keys to Woodstock security cradle?



#16

Hey all,

I had a fortuitous find today at a university surplus sale: a box containing five HP-27 calculators, including many carrying cases, adapters, etc. Everything seems to be in great shape thus far, although I haven't yet gotten around to any practical testing.

One strange caveat is that the calculators are all locked in the (optional) (HP-manufactured) "security cradle". (See this archived brochure for more info.) Does anyone know the details of the lock for these things? I.e., are they all keyed the same? (And if so, is it possible to get the keys?)

I'm pretty handy with drilling locks, but I'd like to preserve these if possible, in case anyone out there might be interested in them.


Edited: 2 Apr 2010, 11:17 p.m.


#17

I found the answer to my own question. In the one-page installation manual for the cradle, it says, "The factory cannot supply additional keys. We recommend you have duplicates made."

#18

Are they wafer tumbler locks? Those are usually relatively easy to pick with the right household tools (I've used straightened hair pins and very small knitting needles in a pinch).

Once you've opened them, you could potentially replace/rekey the locks, or impression some keys if you really know what you're doing. (I definitely don't!)


#19

My knowledge of lock taxonomy is pretty limited, but I believe they are. It looks like a small cam lock, and resembles the lock for the "ignition key" on an SGI Onyx I picked up from Boeing Surplus a few years ago ... no key was included with that, but it matched the key for a friend's screen door perfectly. I'm under the impression that these types of locks don't have a large "key space", so I may just luck out by trying a few things.

If not, I'm going to solicit a friend with a lock-pick set before breaking out the drill. Also, as part of the kit, there is an open, empty cradle, so I can remove the lock and see how available they are. It would be nice if I can drill them open and replace the lock, and still have them be perfectly reusable.


Edited: 3 Apr 2010, 11:42 a.m.


#20

You might just check with a locksmith!


#21

Indeed, although that's probably my last option, given that I expect them to charge at least US$50 for the service.


#22

i've had call to need a lock picked and re-keyed a couple of times by a locksmith here in river city. he charged me $15 to pick and re-key a lock i brought to him but he charges $70 to go and do the same song and dance with the sheriff on an eviction. moral: call ahead, describe the problem, tell him that there are a few of them, and that you will deliver and pick up. you might get a big discount because he doesn't have to charge for "windshield time" and that the second will be easier than the first & the third will..........


#23

This is good advice. If you do some checking, I'd bet you can find a locksmith that will be very reasonable. I believe locks of that type are easy to pick and re-key. Just don't assume the first quote you get is the best or that the others will be the same. That's been my experience at least.

Anyway, since you got these calculators at such a bargain (assumed), isn't it worth a little money to get them off the cradle without damage?


#24

Quote:
Anyway, since you got these calculators at such a bargain (assumed), isn't it worth a little money to get them off the cradle without damage?

I don't know why, but it was such a good deal that I'm a little bit embarrassed to report on it. The box contained:

-- 5 HP-27 calculators, each with mains adapter and locked in security cradle; quick tests show three of them seeming to work fine, two seeming to be twitchy.

-- One extra empty/open cradle.

-- (Of the six cradles, only three have security cables.)

-- 8 apparently unused faux-leather cases.

-- One HP-27 User Manual, one manual addendum, two catalogues of calculator accessories, and two "manuals" (one-page pamphlet, really) for the security cradles.

The complete kit was US$5. (One dollar per calculator.) What made it especially tickling was that I went to the sale on a time-killing lark; I was not, in any way, on the lookout for anything exciting.

Re: the effort of preserving the cradles. This begs the question, will anybody be interested in these? I'm happy to preserve them if there is likely to be interest, but if these are off the radar for most people/collectors, it would be easier, faster and more economical for me to just drill them.

So let me know: is anyone here interested in these cradles? If so, I'd be happy to preserve them and send them to you for the price of shipping. Note that they're not pristine; they're in good condition, but they bear some institutional markings in indelible ink. (Among them, on two of the cradles, some cheeky scoundrel wrote "TI" on the top.) Oh, and as alluded to earlier, three of the six are missing cables.


Edited: 3 Apr 2010, 11:55 p.m.


#25

two things:

1) i'd be interested in a cradle. email me whenever. i could fabricate a cable at the marine supply place here in martinez. if i can swedge together climbing equipment; i can do the same for a calc cradle.

2)forgive me for both telling you something that you may already know, and quoting myself, but i'm not sure how your 27s are set up and not sure how familiar you are with the woodstock class of HPs. that flicker scares me. here goes:
IMHO it is dangerous to charge the batteries INSIDE your model of hp calculator. A high percentage of them are dead because the batteries weren't making good contact, maybe because of slight corrosion or dust, and the irreplaceable ROMs got fried with too much DC. Let this be known as the too much cheesecake too soon syndrome.
I avoid the problem by charging the batts outside of the calculator or running slightly used AA alkaline 1.5v cells in place of the 1.25v rechargeables.

sorry if this is old news or something taken care of by hp in your units but care is warranted in any old hp and especially one as rare as the 27.


#26

Quote:
2)forgive me for both telling you something that you may already know, and quoting myself, but i'm not sure how your 27s are set up and not sure how familiar you are with the woodstock class of HPs. that flicker scares me. here goes:
IMHO it is dangerous to charge the batteries INSIDE your model of hp calculator. A high percentage of them are dead because the batteries weren't making good contact, maybe because of slight corrosion or dust, and the irreplaceable ROMs got fried with too much DC. Let this be known as the too much cheesecake too soon syndrome.
I avoid the problem by charging the batts outside of the calculator or running slightly used AA alkaline 1.5v cells in place of the 1.25v rechargeables.

sorry if this is old news or something taken care of by hp in your units but care is warranted in any old hp and especially one as rare as the 27.

Thanks for the information ... I hope I didn't do anything negligent, but fear that I might have. Being locked in the cradles, the calculators are currently unavailable to inspection. (For instance, I don't even know if, cosmetically, they have any institutional markings. All I can see is the keyboard and the LED, refracted through the plastic visor of the cradle.)

I had read that Woodstocks should be powered on only with batteries in place, and I felt confident that that was the case with all of them (being still in their cradles with adapters attached), but hadn't considered the possibility of connection problems.

I'll proceed much more cautiously from hereon out.

EDIT: Reading now from the MoHPC's batteries page, I can see, clearly, the warning, "Most models can be damaged if run from the charger without good batteries installed". I missed that the first time, having skipped straight down to the Woodstock section. Rats, I hope I didn't fry those two calculators, that would break my heart.

Edited: 4 Apr 2010, 3:44 a.m.

#27

Thanks for the perspective, I'll definitely keep it in mind before doing anything drastic.


#28

Hello everybody, Happy Easter to everyone !!!
That was my experience with a Woodstock cradle.
Mine was keyless and with the red panel broken.
Luckily the HP25 that came with was out of the cradle, but neverthless I wanted to restore the cradle too.
A quick research showed that in Italy, or in Milano where I live was impossible to find a replica for the key
The lock was then drilled

Since I was not into that job, I had it done from a small hardware shop.
At the poin the cradle could be opened and revealed the locking mechanism

The lock was replaced with a cheap and very common lock for condos mailboxes,

and the locking "arm" was installed on it. The guy at the shop told me that it required little work but nothing dramatic, work and new lock costed 20 €
Then I have found this company on internet Plexishop and found out that for 2€ eahc, they can cut custom size red plexiglas.

I also purchased some of their plexiglas polish and I can say the it was very useful for bringing back to good conditions some of my units displays.It only should be noted that the spare display was not polished on both sides, so I had to do it by myself, but was a easy task.
The glass was cutted (metric system) 3 mm thick, 63 mm length and 13 mm high. From thre inside is a little loose, but from the outside looks very nice.
I found it a good glue to be Item number: 120510277353, which I also have used to restore plastic cracks or to meld together restored battery packs shields
I hope these information can be of help to you or to anybody in this forum, I'm not affiliated with any of these vendors, I just wanted to give a practical hint.
Should you have some cradle for sale, please let me know, I'm interested in buying those, or event a non working HP27 unit
Again,Happy Easter Everybody


#29

Hi,

I don't understand how and why this lock is used.
What is it locking?
Can someone send pictures of the complete HP-27?


#30

Sören, if you follow the link in the original post on this thread, you will see the whole kit. The lock secures the calculator to the security cradle, which in turn can be secured to a desk by the steel cable you see coiled up in the photo of the whole kit. Much like the laptop computer cables that nobody uses.


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