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Big Red CDL-3 First impression

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Grain_ORice

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:22 am

Big Red CDL-3 First impression

I wanted to do a cut away lock for a while, but MBA (https://mbausa.com/cdl3-mounted-cutaway ... ack-white/) had a mounted cutaway CDL-3 for about the price that I would of put into purchasing the lock and doing the machining (I'm not great at machining). The contrast of brass and red anodized aluminum makes it a good looking cutaway.

I did have to re-mount the lock. The dial was offset and stiff in rotation. I took the lock apart and adjusted the tension washer to help with a smother rotation of the wheel pack. I remounted the dial ring and used a light machine oil to make the rotation of the dial smother.

The parts are not machined as cleanly as an S&G 6730, but for the price point it seems to be a decent lock. The anodized aluminum does look good even though that should not trump fictionality. For those that are interested the patent (US8.443,639B2) is an interesting read.

Manipulation: The lever spring is stiffer then in the S&G 6730 and the contact points were easier to feel (especially the right contact point). The dial that cam with the lock has rubber and I don't particularly like it for manipulation, but again the contact points were pretty easy to feel. Compared to the S&G 6730 I have, the CDL-3 was much quicker to manipulate. My first graph was not as straight forward as the second, but the gates were pretty easy to find. After getting the open and checking with my expert combination setter I was off by one on my second number. After playing around with the lock for a bit it looks like the tolerance is +/- 1.5.

20200608_171948XX1X.jpg
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Big_Red_CDL-3_6-9-2020.jpg
Big_Red_CDL-3_6-9-2020A.jpg
Big_Red_CDL-3_6-9-2020B.jpg
Big_Red_CDL-3_6-9-2020C.jpg
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femurat

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:30 am

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

The red lock is so popular, I'll have to try one sometimes.

Congratulations on the manipulation, the gate at 83 screams OPEN! Feels good when you get a clear indication like that.

Cheers :)
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jharveee

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:21 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

I try not to set the third number of the combination in or too close to the drop in area as it can cause the lock to malfunction. Great job.
I like my big red lock as well.
http://www.bigredsafelocks.com/assets/U ... CTIONS.pdf
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Grain_ORice

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

I was surprised by the choice of the last number being 3 as well. My combo changer knows about the no-go zone on the 3rd number from setting my S&G 6730 so many times. Big Red does not mention any no-go zones for combinations and in the US Patent it mentioned how they designed the locking system for the wheels to prevent slippage which if I remember correctly is the reason for not setting the last number so close to the drop in area. Yesterday I realized how little I understand about lock outs and what causes them. I think it will be interesting to take this lock and the 6730 and compare behaviors when placing the 3rd number in the no-go zone.
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L4R3L2

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:10 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

Slippage has nothing to do with it.
Each lock actually has it's own true forbidden zone. Just stay 2 numbers away from the contact area.
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Grain_ORice

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:38 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

20200610_092921.jpg
On the Big Red CDL-3 I was able to get a lock in at 0 and 1 as the last number. The photo is with a combination of 50-25-0.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:41 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

Actually it is the lock and dial combination that has its forbidden zone as it depends also on the location of the spline key in relation to the numbers of the dial.

The effect of a number in the forbidden zone is that the lock can't be locked, only unlocked. So if the last number is in the middle of the forbidden zone there is no danger in getting a permanently locked safe. The problem is at the edge of the forbidden zone, when people think everything is fine because the do not realize that they need more force to close the lock. Then, after a while, a pin breaks while closing the lock. Then there is a permanently locked safe.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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Grain_ORice

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:45 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

L4R3L2 wrote:Slippage has nothing to do with it.
Each lock actually has it's own true forbidden zone. Just stay 2 numbers away from the contact area.


After re-reading the S&G mechanical lock documentation I realized that and it gave a good description of what causes it. The thought had occurred to me that I have learned how the lock works, the parts, and manipulation. After reading the "Troubleshooting" section of the S&G manual I never learned about servicing the lock. Not that that makes a difference of how I aproceh manipulation, but I think I'm going to spend some time creating situations where the lock does not function as intended and go through the troubleshooting steps to "fix" the various issues. I believe it will be a good exercise to get me more intimately familiar with the spring lever locks.
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Grain_ORice

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Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:51 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

MartinHewitt wrote:Actually it is the lock and dial combination that has its forbidden zone as it depends also on the location of the spline key in relation to the numbers of the dial.

The effect of a number in the forbidden zone is that the lock can't be locked, only unlocked. So if the last number is in the middle of the forbidden zone there is no danger in getting a permanently locked safe. The problem is at the edge of the forbidden zone, when people think everything is fine because the do not realize that they need more force to close the lock. Then, after a while, a pin breaks while closing the lock. Then there is a permanently locked safe.


That's what I was noticing on the 6730. In the forbidden zone I was able to lock and unlock, but I ran into problems around 96 and 19 on my lock. During installation isn't the split key aligned so the drop in is around 0? Or is it that the spline key is aligned with the corresponding number on the dial (on my 6730 it's at 50)?
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L4R3L2

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Location: Sutter County, CA

Post Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:22 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

On some locks, having the last number within the contact area can cause a lockout from the start.

Experimenting with my S&G locks, I found some that would lock out if the last number is within about half a number right of the LCP.

Also, the movable fly on some locks are thicker, and the tab can stop the nose from dropping into the drive cam gate. The opening solution in this case is to dial the last number from the opposite direction so the fly is at the other end of its travel and out of the way.
Image
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femurat

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Post Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:07 am

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

Good point, L4R3L2. It's called forbidden for a reason...

Cheers :)
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AZ-Steve

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Location: Hereford, Arizona

Post Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:23 pm

Re: Big Red CDL-3 First impression

Grain_ORice wrote:I was surprised by the choice of the last number being 3 as well. My combo changer knows about the no-go zone on the 3rd number from setting my S&G 6730 so many times. Big Red does not mention any no-go zones for combinations and in the US Patent it mentioned how they designed the locking system for the wheels to prevent slippage which if I remember correctly is the reason for not setting the last number so close to the drop in area. Yesterday I realized how little I understand about lock outs and what causes them. I think it will be interesting to take this lock and the 6730 and compare behaviors when placing the 3rd number in the no-go zone.


While I have not seen the the US Patent for Big Red, their Operating and Change instruction http://www.bigredsafelocks.com/assets/Uploads/instructions/CDL-3-AND-CDL-3M-OPERATION-AND-CHANGING-INSTRUCTIONS.pdf do state:

"When the safe dial is splined/index to the spindle at #41, do not use a number between “95” and “15” for the third (or last) number of the combination. When the safe dial is splined/index to the spindle at #50, do not use a number between “0” and “20” for the third (or last) number of the combination. "

Just wanted to clarify that Big Red does have a "forbidden zone" for the last number in combo.

Steve

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