Test Driving The AD-900 Pro

The AD-900 Pro successfully cloned clonable transponder-equipped keys and electronic keys from Bianchi, Ilco, JMA, Jet and STRATTEC.


Reading the GM T5 keys More than 90 percent of new vehicles are being equipped with transponder-based engine immobilizers. There is even an increase in transponder based anti-theft systems for motorcycles/scooters, snowmobiles, four wheelers and larger vehicles. Transponder...


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Reading the GM T5 keys

More than 90 percent of new vehicles are being equipped with transponder-based engine immobilizers. There is even an increase in transponder based anti-theft systems for motorcycles/scooters, snowmobiles, four wheelers and larger vehicles.

Transponder technology has evolved from fixed to rolling code onto encrypted; making it much more difficult for the unauthorized to capture a signal. In addition, vehicle manufacturers have added their own unique programming, making it more difficult for others including aftermarket key blank manufacturers to supply their own versions. And finally, aftermarket key blank manufacturers appear to be personalizing their transponder/electronic key blanks, making it difficult or impossible for other manufacturers’ cloning equipment to clone their transponder/electronic keys.

New on the market is the Advanced Diagnostics AD-900 Pro, a transponder duplicating/copying (cloning) machine manufactured by a company that does not manufacture or sell transponder-equipped key blanks in North America.

Note: For the purpose of this article, transponder duplicating, copying and cloning are interchangeable terms.

“The goal of the AD-900 Pro is to be able to read and clone clonable transponder-based engine immobilizer system Original Equipment and aftermarket transponder and electronic keys using aftermarket manufacturers’ clonable key blanks. To that goal, at this time, a properly equipped AD-900 Pro can read and clone Bianchi, Ilco, Jet, JMA and STRATTEC clonable transponder-equipped key blanks and electronic keys,” says Tony Presido, national sales manager for Advanced Diagnostics.

The AD 900 Pro has the ability to clone Silca/Ilco EH2 and EH3 keys, JMA TPX1 and TPX2 and TK40 keys, explains Presido. “This means that a locksmith using the AD900 does not need to stock only one manufacturer’s clonable keys. The locksmith can be free to pick which clonable keys he wants to use according to price, appearance and functionality.”

For the purpose of this article, I will include example part numbers from aftermarket transponder and electronic key blank manufacturers.

I was provided an Advanced Diagnostic AD-900 Pro to test using OEM and aftermarket clonable transponder keys and electronic keys. Electronic keys are equipped with a circuit board that is designed to communicate with the vehicles’ on-board electronics that control their engine immobilizer systems. Unlike transponders, electronic keys emanate the appropriate signal on a predetermined basis.

The technology required to clone an electronic key is different than cloning a transponder. Cloning machines must have additional resources to read and duplicate some of the electronic key’s values.

Transponder-based anti-theft systems were first introduced to North America in the mid-1990s. Fixed code (value) transponders are the Temic 11 and 12, the Megamos 13, and the Philips 33 and 40 White. The early clonable transponders are the “T5.” These include the Buick (Ilco B97PT5), Cadillac (Bianchi B99PT5), Honda (Jet HD106-N-PHT) and Saturn (JMA TP05GM-37.P).

In the recent past, Silca (Kaba Ilco) introduced their version of the clonable Texas Instruments (TI) 4C using the Silca EH1 and EH2 electronic keys, Ilco EK-3 electronic keys and the TK40 electronic keys. Electronic keys that can clone Texas Instruments 4C transponders are available from Bianchi, Jet and STRATTEC. Cloning the above fixed value transponders using the Silca, Ilco and TK40 electronic keys is a standard feature of the AD-900 Pro.

Specific functions of the AD-900 Pro require additional software. This software is sold separately from the unit. The most popular software upgrades for the U.S. market are:

ADS-905: Enables cloning JMA TPX1 (4C) transponder-equipped key blanks

ADS-906: Enables cloning Ilco EK-3 (Silca EH1/EH2) 4C and 4D transponder-equipped key blanks

ADS-907: Enables cloning JMA TPX2 (4D) transponder-equipped key blanks

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