Note 3 - not reading?

  • NFC Ring Team

    Hrm, this is a tough one. Being that the rings work fine but not with the Note 3 yet the lose inlays work fine on the Note 3 it makes me think somehow there is some weird tuning issue going on with your Note 3..

    The best thing you could do for us is record some video of you trying to use the ring on the note3 and also showing us the inlay working in the same video. This way we can ensure the ring is oriented correctly, if you can create that video and upload it to any video sharing website and hit me up with the link that'd be great :)

    *Note for posterity, I have a feeling the ring may be oriented incorrectly, it's not clear how to orient a ring and I'm not sure people are aware it makes a different to "readability"

  • Community Helper


    *Note for posterity, I have a feeling the ring may be oriented incorrectly, it's not clear how to orient a ring and I'm not sure people are aware it makes a different to "readability"

    Definitely, I noted that on the HTC One X, it refuses completely to read anything that isn't oriented horizontally to the phone when holding the phone upright (portrait as opposed to landscape).
    Every single device I've played with has been like this, though some have had a completely different sweet spot when the ring has been oriented the other way, which hasn't worked quite as well as the 'proper' sweet spot.

    The RC522 reader I've got insists that the inlay be oriented diagonally, which is a strange one.

  • NFC Ring Team

    lol RC522 is weird the PN532 you can hit up from any angle just FYI.

    Also today a Felica board arrived, I need to find some time to play with it, the antenna is about the same size as the ring so I'm feeling optimistic =)

  • Community Helper

    I'm really developing a healthy dislike for the RC522, I've gotta say. PN532 is just win all the way.

    Now that sounds interesting - a proper antenna match, I'm curious how far away you'll be able to trigger a read on that!
    Which module did you get, I see a few there?

  • @johnyma22

    The best thing you could do for us is record some video of you trying to use the ring on the note3 and also showing us the inlay working in the same video. This way we can ensure the ring is oriented correctly, if you can create that video and upload it to any video sharing website and hit me up with the link that'd be great :)
    I might have to come up with some complicated arrangement of mirrors in order to do that, as the Note 3 is the only device I have that can record video :D I'll certainly try all the different ring orientations first, though.

    @itzdarkoutthere: doh, never thought of that, despite having used iOS devices for ages before I got the Note 3. Thanks!

  • NFC Ring Team

    haha okies keep us posted :)

  • I have a Note 3 and plan on using it with this but I haven't actually used any NFC capable items before. When you mention the tags and such, where do these go? I was under the impression that you just used the app in conjunction with the ring.

  • Community Helper

    Hi mate, the 'tags' we talk about are the same as the inlays in the rings, 'swipeable' contactless storage. In order for them to work you have to place them within the magnetic field of the device you're using them on and thus enable them to be read.

  • Oh I got ya. I just got my confirmation email so I'm pretty amped to give this a go. Hopefully my Note won't act up.

  • So, any third party batteries with better performing antennas with the NFC ring?

  • Community Helper

    That's a difficult one - I'd have thought the original Samsung battery would be a better performer.

  • Community Helper

    I wouldn't go quite that far just yet, there are a couple more things you can try.
    Try holding the ring in the horizontal position to find a sweet spot, if that isn't working for you then go back over the back of the phone with the ring vertical.
    Sometimes the orientation can make a huge difference to how well it will read.
    If you've got an android device then the mclear nfc app can show you the sweet spot position as reported by other people, use that as a guide while you're trying to find yours.
    If none of this works then check that you don't have any proprietary nfc add-ons like S-beam for samsung phones, it can sometimes mess with the way tags read.
    Alternatively find where the antenna is located in your phone. If it has a removable back then you can attempt to clean the antenna contacts with a pen eraser (but not with anything that might scratch the surfaces, you want to polish not scratch.)

    Let us know how you go with this.

  • I'm having similar problems.
    I got the regular ring (not the alpha)
    All other tags I've got work fine but the ring itself does not work in any usable way. I've got it to read the ring twice in 50+ attempts.
    If there's no way to improve this situation then the ring was a total waste of money. Very disappointed.

  • I Made sure all NFC addons were disabled or removed.
    systematically tapping the ring across the back of the phone. tried the ring in both horizontal and vertical positions.
    tried using the heatmap from the app to help locate a working spot.
    tried removing any dust or anything from the inside of the case.
    all of it came to nothing.

    Is this ring defective? the Note3 is pretty good at picking up NFC tags at almost any point on the backplate.

    The whole point of NFC is that i's easy to read, if the ring is so sensitive about positioning, orientation and everything else it makes it useless as method of unlocking the phone or transferring data.

  • Community Helper

    Ok, at this point if neither inlay on the ring is working then I would venture to say that it's your phone's NFC at fault. Usually standard tags will read at a reasonable distance from the phone but the NFC ring by design will not - it requires close proximity for a read and is quite unlike a standard tag.
    It wont work if there's anything interfering with the NFC reader in the phone like a case or potentially dirty/shifted contacts between the phone and the antenna.
    If you have another NFC device available then try the ring with that, just to be certain whether it's the ring or the phone.

  • ok, I tested it on a Nexus4 with no luck at all, but a first gen Nexus 7 picked it up ok; so I assume the ring is working as intended?
    to get it working with the Note3 I ended up having to remove the back-plate; seems the sweet spot is actually inside the phone.

    This is not a viable option for unlocking a phone or transferring information to someone else.
    Unless you can suggest a way to improve performance to a useable degree then I'm just going to write this one up as a failure; nice idea but doesn't work in practice. Nice looking ring though, so not a total loss :)

  • Community Helper

    Ah, ok. If it works on one then it should work on all, the fault will lie in the phones then.
    That's unfortunate. I'm wondering, how far away does your phone read a standard tag? They're a lot more forgiving and should be readable at a reasonable distance and a very wide area on the back of the phone.
    Because the NFC ring is by design difficult to read in comparison to a standard tag, if the phone antenna is out of kilter then it becomes even more difficult to get the ring to read.
    So assuming that your phone is the issue (because the ring does work and these things don't tend to half work, they either do or they don't) then you could look into fixing the NFC side of things. It is most likely the antenna or contacts. I'm not familiar with the Note 3, so I don't know where the antenna is located but that would be my recommended starting point.
    With the HTC One X that I have here for playing with I had to re tension the internal contacts in order to get the NFC antenna contacting properly, it's in the backplate in these ones.

  • on the Note3 the back plate is just a piece of plastic and the NFC antenna seems to be built into the phone just next to the battery. Usually the note3 can read a standard tag anywhere on the backside of the phone, through a thin case.

    I get that the ring is supposed to be harder to read than a regular tag but this is ridiculous.
    at this point i've tried the ring with several of my co-worker's handsets and i'm getting similar results.

    If what you're telling me is that this is normal operating for the ring then it's not fit for purpose. I've tried it on 7 different handsets and 2 tablets and only 1 of the tablets has worked even close to consistently.

    If the advice you're giving people is to open up their phones and adjust sensitive hardware, then this is just a bad product.

    Gotta say, i'm seriously disappointed; I had high hopes for the NFC ring but what's shipped is product that seems to have barely been tested and does not work for it's stated uses.

    Thanks for your prompt responses; I appreciate your input.

  • Community Helper

    Hi, please don't take this post as anything other than trying to help.

    I think there's a slight misunderstanding with what I'm trying to explain here - in normal circumstances the ring will work with an android or other capable phone within the sweet spot area. This is established time and time again with fully functional android phones in good order, not to mention many other devices which are also NFC capable.
    Now for the difficult part - If the phone's NFC element is in any way not functioning as it should then there will be more difficulty reading the ring. This behaviour doesn't show up as obviously with a standard tag because they have much bigger antennas and are more closely matched with the antenna circuitry in the phone. You simply hold the standard tag a little closer or in one place for longer and it reads. Sometimes you don't notice that it's not behaving correctly because you expect to have to hold the tag close and tend to get used to it. With your phone, see how close you have to hold a standard tag before it works, it should be around 30-40 mm and trigger easily.

    Enter the NFC Ring, with it's limited space and thus smaller antenna. Because the difference between the antenna in the ring and the antenna in the phone is so great they are more difficult to read.
    In a phone with no flaws or unseen damage to it's NFC circuitry then there is a quick and easy read, albeit right dead smack on the sweet spot.
    In a phone with some damage or other issues, which doesn't necessarily have to be obvious to the naked eye and cannot necessarily be seen by you, there is more difficulty reading the NFC Ring because not only is the antenna difference affecting things, suddenly the phone antenna is not behaving as it should in the first place.
    This is a problem with the phone, not the NFC Ring, regardless of whether it can still read a standard tag or not. I can attest to the fact that the rings do work, and if it is readable by [b:25iw417n]any[/b:25iw417n] other device then it is in working order. Intermittent behaviour is rare and would usually present on one inlay only.

    The advice I give to try cleaning the NFC contacts is given by me because that is what I would do myself in the event that my NFC reader was failing to operate correctly. I do limit that one to NFC elements in batteries or back covers because I don't expect everyone to be as willing to pull things to pieces as I am, but my point still stands - if it's broken then fixing is preferable in my opinion. If the phone is still under warranty then I really recommend sending it in and getting it repaired because if it isn't working then it's broken.

  • I find it very difficult to believe that multiple phones, from multiple manufacturers, owned by multiple people are all "broken". Normal NFC tags read just fine within the expected tolerances, with all tests done.

    from what i've been able to see, the ring is working as it was designed and so are all the phones. The ring has just been engineered in a way that makes it's operational tolerances SO sensitive that it doesn't properly account for differences in handsets and use in the real world.
    I guess I was just expecting too much.