Retrofitting an Electronic Safe Lock Into A Floor Safe, PART 1

The development of the electronic safe lock has revolutionized the way people think about owning a safe. Operating a mechanical safe lock required not only memorizing the three or four numbers of the combination, but also what seems to be even...


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The development of the electronic safe lock has revolutionized the way people think about owning a safe. Operating a mechanical safe lock required not only memorizing the three or four numbers of the combination, but also what seems to be even harder, memorizing the dialing procedure. In an attempt to eliminate this problem, a number of safe companies provide an instruction sheet with step-by-step instructions on how to dial the combination, as well as a technical support telephone number.

An electronic safe lock is much easier to operate. The user simply enters a code (no longer a combination) onto a numeric keypad, with which most people are familiar. This makes it much easier to operate the safe, which usually results in people being more willing to make use of their safe.

To this end, I was invited to the retro-fitting of an Eclipse Rota-Bolt in-floor safe with a LA GARD LGBASIC II Model 3715 Electronic Entry Device and an LGBASIC 4200 Dual-Handed Swingbolt Lock. A black four-lead wire with special connector attaches the entry device to the lock. Note: The 4200 is a new part number replacing the 3765-2. The 4200 Swing Bolt Lock is designed to be installed with bolt positioned in either direction to accommodate the safe’s boltwork.

Important: The Dual-Handed Swingbolt Lock has non-volatile memory; even if the batteries are removed from the entry device, the lock retains all programming.

The LGBASIC dual-handed swingbolt features a Manager Code and a User Code. The six-digit Manager code can add/remove and enable/disable the User Code. The User code opens the lock.

To protect against manipulation, the 4200 has a wrong try penalty. After four consecutive invalid codes are entered, a five-minute delay period is activated. During the delay, the LED flashes red at five second intervals. At the end of the delay period, two consecutive invalid entries will start another five-minute delay period.

The Eclipse Rota-Bolt is a square door in-floor safe with a patented three-way locking plate. The Rota-Bolt has a spring loaded hinged large capacity opening door, drive resistant door jambs and a bottom lip to resist removal from cement. Hard plate protects the lock, and two relocking devices resist unauthorized entry. Dimensions are 13.75” x 16.625” x 20.25”. Weight is 128 pounds.

The LA GARD LGBASIC II model 3715 features a 12-button keypad with LED. A 9 volt alkaline battery powers this electronic entry device and the 4200 lock. Low battery warning is indicated by repeated beeping during opening.

MECHANICAL LOCK REMOVAL

To retrofit the Eclipse RB3, the mechanical combination lock must be removed. Begin by dialing the combination, retracting the boltwork and opening the door. With the safe door open, follow the directions below.

Step 1. Remove the four Phillips Head screws that secure the back cover. Remove the back cover. The relock is connected to the cover plate that is against the combination lock. Two Phillips Head screws secure both the cover plate and the combination lock cover to the lock body.

Step 2. Remove the two screws, being careful to disengage the relock from the cover plate. Lift off the combination lock cover.

Step 3. Remove the spline key from the driver.

Step 4. Holding the driver and the dial, unscrew and remove both.

Step 5. Remove the four Phillips Head screws securing the mechanical combination lock. Note: Be careful;, the lock mounting screws usually have some type of thread adhesive. Avoid stripping the screws by using a #2 Phillips head screwdriver. Lift off the lock.

Step 6. Remove the two Phillips Head screws securing the dial ring.

Step 7. Remove the dial ring.

Note: Since many safe lock mounting screws have some type of thread adhesive, occasionally the adhesive becomes trapped between the dial ring and the mounting plate. If necessary, gently tap or pry the dial ring off the front of the safe.
The mechanical combination lock has been removed and is ready to receive the electronic entry device and lock.

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