RFID sniffer

RFID sniffer

About this project

RFID is everywhere. Use the easy to build RFID sniffer to find out if objects are tagged.
The RFID sniffer is a simple analog electronic circuit which can detect the presence of 13.56 MHz RFID tags. These tags are commonly used in all kinds of plastic cards like access badges, bank cards, library cards, loyalty cards and so on. Also many other objects may carry RFID tags without you knowing it. Books, toys, and even clothing might be tagged. Carrying tagged objects with you can reveal your identity or whereabouts to anyone equipped with the appropiate tools to read RFID tags.
The RFID sniffer helps you identify which objects are tagged, and which are not.


RFID snifferPosted by marc 2007-11-03 04:02
I entered my revised schematic into the freeware Eagle layout editor. I had the bright idea to put the whole circuit, including loop antenna and battery, on a circuit board the size of a standard ISO 7810 card. This way, the RFID sniffer has exactly the same size as the cards to sniff...

RFID sniffer schematic
The circuit is powered by a 3V lithium coin cell. These are small and flat enough to be included on the card. I also added a small push button switch, so the circuit is only powered while the switch is pressed. This will guarantee long battery life, since it can't be left powered on by accident.

The first design of the single-sided layout fits nicely in a corner of the card, leaving enough room for a square loop antenna and the battery. Since the layout is single sided, the circuit board can easily be fabricated on the kitchen table, or even silk screened with conductive ink! All parts are surface mounted, so there are no holes to drill. The underside is totally flat and free of electrical circuits.

RFID sniffer layout
Total parts cost (excluding board, including battery) is about 5 euros.

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