Retrofitting an Electronic Safe Lock Into A Floor Safe, PART2

Nov. 1, 2008
I was invited to the retrofitting of an Eclipse Rota-Bolt in-floor safe with a La Gard LG BASIC electronic lock.

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.

An electronic safe lock is much easier to operate. The user simply enters a code (no longer a combination) onto a numeric keypad.. 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.

Editor's Note: Part 1 of Locksmith Ledger’s series on retrofitting an electronic safe lock addressed the removal of the mechanical lock. (See September 2008, pages 28-32.) Part 2 of this article addresses the installation and set-up of the electronic lock.

Step 1. Install the two Phillips Head mounting screws. Make sure they are tight.

Step 2. Slide the four-wire connector through the spindle hole in the safe door, leaving enough wire for the LGBASIC II to be mounted.

Step 3. Attach the wiring into the connector in the lock housing. A black spring -loaded armature secures the wiring to the lock.  To attach the wiring, press the armature and slide the connector in place. The connector attaches in only one position. Once in position, slide the armature across the rear of the connector, entrapping it.

Step 4. Position the wire in the indent on the correct side of the lock. Unlike the mechanical combination lock, whose bolt extends and retracts, the swing bolt lock has one flat side that stops the boltwork from rotating when the lock is locked. When the proper code is entered, the lock unlocks and the boltwork tilts the swing bolt within the lock case, unlocking the door.

Step 5. Mount the lock using the three provided Phillips Head mounting screws. Leave a sufficient amount of wire for the entry device to mount onto the safe door. Make sure the wiring does not become crimped.

Step 6. Carefully pull the wired 9-volt battery connector out of the housing. Attach the supplied alkaline battery to the connector. Carefully insert the battery into the housing.

Step 7. Attach the 3715 Electronic Entry Device to the safe door by sliding the bottom of the housing with the clips against the two mounting screws.
Step 8. Slide the relock armature into the upper opening in the mounting plate adjacent to the two mounting screw holes.

Step 9. Place the mounting plate with relock armature still attached against the lock body, aligning the two mounting holes with the screw holes in the lock case.

Step 10. Attach the relock mounting plate to the lock body using two Phillips head screws.

Step 11. Use a wire tie to wrap the excess wiring, eliminating the possibility of crimping or cutting.

Test the operation of the electronic safe lock keeping the door open. Use the default code to set the User Code. Test the User Code at least three times with the door open. Once the User Code has been entered, rotating the boltwork causes the swing bolt to retract into the body of the lock. Note: There is a four-second window between the time when the correct code has been entered and the boltwork is turned to the open position. After four seconds, the lock will lock.

The LGBASIC 4200 Dual-Handed Swing bolt Lock requires a six-digit code for both the Manager and the User Codes.

To Change the Code:
Make sure the door is open.

Step 1. Enter zero six (6) times.

Step 2. Enter the existing six-digit code once.

Step 3. Enter the new code twice.

Note: If there is a mistake, wait 30seconds for the lock to reset and begin at Step 1.

A double signal will occur if the new code has been entered properly. If not, a triple signal occurs, indicating the old code is still valid. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to program a new code.

LA GARD recommends replacing the battery in the electronic entry device at least once a year.

To ensure proper operation of the electronic safe lock, the door should be opened at least once a month to allow humidity to escape. The alternative is to use desiccant to remove the humidity in the air within the floor safe. For this article, we used Safe Dri, a desiccant available in three sizes. Two of the sizes, the 30 (safes up to 30 Cubic Feet) and 60 (safes up to 60 Cubic Feet) are rechargeable.

For more information on Eclipse Safes, contact Eclipse Industries, 1923 Commercial St., Escondido, CA 92029. Telephone: 760-746-1016. Web Site:

For more information on the desiccant, contact Safe Dri, P.O. Box 691086. Tulsa, OK 74169. Telephone: 888-469-7233. Web Site:

For more information on the LGBASIC products, contact your local locksmith distributor.