Greg Gilmour is a tinkerer. He's also a gun owner. He had his mind set on a biometric gun safe, because Greg is a responsible geek, and, after all, such weapon storage "is something straight out of a James Bond film," he says.
If you're not familiar, a biometric gun safe is simply a safe that's unlocked with fingerprints. No keys, no passcodes, no PINs--just your fingerprint. It's a secure way to go.
The thing is, they're expensive. Being something of a geek like the rest of us here at Crave, Greg thought that he could build his own. And he did.
He found a Craftsman Fingerprint fingerprint-reading garage door opener in a clearance bin. He reasoned that the scanner simply scans a print and, if recognized, sends a usable signal to a switch that opens the door. He figured he could find a nonworking pistol safe that would take just such a signal. And he was right: a little digging on eBay scored him an electronic gun safe with a broken keypad.
He had both parts of his biometric gun safe in hand, and now he had to put it together.
Using some off-the-shelf diagnostic tools, Greg, who lives in Iowa, found the part that sends a signal to the transmitter of the garage door opener. It sends a signal only when a fingerprint is a positive match. That was perfect. The only hiccup was that the reader also sent a pulse when turned on. That pulse would trigger the lock, meaning a thief would simply have to reset the thing to get the valuables. That's no good. … Read more