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FAB euro cylinders

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Familiar Face

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Post Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:26 am

Re: FAB euro cylinders

PappaPig wrote:You inspired me to look out a FAB half-euro I was sure I had somewhere. It is probably the lowest security, but I'm still chuffed to get it open...


Hi,
I'm glad to hear that and congratulations - the keyway looks like a FAB 50, but it still means 3 spools and the keyway, that isn't all that easy to navigate...
Kind regards,

Michal
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Familiar Face

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Post Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:46 pm

Re: FAB euro cylinders

FAB Control/2224 BDN
This cylinder was a grade 3, boasting a "protection by law" - the key blanks were restricted and copies of the keys were done only if you presented a security card. Unfortunately this protection didn't last very long - some company started production of blanks with profile sufficiently changed and the "protection" was broken. The Assa Abloy (the owner of FAB) let the blanks free in 2011 and that was the end of Control.

Guts.jpg


The Control features mildly intimidating keyway (the TOK tension is a bit harder), three spools and two standart driver pins. There is a anti-drill protection consisting of three steel inserts in the front of the bible, three inserts in the core and two driver pins (the last ones, yet again...).

However, this cylinder features one interesting thing - the anti-bump protection in the fifth chamber of the core. This special milling was called "nuta"; its function is quite simple - when the key hits the last stack, the driver loses contact with the key pin and the core starts to rotate; but the driver being pushed by the spring comes back to the shear line and enters the nuta, where it will stop the rotation. This looks like a deep false set; to overcome it, just pressing on the last pin will set the core free. This protection was later superseded by the RBC pins.

Picking-wise the lock feels somewhere between FAB 100 and FAB 200. The bitting required usage of deep hooks, and the feeling of first three pins was somewhat similar to the beveled pins; however the core was in a considerable false set, which suggested that spools were more likely and with that the lock opened.

A piece of history trivia - nuta was a response to a series of sensational TV reports that aired around year 2000, reports of a mysterious method allowing quick opening of locks that thieves were supposed to use. They kept everything very mysterious - they showed a guy holding a screwdriver the wrong way and some key, followed by the shot of open doors...
There was a bit of panic back then and nuta appeared sometime after 2002... After the second bumping frenzy in 2007, the RBC pins came in 2009.
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Familiar Face

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Post Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:02 pm

Re: FAB euro cylinders

FAB 2000BDNs
This is the current top of the line lock manufactured by FAB. It is a grade 4 cylinder, containing fair amount of anti-drill protection, anti-bump, anti-pick and other protections. It features up to three "sliders", that engage with the key spine, however my lock, and locks I've seen disassembled so far have only two slider slots used. Not sure if the third position is used in some masterkeying schemes, or why it is not being used.
guts.jpg


The pins are quite standard - RBC pins in chambers 1 and 5, single spool in chamber 2 and the rest are standard (although chamber 3 and 4 drivers are made of steel).

The sliders are somewhat different compared to likes of Yale Superior or EVVA EPS - their movement is not translational, but circular. They engage with the key spine and as mentioned earlier, only two chambers are occupied. Other interesting thing is, that the first slider doesn't need to be touched at all, while the other has a small rise before the gate and when set, it counter-rotates the core. Another thing is, that it seems that there is not much space for more gates - might be, that there are only two slider variants available.
core.jpg


The core is quite packed - there are lots of steel inserts providing the anti-drill protection, there are the slider grooves and also there is a slot for construction keying (they offer the 2in1 option). One thing to watch for is the empty spring slot for the unused slider - when gutting, if the driver gets there, you are in trouble.
rest.jpg


Pickingwise, the keyway is not particularly bad, although deeper hook helps; the only problem was, that the spool in chamber 2 didn't fall into a classical false set, but it hanged on the sidebar. After all other pins were set, I tried to set it and it dropped me on the sidebar. The sliders proved to be pickable using the diamond; the only problem was to position the pick correctly. Setting the second slider caused relatively pronounced counter-rotation and tends to drop some pins in the process.

When the lock is picked, there is a trap in the form of the second sidebar groove - after 180 degrees of rotation the sliders might engage and have to be picked again. Interestingly enough, that doesn't cause much problems with lock disassembly, provided you have pinning shoe with a flat tongue. Thanks to the fact, that the sidebar grooves go all the way to the front of the bible, the core can be removed even with the engaged sidebar.

Speaking of the sidebar - it is interesting, that the sidebar groove is not protected against drilling; if you drill to the sidebar groove, you might be able to pull out the sidebar altogether, leaving only 5 pins to mess with (although picking it might be less time consuming)...
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femurat

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Post Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:13 pm

Re: FAB euro cylinders

Congratulations! It looks a difficult lock.

I see the two sidebar grooves open on the lock face. Is it possible to insert a wire and push the sidebar? That would allow you to pick the sliders from front to back, because the binding order would be determined by the wire.
I know it's not difficult to pick the sliders, I'm just speculating.

Cheers :)
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Familiar Face

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Post Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:27 pm

Re: FAB euro cylinders

Hello Femurat,
first of all, congratulations to the full year of picking - it does take a lot of dedication to accomplish such thing; my hats off to you!

To be honest, I was quite disappointed by the two current top models - the 1000 and 2000; when I compare them to the FAB Variant that I have, they just feel so much flimsier... The 2000 popped open without too much fight - it took around 30 minutes from opening the blister to opening the lock; also it was after a tiring day around 9:30pm and I was really tired. And it wasn't a fluke, the other day the second half popped much quicker, as I already knew what to expect. When I compare it to the EVVA EPS, where it took me several days to get over just two sliders, or the Variant, from which I still have a sore spot on my index finger regardless of the fact, that I didn't touch it much in weeks...

You are right - the sidebar notch looked tiny, but I was able to stick in there a 0.020 pick and I felt the spring resistance; so I'd say that you could tension the sidebar directly.

And I also have one rant, concerning the way the lock is being sold.
rant.jpg

Here is a photo of the FAB 2000 package compared to the CISA 3000 I bought with it - the 2000 have the keys visible through
the blister (you can even see the sidebar bitting), while the CISA is not only sold in the paper package, but also the keys and the security card is inside of sealed non-transparent bag. Given the fact, that nowadays it is not that hard to reconstruct the key from a photo, it is quite strange that they sell their top of the line product this way (and the 1000 is sold in a paper box).

Kind regards,

Michal
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femurat

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Post Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:25 am

Re: FAB euro cylinders

Michal, thank you for the congratulations, I'm happy so many people followed my journey. It surely took some effort to do it every day. Doing it almost every day is not the same. In fact we are at the beginning of a new year and I've already skipped some days. I'm much more relaxed but less proud of myself.

Back to topic, my limited experience with FAB locks was great! I always have a hard time opening them. Reading your stories with these new top of the line models: It seems that going up the product line there's more marketing than pick resistance. We should keep in mind that picking is not the most important attack locks have to resist. Drill protection and key control are very well addressed in these latest FAB so I still have a very good opinion on them. Even if it's possible to apply pressure directly on the sidebar. Thank you for confirming it works.

Well, sealing the keys in opaque bags is a big plus. If you have your locks installed with construction keys for example, this is the only way to be sure nobody handled your keys before you. Every lock company should do it.

In this thread I've seen very interesting and uncommon locks. I like the way you pick, disassemble and describe them and your picking experience. Keep up the great work!

Cheers :)
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Familiar Face

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Post Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:33 pm

Re: FAB euro cylinders

Hello Femurat,
I'm glad you like what I'm doing - I learnt a lot watching LPL, BosnianBill, Daz Evers and others who make beautiful videos and can explain what are they doing while picking. I'm not good enough to be able to do that (also making such a video with four kids running around would be more funny, than instructional :D ), but I like to share my experience and to give something back to this community - and I figured out that this way suits me most.

As for FAB locks, you are probably right with the marketing being more accented than the pick resistance; you are also right with that picking is not the common attack and so far the FAB 1000 is the lock with most anti-drill protection I've seen so far (did anyone tried pulling the lock core with giant neodymium magnet? If no, this lock would be the ideal target :twisted: ).

Kind regards,
Michal
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Familiar Face

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Post Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:07 am

Re: FAB euro cylinders

FAB Variant
This is the full version of the FAB Variant, featuring a secondary locking mechanism, controlled by a bitting towards the spine of the key. This bitting controls five fingerpins, that has to be both lowered and rotated into one of three directions. This allows retraction of the sidebar and rotation of the core.

guts.jpg


The fingerpins are serrated, which makes rotating them a bit harder under the tension. When the fingerpins are rotated, pushing them down is not too difficult. I used the Black flag center flag to do both.

core_detail.jpg


The key pins need to be picked first, then the sidebar starts to bind and fingerpins can be rotated; it is necessary to controll the tension to allow fingerpin rotation without dropping pins. Care must be taken to check that the pins stay rotated the correct way - in my case the fingerpins 4 and 5 didn't bind as much as the first three and had tendency to return back to the center rotation.

core_detail1.jpg


Another interesting aspect is, that in this lock the fingerpins 1-3 bind first, without too clear feedback - only when all three are set, there is a slight core rotation. This makes it hard to recognize the correct rotation of the fingerpins - when several rounds of setting them doesn't produce the expected result (or when they even ping-pong), then you know the rotations aren't correct.

When fingerpins 4 and 5 bind tight and when they are set, the feedback is quite clear - at that point it is only second to the lock
opening (unless some pins weren't left in the countermilling).

All in all, picking this lock is very frustrating when you are learning it, because it is not very forgiving, but it is very rewarding to get it finally open.
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