Electronic lock

A lock has been developed that is more reliable and secure

Published: Monday 15 September 1997

electro , a unique programmable lock has been developed by tno , a major independent r&d Institution in Holland and Lips Sloten, a lock manufacturer in Europe. It is the first lock system that will not have any duplicate keys.

The new lock incorporates a programmable memory and a reader, while the access key contains a micro electronic identification chip. When the key is inserted into a lock, a magnetic field is generated which is converted into a voltage by a coil on the chip. When an access key is inserted into the lock, the chip sends a unique code to the lock's memory. If the code is present in the memory, the lock will open. The code, therefore, replaces the toothed profile or pits of keys used in the conventional mechanical locks.

The memory in the lock can store more than 1,000 different identification codes. The codes are stored and erased from the lock's memory with the help of two programming keys -- to programme the lock memory to accept specific access keys and refuse them.

Since the present mechanical locks are easy to replace with the new locks, special arrangements have been made to fulfil the requirements regarding the shape and dimensions of the block case, and of the electronics and release mechanisms. These requirements can be satisfied by the use of surface mounted technology ( smt ) and an application specific integrated circuit ( asic ).

The Electro lock can also be linked to a central access control system. In this way the 'stand-alone' locks are converted into an intelligent network, enabling individual keys to be stored and erased from memory centrally, with the help of a personal computer ( pc) . When a programme box is connected by means of a key to a particular stand-alone lock via a reader unit, the box provides information about the codes stored in the lock's memory and about the last 256 key operations.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.