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EVVA MCS disassembly pictures

European hardware -lever locks, profile cylinders specific for European locks. European lock picks and European locks.

Moderators: zeke79, keysman

EVVA MCS disassembly pictures

Postby mh » Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:48 am

Dear all,

When I thought about making a nice cutaway, I came across an EVVA MCS from my collection. However the 'cutting away' task seems to be pretty difficult, probably involving making new parts from transparent palstic and so on, I still didn't figure that part out yet.

But: This lock is such a very nice piece of engineering, that I wanted to share some pictures with you :D

Remember: MCS is the 'Magnetic Code System' by EVVA (a similar technology was previously also used by Zeiss Ikon), as shown (in less detail...) on http://www.evva.com/McsFrameE.htm

Here is my lock:
Image

The key has 4 magnets (or maybe 8, 4 on each side, I'm not sure about that) and some notches.

The housing (1) of course has the hole for the plug, and the wall around this hole has lots of grooves milled into it, which interact with the sidebars (see below). And it has 4 holes for pins and springs:
Image

The 1.1.x combination of ball, pin & spring is used to retain the key while it's not in the 0 degree position (notch 3.1, see below). The other pins & springs (1.2 - 1.4) interact with the control balls 2.1.1 - 2.1.12 (see below). They would basically catch and lock the key in a 30 degree position, if too many notches were present on the key.

But now for the real beauty, the plug! It's made of several pieces & materials, e.g. brass, plastic, and of course samarium cobalt magnets 8) :)

Image

The 12 control balls 2.1.x come in 2 sizes: large when there should be a notch on the key, and small when there shouldn't be one. They are inserted into the plug from the outside and then fixed by deforming the plug a little bit. As said, the large ones will drop into the notches of the key (or block the plug in the housing if the notch is missing), the small ones will keep the pins 1.2 - 1.4 from catching the plug at +/- 30 degrees if there is no notch - or they will fall into wrong notches of a wrong key. This catching would be permanent, so these notches are not too useful for masterkeying... :)

On a side note, there is one more unused notch on my key, and the German version of the EVVA page http://www.evva.com/McsFrameD.htm shows even more difficult looking cuts, apparently to obscure the system a little bit.

But the main feature of this high-tech plug is the magnetic rotor / sidebar assembly:
Image

The outer sidebars (2.2.1 & 2.2.2) are made from metal and block the plug from turning if not both sidebars are moved to the front of the cylinder. Each of them contains a small spring assembly, so that they can compress a little bit. The back ring (2.4.x) and the front ring (2.3) (both made from plastic) on the other hand move the sidebar to the back both at 0 and 180 degrees, and try to move it to the front at all other positions (which is required, so that the plug can turn more than a few degrees). Try, because they can only do that when the magnetic rotors are in the right positions. If they can't, the sidebars will compress a little bit (remember, they have the small spring assembly), but not move to the front, and not unblock the plug.

And below the plastic covers (2.5), there are the inner sidebars (2.6), another cover (2.7) which serves as a bearing for the rotors and finally the heart of the system, the rotors (2.8.x), 4 on each side of the plug.
Image

The rotors have a magnet on one side, and a plastic disc with a notch in the correct position on the other. That means, the coding of the key is achieved by turning the magnets in the key appropriately. I guess that for masterkeying purposes, there could be more than one notch in the rotor disc, or there could be a rotor left out, etc.
There seem to be some inserts between the 1st and 2nd rotor, probably steel, to make drilling more difficult.
BTW, the whole system is *heavily* lubricated; I guess, if that's not done properly, the sidebar system would block after some time.

And now on the topic of 'picking' this lock: The rotors cannot be touched from the keyway, as there is a thin brass wall between the key and the rotor. That means, they can only turned by magnets (be that a permanent magnet or something else, but I guess that doesn't belong here).

So with mechanical tools, it will apparently be *very* difficult to pick this lock open. And if you tried to 'pick' each magnetic rotor separately, you would see that they interact with each other while no key is present, and tend to re-set / scramble themselves. And the sidebar releases them every 180 degrees...
In normal operation, the removal of the key will of course also scramble the rotors.

Well, that's all for now,
maybe you can give some suggestions on the cutaway task :D

Cheers,
mh
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Postby Shrub » Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:52 am

Well a great post but may be for the advanced section.

Oh and i want one :P
Last edited by Shrub on Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby illusion » Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:56 am

I'm impressed... the photos are good, and it's well explained. :)

A wondeful post, and a great lock.

Well done. :)
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Postby zeke79 » Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:17 am

Very nice pictures there. From what i can see, this is the older generation of MCS which does differ slightly from the new gen. Once again, impressive display. I am going to leave this topic in the open forums since it does not discuss bypass or picking methods. There really is not much to discuss on that matter anyway since this lock is in my opinion not possible to pick.
For the best book out there on high security locks and their operation, take a look at amazon.com for High-Security Mechanical Locks An Encyclopedic Reference. Written by our very own site member Greyman! A true 5 Star read!!
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EVVA MCS quadrillion???

Postby greyman » Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:05 am

What I found interesting about this lock is that the marketing brochure says it has 2.99 x 10 to the power of 26 (299,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) possible combinations! There was even a new word for this huge number - a "quadrillion" or something.

This cannot possibly be true as there are only 8 rotors with 8 positions and 12 pins with 3 possible "sizes" (long, short or not installed). Even an optimistic estimate is still only of the order of 1,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 12th power). To get 10 to the 26th power, you'd need more than 360 different orientations on each rotor, which would not work since the angular tolerances on the lock are not that accurate.

Unless I'm missing something huge here, the marketing guys at EVVA are pulling my leg big time.
Image
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Postby zeke79 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:52 am

Your number could be improved by taking into account the number of key profiles.
For the best book out there on high security locks and their operation, take a look at amazon.com for High-Security Mechanical Locks An Encyclopedic Reference. Written by our very own site member Greyman! A true 5 Star read!!
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Postby jordyh » Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:51 am

Shrub wrote:Well a great post but may be for the advanced section.

Oh and i want one :P


Shrub, where there's a will, there's a way.
Please pm me, i've found something you'll like.


Yours,


Jordy
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Postby Shrub » Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:57 am

Wow thanks for the free MCS mate :wink:
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Postby illusion » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:02 am

Lol.. you mean you're paying him?

He's giving me money to take them off his hands... you're getting conned mate. :P
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Postby Shrub » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:07 am

Shrub wrote:Wow thanks for the free MCS mate :wink:


Free means no money in my book, me bad sorriz ift id tiped itz rongz
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Postby Shrub » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:08 am

And just to summise,

:lol:
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Postby illusion » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:09 am

awww... innee cute! :P
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Re: EVVA MCS quadrillion???

Postby mh » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:42 am

greyman wrote:What I found interesting about this lock is that the marketing brochure says it has 2.99 x 10 to the power of 26 (299,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) possible combinations! There was even a new word for this huge number - a "quadrillion" or something.


Well, marketing is a strange thing... :twisted: - part of one of my former jobs :)

Currently the EVVA Austria homepage states (in the English language version only) "299 quadrillion", see http://www.evva.at/McsFrameE.htm

Now, "1 quadrillion" can mean two things: 10^24 or 10^15.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadrillion

I think that 299 x 10^15 = 299,000,000,000,000,000 comes closer:

First of all, I think I made a wrong assumption on the only 8 possible variations of each rotor:
In fact a gate covers a little bit more than 1/16 of the outer circle of the rotor, I estimate about 25 degrees. That means, when turning the rotor by e.g. 14.4 degrees, the gate is covered. That would make 25 variations for each rotor.

25 variations ^ 8 rotors = 25^8 = 152,587,890,625.

Now we need "only" 1,959,526 additional independent variations...

The new MCS system has 7 passive sliders that can be moved by the shape of the upper and lower edge of the key. Assuming they offer 6 positions each, that would be

6 variations ^ 7 sliders = 6^7 = 279936

Now assume 7 different keyways, and bingo, you come up with 299 quadrillions... At least in short scale usage :wink:

Cheers,
Michael
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Postby Shrub » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:43 am

Ive only got ten fingers you know :P
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Postby mh » Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:22 pm

Ive only got ten fingers you know


And that's a good thing.

Suppose everybody had 13 fingers,
they would think that 6 x 9 = 42.
Nobody would understand Douglas Adams' jokes...

:D mh
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