Instructables
So this is my 1st instructable so CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is welcome. Anywho this site has got me looking at every day objects totally different now. I'm constantly asking myself how i can make ordinary objects better, or just make something cool. If your like me you have keyless entry on your vehicle and sometimes wish it could work farther away. Well this will help improve the range of your key fob a bit. Now before you go tearing apart your nice new factory key fob keep in mind this is easier to do on after market ones.
 
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Step 1: Identify antenna

Ok, once you have removed the case of your key fob you will need to find the antenna. it will probably be a smooth flat surface so to solder to it you may need to rough it up a bit. Sand paper works fine. something with a lower grit rating is suitable. just be careful not to destroy it. Some antenna's are in the PCB board so you may have to figure out which circuit is the antenna.

Step 2: Find some wire

Get some wire that you will be able to fit into the case and maneuver it into the case maximizing the amount you can fit.

Step 3: An uncommon antenna... YOU!

ever notice how if you grab a radio antenna on a station with static the quality improves? Well thats what you will be doing now. I chose to use a thin flat piece of copper that runs outside of the fob housing. These can be found easily in el cheapo LED toys and such. by touching this you turn yourself into an antenna. If your crafty enough you could attach it to the screw that holds the case together then just touch the screw.

Step 4: Thats it.

Now go test it out see how far away you get. it personally improved my range by about 50 feet. but i need a new battery too.
yahooti125 years ago
Actually, a long time ago Mythbusters tested out putting your keyless entry to underneath your chin to extend the range. It works because your voice box is a natural amplifier. I don't think it give you more than 20 extra feet. Anyways, that's what I do when I can't seem to find my car.
check that Mythbusters---again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Not the voice Box !!!!!!!!!!
andrew_h4 years ago
Ages ago i learnt a cool trick for extending the range too. It sounds 100% stupid but it works a treat. Simply put the remote under your chin (up against it) as you press the button. Generally extends the range by 20-30% or helps when your battery is a bit flat.
scott007 years ago
The looped wire is really smart and works for sure.. but the other "body antenna" step is unnecessary and effects the aesthetics of it. BTW, might not want to do this to new car keys as they are REALLY expensive.
awkrin scott006 years ago
really? well until now, I never knew what's inside one. the one from the pics above only has an microchip and 2 push-to-make switch so I guess the case is REALLY expensive...
Actually what Scott00 probably was referring to is the new car keys where the Key and Remote are all in one casing. They typically can cost $100-$200 to replace since they have a specific code for the vehicle that has to be programmed. So if you mess it up, that's what the dealer will charge to get you a new one programmed. The remote above looks like a standard add-on keyless entry system which would be fairly cheap.
I lost my original key fob to my Chrysler seabring. the key fob was $25. the service of linking it to the car was $75. however if you already own one and want to program a second there is a method found in the owners manual.

An instructable on how to DIY the linking service sure would be nice.
vantheman7 years ago
What works as well and doesn't need any modification: hold the keyless entry against your head (your temple is best). Press the button now and you will see you have just greatly increased the range. Your whole body is now the antenna. Try it, it works!
I used to do the same thing years ago, but I pressed the fob to my chin - putting it to your temple looks like you're gonna shoot yourself LOL
Hmm clever, i've never thought about adding an antenna, it will be hit or miss though on proper length.
The frequency is probably printed inside.
Not sure if this will work for other brands, but I use to work for a VW/Audi dealer and by simply holding the key fob up to your chin when pushing the button your range would be extended by 2-3x. Try it sometime. j
That probably worked because you were holding it higher.
i found that for some reason, the keyless worked at a slightly longer range when i held it to my temple and looked at the car dont ask why i was doing this at the time
That probably worked because you were holding it higher.
trebuchet038 years ago
The range on my last key fob was decent -- about 60 feet... But if I could figure out the right wire length, I would have done this :P My new (to me) car has one expensive key fob... Not even a key fob, it's a switchblade key... For a grand total of $275 because VW has to plug in an uber computer so the car will accept the new key.... I think I'll leave that one alone :P
Ha, I have the same key I think it's quite a bit more complicated then the remote shown you never need to replace the battery and it even has an rfid tag in it; go ahead wrap it in tinfoil and start your car it will stall right away what vw do you have?
The keyfob has the same concept (in a different package). It does have a battery for the key less portion :P Here's how to replace the battery from a switchblade keyfob. I never thought of the tinfoil thing :P Sounds like a Faraday cage and an awesome prank :P

2000 Jetta... 2.slow edition.... on original coil packs (take that 1.8t's :P)
It's not so hard to do and certainly won't cost so much.
http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181120
Join the online VW community if you haven't already. They're good peeps. :)
I'm on vortex ;) I don't have a master key -- so I'd need a VAG-COM or the dealer to program. Then, we're not 100% sure which immobilizer version my cluster is running. So eBay keys may or may not work (and I don't have the cash to test). I've been slowly saving my pennies :P
AgentDanny (author)  trebuchet038 years ago
yea i wouldn't recommend trying this on a 03 - 07 honda. they are the same way.
keng8 years ago
well, nice idea but maybe clean up before doing the pics or do some photo cleanup afterwards.
AgentDanny (author)  keng8 years ago
im lazy. Plus Harold is a camera hog.
mrmath8 years ago
Constructive: I don't understand what the round wire was for? You had us sand the antenna, then fit in a piece of wire with one end stripped, then you had us solder on the flat wire. What was the first wire for? Non-Constructive: Could have done without the pubic hair!
AgentDanny (author)  mrmath8 years ago
Lol yea the pubes name is harold. anyway the flat wire is to use your body as an antenna by touching the flat piece
Yea, but what's the normal wire in step two used for?
AgentDanny (author)  mrmath8 years ago
its an antenna also mate. So with the wire your making a solid "always on" antenna, and with the small copper piece your making a connection to your body to make it act like an antenna. Get it?
maybe you could have soldered the pube in as an antenna....pretty sure that the pube (especially the labeling of it) was QUITE unnecessary (note to self: DO NOT try ANY of AgentDanny's soup recipes) might want to relabel the steps to show that they are alternate methods (i.e. Method 1 - permanent antenna, Method 2 - Your body as an antenna)
AgentDanny (author)  crapflinger8 years ago
they are both on the transmitter.