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Old 05-23-2019, 05:19 PM   #1
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Key Fob Surprise...

So, my recently acquired 04 Boxster S came with what appear to be the two original keys...and they were in sad shape - rubber button pads disintegrating with holes, no responsive buttons. I thought they just needed batteries, so I opened them up and found this:





The good news is both keys will lock/unlock the car manually and start it (RFID capsules are good). (As an aside, I also discovered that if you unlock the car manually with the key and open the door without turning the key in the ignition within 10 seconds you will become the center of attention for everyone in a 25 yard radius.)

The bad news is that I have no remote lock/unlock capabilities right now. I think I can save the key on the left. The remote door lock switch was broken off the PCB and nowhere to be found (I ordered a replacement to solder back on). If I short the two contacts where the switch was the LED will blink. Pressing the frunk/trunk switches will also make the LED blink.

The key on the right, I'm not sure. I'm thinking I could get a donor PCB from an old/unwanted 3 button key and install it in the case with the current RFID capsule and blade. Then my only cost would be getting the immobilizer programmed to recognize the new PCB. But, I'm not sure it works that way. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:29 AM   #2
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Solder on new switches (I forget what they’re called, but I’ve done this before, with good results - ordered a few of them online for cheap) , put a good button-cell battery in it, and hope that it works.

There can potentially be problems that can be fixed by reflowing cracked/cold/old solder joints that may exist where the integrated circuit is soldered to the board, underneath the battery holder. (You need to desolder and remove the battery holder temporarily in order to access.) A fellow here by the name of Particlewave has found and fixed issues with these sorts of problems before, so you could ask him if you need detail.

I have one of these that I was able to revive, and another that just didn’t respond. The one that didn’t respond has a blinking light when the button is pressed, but the blinking is a slow/lazy blinking pattern; maybe 2-3 blinks per second. The one that works has a faster/vigorous blinking light pattern; maybe 10 blinks per second.

Good luck!
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Last edited by jakeru; 05-24-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:50 AM   #3
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Keep in mind that if the fob doesn't work (won't unlock the trunks or unlock the doors), then it will have to be reprogramed to the car. That cannot be done without the original program code that comes with the fob (on a little paper tag attached to the fob:


This reprograming also has to be done at the dealer. It's a racket.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amagalla View Post
Keep in mind that if the fob doesn't work (won't unlock the trunks or unlock the doors), then it will have to be reprogramed to the car. That cannot be done without the original program code that comes with the fob (on a little paper tag attached to the fob:
Is the program code associated with the RFID module ("pill") contained in the key or the wireless signal used to lock/unlock the door? Or both? If it's just the RFID module then i should be able to pair a wireless donor PCB to the car (although it's not entirely clear to me how that could be done yet). If it's both, then the donor PCB idea probably won't work.

Also, could the lines of printed info right below the Porsche crest on the back of a donor key be of use in determining the program code? It sounds like I may be out of luck with the donor key idea unless i'm lucky enough to find one accompanied by its program code.
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:58 PM   #5
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Update

Just soldered a replacement switch onto the PCB for the remote door release, and it's got continuity between the switch and ground now when the button's pressed. Also re-flowed the battery contacts just for good measure.

Interestingly, when I press the frunk button, the LED blinks rapidly in triplets; the trunk button blinks rapidly in doubles; and, the door lock button blinks rapidly without variation.
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Old 05-24-2019, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laminar Flow View Post
Interestingly, when I press the frunk button, the LED blinks rapidly in triplets; the trunk button blinks rapidly in doubles; and, the door lock button blinks rapidly without variation.
That's what it's supposed to do.

You can't use a "donor" because you need the code. The code is only included with new key heads. The transmitter for locking/unlocking and the transponder pill for starting are separate components, so your key with the missing PCB will still start the car because the pill is in it.
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