Hide tiny stuff in this fake bolt


#1

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#2

Several Bothans DIED for you to have this bolt.

ORDER IT. And use it wisely. And may the Force be with you. Always.


#3


Been there done that.

A M16 bolt can accommodate a 11mm hole (with a M12 bolt-stub plug), which fits a microSD card inside. (Actually, the microSD just does not fit, which can be alleviated either by enlarging the hole by a fraction of a millimeter, sanding down the card's edge a barely perceptible bit, or milling a slot to the side of the hole.)

The plug on the end of the bolt is barely visible, and for longer-term storage it can be obscured by putting the bolt in service and painting it over.

Older test with smaller bolts here. The removable-head one is less practical than the kind with plug at the end.

I should've submitted it! Too bad my machining skills trump my public relations/self-promo ones by a wide margin!
(bangs head against the nearest wall)

edit: Just realized the smaller one with removable head could be improved by a small hole drilled to the side with added lock-pin. Then the bolt could be screwed into some existing construction and unscrewed later (as the head would not unscrew until the lock pin is removed).

Another thought: a microSD card hidden in the HEAD of a bolt. The M16 bolts are too big for most indoor home uses. A bolt with hollow head could be made.

I also think the main-article bolt is from the same vendor that sells hollow coins, many of which can accommodate the microSD card too.
Edit: Here's the guy. Bolts at the end of the page.


#4

The Death Star plans are NOT in the main computer... but we did find a few old bolts, so we threw them into an escape pod with a couple of droids.


#5

Replacing your suspension bolts with these and then attempting to smuggle cocaine is probably not a winning strategy.


#6

The cavity compromises the mechanical strength. You can compensate for it by using a higher-grade steel, resulting in a bolt that's hollow but has the same strength as the original cheap-steel one.

Standard engineering calculations (a little out of my league as of now) will tell you the exact dimensions.

Edit: You may also want to replace the modded bolts often, because of the risk of fatigue cracks developing due to stress concentration due to unforeseen process problems (namely stress concentration on the inner cavity edges). A failure at a wrong moment is likely to betray the storage space, nullifying its purpose. (edit: corrected link)


#7

This list of bolt-related stealth devices is indeed extensive!


#8

The resin is a dead giveaway.


#9

Fake bolts (not actually screwed in) were popular geocache locations a few years ago.


#10

Could the thing be redesigned in a way that it has two ways of being assembled (covert and deployed), and the resin-contaminated areas are out of sight in the covert configuration (which looks and perhaps even works like some common object)?


#11

Is it going to be able to defeat a flash smelling dog?


#12

What you've discovered is actually a micro-cache container for Geocaching. There are even smaller containers. You know, to hide your weed in! After all, the rolled up log and a rolled up blunt are about the same size.


#13

Be far more effective with a left-hand thread on there.


#14

And two opposite notches on the bolt, in the top thread area, so it can be screwed in (or removed from) the hole with a screwdriver, independent on the head.


#15

It would be helpful if the weight were also indistinguishable - does this suggest any heavier, more resilient material?


#16

If the bolt is in place, screwed in, the weight cannot be assessed.

If it lays out on its own, you may pack the cavity with tungsten shims until the weight and its distribution matches the original. A heavy paste could be made e.g. from epoxy (or molten wax or hot glue or other binder) and powdered tungsten, which can be bought in some golfer supplies as it is used for weighing down the ends of the shafts.


#17

That's assuming you already suspect the bolt. I could imagine a 'French Connection' scenario where the weight of two quasi-identical objects, each incorporating bolts, differed sufficiently to indicate something amiss.


#18

Once a common object gets suspected, you almost certainly fail. The purpose here is to avoid the suspicion and closer examination by looking Uninteresting. The bolts have, out of necessity, a mark (line, groove...) where the parts meet. Which can be obscured by paint, dirt and grease when in-situ, but are a problem in closer examination. Then there is the issue of the payload, which must be well-secured to not rattle inside. (In case of structural bolts the payload-induced corrosion is also a major concern.)

A bit bigger problem here may be the large xray machines, so the best location of such bolt in a vehicle is e.g. in the engine block (if possible classical steel, not aluminium that is much more xray-transparent).

There are emerging handheld backscatter xray devices out there, which will cause problems until we learn their characteristics and the appropriate hiding/camouflage methods.


#19

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