RFID Card Reader Expansion


I have made a design for an expansion card that would allow the laptop to read RFID Cards.

I thought this would be very useful for those stupid company laptops that require 2-factor authentication every time you need to open the system. So, the user can just tap an RFID Authentication Card on the laptop, and voila! Logged into the system without any hassle.

This is not an original idea at all if you have been wondering :sweat_smile:

I have basically ripped off the schematic from a Sparkfun USB RFID Reader.
Check out the PCB design here:

I am a beginner at making PCBs so excuse any amateur errors :slight_smile:


I think the laptop is using a metal frame, will that hurt the rfid performance?

@Tyler_S The Side of the card could be made out of plastic to allow the signal to go through or the entire expansion card housing could be made of Plastic to give it a better pickup underneath for cards placed underneath it. Same could be done for NFC.

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I was thinking the same. With a translucent portion just above the LED as a status indicator. I couldn’t find a compact low profile buzzer that would fit on the board so this was the next best thing I guess.

Also one point of concern I have is the height of ID-12LA actually fitting inside the enclosure. I am not a CAD person so I couldn’t figure that out :sweat_smile:

This is awesome! The ID-12LA looks like it is too tall though. You can see the recommended height limits off of the board in the 2D drawing:

You can maybe go very slightly over on the top side, but still not enough space for that part.

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This was what I had in mind. If this isn’t the case, I have seen antennas stacked over a RFID Transceiver IC to save space. Maybe that could work.

The length and width were barely fitting when I put together the footprint on the PCB.

Datasheet: https://cdn.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Sensors/ID/ID-2LA,%20ID-12LA,%20ID-20LA2013-4-10.pdf

This is where you’ll run into the main issue:
There is only 2.85mm there.


Oh no. That is a small F.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to do this?
I’ll try to put in some research into a PCB Trace Antenna. But if anyone has any better ideas, please do let me know!

I would say make the expansion card chassis a bit thicker to fit the reader .then put a foot on the bottom of it and Change the chassis of whatever expansion card you have on the other side so it’s just like keyboard tilt feet. Also you could have the card stick out the side of the frame a couple mm and then extend towards the back but I dont know if that’s enough antenna

Very interested in this as I have RFID implants so being able to unlock my laptop and play around with them without always needing to carry a my separate reader would be amazing

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@David_Cuevas yes, you could put one on the back of your phone, when when you touch it to your computer, it unlocks.

Oh cool. I’m wanting to get the implants like David. It’s nice to know it’s being worked on.
Maybe a future version of the laptop could have an RFID reader under the fingerprint reader, considering that’s a much more convenient and intuitive spot than an expansion module.

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@David_Cuevas I know this thread is 2 years old but have you gotten your RFID implants to work to unlock your framework laptop? I just recently got an NexT implant and im very intrested in trying to unlock my laptop and so i stubled upon this thread. just wanted to ask if there have been any developments in the last 2 years :slight_smile: