Skip to main content

How Do I Debug a Card or Access Problem?


Understanding why a card was denied and how to resolve the issues is straight forward once you understand how access rights are granted and the steps going on behind the scenes to validate a card. This article discusses some of the most common issues with granting access and some of the steps that can be taken to resolve them.

For a card to operate in BluSKY:

  1. The card must be entered into BluSKY.
  2. The card must be assigned to a Person.
  3. The person must have access to the Portal via an Access Level to the Reader.
  4. If the first three requirements are not met, then the card and access permissions will not be stored in the local security system.

How a Card is Validated

If ANY of the steps below are not successful, the Controller stops its validation attempt and denies the request for access.

  1. Card is swiped at a card reader.
  2. Reader sends card information to the Controller.
  3. The Controller determines the bit length of the Card.
  4. The Controller uses the first card type stored in the controller that has the same bit length. Ex. 26 bit.
  5. The Controller then looks for card types stroed in the controller that include the Facility Code (FC) of the card being swiped.
  6. The Controller then then looks for a card that matches the internal card number.
  7. If the Controller successfully identifies the Card, it accesses its local database and determines whether or not to allow access based on the access assigned to the card..

Tools to Help Resolve Access Issues

The Access Denied Report is the primary tool used to resolve access issues for Integrators, Building Managers and Occupancy Managers.  Please read the Access Denied Report article.

Below are some of the most common error messages and how to resolve them. 

Card Not In System or Card not in Mercury Controller

"Card not in System" or "Card not in Mercury Controller" events occur when a Controller can interpret a Card's format, facility code and number, but cannot associate it with a Person. This can be caused by the Card not being assigned to a Person with appropriate access rights.

How to Resolve:

  • Check that the Person has been assigned the Card they are holding through their Person record. Go to the Person List screen ( and search for the card number you see in the report. If you do not find it, then you will need to search for the person who should have this card and assign it to them. See Edit a Person Cards to learn this procedure.  
  • Check to see if that Person has access to the Portal or Floor Stop. Verifying and setting access is a little more complicated as access can be granted two ways:
    • Check Access tab in Person Edit Screen
    • Check Role Assigned via Role tab in Person Edit Screen
      • Go to the Person List screen ( and search for the card number you see in the report. When you find it, you will need to look at the persons Role to ensure they have the right access for the portal the card reader is controlling. 
        • Select the "Roles" tab
        • Select "View" under each role to see what has been assigned.  Note: you might need to write-down any access levels lists so that you can then go to Access Levels to see what readers and floor stops are included.
  • If you determined that the Person was denied access in error, there are a few options to resolve this.  
  • If the issue is systemic and affects multiple people, you can Edit the Access Level and add the Portal or Floor Stop Reader.
  • If the issue affects an individual, you can add individual access through the Person record by navigating to the Person's record and Editing their Access
    • Note: Prior to just adding any access rights to a Person or Access Level, you should determine the impact of that action. If you are unsure you should contact the building manager. Changing an Access Level will change the access rights of everyone assigned that Access Level and could potentially cause the system to be in an insecure state. If you are adding individual access to a Person, you must determine if this Person should have these access rights. For example, if a Facility has a Fitness Center, there may be a process associated with giving a Person access. 

Invalid Time of Day

This message occurs when a person has access to a Portal or Floor Stop, but not at the time the Card was swiped.  For example, this Person cannot access the fitness center after normal business hours.

  • Note: Access control systems process Schedules literally. Meaning if the Schedule goes into effect at 9:00 AM it denies requests up to 8:59:59 AM. Some managers choose to ease the timing to allow a Person to arrive 5-10 minutes early. If you believe this to be the right course of action please consult your building manager or Integrator and confirm this is the correct decision. 

How to Resolve:

  • The person needs to be granted another Access Level that has a schedule covering this time period, or the existing Access Level needs to have a different Schedule applied.

Invalid Card Format

This message occurs if the reader is connected to a controller that cannot interpret the card being swiped.  This occurs if there is a new card format that has  not been synced to the local controller prior to card use.  Every controller can support multiple card formats.  

How to Resolve:

  • Please follow the same process as "Card Not In System".  
  • If this does not solve the issue then please contact your Integrator.  They will need to determine that the card type being used is in the controller.

Invalid Facility Code

This message occurs when the card type is recognized, but the facility code is not found.

How to Resolve:

  • Please confirm the facility code entered for the Card is correct. See the Cards guide for more detail. You can see the facility code in the Access Denied report.
    • If the facility code is wrong, then you can edit that card and make the change, but it is also possible that the card was part of a bulk load, in which case you want to change all the facility codes for all the cards at the same time.  Please have your integrator contact BluBØX support, so that we can make this change in the database all at one time, otherwise you will have to edit each card manually.

No Access Allowed (TZ's = 0) 

This occurs when a Person tried to use their credentials at a Reader they do not have access to. If this happens and they should have access please contact either the building or occupancy managers to update the users Access Levels.

How to Resolve:

  • If you have determined that the Person was denied access in error, you will need to make a determination on how best to fix it. There are a few options here. First, you can Edit the Access Level and add the Portal or Floor Stop Reader. This would typically be done if it is determined the issue is systemic and will affect multiple people. However, in some cases you may want to add individual access through the Person record. This would typically be done if someone needs special access rights such as to a fitness center or IT closet. This can be done by navigating to the Person's record and Editing their Access




  • Was this article helpful?