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Based on this recent work from Londonite Dhani Sutanto, Becky over at Adafruit just posted this cool tutorial on how to install the antenna and chip from an RFID passcard, such as the MBTA’s CharlieCard transit pass, inside your iPhone. The process is quite simple: just dissolve away the card plastic in acetone, extract the antenna and chip, and install under the iPhone backplate. Depending on what kind of backplate you use, you may also have to insulate with paper and/or tape.

How-To Embed a RFID Transit Card in your iPhone

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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  • Ricardo

    Are you sure this work? I try the same by placing my RFID card between the phone and the case and it didn’t work. I suspect GSM interference. If the car was 3-4cm way from the phone it worked.

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  • Kyle Hotchkiss

    I’d love to see this with a SmarTrip (for DC). Anybody have luck with this?

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  • http://noneatthemoment Steve

    i did something similar in my S3, & it even works with my duo case (i has a rubber outter jacket)

    then i went 1 step further & actually took a lead off of a wifi laptop card, & soldered it onto the 1 end of the RFID antenna/ tied it in (the end still goes to the RFID chip, but then there is a off shoot for the wifi card lead) i then plugged this into the S3,

    this actually increased the RFID range to about 1ft, as well as increased my wifi on my phone by 2 bars in the back of my yard (prior to the mod i only got 1 bar on wifi in the back of my yard)

    ill try to get pics of the later mods

  • Graham Ignacio Cangrejo del Mar

    I tried this with my chicago card and bricked it. The little chit came loose from the antennas, which are embedded in an inner plastic card type thing. I can post a picture if anyone’s interested.

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