This workshop looks like it will be a really interesting combination of electronics and activism, soldering and information privacy. Build your own rfid sniffer from Marc Boon’s kit. If you’re in or around Amsterdam, I hope you can attend one of the two additional workshops they’ve scheduled since the first one has filled up, April 10 and May 22. The parts all look surface-mount, but are spaced relatively widely leaving room for new solderers’ wiggly tips. Somehow this tidy circuit looks so… European.

RFID Sniffer Workshop

April 10 and May 22


Vijzelstraat 68 1017 HL Amsterdam

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • Kent KB

    I hope we in the West may get a chance to build this kit.

  • badmacktuck

    this would be a lot of fun to do. wish i lived closer.

  • Michael C

    The schematic for this device is here:


    There’s an explanation of the circuit here:


  • MichaelP

    I bought one of these kits directly (http://shop.marcboon.com/) and built it at home. It doesn’t take long, and it works really well! I needed to file the battery hole a little to make it fit, but that was all.

    The kit contains all the parts you need for an entertaining evening of soldering and then hunting for rfid tags. 15 euros very well spent!

  • Matt

    That is the cutest circuit board I can remember ever seeing!

  • dutchfreak

    :D finaly some thing close to home.

    “Somehow this tidy circuit looks so… European.”
    what you mean “so… European.” lol

    • Becky Stern

      Hah, I mean it’s so clean and neat and organized!

  • KentKB

    My US passport has a chip in it!

    Trying the sniffer on touchatags I found it will not read RFID tags that have not been written to,that is nice for the many tags I have been playing with, I do not have to fire up the computer to separate the tags.

    This was my first SMD soldering job, damn those guys are small.
    Very nice kit, the instructions were clear, and easy to follow, I am already thinking about hacking a buzzer into it too.

    So now I am running around my house sniffin’ for the chips!
    Photos here


  • Lance H.

    I ordered one of these units fully assembled from Marc’s site for 40 euro to find the various RFIDs that might be lurking about my home. I soon found that this unit is completely incapable at doing that. Its not sniffing RFID at all but ANYTHING that can conduct!! Lay your finger on it the RFID detection light illuminates. Touch it to any metal surface and the RFID detection light illuminates. Touch it to a functioning RFID tag and the RFID detection light illuminates! Touch it to a DISABLED RFID tag and the RFID detection tag illuminates! My second gripe with the unit was the fact that in order to work it has to be in direct contact with a conductor. Good luck detecting any RFID (metal) that you cannot directly touch with this unit. Besides if you could directly touch the RFID tag with this unit why would you need this unit to sniff for an RFID?? If you were touching the tag you would know it was there with or without this unit. Bottom line: unless you want a tiny metal detector that only works in direct contact then dont waste your money. If you want a fun experiment or kit with soldering there are much better, more informative learning kits available than this wortheless so called RFID sniffer!! You’ve been warned!