Eliminating RFID on ignition key?

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2012 Mazda5 Touring; 2016 Mazda3 Sport
Since my family now has two postmodern-era vehicles ('12 5T and '16 3iS), my keyring is getting ridiculous with not one but two giant remote controls dangling from it. Seems like time for an intervention.

For the "5", I can get an ignition key with RFID from the hardware store for about $75 (that still has that giant key head), or they can cut me a normal key for $5. Guess which option I like better?

I just experimented a little and found that in stock form, the RFID transmitter must be very close to the ignition switch in order for the car to start, as in physically holding the thing next to the keyhole while turning the bare key blade with pliers. I've heard talk of securing a transmitter inside the steering column trim to allow the use of a normal key, but I'm worried about the risk of the poor thing falling off and being unable to start the car anyway.

Alternatively, maybe there's a simple way to disable or bypass the RFID system altogether? Any ideas? What solutions have other DIY hackers tried?
 
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2012 Mazda5 Touring; 2016 Mazda3 Sport
Took a look inside the steering column cover. Seems the RFID duties are handled by an extra module located directly underneath the ignition lock and connected to the car with a tiny 4-pin connector. It connects physically via a ring that goes around the ignition lock cylinder. So, it looks like the "key" to the quest may simply be to learn how to remove the ignition lock so that the RF sensor can be relocated.
 
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2012 Mazda5 Touring; 2016 Mazda3 Sport
Turns out removing the lock cylinder is just like an old Ford, only the pin is on the top. Experiment is underway!
 
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2012 Mazda 5
Maybe you can add similar device used for the remote car starter that does that?
Can even add a switch under the dash which normal car thief would not know about or add a push start :)
 
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2012 Mazda5 Touring; 2016 Mazda3 Sport
Not sure what you mean ... sounds like adding rather than removing technology?

I currently have the RFID bit of the key fob zip tied inside the ring part of the transceiver (at least, that's what it was called in YT videos), and had a normal cheapo key made up at the hardware store. So far so good, but I'd feel better bypassing the transceiver altogether.
 
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2012 Mazda 5
Not sure what you mean ... sounds like adding rather than removing technology?

I currently have the RFID bit of the key fob zip tied inside the ring part of the transceiver (at least, that's what it was called in YT videos), and had a normal cheapo key made up at the hardware store. So far so good, but I'd feel better bypassing the transceiver altogether.

You can't easily bypass unless you know hacking. That's the whole idea of the tech.
the box I told you, does what you did just without leaving the key in. It emulates the RFID signature.
 
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2012 Mazda5 Touring; 2016 Mazda3 Sport
Sorry, I'm really not sure what "box" you mean to refer to.


By "hacking", I assume you mean actually reprogramming the ECM? I think that's what a friend of mine had to have done so that a '99 Mustang Cobra engine could use its stock ECM without having to be physically plugged into the original car's instrument cluster. Megasquirt or Atomic EFI would surely have been easier, but that wasn't the point of that particular project.
 
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2012 Mazda 5
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