Welcome to my blog of some of my projects. I hope they help inspire you to create something yourself.

A lesson learned

When I first made the NFC-WiFi Boards I made roughly 2 dozen, got the code working, tested it everything was peachy. I had people all over the world buy them and so soon was running low, decided I'd make a new batch this time with 50. So I ordered all the parts to make 50 more which was rather expensive in both money and time, but got all the boards in and assembled. I tested each board, but in a slightly less extensive test given I've already proven the code works in the first batch. Well here in lays the issue.

As you can see in this picture


Here are two PN532 nfc readers both assembled, the only visible difference is a slight different shade of red and the switch to select SPI/I2C/etc is slightly different otherwise they look the same. The problem is they aren't the exact same. The darker board is actually a poor clone of the lighter one. It "works" but only in some cases, those cases being it reads 4 Byte NFC tags fine, but unlike the real board it can not read 7 Byte NFC tags. The boards all(real and clone) ship with a pair of 4 Byte NFC tags, I used those tags when I assembled the 50 boards to test that the reader was working correctly(I test the reader/led/wifi on all boards before selling them) and they all worked fine. But the only 7 Byte tag I have is the one in my xNT implant in my hand, I mistakenly though that if it could read one tag it could read any. I was informed by a buyer that he tried to read his implant and was having no luck, only then did I try that for myself, knowing without a doubt it worked with that first batch. But I too found I couldn't read my xNT. After a few hours of looking at code it dawned on me it could be hardware related and tried a reader I had left over from the first batch, worked perfectly with the same code to read my xNT. So turns out the 50 boards I built all had readers that while could read MiFare Classic chips, could not read ultralight or any 7byte standard.

The Fix:

So this part is the not so easy part, there's no "easy fix" in order to fix the remaining boards I have(roughly 30) and to fix anyone who's bought one and needs the 7Byte reading capability i will need to desolder the NFC board(which is also hotglued on add structural support) and replace it with a genuine board. The biggest issue with all this is all the boards are from china and shipping takes time so while I've ordered more boards from the same supplier as the first batch I bought with the hopes the PN532's I get are real(which ill be checking from now on before assembling) It will be several weeks before they are in hand.

If you bought a board from me and are running into the issue of it not reading your implant(7byte NFC chip) please shoot me a message and i'll add you to a list of folks who need replacement boards once I get parts in. I don't think this is an issue for any of you who bought in on the first batch I did so if you have one of these boards and aren't having issues then you're good to go. I do apologize for not checking out this second batch more, it never dawned on me that I could have "bad" boards that work for some NFC chips but not all.

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