Jameson Lopp’s Seed Storage Stress Tests and the CypherWheel
Back in December 2019, Jameson Lopp reported on his third round of Metal Bitcoin Seed Storage Stress Tests. His tests have become the informal standard on reviewing this product category and have generated a lot of interest in safe seed storage. The CypherWheel was one of the products Lopp tested in this round, and we were very excited to be included in this review, as we knew it could only help us make the CypherWheel an even safer, more durable product.
Jameson Lopp’s testing process consists of a basic product overview followed by a series of stress tests, including: a heat test at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, a shock test, a three-hour corrosion test using muriatic acid, and a crush test with a 20 ton hydraulic press.
The results? The CypherWheel received an overall rating of B+ after making it through the majority of Jameson Lopp’s tests. While our product performed well on the heat, shock, and crush tests, the muriatic acid test did a number on the CypherWheel’s baseplate. While this was disappointing to us, it was a good lesson to learn, and gave us an opportunity to go back to our product and make improvements.
The baseplate of the CypherWheel was originally made out of 416 Stainless Steel because of its excellent machinability–important to us because the CypherWheel is machined on a CNC milling machine, versus being stamped out on a punch press. However, what we didn’t realize was that the 416 Stainless was less resistant to corrosion than some other alloys. After research (we recommend the excellent EMJ Stainless Steel reference book), we settled on 303 Stainless, which has the excellent corrosion resistance of 304 while maintaining very good machinability.
With the new alloy in mind, we had to completely retest and in some cases redesign the various features of the CypherWheel baseplate. We started with a quick muriatic test on 303 Stainless to confirm it did not corrode. After this we needed to verify that we could cut the material with our existing tooling. This step was a long process of making parts and adjusting parameters over and over again. Lastly, we adjusted the tolerances on the character chip pockets to make a tighter fit and ensure no data loss in the case of damage.
Once we felt satisfied with all of these changes, we needed to ensure they actually solved the problem. So we duplicated Jameson’s tests. We used our heat treat furnace to bring the baseplate up to 2000 degrees and dunked the red hot part into water. We repeated the muriatic acid test, and finally crushed it in our 20 ton press. It was a resounding success!
We are very thankful to Jameson Lopp for testing the CypherWheel and sharing his results. We have a lot of pride in our products and will always strive to make them the best possible.
Keep your Bitcoin seed words safe with the highly tested and durable CypherWheel. To learn more, or to place an order, visit the CypherWheel product page.