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Old 04-19-2005, 01:46 AM   #1
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Door lock ideas

I've got an air-operated folding door, which I like a lot conceptually. However, I'm not sure how to best lock it when I leave. I've seen one photo on the site about that, but do people have a favorite method? How about easy to install and doesn't look too strange?

Thanks,

Branden
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:58 PM   #2
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if you use this valve

http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/P...t=fuel%20valve

you can easily plumb it into your existing air door system.

To make the door open and close there are options....

One neat idea is to mount a magnetic switch to the side of your bus. These switches are commonly used on windows when installing a burgular alarm. They can be had for aobut 10 bucks at radio shack.

to gain entry to your bus, simply hold a magnet near the switch and the door opens.

Or

you could buy a remote keyless entry gizmo for about $35 from the net and wire it to the valve.

I utilize both systems. This will only work until you're bus runs out of air.....and also assumes that the air pressure being supplied to the door keeps the door shut even when someone is trying to gain entry.
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Old 04-19-2005, 01:49 PM   #3
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door lock

Yeah, it's that part about "only until it runs out of air" that I'm concerned about. I think if I had a system that worked when there was no air, I'd have one that I'd be comfortable with even when it had air.

Although it raises the question of how did bus drivers get in when these were in use? Did they just always leave the door open?
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Old 04-19-2005, 03:46 PM   #4
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you could install a cheap 12 volt air compressor and a pressure switch to feed air only to the door system. A check valve in the system will allow the door to operate with the pressure from the stock air brake system until the pressure drops below a certian point. When the pressure drops below , say 30 psi, the check valve isolates the door system from the air brake system.

my air compressor runs only a few seconds every 3 or 4 minutes. It would take more than a week or so to run the batteries down.

I guess this system only works short term.

I use mine more for show than for actual security. Having a remote keyless front door is pretty darn cool!
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Old 04-19-2005, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: door lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Branden
Although it raises the question of how did bus drivers get in when these were in use? Did they just always leave the door open?
Short answer: Yes

Long answer: There is a switch to release the door pressure (disconnect it from the air system). As a driver we would flip the switch then manually push the door open, then manually push the door closed (or at least as closed as we could get it).

Now where I drove was in Kodiak Alaska and they weren't too concerned with vandalisim/theft. I imagine in larger places they either keep the buses inside actual garages or in a fenced yard with security. Unfortunately neither one of these options is viable for the average private owner.
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Old 04-19-2005, 09:17 PM   #6
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How about a pit bull named bitey
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Old 04-21-2005, 12:46 PM   #7
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Bitey and the Back Door Lockers

I like that idea, although I may have found a good solution. I was looking at the door for ideas about how to install a bar-type lock like the Florida (? don't remember) engineers did (in the Gallery). I saw that there is a metal loop, looks like a handle really, that keeps the bottom of the door at the floor of the bottom step. If the door is closed, this loop is right next to a small triangular horizontal piece of steel on the outside of the bus, part of the lower door frame. If you drilled a hole through this small (maybe 1.5"x1.5") steel piece, and got the right kind of padlock--it may have to be a long shackle or round, or perhaps a short cable--it could go through the steel triangle on the bus frame and through the loop on the door. It couldn't be too long, though, as the loop is not closed under the bus (it needs to travel along the door frame floor underneath)--so too long a shackle and you might be able to get it off the door loop. But other than that this looks quite promising, and easy.
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Old 04-21-2005, 02:47 PM   #8
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We happen to be located right next to our schools shuttle bus aparking lot and talking with the mechanic, they also use the air pressure to lock the doors, they install a switch in the keyed eletrical box under the drivers window that opens and closes the silenoid for the door.

we decided not to lock it at the lower mount just becuase it looked to flimsy, it could be bent out of kick off rather easily, but that is our bus which was hit in that corner at somepoint.

the rod through the door is somewhat cumbersome and a little too much process but it is solid.
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Old 04-21-2005, 03:09 PM   #9
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Lock pics/plans/strategy

Nicholas,

Thanks for your reply! I actually saved the photo and have been looking at it and trying to figure out how you work it. I assume you welded the rings onto the door and that the bar slides in from the far left side. Where did you get the bar and rings, or did you fabricate them yourselves?

I agree that the bottom lock looks easy to break or kick off, but I'm really thinking of it as just a deterrent. I plan to keep the bus looking like a (very cool) school but, so if they really want in they could just bust a window or something pretty easily. One idea I had was to weld or screw in a ring on the door and on the frame, and then just thread a lock between them. It would be right where you placed the bar, but it wouldn't be as thorough. Did you all think of that? Rejected?
Thanks,
Branden
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Old 04-22-2005, 05:56 PM   #10
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we actually welded the rings (pieces of pipe) to bolt heads then bolted them in. We happened to have the piece of chrome plated steel rod lyng around and a piece of 4130 chromoly tubing the had an ID about .100" larger than the OD of the steel rod. Just cut one side at a 45 degree welded it together and drilled a hole on the other side then slipped a padlock on it. We use the same keyed padlocks to lock the other 2 doors from the inside.

Never thought of the ring idea, but i think they would rattle and rub the paint on the door off.

even a small rod or a u shaped bike lock running across center hinge should be sufficient.
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