Convert the photon to a nfc reader


I want to build a portable nfc reader using a particle photon as a base, and i would like to make it as cheap as possible

In short, i will need 4 items:

1 - NFC reader - I have looked at the Adafruit PN532, but its too expensive for me. Is there any cheaper option?
2 - Power. Is there any way to connect a battery (or a solar panel) to the photon to power it? The main thing i need is it to be portable
3 - Communications - I assume i will need a 3g card linked to the device to send the collected data to a server. What are my options here?
4 - A case or similar to carry it on. I dont know how big will the photon be once all those parts are installed

Can anybody suggest solutions with this?


It doesn’t hurt to do a bit of research. You mention you might need a 3g card for connectivity; if so, then it’s not the Photon you’re looking for, but rather the Electron. Had you figured that out, you would’ve also noticed it comes with a battery, and there are options for a solar panel if needed.
As for the NFC module; we don’t know your budget and what you consider to be “too expensive”, so a bit of Googling on your end could go a long way. Sparkfun, Adafruit, eBay, Aliexpress and the likes are full of these items.
As far as cases go; we won’t know either how big your specific project will be until you give us the dimensions of your components. And even then it depends on how you configure them.


Thanks Moors. Yes, i need to do research, i agree, but if this is something that has already been done by somebody in the community it worths to ask

I have a photon, so, based on what you say, it doesnt fit here, right? I will need to buy an electron then

Regarding NFC, i expect to spend £10-£15 on it.


Incidentally, the new mesh devices (Argon/Boron/Xenon) have a nRF52840 module which has NFC support built-in. There may not be a Particle firmware API for it, especially in the first version, but the hardware does support being an NFC-A listening device.


Sure it’s worth asking the community.
But if it was already done by some member of the community chances are that they already talked about it in this forum and contributors appreciate when their previous effort is honoured by searching for it and trying to understand it rather than having them repeat the work of explaining or searching for previous own posts to link you to them.
If there are actualy questions not answered anywhere in the forum - or you honestly couldn’t find it - we are happy to help.

This is not what he meant. You mentioned a “3G card linked to the device” and by that argument an Electron would be the “better” choice. But if you have WiFi coverage where you want to use the device (irrespective of the actual uplink - 3G, cable, satellite, …) you can go with a Photon.
If you need battery power, you may need some extra circuitry for the Photon which the Electron already has on-board.
You set the use-case, so you need to decide what fits best - we only provide options.

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