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RFID tag detector and RFID-Zapper devices on my new Youtube-Channel

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor

    Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor New Member

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    Hey There Guys.
    You might not know me cause I stayed in the background as of today. Forums are usually not my kinda thing, but I think this is the right place to spread what I want to show people.

    I'm into electrical engineering since my childhood and I'm building up circuits for around 15 years. I've spent the last year building up my new lab and have started recording some of my projects on camera since last summer. Just a few days ago i decided to finally upload some of the videos to Youtube. As of today 10 Videos are online on my new electronics-channel "The_Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor". These videos took many hundrets of hours to make. Its not your average "shaky cam 240p no effort what so ever kinda video style" (if you know what I mean ;P ).
    8 of the 10 videos I uploaded so far are RFID-related projects:

    "Hidden RFID-tags in Your Everyday Life" is a video which I made after discovering a hidden RFID-tag in a sweater that i had just bought. In the video I also explain the principle workings of RFID:



    "The RFID tag detector" is a detector with which you can determin if 13,56 MHz-RFID tags are hidden in Your stuff. The whole project has 4 Videos and goes into a lot of details of how to build the entire device.



    "The RFID Zapper" is a mobile device which is capable of "zapping" (destroying) RFID-tags. 3 Videos deal with it. 2 of the videos are quiet theoretical but explain the idea and the workings of the circuit as well as some basics about boost converters in great detail.



    I hope that you don't think that I use this forum simply to promote my stuff. I really want people to know about RFID and that it has some implications you simply should be aware of. I'm also working on numerous videos at the time and a lot of stuff will come up on my channel soon. Most of it will be about switched mode power supplies, home made wind turbines, repairs, reverse engineering projects, welding machines, but also tutorials to different stuff. But all that stuff has an implicit massage that is more important than myself: "Know your electronics to live in a world of ever growing complexity (and surveillance) , be self sufficient and reuse things that are viewed as garbage by others(which helps save the planet) !"

    So I hope that some of you guys find the time to watch some of the videos and tell me what you thinkg. On Youtube or right here...

    Kind regards and greetings to all the members.

    The_Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor
     
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  2. Inquisitive

    Inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Welcome to ETO. I look forward to the information.
     
  3. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    PAI, welcome to ETO.

    I had a look at your videos and was very impressed by your attention to detail.
    Good information and well presented.

    Having said that, I must pick you up on one minor point.
    There are two similar words in English with very different menaings:
    Principle - the way something works. The principle of operation.
    Principal - the head of a school, college or university.
    This is a common mistake for native English speakers, so don't feel too bad about it.

    JimB
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor

    Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor New Member

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    Hey. Thank you for the kind words. I try to put as much attention to detail as possible. I like the idea that people can follow a thought-process behind a certain design. I guess if you brush over to many details it can happen very fast that people loose you or that too many questions stay unanswered. Thank you by the way for your correction of my misspelling of the word "principle". I knew that I confused the two words and corrected that in one of my videos a few days ago. But as it seems that mistake is still in one of the videos :D. Do you remember where I made that mistake ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  6. Inquisitive

    Inquisitive Super Moderator

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    How about creating a blog on this website?
     
  7. rmn_tech

    rmn_tech Member

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    You have some very nice and informative videos. Thanks for sharing I will certainly view more of them.
     
  8. Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor

    Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor New Member

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    Nice to hear that you like it :). Even if you're not interested in the RFID related stuff that I dealt with in the videos until now, there might be something in for you in the next videos because they will have completely different content. I'm interested in many different fields of electronics and work always on various projects.

    You guys seem to be friendly and polite. I like that. The main reason why I didn't visit forums very often in the past was because I'm was often repelled by the rude behaviour I encountered there. No matter how long I use the internet I never seem to adapt to that.

    So I guess it's sounds like a good idea opening a blog here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
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  9. Mickster

    Mickster Well-Known Member

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    Interesting videos you have there and I look forward to any more you will be making available.
    Thanks.
     
  10. rmn_tech

    rmn_tech Member

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    I look forward to any other posts you might make, I like you am interested in many different fields of electronics. When I first started electronics as a hobby a lot of equipment was still using valves :p After years of working in many fields of electronics we have complete computers on a single chip. How things have changed.
     
  11. Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor

    Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor New Member

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    Yeah when thinking about how fast electronics changed in just a few decades you can get the impression that the knowledge of earlier generations of engineers is useless. But that is of course not true. Just yesterday some guy in another forum ask me why I didn't just "use micrcontrollers" instead of having so many "nasty inductors" in one of my circuits. He understood nothing about the workings of the circuit and had also no idea how a micro would be of any particular use in that circuit. I tried to explain to him that a microcontroller would help nothing in that case. See what I mean is, that he simply assumed that electronics these days needs nothing than just some highly integrated device (maybe even on a prefabricated board)+ some programming and no basic electronics knowledge at all. But I think you should always go for the simpler solution and use only what is necessary. Also you should always try to apply basic electronic theories in every project so that you train your self in the "electronic way of thinking" rather than being just a programmer who uses platforms supplied by others.
    The fundamental laws that determine the behavior of electronic circuits were also formulated around a hundred years ago. That is knowledge that will never be obsolete no matter how much the practical applications will change in appearance. Who really knows something about electronics and who not would be revealed if society would have a disruptive event at some point. Just imagine a massive solar flare would destroy the power grid and most of the computers world wide. If that happened you would need really good people who know their basic electronics. Most of the others would become useless. I don't say, that that will happen, but I think it's an interesting perspective to ask yourself what you would do as an electronics expert...
     
  12. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    An interesting comment.

    I remember a thread here on ETO a few years ago where someone wanted to know if there was "a more modern replacement for an inductor".
    What had put the idea into his head that inductors were old fashioned I do not know.

    Also, there have been one or two who just could not grasp the idea of actually making an inductor by making a few turns of stiff wire around some rod.

    Often it is difficult to explain the idea of "appropriate technology" to someone.
    Just because something is not the latest and greatest all singing and dancing gizmo, does not mean that it is not the ideal solution for your problem.
    An example.
    A few years ago, I was presenting a training course in India, and there was one guy who just could not accept that we used a turbine meter to measure the flow of hydraulic fluid.
    He had it in his head that a magnetic flowmeter was the thing to have.
    Why? I have no idea.

    JimB
     
  13. Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor

    Post_Apocalyptic_Inventor New Member

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    Now that is exactly what I mean. In my opinion these guys simply don't understand basics physics and don't know enough about the different alternatives you almost always have to reach a certain goal. See I encounter this kind of thinking all the time. A friend once asked me how he could build a circuit that could turn on a light bulb in his staircase after sunset. Since this is a pretty simple old school and well known problem, I could immediately draw the basic circuitry on a piece of paper and gave it to him right after he had asked me.
    The circuit consisted of one bipolar transistor, a voltage divider for biasing, a light dependent resistor, a relais and a flyback diode for protection. This is as simple as it's ever going to get. And yet his first comment when he saw the drawing was "Oh man, can't I do this with an IC ?" ....So what more do I have to say? It puzzles me to this day what he was thinking when he said that. Maybe he automatically assumed that a circuit without an ic could simply not work.

    See I'm not reactionary. I use integrated circuits all the time and I do use microcontrollers and prefer the latest mosfet over any bipolar transistor when it comes to switching action. My entire house is lighted by LEDs rather than light bulbs and so on so forth. But I only use them when it is necessary. Simplicity is proportional to reliability ! The more complex a system is, the more it is prone to fail!

    I'm a bit in a rant right now but this thinking drives me nuts. I mean I'm sure you guys owned a lot of devices in your life that stopped working at one time simply because it was complicated and thus not reliable ?!

    One thing I particularly hate are today's flashlights: Back in the days a flashlight was a stack of batteries with a switch and a light bulb. Today's flashlights have maybe a build in lithium battery with an integrated charger circuit, they can flash in 10 different modes and light intensities, maybe even different colors. The also rarely have normal switches but little buttons that are used to set the 20 different modes of operation.
    But see: I need my flashlight for example when the circuit breakers are out. For that the flashlight is stored in a special place so I know where it is when I need it. For that purpose the flashlight should be reliable,with a long life battery and it must be rugged in build.

    So there are some things that have improved over the years: LEDs are much more efficient than light bulbs. That is good. A modern flashlight should have LEDs instead of alight bulb. In theory they are even more shock-resistant. Therefore youl'd need some kind of SMPS that drives the LEDs at constant current and thus constant brightness no matter in which state the battery is. I find that also ok, even if it makes the flashlight more complicated. But please cut all the other stuff: Make batteries replaceable, because the rechargeable battery is going to fail some day. Make the brightness not adjustable and don't build in any "blinking"-modes. Also use a normal rugged switch instead of some puny soft button.
    simply: replaceable battery->converter(driver)->LED.Put that in a rugged enclosure and you have a flashlight that is reliable, long lived, rugged and efficient.

    Do you disagree or do you maybe no even better examples how "to much isn't always more" ? :D
     
  14. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    We can express this in English as "Less is More"

    An example from the past week:
    A few months ago a bought a new "hobby car", a Mazda MX5 to be precise.
    The car is eight years old, and one of the previous owners has replaced the OEM radio with some aftermarket wonder, probably because the new radio has a USB port for an iPod type thing.
    When it comes to in car entertainment, I am a simple soul and just want to listen to a couple of stations, and if they do not have something which interests me, I will switch off and just drive the car.

    Here is the problem, the new radio is incompatible with the radio controls which are built in to the car steering wheel.
    Having eventually found the information which describes the output from the steering wheel and what the radio expects, I was able to make a little converter so that I can use my steering wheel controls. And it works well.

    The controls on the aftermarket radio are an ergonomic nightmare.
    The rotary control is quite thin and difficult for my large fingers to grip.
    If the rotary control is pushed, it takes you off into some setup mode. You get out of the setup mode by pushing on another tiny button.
    All the push buttons for preset stations and other odd functions are tiny and close together.
    How the HELL are you supposed to simply change stations or set the volume UP/DOWN as you drive down the road?
    One really useful (yeah right!) feature of this aftermarket radio is that you can select the colour of the illumination of the frontpanel controls!
    WHAT!
    I need a feature like that like I need a hole in the top of my head!

    So as far as I am concerned KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid

    JimB
     
  15. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    While I'm quite impressed that you made your own converter, I presume you weren't aware that such devices are commonly available for replacement radios, with versions for various makes of cars.

    As a matter of interest, what did you have to do for the converter?.
     
  16. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    I am aware that there are various wiring converters available that can convert from the proprietary connector in the cars wiring loom, to the DIN standard connector on the back of the average aftermarket car radio.
    In the case of a Mazda car to a Pioneer radio, there is a wiring converter, but it just swaps wires around between the different types of plug.
    There may be a box which converts the steering wheel controls, but there was not one fitted in my car, and I did not find one during my googling of the subject.

    The output from the steering wheel controls is a resistance, each control having its own well defined resistance.
    The wired remote facility on the Pioneer radio also tests for an external resistance and acts according to the resistance it sees.
    The range of resistances from the steering wheel do not in anyway match the resistances required by the radio.

    One possibility would be to pull the steering wheel apart and change the resistances.
    Two problems with that, first, the radio has two lines which need to be selected for different functions, where the steering wheel will only switch one line. Second, I did not want to risk a face full of airbag. (Unlikely I know, but...)

    So what I did, I converted the resistance to a voltage by making a potential divider, the steering wheel controls being the lower resistance of the divider.
    I used an LM3914 in "Dot Mode" to sense the various voltages, and used the 3914 outputs to operate 4066 analogue switches to switch the required resistance to the radio.

    Have a look at the pictures to see what it looks like.

    JimB

    Controls Converter 002.jpg Controls Converter 004.jpg Controls Converter 007.jpg
     

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