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Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

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GWiens2001

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Post Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:21 pm

Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box

Finally received two keys for my Multacc Real Estate Lock Box. :-)

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Decided to make a new thread instead of adding to the previous thread due to all the pictures in the first Multacc Lock Box thread.

This thread is about the measurements of the key itself, the bitting depth and spacing, and finally, about reading the punch marks on the film inside the lock that is used for logging what keys and combinations have been used to access the key stored inside the lock box.

First, here are the physical specifications from the keys.

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The above picture shows the dimensions in both SAE and metric measurements. On some of the metric measurements, rounded them off to more even numbers. There is quite a bit of ‘wiggle room’ for the bitting depth.

The key part number is 432540 and is the same for both keys, so can not order specific key bitting by part number.

Here the two keys are next to each other, and the lines on the paper point to where the bittings for the five sliders are located.

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If you recall from the previous writeup on the lock itself, you can see that the outsides of each combination wheel is identical, but the inside cuts are all different. They even have false gates and some false bittings, where the cuts are there and full length, but are too narrow for the slider to fit through them. Will post the next few pictures again here, so you can refresh your memory on how the lock works, helping you to understand the key better.

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As you can see in the above picture, a “1” on one wheel will likely be very different in where the slider needs to be placed to fit through. So a key made with a straight line will not be like a pin tumbler lock cut to the same bitting - the combination will not be 33333 or 22222. It will more likely be 37572, 12631, 66217, or some other seemingly random combination.

Here is one of the sliders

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The plug the sliders fit into is two parts.

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The sliders are set to different positions by the key. The combination dials are turned to set the proper gap to the slider. This is why each key has its own combination.

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This key is tip stopped, so took my measurements from the tip.

Tip to first bit:
.30” / 7.62mm

Distance between bittings:
.35” / 8.90mm

Bitting depths - these are measured/calculated from what would be the top of the key as it is inserted into the lock. There are 7 numbers that are usable on the dials, so calculated for 7 bitting depths. Numbering them 1-7 to make it easy. The second key has cuts with the exact same increment, but the lowest cut in it is .014” higher. Yet both keys work in the lock, so there must be a fair bit of play. Would assume any cut between the two numbers would work.

Bit First Key Second Key
1 .035” .049”
2 .067” .081”
3 .099” .113”
4 .131” .146”
5 .163” .177”
6 .195” .208”
7 .227” .241”

The depth of the groove is .050”, the width of the of the groove is .065”. Both keys show heavy wear from contact with keys over their lifetime of use, which made measuring a more difficult.

How to read the film audit trail. Two things to notice from the first writeup on the internal parts of the lock that punch the tape are the back of the wheels. Unlike the inside of the wheels, the pattern on the outside of each wheel is the same. So the pattern for a 1 is always the same, as with 2, 3 and so forth. In the picture below, the wheel furthest to the right is turned to 7, all the other wheels are at 1. This is so you can see how the pattern continues as the numbers progress.

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And the fingers that are forced against the back of the wheels, imprinting the film. There are three fingers for each wheel, so 15 fingers total.

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The pattern possibilities are therefore a combination of three cells, either with a punch or without. Will write them as a punch being “ * “, and no punch as “ . “ They work out as:

1 *..
2 .*.
3 **.
4 ..*
5 *.*
6 .**
7 …

OK, how to use the key in the lock…

1. Insert the key in the lock. The groove in the key will face away from you.

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2. Turn the key so the bevelled part is flat with the keyway. (Compare this picture to the one above.)

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3. Enter your code (You can enter your code before putting in your key if you like.)

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4. Push in your key. It should travel in nearly to the key bow.

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That releases the door part way down below.

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5. Pull the door the rest of the way open. (The lock functions this way). When you fully open the door, you will hear a ‘pop’ sound as the mechanism releases, forcing the fingers onto the film, punching holes if there is not part of the wheel to block it from doing so.

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If you try to use the wrong combination (here, I entered 71731 instead of 71732), the key will push in a little bit, but not nearly as much as the correct combination would allow.

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If you enter a number where there is a false gate, the key will push in slightly more than without a false gate. You can use the pressure to work on manipulating the combination, but it is considerably harder when you are dealing with 5 wheels, some with no false gate, some with a false gate, and some with a true gate.

The combinations for my two keys (and the combination will only work on this box) are:

Flatter key
71732

More bitting variation key
73525

The keys did not originally have those combinations on my box. The first key I decoded had the combination of 12473. But with the other key the combination was 13322. I wanted a more difficult combination. But with the random wheel patterns, moving around 13322 would not make 31232 or 23132 or any other variation of 1-2-2-3-3. Swapping the wheels around made 73525. Then had to figure out the combination again for the first key, which ended up being 71732.

These locks were built in series, so a real estate agent in an area could have a hundred boxes where any key in that series would have the same combination. But the same key in a different series would require a different combination. This prevents someone from using a known key and combination in another town to break into houses.

There are 16,807 key permutations, each with a different combination needed with the key to open the lock box.

Each key will fit into any of the Multacc boxes, but will require a different combination if used in a series the key was not issued for. The combination is not stamped or written on the key. So if someone found a key, without the combination, it is almost useless to the finder unless they want to try all 16,807 possible combinations while trying to break into a house. That is not as easy to do as a Master combination… the key has to be pressed in at each combination - hard. The return spring is quite strong, so you will get a workout trying all combinations.

Hope this helps some of you make some keys!

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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Riyame

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Post Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:24 pm

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Wow, thanks for the detailed breakdown on these. Very nice stuff.
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escher7

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Post Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:59 pm

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Well done.
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macgng

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Post Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:54 am

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

awesome post! i totally need a key for mine.
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piotr

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Post Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:29 am

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Awesome! Great write-up.
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mechanical_nightmare

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Post Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:54 pm

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Very cool lock. Did these ever actually see widespread use in the US? It would probably be cheaper to keep all the keys to the properties at a central location than to buy one of these locks for each property.
If you do not manipulate the lock, then the lock will manipulate you
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GWiens2001

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Post Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:20 pm

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

They did see fairly widespread use here in the United States. It is much faster to have a key secured at the property for sale instead of at a central location, especially if there are a lot of houses for sale in the area. If the keys are in one central location, and six realtors want to show the houses to perspective buyers, those buyers will not want to wait for hours for the key to be returned, then more hours as the next realtor gets the key first. And if a realtor takes 15 keys to homes to show a customer, that is 15 homes that can not be shown by other realtors, probably for a day or more.

These days, the same idea as used, but with more technology. The keys are in a lockbox that is opened by a signal from the realtor's cell phone. It also creates an audit trail, so who had accessed the house key can be determined.

Gordon
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kevinjd50

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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Hi from An Aussie, first posting on this site and have always been interested in keys and locks but recently acquired 10 of these locks. 6 have keys, codes and combinations - the other 4 I have only the keys and codes - the question, is it at possible to attain the combinations of the other 4 ?? One of the locks has not had the clasp locked. Regards
Kevin
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GWiens2001

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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:35 pm

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

The easiest way is to disassemble the lock. The other way is to put in the key, set the combo as 0-0-0-0-1, and see if the key can be pushed in further then turned. If not, try 0-0-0-0-2, and so on.

Gordon
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kevinjd50

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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:13 pm

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Thanks Gordon, I have all the 5 digit #'s so can open all key draws but trying to find a way to possibly open the clasps, 0 - 15 combination, without too much damage

Kevin
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GWiens2001

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Post Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:31 am

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

For the combination - the 'drive cam' is what stops the dial from turning as the shackle is pulled. Apply light tension and turn the dial, noting how many numbers the dial can shift. Release the shackle and turn the dial just past one of the stops, the retension the shackle. You will find 9 false gates that have a slightly narrower window, and 1 true gate. The true gate is your third number.

If I recall correctly, there is about a 2 number tolerance for the other wheels. You can manipulate it, parking the dial at the true gate for each test, checking how far the shackle pulls out. (An ultra-fine sharpie marker can help with this). There are only 20 numbers on the dial, so 10 positions to test for each of the two wheels.

Now you are down to 0-0-x (x being your true gate), 0-2-x, 0-4-x, and so forth. Once you find a spot the shackle comes further out at, you can work on the other number.

Gordon
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kevinjd50

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Post Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:16 am

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Thanks again Gordon, as mentioned previously , one lock had the clasp undone and I realised that I could not turn the wheel without the clasp being engaged - so that gave me the third number from when it was last opened - the rest is history, I now have only three to get.
I am having trouble coming to terms with how to get the third number as you described, thereby making it simpler to get the other two as I did above. I'm sure that with a lot of perseverance I may get them as well.
Question : In what direction do I need to turn the dial in trying to find the third number?
Regards
Kevin
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GWiens2001

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Post Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:28 pm

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Either direction. There are only false gates on the third gate, and the false gates and the true gate are what the locking mechanism goes into to unlock the shackle. If you look at the pictures above at the components in the dial part of the lock, you can see what I mean.

Gordon
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ARF-GEF

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Post Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:39 pm

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

Once I get one of those this will not only be interesting but very useful as well. Thank you for making it Gordon :)
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PhoneMan

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Post Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:23 am

Re: Key Data for Multacc Real Estate Lock Box Keys

GW, the audit trail is like binary code, really cool stuff. I wanted one of these ever since I was a kid, now I have several. Like always, a very detailed writeup!
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