Picking tubular locks

From: Ethan Dicks <ethan_dicks_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Sep 27 13:22:01 1999

--- CLASSICCMP_at_trailing-edge.com wrote:
> >At 07:14 PM 9/25/99 +0100, Tony Duell wrote:
> >>
> >>What sort of lock is it? Most locks can be picked, although the worst
> >>common type is the 'Ace' tubular lock

> It's probably simpler to buy the correct key. All DEC systems with
> tubular locks that I've met use a XX2247 key,

I have *one* PDP-8/L PSU with a different key (but I have the key). All
other DEC locks I have ever run across were the XX2247 key. You used to
be able to get spares from friendly FS guys.

> The later "plastic key" DEC locks can be turned with just about anything -
> they aren't really locks at all.

But don't use an XX2247 metal key in those plastic ones on a regular basis.
The fluting (combination) on the metal keys abrads the plastic "lock" body.

My younger brother is a former locksmith (and current professional geek). He
owns an Ace lockpick. It's like an Ace key body with the pin grooves cut
all the way up the cylinder and feeler gauges in the grooves with a tension
collar above where the lock body would sit on the key. The whole thing is
capped with a 1" knurled plastic knob. To pick the lock, you slide all the
feelers down to zero, insert the "key" into the lock and give it this special
twisting, pushing, pulling motion that's hard to describe in writing. The
idea is to bind the pins in the lock and push back the feelers by pressing the
pick against the bound pins. He can open a pop machine in about 15 sec.
The secondary benefit of this pick is that you can now make a key from the
pick since you know all the depths. It's about $70. He made a second one
for a non-Ace lock, but he's that kind of guy. No, I don't own one myself,
but he did re-key my personal Gorf machine to XX2247 for my convenience.


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Received on Mon Sep 27 1999 - 13:22:01 BST

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