Sunday, 6 June 2010

Oyster in my N900. Second attempt. Fail!

Okay, here we go again. Only this time, after soaking, I'll attempt to keep the chip/aerial encased.

Step One: Soak the Oyster card in nail varnish remover. This stuff has acetone in it. The last lot didn't. I'll give it exactly two hours.

Step Two: Discard what I don't need and use a scalpel to remove excess plastic. This took me a while (or at least it seemed that way. I'm no artist and certainly no surgeon so it's a bit ragged.

Okay, I tried it this way first:

This way, the aerial goes around the camera, tight up against the edge of the case. This proved to be problematic in that, no matter how many times I tried it, the caseback wouldn't sit flush with the phone. It stayed on, but it didn't feel at all safe and the last thing you need is the back popping open and the battery falling out.

Then I tried it this way:

This way the aerial cuts across part of the camera shutter mechanism, but it didn't interfere with it and the case went on flush to the phone, but I could feel it was a bit of a squeeze.

So I trotted off to the newsagent where I attempted to top it up. The bloke in the shop looked at me as if I was a nutter as I pressed the phone up against the reader and asked "Is it registering?"
"No," came the reply. "That's a phone. This is for Oyster travelcards. Do you have one?"
There was a queue behind me, so I wasn't really in the right place to stop, remove it from the phone and check to see if it was working. I'll save that for a place with lots of readers.

I'll take what's left of the card to the tube station tomorrow and see if it works at all.


Saturday, 5 June 2010

Oyster in my N900? Not quite...

Well, I got to the tube station and it drew a blank. Nothing happened. I took the back off my phone and tried it face down against the reader, but no joy. I removed it from the phone and tried it "naked". Still nothing. And then I noticed that the aerial had come away from one side of the chip! Damn and blast it's fragility!
So, I'll pick up another one (I've got lots of nail varnish remover left) and give it another go.
I found this video, so I know it can be done. It looks like I may have to run the aerial all the way round the case back to get it to work properly, though.
Results to follow...

Friday, 4 June 2010

Oyster in my N900!

A colleague of mine told me about how he saw people using their phones to go through barriers on the Tokyo metro. Maybe it's just me, but I thought that sounded pretty cool! Google revealed that London's Underground system will be getting a similar facility sometime around the end of 2011, maybe. But I can't wait that long! So, I've given it a go myself.

The first step is to get your equipment.
You will need a pre-pay Oyster, some nail varnish remover and a jar with a lid.
A quick trip to a newsagent and Poundland (gotta love that place!) should furnish you with what you need.
I paid £4 (you have to top it up when you buy it, so I stuck a pound on) and got two bottles of nail varnish remover and a jar for £3.
(I already had an Oyster, but I wasn't about to risk losing my monthly travelcard for this slice of foolishness...)

The next step is to put the nail varnish remover and the card into the jar and seal it. Then leave it to soak.

Two hours later (and it need to be at least two hours), it should be ready to come out.

You can see here how the outer layers have come away completely, leaving the important bit, the layer with the chip and aerial intact. Throw the other bits away.

The chip is at the top right and the red lines running around the edge are the aerial which is attached to the chip. I don't know much about these things, so I'm going to assume the aerial needs to be kept intact. The aerial wire is about as thick as a thick hair, so be careful when picking the plastic layer away. If you left it to soak for long enough, it should come away fairly easily. If not, you'll struggle a bit.

When you've finished, you should be left with a chip with a fair bit of red wire attached to it.
Sorry, it's a really bad picture...

The final step is to remove the back of your phone and tape the chip and aerial to the inside of the rear casing and put it back on your phone.

As you can see, I've avoided putting the aerial round the camera part although I'm sure with a little hard work and attention to detail, the aerial would go all the way round the outside edge.
Does it work? Um, I don't know yet! I'll post the result as soon as I know...