What is the best/surest way to ensure that your fob is far enough away so that the car is not constantly pinging it?
However far you end up keeping it, store your key in a metal box. That should create a Faraday cage around your fob and isolate it from outside signals.
A candy tin like "Altoids" would do it.
@Amped I can see Tesla coming out with a cushioned fob box for $150.00 which Tesla Accessories will knock off for just $125.00, but they'll have it 6 months sooner.
@SunCoulombs; figured that...just wanted to check. Thanks for the confirmation
I'll sell you an altoid container with the Tesla log for just fify bucks. Immediate delivery, no need to wait 6 months. ;)
Back to the original question, I believe the FOB sends a signal to the car periodically - perhaps once every second. I do not believe the car transmits to the FOB.
I know a few others have stated it also receives, but I don't see any functional reason to do this, and a lot of reasons to avoid it (i.e. shortened FOB battery life, added complexity, non-standard chips, higher cost, antenna complexity, etc.).
Then again, I could be totally wrong - I'm only looking at it from an outside engineering perspective. It would be great if a Tesla engineer could drop in on this one and clarify/confirm exactly how it works!
Most cars that use transponder keys have two-way communication. The car sends out a signal to the effect of "Is my key there?" and if your key receives it, it responds "Yes I am." This occurs repeatedly the entire time the key is in or around the car, but since the key doesn't need to respond unless it receives a signal from the car, and listening uses less power than transmitting, it reduces the power consumption of the key.
For this reason, manufacturers usually instruct you not to store you key on around the car so it's not constantly transmitting. That said, this range is usually limited to the few feet around the vehicle. If Tesla is using something more powerful, such that you need a special box I'd be surprised, but I suppose it's possible.
If you have the tech package, with no specific knowledge, I'd say not to store the key anywhere close enough where the car senses you and extends the door handles.
Yes, the car polls for the FOB when the auto-present handles feature is enabled. After 24 hours, the car stops polling to save battery. The range is 3 feet, according to the manual.
In practice the range seems to be a lot more, though. This is something that Tesla should fix, because of security reasons and to save the FOB battery. (Volkerize the other threads related to this.)
We have a decorative Christmas cookie tin on the shelf inside the foyer door where we have always put our keys. The steel tin provides enough shielding to protect the Tesla FOB from being pinged. We carry in the car an old steel Bandaid tin so if we stop in a rest area for a nap, we can disable the FOB by placing it in, and closing the tin. That way the Tesla doesn't know the FOB is in the car and the doors are automatically locked.
I have a question. I once came home with my Volt key in my pocket. My wife immediately got in the car and drove off. Then I realized I still had the key. She didn't answer her cell so I call my Volt advisor and she said as long as she doesn't turn the car off she is ok. She my question is what does the Tesla do in they situation? My Model S in on order.
Mrrjm: same thing.
Alternative: thermal bag, has at least 2 foil layers, easy to hang on a hook.