VIN code 761 radio remote control reduced range without panic - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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VIN code 761 radio remote control reduced range without panic

On a recent VIN check I noted the above option for my 98 E320 Wagon.
Since owning the car the RF on the remote has been almost non-existent.
I have been using the IR successfully.
I am wondering how I might reverse the 761 option?
TIA
DougQ
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 08:50 PM
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If your car is a Japanese import, the transmission power for the RF (at 315 Mhz) is less than -40 dBm.

For USA/CAnada the key transmission power is less than -18 dBm.

So the Japanese version has reduced power to meet Japanese emissions requirements.


You can obtain a used but working USA key, and move the chip (micro-controller) from your remote to the USA version. This will require very good soldering skills and equipment.


Or go to a dealer and get a spare key fob with no reduced power option.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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mrboca: Thanks very much for the reply.
I had assumed it was something in the internal electronics, never gave a thought to the Fob.
You are quite correct, it is a Japanese Import.
I have looked at a spare fob I have from a parts car, and I assume you are referring to the 28 pin chip?
Even having repaired computers quite a few years ago, this looks difficult.
I do not see the pins coming through the opposite side of the board?
Is there any way to reprogram a used fob?
I have the Chinese SDS.
Local dealer wants $300 ($400 CDN) for a new fob, which seems pretty rich.

Would you have any information as to a detailed description of some other codes?
Such as:
498 Japan Version
677 Avantgarde Chassis
910 Dynamo with higher capacity (FFO) what is the capacity??
954 Equipment Package for Avantgarde Vehicle.

I see you drive an almost identical model.
Thanks for your help, again. :-)
DougQ
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 10:36 AM
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There is some discussion regarding, Classic, Avantgarde and Elegance lines of the W210 below.

https://emercedesbenz.com/autos/merc...-class-models/

I believe the emissions level is handled by the discrete components outside the controller. The controller just sends a train of ones and zeros, the Frequency Shift Keying hardware generates the signal to be transmitted to the internal antenna on the fob board. The euro version of the key has 433 Mhz carrier frequency, Japan and North American market uses 315 Mhz . So I believe the signal level is handled by a component on the transmitter hardware.

What type of key fob do you have ? Generation 1 (the one with the panic button is at the back of the fob, integrated to the battery holder) or gen 2 (you have a red panic button usually round, close to the tip of the key fob).

In either case, it is possible to remove the chip even it is surface mount and transfer it to a USA spec fob.. There are people who have the equipment and know how to do it in this forum.

I strongly recommend that you get a second (spare) key fob, if you already do not have one.

I believe the higher capacity alternator is rated at 120 amps, as opposed to 90.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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mrboca: Thanks for the link, nice to know I have the top of the line. ;-)

My fob looks like this:
https://tinyurl.com/yyfk9n76
No panic button.
My parts car fob is a Gen 1 that you describe.

Is there no way to reprogram my spare fob?
I see some websites offering used fobs and they state a locksmith can reprogram them,does that seem realistic?

I was fortunate when I acquired the car it came with 2 fobs and the emergency door and ignition key.

Have you done the chip transplant?
From your comments it would appear it might be easier to transplant the chip limiting the power, if it can be identified?

Again, thanks for your help
DougQ
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 04:00 PM
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The key you show does not have the trunk button which is unusual. Plus the key you have probably has the Japanese standards mark rather than the FCC .

I have not done the transplant but someone on this forum did one for another forum member. It needs masking, heating the chip to remove on both fobs and transfer the one for your car to the new one (precision soldering). But you need to make sure that the microcontrollers have the same part number.

The micro-controller contains an EEPROM where all the car relevant information is stored (VIN, hash codes, sequence number, etc.). It cannot be reprogrammed on the fob, but can be removed, and the codes can be read, and transferred to a virgin chip with special equipment. I do not believe many locksmiths have these equipment or want to invest in them as the volume is to low to make investment financial sense.

It is certainly possible to modify the transmitter network (which is made up of transistors, crystal, resistors, and capacitors) but you need to have the circuit diagram, knowledge of how and what to do, and equipment to test it so you do not have a key that does not work at all.

Here is a typical gen 1 USA key inside. Does your look like the same ?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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mrboca: Thanks for the images.
I have taken my parts car fob apart and it appears identical to those images.

Both my spare and the japanese fobs are from wagons, would one still expect a button for trunk or hatch?

I do not think I would attempt the chip transplant, I am not as steady as I once was.
When I return from a trip in a couple of weeks, I plan to take the japanese one apart and see if I can identify the difference regarding the reduced power components.
Thanks again.
DougQ
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 03:30 PM
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Gen 1 EEPROM can be transplanted into another Gen 1 key, so long the EEPROM numbering are the same. From memory, the EEPROM is Motorola something something. If the used key fob is also Motorola with the same lettering stamped on it, it will work...irrespective of the PCB design or transistor difference or what have you.

If you have a trunk release button on the center console, then the trunk button on the used key fob should work too. Only difference between lock/unlock/trunk/panic button is the data transferred through the radio waves.

Push button -> Key fob sends shortform radio hash key (unique to the car), then sends the unlock/lock/trunk/panic info.
Car receives the signal -> EIS verifies the shortform radio hash key -> reroutes the button data (lock/unlock/etc) through the CANBUS to PSE, then doors unlock or trunk unlatches.

It is possible to make a new key from the contents of the EIS and a 1st gen key, but EIS needs to be taken out of the car.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 04:27 PM
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The transmitter which controls the frequency ( +/- 16 KHz over 315Mhz carrier) also is made up of discrete surface mount components, so it will not be easy for you to do it unless you have proper equipment.

There is a gentleman in California that you can send a private message and he may be able to help you to transfer the chip as he had done that before for another member.

His profile:

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/159...socal400e.html

Or ask Deplore if he can do it for you


It is not an EEPROM but a micro-controller with EEPROM integrated in it. The part number is 68HC05E6

https://www.etlweb.com/doc/mc68hc05e6.pdf
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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In comparing the fobs I found one difference, the Japanese one has an interrupted trace.
This is circled in red, I traced it to the micro-controller and is connected to the LVI lead, Which is the Low Voltage Interrupt. Both of my fobs have that.
One other difference is a plastic keeper on the end of the pcb.
It has a wire inside which does not contact anything.
I have removed that part and there was no improvement in the range.
The chips do not have the same #.
There are 3 buttons, but no exterior 3rd, presumably the trunk on a sedan, but not usefull on a wagon.
I noticed the component locations differ from the previous diagram.

Options:
- I am thinking I may bridge the cut trace.
- There is a trace loop around the small end which might be the antenna, lengthening that might help.
- I may be able to locate and lengthen the antenna on the car.
- Some web pages suggest swapping out the batteries to increase the voltage, 1-2025 for 2-2016, this seems a bit dangerous increasing the voltage from 6v to 9v.

Any thoughts appreciated.
DougQ
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