Our MN_ACL project (https://github.com/TeamPracticalProjects/MN_ACL) creates an infrastructure for secure, RFID-based access control to a community workshop and its various internal equipment locations. The project integrates Particle Argon-based RFID stations with a commercial cloud CRM system and an internal tracking database. The MN_ACL project ensures that people who access the facility are paid up members in good standing and that members who access certain locations containing sophisticated industrial equipment have basic operating and safety instruction credentials. The project controls access via red/green lit buttons and an audible beeper.
Certain locations within the workshop contain expensive materials, parts and accessories. We created a Particle Photon-based add-on that subscribes to publications sent by the Argons in the RFID stations and unlock cabinets containing these expensive accessories. We therefore needed to find an inexpensive but effective electrically controlled locking mechanism and create a Photon-based printed circuit board (and associated Particle firmware) to unlock the cabinet when a member taps into one of the relevant RFID stations with credentials that allow them access to these accessories.
This project includes hardware and firmware for a Particle Photon-based device that can control various locking mechanisms. We selected the Particle Photon for this project because it provides a low cost and secure means of WiFi control and communication and because of Particle's simple and elegant cloud communication capabilities. Electronic hardware for this project utilizes our Wireless I/O Board: (https://github.com/TeamPracticalProjects/Wireless_IO_Board).
The following document describes the project architecture in greater detail:
This project considered several types of cabinet locking and selected one mechanism for the detailed project implementation. The project includes complete documentation for modifying the selected locking mechanism, as well as installation of the complete project in a simple and inexpensive cabinet.
Complete instructions, plans, and source code can be found at: