The basic idea of the Key Retainer Device (KRD) is that one key is always held captive in the device; inserting and turning the second key releases the trapped key and then the second key is held captive until the process is reversed. These come in very handy where a number of people need occasional access to a master key. Each person is given an identifiable key to one side of the KRD, and the master key is secured in the other side. When users need the master key, they insert their key into the KRD and then they can remove the master key, but their key is now captive in the KRD until the master is returned. If the master key is not returned, it is obvious who had access to it last. And, if a user loses his key to the KRD, the user side I/C can be switched out and new keys issued to the users while keeping the master key secure.
The KRD is even available in a special order dual-control model so that two different user keys are required to release the master key. Imagine how that would increase the security of your next large master key job!
Steve Young’s Quick Reference Automotive Manual
Yes, this is a book that I wrote, so maybe I’m not completely unbiased about it, but that doesn’t mean it won’t save you a lot of time and money. My Quick Entry Manual (P/N QRAM2012), which just covers vehicle entry, came out in 1992, and it was designed for annual updates. Twenty years later, it has become one massive book, with over 1,000 pages. From the beginning, people kept asking me for a book that covered vehicle entry and vehicle key generation, and now I have finally done it. The Quick Reference Automotive Manual is available exclusively through Lockmasters, Inc.
The book only covers vehicles that were in production in the 2000 model year or newer. For those vehicles, it has all of the information that is in the Quick Entry Manual for vehicle entry, plus the information that you’ll need to make a key for the vehicle. Some of the key generation information that I included was: whether or not the vehicle is equipped with transponders, and if so, does it have onboard programming, and does it have door-mounted airbags. I also included key blank information, bitting, code series, code location, direction of turn for the driver’s side door. In addition, there is a section of “notes” that should help you generate the key and warn you of any potential problems.
I also included an “information section” that covers various onboard programming procedures, information that you would need for “reflashing” various modules, the VATS system, and lots of tips and tricks on various automotive lock systems.
More Info: www.lockmasters.com.
Silca RW4 Plus (P/N RW4+)
The RW4 Plus is the latest generation of the Silca cloning device. Silca is based in Europe where transponders have been required equipment on all new vehicles for over a decade, so they have more than a little experience with transponder technology. While this is not necessarily a new tool, it is one of the most versatile tools for the job. With the RW4-Plus, you can clone transponder keys for a wide variety of vehicles including Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, and many more.
There are basically two types of transponder cloning and the RW4-Plus handles both with ease. The first is cloning to an actual reprogrammable transponder. This of course requires a key with a programmable transponder, which Silca also makes, but the tool can be used with almost all other brands of cloneable key blanks. The second kind of cloning is with “Electronic Key Blanks.” These keys have a battery and an electronic circuit board that mimics the functions of the OEM encrypted transponder, without violating patent and copyright laws. Silca manufactures a full line of these electronic keys, and more are being added all the time. The RW4-Plus will naturally work with all of the Silca electronic keys, plus many from other manufacturers as well.
One of the innovative aspects of the RW4-Plus is the “Snoop” that is included with the tool. This device allows you to clone keys for highly encrypted systems that were impossible to clone not very long ago. The Snoop is attached to the head of the customer’s key, which is then turned in the ignition lock of the car. The Snoop reads the information directly from the vehicle that is needed to make a working key. The information from the Snoop is then downloaded to the RW4-Plus with the touch of a button and that information can then be used to make as many working keys as needed.
The RW4-Plus also gives you the ability to “Pre-Clone” a wide variety of keys. Pre-cloning is the process of writing the proper information to a blank transponder key so that the key can be used just like an OEM key for onboard programming or programming with a diagnostic device. This can save you a lot of money by allowing you to use inexpensive cloneable keys in place of some expensive “dealer only” keys.