Adding An Electronic Lock To A DIY Book Safe


DIY book safes are well and good, but if you give someone enough time to peruse your book collection, the 3-inch thick “Case study on Animal Husbandry Techniques during the 14th Century” is likely to stand out among your collection of hand-bound “Twilight” fan fiction. In an attempt to teach his friend a bit about microcontrollers and circuits, [Jonathan] spent some time adding a bit more security to your run of the mill book safe.

The pair started out with the time-consuming process of gluing the book’s pages together and creating enough hollow space for both storage and the electronics. With that out of the way, they installed a latch and servo motor inside the cavity, the latter of which is controlled using an Atmega328p with the Arduino bootloader. To gain access to the goodies stashed away inside, Jonathan hooks up a small PS/2 keypad and enters a passcode. This triggers the servo motor, opening the latch.

While the latch likely only adds a nominal bit of security to the book safe, it’s a fun enough learning exercise to justify the time spent putting it together.

Continue reading to see a short video of [Jonathan’s] electronic latching book safe in action.


10 thoughts on “Adding An Electronic Lock To A DIY Book Safe

  1. Okay, I admit, I didn’t watch the video, but did he put the micro-controller (uC) in the keypad, and not in the book? Even though it was a lesson in uC’s, it makes more sense to put the uC inside the safe, so the latch can’t be driven just by applying power to the connector. The power can also be supplied through the connector so one doesn’t have to worry about a dead battery inside the safe. A larger safe could be built by bolting several books (such as an encyclopedia, remember them?) together.

  2. So, isn’t the idea behind a book safe security through obscurity? Wouldn’t the next level of security be to take a real metal lock-box and embed it in the book? I mean, it’s a creative hack, but extra security approaches 0.

    1. It’s all about obscurity.

      Even if you stuffed an actual safe into the book, the book itself is easy enough to steal. Then you can take your time breaking into it.

      But you’d have to know what book it was, first.

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