GunVault problems

This is a discussion on GunVault problems within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In February I purchased a GunVault pistol storage box. When I set it up, I installed Eveready lithium AA batteries. I open and close it ...

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Thread: GunVault problems

  1. #1
    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    GunVault problems

    In February I purchased a GunVault pistol storage box. When I set it up, I installed Eveready lithium AA batteries.

    I open and close it two or three times a day. Call it 300 cycles since I installed the batteries. According to the manual, alkaline batteries should last a year.

    A few days ago it refused to open. When I press the buttons with my code, I hear a click. However, the spring-loaded door doesn't release.

    I have the manual. Nothing in it to deal with this situation.

    Some people have reported short battery life with their GunVaults. That's why I put in lithium cells.

    Yes, I have kids at home. Although I've trained them, my 6-year-old daughter may have some sort of disorder. She is impulsive beyond anything I've seen. Bottom line: I don't trust her to follow any rule I've laid down for her.

    My dear wife found the key. I was able to open the box.

    I tried my combination again after I'd opened the box. No-Go. I tried changing it. No-Go.

    I replaced the Eveready lithium AAs with Duracell alkalines. It worked once, then reverted to not opening.

    I called GunVault's tech support line. I explained that I'd originally installed lithium cells.

    The tech rep told me lithiums would burn out the electronics. I told him it had worked for four months, then failed.

    He told me to replace them with alkaline cells. I told him I had done so yesterday. The lock worked once, then quit.

    He told me to check the expiration date of the batteries. I looked and told him they were Oct 2012. He said I needed cells dated 2013 or 2014.

    He also told me that each programming step had to be completed in 5 seconds or less. No, that feature is not covered in the documentation.

    So I'm going to buy 8 Duracells dated 2013 or 14. I'll try one more time. If this fails, I'm going to junk this poorly-designed POS and get something else.

    One of those mechanical locks is looking good right now. Stay tuned.

    Bill

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  3. #2
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    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    From what you are saying - this does indeed not sound like the best of investments.

    The battery dating stuff they mentioned seems like total horsepucky to me - and has little or no bearing I feel on your problem.
    Chris - P95
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    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    Poor design

    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    The battery dating stuff they mentioned seems like total horsepucky to me - and has little or no bearing I feel on your problem.
    I agree. The tech rep I spoke with seemed to be grasping at any excuse for his product not working.

    I know dry cell batteries lose voltage as they discharge. But what moron would design a circuit that:

    1. Requires precisely the right voltage to work.

    2. Refuses to operate with a slight under-voltage.

    3. Has a hardware failure with a slight over-voltage.

    Bill
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  5. #4
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    It is indeed a battery problem. The gun vault key override turns it into a key safe when I leave the key in overnight to save on battery life. Some models have an ac adapter, light, and motion alarm, too. The strong spring door works better than other types of fast access safes which use gravity (and less electricity), and it is the safe I recommend. I keep spare batteries at hand and the key on my ring when it's not in the safe for a quick flick. Sometimes I'll leave the door open when I'm sleeping next to it. Good, fresh, alkaline batteries are a must, even without excessive electronic exercise.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

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    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
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    Same Problem

    I have the same problem with my car safe and it uses 10 batteries. I stopped putting batteries in and now just use the key. It seems to be quicker than th combination.

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    Senior Member Array gddyup's Avatar
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    Also, if the vault is running on battery power only, then the personal code you entered at the begining will default to the original factory code that came with the vault from the factory. I remember reading in the docs that came with my 2000 model that I would have to re-enter my personal code if the power was disconnected from the unit. I have regular alkaline Duracells in mine right now until I run a power outlet into the closet for the AC plug.

    I'll check my documentation for you tomorrow afternoon when I get home if you need any info.
    Firefighter/EMT
    "You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know" - T.R.

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    Senior Member Array JohnKelly's Avatar
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    I've found office safes (I use a digital keypad one made by Sentry) work well. Some are even fireproof. I would get a digital keypad instead of combination lock for faster entry under stress.

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    Senior Member Array Rugerman's Avatar
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    I have the DAC Sport safe in my car and it works the same way. It has been used daily for about three months now with absolutely no problem. I think this safe was the best 100.00 Ive spent.
    George Washington: "A free people ought to be armed."

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    New Member Array mike_d2's Avatar
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    lithium batteries won't hurt the circuitry, that's bs. one thing to remember though, is that different types of batteries are good for different things. titinaum are good for short burst of huge draw (e.g charging the flash on a digital camera), lithium batteries are good for constant high draw (e.g. laptops), alkaline are ok for just about everything, but not great at anything. if i had an electronic gun safe, i'd probably use the cheap "heavy duty" batteries, rather than alkaline or lithium. the cheap "heavy duty" kind of batteries are designed for low draw situations, like checking the combo on the gun safe, or use in a smoke detector. if you use alkaline batteries, they won't last any longer, but they'll cost more. the key is to match the battery characteristic with the circuit.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    There was a post on WarriorTalk about this... maybe you? Anyway, those GunVaults are just not good. And I have no idea what that tech guy was trying to say, but our experience is that when the electronics quit, they're dead.

  12. #11
    Member Array Spectre's Avatar
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    HA!

    I had the same problem with mine. It isn't your batteries. Take some 300 grit sandpaper or steel wool and buff the "U" bar latch that hangs down from the top. The electronic lock is sticking on it. A little graphite or silicone grease will also keep it working great.

  13. #12
    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    Working again (for now)

    I bought new Duracells last night and installed them. They work fine.

    Funny thing. The tech rep told me that the 2012 batteries wouldn't cut it. Had to be 2013 or 2014. The batteries I swapped in over the weekend had March 2012 expiration dates. The batteries I replaced them with were also March 2012.

    Go figure.

    Bill

    P.S. Yes, I posted this on Warriortalk, GetOffTheX, and another forum or two. I wanted as much input as possible.

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    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Good to hear it worked! We've never had any luck - but we just tried multiple sets of batteries and stopped trying. Next time one goes bad, I'll hook it to my diesel truck battery. That'll do it.

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    Member Array JasoninSD's Avatar
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    I just received a Gun Vault in the mail today. Being somewhat concerned about the battery draw I checked it with my handy multi-meter. When everything is in standby operation the current draw is only about 5 microamps (5/1,000,000th of an Amp). When the keys are pressed and the lock opens it jumps to about 12 miliamps (12/1,000 of an Amp) for about 5 seconds. With a current draw like this there is no reason why the AA batteries should not last for a year and probably closer to two. That is assuming it is opened a couple times a day. This is not to say that a heavy current draw could not develop in the future if something goes wrong.

    As for needing batteries that have an expiration date beyond 2012, that is a long stretch. I've got the feeling the guy was just trying to tell you anything to make himself or possibly you feel better.

    Jason

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    I just changed the first set of batteries in my gunvault, after 22 months of flawless, and routine operation.
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

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