About Tom Rubenoff

Door Hardware Genius.

(Formerly known as The Hardware Weasel: ferreting out that hard-to-find hardware for you.)

Senior Poetry Editor: Eye on Life E-Zine

More than 30 years in the hardware industry: 14 years in hardware distribution, 17 years as a commercial locksmith.

Bachelor of Science in Technical Communications, published poet and writer.  Contributing writer for Doors and Hardware magazine, published by the Door and Hardware Institute.  Independent consultant on locks and door hardware for This Old House online.

Amateur musician, salsa, blues, pop, jazz. Instrument: Trombone.

Bicycle commuter and fundraising bicyclist for National Multiple Sclerosis Society and American Diabetes Association events.

Devoted husband and father of 3.

Contact Tom Rubenoff

{ 3 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. Hey Tom! I love your website and as a young engineer its helping me understand the ins and outs of the installations.

    I was hoping you could help me to understand if an electrified lockset can be wired to a door contact. Can just the key being turned and unlocking the door also notify the door contact of an authorized ingress? And if the key is not turned and the door opened, or propped open for X amount of time, signal a breach?

    Thanks and keep the articles coming!

    • Thanks very much! You encourage me to continue writing.

    • Hi John, I don’t think there is a device specifically designed to monitor use of a key in an electrified mortise lock as an after market product. Some manufacturers offer mortise locks with a latch bolt monitor switch, but this will monitor the latch whether it is retracted from the inside or the outside. In a mortise lock with two switches – latch bolt monitor and request to exit – one could theoretically use the request to exit switch to shunt or nullify the signal from the latch bolt monitor switch, thus limiting the scope of its monitoring to retraction of the latch from outside.

      Locknetics, now Schlage Electronics, used to offer an ATK (audit trail key) feature on their locks that allowed direct monitoring of key usage. Medeco offers “smart” keys that can have heads equipped with proximity chips that could be read and tracked by a proximity reader at the door. Also a retrofit company like Architectural Control Systems in St. Louis may offer some options as regards monitoring key usage.

      I hope this is somewhat helpful.

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