Battery-powered tabletop WiFi NFC reader - Easy hack

So, I had those five things lying around:

  • A Vaporesso EnergyStash ES-PC 002 USB powerbank with removable 18650 batteries. I only use powerbanks with removable batteries, so I can pop fresh ones in it and keep going without waiting forever for the thing to charge.
  • A Digital Logic µFR Nano Online NFC reader: fabulous little reader, this. Great performances with implants - even glassies - and a million and one ways to use it. I can’t say enough good things about this little guy.
  • A short micro-USB cable I didn’t mind butchering a bit
  • Double sided tape
  • Electrical tape

I tacked the µFR Nano Online onto the EnergyStash, removed the cable’s plugs’ rubber coating with an X-acto knife to make them shorter, and taped the hell out of everything to make it look somewhat like a single unit. The result is this:

With a fresh set of 2500 mA 18650 batteries, the reader stays on between 18 and 24 hours. When it goes off, I install a charged set of batteries in it. Five seconds, and it’s good to go for another 24 hours.

Best 30 minutes of work I’ve spent in a while.


Nice title project.
Did you consider putting in an On/Off switch?

No need: it turns off if I plug the other end of the powerbank to charge the cells. Otherwise I simply eject the cells.

Ah, I didn’t realise, That is a good solution :+1:

I’ve yet to find a powerbank with which that didn’t happen. None if mine charge up and power whatever is plugged onto the 5V output at the same time. Maybe the manufacturers didn’t bother because the batteries are replaceable: they’re really normally sold as 18650 cell chargers with an optional USB power out socket.

I have 2 of them.
1 is a combination QI charger also with a 2.1A and a 1A USB , So I can Wirelessly charge, plus plugin and charge 2 other devices AND it will do all that whilst plugged in and charging.
[Nobrand, and I have had it for a very long time]

My other one is a “smart” charger designed for travel ( also has separation alarm and locate over bluetooth)

“You can charge the Joey unit and also has dual charge mode to charge your smartphone at the same time.
From the companion app you can also set charge timers to determine how long you’d like to charge individual devices.”

The Joey unit is interesting. I assume the screenshots are from a companion cellphone app? And being a “smart” device, I suppose it needs access to all the features on your cellphone, it needs to be connected to the internet and it wants you to setup an account? :slight_smile:

I bought all my powerbanks-cum-chargers because, being a vaper, I’m always hunting for 18650s with juice in them - particularly when I travel. But they’re from vaping supplies companies, made in China, and somewhat rough on the edges and feature-poor if I’m honest. Their only claim to fame is the replaceable batteries thing.


Probably, I just clicked yes to permissions

Nope, just Bluetooth IF you want to locate the charger ( or use the charger to locate your phone )

Nope, except your Google or apple account to get the app!

Although the .apk may be available somewhere else

Also has this function which i haven’t seen in another power bank.

“Virus and Data Protection in Dual Charge mode – use the Joey unit as a protection firewall when you charge your phone from public outlets.”

SORRY, Derailing your project here a little

Hmm… A non-privacy-invading app? That would be a rare bird indeed.

1 Like

Appears to only be location (optional)


I changed you category from “support” to “project”

Thanks! I always forget to set that properly.