Locksmithing/Change Combo

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Question
Hi,
we have a Cannon Simplex by Unican, gun safe. It has five buttons for a personal code. My husband does not remember the previous code, in order to change the code. There is no paperwork, key, etc. The door to the gun safe is open. Is there any way to change the code w/o the previous code?

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Tracy.

Answer
Hi Tracy

First off, let me say that I DO NOT recommend this as a DIY project as this will require complete disassembly of the lock.   If you are not thoroughly familiar with the lock and control chamber, this could be an expensive repair later.

WARNING:   DO NOT CLOSE OR LOCK THE SAFE DOOR UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY OPERATED THE LOCKING MECHANISM SEVERAL TIMES.

The following instructions are basically for the series 1000 and 2000 locks, however the basic locking mechanism and especially the control chamber are identical.   If these instructions don't make sense, and/or you can't figure out how to take the lock apart or put it back together, then stop!!!   Contact a local locksmith or safe company who is familiar with these locks.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESETTING UNKNOWN COMBINATIONS FOR KABA ILCO UNICAN SIMPLEX 1000 AND 2000 PUSH BUTTON COMBINATION LOCKS

These locks used to be known simply as "Simplex" Locks, sometimes referred to as "cypher locks", or Unican series 1000 or series 2000 push button combination locks. Simplex locks then became Ilco Unican locks, therefore these locks could also be identified as Ilco Unican series 1000 or series 2000 push button combo locks. Ilco Unican is now Kaba, therefore these locks could also be identified as Kaba series 1000 or series 2000 pushbutton combo locks. The locks are readily identified as being of 5 buttons in a row, mechanically operated without need of battery or line power to the door. These push button locks have been in production for many years, and are an engineering marvel that is ingenious in its simplicity. Because the locks require no power source, they are likely to remain a commercial favorite for many years to come. I have customers with these locks that have enjoyed flawless operation for many years, without need for any service call to their site for maintenance at all. Additionally, these locks are field serviceable, with exception to the locking chamber itself. However, the locking chamber can be quite easily reset in the field when the end user forgets their combination, or when staff changes and the old user is no longer available or willing to disclose the combination. These cypher locks continue to be one of my favorites, and is often recommended by many locksmiths before the countless number of electronic variations that often fail. These simplex locks are an engineering marvel and continue to serve commercial and residential users alike. They are seen in government agencies, police agencies, hospitals, detention centers, small businesses, and in harsh, outdoor marine environments. I have even seen one installed on a launching ramp in an area prone to vandalism, where its use is still relied on today. The company that now manufactures the locks is Kaba Ilco Corp, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. In the heading above, they are identified as Kaba Ilco Unican Simplex series 1000 or 2000 push button locks in order to better facilitate the finding of this page in search results.

If you have a push button lock that is mounted to the door and the door is locked, you will need to either gain access to the other side of the door or open the door with key bypass or other method. The push button lock will need to be removed from the door to reset the combination. This article is not intended for those who are simply trying to gain access to the area secured by the pushbutton lock without knowing the combination. This article is for security professionals who have what they believe to be a functioning Kaba Ilco Unican or Simplex 1000 or 2000 pushbutton lock that they do not know the push button combination to, and who desire simply to put the push button lock back into operation with a known combination.

If you have a lock which is functioning properly with a known combination, you do not need to use this procedure. Instead, you simply need instructions for changing the combination of an Kaba Ilco Unican Simplex Series 1000 push button lock.

If you DO NOT KNOW the combination for your Kaba Ilco Unican Simplex Series 1000 push button lock, then proceed with the steps outlined below to reset the push button lock combination chamber and set a new combination for your Kaba Ilco Unican Simplex Series 1000 push button lock. Please note that the first steps are for resetting the combination lock chamber, and the steps afterward are for setting the chamber to a combination of your choice. The lock must be removed from the door and the access cover on the back of the lock removed before following this procedure.



RESETTING COMBINATION CHAMBER WHEN COMBINATION FOR KABA ILCO 1000 AND 2000 SERIES PUSHBUTTON LOCKS IS UNKOWN

Please note it will be important to replace the combination locking chamber and re-install the linkage mechanism which attaches to the chamber itself in precisely the same manner in which it is removed from the chamber when you are done resetting the chamber, therefore, be deliberate and conscious of linkage arrangement when you disassemble the linkage mechanism from the locking chamber itself, or you may have difficulty re-assembling the lock at the end of this article.

Before resetting the combination of your KABA ILCO or SIMPLEX 1000 combination lock, you must remove the combination lock chamber (measuring 7/8" x 15/16" x 3-7/8") from your door lock, switch lock or other Simple/Unican locking device being worked upon. Remove the back cover marked "Simplex" by gently lifting up on the staked joints at both ends with a screwdriver or sharp tool.

STEP 1

With tweezers, or other tool, slide E ring off unlocking slide stud. With same tool, gently lift the end of unlocking slide over unlocking slide stud. Note: the unlocking slide is under spring tension and will be easier to lift if pushed to the left to ease tension. Swing unlocking slide sufficiently to clear gears.

STEP 2

Depress the lockout slide. The gears are now free to rotate. Turn each gear so that the slots are aligned.

STEP 3

Return unlocking slide over unlocking slide stud while making certain the five toes are engaged in the five gear pockets. It may be necessary to adjust each gear slightly to make proper alignment between toes and gear slots.

STEP 4

Replace E ring on stud. The combination locking chamber is now prepared for reinstallation of back cover marked "Simplex". Do not press any buttons.



SETTING OF NEW COMBINATION FOR KABA ILCO 1000 AND 2000 SERIES PUSHBUTTON LOCKS AFTER COMBINATION CHAMBER HAS BEEN RESET:

Replace back cover marked  "Simplex". Make sure staked joints in both end plates fit through both slots on the back cover. Replace the lock chamber on the door lock, switch lock, or other device. Please note it is important to replace the combination locking chamber and re-install the linkage mechanism which attaches to the chamber itself precisely the same way it was removed from the chamber. The setting of the combination, now that resetting of the combination chamber is complete, should only be attempted with the linkage mechanism completely reassembled. The proper functioning of the lock relies on the proper interaction between the locking chamber and the rest of the locking hardware itself, so be careful to replace it precisely in the same manner in which you removed it.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SET A COMBINATION UNTIL THE COMPLETE UNIT HAS BEEN REASSEMBLED  AND INSTALLED INTO THE PUSHBUTTON LOCK ASSEMBLY ITSELF. PERFORM THE REMAINING STEPS IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHICH MODEL YOU HAVE, AND EXACTLY IN THE ORDER SHOWN OR YOU WILL HAVE TO START OVER WITH STEP 1 OF RESETTING THE CHAMBER.



FOR ALL SIMPLEX MODELS PLUS KABA ILCO 2000-1, 3 & 5

1. Turn control knob LEFT  to stop position and then release.

2. Depress buttons for new combination.

3. Turn control knob RIGHT to stop position and then release. Your new combination is locked in.

KABA ILCO SIMPLEX MODELS 1000-1 thru 6

1. Turn outside knob clockwise to stop position and release.

2. Depress buttons for new combination.

3. Turn outside knob clockwise to stop position and release to lock in new combination.

All models: Now, enter your new combination correctly and turn outside knob or lever. The latch bolt should retract completely into the face plate of the latch. The simplex lock will allow combinations using simultaneous button entries, so you can set the combo using 2 and 4 together, and so on, as long as each number is used only once. Now that you have a known combination, you can change the combination of your Kaba Ilco Unican Simplex series 1000 or 2000 pushbutton lock by reading our article on changing the combination.

Now try a entering a wrong combination and verify that the chamber does not accept the wrong combo by turning the outside knob or lever. The latchbolt should not retract. Enter your new combination again, correctly, and turn the outside knob or lever. The latchbolt should retract completely into the face plate of the latch. If the latchbolt does not retract, try again and be deliberate with the pushing of the buttons. If the latchbolt still does not retract, your installation could be faulty, or you may start over with step one of resetting the combo of a Kaba Ilco Unican Simplex series 1000 or 2000 pushbutton lock. I hope to provide an article on the proper, complete installation of these locks in the near future. If the latchbolt does retract, you have now put back in service a completely functional Kaba Ilco Unican Simplex series 1000 or 2000 push button lock.


Hope this helps you out.

Locksmithing

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

Organizations
SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service Area is Northern California (Fresno to Oregon and Western Nevada)

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