Archive for September, 2008

What to write?

Monday, September 29th, 2008

The more busy I am, the less time for you, loyal visitors of the blackbag weblog.

Most people think I am busy full time with organizing LockCon these days, but that is not true. More and more Han and I are being invited by people and organizations all around the globe, and this weekend was no exception. Sometimes we are invited by manufacturers to test their locks, or because we found a flaw in it, on other cases organizations want us to teach courses and classes. We traveled quite far this weekend, and had a very intense but interesting time.

The funny thing is all the people that invite us have something in common: they love to read the latest news on this blog, but prefer not to be mentioned on it.

It will be a great relief when we have LockCon in 10 days orso. An event we can write about in full 😉

Lab and Fee

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

We are getting a better and better idea about the safe-tech corner at LockCon. The latest suggestion from St. John Goldfinger is to have a small pin-and-cam(wmv) system made especially for the presentation at LockCon. This system will of course only open one specific kind of (popular UK) safe lock, and it will be ideal for study, demonstration and practicing the pin and cam system. The fee for this pin and cam tool will be 100 euro or less (including the safe lock). Of course there will be some of these tools be available to play with for people who can not afford to buy one or do not want to make the investment.

Time is running out, and preferably St. John, Paul and Jord would like to hear from you asap if you want to accept their offer for ‘lab and fee’.

What we also determined is what kind of locks we will use at the lockpick championships on sunday. This will be a mixture of popular Dutch locks. The locks were collected from Rob Zomer’s 24-hour lock service, and I will make sure the locks are clean and tested.

As I am busy with 1001 things … sorry for the short posting …

LockCon logo

Monday, September 15th, 2008

It is straight forward yet elegant … the new LockCon logo is here (thanks to Charlotte Wels):

LockCon logo

The idea is to have LockCon t-shirt (and other merchandise) made, as well as a special edition t-shirt for people who do some volunteer jobs….

Finally: Meister Barry

Monday, September 15th, 2008

I was already given a ‘golden SSDeV’ pin because of my work in promoting locksport. But in general the only people wearing these pins are champions of one of the German locksport disciplines. And up till yesterday, nobody outside of SSDeV earned one that way….

golden champion pin

For more then ten years German based SSDeV is organizing championships, and for all that time nobody outside their community managed to win one.

Until yesterday, when my dream came true. I finally won a German SSDeV game. In his case the impressioning championships (but frequent readers of this blog could have guessed that). And I really earned and deserved my golden pin the right way!

Besides winning the games, I also managed to break the ‘time record’ that was previously owned by Peter Danilov (05:35). I opened my lock in 05:13. And … in this time even managed to file two keys! My first key was cut too deep, so I had to remove it from my handle and change it for a new one. I still do not understand how I managed to file two keys and break the ‘fastest time’ record, but it for sure explains the blister on my finger.

Looking back on it, I must say I relatively quickly mastered impressioing. My first serious blogbosting dates from January 17, 2007. I admit I invested a lot of time, and must have files at least five hundred keys from that day on. The moment of pure bliss yesterday was worth the efforts …

For level of completeness: The second place went to Ronald Mayer in 10:51, followed by good old Arthur Meister in 10:52. That is only one second between the second and third place. Fourth place went to Dörthe Clemens who was really thrilled by opening her lock in 13:00. Fifth was the person I feared most at the beginning of the games: Dr. Manfred Bölker had an off day and opened his lock in 15:24. Sixth was André Matuschek in 38:40. Last one to open the lock in the 60 minute limit was Micheal H. in 43:54.

the champions

At the ceremonies, SSDeV president Steffen Wernéry publicly congratulated me and said he was very happy for me. One sentence later he said (with a smile) that the outcome of this event was a disgrace for the German organization. For the first time ever, a “non-SSDeV’er” became ‘Meister’. He promised ‘a nice reward’ for the person who would bring back the impressioning title to Germany at the organized LockCon event next month. In other words: there is a price on my head 😉 Well … I am not loosing any sleep over that. On the contrary, it is one of the biggest compliments I received in a long time.

Lets see if at LockCon this tradition of ‘non Germans’ winning lockpicking championships can be continued. I know for a fact we have some good (and fast) lockpickers at, and the list of highly skilled lockpickers coming from other countries is quite impressive too. And we all know it can be done now….

LockCon site is up, information is available

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

It was hard work, but the LockCon site is up. Most information is available now, and we will update regularly.

So visit to find out more about the event ….


Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Ok, domains are secured, so here is the name for the new event: LockCon
Another domain I collected is: 😉

Currently the site is undergoing extreme maintenance. As LockCon will be part of this new and improved site, I am asking a little more of your patience….

And for those curious about the keyway king upgrade: there is progress …
(I think you can now see what the modification is going to be).

Keyway King modification 1Keyway King modification 2

Waiting for the domain registry …

Monday, September 8th, 2008

We filed the domain names for the event on Friday, but so far we have not gotten a confirmation yet.

So hopefully the site and schedule will go live tomorrow (Monday) ….

Hope audio available and keyway king follow-up…

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Organizing an event the size of the (formerly known) Dutch Open takes a lot of my time. So still no official updates on that, although the outlines are getting clearer and clearer by the minute….

I still receive a lot of feedback on my keyway king milling machine. Many people are curious what the modification is, and if the device is already in Amsterdam. I can be clear about that: it is still work in progress. My good friend modifying the devices sends me pictures from time to time. The idea behind that is to make some sort of ‘modification manual’ for other keyway king owners. The last image my friend mailed me was called ‘destruction‘ …. ahum … I assume it will take some time before the device will be in Barry’s blackbag lab. But knowing my friend, it will be worth to wait …


Furthermore I learned audio of all ‘last hope’ presentations is online now (for a little while already). A great (free!) service, allowing everybody to learn from the wonderful speakers and presentations. If you want to hear the story behind the ‘skin-pression’ image you see above, you can listen to the presentation by Han and me at the last hope in high quality MP3 and find out.

At DefCon I was interviewed (in Dutch) by Brenno de Winter from ‘ICT roddels‘ (ICT gossip). Click here to listen to the Dutch interview.