By Massimo Bianchi – Keyline Strategic Planner
Our passion for keys has always travelled at the same speed as our passion for cars.
My father, Camillo, cultivated this passion over the years and then it was passed to me.
Every car model has its own evolutionary story – from the first drawings to the moment it comes out from its assembly line – and with the car there comes its key.
We have seen how the key has evolved, parallel to the development of car models produced worldwide – and we studied every aspect and innovation. We have seen that there has been unstoppable technological change and constant advancement – not only to the car key, but to every aspect of the vehicle.
Our knowledge of keys, passed from father to son since 1770 to present day, has allowed us to look at the car with a careful and critical eye. However, knowledge alone is sometimes not enough and when faced with a technological challenge like this one, the most important thing is curiosity and perseverance:
The desire to understand more and constantly make improvements has pushed us to achieve many goals; from the duplication of keys to their head cloning – made by circuits and codes which at first glance look unfathomable.
The first important result we had was to make Crypto transponder cloning possible.
The transponder type was generally believed to be most difficult to decipher, due to its complexity. However, with our knowledge of the automotive world, more precisely our knowledge of car technology and every key that allows ignition, we were able to do what was thought to be impossible – cloning the Texas® and Philips® Crypto.
The challenge with transponder cloning was delivered and, in part, won. But we hadn’t finished there, there was still a piece missing – Megamos® Crypto transponder cloning.
The biggest Challenge
For years, the development of this technology has been a prestigious achievement as it faced the biggest challenge in cloning car keys with a transponder.
Every company that worked in the key business had been working on this for a long time – without any results. The market had been waiting anxiously for someone to announce that they had succeeded and cloned this complex system – it was the key that was still missing.
And Keyline, as one of the industry’s biggest and oldest competitors decided to take on this challenge. There is a quote by Lao Tzu that says: A journey of thousand miles begins always with the first step – and so it was for Keyline.
Finding the solution to the most complex enigma in the transponder world lasted for more than three years and led us to all continents – from Europe to Asia, America to Oceania.
The teams working in Europe, America and Asia, coordinated by our company in Italy made progress and periodically presented new solutions – always more refined and more efficient. The closer we got to the solution the greater commitment and dedication we put into the project.
Incessant research and analysis, always supported with several tests made by several groups of technicians and experts of the automotive world, became a routine. Within the 24 hours of a day we gathered and exchanged information, day after day, from every corner of the world.
The code complexity meant a sophisticated computer center with extensive use of cloud computing technology was needed. In addition, it was necessary to create an accessible system to manage all requests for calculation and cloning dynamically. Even now we are extremely proud to be the only ones to set up a system capable of carrying out these operations.
Another element we are constantly improving is the memory management of our servers. Today they are not only capable of recovering a key cloned weeks before, but they can also attach the key correctly as it is entered with the previously collected sniffs, combined with the original key.
We were sure the next thing to be deciphered was the enigma of transponder cloning and with the first crack of a key with transponder Megamos Crypto being fully executed – the finish line was in sight.
Test and test again
It is difficult to say with certainty how many tests have been performed, but it must be noted that no brand of car manufacturers has been left out – everyone was tested.
Our engineering worked to make the most complex key “easy and simple” to clone. It was necessary to allow our super computers to communicate in a simple and clear way with anyone who wanted to clone a key transponder Megamos. So we released the software that allows your PC, smartphone or tablet to communicate with your device – both the 884 Decryptor Ultegra and 884 Decryptor Mini.
The first concrete result arrived with the worldwide presentation of the TKM Starter Kit, the update that allows you to clone keys with transponders Megamos Crypto mainly used by VAG models produced between 1998 and 2003. The TKM Starter Kit was a first major breakthrough in the world of cloning and opened the door to the only and most complete solution available on the market – TKM Xtreme kit. The Xtreme allows you to clone keys with transponders Megamos Crypto® of car models produced until 2014.
TKM Xtreme made it possible to clone over 200 car keys, the most complex in the world.
At no stage of the cloning is any interaction from the user with the software expected. The only actions required are the insertion and extraction of the original key and the electronic head, TKM from its 884, as well as the sniffs on board of the vehicle.
One of the major features of cloning any key- Philips®, Texas® or Megamos with Keyline tools is the complete absence of user intervention. In fact, you simply follow the instructions that appear on the screen of your PC or smartphone/ tablet to successfully clone a key.
The activation of the cloning tool is also extremely simple as well as very safe:
To activate your cloning tool (884 Decryptor Ultegra/884 Decryptor Mini) just enter the electronic head TKM, found in the kit provided to you. The cloning tool starts to communicate with the cloud server that verifies the correctness of the application and is enabled to clone the transponder Megamos Crypto. It is an option designed for the customer who needs reassurance that every operation carried out by Keyline’s equipment, including the most complex, is always safe to do.
The Cloning Process
The procedures that guide the cloning process are indicated in detail by the Software or by the App ‘Keyline Cloning Tool’ that act as assistants during the whole cloning process of the key. In fact, we paid particular attention to make sure it was easy to use, using our experiences with the 884 Decryptor Ultegra and its straightforwardness.
First you have to prepare the key copy following the standard procedures: cutting the metal stem of the specific car model of the key you want to duplicate.
The original key is inserted in the 884 and the cloning process starts. The system will immediately recognise the type of transponder to be cloned and begins to provide indications about what actions need to be carried out, which is alternating the original key with the electronic head to be copied.
Then, the car switchboard has to be turned on eight times with the copied key, making sure it has been completely removed from the ignition lock between a sniff and the other. This way the electronic head can record the data sent from the car control unit.
Then the cloning process will be completed following the instructions provided by the Software or the App. 884 Decryptor Ultegra or 884 Decryptor Mini use the stored data of the electronic head to calculate the secret key of the original key.
Finally, simply check the correct cloning of the key by turning on the vehicle with the copied key just made.
All types of transponders Megamos Crypto are duplicable using TKM (for the copy), the electronic head dedicated to this type of transponder.