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Hidden Wall Outlet Safe (w/Arduino Lock)

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Picture of Hidden Wall Outlet Safe (w/Arduino Lock)
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Stash your valuables where no one will ever suspect. Wall outlets are perfect for stashing valuables since you have tons of them at home. You must be crazy enough to search every household outlet for a secret stash. Probably, no one would even think of searching outlets! :)) BTW, it requires a digital key, such as an Arduino, to open the hidden outlet safe.

The Super Secret Key (a.k.a Suicide Key)
The vault features a key that no one would be crazy enough to insert. That's by plugging a 3 wired prong directly to the outlet! Talk about High Voltage suicide! The lock can only be opened by connecting an Arduino to the servo's pins (located in the outlet). Don't forget, we are using a dummy outlet so it's completely safe since it's not connected to the power-lines. 

How Do You Open It:
Plug your DIY 3 pin cable from your vault to your Arduino (a.k.a Suicide Key) then connect your Arduino board to your PC (via USB). Upload the codes then press "CTRL + Shift + M" to access Serial Monitor. Enter "O" to open vault and "C" to close the vault's electronic latch. You can also open this by making a 555 PWM generator.

Influences & Inspiration:
This is probably another déjà vu experience to all Breaking Bad fans. You guys probably remember the scene when Walt hid the ricin capsule behind an electrical outlet during the "Live Free or Die" episode.

Tips & Reminders:
My 2nd version gave me a hard time since all of our wall outlets are embedded in solid concrete. Drywalls are easier to work with since it's easier to cut/ puncture. If you need a larger vault, multi-standard outlets and European outlets are bigger in size. This makes them much more ideal for stashing more stuff in one place. 
 

Watch This Top Secret Vault In Action! [Take that Walter White! :D]

 
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Step 1: Tools & Materials

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Parts & Materials:
- Cheap AC Wall Outlet (w/ Safety Covers)
- Arduino UNO (w/ USB Cable)
- Mini Servo (Tower Pro SG90)
- 3 Pin Long Female Header
- Small Hinge (w/screws)
- Super Glue
- Wires

Tools & Equipment:
- Soldering Iron
- Hot Glue Gun
- Cordless Drill
- Rotary Tool
- Metal File
- Multitool

Step 2: Disassembling - Saving Some Space

Picture of Disassembling - Saving Some Space
Get your mini screwdriver and disassemble the outlets. This is done to save space inside your vault. Be sure to leave the safety mechanism in tact, this hides the servo's plug from being seen.

The safety mechanism needs to stay still. Use superglue if necessary. 

Step 3: Removing Protruding Objects

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If any protruding objects are present, cut them off by using your trusty rotary tool (Dremel).

Step 4: Installing The Hinge

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Disassemble the wall outlet (removing the cover) then screw the hinge on. 

Step 5: Making Way For The Hinge

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The hinge requires extra space in order to turn 90°. Get your metal file and file off the excess plastic.You can now screw the hinge on your wall.

Step 6: Epoxy The Servo (Lock Mechanism)

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Glaze the servo's bottom with epoxy and superglue, go crazy! LOL :)) 

Hot glue the servo's 3 pin plug on the wall outlet's safety mechanism. 

Step 7: Grinding The Terminal Box

Picture of Grinding The Terminal Box
Measure the distance of the servo's arm. Transfer the measurements to the plastic terminal and grind off some plastic for the servo's arm to latch on something. 

Be sure to grind it in a slightly slanted manner. This helps the servo's arm to have a better grip on the terminal block. 

Step 8: Establish A Connection With Your Servo

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1st.) Make a 3 pin male plug - for connecting to the servo (electronic lock mechanism)
2nd.) Follow your servo's datasheet and connect the wires to the proper Arduino pin. 
3rd.)  Yellow Wire - To Digital Pin #9
4th.)  Brown Wire - Ground Pin
5th.)  Red Wire - 5v Pin


Watch the video for more detailed instructions :D

Step 9: The Arduino Codes

1st.) Download the codes below then upload the sketch/ codes to your Arduino
2nd.) Press "CTRL + Shift + M" to open the serial monitor
3rd.) Enter "O" top open latch - "C" to close latch

Suggestions, Tips & Tricks:
1st.) Use tact buttons + digital pins, instead of using the PC's serial monitor.
2nd.) Add a auto-lock delay for the servo to close automatically after opening.
_________________________________________________________________

The Raw Codes (if you are too lazy to download the sketch):

//Coded By: Angelo S. Casimiro (a.k.a ASCAS)
//Copyright Rule Applies - Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa)

//Instructions:
//Press "CTRL + Shift + M" to access serial monitor
//Enter: 'O' To Open Lock - 'C' To Close (not case sensitive)

#include

Servo myservo;
char gar;
//------------------Setup---------------------
void setup() {
myservo.attach(9); // Connect Servo To Pin #9
Serial.begin(9600);
Serial.print("Enter: 'O' To Open Lock - 'C' To Close \n");
}
//------------------Loop---------------------
void loop() {if(Serial.available()){gar = Serial.read();Serial.println(gar);Serial.println("\nEnter: 'O' To Open Lock - 'C' To Close ");delay(1000);}

if (gar == 'c' || gar == 'C' || gar == 'close'){ //If "C" is entered, close the latch
myservo.write(0);
/*myservo.write(150);delay(5000);  //Command servo to auto-lock after 5 secs.
[Remove this comment tag for Servo Auto Lock Code - Suggested by: marhar]
*/

}

else if (gar == 'o' || gar == 'O' || gar == 'open'){ //If "O" is entered, close the latch
myservo.write(150);
}

}


 

andrea biffi5 months ago

I'm impressed! But better to buy an hidden hinge...

ASCAS (author)  andrea biffi5 months ago

Thanks! Great suggestion BTW. I'll try to go our local hardware store. I hope I can find a hidden hinge there :)) fingers crossed!

I tried this it messed up my electricity and I had to pay 452$ to get it fixed
Cube_4 months ago

this is rather nice, shame the outlet is a dummy though, then people like me who always carry a voltmeter could find your stash rather quickly.

Excellent idea !! I am looking forward to your project, which may
update further and a great project to complete the knowledge of home
automation. Please visit alternative source: www.utsource.net

marhar5 months ago

Very nice! You might change your sketch:

while (1) { move to open postion; delay 2000; move to closed position; delay 2000; }

Then you won't have to open the monitor window to specify open/close.

ASCAS (author)  marhar5 months ago

Great idea! I haven't thought of using a delay to auto close the servo. You just gave me an idea to connect an IR led to determine whether the door is shut and ready to close :)) Thanks for the suggestion! I'll add the code to the ible.

BTW, I'm a huge fan of your quadcopter! I bought most of my parts from dx.com, luckily I was able to purchase all the parts for $89. All that's missing is the "flight control module". What's the best budget "flight control module" can you suggest? I'm excited to see this thing fly but I'm stuck with a $110 budget.

marhar ASCAS5 months ago
Most excellent, I'm looking forward to your update!

The Flip 1.5 is a really great flight control board that is very affordable (US$15).
http://witespyquad.gostorego.com/flip-mwc-flight-controller.html
http://www.flitetest.com/articles/rtf-quads-review
landimatteo5 months ago

Did you took into consideration what would happen if someone unaware connects a regular plug into your "keyhole" socket?
I'm wondering if the plug could damage or push in the 3 contacts leaving you not able to connect the arduino to the servo.

diy_bloke5 months ago

great idea, but yeah I agree with the remark abt the police. They will tear yr house down if they think it is necessary. Besides, they have dogs that can sniff money

clazman5 months ago

I still like this. But for the U.S., I would use 2 standard
3-terminal outlets firmly glued to the face plate. One would be a "dummy". Wouldn't use the
standard outlet, it takes too much room. Then use the standard
3-terminal plug with neutral, hot and ground. Brown wire going to the
ground terminal, red wire to the neutral and the yellow going to the hot
terminal.

That would be NICE.

Again, nice setup.

Very cool- The thing is, however, people actually would be crazy enough to search every outlet. In police searches, if they have a reason to, they are more than willing to spend the time in a search.

Despite this, I doubt a thief would have the patience or time. This is pretty cool, and I like the idea of using Arduino as a key. Great job!

ASCAS (author)  assemblyrequired5 months ago

Thanks! I guess you're right, the police are more than willing to find evidence on a crime scene (house). That concludes that outlet's are not the best hiding spot for stashes. Next stop, hidden vault behind an LCD TV :))

Well, I look forward to seeing what you come up with next!

This would be illegal in the UK, it is unsafe, and would be a fail on all test certificates.... Nice idea, but.....

I disagree; there is no connection to the mains involved, it is just a type of wall mounted safe. In fact, if you Google for "wall socket safe" you can find commercially available safes like this with the earth pin used as a keyhole.

JayGeeBSE chaydgb5 months ago

Agree with chaydgb, but UK sockets are fixed in place with two obvious screws - you'd only need to unscrew those to get access. I can't see how the US socket is fixed but there must be accessible screws?

Tbus5 months ago

This is a great project to complete to further my knowledge of Arduino and home automation. I took an entry level learn-at-home course on home automation but it didn't have a lab. (http://www.ciebookstore.com/home-automation-instal...)

It's nice having a lab to complete after learning about home automation
installation techniques and apply what I learned from my course! Thank
you.

JayGeeBSE Tbus5 months ago

You don't need an Arduino and PC - all you (or the burglar) needs is a servo tester unit from any model shop, and a battery of about 4.5V (3 disposable cells, or 4 rechargeables). And a servo extension lead.

armandordx5 months ago

Ok, I'll keep that Ricin capsule there.

ASCAS (author)  armandordx5 months ago

Good thing that the vault can store 50x more Ricin capsules than Walter's Outlet :))

TSJWang5 months ago

ASCAS might be the coolest.