The RW (Readable & Writeable) family of products from Silca have been helping automotive locksmiths clone transponder keys since the early 2000s. The products, which are sold in the North American market by Silca’s sister company Ilco, have seen several models over the years with only one model, the RW4 Plus, still readily available from security distributors. The RW4 Plus and associated M Box are great machines that have required a significant investment to keep updated as each new transponder chip rolls off the assembly line.
Eight years after the RW4 Plus intro video was launched, the RW5 has arrived to help security professionals reduce their inventory costs with the introduction of two transponder chips, the GTH and GTI Pro chips, which are designed to replace the standard GTH and GTI chips as well as the T49C, T80, T80 Plus, and T128C. (Photo 1)
The RW5 is significantly smaller than previous RW cloning devices (Photo 2) and receives updates via Wi-Fi instead of via a cabled connection which can be a tedious process for some professionals.
The RW5 requires users to set up a MYKEYS Pro account. The MYKEYS Pro app, which is free for Android and Apple devices, was launched by Silca/Ilco to help security professionals address their needs in one application instead of using the Silca Remote Service platform. (Photos 3-7)
One feature current RW4 Plus users will see carried over to the RW5 is the Universal Snoop (U-Snoop) device. (Photo 8) The RW5 comes with a new U-Snoop, however; current U-Snoop owners can continue to use their devices and keep the device included with the RW5 as a backup unit. The RW5 was ready to use after one hour of setup and was field tested to have a two-hour battery life, allowing for non-cabled use before a charge is needed with the included charging cable.
Overall, the user interface of the RW5 allows current RW users to jump right into cloning without hesitation. In addition to this article, introductory videos and diagrams are available from www.ilco.us for those not familiar with the current cloning process. (Photos 9-17)
The cost of the RW5 unit and associated chips are enough to make even the budget-conscious professional think about adding the machine to their lineup.
Although the RW5 has a tremendous upside over its predecessors, some features are missing that hopefully an RW6 will address in the future. These include the lack of touchscreen operation and the Silca/Ilco standard short power cable which measures 3 feet and 2 inches and is barely long enough to sit on a standard workbench while the unit is plugged into a power outlet. (Photo 18)
In addition to standard cloning, the RW5 also offers identification, generation, and settings modes (Photos 19-21) The RW5 is sure to have a high return on investment and is a powerful unit that can fit in the palm of your hand.
Herman Manzanares III, RL, is co-owner of Los Alamos Lock & Key in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He has more than 25 years of locksmith experience. He can be reached via the web at www.losalamoslock.com.