Digi 6600-86 Biometric Door Lock Set Review

 

Introduction

I have been wanting to try out a biometric door lock set for a while.  Being one of those people who locks themselves out of their house from time to time this seemed like a no brainer.  The hunt was on to find a set that was moderately priced and had reasonable reviews online.  Every lock set I found had some negative feedback but the Digi set seemed to be good with an overall rating of 4 out of 5 on Amazon.  With a price of $150 the lockset was ordered and arrived within the expected time frame.  Unfortunately the wrong handle direction (right handle instead of left) was delivered, so the company was contacted and they promptly sent out the correct door handle with the proper orientation.  Make sure you order a handle that is the correct orientation (left or right) for your door or the handle may block your door from opening or closing.

Installation

For the purpose of this review a current standard locket was replaced so it wasn’t required to cut a hole in our door.  Installation of the lockset hardware was straight forward like any other lock set.  For people who do not replace door knobs every day two points were found that could slow you down.

 

  1. There is a plug on the outer knob that looks like it is for a 9v battery.  This plug is in fact used to plug into the port under the AA batteries in the door knob on the inside of the door.
  2. If you are wondering where the key goes in the lock set, you will notice where a key hole normally is there is nothing but a solid surface.  The key hole has a thin metal plate over it to prevent debris from sticking in the hole.  To remove the plate, locate the included magnet, it is a small thin black tube with a magnet on the end.  Place the magnet on the thin plate covering the key hole and pull.  You may have to try a couple times to be successful.

 

The installation directions are found in the included manual and favor a diagram approach with minimal words to help guide you through the process.  There are step-by-step step directions I found moderately helpful and a diagram that displayed how the parts are assembled.  Coming from an IT engineering background I found the diagram more useful.  Your milage may vary depending how you process information.  Before you start the installation, make sure you remove the front cover of the inside knob.  This is done by unscrewing the ring at the base of the handle and pulling the cover off over the handle.  Once the cover has been removed, you will have access to the battery tray and the screw holes to fasten both knobs together.  Make sure you put the black rubber pieces on the back of the door knobs before attaching the knobs.  These black rubber grommets help to keep the elements out of the electronics.  From here the rest of the installation is straight forward.

Setup

I won’t go into the setup too much, it is covered fairly well in the manual.  I did notice many people were having an issue changing the master code and I was no different.  Not being able to resist a challenge I set out to do some research.  After the research failed to produce any positive results I then fell back to troubleshooting the device.  Having a spare handle I tried changing the master code on that knob and it was successful so I knew I was doing it correct. Next I put the other knob back on and continued to try different things until I found it!  I remember I read some where in an unrelated post to open the cover on the knob to “wake up” the device.  Unlike previous attempts, I closed and then opened the cover on the outer knob and immediately  proceeded to type in the key combinations described in the manual.  This time the keys made beeping sounds when they were pressed.  Once the master code process was finished I tested the code by opening the door with the new code, it finally worked!

Usage

Again I won’t get to much into using the device because it is straight forward and covered in the manual.  Unlocking the door a was a fairly easy job with the key code, once properly configured and using the physical key.  Where you may run into some issues is with the biometrics (finger print) scanner.  Two issues were the most prevalent:

 

  1. Unlike an iPhone that uses many different finger print recordings to help improve accuracy, this device only uses two.  I found my finger had to be in the same position on the scanner as it was at the time of recording or the lock would fail to open.  This can be more difficult than it sounds.  To help improve accuracy I created multiple finger print profiles.  To my dismay this had a marginal improvement on accuracy.  The down side is you have fewer finger prints that can be stored.  For the average person this probably won’t be an issue but if used for a business or high traffic area this could be a problem.
  2. After the lock was in the cold for some time it appeared to have difficulty reading or “seeing” my finger.  I say this because under normal circumstances the reader would beep if failing to read a valid finger print.  As said before, when in the cold for an extended amount of time, the finger print reader didn’t react at all when my finger was placed on the scanner.  My best guess is condensation builds up on the glass preventing the sensor from reading my finger print.  After placing my finger on the glass for an unspecified amount of seconds the sensor detects my finger again.

Conclusion

If you are looking for multiple ways to gain entry to your home or you lock yourself out a lot this could be a good alternative.  Keep in mind if you want to use your fingerprint to open your door it may take a minute.  Compounding the issue, it will also take longer in the cold increasing your time exposed to the chilling winds. 

 

Depending on your climate and needs this could be a reasonable entry into the world of biometrics for your front door.Just don’t expect the finger print scanner to be quick because iPhone Touch ID it is not.

Jason Howard