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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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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.
 

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Poor design

P95Carry said:
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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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.
 

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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.:wave:
 

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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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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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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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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As an electronics technologist of 40+ years I have only one statement to make about GunVault customer support (sic) and GunVaults. First, the CSR is full of horsepuckey and doesn't know his rear end from a hole in the ground; what he should have told you is that the GunVault has horrific quality control and is a piece of poopoo. I have abandoned it as a gunsafe and am using it to protect my gummy bears now. I have several other safes; some were $39 from Harbour Freight. All work just fine despite receiving a true baching about in the back of my SUV; I use one for my handguns and the other for my ammo while travelling.

Now that I think about it, I am going to take my gummy bears and hide them. Safer and easier, more reliable access than the GunVault. At this point GunVault MUST MUST MUST know the source of the excessive battery drain and they should be publishing same along with a schematic diagram. It could be nothing more than a poor, high resistance solder joint.

BTW, I realize this is a very late post but wanted everyone possible to know that GunVaults have major issues in quality control. DO NOT bet your life on them.
 

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My upstairs Multi-Delux gets opened about once or twice a month. No issues so far.

My downstairs Multi gets opened also at least 3 to 4 times a day (probably closer to a half-dozen to 8 times), and I also have yet to have an issue with it.

I do keep both backup keys handy, though, and have drilled "failure drills" - just-in-case.

I change batteries twice a year, same day as my smoke-alarm change-out days. The upstairs unit is connected to household, though, so I don't know about its actual battery life.
 

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Good to know 2012 is going to be a bad year , at least for batteries. Maybe has something to do with the end of the world scheduled for Dec sometime, lol!!!

Ever since all these all these quick access devices hit the market all I see is another gadget. If it works for you great. For me I have no need for one in the home, my sidearm is either on my side or right next to my head. In the truck it again is either with me or I use a pair of handcuffs to lock it to the seat frame. If they can get it FREE they deserve it, lol!!!!
 

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you can test the batteries to see if they are anygood. place a 330 ohm resistor (4mA load = .004 amps) across the ends and check the voltage. it sould be at least 1.5V or it is close to dead. testing the unloaded will tell you nothing. the sircut for unlocking is no wonder. 3 de-bounced push buttons, 1 debounced programming button. and one drive circut for the selanoid (read lock) the LEDs can run form 3 more io lines. a microcontroler to read the programed code and to check the code for unlocking.

the lock fail symptoms could be one of many items. selanoid has no lubracation and will not retract far enough (not likly as new batteries woyuld not cure this), the batteries realy are duds out of the pack (it only take one to kill the set of 8)
, the MOSFET that drives the selanoid is toast (no flyback diode and it will cook. highly likly)

if the indacation is a "click" and no open, I would guess the selanoid is not getting enough current to retract. that is voltage related and would point to the mosfet.
 
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