DIY Lock for MBPr while travelling

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vghty, May 27, 2013.

  1. Vghty macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #1
    I love my MBPr, but is has one major shortcoming. I travel a lot for work and want to take my computer and being able to lock it to something in a hotel room. But the Kensington lock slot is missing on the retina machines :-( With my previous computer I used a Kensington DS lock, but even that one did not fully convince me.

    Not being able to find any nice, ready made solution (that could be delivered to my country) finely decided it was time for some tinkering.

    Step one was the design. The idea is that the computer would first go into its sleeve, and then the sleeve would be encapsulated by a set of U-shaped Aluminium profiles, that can be locked to something. The materials look like this:

    [​IMG]

    Here I am drilling the holes:

    [​IMG]

    To make the whole thing portable, I planned for two elements, one for the front and left side, and another for the back and right side. By choosing a smaller U size for the side elements, they can nice slide into the other parts when folded. This would require a hinge of some sort. I decided to make that by using this special screws, of which I admittedly I don't know their names. Anyway, the head is totally blank, and the short square part on the shaft ensures the screw cannot turn at all.

    [​IMG]

    This obviously requires a square hole in the U profile, which can be fairly easily made with a square-sized awl and a decent hammer:

    [​IMG]

    Then, the hinge is almost ready. Unfortunately, the screws were slight to long (could not get shorter ones) so I had to shorten one myself. Its a job I don't like at all, but well, had to be done.

    [​IMG]

    And then we are almost there! The two foldable two pieces go together now, and two extended padlocks keep them together. I used Nichiban stage tape to cover the profiles and not to have sharp edges in my suitcases. Finally, a flexible chain allows the laptop to be locked to something fixed in the room, like a radiator, the water pipes of a sink.

    [​IMG]

    Is this heavy? 318 gram per bar, 165 gram per padlock, and 440 for the chain. That makes 1400 grams in total. Not light, but still doable with the 23kg luggage clearance on most flights I do.

    [​IMG]

    And this design is much lighter than then the first trial design I made, which I dod not mention het. It was made of thicker aluminium, weighted in at 2.3 kg, and was much bulkier, because it had no hinges but was fixed. See the difference below:

    [​IMG]

    So, should others have a need similar to mine: Happy tinkering!
     
  2. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #2
    Needs some foam inside where the bars contact the system to reduce risk of scratching, otherwise, very neat. If I had the need to do something similar, this would be a nice starting point.
     

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