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JonMit
Newbie


Joined: 05 Nov 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Bournemouth


PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Toml"]
queenmonkey wrote:

When I got mine back I tried using it but it didn't work! Of course, I had no idea I needed to reset/resync the key. I found this on the internet:

http://www.jmgporsche.co.uk/index.php/menu-articles/articles-maintenance/item/234-996-986-alarm-primer

Quite different to the reset process I read in one of the links in an earlier post. Regardless, the long winded process in the JMG article took me 3 or 4 tries before the car suddenly responded to the key button presses.


Glad it helped. The reset procedure listed there was found through reverse engineering the software in the alarm control unit (ACU).

The problem is that Porsche (as a company) do not even completely understand the ACU, because it has four elements, designed by four companies, each who do not release information of how their part works.

You have Delphi who integrated each companies circuits onto one board, and software into one plug together package.

You have Megamos who designed the immobiliser side of the ACU (Software and hardware ACU and transponder ring hardware), and only released a circuit diagram and compiled code to Delphi to integrate it, and Megamos talked to Bosch to agree on a data format bitstream for the DME for programming the immobiliser code, and again for the bitsteam to compare with the stored code.

You have Microchip corporation, who designed the radio remote side of the key heads, wrote the software for the ACU remote control side, which again was precompiled to a agreed memory space with Delphi, with reserved I/O.

And as touched on, Bosch, who with the DME just liased with Megamos on the datastream via obd from the ACU for programming and comparison.

Each company is especially cagy about the system, which is similar to a system made for VW/Audi (But we have not reverse engineered those to compare)

We have to be careful about what information we release, as Porsche/VAG did slap legal restraints on some accademics who wrote a paper on how to clone keys in this system using off the shelf equipment, as well as how the way this kit worked, could be used to bypass the systems, and Porsche/VAG were happy to spend about £400k on the legal sledge hammer to shut them up.

But I can let people know some snippets, such as what is included within the article, where it does not publish the many exploits which can be used, but can provide some useful information to owners of cars with this system.

We have also helped at some point, most of the UK main dealers with technical support on ACU and key issues... It is not our core business, but more something we reverse engineered due to a lack of documentation.

For the purpose of this post, here is some information. Which can vary for the 3 distinct generations of 986/996 ACU's

If the car has not been used in a while, it does stop listening for the remotes, this is to save the car battery, this does change between the three generations of ACU hardware and software.

To wake up the ACU on these units, there is one method which is universal, which is the one listed in our article... Timing is everything, so you might need to try it two or three times to get it to work. Some generations are much more simple to wake up, but this method works with all.

The remotes use a challenge response system, meaning the code is never completely transmitted by radio. Instead the ACU and key head have a small chat about the 24 byte code that they both share, asking cryptic questions along the lines of "What is the 5th digit multiplied by the sixth digit, divided by the first digit"... The question is shortened to something like "5" meaning preset question "5", and the answer will be a short binary burst, and the answer compared to the stored data, and then the other unit will have a chance to ask a question, until both units are satisfied with the answer.

Each key head starts with its own unique code of 24 bytes. This is changed, one digit at a time, in a pre defined method, to make it so the same code is not used twice. This happens without the ACU and Keyhead discussing the change. This is the rolling code.

The keys will roll their codes many many times, but the software in the ACU can only roll it a set amount of times. This means you can have a key which has rolled the code again, but the ACU has hit its maximum amount of changes the software can handle... Which leaves you with a key which still flashes, but the ACU refuses the code (still stuck on the previous one).

So if you have a key which flashes, but no longer unlocks the car, it could be that the ACU has exhausted its softwares methods or sequence of code rolling... Or it just needs resetting with the method in the article.

Every time the button on the key head is pressed, without it managing to talk with the ACU it will increase a counter, if it happens too many times, the key remote will lock itself out and can not be reset, in these cases, depending on what generation of key it is, it may or may not flash the remote LED... So whatever you do, don't let you kids play with your keys out of range of the car, if they press the button too many times, the key remote is useless and can not be reprogrammed. Likewise, be careful of key fiddling in your pockets.

The key head can crash, which was the subject of a Porsche Cars of North America TSB, regarding warranty key replacement. To reset a crashed remote, remove the battery, flip it over (which shorts out the two contacts) which forces the NV flash ram in the chip to clear, but retains its code and software. So an unresponsive key can sometimes just need this method of reset performing.

The batteries, as mentioned here are widely available off the shelf and no special urgency or sequence is required to change them, so you can take your time.

The most typical electrical failure is people using their nails to press the buttons, which can apply sideways force to the microswitches, which breaks the microswitches or solder joints in the remote. The microswitches are relatively easy to replace with a soldering iron, but you are better off using a solder-rework station of the hot air type.

The second most common is split button rubbers, which allow damp into the key head, or cause people to prod deeper into the button to operate it, which often results in the most common failure mode above.
Genuine key head tops with the button rubbers are available from Porsche for about £20 or so, Chinese ones are available for less, but as someone mentioned they are made of a semi flexible plastic, rather than a hybrid of plastic and rubber assembly, which makes the copies stiffer to use.

Off the subject of the remote key heads slightly....

Please don't buy alarm kits from ebay, usually containing a key head, or key heads, and ACU and a DME.. They do work out cheaper than buying a pair of keys and programming, or a replacement ACU or replacement DME.. But when you need something simple like one key programming, it is almost impossible to get hold of the security codes to program it, because they are coded to a different car, now crushed.. There is no official way of getting around this as the units are designed to be programmed once and then protected from re-programming with the car security data.

We can get around it, saving the working key data, and changing everything else to match what your car should have, or even turning the data back into virgin new genuine unit data so it can be programmed by a Porsche computer diagnostic (PST2, PIWIS, PIWIS2 etc) but the better plan is just to buy new genuine parts and get them programmed correctly in the first place.

Anyway, I hope this corrects a few myths and misconceptions with Porsche 986 and 996 alarm systems.

I am not usually in here, I just popped in looking for any images from Simply Porsche and noticed this thread had us mentioned. But will try to come in more often as there seems to be issues needing resolutions. Besides, I am an enthusiast too.

All the best

Jon
 
  
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Phil 997
Le Mans
Le Mans


Joined: 05 Dec 2015
Posts: 15313
Location: Bournemouth,Dorset

2009 Porsche 997 Carrera 4S

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jon, great to see you posting advise and it was good to catch up with you at simply Porsche and have a good chat ,I am pleased to hear your back behind the wheel at JMG Porsche as your knowledge and commitment to the marque are very well known in our region . I will drop in for a coffee as soon as I get a chance Thumb Thumb

Is this a record joined in 2012 first post 6 June 2019 Grin Grin although I am very aware of the reasons for the long gap and glad your fully recovered. Thumb Thumb
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deMort
Dijon


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 7176
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ JMGPorsche

15 years in on Porsche .. more training courses than i can mention and this has never been explained to me by any of the instructors .. hense a lot of what i know is guess work ..

Thank you for your detailed explanation .

ref the kits you need the donor chassis number to get the codes but as porsche requests a V5 document proving you own the car then it doesn't help that much .

No ipas codes and you can't code a key on .
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JonMit
Newbie


Joined: 05 Nov 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Bournemouth


PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deMort wrote:
@ JMGPorsche

15 years in on Porsche .. more training courses than i can mention and this has never been explained to me by any of the instructors .. hense a lot of what i know is guess work ..

Thank you for your detailed explanation .

ref the kits you need the donor chassis number to get the codes but as porsche requests a V5 document proving you own the car then it doesn't help that much .

No ipas codes and you can't code a key on .


No problem, I can't release any info which would compromise security on Porsche security systems, but anything I can release which helps enthusiasts anywhere is a win in my book.

You hit the nail on the head with the ebay alarm kits, they are a short term fix for someone needing an ACU cheaper than a new one, but if that someone ever needs a new key head they will need to know the chassis number and reg of the donor car, and have a log book in their name to get the IPAS codes to work with that kit.

Fortunately I can turn a DME or ACU back into a virgin unit (factory fresh coding for a PST2/PIWIS-X to program) and extract key data back into the 24 byte barcode string, again to be programmed by a PST2/PIWIS-X)

As well as this, I can decode all the encrypted data in an ACU or DME, such as DME programming codes, ACU Learning codes, immobiliser codes, key transponder codes, chassis number etc etc.. In the format to be used by the PST2/PIWIS-X, or even a hybrid data set direct into a DME or ACU.

It can be very useful at times, I can normally extract the IPAS codes faster than Porsche can reply to my request for them, which is handy for quickly programming an extra key for a customer in the workshop.

The reverse engineering was all initiated by one of my technicians turning a new ACU into a brick a few years ago, which frustrated me that I knew the expensive item was useless just because of one incorrectly entered digit in an immobiliser code, so I set about reverse engineering them.

A sorry story of spending way to much effort (thousands of hours of my spare time) for too little reward (saving the occasional ACU or DME/ACU-Kit, or salvaging key data from destroyed ACU's to put into a new ACU.)

I now even have a DME and ACU test bench, to plug in units on the bench as if they were in a car, and plug in a PST2/PIWIS-X to talk to them, which was needed to reverse engineer them, but also now handy most weeks to fix a problem for an indi or OPC.

But it did result in removing many of the myths about these units and how they worked, as well as developing a network of OPC's and Indi's who owe me a favour or two. Very Happy

None of this is in the official Porsche training, manuals or even in the factory archives, I do suspect that nobody from Megamos, Delphi, Bosch or Porsche has the whole picture, as each wanted to protect their own information on how their part worked, which you can even see the different programming styles and encryption methods by different coders in the different companies.

For security reasons I have to be careful about who I offer these services for, with end users I tend to make them jump through the same hoops as Porsche would for the IPAS codes, for the dealers as long as it is a service manager that gets in touch, I can let that slide as long as communication is by email with a paper trail. But if I can ever help you out Mort, or another Specialist with a good rep, then just get in touch.

All the best

Jon
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Director and senior technician at an independent Porsche Specialist (So my views might not be impartial!)
Technical advisor to The Porsche Club of Great Britain. (PCGB)
Technical advisor to The Independent Porsche Enthusiasts Club (TIPEC)
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Moko
Newbie


Joined: 12 May 2019
Posts: 47
Location: London


PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I think a lot of these problems can also be down to the CR2032 batteries themselves.

I’m diabetic and have to use the exact same batteries in my Glucose Monitoring devices....the batteries used to last for ages with no problems but recently they barely last days I guess as a race to the bottom to produce the lowest cost the Chinese factories have been cutting corners somewhere.

I try to buy Japanese produced CR2032’s when I can find them as they tend to perform better and for longer but it’s getting increasingly difficult to find any.
 
  
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deMort
Dijon


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 7176
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Mitchell

Thank you for your detailed response , it makes perfect sense to me that the individual companies involved keep their details to themselves .. i know full well that Porsche have done exactly this even to the point of not training their own mechanics .

Our instructors , i assume you are ex OPC so you will know had to try and back engineer things to try and teach us . .. very sad .

I've not yet coded an incorrect code with immobiliser or key coding yet but i have seen it done .. new DME required at the time .

Time involved in fault finding .. yup .. we do at times go to extraordinary lengths in an effort to understand a problem and find a fix .. even when we know full well it will be a one off problem .

It's frustrating as i know full well that when i replace a control unit im often doing it because of a software fault .. with no way of reinstalling software then there is no option other than to throw away a perfectly functional unit for the sake of a bit of re installation .

If its ok ill get your garage on our list at work .. like you we do many things and a cheaper alternative to problems such as this are always welcomed .

I'm not sure if you can do anything else software related but please let me know if you do .. we often send units out from anything to a 911 speedo to an instrument cluster on a 996 .

i found where you are based so if no problem ill pass that onto our garage next week .

once again .. thank you .
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peterzoom
Monza


Joined: 25 Jul 2016
Posts: 241


2001 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GREAT news, picked up my car today with 2 working keys thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
The OPC in Glasgow were fantastic, I really must compliment them on their handling of my return visit.
I showed the service advisor my post and de morts reply on this site, ran through the previous visits and actions.
Straight away she grasped how fed up I was and was really re-assuring that the problem would be solved this time without fail.
As good as her word, she called yesterday to say my car was ready and on collecting it this morning I am very reassured that it now has a brand new replacement for the faulty key and everything is working as it should.
So well done Porsche Glasgow and thanks to everyone here for their input as I am certain that having read the threads here regarding key issues my complaint was given much greater gravitas than if I had just rolled up with a grumpy face Mad
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deMort
Dijon


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 7176
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent news .. but i'm pretty sure my name is mud in the OPC circles now Floor

To Glasgow though .. fair play .. you did the right thing Thumb

EDIT ..

Just to say .. some things get my back up and i can be a bit vocal and over the top and perhaps say more than i should , this can upset people for which i'm always sorry .. but im human .. i get annoyed at things at times that i don't feel as being fair .
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Last edited by deMort on Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
 
  
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wasz
Sepang


Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 2971


1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once replaced the clocks on an audi TT with nothing more than
a £13 wire off ebay and two pieces of software.

The software quickly cracked the SKC PIN of the car (equivalent to porsche IPAS) and allowed me to code the clocks, to the immob and ecu. Then I added my keys back in. Oh and set the mileage to match the originals.

If I had no key for that car then 5mins with a laptop and I could add in any vag key and get it started.

I think it's a shame there isn't anything around to do this for the 996.

Its my car dammit why should I pay a ransom to porsche for my IPAS code.
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deMort
Dijon


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 7176
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IPAS are free if you supply the V5 to the OPC to prove you own the car , that is after all how we get the codes .. well did as we are now an affiliate and have access .. at a cost i might add .

You still need a capable tester to code on a new key and im afraid most of the cost is the fob itself .. not cheap i must say !.

A replacement is 0.5 hrs labor at any garage .
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peterzoom
Monza


Joined: 25 Jul 2016
Posts: 241


2001 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad

Unbelievable, totally unbelievable Mad

My fresh key, bear in mind this is 5th time now, has quit again!

Over £1000 spent and I can only get weeks out of a key.
Guess I will be back at OPC Glasgow tomorrow morning......watch this space Confused
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deMort
Dijon


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 7176
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you leaving them in your trouser pockets and then washing the trousers ???? ..

Sorry... i have actually seen this though .

Basically this can't happen .. it is though so there's something strange going on which is scrambling the key fob signal .

my limited understanding of these .. fob transmits a signal , alarm cu sees this , accepts it then returns a signal to the fob to roll on the code to the next listed .

Yours seems to be corrupted ..

how are the keys stored ? and thing that could influence them on an RF scale .

Power station , phones , pylons .. home security .. anything that transmits an rf signal on 433mhz basically .

I can't see the alarm control unit being at fault .. there is an antenna which if unplugged causes a weak reception range .. it tends to work if used on the passenger side and not the drivers side basically .

Either way .. it should be covered under warranty .. but that doesn't help you if it happens again .
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peterzoom
Monza


Joined: 25 Jul 2016
Posts: 241


2001 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trousers, washed??????? Me Question IS IT A LEAP YEAR ALREADY Floor

I have had a close look at the keys and it looks like rather than replacing the faulty key head as I previously had been assured was what happened at the last visit ( and 3 day stay for my car at OPC ) I actually have the same key heads back and they have simply been re-coded.
So given that the culprit has seemed from the get-go to be a faulty key head, no surprise to see a repeat offence in almost exactly the same timeframe.

I am now firmly of the opinion that the Centre is just taking the Mickey, so Monday will see me in full grumpy mode demanding an audience with the dealer principal.
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deMort
Dijon


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 7176
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erm .. er .. seriously ??

Have a good look at the invoice as i'm amazed they didn't replace the key fob .. recoding is a waste of time imho .

Trousers ..

A non politically correct story but as i've had a couple of beers im kinda past caring ..

I coded a key onto a Cayenne many years back .. it's a bit of a faff on these and i lost time .. time = bonus at an OPC so in essence i lost money .

Customer came back 2 days later and said it didn't work ..

Service advisor came up to me .. threw the key across the desk and said that key you coded dont work .. fix it .

I looked at the key .. i thought battery fault so undid the cover .. soapy water inside .. it's been in a washing machine ..

I went back out to said service advisor .. threw the key across the desk and said ..

Perhaps tell the customer that washing a key that was obviously in his trouser pockets is NOT going to get him a new one under warranty .. he has to pay for it now .

i think the customer paid but to be honest i didn't do the job at that point as neither of us was speaking to each other .
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wasz
Sepang


Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 2971


1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The button breaks on these and doesn't make good contact / leaks current so flattens batteries quick..


If you have a good eye and a fine soldering iron the buttons can be replaced and are only about 10p to buy.
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Guywilko
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Joined: 04 Jul 2017
Posts: 53



PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterzoom wrote:
Trousers, washed??????? Me Question IS IT A LEAP YEAR ALREADY Floor

I have had a close look at the keys and it looks like rather than replacing the faulty key head as I previously had been assured was what happened at the last visit ( and 3 day stay for my car at OPC ) I actually have the same key heads back and they have simply been re-coded.
So given that the culprit has seemed from the get-go to be a faulty key head, no surprise to see a repeat offence in almost exactly the same timeframe.

I am now firmly of the opinion that the Centre is just taking the Mickey, so Monday will see me in full grumpy mode demanding an audience with the dealer principal.



When Wilmslow OPC picked up my car to fix a key under warranty they gave me no paperwork back.
The keys looked identical so I guess they recoded them.
I asked for paperwork especially around how long they would warrant the repair for......they declined and said there was no paperwork coming my way. They said that the 2y warranty on the key heads (both brand new heads just under 2y ago) would expire 2y point.

I really look after the keys, No bumps or bangs or drops. One of them failed 2 weeks ago- no red light flash. I did the upside down battery gig and it came back to life immediately.

I imagine OPC are as sick of these keys as we are and want to wash their hands of them as soon as possible.

Next time one of mine goes Fubar, I'm going to get one of the ebay guys to resolder it.
 
  
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peterzoom
Monza


Joined: 25 Jul 2016
Posts: 241


2001 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The update from me is that after I spoke with the Dealer Principal in Glasgow things moved on at a cracking pace.

He was astonished at how many visits I had had to make and has arranged for my car to be uplifted from home and a loan car left in its place while it is taken to the dealership to have new keys suppled at coded under warranty. He also has requested that the workshop do a thorough investigation on my car to double check that there is not some other issue on the vehicle that is causing the issue out-with the key heads themselves.

Fantastic service and I was very happy with the way my complaint was dealt with and the outcome. Full marks to the man at the top, I really appreciate his efforts on my behalf.
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GT3 wheels, hub-centric spacers, brake ducts, Carrera rear wing, 200 cell cats+full big bore system, IPD plenum, K&N cold air intake, Hel lines, V3 sprit booster, Revo re-map, Numeric short shift, Rennline pedals, CSF radiators, Rennline semi-solid engine mounts, Alpine double din dvd, camera and speaker install, IMS Guardian and Zun-Sport grilles
 
  
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