Frequently Asked Questions

We divided the questions into few sections to ensure better orientation.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

OPERATIONAL QUESTIONS

SYSTEM CONTROL

IDENTIFICATION MEDIA

PROGRAMMING OF THE SYSTEM

PROBLEM SOLVING

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

1. What is the access control system good for?   (Back to top)

The access control system is useful to protect buildings from uninvited guests. It is an efficient substitution for keys designed to maximize unauthorized entry restrictions. The building manager has full control over the issuing of the identification media, thereby eliminating uncontrollable copying of keys. Moreover, each identification medium is traceable and possible to be retrospectively blocked.

2. What is NFC technology?   (Back to top)

NFC (near field communication) is a modern wireless technology for short distance, which has recently been integrated by the manufacturers into cell phones as standard equipment. One of the aims of this technology is to replace payment cards in the near future. Besides that, it can be used for many other applications, such as to control the door access system via cell phone.

3. What is your experience with access control systems?   (Back to top)

Our company is one of the biggest producers and sellers of identification systems in the Czech Republic. Our history goes as far as into the year 1978; since 1992 we do business under the name IMA s.r.o. We have about 60 experts on identification technologies. The PATRON-PRO access control system is the result of our long-term experience in the field of identification systems, which we combine with the latest technologies. This access control system is primarily aimed at apartment houses and apartments themselves.

4. Why is the PATRON-PRO access control system so ground breaking?   (Back to top)

The ground breaking nature of the PATRON-PRO system as compared to other access control systems lies especially in the possibility to manage the whole system via cell phone. Just imagine that you do not have to run home, program the media in a computer and then transfer the edited data into the system in a complicated manner or delete the system’s memory by a mastercard and then add the authorized media one after another each time a tenant demands to block a medium or get a new one.
Nothing like that, with PATRON-PRO system you simply reach into the pocket and solve everything in three fast steps followed by applying the cell phone to the reader for 20 seconds in order to complete the data transfer.
The simple and fast manner of programming itself also provides for an increased protection of buildings. From our experience we know that if the process of blocking a medium is in any way too complicated, the managers tend to deal with the blockings all at once approximately once a year, sometimes even less often. All this time, anybody who finds a lost medium may enter the secured premises without any problems. On the other hand, if the programming is easy, the managers do this when necessary and thus, the protection is much higher.
Another, and not less important, feature of the system distinguishing it from the competition is the use of secure cards Mifare and DESFire as well as the separation of relay element from the reader and its placement inside a secure area. Thus, a potential intruder cannot enter the building by breaking the reader unlike it is with some other systems.

 

OPERATIONAL QUESTIONS

1. Do I have to have a SIM card in my phone and pay some monthly fee?   (Back to top)

The NFC technology works on the basis of information transfer using electromagnetic field for short distances (cca 5 km). Therefore, it is not necessary to have a SIM card installed in the phone for the technology to work and the transfer itself is not charged at all.

2. Do I have to buy a cell phone together with the system?   (Back to top)

In case you do not own a cell phone with NFC technology, you do have to buy one in order to program the system. If you have one already, you can contact us with the model of your phone. We shall get back to you immediately whether there is a programmable SW for your phone compatible with the access control system.

3. Is it possible to control more than one door with the system?   (Back to top)

By using one NFC cell phone, it is possible to control up to 20 doors divided into 10 groups. Each user may be authorized to enter any number of doors with his identification medium.

4. The use of NFC cell phone.   (Back to top)

Cell phones with NFC technology are not very widespread yet. If you have or can buy one such phone though, it can subsequently be used as identification medium for the PATRON access control system. Thereby you eliminate the need to carry around an identification card/tag, while it is sufficient to apply the cell phone itself to the reader.

 

SYSTEM CONTROL

1. How and where to put the card/tag?   (Back to top)

The card reader is usually placed outside on the wall next to the entrance with a reading distance up to 6 cm. This means that it is sufficient just to apply the identification medium (card/tag) to the reader within this distance. It does not matter which side you use to apply the medium to the reader, since it is contactless, meaning that the data is transferred via air through the distance of a few centimetres.

2. Can I use my own NFC phone instead of an identification medium?   (Back to top)

If you own a cell phone with NFC technology, you can integrate it into the system and use it as identification medium to open doors. In this case, it is not necessary to install any SW and the phone can be used as it is.

 

IDENTIFICATION MEDIA

1. Card or tag (keychain), what is the difference?   (Back to top)

The identification card has the same size as a regular payment card. Its advantages include, besides a slightly lower price, longer reading distance and a full imprint option. Thus, it is convenient especially for large businesses, where it can also serve as employee identification (with a photo, job title etc.). Among its disadvantages are its size, shorter lifespan and breaking tendencies. On the other hand, identification tag/keychain is especially suitable for apartment houses. Its compact size and high resilience enable to have it among other keys in the bundle and carry it around in a pocket. Its disadvantages include a slightly higher price, shorter reading distance and very limited imprint possibilities. However, for use in apartment houses, these disadvantages are often balanced out by easy manipulation and almost unlimited lifespan in comparison to identification cards.

2. Card/tag imprint, what’s the point?   (Back to top)

Printing a serial number on cards or tags is of great importance for a correct identification of the card/tag. Very often a user looses his card. In such case, it is necessary to block the lost card and give out a new one. If the user is properly recorded in the card list, then the whole process is very simple. On the other hand, if the card cannot be unambiguously identified, e.g. when family members exchange their cards among themselves, it becomes problematic. In such case, another user may not be able to enter once the lost card is blocked, while a potential finder of the card may enter the door without any restrictions.

3. Is the card/tag waterproof?   (Back to top)

All contactless cards and tags are encased in a waterproof plastic case and thus, water is of no harm to them.

4. Is it possible to copy or otherwise reproduce/multiply the cards/tags?   (Back to top)

The identification media are all produced with a unique code. It is not possible to easily transfer the code into a different medium and therefore, they cannot be copied as keys. This is one of the advantages o the system – preventing unauthorized persons from entering the building. Should you need more cards/tags for your own use, please contact the building manager.

5. Can I use my city or employee card to control the system?   (Back to top)

The market offers a number of variations and standards of identification cards. Therefore, it is not possible to tell in general, whether such card can be used. However, everyone can try to load the card into the cell phone or just apply it to the reader – if these devices react to it, then it is indeed compatible with the system.

Almost all city cards (e.g. Czech cards Opencard, Plzenska karta etc.) are compatible with the system and can be used as an identification medium.

 

PROGRAMMING OF THE SYSTEM

1. Does programming via cell phone mean that it is not necessary to use a computer?   (Back to top)

Exactly, all user data settings as well as subsequent transfer of updated data into the system is done through a cell phone. The application installed in the cell phone is very similar to a classic contact list and its use is also as easy. A PC version of the application is available for bigger buildings or larger amount of data editing.

2. How do I activate or update the cards/tags with access authorization?   (Back to top)

Recording and updating of the authorized cards/chips is a two-step process. Firstly, it is necessary to modify the list of authorized cards in the cell phone. Exact instructions regarding working with the application in the cell phone are provided in the manual to this application. Secondly, this modified list is then transferred from the cell phone into the PATRON-PRO system. Both steps are described in the following two points and the level of difficulty of the whole process is comparable to adding a new contact into a phone’s contacts list.

3. What’s the process of updating a list in the cell phone and working with it?   (Back to top)

4. How to point out which door am I authorized to enter and which not?   (Back to top)

As mentioned already, each identification medium is equipped with a unique code. This code is saved in the individual reading devices, which control the opening of the doors. If the reading device recognises the code of your identification tag, it allows you to enter. However, if your identification medium is not recorded with a specific door, you are not allowed to enter. Due to this reason it is possible to have some cards/tags open all doors (the card/tag is recorded in the database of all doors), while others only one door (the card/tag is recorded only in he database of that one door and other doors do not recognise it).

5. How do I copy an updated list from the cell phone into the door access control system?   (Back to top)

6. Do I have to fill in all data into the list (name, surname, apartment number)?   (Back to top)

In order to keep the list itself and the individual cards/tags well arranged, it is recommended to fill out all fields and maintain their accuracy. For example, if a tenant loses his card, it is necessary to know exactly which card to block. If a different gets blocked due to erroneous data in the cards list, then a different tenant will not be able to get home in the evening, while a potential finder of the lost card is able use it without any restrictions. For an easier and more accurate identification of the cards/tags we recommend to have them imprinted with a serial number (to be found in the accessories offer).

7. What is the role of field “group” in the list of cards/tags?   (Back to top)

The field “group” depicts the group of doors, which the selected card can open. Altogether 10 groups and 20 doors are available to be included in the system. For example, if you have the PATRON-PRO system installed on the entrance door as well as cellar door, then you include both of these entrances in group 1, while group 2 will only consist of the entrance door. Afterwards, when you give out cards to those tenants that actually have a cellar, you record these cards in group 1. The cards of those tenants, who do not have a cellar or the postman will only be allowed to control group 2, i.e. the entrance door. The whole process of assigning groups is described in the manual to the application.

 

PROBLEM SOLVING

1. What to do when the door doesn’t open?   (Back to top)

Firstly, check whether a green diode lights up upon applying the card to the reader. If so, then the door may be opened. If a red diode lights up, your identification medium (card/tag) is not recorded in the system and you have to contact the building manager or maintenance company in order to have it recorded. If the system is fine, the reader flashes with a green diode.

2. What happens during a blackout?   (Back to top)

In case of blackouts, it is possible to equip the system with a back-up power supply – this lasts to supply the system for a necessary period of time covering most short term blackouts. In such case, the battery supply of the system is signalized on the back-up power supply. Should the battery nevertheless become discharged, the door can still be opened from the inside using the door handle.