A few years ago, Ingersoll Rand (IR) purchased Locknetics Security Engineering in Connecticut, and since then gradually rebranded the line as Schlage Electronics. A little over a year ago, as part of the process of closing the Connecticut facility, Schlage Electronics started phasing out its TR80 and TR81 touch readers. These readers were based on the old technology of the Dallas chip, otherwise known IR/Locknetics land as the touch chip or iButton. By the end of 2010, Schlage phased out all commercial electronic locking products that incorporated touch chip readers, such as touch readers and locking technologies that incorporated the touch reader, such as the CM line of computer managed locks and their electromagnetic locks with on-board access control.
When the new price books were released in January 2011, the touch chip credential was completely absent. When questioned about legacy systems, representatives from IR indicated that touch chip users should migrate over to prox tags. With the new AD and CO series electronic locks, Schlage made available new software and a new hand held programmer (the HHD-KIT) that is backwards compatible with the old hardware. They also produced a tag with a prox chip on one side and a touch chip on the other so that legacy facilities would be able to carry both credentials over the period of years during which the old CM or other series locks would age out of the system.
One might think that the touch chip has completely faded from the Schlage Electronics scene, but such is not the case. Looking through the Multi-Family Price Book what do I discover but the new SRT-100 touch reader and a barrage of “iButton” touch chip credentials such as the one pictured. The new CT-5000 controller that replaces the old CT-1000 controller is also available for those who need to replace ailing legacy systems. It is my understanding that the iButtons that appear under the multi-family division are fully compatible with legacy technologies such as CM locks or KC-2 series locks.
There is also a new line of smart residential locks that incorporate touch chip technology. So it is safe to say that touch chip technology is not going to disappear anytime soon. So if you have a large facility full of old Locknetics products that take iButtons, don’t panic. At least for now you can still get them.