Amal, Kai, here’s an idea: non-implantable, el-cheapo test implants. Something that would be to bona fide RFID / NFC implants what X Field Detectors are to xLEDs: functional but constructed very cheaply and not sterile. In fact, they wouldn’t even have to be in a tube or anything. a coil and a chip in a piece of duct tape would do just fine.
I’m suggesting this because I’m in talks with yet another smartlock manufacturer, to whom I asked whether they reckoned their ware would work with a tiny glass transponder (not expecting any meaningful answer really…) and who answered, like all the others: send us one of your chips and we’ll test.
Obviously I’m not gonna mail them a real implant. But it would be nice to have inexpensive functional samples to give away.
If they were in the $10 / $15 range, I’d buy a dozen. It’s cheaper to mail a test chip to a manufacturer and know for sure whether their stuff works with implants than buying a device hoping it’d work, then ending up with an expensive paperweight.
I wasn’t really thinking of making separate products. I was more thinking of you asking your supplier to keep the functional rejects (you know, the ones with a bad weld on the tube, bad epoxy fillup, cracked glass, compromised cleanliness… and/or possibly simply divert part of the production before the final installation in the glass tube - i.e. they send you incomplete products that are good enough to stick on a piece of tape to make a tester.
That way 1/ they get to valorize units that would otherwise be trashed and 2/ you could order more chips without breaking the bank and get volume discounts.
That’s if there’s interest for such test chips of course…
Cool, that! I’ll take you up on that.
First though, I need to figure out other things before asking them to put any real effort into this. Chiefly, their lock product looks like it’s designed to integrate into some sort of really expensive access control system, and I’m not sure it can work as a standalone system. No point in sending them anything if I know it won’t work for me in the first place.
Also, I’m cajoling the heck out of them, because I can tell they don’t give two shits about having silly ole me with too many questions as a customer. They clearly aim at large installations, they want to sell complete solutions, and I have the distinct feeling I’m wasting their precious time.
If all my other questions check out, I’ll bring you into the loop.
hah well, the only rejects we get really are non-functional rejects… stuff gets put carefully into the glass with resin in a tested and working state, then sealed… sometimes the process of putting things into the resin or heat from sealing kills the flip-chip attachment to the carrier board and we end up with a dead tube… but that’s really the only failures… the laser is computer controlled as is the resin deposit… it’s basically automated.
As for the diversion of the finished antenna + chip… its super sensitive and doesn’t transport or ship well… basically there is a workstation that these are finished on and they go right into glass from that point… minimal travel. To handle them any other way would basically mean creating a product and doing a line production run of them to ensure proper handling, packaging, etc… it’s just a lot of effort that it’s much easier and less costly for us to just send samples directly to lock companies or whatever.
Right okay. It goes to show how much I know about the whole process
Maybe ordering shite glass implants of similar size on Aliexpress is the way to go. I mean at the end of the day, it’s just about checking that this-or-that product wakes up and works with a certain kind of implant. It doesn’t have to be the exact same one.
I’ll see if I can score a bunch of M1ks, NTAG21x and EM4xxx on the cheap. Those 3 kinds should cover 95% of the products I’m interested in purchasing.
1/ In the xLED, is the circuit a tuned tank at all - meaning coil and capacitor? You can get away with just the coil to light up a LED, so maybe you didn’t bother with the capacitor.
2/ If there’s a cap, is there any chance of changing the value at the last minute for just one implant at that workstation, to detune the tank? If it’s a guy grabbing the components in a tray and soldering them by hand, he could grab a cap from another tray at no extra cost. If it’s an automated machine, it’d cost a bundle in retooling and ordering a huge batch to make it worth it.
What I’m wondering is if it might be possible to order xLEDs tuned to different carrier frequencies, so that it might be possible to implant several of them in close quarters and light them up separately. I very much doubt it, but I figured I’d ask.
There’s no cap in there. The LED acts as the capacitor. You’d either have to have implants with different coils, different LEDs, or add caps in series. There are issues with doing that though, because the ESR of the cap and it’s effect on impedance lowers the brightness of the LED.
I imagine your use case is to have different LED implants that all turn on in response to different phone notifications or external stimuli?
No phone involved. I was thinking of either 7 xLEDs arranged in a very large 7-segment display pattern (unlikely, they’d be too close, and one or more of them is bound to shift and mess up the display) or 4 to 8 implants in line (vertical, parallel to each other, 5 mm apart) to flash a 4 to 8 bit code. Each lights up at a different frequency, and a coil nearby sends the right signal to light up one or more LED.
It’s just an idea. I’m 99.9% sure it’s not doable and it won’t happen, but there’s no harm in musing aloud