NFC reader in an old ThinkPad palmrest

Inspired by the wonderful work of @StarGate01, I decided to undertake a similar project, and install a reader into my ThinkPad X230, in place of the pc card slot. Mine was much less invasive, though the fit is a bit less than optimal.

All I used was:

…and some basic tools; a soldering kit, a bit of electrical tape.

The materials, before hacking away at them:

Stripped the case off the reader

the USB head is a lil’ clunky… poor guy :frowning:

Ditched this thing. Have literally never used it.

This is about where it will end up

Stripped some bulk; much better

I shaved away a piece of this metal frame, but ended up not needing to.

However, the casing on the speakers is a bit large; I took a chunk out of the plastic—it miiight impact acoustics, but the speakers are garbage anyway…

Rough positioning… I actually ended up flipping it over from here.

So it reads! But there’s an issue… it disconnected whenever I put it all together!

It seems to be getting some sort of interference from the rest of the computer. That won’t do…

Miana suggested a ferrite sheet to shield it (thank you~).

I didn’t get a pic of it placed, but I just slapped one of these bad boys on the board, right under where the coil is on the reader.

…and it all came together!


  • There’s no switch to turn it off like StarGate’s design. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite me later.
  • The fit’s a liiiitle tight. The corner of the palmrest bulges slightly. Incidentally, this laptop had the corner chipped and one of the clips compromised; I’m unsure whether it would work on an intact machine.

All in all, a little hacky—but that’s what we do here, isn’t it? :wink: I’m quite pleased with it; I bought some spares to mess with similar configurations on some other hardware I use… Will follow up if I end up with it anywhere else.

Thanks for reading!~


I’ve always wanted to do this to my laptop but it’s aluminum and I suspect there wouldn’t be enough room.

Also, how do you think a WaveID Nano would perform in place of the ACR122U for this mod?

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I’ve wondered about these, but I’ve never used one! I had this spare 122U lying around after picking up some 1252Us; I went with what I had and didn’t spend too much time comparing other options for this purpose.

Awesome project! Glad my instructions were of help :slight_smile: I am still looking for a way to integrate a reader into my current Yoga X1 Gen3 . Even though that one has native NFC hardware, I cant use that due to drivers and bad performance. Space is tight, maybe a large coil behind the screen? We shall see.


You are a clever wee fucker, so I’m sure you can sort that out.

@Hamspiced is also a clever fucker.
Grab yourself one of his repeaters, slap it on/over the reader, and just like that.
Problem Solved

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