NFC Antennas Have Other Uses


As NFC chips proliferate, so do the antennas they require for operation, and since many NFC-enabled items are single-use, this means there’s an opportunity to put them to other uses. It’s an avenue pursued by [Brother-live], as he strips the antennas from spent metro tickets and gets experimenting.

The antenna in an NFC-enabled card is a flexible PCB laminated between the plastic outer layers, with the tracks forming a coil round the outside of it. Using some solvent the cards can be easily separated and the antennas retrieved. Once the chip has been removed they can be cleaned up and soldered to, allowing wires to be connected.

What can you do with an NFC antenna? Not a huge amount as you can see in the (Russian language, English subtitles) video below the break, but he tries it as a not-very-good heating pad, a power harvesting antenna from NFC readers, and perhaps most promisingly, as the coil of a moving-coil speaker. We’re not sure how much effort would be worth making on that last front, but we think with a bit of care there might be room for audible improvement.

If you’ve ever been tempted to have a look at an NFC card, it’s a subject we’ve covered before.