On Saturday I went about the process of trying to open a wee gun safe I got from my father. It’s a sentimental thing, because my dad was an absolute gun nut, had several safes and well, I wanted to keep one. Now, this might have been a simple thing except for one thing: the safe I chose was the only safe whose key pad combination my dad had forgotten. We had the key, but using a key to unlock a safe when the Boogie Man is knocking at the door isn’t real convenient. Ergo, my goal was to be able to use the key pad.
And how hard can it be to reset a small gun safe?
I got online to Winchestersafes.com and found a phone number that I used to call a nice fella by the name of Chad. He said he could help me and asked what the model number is on my safe. I found that easily on the back of the safe, relayed it to Chad and waited while he seemed to wrestle with paper in the background. In the meantime, Mark helped out by typing in a random number on the safe’s keypad. Touching any number results in the top of the safe lighting up with, “Enter Code”, which gave Mark enough light to see what he was going. After typing in the first set of numbers, the safe went BEEP, BEEP. After a moment of silence, it went BEEP, BEEP again. Mark punched in another combination, hoping maybe THAT was the combination, (though, seriously, there were 4 numbers and how many possible combinations?) This time, the safe went BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, paused and repeated its beeping over and over again. This was a slightly higher, more urgent pitch than the first set of beeps. And it continued even after Mark typed in yet another set of numbers.
Because Chad was still fumbling around with whatever papers he was messing with, I put the phone down and got a key to open the safe. The BEEP, BEEP, BEEPing did not stop even with the door of the safe open! Mark shut the safe door and tried more numbers, only for the BEEPing to continue. Chad finally came back to the phone and informed me that my safe had no ability to be reset. That seemed rather odd to me, so between BEEP, BEEP, BEEPs, I asked Chad if Winchester had instruction manuals online. He gave me the link, wished me well and hung up.
Mark and I had other matters to attend to, so I took the BEEP, BEEP, BEEPing safe out to my car to silence it so to speak and so that it might feel threatened by hanging out with a bunch of items we planned to drop off Goodwill. Like forever. Hours later, we had to do errands—including stopping at Goodwill. Too lazy to remove the safe from my car, we did errands with the safe in tow, BEEPing all the way. Yes, I thought about dropping the safe off at Goodwill but this was a sentimental thing after all and I simply could not. So when our errands were done two hours later, I brought the BEEPing thing back inside the house, got onto Winchester.com and found instructions for resetting the safe. (To which I thought, “Go Chad.”) The process required hitting a reset button inside the safe, which meant we had to use the key to open the door. We opened the door with the key, hit the reset button, entered a new code of our choice, hit the reset button again and re-entered the new code of our choice, shut the door, punched in the new number and held our breath. But no. The safe continued BEEPing.
It was then Mark noticed that the message on the top of the safe no longer said “Enter Code” but instead indicated we had a low battery. Mark reached inside the safe, unscrewed two screws holding the 8-pack of batteries and pulled them out. I handed him 8 new batteries, and after those were in place, we tried the reset sequence all over again. Finally, after hours of frustration, the door of the safe popped open using the keypad! Victory at last!
The next day, I went to go pick up my car from a mechanic friend who’d installed a new set of front brakes. I got into my car, found that the lights inside were on but very dim, and when I turned the key, nothing happened. The battery was dead. The mechanic gave me a jump and as I headed home I discovered my radio screen was black. I hit the “On” button and was greeted with the message “Enter Code.” Seriously? Who would design a car such that a code is needed to use one’s own radio when the car battery dies????!!!!
Later at home, I skimmed through my Owner’s Manual and read under the Radio Instructions that I could guess 10 times before the “Enter Code” message would disappear, the screen would go blank and I’d have to wait an hour before trying again. I was, of course, deathly afraid of being BEEPed at anyway, so instead of trying random numbers, I drove a day without a radio. I soon found myself humming to myself which I worried was habit forming. So, the next day, I dug through my glove box (while humming), found my maintenance manual (which I’d never been curious enough to look at) and was about to set it aside when I wondered why a maintenance manual would need to be 1/8 inch thick—what all was there to maintain, I wondered? There, on the inside cover, was the radio reset code. But of course! I punched the number in–a five digit number no less–and immediately the radio came back into tune!
I cranked up the radio for a moment’s celebration. When the song ended and I reached over to shut off the radio, I noticed that the time on the clock radio was flashing. And it was off by many hours. And minutes. I decided to let that problem ride a day or so before tackling that, because my luck, I’ll need another code.