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  • Intercom Without Wires

Intercom Without Wires

MEC Electrical Integrated Ltd completes installations of Panasonic's wireless DECT single door entry system in Everton's fan store and for the UK Military School.

Panasonic's wireless intercom system is suitable for a wide variety of installation environments, from residential and small commercial to public sector facilities and offices. In Liverpool, a number of businesses around the city are benefiting from the Panasonic system, with its DECT capability and clear video providing an important level of security screening and record-keeping.

In Everton FC's fan store, across the road from Goodison Park, MEC has installed two door stations for the back door, securing a sensitive retail premises against a local area that sometimes has its troubles. The units connect to the stock room and separate office, allowing deliveries, visitors and staff alike to gain access in a secure way.

The installation replaced a previous wall-mounted audio-only intercom, which had obvious security shortcomings. With a large retail space and outside yard and back door open to the street, this was a concern, so there was a clear need for something more substantial that could be operated and answered in a more remote way, without having to go downstairs every tim

Two VL-V554 door stations connect to two main monitors, one each for the office and the stock room, alongside a wireless sub-monitor that sits in the stock room office. With both locations upstairs, far from earshot of the back door, the new system saves a lot of time as staff no longer have to go downstairs to let people in as they were having to do before.

"We've had the system for about a year and it's been very useful," said one of the store's assistants. "I've got a number of tasks that I do in the mornings, so I'm in here early and it's good to be able to see who's coming in and make that decision about whether to let them in or not."

"We keep the DECT handset in the stock room office, so we're doing something in there and someone's at the back door we don't have to leave the room and the office door open. To have the handset and be able to see who's at the door remotely is very convenient."

In the Everton office, a VL-MWD501 main monitor station is mounted right next to a desk, so the staff member only needs to look across to see who's calling from where they're seated.

The project came about after MEC's work for Everton in the Community, a centre a short distance down the road from Goodison Park that does outreach. MEC installed CCTV and access control in the centre and has developed a good relationship with the stadium manager at the club.

"I've got a number of tasks that I do in the mornings, so I'm in here early and it's good to be able to see who's coming in and make that decision about whether to let them in or not."

UK Military School

Another successful installation for MEC has been at Wayne Forsyth's UK Military School, which is also benefitting from a new intercom system. The Bootle-based organisation helps ex-military personnel to use the skills they developed in service working with schools, where they contribute in a number of ways from leadership development and team-building to support in the realm of the government's PREVENT strategy against terrorism. They're also expanding into corporate work and employ around a dozen ex-servicemen and women.

The organisation has gone from strength to strength, with its own post-16 academy opening in September 2017. It will operate with the intention of helping the uniformed services improve their personnel retention rates.

"I think there's a lot of potential in schools for a wireless DECT system as well."

"Looking at the product that Panasonic offers, and what MEC does, I think there's such a niche in the market for the MOD, with all of its facilities, especially in light of what's happening at the minute," said Wayne Forsyth.

The system's recordings are tied into calendar dates and times, meaning the user can scroll back through past events and visitors that have been captured and see when particular events occurred. To this end, the system stores recordings on an SD card, offering a simple way to offload and copy footage.

"From our own experiences of entry systems elsewhere, with staff going into schools, you can be sitting at the gate outside pressing the bell for half an hour, so I think there's a lot of potential in those kinds of environments for a wireless DECT system as well."

The organisation operates out of an industrial unit, but much of its work is out in the field, so people and equipment are always coming and going. As a result, an effective access control system was important to serve not only as a security measure but also an important resource for Wayne to see who has been into the building and when.

"Our storeman might be upstairs, so if the door goes he can take the handset and answer it. Once he was out collecting post from the central building, which is about 80 metres away, and was worried about it still working, but it was fine," said Wayne.

The DECT wireless handset part of the system is functional at up to 100m, the system exceeds this with the addition of an optional wireless range extender, making it extremely flexible for a wide range of building sizes.

The building previously had an audio-only entry system with fob access. MEC retained the existing card reader and incorporated the Panasonic video entry alongside, removing the limitation of audio-only as well as giving the freedom of the wireless DECT handset, which sits on the office manager's desk.

"When our Managing Director first came across the Panasonic Video Entry System at an exhibition, he instantly recognised the potential this system could provide, not only for the commercial market but also for a wide range of residential applications," said Andrew Morris, MEC's CAD engineer.

"In short, both the Panasonic system combined with MEC Electrical Integrated's additional features have been a huge success for both us as a company and end users."