2001: Memory Deactivation Key (HAL 9000 / Space Odyssey)

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macropod80

Active Member
Whipped up a quick prototype at work today (I'm learning Solidworks - might as well learn on something sensible!):
test 1.JPG
Not sure about the dimensions yet, will try a few variations before I commit to milling a chunk of aluminium. I've got it half inch thick by 7/8" at widest and 2 1/4" long. I'm assuming as it was made in the UK in the 1960s it's not metric. Looks a bit short, perhaps.
What's the etiquette here - am I hijacking someone else's thread?
 

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MrSinistar

Well-Known Member
Whipped up a quick prototype at work today (I'm learning Solidworks - might as well learn on something sensible!):
View attachment 518976
Not sure about the dimensions yet, will try a few variations before I commit to milling a chunk of aluminium. I've got it half inch thick by 7/8" at widest and 2 1/4" long. I'm assuming as it was made in the UK in the 1960s it's not metric. Looks a bit short, perhaps.
What's the etiquette here - am I hijacking someone else's thread?

Awesome, keep it up! I got some keys coming my way as well. How difficult was it to trim the key itself?

In terms of etiquette, I think you should be good. I mean, it's definitely on-topic.
 

macropod80

Active Member
The key comes apart really easily - the shaft is hollow and the head has a tongue that slots inside, and is just crimped on (in the photo above you can see it lying in the background). I just clamped the key shaft in a (soft-jawed) vice and gave the head a wiggle with a pair of pliers.
 

MrSinistar

Well-Known Member
The key comes apart really easily - the shaft is hollow and the head has a tongue that slots inside, and is just crimped on (in the photo above you can see it lying in the background). I just clamped the key shaft in a (soft-jawed) vice and gave the head a wiggle with a pair of pliers.

Oh very cool!!
 

MrSinistar

Well-Known Member
So I got a bunch of keys from an eBay auction and aesthetically, they look perfect for turning into deactivation keys. Functionality-wise, they're a bit different from the movie prop. The locks that came with my keys actually hold the key in the chamber while it's in the unlocked position, unlike the movie locks where the key comes out after it's unlocked. Does your keys do the same thing, macropod?
 

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macropod80

Active Member
My lock does the same thing. You have to modify the bit that sticks out underneath - on the front half of the cylinder, not the bit that rotates. If you look really closely at it's ground surface, you might see signs of the plugging of four tiny holes inside that hold the springy bits of the lock mechanism (two of these holes are exposed to the rear where they don't actually do anything.) You have to grind/file/cut to get the inner parts out. I haven't gotten around to it yet (got distracted working on the pod door explosive release..) Will have a go and post a photo of the result.
 

macropod80

Active Member
Easy. You'll need a magnifier and a delicate touch to avoid making a mess, but it just took a few minutes with a Dremel:
lock1.JPG
Drill into the surface until you expose the hole inside. Then if the bits don't just pop out, use a poking thingo of some kind to push the plunger out from inside the keyhole.
lock2.JPG
Just like the real thing!
 

jflowers

New Member
Hey there - just wondering if you would consider opening this up to the community. I'm really interested in one and I'm sure there are others. Perhaps this would bring down the cost (more than one) of getting these milled and such? Thanks.
 

macropod80

Active Member
Well, I'm waiting for a suitable chunk of aluminium to turn up in the scrap bin at work, then I'll be milling one out myself. Eventually. When I can find the time.. Afraid I can't offer to produce extras.
If anyone's interested, I'm happy to make available the stl file I used to 3D-print the plastic prototype - on Thingiverse or some place similar?
 

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AP 333

New Member
It's been a long time since I visited this thread.
Nice to see some action!

I guess you would be interested in following attachments:
 

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HC68

New Member
Hi, I'm new on this forum, and I really astonished because the data and pro works that I can find from 2001's fans like me. Congratulations and thanks!

I have a mid-term project, just for a hobby: to build the a kind of Hal Deactivation Panel. In this 'oddissey' I tried to find out in many ways (blu-ray frame by frame, research, etc) the exact text in the right of crystal memory modules. pict1 - 4THX.jpg

Apparently the complete text has 5 lines, and each line starts with:

Memory System…
Instructions…
Modification…
Must be…
Computer…

Thanks in advance for any clue about this! Kind Regards!
 

Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, I did a few Google Image Searches and worked over the 'best' pic in PS, and this is all I got. Your information as to the text seems plausible, certainly possibly correct.
 

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Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A couple of retouched HD screencaps I took just now. The black and white one gives us the first two letters of each line for certain.
 

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Dondragmer

New Member
Yeah, I've been working on that one myself. Every time the film plays in 70mm, I manage to add another word or two. (Can't make out much even on the 4K DCP, it's gotta be a 70mm print.) Here's what I have so far:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE (FOR/PER?)
INSTRUCTIONS
MODIFICATION
MUST BE FOLLOWED
COMPUTER OPERATIONS MANUAL

Hope that helps, and good luck!
 

HC68

New Member
Mike J / Dondragmer, thanks for your research and prompt response!!

Excelent work, and yes, you're right, probably on 4K we can get a clear picture for that part.

I'm still working on it as a puzzle, thanks again!!
 

Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Another retouched, cropped screencap. Still pretty crappy, but it does seem to confirm Dondragmer's guess at at least the first word of each line.
 

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