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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Loving my Bolt but really disliking the pocket bulge the key fob causes. I poked around a bit and found
on hacking a Prius key fob. Basically you remove the circuit board from the fob, figure out a way to connect the battery, and wrap up in a new, smaller size. While this video solders wires onto the fob terminals, it turns out that's not necessary!

The key (hah!) lies in how the battery connects to the circuitboard, shown in the attached pic. Basically you put the battery (flat/no-writing side down) on the circular terminal and tape it so that it's pressed secure to the "w-shaped" metal terminal. A single piece of electrical tape running lengthwise did the trick, and I wrapped a few more pieces around just to be safe. I bought & programmed a spare key so I didn't trash either of the 2 that came with the car.

Some before/after pictures are attached. Of course there's no mechanical key so when the battery dies there will be some trouble, but I'm keeping a spare (w/key) at both home & office, my main termini (2 puns!) figuring if it dies en route I have some backups.

Anyway, I'll update later if issues arise but it's working for now!

Scott
 

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I doubt that I am the only one who does not connect their fob to their key ring. As such, I find its size and shape to be super. There are no sharp corners to fray the pocket lining. It fits into the smaller "key pocket within the pocket" found in several makes of trousers. Its size lets me know, with a quick pat on the outside of my pocket, that it is in there. (Of course, if you get to the garage without it, you can't start your Bolt EV!) All in all, I would not change it.
 

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I doubt that I am the only one who does not connect their fob to their key ring. As such, I find its size and shape to be super. There are no sharp corners to fray the pocket lining. It fits into the smaller "key pocket within the pocket" found in several makes of trousers. Its size lets me know, with a quick pat on the outside of my pocket, that it is in there. (Of course, if you get to the garage without it, you can't start your Bolt EV!) All in all, I would not change it.
Fob fits perfectly in the watch pocket on most jeans.
 

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Hi everyone,

Loving my Bolt but really disliking the pocket bulge the key fob causes. I poked around a bit and found this link on hacking a Prius key fob. Basically you remove the circuit board from the fob, figure out a way to connect the battery, and wrap up in a new, smaller size. While this video solders wires onto the fob terminals, it turns out that's not necessary!

The key (hah!) lies in how the battery connects to the circuitboard, shown in the attached pic. Basically you put the battery (flat/no-writing side down) on the circular terminal and tape it so that it's pressed secure to the "w-shaped" metal terminal. A single piece of electrical tape running lengthwise did the trick, and I wrapped a few more pieces around just to be safe. I bought & programmed a spare key so I didn't trash either of the 2 that came with the car.

Some before/after pictures are attached. Of course there's no mechanical key so when the battery dies there will be some trouble, but I'm keeping a spare (w/key) at both home & office, my main termini (2 puns!) figuring if it dies en route I have some backups.

Anyway, I'll update later if issues arise but it's working for now!

Scott
Sorry, but that ugly taped mess doesn鈥檛 work for me, and it鈥檚 durability is questionable. There鈥檚 a reason why the circuit board is housed in a hard plastic case.
 

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I think I'd stick with the original unit. It protects the circuit board from damage, in particular static discharges, and, as a bonus includes a metal key in case the FOB should fail.
 
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I can sympathize with wanting a smaller dohickey to carry around, but I have to agree, I鈥檓 not into the whole tape look. I don鈥檛 carry any keys with me and having a smaller fob would be nice. I think I just found another use for my shiny new 3D printer (adding to an ever growing list). I鈥檒l have to check thingiverse to see if anyone else has done this.

Just make sure you keep a fresh battery in it as you now have no backup.
 

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anyone have any idea how to better protect the rubber buttons on the fob? after a couple years it's getting pretty beat up. i guess keeping it separate from the rest of my keys in the change pocket is one idea, but i'm more likely to forget it that way.
 

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anyone have any idea how to better protect the rubber buttons on the fob? after a couple years it's getting pretty beat up. i guess keeping it separate from the rest of my keys in the change pocket is one idea, but i'm more likely to forget it that way.
The buttons on one of the fobs for my Spark EV got pretty torn up by the previous owner. I bought a fob cover off eBay to prevent further deterioration. The EV-specific buttons aren't labeled correctly, but I never use those. Of course, this doesn't make the fob any smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Returning to this as a stress-relief from end-of-semester work. The proof-of-principle was enough to convince me that the form factor works for me and is preferable to the original size, so worth more time. Other things that became apparent:

1. Lack of buttons wasn't a huge thing. The absence of the mechanical key was more worrisome.
2. Static and general wear & tear weren't factors. The biggest issue was keeping the battery secured to the circuit board.
3. I saw a reference to 3d printing a smaller case but, while geeky & mental (thanks SparkE!) are par for the course for my job, time is not so that wasn't feasible.

The button side of the circuit board is protected by a thin rubber top that I realized could be used as a top. The mechanical key fits into a small slot under the board, so it was possible to cut out the footprint of the circuit board (dremel) from the bottom and keep the battery holder, buttons and key. The latest version is below. Once I cut the top of the key off it will fit through a slot at the top.

Next up is to polish the sides, secure the rubber top to the case (glue, most likely), and drill a small hole to attach to key ring.

Total time on this has been about an hour and cost $10 (for replacement shell if this doesn't work).
 

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