Chipless Transponder Key Blank Update

Sept. 7, 2012

The concept of chipless transponder key blanks offers locksmiths the ability to continue to use a customer’s transponder in a new key blank or blade. Retrofitting the damaged, worn or mis-cut keys' transponder eliminates the need to either program or clone a new transponder. Chipless transponder keys can save customers’ money.

There are two styles of chipless keys. The first, similar to the original bow-shaped key blank, has a slot that accommodates the transponder within a cradle. The cradle is normally loaded from the top and having a poke hole in the bottom of the head to push out the cradle. This style is available from Bianchi, Jet Hardware and JMA. Bianchi calls this the Slide-Cap Type or the Shell Type. Jet Hardware offers their chipless keys with the suffix -LC. Many of the JMA automotive and motorcycle key blanks are available chipless.

JMA offers the option of ordering a chipless key blank with a transponder of choice. As an example, before aftermarket key blanks were introduced, you could use the Lexus long blade key blank with a JMA TPX2 Texas Instruments Encrypted clonable chip for the first version of the Kia Amanti. This configuration allowed locksmiths to clone a customer’s key, eliminating the necessity of purchasing the key from a dealership.

The second style is a removable transponder carrier that slides into an electronic key head. Transponder heads with carriers or carriers are available from Bianchi, Ilco and Jet Hardware. The Bianchi TKXX chipless head is the head and insert that contains four transponder slots in specific locations. The head is similar to the TK100 and works with the Bianchi horseshoe blades. The Ilco Electronic Chipless Head and carrier, part number EH3C, has the same overall shape as their Texas Instruments and Philips 2nd generation Crypto Electronic Heads. The carrier has four pockets that accommodate different shape transponders in specific locations. The carrier slides into the Electronic Chipless Head and then attached to the modular key blade. Jet Hardware offers the ETH head with removable transponder drawer to be used with their 2-piece keys. The drawer has different size pockets that accommodate different types of transponders in specific locations. The ETH head is the same basic shape as the Jet Hardware SCH heads.

Important: Always cut and test the mechanical operation of the blade before assembling.

Click here to read the expanded version of Jerry Levine's Transponder Update from the September magazine. 

To read additional Locksmith Ledger articles on transponder programming, visit