also be connected to the SOLOgarde controller providing true read-in/read-out capability.Installation is quick and straightforward.  SOLOgarde requires just a standard electrical back box - there is no need for a special enclosure and the spring-loaded terminals mean that no special fitting tools are required.

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Access control controllers - Expert commentary

Physical security in 2021: Post-pandemic solutions
Physical security in 2021: Post-pandemic solutions

In a world forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic, companies worldwide are now expanding their concept of physical security to best safeguard their facilities and employees. Few incidents have had as much of an impact on businesses globally as the COVID-19 pandemic; much of the world is still struggling to contain COVID-19, navigating the lasting effects and exploring what the “new normal” looks like. While some organisations are still engaged primarily in “anywhere operations”, i.e. remote work, many organisations are implementing strategic physical security solutions that better protect everyone through the use of video surveillance technology and advanced intelligence capabilities. As this new normal takes hold within the business environment, security strategies will largely be centered around several key initiatives like access control, people counting, occupancy controls, temperature screening, contact tracing, and reducing office touch points. With the use of a video management system (VMS) in the shadow of COVID-19, occupancy data from a VMS can trigger a lockdown and not permit new entrants until the occupancy drops below a certain threshold; this is significantly useful for organisations that have returned to in-person work.  But there’s a caveat: though many legacy security systems are being re-evaluated to allow for touchless or frictionless access control — a move designed to eliminate the need for employees and visitors to physically touch a surface when using an access control system — upgrading the outdated technologies can be cumbersome and expensive, especially for organizations that had not planned for an interruption like the pandemic. Security contractors will be vital So, what is the solution? Security contractors will play a vital role in helping end-users across a range of vertical markets — large and small — to achieve their goals in the new paradigm. For some, this may mean leveraging existing access control and video surveillance systems with upgrades where needed. For others, an entire overhaul is made possible with budget friendly solutions for businesses to migrate to integrated access control through end-to-end security solutions that tie into existing infrastructures without major disruptions (meaning the organisation will never be left vulnerable). Cybersecurity is becoming even more intertwined with physical security There is massive transformation occurring in the security industry, most notably the movement to digitise physical access and integrate it with video management systems and surveillance. This shift means that cybersecurity is becoming even more intertwined with physical security, allowing organisations the ability to correlate the metadata of people’s behaviors and activities — a plus point for those looking to remain vigilant against future pandemic-esque business interruptions. Access, video, and audio are converging into consolidated platforms. Due to lower costs and pairings with IP-based, wireless infrastructure, there are infinite solution configurations. IT security requirements are beginning to apply to physical security because of this integrated infrastructure. Multi-factor authentication The security industry is also beginning to see a trend of multi-factor authentication, which is going to dominate in the days to come as it makes solutions more reliable. Most people carry smartphones these days, which have green check communication capabilities that allow easy multi-factor authentication. Costs are going down, and algorithms are getting better, making more people willing to try it. Some new solutions have both the fingerprint reader and a camera for facial biometrics Some new solutions have both the fingerprint reader and a camera for facial biometrics. Cameras and CCD modules cost almost nothing, and they do not have to be super high-end anymore, especially if organisations are doing one-to-one verification. It’s not just about security now; it is security, health, and safety. Access control with video, intelligent readers, and credentials is a perfect platform for next generation solutions.

Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change
Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change

Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centres, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or flat. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behaviour which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to programme new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via post to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organisation we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist programme to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behaviour growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioural insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.

Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

Latest TDSi news

What are the security challenges of protecting SMBs?
What are the security challenges of protecting SMBs?

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) make huge contributions to the economy overall. Considered individually, they may not be as large as companies in the enterprise market, but they have big requirements when it comes to security. SMBs also present unique challenges to security manufacturers and integrators seeking to serve their needs. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)?

Expert roundup: healthy buildings, blockchain, AI, skilled workers, and more
Expert roundup: healthy buildings, blockchain, AI, skilled workers, and more

Our Expert Panel Roundtable is an opinionated group. However, for a variety of reasons, we are sometimes guilty of not publishing their musings in a timely manner. At the end of 2020, we came across several interesting comments among those that were previously unpublished. Following is a catch-all collection of those responses, addressing some of the most current and important issues in the security marketplace in 2021.

What are the positive and negative effects of COVID-19 to security?
What are the positive and negative effects of COVID-19 to security?

The COVID-19 global pandemic had a life-changing impact on all of us in 2020, including a multi-faceted jolt on the physical security industry. With the benefit of hindsight, we can now see more clearly the exact nature and extent of that impact. And it’s not over yet: The pandemic will continue to be top-of-mind in 2021. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What have been the positive and negative effects of Covid-19 on the physical security industry in 2020? What impact will it have on 2021?

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