Secure monitoring of your home, and specifically your firearms, is often paramount to accepting the responsibility of being a gun owner. For those with multi-gun safes or vaults, the Puck by Lockdown offers a variety of monitoring features that connect to your smartphone device and help deliver 24/7 peace of mind.
The Puck is a small square device with logic-enabled software and a variety of sensors that monitors the current conditions to your safe or vault interior. The sensors monitor; temperature, humidity, vibration, and the current state of the safe/vault door. That data is then sent via Wi-Fi to the Lockdown app to be securely accessed by the owner anywhere in the world, at any time.
The sleek exterior hides an outward facing screen that is used during the sync process to the app, as well as can be used as a dumb switch to press and deactivate the door alarm. The housing appears to be made from aluminum to give the device some level of rigidity as well as strength. Working in tandem with the main Puck sensor, a small magnetic cube (with posts of varying height) helps provide sensor readings to detect when the door is open or closed.
The Puck is powered by two alternative power sources; either four AA batteries or a nine-foot Micro USB power cord that can be plugged into an outlet located inside the safe or vault for continual monitoring. The AA batteries will yield approximately 45-days of monitoring on the associated Power Save mode in the Lockdown app. It also includes optional mounting hardware although the Puck can also be mounted using simple hook-and-loop (not included) strips.
At any point where the Puck detects variances in temperature or humidity beyond the user preferences, movement, or the door opening while the device is armed, it will immediately push alerts to the user’s smartphone and detail the type of activity. In the case of tampering while armed, the Puck can also emit an audible alarm to announce the activity.
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Free Lockdown app in Apple Store or Google Play
- Puck dimensions: 3.25” (L) X 3.25” (W) X 1” (H)
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Excellent (5/5): At an MSRP of $109.99, the Puck is one of the market’s current security devices intended to monitor saves, vaults, or doors using Internet-of-Things (IOT) technology (in this case labeled as LOGIC technology that can be accessed via smartphone app). While the sensors residing in the Puck are relatively traditional (motion, humidity, temperature, etc.) their application into a singular device that can be further accessed Wi-Fi securely by the user is very new. In comparison, Liberty Safe offers its SafElert device ($199) and Simtek ($250) has a similar sensor but with less capability. The Puck still comes in below the price of all of these and thus while there are few market competitors, it is still excellently priced for its capability.
- Durability – Average (3/5): From a durability standpoint, the housing of the Puck was a combination of a lightweight aluminum frame and ABS plastic. This gave it some good level of accidental crush protection, but the ABS plastic-formed top (which doubles as a screen during the sync process and for manual operation) was most at risk. The idea being that placed out of the way the Puck should be unobtrusive and would survive an accidental drop or bump. But for those with vault doors or very heavy safe doors, if the Puck were to accidentally get caught during closure then it will sustain some exterior damage. The Puck came with the necessitating hardware and embedded magnets in the frame to mount the device in a semi-secure fashion—but the bracket does require the user to screw the bracket into the safe’s interior wall or door. There is also the option to use hook-and-loop (not included) as means of expanding the mounting options.
- Functionality – Fair (2/5): Functionally, over a 30-day evaluation the Puck held a fair performance that was best broken down into several categories:
- Setup: The Puck has a sync process that necessitated Wi-Fi connectivity. As discovered, if the 5G/2G wireless router is not in close proximity to where the safe or vault is (such as a router upstairs in the family room and the safe in the basement), then there were problems syncing the Puck to the Lockdown app on the smartphone. The Lockdown app itself also could only identify the 2G signal, and did not identify the faster 5G. It is speculative, but this may be due to the Puck not having 5G compatible hardware as it is the newer technology. Several attempts were needed, by completely resetting the Puck, to get it to complete the sync process on the slower 2G network at a reduced signal strength.
- Mounting: This again was problematic because based on the interior design aspects of the safe, it may be difficult to find a space that allows the Puck to be in very close proximity to the magnet that operates the OPEN/CLOSED door sensor. The manual made no recommendations or specifications, so the user is more or less left to be creative. The underlying issue was that the physical magnet itself, must be either touching the Puck when the safe door is closed or within ¼” of the noted triangle on the exterior housing. The further the magnet is, the less reliable the function of the sensor until ultimately the Puck could no longer detect the magnet and function reliably.
- Performance: The Lockdown app was extremely simple and intuitive, with an easy to use interface that allowed the user to specify desired values for sensitivity, temperature, humidity, as well as check the status of the Puck’s Wi-Fi connectivity, power, and volume. All of which was readily monitored over the course of its 45-day evaluation and whenever something was amiss, an alert was sent via text message to the synced smartphone for the user’s awareness. During this time, approximately 15 false alerts were sent centric to the current status of the safe door or secure status. These increased notably after the batteries dipped below 20% power. All other sensors functioned normally and without incident. Attempting to open the safe door while the Puck was armed did result in the audible intrusion alarm.
- Weight – Fair (2/5): The Puck itself weighed in at a mere 6.6 ounces, which meant that its relative light weight was easily supported by hook-and-loop (not included) or the mounting bracket. Once mounted it became just another accessory mounted to the interior of the safe and supported by the safe’s frame itself. In comparison, the SafElert device (2.5 ounces) and Simtek (3.4 ounces) are also similarly light weight, but illustrate that the Puck still remains the heaviest of such security devices available. Given that all these devices are still supported by the safe itself, and generally still weigh mere ounces, the Puck and the SafElert were the only two that offer such extensive monitoring. If Lockdown could slim its design further, and bring its weight closer in-line with the weight of other similar devices, then its fair scoring in relation to the weight of other such devices would improve.
Overall Rating – Average (12/20)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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