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Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Wed 9th Jul '08 1:36PM
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'Lo all
Does anyone know where I can go to get a laser-cut key with a transponder chip in it copied? I'm down to one car key and Honda are asking for 70 plus VAT for the job. Grrrrr!
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Wed 9th Jul '08 2:46PM
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I'm afraid I don't know. What is the advantage of a laser-cut key anyway? How is it different to a normal one? Is it just that it's more accurately cut, or is it some kind of electronics in the key that modern car keys have?
  

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Wed 9th Jul '08 4:42PM
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Also, if anyone has any leads on getting a bump key (aka 5.5.5 or 9.9.9 key) cut, could they PM me? I'm willing to pay good money but not to do business with anyone too dodgy. Ta.
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 9th Jul '08 4:56PM
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Demian was bold enough to comment:
Also, if anyone has any leads on getting a bump key (aka 5.5.5 or 9.9.9 key) cut, could they PM me? I'm willing to pay good money but not to do business with anyone too dodgy. Ta.



Are you considering a career as a cat burglar?
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Wed 9th Jul '08 5:24PM
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General was bold enough to comment:

Are you considering a career as a cat burglar?



Not at all, and I'd never use it for illegal purposes - I just want to see the looks on people's faces when I tell them I have a key which opens any lock, and can prove it, since most people don't believe such a thing exists despite them being around since at least the 1950s
  

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Wed 9th Jul '08 8:35PM
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Agentgonzo was bold enough to comment:
I'm afraid I don't know. What is the advantage of a laser-cut key anyway? How is it different to a normal one? Is it just that it's more accurately cut, or is it some kind of electronics in the key that modern car keys have?


I think they're just harder to copy and therefore a bit more safe. You can't duplicate them on a normal grinder. The electronics is a seperate thing, generally just a tuned circuit in the head that is read by an induction reader.
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Thu 10th Jul '08 10:10AM
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Demian was bold enough to comment:
Also, if anyone has any leads on getting a bump key (aka 5.5.5 or 9.9.9 key) cut, could they PM me? I'm willing to pay good money but not to do business with anyone too dodgy. Ta.


One bump key won't open 'any' lock. Firstly, bump keys don't exist for mortise locks and tubular locks due to their design. They will work on pin-tumbler locks though. Next, the key needs to have the same profile as the lock that it's going into (so you can physically get it into the lock). Generally, the grooves down the side of a key protrude more that half way into the key (take a look at your house-keys). This forces the profile of the key into an S or inverted-S shape to prevent the use of a single super-thin key being used in all locks. Looking at your set of house-keys, you'll probably notice that the grooves are at different heights and this difference in profile means that you'll need one bump-key per profile.

Also, different pin-tumbler locks have the pins at different depths, meaning that you'll need the pin-sets (the little bumps along the key) to be at the correct spacing with regards to eachother so that they strike all of the pins at the same time when you bump it.

Now, as for getting one made, you can make them yourself by getting your normal key* and filing down all the pin-sets to the '9' position. There are tools that you can buy to help you with this and if you are feeling really adventurous, you can even buy a second hand grinder from second hand stores or old smithies. You can also just get the key in a vice and start at it with a set of needle files. It's not hard, but take time and do it carefully as rushing it will probably mean you'll make a hash of it. Get a fine-lined marker or score a line from each of the pinsets down to the base of the key so that you know where the pinsets should line up when you're filing it. Once you've ground all pinsets to the 9 position, you'll also want to file off any extra protrusions from the profile to make it fit into as many locks as physically possible. Then you want to take 1 or 2mm off the stop of the key (the lump at the top of the key near where you hold it that stops it going too far into the lock) so that you can bump it in a bit further.

As for getting someone else to do it, if you know a locksmith then you could ask him. I'd avoid going into a locksmiths that you don't know and ask him to make you one. You may find that he refuses or even reports you to the police.


*Or you could use a keyblank, but again, a locksmith may question your motives if you try and buy a blank.
  

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Thu 10th Jul '08 6:10PM
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Excellent info, cheers AG. I had been lead to believe they were a little more universal than that, but still a pretty cool party piece.

I had gathered that it would be a very bad idea to go into a locksmiths and ask, even despite my lack of criminal intention. I might have a go myself one day. Have you tried? Don't worry if you'd rather not answer that
  

Spanners*
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Thu 10th Jul '08 8:35PM
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AG I've come to the conclusion that several years ago you must have swallowed and Encycopedia Britannica as I've yet to find a subject you're not fully versed on.

So tell me, what are the relative merits of research into artificial photsynthesis as a renewable energy source vs wind and solar power in a temperate climate?
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Fri 11th Jul '08 10:47AM
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Demian was bold enough to comment:
Excellent info, cheers AG. I had been lead to believe they were a little more universal than that, but still a pretty cool party piece.

I had gathered that it would be a very bad idea to go into a locksmiths and ask, even despite my lack of criminal intention. I might have a go myself one day. Have you tried? Don't worry if you'd rather not answer that


Nope, I've never made a bump key.
  

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Fri 11th Jul '08 11:22AM
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Spanners was bold enough to comment:
AG I've come to the conclusion that several years ago you must have swallowed and Encycopedia Britannica as I've yet to find a subject you're not fully versed on.

So tell me, what are the relative merits of research into artificial photsynthesis as a renewable energy source vs wind and solar power in a temperate climate?


I'm not sure that there are a lot of uses for artificial photosynthesis as an energy source. To my knowledge, we haven't been able to replicate the water + nitrogenous matter + sunlight --> CO2 + carbohydrates that chlorophyll performs. If you managed to do this, then you'd still need to harvest the produced carbohydrates and then process them to form something that you can burn and then extract energy from that.

The earth receives a lot of energy from the Sun (about 1kW/m^2 at tropical regions I think, which would make it about 500W/m^2 at temperate regions). The problem is converting this to energy that we can use. Solar cells can extract about 5-20% of this with current technology, but are very expensive to make. In terms of energy, at tropical zones, the energy put into making the solar cells is so vast that it takes about 2-3 years to generate this energy by running the solar cell. In economic terms, I think that the monetary payback is about 5-10 years. However, once you've set up the cell, you've got free energy for about 50 years (the normal lifetime of them).

There have been some other schemes to get power from the sun directly without solar cells. In the south of spain, there's a large water tower and a field of mirrors around it that track the sun and focus the sun on a boiler at the top of the tower that boils water and forces it through a turbine to generate electricity similar to in normal power stations. This is a lot cheaper than making solar cells, but requires more maintenance but a very good solution to energy generation.

One of the main problems with harnessing energy from the sun is that you need a lot of land to have the array of energy generating apparatus. At temperate climates, this is even more of a problem.

If you could get the artificial photosynthesis to produce some hydrocarbon or oil-based product from it's generation in useful quantities then that would be a massive help for our energy needs. Oil-derived products have a very large energy:mass ratio (when taking into account storage as well, which is where hydrogen is a problem as it needs really strong and heavy storage tanks) which is why it's so important in our culture. Oil-seed-rape suffers from the problem that the oil it produces is relatively small for the land area it needs to grow.

Energy sources a lot of the time remote or mobile, which means that you have to transport the energy with you (car fuel tank) or take it in large quantities to somewhere (portable generators for research stations or even marquees in gardens for parties). This is where the merits of high energy:mass ratio benefit and why we have such a dependency on oil. Whilst solar and wind power are good sources of energy, they still need to be transported at some point (and this is why they haven't taken on as well as we should hope). For this, the two main ways are batteries (which are really REALLY chemically intensive and expensive and environmentally damaging to produce) and hydrogen. Neither have anywhere near the energy:mass ratio of petroleum or oil-based products. If you can get artificial photosynthesis to generate a hydrocarbon or organic chemical (must be a liquid - solids are too fiddly to use as a fuel source (think how many cars are powered by coal rather than petroleum, even though coal has a higher energy content - gasses need heavy storage tanks) then you are onto an absolute winner, as long as it doesn't take up a lot of space (rape-seed-oil fields).

Moving away from energy generation, if you could make artificial photosynthesis in a small and compact area feasible, it would greatly help the colonisation of space (the space station and NASA's plans to send a manned mission to Mars). At current, all food needs to be sent to the space station in cargo shipments and dried waste (water is extracted and recycled) is disposed of. If you could find a way of artificially inducing photosynthesis, then you could take this waste and turn it into breathable oxygen (not so much of a problem as current solar technology can do this from CO2 anyway) and ingestible food. This would mean that you could generate food (it would probably be the sludge that you see in the matrix rather than anything we'd want to eat, but it would keep you alive) whilst in space and on the surface of mars, rather than trying to take it all with you, or grow it on the surface where you'd need large structures to provide the atmosphere/infrastructure to grow 'Earth vegetables'.
  

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Fri 11th Jul '08 3:21PM
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There was a plan to create a huge glass tower in the Australian outback to try and create a viable way of extracting solar energy. The plan was a roof spanning 7km that would lead to a tower 1km high. The sun would heat the energy under the roof, which would then rise through the tower which would contain 32 turbines to extract the energy.

Unfortunately it's had to be reduced to a measly 400m - it did however cut the cost from 1 billion dollars (so that's what doctor evil was trying to do...) to 250 million dollars. I believe they're still having trouble finding proper funding for it though.
   

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Thu 14th Aug '08 9:51PM
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http://lifehacker.com/399735/how-to-pick-a-lock-with-a-bump-key

Lifehacker have an article on picking locks with bump keys.
    

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