Locksmith experience with kinds of auto key programmers clone original

Came across a post that a senior locksmith share his experience with kinds of auto key programmers clone / original.
I am sure it will guide an increasing number of users on which programmer to use and how to use, so I’d like to share here.

Key programmers:
– CK100 (V99.99)
– SKP900 (V5.0)
– SBB2 (V2017)
– Tango
– SuperVAG
– Lonsdor K518ISE + SK-LT (Newest available)
Super VAG K-CAN 2
(and lots of cheap tools like Op-Com, 4in1 (Ford, Mazda, Renault, Nissan), VAGcom etc. They were too cheap to not to buy, but I don’t use them.)
– VPC100
– Mini CN900
– VAGcom
– OPcom
– 4 in 1 (Renault, Nissan, Mazda & Ford programmer)
– MVP Pro
– Tango Clone

– XProg-M 5.0 (chinese version)
– Orange5
– Rosfar 3000 v7.8s
– TL866A
– AK90+ 3.19

Key cloners:
– ZedBull (Chinese version)
– Handy Baby + JMD key
– RW4 Plus + M-box

Remote programmer:
– KD900

Let’s see the details:
A must have. Ideal to use it with SKP900. Cheap enough to have one, and sometimes it does wonders. Nice and easy to use, has 1032 tokens when you get it. Cheap token refill, and charges in 50% no tokens. I’ve a pdf on my phone with the compatibility list, so I can allways check if it can do the car, or not. Sometimes it does the newest cars too, for example a 2016 Ford Flex with smart keys. I had to buy an old Daewoo converter to it, but that’s all. Has some limited pin-code tools, but don’t wait for wonders. There are no update functions, but who cares for this money
You can get it from $70 with free shipping.

Good tool. Ideal to use it with CK100. The 1st one, what come with special adaptors for Hyundai, Kia and Honda. Does remote programming too, what can come handy often. With compatibility list on my phone, I can always know when it is good for the vehicle. It is rumored, that there won’t come out more updates after 5.0, but we will see. If you have to deal with expensive cars (Jags for example) it can do wonders when updated properly. It has a free token system, but you need from time-2-time to refill it via internet – that’s the most irritating point of the tool. You can update it via PC program – it is very slow, but it is worth to wait. Better pin tool than the CK, but nothing extraordinary. You can get it from $320 with free shipping.

A must have. I got it for last x-mas from me It is not so easy to use for the first look, but it has oddometer-correction tool, and can use .bin files or read directly from an eprommer. Has the same connector-collection as the SKP, is meant to be the next generation. It is said that it has all the function of the CK100, but I’ve found lots of diferences. Another advance is that it can read and delete trouble codes (DTCS), and clear oil change periods. This didn’t work on a 2010 Kangoo II. It can be updated via internet, never tried, but it is said to be working. Better pin tool than the CK, but nothing extraordinary. Cheap enough for its knowledge, you can get it for $140 with free shiping.

Cheap solution for the poors. It is the Chinese clone of Abrites, with limited abilities. If you want to buy it, then try to get an older one, because the new ones are the clones of a clone. I don’t want to waste time on detailed description, it can help a lot or freezee without any marks or destroy the connected car’s parts – but it is cheaper than cheap, you can get it from $100 with free shiping.

Professional tool for professionals (only). The best thing what you can have for programming and so on – for a lots of money. If you are a professional, you can’t do your work without it: does a lots of cars via OBDII, what other tools can’t (Benzs, Jag XK, various models of VAG group, aso). A class of its own. The prices are high enough to wait out the promotions (x-mas, aso). For the beginning buy only that module, what you mostly need, and buy the other modules when you can’t avoid it. At the moment the Benz module is the best on the market what you can buy. Full package costs more, than $30.000, yearly subscription €200.

Another must have. It is modular like AVDI or TMProII, with limited free functionality for each manufacturers. The whole BMW package is free, so you have to get it if you have to deal with Beemers. To be honest it has lots of weak points, but the documentation what is included makes it worth to pay for: pictures of the devices what you have to look for, sometimes with location and unmount pics; list of the transponders what you can use to the chosen task; the name of the chip what you have to deal with. Packages are from 50€, you get the activation code in e-mail very fast, but can depend on your dealer. So much from the good side, let’s see the weak points: It comes often, that you can’t open the .bin files for their name, just have to find out where the program accepts it. For example: Yaris as Corolla, Insignia as Camaro, Cordoba as Polo, Picanto as C’eed, aso. It gives some well-known problems: can’t do anything with the RB8 controllers, aso. It is a bit uncommon, that it wants to be updated allways, but who cares, it goes fast enough via smart phone too.
However: you have to buy this to be able to do your work, so take a deep breath, and pay: 1200€ for the basic sw+hw.

Czeh curse upon us. 1000€ without odometer correction, only for the Volkswagen group. This sounds fine, but they promise 1 year free update – even in September – what lasts only till January. In many cases the program says, that the key programming is blocked, try again later – but no words about how long to wait. The pin tool works rhapsodic: sometimes great, sometimes clean time wasting. Another weak point is the RB4/8.
The manufacturer said that the instrument cluster module is a good solution without soldering. My question is only “what is it good for – absolutely nothing”… The module says what to do, and when you follow the instructions, then it ends with an error message. You can try it many times, it won’t deliver the needed result, as long you follow the popups. When (after several tries) you try to change, and press “no” instead “yes”, then the things begin to change, and you could get the needed result. You could. Tried this module 3 different cars, then did the same work with soldering: the result shows that it is much more faster when you do it on the old school way.
Another joke is the yearly €160 for updates. Better spend this money on Abrites, it is much more worth of it.

Lonsdor K518ISE:
Lonsdor K518ISE is easy to use, has a lots of functions, in many places with screenshots how it should work. Not a cheap toy ($1400 with the Toyota pack), but I think it could be a good tool for the daily use (when you already bought it). Needs internet connection (at least once a week to check for updates) for some actions.
To be honest I’ve spent a lot of times to test it, and I think it promises a lot, but now it is too weak in knowledge for this money. But if you already have it, you can hope that they will work on updates harder as a rock.
Update: It seems to be working now (at least with smart key cars). The making of a smart key for a ’14 Dodge Charger was fast & easy: the only trick was that I had to chose Journey from the wehicle list. Pin reading and programing was done in 2 mins.
’13 Jaguar XJ: smart key programing in 2 mins
’14 Jaguar XK: chanceless (only Abritas knows this car today)
’13 Megane III Ph2: no pin reading, asks for pin to be able to do programming.
’11 Clio III Ph2 Grand Tour: Nothing. No communication.
2 pcs Astra H: No pin; 4 pcs Astra G: No pin; and a Corsa C: no pin.
’17 Mustang Shelby GT350: It was harder to get out the rubber pad from the cup holder, than the programing itself. Smart key added in 1 min.
’04 Clio II Ph2 30 sec without pin
’10 Megane III Ph1 RS under one minute with hands free cards
As far I see it works when it will, but is good for smart key solutions – when it reads no pin I don’t try it again when I get the codes.

Super VAG K-CAN 2:
Just to solve the RB4 / RB8 problem by Audis. Cheap enough to save you in such situatinos. I got it 2 weeks ago, but had no possibility to try it. With free shipping only 70 bucks.

I don’t know how others think about that situation when you can’t read out the content of a chip, but I swear to myself that it won’t happen again. That’s why I have so much eprommers, just to avoid such situations.

Good tool, but not necessary to have (or get a Chinese one). It was the first one what I had, but you can find where it leaks sooner as you could think. It was and is a very good eprommer. If you buy the original one, it can be expensive: €2000 for the full set with all the sw authorization and connectors, but you can get the Chinese clone of v5.5 from $50.
Warning: The cheap version can cause troubles, because it is built from cheapest parts. Sometimes 0.01 V difference can cause expensive troubles

A must have. You can’t avoid to get it if you want to do the car work seriously. Good for EEPROMs, MCUs, has a good Immo-content. This immo-part can be very helpful: in many cases you have only to solder some vires to the PCB, and you can read/write the needed content. Contains tons of pictures of immo-boxes, ECUs, and other PCBs; chip pinouts, and lots of useful informations. The basic kit costs only €350, I suggest to pay a bit more, and buy all the needed connectors with the basic kit: SOIC8 DIP8, SOIC8 14 soldering, SSOP8, Lead whith clips POMONA SOIC8 & DIP8, PQFP52 PQFP80, TMS374, 912 908 and 705E6 in-circuit leads, HC11ES and 05B6 WDT VW chip connectors (be getle with ’em, otherwise you have to buy a new one after 5-10 uses), ST62xx, 908AS60/AZ60 QFP64, all Motorola connectors. You will see how often do you use this connectors, and you can re-order the frequently needed ones.

To be honest never used this tool. I’m pretty sure, that it has its potential, but better don’t spend money on this except you get it used around 50-100 bucks. Has no support, the original company went bankrupt, and the new owner does nothing, just sells the existing stuff for €1000. It was a good tool 10 years ago – but now it is overaged. I can’t really tell why I bought it (because it was cheap and supports Beemer), but God only knows when it can come handy. Works with EWS1-4, CAS1-2.

Cheap Chinese toy, has 24 connectors. Bought it when I couldn’t find a TTL connector to the existing ones, and my dealer was on holiday. I got it within a week, seems to be correct enough. Since its arrival I used to it only once to test it. The binaries were the same readied by TL & O5, so I put it back to its box, and not used anymore. As far I see it is a perfect hobby tool, costs only $40 with free shiping. When compared with X-Prog I would prefer the other eprommer, or buy both of ’em (only the cheap version!).

Too cheap to not to have it if you have to deal with old BMWs. Excellent EWS tool, makes everyone happy: the customer can get a cheap remote key, and you can make fast profit. Has plug-on-chip connectors, what are doing its work perfectly if you remove the protecting resin from the chip pins. Does all EWS protocols, but be cautious it can delete the 2D47J content.
You can get it from $25 with free shipping.

Key cloning is one of the most important part of our job. My policy is “better cloned as programed”, because a cloned chip works for sure; while you can have lots of unexpected errors when you try to add a new key.

Good tool, but overaged. I have the cheap Chinese version, and have downloaded the EFfI sw to be able to use all functions of it. Cheapest way to clone, but has its own limits, whats are easy to reach with ID46 and 48 chips. Nothing to risk with its $20 price (mostly with free shiping), but don’t take it too serious

Handy Baby
A must have! At the moment it is the best handheld cloner, what you can get. With the JMD key expansion it can save you with ease when you have to deal with VWs – even in AKL situations. It is not a wonder weapon, in practice it needs time for calculations (sometimes 45 mins), but in the meantime you can cut the key, also. Never tried with G-chips, so I can just tell ya that it is said to be working. Has built-in batteries, and you can always charge it from your car – ideal tool to take with you. The special transponders are cheap enough to save you a lot of money compared to the RW4, and the main unit costs only $350, the JMD Key box around $250, and the G-chip authorization (if not included) $80, always with free shipping.

RW4 Plus
For professionals (only). It is made by Silca, that means it is expensive. I bought it together with the M-Box (in a special promotion with 10 ID48 and 40 GTI chips), when my Handy Baby couldn’t clone the key of a TT. It works with special devices called “snoop”s, one for ID46 and another (M-Snoop) for ID48. It needs internet connection for calculating a 48 transponder, can take 20 mins or more for the whole procedure. Works only with the expensive Silca transponder chips, so I try to avoid its usage if possible to save profit. Good point, that you can power it from your car or from AC, but its size is too big to take it always with you. Its price was (in special promotion) €2100, ask your locale dealer about promotions – otherwise it can be €3000 or more with ease.

In our profession you can’t overcome the remote key fobs, so there comes the best solution what I could find for this…

Another must have. It can save your a$$ in the most important moments, so don’t hesitate – innovate! With PC sw for that cars what are more difficult as the others it works fine, can save you a lots of money ‘coz its remotes are cheaper than the originals, and are easy to code ’em for almost every car. Usually I don’t have anything else for the VAG group, in rare cases I replace the KEYDI head with original Audi (for the logo) and the customer has a cheap Audi remote, we have our profit. This tool is good for everybody: the cheapest for own use, the 900 for pros.
You can buy the KD stuffz from $25 (Phone version), the 900 costs $230 with free shipping. Remotes are available from $6.5/pcs

A real joke. They say that this is a pin code calculator – I say it is a dust collector. It works with tokens, for the beginning you get 100 (I got 300, another 200 net-tokens too, to be able to count pins on the vpc website). I don’t know why, but usually it counts more than one token for the worst results too. For example: Nissan Almera 2004. Date code is 11924A; encrypted pin is E0D4 and the NATS came from Mexico. Pin is 8568. The VPC website delivers the same result for 4 web-tokens (8 if you don’t register a machine), but you need a bit experience what to enter and where and how… BUT: the device itself delivers the same result for 4 tokens – staying at this example. We met such Almeras, where the net and the device version gave out wrong results. It does not know the Infinmity keycode (can be counted from VIN), charges you for 4 token @ Hyundai/Kia pin code (CK100 gives it for free) and so on. If you are looking around you can find @ the download section the programs for free what can avoid the usage of this tool.
Nowadays it costs ~$25 with 100 tokens.

Mini CN900
Meant to beat out the Handy Baby from the market, but as far I see without success. This one is the handheld version of the CN900, as the developers said with all of its abilities. Ok, this info comes from my dealer: the mini knows only 80% of the HB’s work tested on real cars. If you have handy baby you don’t need the cn. Price is around $150 with free shiping.

Uncomfortable. I bought it coz it was to cheap enough to buy it, but is too difficult to use. A simple Seat remote re-teaching can be done in three different places – I better prefer the SKP900 for this. Some are swearing, that this is a good tool, but to be honest it is too uncomfortable for me. Yo can get it for $6 with free shiping, so you don’t risk anything when you get it.

OPcom for Opel/Vauxhal
Another too cheap tool – but I didn’t succeed to install it. It is said to be able to read pins trough OBD from Astra G or younger, but I couldn’t do anything with it. You can get it from China from $12 with free shiping

4 in 1
Cheap toy for everyone. Bought it because it can be used for Renault, Nissan, Mazda and Ford. I couldn’t use it because I don’t like to run around with a laptop, when other tools can solve my problem too. The Nissan part couldn’t read out pin from a NATS2 device, then the Renault part wasn’t able to do programing on a Thalia – so I drop it out from my car. I think it is a more-than-nothing tool for hobbists, costs only $30 with free shiping.

The big question. Another Silca tool, that means it is damn expensive.

Tango Chinese clone
God! Have mercy! A real crap. Mostly you can’t trust it, but has all sw packets what the original can offer. The only positive thing what I can tell ya is the built-in full documentation what the original had. Ok, it is not so tragic as it seems for the first look, but it makes often mistakes. I think €200 is too much for the documentation only when the hw itself is worthless, and sooner or later you have to buy the original one.

Credits to PocketHero (DK member) for his experience sharing.
BTY, most of the above auto key programmers are available at www.obd2shop.co.uk.


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