OpenPCD - A 100% Free 13.56MHz RFID reader design

Finally, after a lot of delays, I am happy to announce - not yet the public release of the schematics, PCB layouts, and firmware source code - but at least a homeapge and photograph of OpenPCD, the completely free 13.56MHz RFID reader design. You can use it to talk to ISO 14443 A+B, ISO 15693 and related 13.56MHz transponders. We're still busy cleaning up the code and fixing the bugs in the schematics, but expect them to be released within this week.

This reader design is particularly interesting in everyone interested in RFID protocols and security, because of its many interfaces. You can modulate arbitrary waveforms onto the 13.56MHz carrier by bypassing the RC632 modulator/encoder and using the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) or SSC (Synchronous Serial Controller) of the AT91SAM7 micro-controller. On the RX side, you can also bypass the RC632 decoder and use the SSC to sample arbitrary data, provided it is on a ISO-ocnformant sub-carrier frequency.

Many of the internal signals can be routed to U.FL connectors on the PCB, e.g. if you want to look at certain intermediate signals on an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer or even sample it with some high-speed ADC like the USRP SDR.

So far we have only produced some five readers of this latest design. But for those of you not interested in re-building it from scratch, we will obviously be offering the ready-built reader in a web store soon.

Meanwhile, the team is constantly working on producing the counterpart, a 100% Free and Open RFID transponder simulator for 13.56MHz. Progress is steady [but slow]. Expect some more exciting news soon ;)