Note 3 - not reading?



  • 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.


  • Community Helper

    It might be difficult to believe, but it's a reality. Personally, I look after my iPhone like it was made of gold... it took me a long time to have the spare cash to pay for it, and I wont be able to replace it when it's gone without waiting an equally long time. The HTC One X is a different story, it cost me a six pack and was beaten half to death when I got it. My tweaking of the antenna contacts got it back to working spec, enough that it reads both an Alpha and a Normal ring.
    But I see plenty of people who don't treat their phones the way I personally do, those who drop them that short distance to a tabletop, throw them on the couch or the bed, drop them into a handbag or pocket with keys and other things... it makes me shudder, and people do it without really thinking about the unseen damage that this can all do. Never mind the scratches you can get, a single jolt is enough to compress spring contacts the wrong way and permanently alter the way an antenna is contacted.
    They're delicate equipment often sold "cheap" because the phone service companies subsidise the handsets so we don't tend to have a healthy respect for them.
    But if you've ever dropped or knocked the phone, had it in a pocket on a hot day or even got the odd one that works from factory but isn't quite to spec then you're possibly going to have problems.
    That's the thing right there, they still 'work' but they're sensitive equipment and sometimes just working isn't a good indicator of how well they work.
    And that ends up with things like the NFC Ring having trouble - it's not the fault of the ring which was designed with acceptable tolerances, it's that the phone isn't functioning well enough to read it. That equals a phone problem, not a ring problem (because the ring does read). If it were my phone I'd be going crazy at the people who sold it to me, wanting a replacement or repair job. That's up to you though.
    So how far away does a standard tag work with your phone? It can be a good indicator of what's going on in there.
    The ring as it was designed works with devices that are functioning within specifications.

    Also if you could email <!-- e --><a href="mailto:support@nfcring.com">support@nfcring.com</a><!-- e --> and let them know that you're having issues, what phone and which ring you have, possibly point them to this thread so that they can have a little clarity concerning the issue. They may be able to suggest something that I haven't.

    *Edit: FYI, in my day job I'm a radio repair tech at a fairly significant communications company. I re-read this and figured I should add that just to establish that I have a reasonable idea of what I'm trying to get across here. I've seen a lot of trauma hidden inside near pristine outer covers!



  • @garrwolfdog

    I'm having similar problems.

    same here, got my ring today, and it works very very poor. hard to hit the sweet spot,
    useless for unlock biz

    (also on a note 3)

    and with a nexus 4 nearly the same, a little better but also not good enough for daily usage.

    options?

    shoult i mail tech support?


  • Community Helper

    Hi mate,

    If it continues to be difficult to read then yes, contacting support will be the way to go.
    But give it a couple of days really trying to use it before you do, it's a new way of doing things that can benefit from a little practice sometimes.



  • Yeah, when I had my ring, it was very difficult on the note 3 for the first day or 2. Basically didn't work at all. Once I got used to it though it was alright. Usually only took a couple seconds to get it to unlock with an occasional failed read. I imagine all phones will have some amount of that which sadly I guess for a lot of people isn't acceptable. Things must work as they do in the movies where you just tap it and it immediately knows your intent and works. :p Anything RF/inductive will never be that way...

    The way I used my ring is that I had it on the ring finger of my right hand and I'd hold the phone with my right hand and just stretch my palm across the back where the ring would be pretty much around where the fake stitching is maybe 1/2 to 3/4 from the top. It's a big phone but I have small hands -- my ring finger is a size 7 -- so nobody should have any problems.

    The reality is that the tradeoff for security and the overall small design is that it'll take a bit of learning to use. Security will always have a convenience tradeoff, and this one's pretty slight when it comes to such things.



  • @paulguy

    Yeah, when I had my ring, it was very difficult on the note 3 for the first day or 2. Basically didn't work at all. Once I got used to it though it was alright. Usually only took a couple seconds to get it to unlock with an occasional failed read. I imagine all phones will have some amount of that which sadly I guess for a lot of people isn't acceptable. Things must work as they do in the movies where you just tap it and it immediately knows your intent and works. :p Anything RF/inductive will never be that way...

    I still can't get it to read (and the NFC tags I bought on Amazon [i:2l5lyubk]do[/i:2l5lyubk] work immediately


  • Community Helper

    Curvature of the inset inlay will probably affect readability but the thing most people are forgetting is that once the inlay is inset into the ring it's surrounded by metal.
    This does have a pronounced effect on how the inlay works - if John and his team had not done the research and used an appropriately tuned absorber material beneath the inlay then performance would be like that of the GalaRing, next to unusable.
    With the absorber material, the metal below the inlay 'appears' to the inlay to be further away than it actually is and thus interferes less with the function of the NTAG203.

    So really, the three major differences between the rings and other devices are;

    • Flatness
    • Presence of metal
    • Size of antenna

    These all combine to make the NFC Ring difficult to distance read, this is known and understood and is a feature of the design itself, making the storage more secure.
    With an NFC capable phone which is in perfect working order this is not an issue at all for readability, it merely means that you have to find the sweet spot and have it in perfect position for reading.

    Unfortunately some phones have cheaply designed and implemented contact springs which can be damaged or make poor contact after even the slightest of knocks, or they have antennas which are far larger than necessary and are thus a poor match to the NFC Ring antenna.
    This shows up more distinctly with the Classic ring than with the Alpha ring because the antenna in the Alpha is larger and thus more closely matched than the smaller Classic antenna.

    In testing (under relatively controlled conditions, with a known good GS4) John and the team have confirmed that the Classic ring works even with a GS4, unfortunately mileage varies with your run of the mill phone out in the world because they are used differently, or possibly dropped/kept in a pants pocket on a hot day/any number of other situations that can aggravate the issues with matching by weakening the NFC field generated by the person's phone, and all without showing signs of damage on the outside.

    So, generally if the ring works at all then it is fine and the issue lies either in the phone or in the expectations of how to use it. There can be some confusion due to the ease with which a 'standard' tag is used, you just swipe past the phone and boom done. With the ring there is a little more finesse involved.

    *Sorry if any of this seems preachy or condescending, I'm just trying to get it out there and have it understood that a lot of the time it is the phone or the usage of the ring, not the ring itself. There is a lot of misunderstanding out in the world.


  • Community Helper

    OT: Lokki can you do a summarized "usual error"/FAQ/"general issues that are no issue" post and post it as announcement? I've been a bit more active then me lately and probably have a better overview. I think the post above is a good start but as this thread is on page 5 it won't be found that easy.


  • Community Helper

    lol, good idea that. I'll do one up and sticky/announce it.


  • Community Helper

    announce will be better as it's shown in every section.



  • Mine wont work with the note 3 either, tried emailing the support addy, but no response. The spare tags work great, but the ring wont read on either the public or private side. Tried it on my daughter's note 2 and it reads sporadically. I told her to keep it since hers has not arrived yet. Bummer!



  • @Guest said:

    Mine wont work with the note 3 either, tried emailing the support addy, but no response. The spare tags work great, but the ring wont read on either the public or private side. Tried it on my daughter's note 2 and it reads sporadically. I told her to keep it since hers has not arrived yet. Bummer!

    Whoops, I wasn't logged in - this was my post.


  • Community Helper

    @rosspc, that's a pain. Hang tight and support will get back to you. You might want to discuss the possibility of an Alpha with them!



  • I have a Samsung note 3 also. It can read the 2 tags I was sent (very well), but not my ring. :(
    I believe I have the standard ring.
    What should I do? Will there be other rings coming?

    Scott Emick


  • Community Helper

    Hi Scott, if you want to try a change to Alpha then you'll need to email support@nfcring.com first to get the ball rolling.
    Send the email from the same address you used for kickstarter if you could, and make the subject 'Read issues, request change to Alpha from Classic' or something similar, be clear about what is needed.
    In the body of the email explain name, address, phone type, ring type, ring behaviour and request a switch to Alpha. Support will get back to you when they can.



  • Thanks, I'll try that.
    Scott