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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-09-23 18:32
  Subject:   Security arrangements for the gixxer.
Public
  Music:Combichrist - Intruder Alert

So my mom just took away my excuse for not riding much. For a birthday present, she rented me 3 months worth of a 10x5' storage locker in N. Boulder so I can store my bike a bit closer than the previous 30 minute drive.



The storage locker door is made of aluminium (:eye-roll:) slats that could probably be bashed in, or just snapped in half, by anyone willing to drag a sledge-hammer over a 6' chain-link fence. The locking mechanism of the door is also ghetto. About waist-height on either side of the door are what amount to pieces of square tubing that slide side-to-side in channels embedded in the door. There are corresponding holes in the door frame so the pieces of tube can slide outward, slip into the holes, and lock the door in place. It's basically a barrel-bolt setup... if barrel bolts were made out of hollow, square aluminium tube. When I went to inspect the locker, I found that one of the tubes was bent outward a little bit in the middle, as if someone had once attempted to pry a padlock off. Also, this place is across the street from the local strip club. So in summary, I'm not real confident about the security arrangements.

In the spirit of multi-layered defense, I'd like to secure the bolts on both sides of the door. But I don't want to buy two locks, or have to carry two keys, have to remember two combinations, etc. Anyone have any ideas about what I can do to secure the other bolt without buying another lock? I'd rather not have to machine said device myself, so anything I can buy off the shelf and either not modify or modify only a tiny bit would be best.

One last little roadblock - The slot on the right side is large enough to admit the 3/8" diameter shackle of the padlock I used. But the slot on the other side is narrower, only about 1/8". So anything that secures the other side has to be able to be inserted and removed through a 1/8" x 2" slot.

I have some ideas on how to do this... but I'm curious to hear what people on the f-list think.


P.S. Let's assume that a thief won't haul an acetelyne tank and cutting torch over the fence. Cuz if he does, the door could be made of two foot thick steel and it wouldn't matter - he'd just cut through the cheap-ass sheet metal walls of the storage building and take the bike that way.

P.P.S. Anyone who suggests a shaped charge placed under the seat of the bike, pointing upward, wins for mad science but goes straight to jail for setting up a lethal booby-trap. Which is almost as illegal as outright murder, at least here in Colorado. ;]
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hacked2death
  User: hacked2death
  Date: 2007-09-24 01:58 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I knew a guy who used to live in a really rough town. He rigged up his four wheeled drive so if anyone tried to break in or touch the car while the car was armed would get an electric shock. If the town wasn't rough enough, I'm sure he would of gotten into trouble..
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-24 02:32 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I prefer this. ;]
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Willow: Evil Willow
  User: willow_red
  Date: 2007-09-24 16:28 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:Evil Willow
100% non-lethal...unless the person is carrying an oxygen tank!

*ahem*

Since the door is so ghetto, is there an option of securing the bike to the wall inside the storage unit? You might be able to go with some sturdier chain then...unless the person spends some quality time with a hacksaw.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-24 19:38 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
is there an option of securing the bike to the wall inside the storage unit?

There is, but frankly the construction is so flimsy that this isn't a useful option. The walls are probably 1/32nd sheet metal. Anyone with a claw hammer or crow-bar could rip them right apart. A better option might be to drill a hole in the floor and sink a steel anchor in there. But the owners of the shed might object to that...

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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2007-09-24 10:00 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Chain. Strong steel chain. Should be available from your local hardware store.

I had a bike that somebody tried to nick at the train station. They spent about fifteen minutes trying to break the chain, then gave up and trashed the bike instead - covered by insurance and I got a new bike. I still have the chain and use it on a regular basis.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-24 15:52 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Thought of that; but how do you get a reasonably sized chain through a 1/8" slot?
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2007-09-24 16:38 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I'm guessing this is the same one we've visited for other moving issues? Or very similar?

I'd say you want to reduce the overall chance of someone even trying for your locker, next to many others. Since the structure is much weaker than any lock you can get, anything really hardcore on the outside screams "I have something really good inside, try me first". Go for a plain lock like the others around you.

On the inside, since it's a decent size, get a steel plate or some weightlifting barbells (cheap at thrift stores), and make a rock of Gibraltar to attach to the bike frame via a heavy chain. So if they do get in, there is still a ton of weight involved.

Or add another cell phone to your plan, hook it up as some sort of ghetto alarm if the door is opened / changed.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-24 19:47 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
anything really hardcore on the outside screams "I have something really good inside, try me first". Go for a plain lock like the others around you.

I'm hoping that if I put a bunch of shiny cool looking stuff as the locking mechanism, it'll make thieves spend all their time focusing on that, instead of noticing that they can just take tin-snips to the flimsy walls. But your point is well taken - something strong AND low-profile might be the best.

On the inside, since it's a decent size, get a steel plate or some weightlifting barbells (cheap at thrift stores), and make a rock of Gibraltar to attach to the bike frame via a heavy chain. So if they do get in, there is still a ton of weight involved.

That's a great idea. They've got no possible legal excuse to bitch at me for storing half of a 55 gallon drum filled with concrete in my storage locker. It's my locker, and if I want to store concrete blocks, I can. This way I can also get as big-ass a @#$%ing chain as I want. One of 1.7lb/ft, 10mm industrial SOBO chains sounds good.

Or add another cell phone to your plan, hook it up as some sort of ghetto alarm if the door is opened / changed.

Ounce prevention, pound of cure. I want to stop them from getting the bike in the first place - not recover the mangled corpse after they've crashed it in a ditch somewhere in Saudi Aurora. If I go this route, it's going to be the shaped charge. Nobody is taking my bike and living to tell the tale.
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2007-09-24 20:07 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I can understand a pyrric victor is not desired.

But:
A: Man-traps are illegal, but odd devices with blinking lights that people think are traps might not be. What are they going to do? call the cops?

B: An audio alarm, really loud, attached to the door in case it is wrentched off. You'd have to put some sort of timer on it and disable it every time you enter (and it would have to be hardened against attack), but nothing a crook hates more than a klaxxon signaling their entry.

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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-24 20:20 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The audio alarm is reasonable as a preventative measure. It'll have to be REAL loud though... loud enough to still be loud a block away. Hopefully destroy the thief's hearing too.
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2007-09-24 21:08 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Or maybe just a very realistic rattlesnake maraca recording.
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2007-09-26 11:37 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-09-26 22:30 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
превосходно! After farting around the hardware store, that's exactly the solution I thought up. Actually, mine involved a 1/8" x 1" x 3' metal bar with a hook shape cut into one end and a round hole in the other... and I planned to dip it in that rubber coating stuff... but functionally identical.

Looks like it's not going to get any better than that. So now I just have to rent the plasma cutter from Home Despot and carve up the bar...
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