Success! PN532 is not easy to work with!

Well that’s a bunch of BS. lol.

I don’t think my android dev environment is still working but I found this… might be interesting…

Though I guess this is all moot with an xNT install…

Thanks for the info as always!

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Well the PN532 antenna is certainly not optimal for x series tags. I think I read that here somewhere… I probably have some swelling but even mounted flat against the cover, it will not read through the plastic cover of the project box. Well it read like twice but I looked like someone dancing at an EDM concert trying all different orientations. And it was not repeatable. It does read if I basically put it right on the PCB.

Time to brush up on antenna design… lol.

Any pointers on antenna types that work best with these tags?

Cylindrical antennas work best, but they are bulky as hell. They also only really work well if you can place the length of the x-series tag parallel to the reader’s cylindrical antenna.

That said, I just got a reader that uses a printed PCB antenna and it gets decent range with the xNT… about 15mm off the PCB antenna… but they did some funky stuff to make that happen… the antenna PCB is hollow (almost no material) and floats in free space off the side of the logic board.

I once did a layout for a company that used a 12 layer PCB as an inductive loop to measure current. That was a fun layout…
Two of the layers…

It would be interesting (though expensive) to see if something similar could be done as a tuned antenna…and if it would improve performance to give it a little more depth to the antenna…

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Aside from having good read range how’s the readers preformance and software compatibly?

So of the three PN532 boards I bought, two were from amazon, one was from ebay, but it was dropshipped from amazon.

I noticed in another thread that there was a difference in the silkscreen between the one DT sells and the ones I bought from amazon/ebay. The amazon/ebay ones were significantly cheaper than the DT one…and now I know why…

They appear to be fake.

The one DT sells has a significantly better range reading an implanted xNT than the amazon ones. The amazon one (all three amazon boards I bought), I basically have to have optimum orientation and touch my skin to the PCB for it to read. The DT one gets > 1cm read distance with my implant. Using the xLED, the DT one seems to put out a little more power.

The DT one:

The Amazon one:

The amazon one had an amber power LED, the DT one has a red one.

I see some minor differences in the PCB layout that tells me it’s not from the same file… but I think the biggest “issue” is these chips are not real NXP chips. The logo isn’t quite right on the amazon version.

Looking forward to swapping out the fake PN532 in my punchclock for the DT board so I can finally use my implant for something other than grossing my friends out. haha.


Yep… worked pretty hard to find a legit source :slight_smile:

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My 2 star review on amazon caused the seller HiLetgo to send me this:

I realized you said the this RFID Module is knockoff and have significantly less range than real ones. Yes, it's exactly same as you said, this product was made in China with cheap cost, that's why the price of it can be so low, but generally it can meet some simple demands like reading large format tags etc as you said. Anyway, they works, so if they are useful at your side, we would like to refund you $5 for each, total $10 for two as the compensation for the inconvenience on this issue. Or would you like a full refund with a return to Amazon, we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused for you, and please kindly let me know which one you like? So we can resolve your problem as soon as possible.

I’m impressed they even cared nevermind admitted they are fakes.

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hah wow! the only other time i’ve seen this is when i called a vendor in new york about his shitty service and absolute refusal to work with customers… i asked “why does every person i buy from in new york hate customers?” and he said “because this city is like a boat overloaded with rats… if you don’t buy the guy behind you will pay double just to get you out of his way” and i was like “holy shit”.


As a former NYer, I completely agree and is one of the reasons I left. NEVER buy from any company located in Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan. Most of them are scammers anyway. The majority of people there are just awful narcissistic self entitled a-holes than care more about the tissues they blow their nose with than another human being. No offense if anyone here is from NY… lol.

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Hah well good to have some confirmation! :slight_smile:

Can you post the .ino, .cpp and .h files you used to get this to work? Thank you.

I’m working with the PN532 board now. It can be pretty difficult to get working. Here are the GitHub pages for the three libraries you need:

elechouse PN532 library:

NDEF library:

For the elechouse library, it actually comes with 6 distinct libraries. I only used “PN532” and “PN532_I2C”. The NDEF library included with the elechouse package is necessary, but wasn’t working for me. I went to get the more up-to-date version from that second link.

To get started, I recommend you check out the example sketch “iso14443a_uid.ino”. I’ll attach it to this post so there’s no confusion.

Another note I learned at great cost while troubleshooting this thing. EVERY TIME you load a new sketch, cycle power to the PN532 module and THEN open the serial monitor. You really only need to do this while you’re rapid-fire loading sketches to troubleshoot, but it can be endlessly frustrating if you don’t realize it and you’re just sitting around waiting for a soft-bricked module to do the thing. (1.5 KB)

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I use PN532 for most my projects, and the elechouse library (with some modifications for low power mode).
Here’s one version that I use to start the snowmobile with.

What is the reading range of PN532 reader?

Heavily dependant on the tag antenna. You might get 7cm read range with a flex tag in open air, but have to physically come into contact with the board when trying to read an xNT in the glass capsule. Objects in the vicinity can also attenuate some of the field and reduce read range.

With a real PN532 from DT (not a knockoff) I get a range of about 1cm from the board with a xNT.

it is possible to improve the antenna for greater reading distance, or that could be improved in the PN532 for a longer reading distance

The FlexNT has better range than the xNT because it’s bigger and has a bigger antenna as compared to the tiny glass tube. It’s purely physics. The smaller it is, the worse the range, the bigger it is, the better the range. That’s not the only variable though. Design of the reader antenna does play a role.

In practice, more than a 1-1.5 cm with an xNT has been a challenge.

I hate to be the guy to revive a dead thread, but I purchased the exact model off amazon that @turbo2ltr did (I saw his review when I went back about a week later)

The DT version of the PN532 board is sold out, does anyone have an alternate source to buy a reliable antenna, or should I just get that bulky Adafruit breakout board? I’d prefer not to if I can, as I’m using an arduino nano for this project and trying to keep it small.

EDIT: Saw an electohouse logo on the homepage banner’s PN532. The website has the V3’s sold out, but they have a PN532 V4 for sale, that might be what I’m looking for?