So here I am, typical homeowner. I needed a new lock for a garage door, but wanted something easy to use. Since my wife is always struggling with packages, I wanted something easy to use for her as well.
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After a great deal of research, I found the Bio Bolt lock. It seems to fit the bill for us. Sleek looking, easy to operate, and would work with a fingerprint. While using a password is not that much quicker than using a key, I wanted to take advantage of the fingerprint function. Lift a cover; scan a print and the door opens. Actually it sounds like a lot to do but isn't. It is still faster than taking out keys, locating the correct key, putting it in the door and turning it to open the door.
This lock will fit most doors where a standard lock has been removed. Don't forget though it is a deadbolt and NOT A MORTISE LOCK. A mortise lock is one that pushes in to the door when closed and can be closed just by pushing the door. This deadbolt is actually a bolt that goes across the door into a latch to lock the door. I use this lock with a mortise lock on the bottom.
Well, you are thinking about replacing a deadbolt lock with this one, but you don't know how difficult it would be how complicated the programming is.
Let me save you a lot of time and go through what I did to install and use this lock.
First, open the box, nah only kidding, just take out the lock and examine all the pieces. The lock fits in to the existing hole if there is one, and if not, a hole has to be drilled. An included template makes this easier. The important part is making sure the hole is straight and that the deadbolt is lined up with the latch. If the deadbolt does not extend directly into the lock with no friction, it will not work. Don't forget this is a battery-operated lock and has just so much power.
The control cable goes from the outside part of the lock, plugs in to the inside base plate through a hole, screw in the security screws and that's it. Well it sounds easy but if you are not sure, hire a locksmith to install it for you, since the added cost may save you some time and frustration. It is made for consumers to install themselves, but if you are unsure or hesitant about the installation, a locksmith may be worth the cost.
Once the lock is installed, all you see inside is a plate with a knob and a pushbutton over it. The knob is to manually lock or unlock the door from the inside. The pushbutton will do the same thing but powered by the motor and a battery. A push of the button will lockcor unlock the door easily. That is what we do since it is easy to push buttons, oh those lazy people like me!
The outside of the lock, in this case inside my garage, appears to be one solid piece about 6" high. Actually if you pull up the cover, a scanner and a keypad is exposed. You can either open the door with a combination or by the scan of a fingerprint. I programmed it for either one in case I cannot use a fingerprint for some reason, like wearing gloves in the winter.
It was easy enough to program an eight digit password, but there is one negative here. Like many instruction manuals, this one appears to have originated from somewhere where English is a second language. It is not bad compared to most others, but the instructions are just not very clear. I must admit that when I called the company for instructions, I spoke to a great guy named John, who walked me through all the programming. I wrote down what he said, and stapled his instructions into my manual, much easier than reading the book! Maybe someone like John should write the instruction manual instead of someone who may not be as familiar with the lock and its workings, or to whom English is a second language. (John you were very helpful!)
You can read about programming the lock and scanning a fingerprint, but it is easier when someone explains it to you. Since the lock is battery powered it cannot always be powered on since the batteries would drain in no time. When you lift up the outside cover, it powers up the unit to accept either a combination or a fingerprint.
To program a master combination you simply:
Hit 1 then * then factory code which is 11111111 then new 8 digit master code then # sign. That's pretty much it for setting a master code. Recording a fingerprint is another procedure:
1# master code you just set, # again. When blue scanner light goes on place finger there. Light goes off. When light goes back on, do same finger again. The unit will beep and then you can add a different finger from your hand, and that's it.
When you are dealing with biometrics or fingerprint readers, it is important to realize that depending on how you place your finger on the scanner, it may read differently each time. That is why you scan the same finger twice. They also advise scanning another finger the same way in case a finger is cut, or can't be used for some reason.
In my set-up I have found that it may take a few attempts to recognize the finger, but once it does, the bolt is pulled back immediately, allowing access.
Is this an easy lock to operate? Yes, absolutely, but you must install it correctly and follow the instructions for programming both codes and fingerprints.
So far it seems to be reliable and works, but future usage will tell me how the lock truly holds up to daily use. As of now, it functions just fine and does what it is supposed to!
I must add however what I feel is a negative feature of the lock. You can not lock the door from the outside unless you use the key! From the inside you lock it by pressing a button. Why shouldn't there be a way to lock it from the outside as well??
UPDATE ON 8/21/2012
After talking to John who I mentioned earlier as being a huge help, we discovered that I received an older version of the instruction manual with my lock.
My manual failed to mention that if you are outside and hit the * key on the keypad, the lock will indeed lock from the outside!
In addition, the manual has since been rewritten with clearer instructions, easier to understand. Nice to see that a company actually listens to consumers today!
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