recently deleted NFC answers

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I’m working on a NFC study. My development environment is as follows.

I connected the PN532 NFC to my raspberry pi using i2C, referring to the link below. http://wiki.sunfounder.cc/index.php?title=PN532_NFC_Module_for_Raspberry_Pi

Since then, when I contacted the plastic tag that was bundled with the PN532 NFC, I have received something as follows.

enter image description here

What I want is the PN532 NFC in my raspberry to be the tag, and the android phone to be the reader. I’ve run several examples provided by libnfc and nothing happens in the android app (nfc-tools). (Of course, if you contact Android with the round plastic tag that is included in the bundle, it will read something.)

I have some questions in this situation.

  1. Does my PN532 NFC module work with an NFC tag?
  2. Is there a sample code or reference site that can operate the PN532 NFC module as the NFC tag?
  3. Do you have any android app to recommend when developing RPI-based NFC?

I’m currently only aiming for communication. So I just need to pass the data on the raspberry pi and receive the data on the android phone.

I hope there is someone who can help me. Note that the language uses C.


@tlfong01, Thank you for your reply. Have you ever used another NFC module? I’m thinking maybe my NFC module is a problem.

Below is my clearer situation. I must operate the Raspberry Pi with the NFC Tag.

What I want is raspberry pi to act as NFC Tag, like a credit card. When I touch the NFC module on the raspberry pi with the Android phone, a particular app is executed (such as YouTube, for example).

my development environment is as follows. – LG V30 – raspberry pi 3 B – raspbian : 2019-07-10-raspbian-buster-lite – NFC : PN532 module (https://www.sunfounder.com/pn532-nfc-module-for-raspberry-pi.html)

I’ve wired the raspberry pi and PN532 Module with i2c and proceeded according to the guide below.


I performed nfc-pool as in the guide above, and it worked well when I contacted my credit card. But I’m trying to get my raspberry pi to work with an NFC Tag like a credit card.

So I tried doing nfc-emulate-tag among the samples provided by libnfc. As a result, the following error occurred.

pi@raspberrypi:/proc $ nfc-emulate-tag nfc-emulate-tag uses libnfc libnfc-1.7.1-223-gf8b2852 NFC device: _PN532_I2c opened nfc-emulate-tag will emulate this ISO14443-A tag: ISO/IEC 14443A (undefined baud rate) target: ATQA (SENS_RES): 00 04 * UID size: single * bit frame anticollision supported UID (NFCID3): 08 ab cd ef * Random UID SAK (SEL_RES): 09 * Not compliant with ISO/IEC 14443-4 * Not compliant with ISO/IEC 18092

Fingerprinting based on MIFARE type Identification Procedure: * MIFARE Mini 0.3K * SmartMX with MIFARE 1K emulation Other possible matches based on ATQA & SAK values: NFC device (configured as target) is now emulating the tag, please touch it with a second NFC device (initiator) error libnfc.bus.i2c Error: read only -1 bytes (265 expected) (Input/output error). nfc_target_init: Success nfc_target_emulate_tag: Success error libnfc.bus.i2c Error: wrote only -1 bytes (10 expected) (Input/output error). error libnfc.driver.pn532_i2c Failed to transmit data. Retries left: 2. error libnfc.bus.i2c Error: wrote only -1 bytes (10 expected) (Input/output error). error libnfc.driver.pn532_i2c Failed to transmit data. Retries left: 1. error libnfc.bus.i2c Error: wrote only -1 bytes (10 expected) (Input/output error). error libnfc.driver.pn532_i2c Failed to transmit data. Retries left: 0. error libnfc.driver.pn532_i2c Unable to transmit data. (TX)

Then my PN532 module wend dead.

I checked where the error came from and it’s happening in “nfc_target_init. This function is described as “Initialize NFC device as an emulated tag.”

I am looking for anyone who has tried NFC Tag using raspberry pi with PN532 or anyone who can advise me about this situation.

I am grateful for your enthusiasm Thank you.

  • Hi @chacha, Welcome and nice to meet you. Your question is a little bit confusing. Let me summarize: (1) What you have successfully completed is “Rpi controlled I2C NFC module reading the tag.” (2) Now what you want is “Rpi controlled PN532 NFC module to be tag, and android phone to be reader”. Let me do some brainstorming: (a) Let Android phone use a BlueTooth serial app to talk to a cheapy Bluetooth serial module, which is connected to the PN532 module which talks SPI/I2C/UARTserial. Then you send AT/serial commands to BT module which relays your commands to control PN532 module. / to cont. – tlfong01 Feb 18 at 6:07    
  • In the above gang of three config, (a) You don’t need your old friend Rpi, (2) BT module can stay perhaps 10+ feet wireless from Android, and PN532 module can be 200+ feet serial wired from BT module. Another config is to let Rpi talk to PM532 module using SPI, and use WiFi etc to talk to Android phone. Just quick and dirty brain storming suggestions. Cheers. – tlfong01 Feb 18 at 7:00   
  • References: AliExpress SunFounder US$28 NXP PN532 3V3 SPI/I2C/UART NFC Module for Rpi: (1) Datasheet: sunfounder.com/pn532-nfc-module-for-raspberry-pi.html, (2) Tutorial: wiki.sunfounder.cc/… – tlfong01 Feb 18 at 7:01   
  • 1
    Hi @tlfong01, Thanks for the quick answer. Sorry that the question is not clear. As you understand, what I want is the RPI PN532 NFC module to act as an NFC tag and the android phone to act as an NFC reader. My current project is not considering Bluetooth, and should only use NFC. When this communication is complete, I will work on my post-project work. What I need is to make the RPI PN532 NFC module an NFC tag and receive that tag in the Android NFC-tools App. I’m using an app called NFC-tools in the store without creating an android app. Thank you. – chacha Feb 18 at 7:52
  • 1
    @tlfong01, I added my situation to the original to clarify my question. If you have experienced or know, please help me. Thank you. – chacha Feb 20 at 9:16


Question v0.4

How to use Rpi3B to setup and configure a PN532 NFC module as a NFC tag that an Android smart phone can connect and read data from it.

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Answer v0.4

1. Introduction

I am a NFC newbie with very little NFC knowledge and skills. I found the OP’s problem very interesting, so I am thinking of start learning the basic things, then reproduce the OP’s situation. In other words, I have little confidence that my writing up here would become a proper answer. But I am confident that me and the OP are going to do something called PBL (Problem Base Learning) on the subject NFC. But I would warn the readers to my writing up that I won’t end up any answer, but guarantee that the read would learn how the project failed. In other words, FBL (Failure Based Learning)

/ to continue, …

2. Testing Procedure

I need to wiki and google a lot, before I can be sure to draft a not too amateurish project plan. So I will stall this procedure until I have read the stuff in the following references.

/ to continue, …

3. Testing Results

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4. Discussion, Conclusion, and Recommendation

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(1) PN532 NFC/RFID Catalog – AdaFruit US$40

(2) PN532 NFC/RFID controller breakout board v1.6 – AdaFruit US$40

(3) RFID/NFC Guides – AdaFruit

(4) Build a Babel Fish Language Toy – AdaFruit

(5) YouTube Build a Babel Fish Language Toy with Adafruit RFID and Wave Shields for Arduino – AdaFruit 2012aug02

(6) AdaFruit PN532 Breakout Module V1.6 Documentation (I2C/SPI GitHub, datasheet, schematic, tutorials, downloads)

(7) Using with LibNFC – AdaFruit (Mainly for Arduino, a bit out of date)

(8) libfnc Main Page (Last modified 2013) – nfc-tools.org

(9) RFID and NFC Tutorial – SparkFun

(10) SparkFun RFID Starter Kit Hookup Guide

(11) PN532 NFC Module for Raspberry Pi – SunFounder US$28

(12) PN532 NFC Module for Raspberry Pi Tutorial (libnfc, C language) – SunFounder

(13) AliExpress PN532 NFC Module Catalog US$3~5

(14) How to setup a Raspberry Pi RFID RC522 Chip (SPI, python) – PiMyLifeUp

(15) pimylifeup/MFRC522 – SPI python – PiMyLifeUp

(16) Grove NFC Module (With Arduino UART, I2C Demo Programs) V1.1 – Seeed Studio 2016aug31

(17) Setting up a PN532 NFC module (V3) on a Raspberry Pi using I2C – blog of stigok 2017oct12

(18)PN532/C1 Near Field Communication (NFC) controller Rev3.6 – NXP 2017nov28

(19) PN532 User Manual (UM0701-02 Rev02) – NXP2007

(20) MIFARE – Wikipedia

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Appendix A …

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Figures, Images, Photos

Fig 1 – The PN532 Modules (Red one is V3, claimed to be an improved version


Fig 2 – HW147 (Die 5321 DB) NFC Module V3 (Jumper setting, 00 = HSU, 10 = I2C, 01 = SPI)

Note 1 – The OP tried I2C with no luck. Perhaps I should try SPI first, and if no luck then I fall back to HSU (High Speed UART) If SPI ok, I can upgrade to I2C. So I should bear this possible SPI/I2C change in mind, so to write the python functions to be easily switching between I2C/SPI/UART.

532 module V3

Fig 3 – Seeed Studion NFC Module v1.1 Schematic

Grove NFC Module (With Arduino UART, I2C Demo Programs) V1.1 – Seeed Studio 2016aug31

nfc schematic 2

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End of answer

  • 1
    I am amazed at your passion and have reflected on myself. Thank you for your efforts. – chacha Feb 21 at 2:47
  • Thank you very much for your nice words. It is of course my “hobby“, but hard to say if it is a “passion”. Anyway, usually after either a happy or sad ending of a project, I usually “reflect”, or “selfie walk through”, and give a postmortem to everybody, newbies or ninjas alike 🙂 – tlfong01 Feb 21 at 3:18    

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