Adventures in RF 1

So I was looking for a better way to have my RF id with me at work than the lanyard they gave me to wear.

Sure you can wear it around your neck, clip it or pin it to your shirt, and if you were really nice to the security guy he’d give you a retractable belt clip.  But, I was looking for something cooler or less in your face.  So far I’d kept it in my wallet and just used my wallet to swipe at the doors, printers, and elevators.  One nifty trick I’d come up with a while back was to slip your ID in between your phone and its case.  If the ID was too thick, some of the older ones could be peeled apart and the antenna with chip attached could be slotted in.

The problem I have here, is that I no longer use a case on my phone.  I’ve become so used to looking after it on autopilot that I no longer fear scratches or dropping.  Instead of going back to my goofy lanyard or clip on ID, I’ve decided to go for something else.  One of the guys at work got a “Loot Crate” which had a little black watch in it.  Doesn’t do much, looks like a black rubber watch for the most part.  Give it a push and it lights up in that old red multisegment display we know and love.

So here’s what I’ve done.  Since getting a new chip/card programmed into the database means a lot of research and sweet talking of security, I can’t be bothered with that right now.  Instead, I used one that already works and was programmed.  Separate the card like you would if it was too thick for your phone case, and you’ll see the antenna and chip in a nice little loop.  Now the wires are hair thin, so you have to be EXTREMELY careful not to break it.  Normally you’d carefully select a solvent to dissolve the glue holding it to the card and separate the juicy bits.  I’m a little more gun-ho, so I just threw it in a jar of petrol and it worked out.

Lucky me, there’s a little space between the watch cover and the electronics.  So gently folding the antenna loop over, I was able to halve the size and slot it into the watch.  Now this does mean the antenna isn’t as good as it once was, but it’s not noticeable if you have decent readers.  I got lucky here too and the thing works fine.  Success!

RF Watch

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