Un-concealing some embedded electronics
November 5, 2015 - Radical Pedagogies
I have been deconstructing some of the objects that I use regularly to see what the electronic systems are like inside. Below I have documented what the system looks like, and how the materials are embedded. The green lines in the diagram illustrates where the traces live in the object.
Travel cards were soaked in acetone for 2 weeks, the tag and antenna peeled away very easily. The antenna is made from thin copper wire
The passport was steamed open -the tag is inside the back page, and traces are made with conductive ink.
On previous iterations of e-passports the tag was visible and very similar to the travel-card above.
The credit card was made with a super material that could not be steamed or soaked. I ended up using a knife to make very messy cutting away to reveal the embedded traces, which were made from very thin copper. I couldn’t extract the antenna in one piece as it was so integrated into the plastic material. But the chip was really easy to remove, and came apart from the card within a day of soaking.