Transponder Cloning With The JMA TRS5000 EVO Transponder Duplicating Machine

More than 90 percent of the vehicles manufactured for the 2012 model year are equipped with transponder-based engine immobilizer systems. Of this number, approximately 90 percent can be cloned. That constitutes the vast majority of the roughly 240 million plus vehicles on the road.

The first transponder-equipped vehicles were introduced during the 1996 model year. Today, not only are the cars equipped but motorcycles, pickups, vans, trucks and even some heavy machinery are also equipped with transponder-based engine immobilizer systems. The number of thefts drop dramatically when vehicles are equipped with transponder-based engine immobilizer systems.

Over the years, transponder technology has evolved, replacing the fixed code transponders with more secure encrypted and rolling code versions. Not only have the car manufacturers increased the security on the keys themselves, but they are also making it more difficult to program additional transponder equipped keys by eliminating “on-board” programming procedures and limiting the number of programmable transponder-equipped keys.

With a transponder cloning machine, a locksmith can easily duplicate a key without having to plug into the vehicle’s central computer system. By cloning a key, you can make an unlimited number of transponder-equipped keys that can operate the vehicle. The value programmed in the original key and stored in the car’s computer and the value written into the new cloned key are exactly the same. The vehicle’s computer can’t tell the difference between the original key and the cloned key.

Cloning a transponder-equipped key requires a key blank with the correct clonable transponder.

JMA has four clonable transponders:

  • The TP05 transponder is used to clone the Megamos, Nova, Philips, and Temic fixed-code transponders.
  • The TPX1 transponder is used to clone the Texas Instruments fixed code transponders.
  • The TPX2 is used to clone the Texas Instruments encrypted transponders.
  • The TPX4 is used to clone the Philips encrypted (Crypto) transponders.

These four transponder are used to clone keys for models of domestic and foreign manufacturers including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Hummer, Jeep, Lincoln, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Acura/Honda, Freightliner, Hyundai, Infiniti/Nissan, Jaguar, Kia, Range Rover, Lexus/Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Saab, Scion, Smart, Subaru, Suzuki, etc.



JMA recently introduced the TRS5000 EVO transponder duplicating machine which can detect, read and clone transponder keys equipped with Megamos, Nova, Philips, Temic and Texas Instruments fixed-code transponders, and Philips and Texas Instruments encrypted (Crypto) transponders.

The TRS5000 EVO is fully integrated, requiring no attachments, add-ons or internet/PC access. The unit is compact, measuring approximately six by seven inches, about 3.5 inches tall and weighs approximately one pound. The machine has a four line by 20-character alphanumeric display that is large and easy to read. Two buttons perform the cloning procedure, “Read” and “Write.” For data connections, the EVO has one female DB9 RS-232 connector and two USB connectors.

When a customer’s key is inserted into the TRS5000 EVO, pressing the “Read” button will indicate the type and value of the transponder. The machine will also indicate which one of the four TP05, TPX1, TPX2 or TPX4 transponders to use for cloning.

Note: If a plastic head key is inserted into the machine that does not contain a transponder, the display will indicate “No Chip No transponder.”

For example, we’ll use a 2002 Ford pickup that is equipped with transponder. Inserting the key into the TRS5000 and pressing the read button, the display indicates “Copy on TPX1” and the ID. The 2002 Ford pickup uses the 8-cut lock mechanism.

The proper JMA clonable transponder key blank can be identified two ways. The JMA packaged transponder key is the Ford H72PT clonable and the JMA key blank number, TPX1FO-15D.P. The first four characters indicate the transponder in the key. The FO indicates Ford, and the 15D.P is the numeric designation JMA assigned to the 8-cut keyway.

For cloning this key, insert the customer’s key and press “Read.” Remove the original key, insert the correct cloneable key blank and press “Copy” when instructed. The display will indicate “Copy OK, Extract Key.” The transponder has been cloned. Cut the key and test to be certain the engine starts and the pickup can be operated. This two-step procedure works on TP05, TPX1 and TPX2 transponder-equipped keys.


‘Sniff’ Procedure

Cloning the Philips Crypto transponder-equipped keys requires access to the vehicle to obtain a portion of the transponder value that cannot be obtained directly from the transponder in the original key. The “Sniff” procedure is completed at the vehicle. The TRS5000 EVO directly collects the information; no additional equipment is required.

The “Sniff” procedure requires the ignition be cycled from the “Off” or “Locked” position to the “On” position and back four to six times. Each time the ignition is cycled to the “On” position, it must remain for a count of three. If there is an engine immobilizer indicator, wait until it extinguishes.

To obtain the necessary information, the clonable TPX4 transponder must be in proximity to the customer’s key with the antenna coil pointing towards the ignition.

This can be completed in one of two ways: by sandwiching the original key with the JMA key blank or by removing the clonable transponder and using the chip holder.

Once the procedure has been completed, the customer’s key and the key blank are returned to the cloner. Follow the instructions to have the information written to the clonable transponder. If there is a problem with the “Sniff” procedure, the TRS5000 EVO will indicate the data has not been found. If so, repeat the “Sniff” procedure.


2011 Chevy Pickup

For this article, we cloned a 2011 Chevrolet 2500HD pickup. The JMA packaged transponder key is the General Motors B111PT RW NP clonable and the JMA key blank number is TPX4GM-37.P. The first four characters are the clonable transponder part number and the GM indicates General Motors. The 37.P indicates the numeric designation assigned by JMA for the “Z” keyway.

Once the transponder has been cloned, originate or duplicate the key blank and test to be certain the engine starts and the vehicle can be operated.

Note: The TP05, TPX1 and TPX4 transponders can be programmed multiple times. These transponders can be harvested and reused.


Keys With Or Without Transponder

JMA automotive key blanks can be purchased with or without a transponder, and transponders can be purchased separately. Many of today’s vehicles have the same keyway but depending upon the year, make and model, they can be equipped with different transponders. For example, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models using the Y160 keyway use both the Texas Instruments (TPX2) and the Philips Crypto (TPX4) transponders in their vehicles while using the same key blank.

If you have a mis-cut key or your customer has a worn key, the transponder can be removed and inserted into a new JMA key blank, also resulting in savings.

JMA automotive key blanks for transponder-equipped vehicles have the original equipment look and feel, making it easier for your customers to identify a specific vehicle’s key.

JMA USA sells key blanks, key machines, accessories and transponder technology. JMA USA is one part of the fourteen companies, located in four continents that work together to develop the strength of the JMA brand, part of the Altuna Group. For more information, contact your locksmith wholesaler or JMA USA at Web Site:


Anthony El Harif is national sales manager, JMA USA.