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Securitron’s new PowerJump ICPT™ Inductive Coupling Power Transfer

Securitron’s new PowerJump ICPT™

Securitron’s new PowerJump ICPT™

The door hardware industry breathlessly awaits the debut of Securitron’s new PowerJump ICPT™ Inductive Coupling Power Transfer.  The PowerJump is Securitron’s miraculous new device that may put a significant dent in the electric through-wire hinge market.  I mean, why would you drill a half inch hole the width of a 36-inch door when you could install this little pair of black boxes on the lock side?

I downloaded the installation instructions from the Securitron web site to check out product attributes and characteristics.  The first thing I noticed, having spent much of my career working with wooden doors, that the Securitron PowerJump ICPT is a bit friendlier to a hollow metal door or frame install than it is to a wood door or frame install.  Because the body of the unit is almost the same size as the face, the installer must take great care to cut a very clean hole for the body so that the hole does not exceed the size of the face.  This can be a little tricky when using a speed bore bit (or auger bit as mentioned in the instructions) to drill the two deep holes for the mortise pocket before cutting in the face.

One trick I have used to use when installing mortise locks was to cut in the face first and get that nice and clean before drilling the holes.  I had good success with this because it gave me a very clear outline to stay within – much like coloring inside the lines with crayons in kindergarten.  Installing the PowerJump is a lot like installing a really small mortise lock, actually.  The face is the same width and a standard architectural grade mortise lock – 1-1/4 inches.

The PowerJump ICPT draws 500mA at 24 volts DC on the frame side, will transmit it across up to 3/16 inch of empty air and output either 250mA at 24VDC or 500mA at 12VDC on the door side.  500mA seems a little slim to be powering an electrified mortise lock.  Usually I like to see a bit of a cushion when it comes to current, so I would usually not power a device that requires 250mA at 24 volts DC, like a Sargent electrified mortise lock, with a power source that provided no more than the 250mA required.  I’d be a lot happier with a power source that has a capacity at least 1.5 times as great as the appliance being powered.

However, the average electrified hinge with 28-gauge through-wires only has a current rating of about 160mA and we have been powering electric mortise locks with these for decades.  Since I am not an electrical engineer I am not sure how that works, but it does.  I am also mystified by the science behind transmission of electrical current by induction.  Therefore, like most installers, I trust Securitron to produce yet another innovative product that works well.   I’ll be waiting to hear how installers like it when it is finally released.  I know I’ll hear about it one way or another.

The Double Door Rim Strike – A.K.A. “The Pocket Ripper”

pocketripperOne of the hallmarks of bad hardware choices is the “pocket ripper” strike, used on a pair of doors when there is an inactive leaf with flush bolts or a vertical rod exit device and an active leaf with a rim exit device. Whenever I see this I think, “Cheap bastard,” because the only reason for this half fast solution is money and the desire not to spend it on doing the job right.

This lovely piece of hardware earned the nickname, “pocket ripper,” but hanging into the opening at a convenient height to catch the front pocket of a pair of trousers, resulting in egregious damage to said pocket and colorful language on the part of the victim.

What is the right way to secure a pair of doors? Vertical rod exit devices are the best. My second choice would be a mortise exit device with an open back strike and a vertical rod exit device on the inactive leaf. My third choice would be a mortise exit device with flush bolts on the inactive leaf.

Below are a couple of examples of the ‘pocket ripper.’   On the left is the classic Von Duprin 1609 strike and on the right an example from Ingersoll Rand in Europe.  The European version looks like it has better manners.

In the center we have the Hager 4921 strike that really looks like it could take out more than just a pocket if you catch it the wrong way.





In addition, I find that often the rim latch stops dead before latching on the strike.  Also, depending on how you install the rim device, the latch may drag across the edge of the other leaf, scraping an ugly divot over time.  Yes, all in all a hardware choice to be avoided if you can.