Implanting the RFID chip from a public transit fare card

edited August 2015 in RFID/NFC
I'm interested in taking the RFID chip out of a transit fare card(e.g. Vancouver's Compass card or London's Oyster card) and implanting it in my hand. I don't think the RFID chips that they use are made for implants. Can I coat the chip in implant grade silicon? 


  • Someone was trying to do that a while back, I don't know how far they got with it. Basically the cards are annoying and it's better to clone them.
  • Still fighting to boil mine down with acetone. Going to give it a third bath. That plastic is tough @[email protected]

    I was hoping to encapsulate it in a glass tube, like other nfc/rfid chipset implants on the market right now.  
  • Are you just heating the acetone or doing it under pressure?
  • ElectricFeel, what do you mean by cloning them? Forgive me, I'm new.
  • Not heating, just submerging and letting time do it's thing. It's like a passive background-project for now.

    Personally I'd avoid cloning, but I'm a goodie-two-shoe and I also would like to avoid pissing off my local transit authority :) with a number of RFID cards, you can clone the data onto another chip with the same frequency. Think of it like human cloning (except... cloning the human onto an already-there skeleton? That happens to be the same? Ok maybe the metaphor doesn't quite work...) You copy over all the data and identification information from the 'real' transit card onto the new 'faked' one. It should act exactly the same as if you were working with the real transit card, but comes in an already implantable form factor so there's no need to pry the original chip/antenna system free. Your mileage with your local authority system will vary. 
  • Thanks BirdMachine. Cloning is exactly what it sounds like. I'll be interested to know how your acetone soak works.
  • If you heat the acetone and spray it onto the card you could melt through it much faster. Take some screen door mesh and sandwich the card, then spin it slowly in a heated vat of acetone. Would probably get results.
  • edited August 2015
    Say I manage to get the chip out of the card. Is it possible to coat it in something that's safe for implanting? Glass or silicone?
  • yeah definitely, but the chip is about the size of a microSD, and the wire loop is pretty large. It's completely feasible though.
  • Totally feasible, but not necessarily easy. As I recall, someone in eastern Europe managed it recently with their local transport card.

    I tried to implant an Oyster chip as a wee nipper back in 2008 ( Extracted many chips, but I never managed to get my hands on the medical silicone I needed to implant one. 

    Unfortunately Transport for London got wind of the trick and changed the chemistry of the inner to something that doesn't melt apart in acetone. Not sure what it is, some kind of silicone, bubbled and hardens when you heat it. 
    The only way to get the chip out as far as I know is with a scalpel after softening the card in acetone/water:
    It's a total pain in the ass to do, and the cards now cost £10 a time so expensive to get wrong. 

    I've been told that the newest Oyster cards don't have a wire antenna at all, just a gold/copper painted circuit. Theoretically you could attach a new antenna to the chip, but I could never make that work despite several attempts (hard to know if you've fried the chip trying to solder the antenna on...) So it all depends on how the card you choose to work on is made.

    I would have tried the project again - but Oyster cards are being phased out, so hardly seems worthwhile!  
  • PS - cloning a card onto an implantable chip is the other route. It's possible, but I doubt it's easier than the cut and stitch job:

  • Hi Frank, I've already watched both of your videos and they have helped me a lot. I believe my fare card is made out of layers that will come apart in acetone. It's soaking right now so I'll post an update in a week.

    As for coating the chip I'll have to do more research. @chironex is working on something that could work. There are also some options on the wiki that I'll look into.
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