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Manipulation dark arts

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:06 am
by MHM
I was searching for a particular manipulation resource last night, and stumbled across this: An advert for a safe tech manipulation course.

https://mbausa.com/safe-lock-manipulation/

Now here's the thing: A lot of the stuff on the list is very well known in the hobbyist community. But about halfway down the course outline I sat up very straight indeed.

-snip-
Course Description:
The ability to open a safe without drilling or damage of any kind is the crowning achievement for the professional Safe Technician. Learn how to open U.L. listed Group 2 combination locks through the use of touch, sight, sound, and mind in this ground breaking class. Forget about graphs and complicated dialing sequences. This class enables you to understand the lock in a way few people do. The result is the ability to understand exactly what is happening inside the lock at any time.

In addition to Group 2 locks, we also cover techniques for some Group 1 locks, as well as the basics of straight tailpiece manipulation.

Note: The student should have a very good understanding of safe lock basics before taking this class. You should already be completely comfortable with dialing and changing combinations before enrolling.

The following is covered in detail:

Review of wheel action.
Determining the number of wheels in a lock.
Determining dialing sequence.
How to quickly open any 3 wheel lock where only 2 of the numbers are known - without knowing how to manipulate!
How to open a combination lock without ever counting a single turn of the dial
How to determine the combination of a lock through "back dialing"
How to detect small differences in contact point variation - without graphs or magnifiers.
How to determine which wheel is "reading".
Tips that will increase your opening success rate

-snip-

No counting wheels? "Back dialing"? Some trick to know which wheel is indicating?

What do these chaps know that we don't? In all honesty, I know one or two shortcuts and one or two alternate methods of doing things. But when you boil it all down, I still take contact reading right round the wheelpack, hi/lo test, rinse and repeat. Does anyone know what tricks are being taught here? I'd love to know what you think guys.

Michael.

Re: Manipulation dark arts

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:45 am
by MartinHewitt
Backdialing is the technique to find out the combination when the lock is not fully scrambled.

Re: Manipulation dark arts

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:17 pm
by MartinHewitt
I can propose an explanation for most topics.

MHM wrote:The result is the ability to understand exactly what is happening inside the lock at any time.

This is very important for manipulation. Without this something can easily go wrong. E.g. the operation of the fly.

MHM wrote:we also cover techniques for some Group 1 locks

There are some Group 1 locks which have been manipulated and are therefor not Group 1 anymore. You can e.g. find here on keypicking somewhere a manipulation of a Mosler Group 1 lock.

MHM wrote:Review of wheel action.
Determining the number of wheels in a lock.
Determining dialing sequence.
How to quickly open any 3 wheel lock where only 2 of the numbers are known - without knowing how to manipulate!
How to determine the combination of a lock through "back dialing"
How to determine which wheel is "reading".

I assume this is standard stuff. Wheel counting, is it left or right lock, scanning one wheel, feeling the combination when not scrambled, Hi/Lo tests.

MHM wrote:How to detect small differences in contact point variation - without graphs or magnifiers.

People do use pointers, either laser or long needles (which are probably not magnifiers) and it is possible to remember low spots and do a manipulation this way without a graph. I never did a no-graph manipulation, but I guess people only do it on the simple locks or are really good at remembering.

MHM wrote:Tips that will increase your opening success rate

Always good :) With a 3330 there can be a lot of tips.

MHM wrote:How to open a combination lock without ever counting a single turn of the dial

No good idea what they are meaning. What can be done is counting pin/fly contacts instead of number of turns. With wheels which have high turning resistance it is easy to feel these contacts and it makes it easier to test neighboring wheels with close numbers without making any error.

Martin Hewitt

Re: Manipulation dark arts

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:22 pm
by tarboxb
Not counting turns is foolish in my opinion. Some locks have so little resistance that it is nearly impossible to feel the wheels pick up. I almost exclusively "free spin" as Oldfast calls it without a graph. Particularly difficult locks like a Yale OC-5 get a graph. I have opened a 3330 with no graphs before.

Re: Manipulation dark arts

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:56 pm
by MHM
This is interesting, thanks guys.

It sounds like the consensus is that they're simply teaching wrinkles for heuristics that we're already using, as opposed to anything really novel.

Re: Manipulation dark arts

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:46 am
by Visitor
Incorrect.

Re: Manipulation dark arts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:01 am
by MHM
Care to elaborate?

Re: Manipulation dark arts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:23 am
by Visitor
It is a useful course if you want to open safes as a living, some locks can be opened easier if on a box by using techniques that wouldn't work on a mounted practice lock..
There are grouping techniques and other methods that use some assumption work and don't under estimate the value of a Mic on some locks.
For some of you guys the course wouldn't be of any use, once you know the deepest secrets of combination locks their flaws suddenly start to become very clear.
I'm not sure where the rest of that post went although I admit it was still a vauge response, sorry.