Rounding up a few updates

There have been loads of interesting comments and I’m grateful to everyone who has contributed. A couple of things to highlight:

You can get cheap and compatible tags on ebay which are much cheaper than the genuine proximity ones.

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I’m reliably informed that these ones and I imagine others like them work fine with the panel. They are pretty cheap too so well worth a look. I’ve not tried them before but I’ll get some in to play with. I’ve always been a little unsure about them though, someone said to me once “well you wouldn’t write your alarm code on your keys” and this is a similar idea. However I think there is value for example if you want to give a tradesmen access for a few days and don’t want to have to set up a new code etc.

You can get much better voltage regulators than the one I bought. There’s been a lot of discussion in the comments but this one has been popular:

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It is very hard to argue with the price, and it’s much smaller and neater than the one I  used. I still find it incredible that you can get anything delivered direct from China for less than a dollar all in.

Thanks again for all your contributions, please keep them coming!

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10 thoughts on “Rounding up a few updates”

  1. Thanks for the post! I have a proxmark3 so i do work with RFID a little bit. I could’ve easily identified the tags for you guys with my tools 🙂
    I can clone tags, rewrite the ID in the tags, etc. I however never ever recommend to only use the RFID tag to disarm an alarm. I could easily clone your tag from a distance, copy it to a blank tag, break in and disarm easily.

  2. A question

    I bought the texecom flasher board and noticed you need the USB cable to it.

    Would the DIY USB cable work?

    I read in your “ComPort+ Update” that the cable you mention in the post does not work for the flasher. Is there one DIY USB cable that works?

    I bought the cable in the ComPort+ Update post picture and i also have the small one that is a PCB + USB board in one.

  3. This all depends on the chipset used in the cable – if it is an FTDI FT232R then it will work. The flashing software will identify this as a genuine cable. I thought at first that the problems that I was having were down to the cable but it turned out to be the computer instead. I think that cable I linked to is an FTDI one so you should be fine. If not then you can get an FTDI board for a few pounds which will work fine. I’ve got a separate cable for using with the flasher board. Please let me know how you get on.

  4. Thanks – yes I’ve always been a bit anxious about using these tags routinely for exactly this reason. Someone said to me once that you wouldn’t put a tag with your alarm PIN code on it and so you should be careful about using a tag. I think they might be handy for short term use maybe if you want to give someone access for a few days but don’t want to set a code up. Thanks for the advice!

  5. Yes the tags are one of those things that seem like a good idea but perhaps are not, and it depends on the use case. You should never have your address on your keys so if you lost your key ring with the tag attached it’s unlikely someone finding the keys would know the address. However if they are stolen along with a bag that has an address in, or someone that knows you takes the keys and so will know your address, they can deactivate the alarm after opening the door.

    Having said that a lot of offices use these sorts of key fobs for access, as it is more secure when using them on an external door than typing in a code where someone could be watching you, and it avoids people providing unauthorised access by sharing a code. For home use this doesn’t apply as we would have the control pad inside the house usually.

    So in the home for a home alarm it is best given to someone for temporary use, or perhaps given to a neighbour with a spare key if they keep on eye on your house and are trusted, as if you gave them a code they are either going to forget it, or write it down and stick it on the key ring anyway.

  6. The tag’s don’t have your alarm code on them. They are randomly encoded each time a “New” one is presented in the Add tag to user menu. This random code could not be typed into the panel and used to disarm the system. Although as with any Prox tags, it could be cloned and used if the system they were enrolled on to was known; much in the same way if you lost your keys and someone knew where you lived, they could enter your property.

  7. I suppose what I meant was that you are going from having in effect a ‘two factor authentication’ whereby you need something you have (keys) and something you know (code) into just a single factor. So if you lose your keys and tag and someone can work out where you live they can both get in the door and disarm the alarm. I think it is really about use cases, and I can think of plenty of examples where tags are a good idea but for me probably not everyday use.

  8. Indeed, as with any authentication system, if part of the system is lost, it can be comprimised.

    Oh and as for the “Cheapo” tags, I can confirm I ordered some and they do indeed work with the Premier Elite Keypads and iProx modules! I was pleasantly surprised, although not as good build quality as the official ones, would be great to dispense to “Temps”.

    Might crack one open and see If I can get the coil out!

  9. I cracked one open and the coil is held in place by some glue type siliconey goop. Unfortunatley at the final step one of the super fine coil wires was snared from the chip *doh*. Nonetheless it can be done and the goop is stretchy type.

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