Frequently Asked Questions

Glad to see that NSO is alive and well! I’m a little confused though. Can you explain what a Dual Member is?

Yes, a Dual Member is one with access to both the Magazine and the Forum. (The magazine is The International Safecracker, and the forum is the Safecracker Support Forum.)

I understand the Magazine is a digital-only quarterly publication. Is it likely to stay that way, or might it one day be printed and mailed again?

Given the cost and time-consuming nature of the print and mail world, it is highly unlikely, but I won’t say never!

I noticed that the Forum is $175 per year, while the Magazine is only $125 per year. Why the difference?

The Forum is more expensive to run and far more time consuming. It actually should have been double or triple price! I should point out, though, that the Forum only costs more for those who buy it a la carte, without the Magazine. For Dual Members, the Magazine and Forum are $99 each, for an annual total of $198.

My NSO membership doesn’t expire until next year. If I become a Dual Member today, what happens to the unused portion of my existing membership?

Dual Members who still have Magazines owed them will not be charged the $99 for Magazine renewal until their existing membership expires. In your case, if you become a Dual Member today, you will be charged $99 for the Forum today, but you will not be charged $99 for the Magazine until next year on your expiration date.

Is there a way I can find out how many Magazines I am still owed for my previous membership?

Yes. When an existing NSO member clicks to become Dual Member, on the very next web page they will enter name and NSO number to find their expiration date.

Do I have to become a Dual Member to get the Magazines I still have coming to me?

No. NSO members who are not ready to plunge into Dual Membership can sign in to get their magazines here. Or they can click on the Retrieve Your Magazines link at the bottom of the ad page (the page you were on before you clicked on FAQS to come here).

It looks like all the options (Dual Member, Magazine only, and Forum only) are subscriptions that will renew automatically. Is this correct? I am not a fan of being automatically charged for anything, and I am probably not alone.

Yes, all the options are for subscriptions that will renew automatically each year. The goal here isn’t to trap anyone into buying something they don’t want, but to minimize my own administrative responsibilities. For thirty-plus years, the admin people at TNL took care of PITA details like mailing out renewal postcards and data entry and other stuff like that that drives me nuts. I am a tech and will always be a tech. I suck at book keeping and marketing and postcards and data entry and picking daisies. And I have no desire to spend any more of my time doing those things than is absolutely necessary. So, I set up renewals to be handled automatically, behind the scenes, with no work necessary on my part.

But you can toggle it off at anytime. Log on, go to Manage Subscription, and turn off Automatically Renew. Just know that there will be no postcards in the mail notifying you that it’s time to renew. It will be on you to remember, and there is a potential downside. The first 500 Dual Members will lock in their $99 annual price for the Magazine and their $99 annual price for the Forum. The easiest way to lose your locked-in price is to miss an annual renewal. If that happens, though, don’t panic. Email me and I will pull some levers and make sure you aren’t out. But don’t get mad if I point out how easy the situation could have been avoided!

In the ad for the Safecracker Support Forum it says that no safe opening question will go unanswered. Is this true? And if it is, what does it mean?

Yes, it’s true. And it means exactly what every working safe technician would want it to mean: They will not be left high and dry on a lockout. Although this is a Forum where members help members, we will make sure that no safe opening question goes unanswered. Now that I am finally semi-retired, I have the time to check the Forum several times each day, to answer any unanswered safe opening questions.

An important clarification is in order. When I say that no one will be left high and dry, I do NOT mean that a novice can be walked step-by-step through opening a high security safe with a malfunctioning keylock and fired relockers, or through a catastrophic boltwork malfunction. Or through a complicated bank vault opening. I do mean that every tech who is on a difficult opening will get advice on how to approach that opening. Whether the tech will be able to use that advice to be successful on the job will depend in large part on their tools, experience, and aptitude.

Tech support cannot do the impossible, and it should not attempt the irresponsible. Every tech develops at a different pace, and to be successful it requires occasionally getting in a little over your head. But only a little, otherwise it can be a recipe for disaster and deep disappointment. Good judgment is called for here, not only by the tech asking for help, but by those offering help. When the tech is green and the job a nightmare, sometimes the best advice is to sub out a particularly difficult opening to a more experienced tech, to watch and learn. This doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen from time to time.

I know the emphasis at the Safecracker Support Forum is on opening methods, but can other types of questions be asked?

Of course! There is only one overarching rule: be civil. In other words, don’t post obscenity and don’t be an asshat. Everything else is fair game. Discussions and debates are not only allowed but encouraged, since there are many ways of doing almost everything that we professional safecrackers do. We disagree on the best method of removing particular dials, we differ on our favorite drill bits and drill motors, we all have our pet ways of accomplishing discrete safecracking tasks. It is to everyone’s advantage to have these differences of opinion shared in a civil manner. We can disagree agreeably, learn an immense amount in the process, and have a blast doing it!

Why the delay in getting accepted into NSO for either the Magazine or the Forum? I prefer instant access!

Understood. But we just cannot allow every Tom, Dick and Harry in the door. We have to screen prospective members. The shortest wait (in many cases, mere minutes) is for locksmiths and safe techs who are already members of NSO.

If I decide to quit, will it be a difficult process? I have had problems in the past with subscription type services and want to be sure before I commit.

The process is simple. Click on the Manage Subscription link, and select “Turn Off Automatic Renewal.” It’s that easy. Your access will terminate at the end of the billing cycle, and you will not be charged again. And if you ever have a problem that is not being resolved to your satisfaction, don’t hesitate to email me. It WILL get resolved. My email addresses are: davemcomie@mac.com and davemcomie@me.com