Locksmith Key Programmers and Other Hardware overview

Mr. PocketHero from DK forum shared his working experience on some key programmers and other hardware from his small locksmith shop.  Hope it helps if someone looking for it.  


Key programmers:
– CK100 (V99.99)
– SKP900 (V5.0)
– SBB2 (V2017)
– Tango
– SuperVAG
– Lonsdor K518ISE + SK-LT (Newest available)
– Super VAG K-CAN 2
(and lots of cheap tools like Op-Com, 4in1 (Ford, Mazda, Renault, Nissan), VAGcom etc. They were too cheap to not to buy, but I don’t use them.)

Ecu programmers:
– XProg-M 5.0 (chinese version)
– Orange5
– VVDI Prog 4.6.7
– Rosfar 3000 v7.8s
– TL866A
– AK90+ 3.19

Key cloners:
– ZedBull (Chinese version)
– Handy Baby + JMD key
– RW4 Plus + M-box

Remote programmer:
– KD900

If theres any kind of questions, I’ll try to answer as far I can.

Let’s see the details:
– CK100:
A must have. Ideal to use it with SKP900. Cheap enough to have one, and sometimes it does wonders. Nice and easy to use, has 1032 tokens when you get it. Cheap token refill, and charges in 50% no tokens. I’ve a pdf on my phone with the compatibility list, so I can always check if it can do the car, or not. Sometimes it does the newest cars too, for example a 2016 Ford Flex with smart keys. I had to buy an old Daewoo converter to it, but that’s all. Has some limited pin-code tools, but don’t wait for wonders. There are no update functions, but who cares for this money 
You can get it from $70- $100 with free shipping.

– SKP900:
Good tool. Ideal to use it with CK100. The 1st one, what come with special adapters for Hyundai, Kia and Honda. Does remote programming too, what can come handy often. With compatibility list on my phone, I can always know when it is good for the vehicle. It is rumored, that there won’t come out more updates after 5.0, but we will see. If you have to deal with expensive cars (Jags for example) it can do wonders when updated properly. It has a free token system, but you need from time-2-time to refill it via internet – that’s the most irritating point of the tool. You can update it via PC program – it is very slow, but it is worth to wait. Better pin tool than the CK, but nothing extraordinary. You can get it from $400 or so with free shipping

– SBB2:
A must have. I got it for last x-mas from me  It is not so easy to use for the first look, but it has odometer-correction tool, and can use .bin files or read directly from an eprommer. Has the same connector-collection as the SKP, is meant to be the next generation. It is said that it has all the function of the CK100, but I’ve found lots of differences. Another advance is that it can read and delete trouble codes (DTCS), and clear oil change periods. This didn’t work on a 2010 Kangoo II. It can be updated via internet, never tried, but it is said to be working. Better pin tool than the CK, but nothing extraordinary. Cheap enough for its knowledge, you can get it for $140 with free shipping.

Cheap solution for the poors. It is the chinese clone of Abrites, with limited abilities. If you want to buy it, then try to get an older one, because the new ones are the clones of a clone. I don’t want to waste time on detailed description, it can help a lot or freezee without any marks or destroy the connected car‘s parts – but it is cheaper than cheap, you can get it from $100 with free shiping.

Professional tool for professionals (only). The best thing what you can have for programming and so on – for a lots of money. If you are a professional, you can’t do your work without it: does a lots of cars via OBDII, what other tools can’t (Benzs, Jag XK, various models of VAG group, aso). A class of its own. The prices are high enough to wait out the promotions (x-mas, aso). For the beginning buy only that module, what you mostly need, and buy the other modules when you can’t avoid it. At the moment the Benz module is the best on the market what you can buy. Full package costs more, than $30.000, yearly subscription €200.

– Tango:
Another must have. It is modular like AVDI or TMProII, with limited free functionality for each manufacturers. The whole BMW package is free, so you have to get it if you have to deal with Beemers. To be honest it has lots of weak points, but the documentation what is included makes it worth to pay for: pictures of the devices what you have to look for, sometimes with location and unmount pics; list of the transponders what you can use to the chosen task; the name of the chip what you have to deal with. Packages are from 50€, you get the activation code in e-mail very fast, but can depend on your dealer. So much from the good side, let’s see the weak points: It comes often, that you can’t open the .bin files for their name, just have to find out where the program accepts it. For example: Yaris as Corolla, Insignia as Camaro, Cordoba as Polo, Picanto as C’eed, aso. It gives some well-known problems: can’t do anything with the RB8 controllers, aso. It is a bit uncommon, that it wants to be updated allways, but who cares, it goes fast enough via smart phone too.
However: you have to buy this to be able to do your work, so take a deep breath, and pay: 1200€ for the basic sw+hw.

– SuperVAG:
Czeh curse upon us. 1000€ without oddometer correction, only for the Volkswagen group. This sounds fine, but they promise 1 year free update – even in September – what lasts only till January. In many cases the program says, that the key programing is blocked, try again later – but no words about how long to wait. The pin tool works rhapsodic: some times great, some times clean time wasting. Another weak point is the RB4/8.
The manufacturer said that the instrument cluster module is a good solution without soldering. My question is only “what is it good for – absolutly nothing”… The module says what to do, and when you follow the instructions, then it ends with an error message. You can try it many times, it won’t deliver the needed result, as long you follow the popups. When (after several tries) you try to change, and press “no” instead “yes”, then the things begin to change, and you could get the needed result. You could. Tried this module 3 diferent cars, then did the same work with soldering: the result shows that it is much more faster when you do it on the oldschool way.
Another joke is the yearly €160 for updates. Better spend this money on Abrites, it is much more worth of it.

– Lonsdor K518ISE:
The tool is easy to use, has a lots of functions, in many places with screenshots how it should work. Not a cheap toy ($1400 with the Toyota pack), but I think it could be a good tool for the daily use.
Update: It seems to be working now (at least with smart key cars). The making of a smart key for a ’14 Dodge Charger was fast & easy: the only trick was that I had to chose Journey from the wehicle list. Pin reading and programing was done in 2 mins.
’13 Megane III Ph2: no pin reading, asks for pin to be able to do programming.
As far I see it works when it will, but is good for smart key solutions – when it reads no pin I don’t try it again when I get the codes.

– Super VAG K-CAN 2:
Just to solve the RB4 / RB8 problem by Audis. Cheap enough to save you in such situatinos. I got it 2 weeks ago, but had no possibility to try it. With free shiping only 70 bucks.

I don’t know how others think about that situation when you can’t read out the content of a chip, but I swear to myself that it won’t happen again. That’s why I have so much eprommers, just to avoid such situations.

– XProg-M:
Good tool, but not necessary to have (or get a chinese one). It was the first one what I had, but you can find where it leaks sooner as you could think. It was and is a very good eprommer. Very good if you have to deal with Motorolas, but not so universal than the Orange 5, or the VVDI Prog. If you buy the original one, it can be expansive: €2000 for the full set with all the software authorization and connectors, but you can get the chinese clone of v5.5 from $50.
Warning: The cheap version can cause troubles, because it is built from cheapest parts. Sometimes 0.01 V difference can cause expensive troubles.

– Orange5:
A must have
. You can’t avoid to get it if you want to do the car work seriously. Good for EEPROMs, MCUs, has a good Immo-content. This immo-part can be very helpful: in many cases you have only to solder some vires to the PCB, and you can read/write the needed content. Contains tons of pictures of immo-boxes, ECUs, and other PCBs; chip pinouts, and lots of useful informations. The basic kit costs only €350, I suggest to pay a bit more, and buy all the needed connectors with the basic kit: SOIC8 DIP8, SOIC8 14 soldering, SSOP8, Lead whith clips POMONA SOIC8 & DIP8, PQFP52 PQFP80, TMS374, 912 908 and 705E6 in-circuit leads, HC11ES and 05B6 WDT VW chip connectors (be getle with ’em, otherwise you have to buy a new one after 5-10 uses), ST62xx, 908AS60/AZ60 QFP64, all Motorola connectors. You will see how often do you use this connectors, and you can re-order the frequently needed ones.

VVDI Prog:
The best 2nd eprommer what you can get. 
Mostly used for Beemer and Benz in our shop. Not too expensive, but easy 2 use. I bought it when we had difficulties with a Beemer and the problem was solved in no time. Has good pictures for in-circuit-use, and needs less connectors as the O5 for the daily use. A bit uncommon look, but you can find everything if you look with open eyes  Free updates and compatibility with all other XHorse product. With free shiping costs $400, thanks to its origin no clones are available.

– Rosfar
To be honest never used this tool. I’m pretty sure, that it has its potential, but better don’t spend money on this except you get it used around 50-100 bucks. Has no support, the original company went bankrupt, and the new owner does nothing, just sells the existing stuff for €1000. It was a good tool 10 years ago – but now it is overaged. I can’t really tell why I bought it (because it was cheap and supports Beemer), but God only knows when it can come handy. Works with EWS1-4, CAS1-2.

– TL866A
Cheap chinese toy, has 24 connectors. Bought it when I couldn’t find a TTL connector to the exsisting ones, and my dealer was on holiday. I got it within a week, seems to be correct enough. Since its arrival I used to it only once to test it. The binaries were the same readed by TL & O5, so I put it back to its box, and not used anymore. As far I see it is a perfect hobby tool, costs only $40 with free shiping. When compared with X-Prog I would prefer the other eprommer, or buy both of ’em (only the cheap version!).

– AK90
To cheap to not to have it if you have to deal with old BMWs. Excellent EWS tool, makes everyone happy: the customer can get a cheap remote key, and you can make fast profit. Has plug-on-chip connectors, what are doing its work perfectly if you remove the protecting resin from the chip pins. Does all EWS protocols, but be cautious it can delete the 2D47J content.
You can get it less than $50 with free shipping.

Key cloning is one of the most important part of our job. My policy is “better cloned as programed”, because a cloned chip works for sure; while you can have lots of unexpected errors when you try to add a new key.

– ZedBull
Good tool, but overaged. I have the cheap Chinese version, and have downloaded the EFfI sw to be able to use all functions of it. Cheapest way to clone, but has its own limits, whats are easy to reach with ID46 and 48 chips. Nothing to risk with its $20 price (mostly with free shiping), but don’t take it too serious 

JMD Handy Baby
A must have! At the moment it is the best handheld cloner, what you can get. With the JMD key expansion it can save you with ease when you have to deal with VWs – even in AKL situations. It is not a wonder weapon, in practice it needs time for calculations (some times 45 mins), but in the meantime you can cut the key, aso. Never tried with G-chips, so I can just tell ya that it is said to be working. Has built-in batteries, and you can always charge it from your car – ideal tool to take with you. The special transponders are cheap enough to save you a lot of money compared to the RW4, and the main unit costs only $350, the JMD Key box around $250, and the G-chip authorization (if not included) $80, always with free shiping.

Update: They stopped selling the JMDD, JMD6, JMD8 chips, instead of ’em you can buy Blue or Red King Chips. The blue one is for everything except ID48 for the usual price, the red is for ID48 much expensive.


– RW4 Plus
For professionals 
(only). It is made by Silca, that means it is expensive. I bought it together with the M-Box (in a special promotion with 10 ID48 and 40 GTI chips), when my Handy Baby couldn’t clone the key of a TT. It works with special devices called “snoop”s, one for ID46 and another (M-Snoop) for ID48. It needs internet connection for calculating a 48 transponder, can take 20 mins or more for the whole procedure. Works only with the expensive Silca transponder chips, so I try to avoid its usage if possible to save profit. Good point, that you can power it from your car or from AC, but its size is too big to take it always with you. Its price was (in special promotion) €2100, ask your locale dealer about promotions – otherwise it can be €3000 or more with ease.

In our profession you can’t overcome the remote key fobs, so there comes the best solution what I could find for this…

– KD900
Another must have. It can save your a$$ in the most important moments, so don’t hesitate – innovate!  With PC sw for that cars what are more difficult as the others it works fine, can save you a lots of money ‘coz its remotes are cheaper than the originals, and are easy to code ’em for almost every car. Usually I don’t have anything else for the VAG group, in rare cases I replace the KEYDIY head with original Audi (for the logo) and the customer has a cheap Audi remote, we have our profit. This tool is good for everybody: the cheapest for own use, the 900 for pros.
You can buy the KD stuffz from $25 (Phone version), the 900 costs $230 with free shipping. Remotes are available from $6.5/pcs.


Mini CN900

Meant to beat out the Handy Baby from the market, but as far I see without success. This one is the handheld version of the CN900, as the developers said with all of its abilities. Ok, this info comes from my dealer: the mini knows only 80% of the Handy baby’s work tested on real cars. If you have handy baby you don’t need the cn. Price is around $150 with free shipping.



Cheap toy for everyone. Bought it because it can be used for Renault, Nissan, Mazda and Ford. I couldn’t use it because I don’t like to run around with a laptop, when other tools can solve my problem too. The Nissan part couldn’t read out pin from a NATS2 device, then the Renault part wasn’t able to do programing on a Thalia – so I drop it out from my car. I think it is a more-than-nothing tool for hobbists, costs only $30 with free shiping.


– TMPro2

Expensive alternative of Tango. The original hardware is cheap – and that’s the only thing what’s easy to get. The tool has lots of modules (208 at the moment) and the cheapest ones costs €100, but gives lots of modules over 1000 euro. It gives some modules that are able to use such binaries what no ther tool can, but they are insanely expensive. If money doesn’t matters, then this is the best choice what you can make; otherwise depends only on your customers what is what you have to build up: Tango or TMPro. The main software without modules and hardware is free to use, but is only able to tell about a binary file when that’s good or not. The main hardware is between 89-150 euro. I think I won’t pay for this nearly €30.000.- to have the full version. (Maybe cheaper if you buy the whole package together…)




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