Unable to read xEM implant, looking for suggestions


Preface: I am pretty new to all this, so apologies if I missing something simple.

I got the xEM installed. I also got the PN532 read/writer (from dangerous things, so not a clone). Using an arduino uno R3, I hooked up the pn532 board and uploaded some sample code from https://github.com/elechouse/PN532/blob/PN532_HSU/PN532/examples/iso14443a_uid/iso14443a_uid.pde and was able to read the card and fob (in both SPI and I2C modes) that came with the PN532. However I cannot seem to read the xEM chip in my hand.

I also tried reading using the Dangerous Things Support Tool and the NFC Tools (by wakdev) apps from google play, but did not get anything.

Few random notes/things-i-dont-understand :slight_smile:

1) I order the xEM a while back, and just got it installed 3 days ago, the box says "25KHZ ATA5577 / EM / HID / INDALA
I assume that should read 125KHZ? Or is this an older model or something?

2) I read that the chip comes in EM mode by default
what does that mean? does this change anything in how I am going about this (code wise)

3) I have watched the orientation video
still have not been able to get it to read

My first goal really is to just have my phone unlock when i pick it up, not doing anything too crazy.

I appreciate any help/suggestions anyone can offer.


1: yes 125khz

2: EM mode is the normal mode. The other mode is specifically for cloning an HID brand prox card to it. Quirks of the T5577 & cloning tags to the xEM

3: The PN532 is a 13 mhz reader, the xEM is a 125khz tag, They are not compatible. You can use the XEM access controller https://dangerousthings.com/shop/xem-access-controller/ though this is meant for direct control of whatever you want to control with your tag, not connect to an arduino. Or you can use something like the ID-12LA module sparkfun has. They also have a starter kit. https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13198 This spits out the ID of the tag which you can connect to an arduino and read in.

You have the wrong tag for phone unlock. You need the xNT which is NFC compatible… Your phone will not read the xEM. Read up here. X-Series Implantable Transponder FAQ

Also ,while it can be done in certain ways with third party apps, the native NFC unlock function has recently been removed from Android.

Awesome! Thank you so much for the info, that actually cleared things up a great deal for me.

Gonna read up on those devices and take it from there.