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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:11 pm
by least
This is a grade 4 cylinder, that looks like a normal pin tumbler, but it is not. It features five sliders and two sidebars, both of them designated as active (more on this later). The keyway is not all that bad at the first sight, but combined with very shallow cuts it requires a fairly deep hook.


Each of the sliders has a single false gate, and all of them had the false gate first. When the true gates align, the real active sidebar located at 3'o clock can retract.

There is a second sidebar located at 10'o clock, that checks the milling on the side of the key; although this sidebar is passive, it has one trick up its sleeve - it contains an element, that interacts with key, and when the core is rotated to approximately 8'o clock, a driver pin will press on it. If the key is in, the element will not move and the core can be rotated freely; if nothing prevents the element's movement, the driver pin will enter the core and stops the movement. Although the pin protruding to the keyway is relatively small, it is visible there and be pressed relatively easily, freeing the core's rotation. The moveable element is the reason, why the marketing designated the second sidebar as active too.

As far as picking goes, this lock taught me a lesson, and I wander how the other slider locks from EVVA are going to feel.

First of all, this lock requires quite different tensioning strategy, than usual pin tumblers - for example when slider enters a false gate, and the core rotates slightly, you don't push it further, otherwise it will be much harder to get it from the false gate.
Also the feedback is quite different and phrase "light touch" means quite a lot. Even setting the sliders requires a different approach - the push must be controlled, otherwise you risk dropping already set sliders. I was not able to use a levering action of the pick (at least not to get the slider to a true gate) - not completely sure why is that; maybe the force from the pick tip is not completely vertical, which causes the slider to bind against the core - anyway, trying to lever it while releasing the tension mostly caused previously set sliders to drop. The strategy that proved most efficient is to push the slider directly (precise positioning is necessary too), pulsing the pressure while either keeping (if the slider is moving through a false gate) or slowly releasing the tension (to get the slider to move in the first place) to catch the movement and avoid oversetting it or dropping other sliders.


Also construction of this lock deserves a few words; this cylinder is modular, which means that the base is the same and different lengths are created using "prosthetics". That said, there is a couple of nasty surprises too... First of all, the screw holding the main part to the connecting rod is a security screw - and not just any security screw, it is a pentalobe with a pin in the middle. Searching for this type of screwdriver, it looks like there are several names of this standard - TS15, TP15H, Torx PLUS IPR; I got the TS15 (along with about 100 others, most of which I'll never touch), and it worked. Second surprise was the circlip - it is actually axially assembled retainingring, but missing the edges with holes to grab it by; because of that and
because they are relatively thin, it is quite hard to get a hold of them and to take them off the core.

All in all, it is a surprisingly challenging lock that taught me a lot and as far as I'm concerned it is well worth it.
However, when buying it, be careful, as sometimes even locksmith doesn't know, which version of the lock is the one he offers.
Fortunately just one look into the keyway is sufficient to see the difference.

Kind regards,



PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:55 pm
by femurat
Very useful info. I'll come back to read it again when I find one of these.

Congratulations for the opening!

Cheers :)


PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:32 pm
by least
I was wandering how the slider version compares to the pin tumbler version of the lock, so here we go...

EVVA EPS-M (pin tumbler version)
This is a grade 4 cylinder, five pin tumbler, featuring one passive slider with an "active" element. This is my second lock with a "meaningfull" keyway - spells EVVA this time, but the intepretation needs more fantasy than the CISA. The low edge of the E creates somewhat annoying restriction in the keyway, but nothing all that nasty.


The internals of this lock are relatively usual, although there are several notable details. First of all, the lock body has two sidebar groves milled in it, although only one is used; also there are six chambers drilled, although just five of them are in use (the chambers are drilled from the top). Funny thing is, that even when the sixth chamber contained no pins, there was a spring in it.

The first two chambers not only standard steel driver pins, but also steel springs (the rest of the springs is made from a different material). The rest of the drivers are the usual EVVA spools, but due to the bitting only the spool in chamber three ever gets into play.

Also the cylinder clutch is somewhat different than usual - instead of the universal clutch and a metal cylinder, the clutch is just in one piece.

A word of caution when gutting this lock - with key in and turned upside down, the pins will get caught in the plugs notch for the clutch. Another warning - when pinning the lock back, start from the beginning and don't switch directions from which you insert the springs back. What might happen is that you accidentaly leave a chamber without a spring - it is not all that bad, but the lock only works with the pins side up (now guess how I know :???: ).

Compared to the SYMO version, this lock is relatively easy to pick - the feedback is clear, and due to the bitting the spools are mostly wasted. The only notable thing is the very low cut pin 2, and the fact, that the keyway somewhat restrict usage of the deepest hooks (although the thin SSDeV hook worked just fine).