It just came in the mail today. And I was a little dissappointed initially when I first weighed the plastic box in my hand and it reminded me of some cheap Asian-made plastic toy. Anyway a closer inspection. After taking it apart and reassembling it left me very impressed and yes it is worth $30. But I won't pay more for it. In fact, the dealer will make you pay MORE to laser cut it to your car's VIN# specifics
. That is if they agree to cut it (I will find out tommorrow-The rumor is some dealers don't touch aftermarket products)!
Anyway My reason for getting it was to see if I can incorporate my current Prestige Brand Keyless Alarm 4 button(Open, Lock, RemoteStart & Options) FOB onto the Flip FOB. The Flip FOB was suprisingy easy to pull apart. I took both items apart and inside of both the Real Prestige Alarm FOB and the fake Ebay E36 Flip FOB are pretty much similar. I only posted pictures of the E36 Flip FOB. Inside both FOBs are flat green circuit chips. In my real Alarm FOB there is a tiny AAA battery that powers it and four specific areas where the four external buttons touch when you press them. In the FLIP fob, as you can see, there is that same circuit chip with the red bulb at the end and a tiny button soldered onto one side the chip that activates the light when the external "LOCK" button is pressed. At the distant end of the Flip FOB chip is a "watch" battery that powers the light. All external dummy buttons are actually real buttons that when pushed would touch specific areas on a chip if these areas were placed in the FOB. Therefore you can most likely easily incorporate a 3 button FOB chip (Open, Lock and Panic buttons) into this Ebay Flip FOB. You would need to consider the shape and size of the chip you are transplanting naturally to get it to fit. (Also a transplant would most likely disable or make you have to remove the red light that originally comes in the Ebay E36 Flip FOB.)
If you are able to do both this transplant then and you get the dealer to successfully laser cut the key stem then you would get a great deal. Even if you dont have an alarm FOB that you could transplant just the Flip Key alone when cut would be cool.
As you can see in the pictures my Prestige Alarm FOB is wider than the EBAY Flip FOB so I can't do a DIY transplant and I'm not sure if it could be professionally done. And if so, would the costs be worth it.
Also another cool thing about this is the steel key stem portion can separate from the FOB via the base of the key that screws into the flip part (see pictures). So you could always recut another key body (say for another car or if you broke the current key stem) and solder it to the base that screws on to the flip part of the device. This will also be good so for me when I go to the Dealership tomorrow. I will only take the un-cut key stem and not have to show them the flip FOB. I'm hoping they would charge me less.
BOTTOM LINE: Although I had reservations at first about the build quality of this device after a few hours of taking it apart and going thru it
I realized it is a tough little FOB that is also versatile. You can just about do anything with it and come out happy. Hopefully the cost for cutting the key at the dealers wont be too much. For $30 as is this item is a steal and the next MUST HAVE for E36 modders who drive to impress!!!! Recommended!!!!