About

This guide presents a best practice approach to deploying and installing access controllers. It’s intended to mitigate costs and complexities related to post-install troubleshooting. The four parts of deployment:

  1. Prepping Command

  2. Staging hardware

  3. Finalizing deployment

  4. Troubleshooting deployed hardware

1. Prepping Command

A Command organization is always required to manage and troubleshoot Verkada devices. Verkada Support requires an SPS token to troubleshoot Verkada devices. An admin for the org can generate these tokens. Take these steps before deployment.

Note: Have the serial number of the device on hand and ensure you see that serial number in Verkada Command before contacting Support

2. Staging Hardware

Stage the devices to ensure the installation is successful. This will avoid costs, difficulties, and time delays from dealing with a faulty device in the field. A confirmed working device streamlines troubleshooting with the final install. All install troubleshooting would then center on the physical and network environment.

Designing a Staging Lab

On your toolbench:

  • A lock

  • A badge reader (wiegand or AD31)

  • Badge (must be a compatible format with your reader)

  • Store-bought ethernet cable

  • AC41 cassette

  • A few short wires

  • Managed switch (This allows for packet captures to be collected)

  • Multimeter

  • Laptop

Set up your test environment

  • AC41 cassette

    • Wire in the lock

    • Wire in the reader

    • Connect the two DPI ports together with a wire

    • Connect the two REX ports together with a wire

  • Connect the managed switch to the site’s network

Staging Process

  • If you have AD31s, wire them to the AC41 cassettes and attach the cassettes to the AC41

  • Plug the AC41s in and connect them with the ethernet cable to the network switch

  • Let sit for 30 minutes to give it adequate time to update. The AC41’s status LED in the top left corner will flash orange while updating. Once finished the LED will be steady blue

  • If the status LED never goes solid blue:

    • Go through the Troubleshooting Deployed Hardware section of this document

    • Reach out to Verkada Support as needed

  • Testing each door port

    • Use the test door button to select door 1. Trigger Lock should be illuminated, Emulate DPI should be off, Emulate REX should be off

    • Power off the AC41, do not hot plug.

    • Attach the pre-wired cassette to door 1 while the AC41 is powered off

    • Set the power to 12V or 24V to power the lock.

    • Power on the AC41 by plugging the power in

    • Check status lights:

      • Both Emulate DPI and Emulate REX should now illuminate for the door port with the cassette

      • Badge reader has power now, it will light up

      • Press trigger lock and the lock will release, confirming the lock relay works

    • Once the badge reader is ready, scan a card. The card will be denied, as it isn’t added to a user

    • Repeat the above tests for all 4 door ports

    • Reach out to Verkada Technical Support if you do not get the expected results from the above tests

3. Finalizing the deployment

The most important aspect of a deployment is delivering a working solution to the customer that they can maintain and get help on when you leave. This means demonstrating to them that they have access to all of the devices they purchased and that the devices are fully functional. Complete the below checks to prove the install was successful before you leave the site.

Physical checks:

  1. All access controller status lights are solid blue

  2. You are using shielded wiring for all of the access controller’s connections; locks, readers, REX, DPI

  3. Shielded wiring is drained to earth ground

  4. Each lock unlocks when a badge is scanned

  5. Each door’s DPI state is correct when the door is opened and closed

  6. If REX is configured to unlock a door, verify this works

  7. Each type of badge the end user will be using works on the readers

  8. Doors are labelled on the access controller

Software checks:

  1. Make sure there is at least one Access Admin besides the installer

  2. Have this Access Admin log in and verify they can see all of their devices

  3. Confirm the Access Admin can see the support token generation page so they can leverage Technical Support if needed

  4. The Access Admin should be added as Site Access Admin to all sites with access controllers

  5. Configure an access level, add a door to it. Configure a user. Add the access level and user to an access group. Verify the user can badge in

  6. Answer any questions the customer may have and ensure they understand how to add access users, and configure access groups/levels. This will prepare them to manage the system themself

Have the customer remove you, the installer, from the Command org. This is standard practice when the install is complete

4. Troubleshooting Deployed Hardware

There may be unforeseen issues when installing devices. Always have a multimeter on hand to troubleshoot physical components and connections. Many common issues will yield an LED code that sheds light on the root issue. Below are the LED status and their associated cause and remediation steps. Check the top left corner of the AC41 for the LED.

LED Status

Issue

Troubleshooting before contacting Support

Troubleshooting before contacting Support

Flashing Blue

Network issue

Connect the controller with a known-good short patch cable to a known-good switch port

If the AC41 continues flashing blue, go through the steps at the bottom of this document

LED Solid Orange

If the AC41 is solid orange for more than 5 minutes, it's not receiving enough power or boot process has failed

Plug in the AC41 to a different power outlet. Swap the AC41’s power cable with another AC41’s power cable

Leave the AC41 plugged in and attached to the network. Reach out to Verkada Support

LED Solid Blue and the device shows offline in Command

The access controller is not added to Command

Confirm the serial beneath the power supply of the AC41 matches the serial number in Command. If they don’t match, add the correct serial number and wait for the controller to check-in

If the serials match, take a picture of the serial number on the AC41and contact Support

LED Flashing Orange

If the AC41’s LED is stuck flashing orange for 30 minutes or more then it's unable to finish a firmware upgrade

Directly connect the AC41 to the network switch with a short patch cable and wait 30 minutes to see if it clears

If after direct connection to the switch it does not upgrade, contact Support

No LED

If LED is not illuminated it is not receiving power

Connect the AC41’s power cord to a different outlet. Swap out the power cable with another AC41’s cable

If the LED does not illuminate when connected to a different outlet, contact Support

When an access controller cannot reach the Verkada backend, its LED will flash blue. There are many points in the network where the issue may lie. Cabling, DHCP, DNS, NTP, and HTTPs access to the Verkada Cloud - all need verification. If the access controller worked when you staged it, you will need to work with the customer to fix their network.

Network Diagnostic Tests

  • Work with the DHCP server admin to get the following for the AC41: IP address, subnet mask, default gateway and DNS servers. The Access Controller can be identified on the DHCP server by its MAC address, located on the sticker below the power supply on the AC41

  • Disconnect the access controller from the network. This avoids an IP conflict when you configure your laptop to the same IP address

  • Assign your laptop the same IP settings as the controller

  • Connect your laptop to same cable used previously by the controller

  • Verify through you can access the URLs are reachable in your browser

  • Verify NTP reachability for Verkada’s NTP servers

    • For Mac users, open a terminal window and enter

      • sudo sntp -sS time.control.verkada.com

      • sudo sntp -sS 34.216.15.26

    • For Windows users, open a command prompt and enter

      • w32tm /stripchart /computer:time.control.verkada.com /samples:3 /dataonly

      • w32tm /stripchart /computer:34.216.15.26 /samples:3 /dataonly

If any of the above requests fail, work with the network administrator to allow the following:

  • TCP port 443 to

    • access.control.verkada.com

    • api.control.verkada.com

    • relay.control.verkada.com

    • index.control.verkada.com

    • firmware.control.verkada.com

    • update.control.verkada.com

  • Bidirectional UDP port 123 for time.control.verkada.com and 34.216.15.26

Further documentation on network requirements here.

If all above tests succeed yet the access controller’s LED continues to flash blue, reach out to Support. Support will request an auth token and a packet capture from the access controller’s switchport.

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