Interview with Craig Grosenheider, current Maintenance Chair and former Boardmember of Black Forest Reserve near Colorado Springs. This interview was conducted via email on January 11, 2022.
The Barcode Automation Reader you have for access control is the model BA-200. Your BA-200 was purchased in March 2006, nearly 16 years ago. The photo of the inside we were sent looks to be in fantastic shape. Has it been running this entire time? Is it installed somewhere outside?
The unit was likely placed in operation when Filing 1 of the Black Forest Reserve development was completed in the summer of 2006. I believe at the time the gates were open during the day, but by 2008 I believe the gate system was switched to full time operation. When I moved here in 2010, the gates were operating 24/7. The unit is installed outdoors, on the center island between our entry and exit lanes at the only entry into the community. It is indeed periodically exposed to extremely harsh conditions from torrential rain and 90 degrees in the summer to snow, ice and -20 in the winter. In the nearly 12 years I've lived here it has never failed to accurately read the barcode stickers, although we've had periodic issues with communication to the DoorKing database that prevent the stickers from opening the gate, unrelated to the reader. It's also worth noting that as the community has grown roughly 60% since 2010, the usage demand on the reader has only increased. The unit has never been maintained or repaired while I've been associated with gate maintenance since 2012, until Joel of American Overhead Door started working the moisture pack replacement recently.
Black Forest Reserve is in Colorado Springs, CO at ~6,000ft above sea level and with significant snowfall throughout the year. Are residents there in the Winter and if so, do you have any specific procedures for gate entry?
The neighborhood is in northern El Paso County at 7,500ft on a terrain feature called the Palmer Divide, and we do get much more snow and colder temperatures than the city of Colorado Springs. Probably because of its orientation and location relative to prevailing winds, the BAi Barcode Reader has never iced over that I know of, and continues to operate reliably in all conditions. We do generally manually hold the entry and exit gates open during significant winter weather events to allow snow plows to more easily clear the roadway, but we've never had to deice or otherwise enable the Barcode Reader.
Do you feel Barcode Automation readers and decals have been a valuable investment that you would recommend to others?
Unquestionably, the combination of reader and stickers has provided our community with a very efficient and reliable entry control mechanism. With a registered sticker, residents don't have to stop or exit the vehicle to open the gate, and unauthorized vehicles are effectively denied entry. In terms of cost per entry, I'm sure we're down into fractions of pennies at this point with probably 80-100 entries daily, 24/7 times... 16 years lol. The barcode stickers are very durable and last for years, rarely requiring replacement. I still have stickers in use from 2010.
Anything else you'd like to share about your access control or use of BAi Readers and Decals?
Thanks for putting the work into the design, materials, and production of such a durable piece of precision equipment. It is a remarkable piece of equipment.