PDP8 key (Was: Text encoding Babel.

Guy Dunphy guykd at optusnet.com.au
Fri Nov 30 21:41:44 CST 2018

At 07:05 PM 30/11/2018 -0800, you wrote:
>On Sat, 1 Dec 2018, Guy Dunphy via cctalk wrote:
>> And now, back to machining a lock pick for a PDP-8/S front panel cylinder lock.
>>  http://everist.org/NobLog/20181104_PDP-8S.htm#locks
>Are you sure that it's not an "XX2247"?

I wouldn't know. There are few retro-tech resources here in Australia, and I only
found and joined this list in Aug this year.
It very likely is.  Ha ha, this is funny.

>(Widely used on MOST PDP8's, and pretty much all keyed alike, unless there 
>were major needs to rekey to a different key)
>If so, there are a number of people on the list who have them.
>In fact, currently, there are TWO listings on eBay for that particular 
>key!  ($25)

Heh. and one of them from Australia too. Pity I didn't know that a week ago.
$25 if I can't pick it myself. Minus what the locksmith will charge to make a key
given pin depths from my pick. We'll see.

>If you prefer, the tool that your locksmith uses is readily available, 
>even on eBay.  there are a couple of minor variants, including different 

Yeah I did know this. Though a quick Aliexpress search failed to find one.
And I didn't want to wait the extra several weeks for shipping from China.

>  It would seem that you can make a better quality one than most 
>of the cheap (Chinese) ones.  (particularly if you need a rationalization 
>for continuing your machining of it)

Yes, yes, I do.  x_x
Partly it was that I really had been getting annoyed with myself for not having
the dividing head set up yet. Needed for other things including gear cutting.
This was just 'adequate incentive.'  Now it's working I will be having some fun with it.

Anyway this makes for a funny aside on the web story.


Nice. Definitely going to buy one. I wonder what was wrong with my search terms before?

>I made such a pick half a century ago, with no knowledge that there 
>already was such.  At that time, they were called "UNPICKABLE".  (until 
>you had an appropriate tool.
>On some locks, there is a special "jiggling" needed, rather than "just 
>shove it in".  And, occasionally, you need to just use it for torsion, and 
>feel the pins while sliding each slider in and out manually.

This is what I expect to be doing. 

>Once the pick is set to the lock cylinder, it is straightforward to 
>measure the depths.  SOME duplicators can copy from the pick tool, but 
>some will knock sliders out of place.

Pins on mine will be individually solidly lockable, for that reason.

>Or, if you prefer, I can dig through some old posts on this list, and tell 
>you the depths of the cuts for XX2247.  It has been widely discussed a few 
>years back.

If I can't pick it easily I'll ask.


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