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So how’s your Faraday Pouch?


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Not the natty item of male underwear, but that other safe place to store your car keys.

I ask because recent discussions about their use in car theft prevention made me wonder about the one I store my keys in.  Bought in March 2019, there was no reason to believe that it wasn’t still up to the job.

After all,  there are no moving parts to wear out.  There were no torn seams and the flap that closed it still closed.  So what could go wrong?

So to test it, I took the pouch, with the two keys sealed inside, out to the car and grasped the door handle - which opened.  Which it’s not supposed to do!  Inside I pressed the start button and up came the ‘key not detected’ message.

On the next press, it started!

In fact, as the pouch was moved around, the key would sometimes be recognised.  And sometimes not.  Maybe the Velcro flap no longer sealed properly.  Or the metallised lining inside had deteriorated.  What ever the cause, the only solution was to replace it - which I have now done.  In fact I have uprated it to new pouches which are now also kept in a Faraday box.

I suspect that I’m not alone in taking the continuing security of Faraday Pouches for granted.  If you’re using one, it might be worth checking it out.

 

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8 minutes ago, LenT said:

Not the natty item of male underwear, but that other safe place to store your car keys.

I ask because recent discussions about their use in car theft prevention made me wonder about the one I store my keys in.  Bought in March 2019, there was no reason to believe that it wasn’t still up to the job.

After all,  there are no moving parts to wear out.  There were no torn seams and the flap that closed it still closed.  So what could go wrong?

So to test it, I took the Pouch, with the two keys sealed inside, out to the car and grasped the door handle - which opened.  Which it’s not supposed to do!  Inside I pressed the start button and up came the ‘key not detected’ message.

On the next press, it started!

In fact, as the pouch was moved around, the key would sometimes be recognised.  And sometimes not.  Maybe the Velcro flap no longer sealed properly.  Or the metallised lining inside had deteriorated.  What ever the cause, the only solution was to replace it - which I have now done.  In fact I have uprated it to new pouches which are now also kept in a Faraday box.

I suspect that I’m not alone in taking the continuing security of Faraday Pouches for granted.  If you’re using one, it might be worth checking it out.

 

A great and timely Post, Merlin.😉

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I find they last about 12 months and then need to be replaced.

Visual inspection shows no obvious rips or tears in the mesh but the continuity is obviously compromised and the signal leaks from somewhere. I check my operational pouch weekly and I have a few spare to go at, but it does make me thankful of my 'belt and braces' approach of also using a big, bright yellow, steering lock.

Having said that, wrapping the fob in kitchen foil also blocks the signal, so it's not like I'll ever be without a Faraday cage of one sort or another :thumbup:

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I've had mine around 4.5 years and a couple of weeks back thought I'd try and see if it was still working and found that all was well - car wouldn't open even with the pouch with the keys in right next to the door. 

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42 minutes ago, Spock66 said:

Mine is a small box rather than a pouch, I would expect it to last longer as there is no fabric to flex.

 

Good point.

My new regime will be to use the box for safe storage at Home.  (Of course a tin would have been cheaper!).  And use a pouch when out and about.

I'll see how that works, while pondering the vital question: Is there a big market in stolen seven year-old Lexus in the first place?

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Well blow me down Len. This is something I had never even thought off. My Faraday looks as good as the day I received it from Lexus when I bought the car in fact it looks in mint condition. I didn't realize they degenerated with time. I will check it out tomorrow thanks for posting. Herbie has a good alternative with the steering lock and silver foil.

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Kitchen foil should work but it tears easily so you have to be very careful.  Until I got a second purpose made aluminium box as I mentioned in another thread for my spare key/fob, I wrapped it in the thicker aluminium dish that a 'ready meal' had come in as a temporary measure.

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2 minutes ago, Barry14UK said:

Kitchen foil should work but it tears easily so you have to be very careful.  Until I got a second purpose made aluminium box as I mentioned in another thread for my spare key/fob, I wrapped it in the thicker aluminium dish that a 'ready meal' had come in as a temporary measure.

We have our spare key in a Faraday upstairs in a metal box Barry. But I feel a bit embarrassed you can turn the key off oh well another job for tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, ALAW said:

Well blow me down Len. This is something I had never even thought off. My faraday looks as good as the day I received it from Lexus when I bought the car in fact it looks in mint condition.

It surprised me too, Brent.  It leads a pretty sheltered life in a kitchen drawer.  It only came out in the early days for the occasional check.  So I’d rather taken it for granted.

The real worry was that its performance had become erratic and unreliable.   But maybe it’s just me!

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Theyre all pretty crap apart from the boxes.

Seem to get worse as time goes on and then let the signal through although not to the same extent as if the key was exposed. For example I can open my car when standing right next to it using the handle but if I press the buttons from 2m away it doesnt work.

 

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Yes I think there are far too many very poor Faraday pouches. In just 2 years I've gone through 4 or 5 of them. Trouble is you can't really tell between a proper guddun or a clap one (ooooops carnt spel).

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I too have found that the fabric laminate pouches tend to degenerate with time, and short of keeping a metal box in my pocket which may be uncomfortable (I wonder if an hip flask could be easily converted!).

I'm now in the habit of testing the pouches every few weeks.   Am currently on my third set .

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I have two of the vonetti key cases ("alpha shield" and the no longer made "business man premium")

The alpha shield is larger, but I should probably go and do another test again of the business man as I use it more (it did okay unless the key was within an inch or two of the car).

The other thing I do is hold down the lock key and press unlock twice which puts the key into sleep mode, and give the car door handle a quick tug.

The Toyota Supra had a "Superior" Thatcham rating against a relay attack so I'm guessing probably a motion sensor has been added to the key. I would guess as the cars get refreshed we'll see this on more of the Lexus range.
 

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22 minutes ago, PeterI said:

I have two of the vonetti key cases…

I looked at the Vonetti cases, which seemed to be a well-made  option.  The problem I had was that my key seems to have attracted several undoubtedly essential items to it.  Which are accommodated in a pouch, but don’t fit in a tin.

This may not be a problem for more disciplined owners.

Still, I’m slightly relieved to find that I’m not alone in discovering the limitations of Faraday pouches.  Without this being a topic that had recently popped up, I probably would not have been prompted to retest mine.

Of course, whether or not it’s ever successfully repelled an attack I’ll never know - until the one occasion it doesn’t!

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Hi all.

I brought 2 pouches not long after i got car and all seemed well then one Sunday morning had the pouch in my pocket and went to the car and the door opened.🤫

Never bothered to try the second one the annoying thing is it is in perfect condition.😩.
 

My spare key is in the second pouch and in a metal boxed locked away so no chance off getting near that.🙂

I do keep my key in my bedroom which is at the back off my house as the car is parked in the road at the front but bearing in mind who want a 13 year old Lexus.

As good as they are people want newer cars now.

65mike.

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13 hours ago, 65mike said:

I brought 2 pouches not long after i got car and all seemed well then one Sunday morning had the pouch in my pocket and went to the car and the door opened.

That’s really infuriating!

Going to all the trouble of investing time, effort - and a little money - into this extra level of security, only to discover that you may not have been getting it at all.

The new pouches I’ve just acquired are certainly effective, even if the flap isn’t sealed, surprisingly.  But your experience demonstrates that it’s well worth checking them out occasionally - even if they look perfect.

I too have wondered if it’s all worth it for an older car.  But I suppose an older car can be worth a lot if stolen for parts.  And it’s probably easier to sell than the very latest models that will attract more attention.

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I daren't use one - for fear that it would defeat the system that prevents me from locking the key in my car!

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Forgive me if I've missed something along the way (and I presume this is the case with all keyless entry) but you can render the keyless function inoperative by holding the lock button and then pressing the unlock button twice. You should then see 4 flashes from the keys LED and hey presto you can walk up to the car with key in hand/pocket and it will not be recognised. I do this every night and the process is as simple as a,b,c.

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37 minutes ago, Brian R said:

Forgive me if I've missed something along the way (and I presume this is the case with all keyless entry) but you can render the keyless function inoperative by holding the lock button and then pressing the unlock button twice. You should then see 4 flashes from the keys led and hey presto you can walk up to the car with key in hand/pocket and it will not be recognised. I do this every night and the process is as simple as a,b,c.

That doesn't work for everyone though. For instance, only 2015 and onwards (Gen 4) RXs can do this.

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23 minutes ago, Herbie said:

That doesn't work for everyone though. For instance, only 2015 and onwards (Gen 4) RXs can do this.

Ah, I did wonder whether it might not be the case with all keys. Nonetheless, 2015 onwards still captures a goodly number of cars.

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1 hour ago, Brian R said:

Forgive me if I've missed something along the way (and I presume this is the case with all keyless entry) but you can render the keyless function inoperative by holding the lock button and then pressing the unlock button twice. You should then see 4 flashes from the keys led and hey presto you can walk up to the car with key in hand/pocket and it will not be recognised. I do this every night and the process is as simple as a,b,c.

Well, that seems to be 11 people in this thread who use Faraday pouches, one who doesn't dare in case the key gets stuck inside a locked car and one who uses the function built into some keys to disable them. (As Herbie points out, not all cars do this.) I've puzzled over this too. Initially, I thought it was great just to walk up to the car and open the locked door, just by having the key in a pocket. But when parking in busy places, I began to do what Brian R does, except that I press the lock button twice to double lock the doors (you can't open it from the inside if, for example, the window is broken.) Then on the second press of the lock button I do the double-press of the unlock button and get the four red light flashes to confirm it's disabled.

But recently on the NextDoor website I've seen half a dozen reports of cars stolen from driveways or outside a house and I've now adopted the habit of double-locking the doors and disabling the key every time.

Now that this is a habit, I don't even think about it. It's not much different from older remote locking systems. Occasionally, in remote areas, I might decide not to bother but mostly the car is left double-locked and the key disabled. The habit saves thinking about it.

However, this represents a significant failure of the Lexus attempt to make getting into the car easier. This is a pity. All that clever design gone to waste. I hope they come up with a system that's actually usable on new models and at the same time prevents the car from being stolen, without having to resort to buying addons from eBay.

The other thing I initially thought was great was that if you open the boot by pressing the boot button on the key fob, when you close the boot it locks again and the doors remain locked - there's then a steady red light on the dashboard to show it's locked and the alarm is on. But what I forgot for some time was that when I press the key fob button the key becomes enabled again, even though the doors and boot are locked. So even when just unlocking the boot I realised I had to disable the key again before abandoning the car to the attentions of the criminals.

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That's well put William. Car security seems to have taken a back seat it appears. Back in the day buying a car alarm system like scorpion for example was the only choice along with those yellow stop lock things. I always had 2 extra sirens put inside the car. Amazing what 130db can do to a would be tealeaf lol.

Faraday pouches. I thought about this and why they become useless after a time. After my last post I did indeed test my pouch. Oh dear it failed. Luckily when I bought it I got 2 so my 'new' one works fine. Now why they fail. I think it's because something within the pouch breaks down every time the key fob is inserted and withdrawn. So I'm assuming that after a few thousand key in key out the pouch basically has broken its protective barrier materials. So the damage is within the pouch yet the outside looks like new.

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Well I tried to get in the car with the key in the Faraday pouch. Car opened as it should with key not in the pouch. Again thanks to Len for pointing this out. Thinking now about switching fob off on a night I don't think its a big inconvenience reading posts above.

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On 5/27/2022 at 7:28 PM, Brian R said:

Ah, I did wonder whether it might not be the case with all keys. Nonetheless, 2015 onwards still captures a goodly number of cars.

It’s captured mine!

But it’s only now, thanks to some posts here and elsewhere recently, that I discovered that an alternative to Faraday devices was the OFF switch!

Who’d’ve thought!  Well not me, for one.  I had no idea that the key signal could be switched off at source.  Strangely, I don’t recall any of the articles discussing this form of car theft ever mentioning it either - or I might not have gone the pouch route anyway.

But surely it’s in the Manual, I hear you chuckle.  Well I may have missed it (Lexus often seems to spread relevant info across different pages and sections) but the mention of switching the key fob off comes under the heading of saving the Battery!  References to signal blocking only seem to crop up as warnings.

There’s no all embracing section on ‘Security’, for example, that might include it.  And no-one at the dealership has ever mentioned it as an effective theft prevention procedure. So well done you lot!

I shall certainly keep the keys in my new Faraday Box.  And my  new Pouches certainly work for now.  But if - like me - you’ve discovered that can’t be relied on, then it’s been a worthwhile exercise.  And maybe I’ll see if I can be disciplined enough to follow the ‘Switch Off’ method.

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