Pistol safe refit project

Ok, so I’ve put this off forever

I’m going to try to refit my pistol safe to use rfid
Probably another XACV2 like my big safe project

This will also be a nice portable demo for CircleCityCon
(@darthdomo @init6 @Kdude0)
Stock unit

(Yes I’m aware of it’s backup key vulnerability, I have plans)

I do like it, it’s made of actual steel, not just sheet metal… and fully welded… plus that door seem is very nice… much harder to pry
Thing weighs probably 40? Lbs… it’s physically built nice…

I would prefer to just trick the existing hardware into opening instead of replacing all the mechanical aspects… work smarter not harder

Here’s my initial thought and hopefully someone smarter than me has input

This is the board that controls the opening and closing of the bars, excuse the bad photo
Black red are power to the motor,
Red green are input power
White are various stop switches for bar travel and programming button
Grey is coming from the security panel
(I doubt I could spoof that… but maybe it’s easier than I assume?)

I’m hoping / assuming that the board manufacturer would have 2 points on the board they can short to test the power cycle?
Presumably that’s easier on the manufacturer end to test than sending lock unlock signals via the ribbon cable

Am I wrong in my thinking here?
My initial plan is, If that’s a thing, I can simply hook an XACv2 to it, and hit that circuit to tell it to open/close

Next question if that likely exists, is how do I find it

I’ll try to get some better photos and videos later, just putting it up so maybe in the meantime someone has some ideas

And no I won’t run AC this time


I assume that there is a keyhole under the nice looking “viking” plate.

If/when you dismantle it it would be nice to have high quality photos of both sides of both boards.

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Yep, it’s a cross lock, and fairly low quality

My plan is to replace those bolts with one way snap off bolts… I can use tools to get the bolts out if I ever need… so it doesn’t need to be convenient lol
Also potentially some loctite

Yea, I only have a semi shitty of parts moving at the moment

I’ll plan to take that entire board out and get a good overhead hd photo to try and map it


Now you’re tempting me to convert a safe… But I’d prefer to use something less power hungry than a xACv2

Do note that the solenoid on some of those is poorly protected from outside vibration and impacts.

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Doesn’t use a solonoid, uses a motor that cams the bars in and out and hits 2 stop switch’s

Don’t see a magnet doing anything

Here I’ll post the shitty video I have of its internals operating


You actually got me thinking about doing a conversion on my own safe. The quiescent power of the xACv2 is a significant concern for a battery operated device so I thought maybe it would be nice to have it turned on and off by like a microcontroller or something. I know the attiny45 can go down to something like 20 nanoamps if you set up a special sleep mode with an interrupt to wake it. Then I realized that a 555 timer would probably be ideal since it can be set in oneshot mode. So I found this online that does exactly that https://www.edn.com/555-timer-draws-zero-off-current/

And I’m going to have to convert my safe now since it somehow stopped working after I took it apart :confused:

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I didn’t realize that the safe you’re modifying doesn’t have a knob or handle on the outside. :man_facepalming:t2:

That mechanism should be significantly more secure than the solenoid based safes.

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I think I’m going to do something very similar to my big safe, a small 12v ups inside the safe

The big safe version can get about 48 hours without power

But I wired up a buck converter to run constant rather than momentary… so I’m sure it draws more than if I set it up better… I should go back and rewire it… but meh

So I’m sure I could get better running only the xac

I think I’m also going to keep the AA battery pack as input power to the system, so the xac only had ti activate the system

Also lets me potentially keep the standalone systems

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I’m not opposed to some kind of push button to activate like 60 seconds of power to the xac, but I don’t have the knowledge base haha :sweat_smile:

Arduino and microcontroller programming is probably not within my grasp at the moment of competence

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Why not just use a toggle switch? You turn on and let it boot up, swipe your implant and let it unlock, then turn it off when you close the safe? A little risky if you forget to turn it off, I suppose, but it is likely one of the easiest solutions and doesn’t require anything other than a toggle on the power line???

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The thought did cross my mind

I do love me some missle cover switch’s

I just found this… which could have some possibilities

DC 12V Timer Module,Adjustable Timer Delay Turn Off Module Timing Relay Time Switch 1~10sec

Here’s another


that is some of the fun with a 555 timer. Just google “555 timer one-shot calculator” and you’ll find a couple sites that can help you figure out what values you need.

edit: just looking online you can get approximately 2 minutes with the easy to get values of 470K ohms and 220uF. Just plug those into r1 and c3 like the guide says and you’ll be good to go.


How many AAs does it use?
What’s the operating voltage?

What is the default action if the safe looses power? remain locked or unlock?

This is roughly how I would do it (without hands on to cofirm actual functionality )

12v for xACV2 + ?V for safe electronics (Buck /DC-DC / regulator)
Missile cover with momentary switch for power only when you need it.
run external power socket incase of loss of power internally.

Mount the xAC V2 antenna behind the Fingerprint scanner, and pick up the unlock wire with the xAC NO wire (yellow I think)

Try using a multimeter to probe the wires when unlocking to confirm which wire you want to pick up…

loose plan, but need more info…


Yeah. That looks like a much better solution then a toggle. Though the missile switch idea seems cool!

You could always do both. Switch to the button, and if you forget to turn off the switch, then this circuit sorts that for you. I appreciate this has no real purpose other than aesthetics in using such switches!

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I hadn’t considered this; I was thinking of either removing the front panel entirely and making it slick like my big save, or a secondary panel below the stock panel

I’ll have to play with xACv2 range when I get to that point

Definitely remains locked

Uses 4xAA inside the door, they get plenty of life
So I would just skip the buck converter and use the aa to power the safe like normal, just need to supply power to the xac…
I was thinking 12vdc for simplicity

You know what would be stupid, but amusing?

You know the “useless” box that flips the toggle switch closed after you flip it?

Rig that up as the power switch to the xac

Flip the switch on, and then 30 seconds later it opens a hatch, and flicks the switch


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I think that’s about as far in as I’ll dig tonight, lemme know if those pictures are good enough for the pcb gods

I sent a Hail Mary email to the manufacturer asking to be put in touch with someone who knows a lot about the circuit board…

I also found a phone number, so I’ll hound them tomorrow

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5V if you power it at the output of the built in linear regulatior. It uses a 78M05 IIRC.

It would be a good idea to have a way of powering the thing from the outside, either by moving the battery compartiment to the exterior of the safe or installing a connector of some sort. Maybe a USB connector or a 9V battery holder?

Also, I’m not sure that you’ll be able to get that board to toggle the state of the safe so you might need to drive the motor separately. What happens if you turn the motor by hand until the microswitch disengages?

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I was thinking about that,

I can do it, but it would be a backup to a backup to a backup etc so I’m not sure it’s worth it

Because there would be the rfid system,
Biometric system, numpad system, which would be on a different power system
and mechanical backup lock

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Back when I was doing my magic toolbox project, Satur9 came up with a neat low power capacitive touch unit. Super low draw if set up right. You could isolate some innocuous part of the safe and use that for power up. Or just use the whole thing.

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