A safe place to keep CB keySubmitted by: Jack
Again I would like to express my appreciation for your excellent web site, please keep up the good work. Your personal response to my entry in your quest book was much appreciated.
Since posting that entry in your guest book I have received a few e-mails expressing interest in the key safe I mentioned. This was a simply way that I cooked up for keeping the keys safely out reach for those of us who do not have a "loving" key holder. It occurs to me that other readers of your pages may have interest in details of the idea so I will attempt to explain the workings of the key safe here.
The heart of the key safe is an electric door locking mechanism commonly seen used in door phone access control systems often fitted to blocks of apartments etc. Such a locking mechanism, known as an electric lock keep or strike plate can be obtained from electrical, security or building iron mongery trade wholesalers. They come in different types, namely 12 or 24 volt, a.c. or d.c., fail safe (i.e. normally locked and requiring power to unlock) or fail free (i.e. normally unlocked and requiring power to keep locked).
My idea consists of a wooden box with an inwardly opening door. The box is constructed in such a way that all of the fixing screws etc. used to construct it are on the inside so that when the door is fitted and closed no screw heads etc. are left exposed to tampering. The door to the box is fitted with a standard night latch type lock often known as a Yale lock where I come from. The lock is fitted without the key hole. The electric lock strike forms the keep plate for the lock. As the lock is the night latch type it will lock into the keep when the door is closed and with the absence of any provision for a key, will not open until the electric lock strike releases it.
To control the electric lock strike the simplest method is to use the fail safe type together with a simple mechanical type time switch and a power supply unit to provide the 12 or 24 volts (a stabilised power supply unit is preferable to simply using a transformer and should be cheaply available from your local electronics hobby shop). The time switch and power supply unit are fitted inside the safe and the time switch is set to switch on the power supply unit thus unlocking the door at the desired time. Once the door is closed there is no way to get at the contents of the safe (i.e. your belt keys) until the time switch lets you in. Simply disconnecting the mains supply will not get you in as the time switch stops running and the door remains locked. A quick drawing is attached of the basic idea.
An interesting variant might be to set the time switch to come on for a short period of say fifteen minuets at the end of the working day. This will create a short fifteen minuet window during which the safe will be opened and your keys can be retrieved. Should this window be missed due say to heavy traffic that day or similar then the safe re-locks its self and you have to wait till the next 24hr period passes.
The above idea does not take account of what would happen if there was a power cut or some other failure of the electrical supply or fault in the wiring inside the safe. In such event the wooden safe could of course be smashed open or in the case of a power cut you could just wait it out. It is possible to build the safe using the fail free type of electric lock strike, which together more complex electric's and stand by batteries would over come these problems, however, this is a little to complex to describe here.
If you have a spare room or closet the whole idea could be fitted to the door of the room, with the time switch etc. left inside the room, instead of building a safe.
I am sorry if this has gone on a bit but I hope it may be of interest to the visitors to your site and will answer the questions of the people who have e-mailed me.
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Page last updated 98-Jan-29 by: Altairboy@aol.com