GS3 w/ case



  • so, received my NFC ring and it looks great, problem is it wont scan through my case. my case is nothing special, no metal on it, no intentional NFC blocking materials. the case in fact works fine with other NFC tags. i even tried other cases i have for the phone, and my girlfriend's GS4 with her case and no luck. is the NFC tag in the ring just that weak? or is there something wrong with the ring? or am i doing something wrong?


  • Community Helper

    I'm guessing it does still work without the case? It's probably not so much a case of the ring being weak as it is a case of the Galaxy having a really touchy sweet spot. Try to narrow it down as well as you can, you may find that there are a couple of spots where the ring reads but only one where it does so consistently.



  • well i have no issue with any other tag, the problem exists on my girlfriend's phone when i try to scan it as well. i have been looking for a reason to get rid of the case, but if this is gonna be a persistent problem ill likely cut a hole in the case right by the sweet spot just big enough to slide the ring past. if its an issue of the ring's strength it unfortunately eliminates using it as a business card (though when i tried to program the ring to that it said the tag wasnt big enough anyway)


  • Community Helper

    I'd say it's just that extra distance placed between the ring and the reader by the case. Reading other tags is good, that lets you know that the phone is working with NFC - but the ring is a different thing to a simple tag. Remember, it's got the added security of being difficult to distance read due to crosstalk between the inlays and it's expected that you'll actually have to hit the sweet spot perfectly.
    With a normal NFC tag not being as difficult to read you may find that the sweet spot on your phone seems to be large and easy to hit with a passing tag. With the ring you will need to re-check your sweet spot estimation and try different methods to get a consistent read. You might find that you have to hold it right in one spot for reading.
    I'd recommend doing that without a phone case on, just the original phone back. Then once you have it zoned in that way, try the exact same place with the phone case on and see how it goes.



  • @Lokki

    I'd say it's just that extra distance placed between the ring and the reader by the case. Reading other tags is good, that lets you know that the phone is working with NFC - but the ring is a different thing to a simple tag. Remember, it's got the added security of being difficult to distance read due to crosstalk between the inlays and it's expected that you'll actually have to hit the sweet spot perfectly.

    i did confirm it working without the case, and then tried the same spot with the case on. unfortunately it looks like putting a hole in my case is the only way to get this to work. though i cant fathom why the solution would be either drill/cut a hole or use your phone without a case. i use a cheap case, so i dont mind putting a hole in it, but i can only imagine the frustration of someone using something like an otterbox finding out their ring wont work. do the alpha rings work fine with a case?


  • Community Helper

    Unfortunately your milage varies with some phones, they all have their quirks. With the heavy case off, make sure that there isn't another sweet spot that the ring will hit better than the one you're using. Sometimes this can happen where you get a slight echo of the read area and it works, just not as consistently.
    The Alpha rings have a slightly larger antenna loop than the standard ones, this can sometimes make for a better read if the antenna in the device is a large one.

    If you've tried everything and are still having issues, shoot them a message at <!-- e --><a href="mailto:support@nfcring.com">support@nfcring.com</a><!-- e --> and see if they can help out.



  • @Lokki

    Unfortunately your milage varies with some phones, they all have their quirks. With the heavy case off, make sure that there isn't another sweet spot that the ring will hit better than the one you're using. Sometimes this can happen where you get a slight echo of the read area and it works, just not as consistently.

    unfortunately the response from <!-- e --><a href="mailto:support@nfcring.com">support@nfcring.com</a><!-- e --> was that i should post it here. i dont know if they have been getting overloaded with questions or issues and just send out a template response for right now or whatever the case is.


  • Community Helper

    A couple of other things to look at with your phone - is the battery the original one? The NFC antenna appears to be in the battery in the GS3, aftermarket batteries may not contain an antenna or may not contact the phone connections as well as an original battery.
    Also check in settings and turn off S-Beam if it's set to on, I've seen reports that S-Beam can mess with the way NFC works with tags.

    As people are getting their rings now, support is going to be pretty swamped which is why they'd prefer that the forum be the first point of contact to try to sort out the minor issues from the major ones.



  • @Lokki

    A couple of other things to look at with your phone - is the battery the original one? The NFC antenna appears to be in the battery in the GS3, aftermarket batteries may not contain an antenna or may not contact the phone connections as well as an original battery.

    seems fair, i do have my original battery, s beam is turned off.

    also out of curiosity, are you familiar with the powermat devices? i just found out im getting a free one from a retailer wanting people to review them, but it requires an additional adapter for the gs3, are these charging devices nfc based? would using such an adapter increase the potential of the ring?


  • NFC Ring Team

    Hi Scuba, sorry for the template response we have been pretty busy over here.

    Glad that Lokkie has been able to come on and answer a lot of questions (probably better than me).

    However the case issue is something that has been bugging us. I was playing with my Nexus 5 with a case today and was able to get some reads with it. But it wasn't reliable at all. So the question we have to ask is how can we make the experience better for people that have a case. I don't think we can officially tell people to cut holes in there phone case, so maybe the solution is that we need to see if we can source or manufacture a phone case ourselves, with a pre-cut sweet spot hole. This will take some time though as we need as much phone information as possible.


  • Community Helper

    @imscuba

    seems fair, i do have my original battery, s beam is turned off.

    Ah, that's a pain - I'm always hoping that it's the simple things that are causing the issues.
    I've been looking at the powermat and other inductive charging devices, they're not really NFC based but it's similar technology with induction loop antennas so there's the potential that it will interfere with any other induction based device that you use. If your NFC antenna is under where the charger loop is I can see that causing issues, but we wont know until someone tries it and tells us. Your mission should you choose to accept it Agent imscuba...

    Tom + imscuba - flomio have this on their website: [url:hvmoyk3a]http://flomio.com/shop/nfc-readers/nfc-band-aid/[/url:hvmoyk3a].
    That appears to have the potential to increase readability with difficult devices but I'm not sure if it's truly available or how well it would really work. If it worked the way it appears to it would negate the need for a custom case.



  • @Lokki

    seems fair, i do have my original battery, s beam is turned off.

    unfortunate with the powermat, its not really gonna cost me much to find out, so i will find out. hopefully it makes things better. i have also seen a couple of cases that supposedly boost nfc, though they are not cheap. i just last night drilled a countersunk hole in the back of a new case and it seems to work fine, though i will be exploring additional options


  • Community Helper

    There is always the chance that it would act to enhance the NFC reader portion of your phone a little, as long as it isn't powered when it's not used for charging. Passive repeaters are generally more gimmicky in real life than they are useful. But it's a possibility, so best of luck brave soul and all that.
    At least you can test this without it costing anything eh!
    A 'proper' booster case would simply replace the antenna and shift it further towards the outside of the phone while being connected to the points where the original antenna was connected. This and passive repeaters are the only type we're allowed to have on our handheld communications devices.
    Active repeaters change too many variables and long term RF exposure outside the limits that we currently have is an unknown.
    Anyway, I'm going OT there. The 'NFC Band Aid' that I posted earlier was an example of a passive repeater, with the 'Band Aid' part being close to the phone NFC antenna and the little hockey puck antenna being physically connected to it and acting as a relay of sorts.
    It works after a fashion but tends to be very lossy. But being two part like that, it 'works'.
    I'm sceptical of booster cases and claims that charging loops can enhance the performance of phone NFC without actually being a part of that device because it's only a single part of a chain. NFC antennas being different sizes in different devices and all, you couldn't really guarantee that it would 'pull' the signal like a director element from the phone or simply act as a reflector.

    Ach, it's late and I haven't had enough coffee. I'll try that one again later.



  • so, i just got the qi wireless charging receiver module for the gs3 (bought the adapter and the company sent me a bunch of other free stuff with it) and unfortunately it does interfere with the ring, the regular tags work fine though



  • @Lokki

    Ah, that's a pain. I did wonder how it would go - thanks for letting us know.
    oh, its fantastic, a little irritating that the charging pad beeps when it connects though. some models from various companies it beeps when it finishes charging and disconnects, then when it drops back down to 98-99% it connects again, etc. im hoping my model doesnt, cause ill have a continuous beeping all night.

    i will have to do a little more digging to see if there is something similar that would work with NFC even if it means getting rid of the wireless charging. im not too sure if those 2 little connectors the wireless charging adapter are using can be used for NFC or if they are purely for power.


  • Community Helper

    Ah, that's a pain. I did wonder how it would go - thanks for letting us know.

    Apart from the ring issues, how do you find it with charging?


  • Community Helper

    I always figured they were a cool idea but I've never been able to play with one.
    Where's the location of the additional antenna for the charging? If it wasn't right over the top of the GS3 battery it wouldn't interfere so much. I don't s'pose there's any way to shift it?



  • @Lokki

    I always figured they were a cool idea but I've never been able to play with one.

    the little sticker receiver thing they have actually adheres to the battery, i think i would likely need to take it apart and modify it to get it to not surround the battery. im hopeful that there might be something out there that is basically this same adapter but handles nfc instead of wireless charging. its a shame that the nfc band aid is so expensive


  • Community Helper

    The only way we'd be able to use the NFC band aid to do this would be to put it on top of the battery, then the power adapter and have a hole in the case for the extension antenna from the NFC band aid - it's basically a passive repeater, so there's still the chance that there'd be interference because of stacking so many antenna elements.

    I suspect it would do some very strange things.

    I wonder if it's possible to get a GS3 type antenna (for the connector) that is not an integral part of the battery, that way you'd possibly be able to shift it away from there.



  • @Lokki

    I wonder if it's possible to get a GS3 type antenna (for the connector) that is not an integral part of the battery, that way you'd possibly be able to shift it away from there.

    oh, thats more or less what i thought the NFC band aid was. i see no reason why something like this cant exist, though i obviously do lack some knowledge on the topic


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