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Medeco Biaxial CW/CCW question

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2022 3:33 pm
by null101
Was chatting with someone on discord about the biaxials and they mentioned some of their locks don't follow the rule of engaging pins vs sidebar based on CW/CCW rotation. Basically, the sidebar engages before they are done setting pins to shear. Seemed odd to me, anyone else experience this? I suggested they might be in a deep false set on a mushroom.

Re: Medeco Biaxial CW/CCW question

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2022 11:19 pm
by MHM
Huh...I think I can see where your friend is coming from.

When you're picking a Biaxial clockwise you will definitely feel some pins rotationally binding to some extent or other before all pins are set at shear. They may not be rock-hard-and-fast binding like they would be if you're going anticlockwise and feeling for THE binder under heavy tension. But you'll definitely feel a few dragging on the sidebar fingers as you set them vertically.

You have to remember that there are an awful lot of potential pinstates. Just off the top of my head, every pin can be any combination of: conventionally loose / binding / set / false set / overset multiplied by rotationally loose / binding / false gate / true gate = 20 possible pinstates per pin.*

Let's say you're going clockwise and by a happy coincidence the first couple of pins you set conventionally, also happen to fall into a true gate rotationally. So the plug turns just slightly more than it might do otherwise. Subsequent pins for sure will drag on the sidebar a bit.

*As an aside, this is why Medecos are hard for beginners to pick.** Learning to interpret that feedback is pretty tricky and if you've properly randomised pin rotations before you start picking***, the same lock will rarely pick the same way twice.

**That, plus the fact that learning to accurately manipulate the pins rotationally can be a bitch.

***Simply withdrawing the key does NOT adequately randomise the rotations of the keypins.

Re: Medeco Biaxial CW/CCW question

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2022 5:14 am
by null101
Thanks for the detailed reply, after some reflection what you're saying makes perfect sense. I went and picked the Biaxial I have again with your comments in mind and this time I noticed that some of the keypins did have some resistance or drag on them from the sidebar. Not enough to bind them so I never really paid attention to it before but its definitely there. I might try repinning it to see if I can induce a mixed binding for practice. Good stuff!

Re: Medeco Biaxial CW/CCW question

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2022 9:09 pm
by MHM
Great stuff, glad I could help.

You can actually use that slight dragging to try to set the pin rotationally as you set it vertically...the theory is that you manipulate the pin to snick it into a gate as you're lifting it. When it does drop into a groove like this it's an unmistakeable (and I must say very gratifying) feeling. The problem of course is that if you're picking the lock blind, you don't know where the gate is and you don't know whether it's a pin with a false gate, so you don't know which way to twiddle the pin.

If you DO happen to know where the true gates are it becomes a lot more feasible to do this, and there is a video on picking Medecos somewhere that discusses this in detail. The guy speaks about mentally mapping the pin orientations as you go, so that once you know where the gate is for a given pin (by trial and error in successive iterations through the lock), you try to orient the pin properly on subsequent runs through.

Whoever it was that posted the first video pick of the M4 copped some heavy and in my view justified criticism for having a camera shoved up the lock's keyway from the rear. He was thus able to see where the pins were as he was setting them and knew which pin he was on, whether or not it was set or had dropped, and whether it was rotated correctly or needed a twiddle. It's far better to be able to do it without this assistance.