Lockpicking Competition at NAC2016

71st Netherlands Astronomy Conference, Nunspeet 23-25 May 2016 http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/naclogo120.jpg http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/logo-science-cafe-overvecht-120x120.jpg

Disclaimer

THIS INORMATION IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE INORMATION OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE INORMATION.
The information provided is intended for educational purposes only.

Stay legal! Please, practice on your own locks or locks you have permission to lock pick.

Results of the competition

We have played 5 rounds starting with the easier green locks (3 pins). The last round required to open the 5-pins locks with a tension wrench.
All these locks were purchased from Gamma.
https://www.gamma.nl/assortiment/gamma-cilinder-gelijksluitend-messing-30/30-mm2-stuks/p/B806203
For the green locks the even numbered pins were removed.

With some luck it took about ten seconds to open the locks without a key. To determine the winners of the contest with minimal influence of random effects the sum of all scores (time in seconds to open a lock) was calculated.
The next graph shows the individual times in ascending order. http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/scores.jpg

The number of contestants was a bit disappointing, but that was compensated by the pleasant mood and the humor.

At the poster-site in the main hall of the NAC2016 conference there was opportunity to practice your lockpicking skills, whether one wanted to participate in the contest or not. So many Dutch astronomers now have hands-on experience with lock-picking. In particular the Chinese unshielded padlock was an eye-opener.

More fun

Upcoming events
Buurt Camping Park de Gagel
      8-10 juli 2016. The exact time and location of the lockpicking competition / demo is to be announced.

De Sociale Buurtmarkt Overvecht
      op 3 september van 10:00 - 16:00 bij De Dreef (Schooneggendreef 27, 3562 GG Utrecht).

Lockpicking

What is lockpicking?

Lockpicking is the art of opening a lock without use of the orginal key where the lock not damaged. Lockpicking is a craft, not a science.

Legal issues

Wetboek van Strafrecht

Artikel 1
1. Geen feit is strafbaar dan uit kracht van een daaraan voorafgegane wettelijke strafbepaling.

Artikel 90
Onder valse sleutels worden begrepen alle tot opening van het slot niet bestemde werktuigen.

Artikel 138
1. Hij die in de woning of het besloten lokaal of erf, bij een ander in gebruik, wederrechtelijk binnendringt of, wederrechtelijk aldaar vertoevende, zich niet op de vordering van of vanwege de rechthebbende aanstonds verwijdert, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste een jaar of geldboete van de derde categorie.
2. Hij die zich de toegang heeft verschaft door middel van braak of inklimming, van valse sleutels, van een valse order of een vals kostuum, of die, zonder voorkennis van de rechthebbende en anders dan ten gevolge van vergissing binnengekomen, aldaar wordt aangetroffen in de voor de nachtrust bestemde tijd, wordt geacht te zijn binnengedrongen.

Artikel 139
1. Hij die in een voor de openbare dienst bestemd lokaal wederrechtelijk binnendringt, of, wederrechtelijk aldaar vertoevende, zich niet op de vordering van de bevoegde ambtenaar aanstonds verwijdert, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste drie maanden of geldboete van de tweede categorie.
2. Hij die zich de toegang heeft verschaft door middel van braak of inklimming, van valse sleutels, van een valse order of een vals kostuum, of die zonder voorkennis van de bevoegde ambtenaar en anders dan ten gevolge van vergissing binnengekomen, aldaar wordt aangetroffen in de voor de nachtrust bestemde tijd, wordt geacht te zijn binnengedrongen.

How does a lock work?

There are many types of locks. Here we are only interested in pin tumbler locks. 1
http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/MITLockGuide-2.1.jpg

Here is a simplified model.
http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/MITLockGuide-3-3.jpg http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/MITLockGuide-4-3.jpg http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/white.jpg
Here is shown what happens if a pin is pushed. Never apply too much torque, otherwise the pins get blocked.
http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/MITLockGuide-5.1.jpg http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/MITLockGuide-5.2.jpg http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/MITLockGuide-6.1.jpg

Here is a graph, astronomers love graphs.
http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/MITLockGuide-5.5.jpg
Here is another one. 2
http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/graph.jpg

How to pick a lock

There are several techniques to pick a lock. You can only learn the craft by practising a lot. Fortunately YouTube can help you with many tutorials. Turn off the sound, unless stated otherwise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6ml4USqWXc
3m 06s Dutch text. Nice graphics and animations. http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/lockpickcenter.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO3mMYwKkKs
5m 25s English text. Demonstration with a transparent perspex lock.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttHclcJZex4
5m 54s English spoken. Shows how to make a complete lockpick toolset from three paperclips. (But do not expect it to work as demonstrated.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1n8itKkmC8
6m 06s English spoken. Shielded and Unshielded Padlocks.
We will demonstrate this at the poster session.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3H2rK-3FaQ
13m 56s English spoken. How to Detect and Beat Spool Pins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_RE1wZfdd0
10m 47s English spoken. Finding the Right Tension.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd_77po2iXY
16m 16s English spoken. Everything about tension tools.

The competition

The competition will probably be held on the evening of Tuesday May 24.
There are two types of locks to be picked, the original Gamma-brand locks (red) with 5 pins and green locks from which the even numbered pins are removed.

Details of the competition will depend on the number of participants and the time available. It seems logical to start a first round with raking or picking the green locks with or without tension wrench.

Opening the green lock by raking may take only a few seconds, opening it by picking requires more patience and dexterity.

Just press the start/stop button on your timer as soon as possible after turning the lock.

There are two identical sets of locks and sets of lockpicking tools. And two calibrated kichen timers to be used as stopwatches.
http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/red-green-locks-5123-cropped.jpg http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/tool-5122-2400x1800.jpg http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/stopwatch-5144.jpg

The prizes

First prize

"Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman!"
The paperback not only gives a (hilarious) account of Richard Feynman's activity as a lockpicker, but a.o. also:
•     How to repair (pre-WW II) radios
•     His exploits in Las Vegas
•     Feynman's Bazilian adventures
•     The Manhattan Project https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Project
•     The abysmal quality of American textbooks.

Second and third prize

500 grams Turkish Delight
Sebahat's Turkish Delight (soft sweet candy) is a quality product fabriqué en Belgique.


http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/Feynman-book.jpg http://www.sciencecafeovervecht.nl/NAC2016/turkish-delight.jpg

Arbitration

If there are winners ex aequo, the Open Source program lottery http://www.harmjschoonhoven.com/download.html#lottery will decide the outcome.
The algorithm is simple. Take the sum of the ASCII-values of the characters in a list of names modulo the number of names. Remove this name counting from 0 and repeat the process.

Warning

The lockpicking tools we use here are made from high-quality steel in the U.S.A. by Southord , the leading manufacturer of these tools. However there are two things you should not do.

• Never use a flat tool like a screwdriver to apply torque. For that we have torque wrenches.

• Do not bend a flat tool sideways. Pushing and pulling will not damage a tool. Also a downward force can be applied parallel to the blade.

• Remember that if you do not succeed in picking a lock, it is probably because you apply to much force, not because you press not hard enough.

Final remarks and references

The simularities between astronomy and lockpicking are that in both cases you can not touch the object of study directly and that both are rewarding in itself if you have a success.

1) Drawings taken from MITLockGuide.pdf by Ted the Tool, © 1987, 1991 Theodore T. Tool. https://ia801902.us.archive.org/26/items/MITLockGuide/MITLockGuide.pdf . back

2) Graph taken from The fairly concise NEW SCIENTIST Magazine DICTIONARY of scientific terms in current use based on the exhausting studies of Mr Graham Storr
© New Scientist at Commonwealth House 1982. Illustrated with ten estimable sketches by Mr Austin. back

Contact: info@harmjschoonhoven.com


Version 2016-06-23 since April 30 2016. top