Our Review of the “Keyline 884 Mini” and “The Diagnostic Box”

Well I know this post isn’t going to make sense to most of my customers, but I’ve gotten to try out a few new automotive tools and thought I’d post my thoughts on them in case any locksmiths are considering buying these.

First the bad; I bought an 884 decryptor mini by keyline. It was on sale. This is what’s known as a cloner tool which basically copies your existing chip’s signal. I wish I could say I liked this tool as it could offer the potential to duplicate keys I couldn’t otherwise program. Unfortunately I scrap binned this tool after trying it with no success on multiple cars. I started trying it on my ’09 Chevy Express this is a pretty basic transponder key. This was a marginal success, the process was easy and the keyline key worked, but I had to hold it up to the antenna while turning the ignition with a service key. That was as close to success as this tool came. By the time I got to the fourth or fifth vehicle, the micro usb port broke and that was it. I should add that their tech support was helpful but couldn’t really resolve my issues.

To recap; the keyline 884 mini promises compatibility with a lot of vehicles. Its compact nature and simplistic interface would make this a no brainer. Unfortunately, the functionality I experienced using their tool and their keys left a lot to be desired. Its possible I got a bad unit, but it’s important to note that the micro usb port breaking was not due to abuse. I kept this tool unplugged in the same bag as my t code pro, and other sensitive programming equipment. This is the first issue I’ve had. If you do buy one of these, desk mounting may be better.

Now onto the good! I just got in a tool called The Diagnostic Box. This tool is capable of processing the 20 digit Nissan pin conversion on newer Nissan vehicles. This tool also does the old pin conversion and all you have to do is plug it in! I have the tcode with the Nissan super dongle (not to be confused with the smart dongle) and it can be a slight hassle swapping dongles to convert pins. Worse yet, converting the 20 digit PIN requires NASTF clearance and paying Nissan $10-$15 per key as well as going through the motions of using their site, this takes me about 15 minutes on average. The diagnostic box saves me time on both; I simply plug it into the OBD port and plug my T-code into the Diagnostic box. As soon as I pull the BCM, or 20 digit code, like magic the programming PIN is on my Diagnostic box screen. Even better, it holds it in case there’s an issue, so no need to write the pin down! While advanced diagnostics offers a pin code converter on the super dongle the Diagnostic box is dirt cheap at $140.