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.

PCB etching

RFID snifferPosted by marc 2007-11-10 13:23
I fabricated a few printed circuit boards using the photographic method. I sent my layout in pdf format to a printer, and had it transfered to film with a photoplotter. This gives a mask with high contrast and resolution. You could also try to use a laser printer to print on transparency sheets, such as used by overhead projectors, but the resolution and contrast of these prints are not as good.
Then I used a UV light box to expose a piece of photosensitive printed circuit board with the mask. The board is composed of a fiberglass-reinforced epoxy base (FR-4) with a thin layer of copper on top, coated with a photoresist which, when exposed to UV light for a few minutes, will dissolve in a solution of caustic soda.
The opaque black pattern of the layout masks the photoresist in the places where the copper should remain. The exposed part of the photoresist is dissolved, and will expose the bare copper surface. The board is rinsed with water, and then placed in a solution of ferric chloride. This will etch away the exposed copper, but the pattern covered with the unexposed photoresist is protected from the etching liquid and remains untouched.

RFID sniffer etching
When all copper is etched away, the remaining photoresist is removed with acetone. The result is a well-defined pattern of copper, forming the traces and pads of the electronic circuit, including the loop antenna.

RFID sniffer board

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