Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
ROCers: Some info on RFID technology (the chip embedded in your truck key), and the 'difficulty' of cutting a 'cheap' replacement in case you accidentially lock yourself out.

From this website: tombartel.com (definition of RFID)...the chip embedded in EVERY Ridgeline truck key.

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. There are several methods of identification, but the most common is to store a serial number that identifies a person or object, and perhaps other information, on a microchip that is attached to an antenna (the chip and the antenna together are called an RFID transponder or an RFID tag). The antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that can then be passed on to computers that can make use of it.

The above comes from the "RFID Journal" FAQ page. RFID is seen as "the next bar code" - a supply chain advancement for the new millennium, allowing retailers and others to track inventories with small radio frequency embedded labels.

From the Spychips.com site:
A number for every item on the planet - RFID employs a numbering scheme called EPC (for "electronic product code") which can provide a unique ID for any physical object in the world. 6 The EPC is intended to replace the UPC bar code used on products today.

Unlike the bar code, however, the EPC goes beyond identifying product categories--it actually assigns a unique number to every single item that rolls off a manufacturing line. For example, each pack of cigarettes, individual can of soda, light bulb or package of razor blades produced would be uniquely identifiable through its own EPC number.

Once assigned, this number is transmitted by a radio frequency ID tag (RFID) in or on the product. These tiny tags, predicted by some to cost less than 1 cent each by 2004, are "somewhere between the size of a grain of sand and a speck of dust." They are to be built directly into food, clothes, drugs, or auto-parts during the manufacturing process.

Receiver or reader devices are used to pick up the signal transmitted by the RFID tag. Proponents envision a pervasive global network of millions of receivers along the entire supply chain -- in airports, seaports, highways, distribution centers, warehouses, retail stores, and in the home. This would allow for seamless, continuous identification and tracking of physical items as they move from one place to another, enabling companies to determine the whereabouts of all their products at all times.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So: My story about looking into a cheap 'hide a key' in case hubby locks himself out of the truck:

I went to a locksmith and this is what I found about the new 'ridgeless" Honda key (pun un-intended).

We are AAA members and I've had good luck with the free plastic 'courtesy keys' they cut you (if you are clever enough to hide them under the car body), to get in the door of your car to retreive keys left on the seat/ignition.
This worked with my 2002 Nissan Maxima (I had a plastic key in my wallet and left the keys on my seat).
You just need to be very gentle with the plastic key and not break it off in the door! This only works for keys with the two metal ridges on each side. My key is 'chipped', but not sure RFID technology was in place then. I do have a chip in my key though and cannot put a 'fake' in the ignition. Dealer told me: if you put ANYTHING but your key in the iginition, computer will 'freeze' car and you will have to tow it to the Dealer and have them 'reprogram' at an astronomical cost.

Well, with these new 'ridgeless' Honda keys , the AAA plastic courtesy key is no longer an available option....

I went into the Mill Valley Locksmith over Thanksgiving, and happened to be driving the truck that day.

The locksmith asked what I was driving and I showed him the new key. The locksmith firmly told me 'no way'...we can't make you one of those keys (go directly to the Dealer). But then his assistant came over who was listening to the entire conversation.

He had the EXACT match/key blank to it and told me he could make me a door key (ONLY)...for $25.00. Of course, you could NOT put the key into the ignition...it was only for use in the door; for retreiving keys left on the seat/ignition (and having the door lock behind you).

Well, $25.00 sounds like a ton of money (for a Hide-A-Key), until you find out that one from the Dealer with the RFID chip in it is about $100 bucks plus!
Also, if you do lock yourself out, you will be waiting for AAA or a service to arrive (which could be at least an hour +), which makes it worth the investment.

The locksmith told me he'd do the key, and wait to see if it let me in the door (or else I'd get my money back right there).

I think I'm going to have the locksmith make us that door key and find a solid spot for the hide-a-key under the body as a Christmas 'stocking stuffer' for hubby. It won't start the ignition, but it will get him in the door. The Alarm may go off as well...but hopefully the real set of keys will be available within a few seconds to shut off the alarm.

We are not even sure how AAA (or other auto service folks) get into these newer vehicles with these new computer chip coded keys.

The Dealers out here in CA will DEMAND your truck registration, ID, VIN# etc., before ANY KEY IS CUT. Many have this prominently posted in the parts area.
There are so many internet rumors out there about people running in to Honda and 'stealing' cars just by getting a key cut. Well, they are just that: rumors.
Dealers are protecting themselves (against law suits) by demanding ID that you are the certified owner of the vehicle before ANY key is cut: even with the $100+ price tag on them.

Hope this info helps if you don't want to spend the big bucks for a $100 'spare' key from Honda; AND if you can find a willing locksmith who has the 'dummy' blank key in stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,056 Posts
kahnartist said:
Hope this info helps if you don't want to spend the big bucks for a $100 'spare' key from Honda; AND if you can find a willing locksmith who has the 'dummy' blank key in stock.
That's interesting considering you can get the key with remote from here for only $27.66 (retail is $35.47).

Ladyridge, you can quit waiting for me to hit 1000 now. I know you're getting antsy. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Swampler: WOW!!! Thanks for the link. Us CA people are getting JACKED on prices for the keys!

Wonder how much they cost to 'program'....that won't be free either.....

the dealer has to do that for you?

I'll email the link you gave me and ask them (then post later).

Much appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Dealer only sells 'blanks' and NO programming

Ok, there is more to the 'key' link from Swampler.

I just phoned this parts dealer. They will sell you just a 'blank' Honda Ridgeline key for $26 bucks and change. That's what it is: A BLANK (with the lock/unlock embedded in the key).
If you are in their part of town, they won't charge you to cut it or program it. The key is NOT cut/it is NOT programmed.

Every key needs to be PROGRAMMED to your particular truck (via the RFID chip and your VIN#, etc).

So, the' key issue' is a bit more complicated than just locating a Honda Ridgeline key on a website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,170 Posts
Well there are several things in your note that technically aren't true. First RFID chips do not transmit really. Well they do but not in a way that it is said in the note. Instead they are silent until a special frequency is passed over them and then they respond. The reason being is that the chip has no power at all. So the frequency is essentially powering them and then they transmit their info and then go dead again as soon as the power does. Individual item coding is turning out to be a non-starter because the chips are much more expensive than previously envisioned. They are more along the likes of 10 to 15 cents each not 1 cent each, so putting a chip in a 15 cent apple suddenly skyrocketed that apple to 30 cents (cost not retail) This mean that either you have to raise the price of an apple or you have to take a major hit to your profit on an apple. Also while the concept is great the reality is far from it. The infrastructure to support the inventory benefits is not there. So while RFID is used by a lot of companies who have great inventory systems, like Walmart, there are several other companies that RFID just isn't going to help until they redo their inventory controls. For instance in Walmart, when you buy a bag of chips, this information gets back to the central Walmart shipping facility very quickly and they know that in location X chips were sold. And then they can do smart things like figure out what their days left for current inventory are based on past sales, project sales forward based on trending, and all sorts of cool things. While I don't like Walmart personally, their inventory systems are amazing.

As to hide away keys, I strongly encourage you not to go this path. There is no where on your vehicle that you can hide a key that a thief isn't going to find it. Sure you may have gotten by with this in the past, and many people do, but why take the chance for the 1 time you may need it? In this case, the only thing they would be able to do is steal stuff from the cab of your car or from your trunk but not steal the car since the immobilizer chip wouldn't be in the key, but even so why would you take the chance? The choice is yours but this just isn't a very good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
A good post from another Ridgeline site from another member --relating to the RFID issue.

What is being discussed here is the Immobilizer key. It is a type of RFID. You will note it's activation when to start and remove your ignition key (flashing green key in fuel gauge area). There is a (rolling) RFID chip in the key that is detected by the excitor (let's just call it a sensor) in your steering column. If the correctly coded key is placed in the ignition, off you go. If the incorrect key is inserted, the green key symbol keeps flashing and the CPU will not 'authorize' your RL to start. This is a passive system that requires no actions on your part, it is fully automatic. This helps insure your RL stays where you left it when you come back (thanks Honda!!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
Call me paranoid ("PARANOID!") - but what is to stop someone from having the correct frequency (I can think of a number of ways to find that) to excite my RFID on my key and have a receiver that would capture the data and then make a new key?

(CA residents, maybe this is part of why you have to show so much info?)

-ridgeln (what's that behind me? Where? HUH?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
ridgeln said:
Call me paranoid ("PARANOID!") - but what is to stop someone from having the correct frequency (I can think of a number of ways to find that) to excite my RFID on my key and have a receiver that would capture the data and then make a new key?

(CA residents, maybe this is part of why you have to show so much info?)

-ridgeln (what's that behind me? Where? HUH?)
The other thing that has not been mentioned about RFID is range. Typically the range is very weak, so someone would need to be on top of you to copy the codes. And you would also need the laser cut key to get into and start the truck.

For the concern of an outside hidden key, follow one rule about locking your keys inside - make it a habbit to only lock the vehicle when walking away from it and clicking your key fob.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I got a "demo" blank cut at a dealer for around $5. It is the same blank without the big plast piece at the end, and will only open the doors and trunk. They were going to charge me $12, but I think I had complained so much, they gave a deal.

The "real" key is supposed to cost like $75 or so, plus $85 to (re)program ALL your keys.

The valet key costs like $50, but does not really fit in my wallet.

I have always kept a spare key in my wallet, and I have used them several times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,879 Posts
Out of curiosity asked dealer yesterday. $45 for key and $95 to program. Any dealer can sell you 1 and prices may vary.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the posts on the key. Seems those who are thinking about getting a new 'real' Honda key are gonig to pay well over $100 (and not just us Californian's).

Technology is great...but there is a price to pay for these new inventions. What is even more interesting: it is getting very hard NOT to want them on the cars.

Would you buy a car today with no airbags, ABS, and other safety features that have come into vogue in the past 5 years? Better yet...would you buy a vehicle today with cranking windows, non-electrial side mirrors (position manually) or be comfortable in a 'regular' car seat with very minimal adjustments? Just wunderin.....

Remember when...car keys could be had for $1.89 at Home Depot?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
With all this security in the key that depends on two way communication between the key & the car, is there a possibility of being locked out of starting your own RL? Could the battery in the key running low on power be a realistic problem by causing the key to not be able to transmit it's security info, hence not being able to start the car:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,056 Posts
fatboy said:
With all this security in the key that depends on two way communication between the key & the car, is there a possibility of being locked out of starting your own RL? Could the battery in the key running low on power be a realistic problem by causing the key to not be able to transmit it's security info, hence not being able to start the car:confused:
I think you missed the post that stated that the chip in the key does not have power, the RF signal from the vehicle activates the key to obtain the signal. Therefore, there is no battery which operates the RFID chip in the key.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Ok, maybe I missed something. But if the dealer wants your registration, proof of ownership, yadda yadda yadda, etc. before they will cut the key, and your car is locked and you can't get in it, how are you going to prove your worthiness to the key gods? Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that the dealership won't make a key for just anyone.... but I was wondering if this has happened to anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,043 Posts
kahnartist said:
Better yet...would you buy a vehicle today with cranking windows, non-electrial side mirrors (position manually) or be comfortable in a 'regular' car seat with very minimal adjustments? Just wunderin.....
That's how my Ranger was, and the only thing I miss about it is the stick shift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,170 Posts
One additional thing that isn't mentioned is that the key doesn't send its information it sends a response. When you program the key to the car the car learns what the key will respond to specific signals sent. Consider the key to be something of an algorithm that when a number is passed a unique answer is supplied, something like this:
2*x^2 + 5 * x + 9

When you send a number to it the number that comes out is a unique answer. Now to break this, what you need to do is continually send some information at it and find the answer, eventually you can reverse engineer the algorithm. It is really a lot more complex than the little algorithm I provided. There is a lot more to this also, each key uses essentially the same base algorithmic pattern, but there are essentially a unique seed used to feed into the algorithm along with the number sent form the automobile.

So to duplicate the key what you would need to do is have two things happen. First, you would have to be close enough to the car to record the message sent from the car and to get the answer. Second, you would have to be able to get the car to send the same message so that you could just send the same message. This is much easier.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top