Multi-point motorized door locks
If you have read my article about finger print scanner integration this is the right follow-up for you.
To enjoy the full experience of the keyless access system, motorized lock is what allows you to enter your home when you’re authorized and secures your door after closure.
I have found two different approaches providing similar solution for automated door access. I was considering ROTO ENEO C Drive and MACO Protect Z-TA comfort. Finally I have installed both so I am able to share some experience I have with these two.
These systems (Roto and Maco) are very similar. I don’t know the background story here, but it seems that these are almost identical clones with lots of similarities but also quite important differences.
Both systems are multi-point locking systems and can be configured or ordered with various extras and a lot of additional features like remote control, built-in finger print reader, bluetooth capabilities and so on. In this post I am not looking at any of the extended features as this would represent closed system that would be difficult to scale and interconnect. I wanted to have all controls centralized in my smart home system (Loxone) and let the lock do the job it can do the best. What is very convenient is the fact that both systems work with 24VDC so connection to the Loxone infrastructure with backup UPS 24V is very simple and easy, and your door will lock and unlock even in the event of sudden power outage. These locking systems consists in both cases of multiple locking strikers, drive unit (which is built-in the door frame to remain absolutely invisible), a magnet that is positioned against the reed contact to engage the locking mechanism after the doors are shut, cables to manage the wiring inside the door and then the cable junction that connects the door with the whole frame. I will skip the mounting part here, as this job I really recommend to let the door supplier to do to have everything properly fitted.
The wiring itself is also close to each other. I am not going to describe all the details here as this can be found in the datasheets, but generally speaking the connections are the following:
- 24VDC input (please note that the lock can draw almost 2 Amps when operating)
- Input1 for unlock pulse
- Input2 for Day/Night switch (this allows you to select, whether the door should be latched or locked immediately after closure)
- And then there are two free contacts to read some status
Let’s focus on the differences between these two lock types and my experience after using these for some time.
Roto ENEO C vs. MACO Protect Z-TA comfort
ROTO ENEO C
When you close the contact to engage unlocking (push the button, scan your finger, etc.), motor will immediately start unlocking. This takes around 2 seconds to hear the beep announcing that you can push/pull the door. The latch is kept unlocked for around 4 seconds, so there is no need to do anything with the handle and you have enough time to push the door. The motor is very powerful, even if you push the door while the motor is in operation and lock not fully open, it will still manage to open it, though you’ll hear that it gets much harder and the drive unit is having hard time to open it.
MACO Protect Z-TA comfort
Similarly to the above, activating the contact engages the motor starting the unlocking process. The drive sound is highly pitched (more RPM) and the unlicking time is around twice as long compared to the Roto Eneo above. It takes around 4 seconds to completely unlock the door. My experience here shows that the drive unit is not as powerful as Roto, and just a small pressure to the door brings the motor to stall after which the unit reverses trying to return back to the previous state. I spent quite a time adjusting the door latch pressure to make sure the drive unit safely opens the door at various weather conditions.
ROTO ENEO C
As soon as the door is open, after around four seconds the main latch releases to the standard position and the system is waiting until the magnetic contact tells to start locking the door again (as soon as the door a shut). In other words, in this system the power of the electric motor is used for unlocking and also locking the door, so you’ll hear the drive buzz after you shut the door followed by long beep confirming that everything was OK.
MACO Protect Z-TA comfort
Here it works a different way. When doors are opened, the main latch is kept open for around the same time, but then the motor reverses immediately to return to the initial position pushing out the main latch, but leaving the locks disengaged. Now, when you close the door again, the locks are being activated mechanically using a magnet and are forced to move to the locked position just with the use of a spring power, not the motor itself. So after a door closure there is no motor buzz heard, no beeping confirmation, just a metal clicking sound as the locks and hooks are fired into the locked position. In my opinion, this is the main weakness. Here is the thing. When the hooks and locks reach the locked position, they remain blocked there against any force pushing these back. But this works only if they reach the final locking position, and there is no indication that this has really happened. In case there is some friction in the locking mechanism, the spring force is not strong enough to secure the lock in the locked position. Most users might not notice, but I had issues even with simple tests with magnet engaging the locks in the door open position.
ROTO ENEO C
You can have the door latched only (day/night input pin connected to +24V), or locked (no voltage on the day/night input pin) as soon as you close the door. If you have the door locked, it cannot be opened from the inside using the door handle. You have to use the unlock switch to unlock the door. There are different opinions in this feature. I take this as enhanced security feature (deadlock), because throwing a brick through the small glass window to access the inside handle does not help you to get in so easily. Also, small kids cannot leave the house without being noticed. On the other hand, under some critical circumstances where everything fails, you will not be able to escape without opening door using the regular key. To mitigate this risk I would recommend to place your backup keys somewhere visible (a box where you have to break something to get the key).
MACO Protect Z-TA comfort
This system is being locked mechanically, motor is used for unlocking only. So even if there is no power at the time when the door are open, they will safely lock (latch, locks and hooks) immediately when they are closed. In the locked position, door can be opened using the inside handle. This again completely without any electrical power. The move of the handle unlocks everything in one go. You can prevent this happening only manually using a key. After locking the door manually the handle does not unlock the door and is blocked. Such locked door are not possible to be opened by the motor. I am not entirely certain this is intended behavior, because pressing the open button engages the motor, which is then unable to open the door and beeps few times afterwards to flag the issue. I am finding this a bit awkward, that locked door cannot be opened even though the drive unit tries to. And one more thing that relates to my previous point to MACO. If the spring loaded mechanism does not reach the fully locked position (and this happened to me quite often), you are not able to lock the door using the key. As a result, you ‘ll be slamming the door several times in order to lock the door fully.
Below are few links to study in case you want to know more about these products. The positive point for both of the products is that the standard mechanical lock remains accessible from both sides, so door can be opened the conventional way if needed. Also, no cables and attached devices are visible, so it does not look too geeky at first sight. If you want to make your home entrance fully key-less, eKey finger print scanner and one of these motorized multi-point locking mechanisms is the right way to go.
Installation, maintenance and operation instructions https://ftt.roto-frank.com/de/download/IMO_431_EN