Archive for May, 2007

When every second counts … not so subtile tools

Friday, May 18th, 2007

‘When every second counts’ is the slogan of our national emergency phone number 112.

IVIC Rosmalen

And I have seen it a couple of times yesterday, looking at banners when I visited the last day of the IVIC show in Rosmalen.

The IVIC is a show where police, fire brigade and other public services give demonstrations and let the public see what kind of equipment they have and what they are capable of.

And as you can see on the picture above, a standard fire brigade vehicle is also equipped to open doors and enter buildings quickly. But since there is no time to be subtle and because ‘every second counts’ these tools are pretty straight forward.

And there was a lot more to see. There were many demonstrations, and I was most impressed by a set of hydraulic cutters and spreaders. Our fire brigades use these in case of severe car crashes. They will simply cut a car to shreds to free people that are caught inside a car wreck.

hydraulic cutter close up

What really caught my eye was a robot that is used to examine (and if necessary detonate) explosives. This remote controlled robot is the eyes of the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).

Pretty cool stuff …I hope it’s obvious I had a good time ….

The RoboKey System

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

He started as a lock collector, but more and more Han Fey is asked by the industry to shed his light on development issues and review their design. And write articles to give his honest view on their products.

Han just finished an in depth document on the Robotic Key System. As always a masterpiece, filled with many technical bits of information you will find nowhere else.

Protect the innocent. Robokey Systems artist impression by Charlotte Wels

The Robotic Key System is an interesting mixture of techniques. It combines the reliable mechanical disc lock system with some pretty clever electronics to align the discs and dial the correct combination. It brings key management to a completely new level.

Some people will recognize this system as the one we tested and looked at at the Dutch Open 2006 in Sneek. Some video is still available online on this site about this intriguing lock.

For those of you in the lock industry that read my weblog: Here is a nice opportunity!

The inventors of this lockingsystem,, is looking for a “strategic partner” to turn this wonderful idea into a commercial success…

Read all technical details on: (PDF, 3 MB)

Safety & security 2007

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Wednesday a delegation of the finest Toool members visited the Safety & Security 2007 exhibition in Amsterdam. Besides the usual lock manufacturers there was not a lot of news.

One thing did caught my eye … secure suitcases and briefcases.

portable safe in disguise

As you might know I am a big fan of clever inventions and good design work. And this range of cases seemed to have both.

I spoke with the inventor, Mr. Graham Sharp, for a long time. He told me a lot about the cases and got me really enthusiastic about them.

The design is clever. Lightweight trough use of a special aluminum alloy, and a 6 millimeter thick steel cable that keeps the case in place in your hotel room or car trunk.

Also clever is the use of the extremely hard to bypass ASSA desmo lock, witch key can only be removed when it is in the locked position.

The briefcase model is secured against prying it open with a screwdriver by using a high latch that falls into a deep groove at the sides of the case. Maybe not to clear to see on these images, but very well designed.

These products are certainly high on my wish list for carrying my laptop around or when traveling abroad. Too bad I was not around on the last day of the fair to try buy the demo models (for a special price of course) ….

But then again, they were pretty lightweight so I do not think Mr Sharp had a hard time carrying them back to the UK ….

secure aluminum alloy suitcase

And for our Dutch readers: Het FMC was ook ter plaatse op de beurs en wierp een zeer kritische blik op een nieuwe KPN dienst.

Abloy Protec paper translated in German … Alles Klar!

Friday, May 11th, 2007

Some people have got their hearts in the right place. Take for
instance Stefan Gottlieb and Dieter Ade from Germany. They took the
time and effort to translate Han Fey’s Abloy Protec article from
English to German.

Quite an achievement if you realize it’s a rather technical document,
meaning a small translation error can make a big difference.

The article can be found on (2 MB)

Alles Klar!

I wonder if with this translation they are getting up to steam to do
Han’s other seven articles, or if it was a ‘once but never again’ job ….

Anyway, great job guys, keep up the good work!

Dates for Dutch Open : 23/24/25 November 2007

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Yes, we have set a record. We now know the exact dates for the Dutch
Open 2007, months in advance.

We are seriously thinking about two championships this year. A
lockpick contest that will take place on Saturday November 24, and an
impressioning championship. For the impressioning championship we will
have to find a timeslot. This will be no problem since the
impressioning championship will only take 20 minutes. There is no need
for several rounds of games before the finals, it is a simple matter
of opening the lock before the others do to become the champion.

Needless to say it will be a fun time as always, filled with many
spectacular presentations and demonstrations. The championships will
be available for everyone, the presentations and demonstrations will
be for toool and ssdev members only. Of course there will be more info
on the Dutch Open 2007 soon, but for now you can start to make
reservations 😉

If you want to give a presentation, or have something else you think
could be interesting to show/do at the Dutch Open 2007 … please let
us know!

To be continued …

There is a lot of stuff happening …

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

But I just don’t blog about it for now. This has got nothing to do
with you, I like sharing information. Maybe it’s a case of ‘writers
block’? Or maybe I am not too motivated to type much when temperatures
are over 20 degrees Celsius?

A short update on some of the topics on this blog:

We did not test the anti-bump grease yet. I will do it one of these
days, but it’s not high on my priority list for the moment. And two
samples is not nearly enough to do a real test with multiple locks.

And about the pandora box: Jos found a copy of the opening
. We did probe the lock and door with shims, and think it
is not fully locked. So if our assumption is correct we only need to
bypass one lock. We will give it another try on May 9.