i-Lock – Review

I had to wait three weeks for delivery but this was due to CC and not the delivery companies. When it was finally dispatched it was here in three days. It cost an extra 11 pounds for the precious box to be released from the mail man.

The iLock was 49 dollars and P&P 20 dollars from Creative Control Concepts For some reason when I opened it I was surprised it was a kit. The PCB and components all neatly packed and safe but not for the faint hearted. The solder connections are very small and fiddly and there are lots of warnings about static and reversed polarity which keep you on your toes. It did not take me long to assemble it and thankfully it all worked first time. The instructions could be better but all the info is there, just read it once before you start like an exam. More iButtons and readers as well as key fobs etc can be had from various sources, I bought mine from Maplins. The unit can learn a maximum of 7 buttons but only one is supplied. The unit can operate in a standalone mode where recognised keys activate a relay with NO and NC contacts. There is a selectable delay of 1 or ten seconds as well.

Now the good bit……..Okay, why get this one from the States and not one of the local variety. It all boils down to how I wanted to use it. My plan was to use the individual outputs on the board to identify which learnt iButton had been used at the door. HomeVision would read this information and do whatever was programmed for that individual button. I connected up the iLock board to HV’s power supply and connected each of the seven outputs to 7 input ports. Obvious uses might include only letting your cleaner (for those of us so fortunate) in on one day or even just the morning. Also lost keys can be disabled and if found again reactivated (I have a three-year-old so this happens).

I activate the electric lock using a relay and one of HV’s relay outputs. Additional readers can be added for other doors on the same one wire bus and connected to the one iLock unit. The only restriction is the seven key limit. From what I can tell the UK based ones e.g. Maplins seem to only have the relay open/close type of output. No ID output by key. Overall impressions on the iLock are very good. It does exactly what it says and the instructions are good if a little involved. The soldering is not for the real novice and it takes a little time to identify the resistors by colour band or meter. I managed though and still consider myself a novice at this sort of thing. I have not needed to get technical support so I cannot comment there.

Approximate Price 49.00 + PP (US Dollars)
Available From Creative Control Concepts

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