Keyless entry for home doorways...
October 6, 2005 8:54 PM   Subscribe

what are the options I have for a keyless entry for my front door?

Besides the "cool" factor of point and clicking my way in, I come home late alot and I hate fumbling for my keys in the dark. I've seen kits for about $100 bucks but I don't want some thing so cheap that it'll jam on me or something.....anybody recommend a particular kit or brand?
posted by stevyb to Technology (15 answers total)
Can I recommend a particular kit or brand? No. But I recommend that you spend more than $100. This is one area where you will most likely get what you pay for. I've looked at these several times over the years, but since I rent, it's not really an option. Try, I know they have several options available. I'd say make sure it has a backup. If the power goes out, or you lose your clicker, you probably want to still be able to get in. If you wanted a combo lock or fingerprint verification (as opposed to a remote) to avoid having to carry keys, having to carry a backup key defeats the purpose. But since you are looking for the convenience of not having to use the key all the time, a keyed backup should be fine. Or you may want a remote with a push-button combo lock as a backup. Some are also compatible with the X10 protocol, if you already use that, or would like to.
posted by attercoppe at 9:43 PM on October 6, 2005

great question, if anyone knows more about fingerprint locks (and who in the philly area can provide/install them) that'd be a great help to me!!! sorry for kinda jacking your question, just something ive been looking into for the last week and haven't had much luck with...

even enterprise/government level fingerprint locks would work, money is not an issue... just needs to be secure!


posted by hummercash at 10:23 PM on October 6, 2005

I've seen this in a few houses but haven't used the wireless part because I had the key, not the fob. Looked quality but quite a large piece of plastic on the inside of the door for the mechanism and batteries.

This unit is very popular because its fairly inexpensive and easy to use. Also kind of ugly on the inside of the door but great for those who don't like to carry keys. Uses a basic keypad not a remote, though.
posted by jeffmik at 10:44 PM on October 6, 2005

and you want to make sure your insurance company are ok with it. I know in the UK they get very difficult if you make a claim and don't have an approved standard of locks
posted by brettski at 12:36 AM on October 7, 2005

In a related question, this was recommended.
posted by Sharcho at 1:08 AM on October 7, 2005

Well, if you're handy (and don't mind the front door unlocking whenever someone calls your apartment (!)), you could always build your own keyless entry system.
posted by Alt F4 at 1:33 AM on October 7, 2005

Wow, Alt-F4 - there should be some law against people who know jack-shit about even basic electronics doing things like that. Apart from being a security joke, it could just as easily be done with under $5 of parts + electric door solenoid or striker plate.

And dont even get me started on the Engadget / Linux weenie crowd who try to do in software what a should really be done with a 555, a 741, or at most a PIC/Atmel uC.

(I'm looking at you, Lirc developers...)

Google for +"proximity card" +"keyless entry" for plenty of stuff. My only experience has been with GE-Satchwell stuff (now owned by TAC) - being a range of integrated BMS solutions, it's a bit of an overkill for the average home.

And, for the geek-factor coolness, you want a proximity system - you lose all the cred (& most of the purpose of going electronic) if you still have to fumble for your access card & insert it in a slot. You may as well stick to the tried & true 7-pin tumbler lock.

(Now, there's an idea - a low-cost rolling code IR transmitter pendant/ring and matching door system, aimed at geeks. If I can port uCLinux to it, all the better!)
posted by Pinback at 2:55 AM on October 7, 2005

What I'd like is what we have at work. It's a card system, but it works by proximity, as long as the card is about 8 inches from the thingy, the door opens. This means that I can just wave my wallet at it, and the ladies can pretty much just bring their purse up to it, no fumbling required.
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:33 AM on October 7, 2005

I've been interested in this. A search on "rfid lock" will yield some interesting results. Specifically, I'm interested in this thing
posted by adamrice at 6:16 AM on October 7, 2005

I installed the Kwikset keyless deadbolt that's shown in the "This Old House" link from jeffmik. It was great while it worked (over a year), but eventually the plastic gears inside wore down and it wouldn't open with the remote. I was attempting to get it exchanged under the warranty, but ended up moving out before I got that resolved.
posted by shinynewnick at 6:33 AM on October 7, 2005

And dont even get me started on the Engadget / Linux weenie crowd who try to do in software what a should really be done with a 555

I would think an entry system revolving around a timer chip would be somewhat... cyclical.

I'd avoid the fingerprint stuff. It's easily gameable and would sure suck in glove weather...
posted by phearlez at 6:40 AM on October 7, 2005

RustyBrooks: We all know that "waving your wallet" quickly turns into lifting your ass or crotch (depending on which pocket holds your wallet) and waving it at the sensor. I love seeing that.
posted by mullacc at 6:48 AM on October 7, 2005

I'm thinking about getting one of these:

In high school a friend of mine was playing with locksmith's tools and went through all the locks in his house in less than a minute without practice.

On the other hand, some scientists guys broke the encryption on the above device in two hours... still, there are more lock picks about then RFID-defeating mad scientists.
posted by ewkpates at 6:55 AM on October 7, 2005

Yeah, my first set of lock picks convinced me that most locks suck. Next time you have to have a locksmith come open your car door for you, check out the locks most of them have on their vans. Heavy duty stuff.
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:28 PM on October 7, 2005

Our fire station has a mechanical pushbutton combination deadlock. You have to push Clear, then the right four numeric buttons out of ten, then turn the knob to get you in; to lock it, push any old set of buttons on the way out. It has no geek cred whatsoever but it's really easy to use, doesn't need batteries and works really well.
posted by flabdablet at 7:40 AM on October 9, 2005

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