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Thread: Skylanders "Portal of Power" possible cheap RFID reader/writer?

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  1. #1
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    Default Skylanders "Portal of Power" possible cheap RFID reader/writer?

    I was tinkering around w/ my son's portal today and discovered that it just a simple RFID reader/writer. (For those who arnt aware, the portal is a USB peripheral that allows you to set figures on top that then appear in game and save your progress on the figure it self. It a neat game, but thats besides the point). Activision provides a driver for windows so you can use your portal on some online flash powered version of the game, but as usual no linux support.

    I took the device apart and found the the rfid part is being powered by a mfrc530 chip that operates the antenna at 13.53mhz. It works w/ MIFARE 1k or 2k id's and has read/write capability. I wasnt able to see what the other microcontroller as it was covered up, and didnt want to damage it trying to remove the covering. (I have pictures if any one is interested)

    My question is does anyone think that this device could be used as a RFID reader for backtrack, vice having to spend a few hundred on one? Im sure some custom driver solution would be necessary.

    Here is the output of lsusb -v
    Code:
    root@bt:~# lsusb -s 002:006 -v
    
    Bus 002 Device 006: ID 1430:1f17 RedOctane 
    Device Descriptor:
      bLength                18
      bDescriptorType         1
      bcdUSB               2.00
      bDeviceClass          255 Vendor Specific Class
      bDeviceSubClass       255 Vendor Specific Subclass
      bDeviceProtocol       255 Vendor Specific Protocol
      bMaxPacketSize0         8
      idVendor           0x1430 RedOctane
      idProduct          0x1f17 
      bcdDevice            1.28
      iManufacturer           1 Activision
      iProduct                2 Spyro Portal
      iSerial                 3 01049095
      bNumConfigurations      1
      Configuration Descriptor:
        bLength                 9
        bDescriptorType         2
        wTotalLength          153
        bNumInterfaces          4
        bConfigurationValue     1
        iConfiguration          0 
        bmAttributes         0x80
          (Bus Powered)
        MaxPower              500mA
        Interface Descriptor:
          bLength                 9
          bDescriptorType         4
          bInterfaceNumber        0
          bAlternateSetting       0
          bNumEndpoints           2
          bInterfaceClass       255 Vendor Specific Class
          bInterfaceSubClass     93 
          bInterfaceProtocol      1 
          iInterface              0 
          ** UNRECOGNIZED:  11 21 10 01 24 25 81 14 03 03 03 04 13 02 08 03 03
          Endpoint Descriptor:
            bLength                 7
            bDescriptorType         5
            bEndpointAddress     0x81  EP 1 IN
            bmAttributes            3
              Transfer Type            Interrupt
              Synch Type               None
              Usage Type               Data
            wMaxPacketSize     0x0020  1x 32 bytes
            bInterval               4
          Endpoint Descriptor:
            bLength                 7
            bDescriptorType         5
            bEndpointAddress     0x02  EP 2 OUT
            bmAttributes            3
              Transfer Type            Interrupt
              Synch Type               None
              Usage Type               Data
            wMaxPacketSize     0x0020  1x 32 bytes
            bInterval               8
        Interface Descriptor:
          bLength                 9
          bDescriptorType         4
          bInterfaceNumber        1
          bAlternateSetting       0
          bNumEndpoints           4
          bInterfaceClass       255 Vendor Specific Class
          bInterfaceSubClass     93 
          bInterfaceProtocol      3 
          iInterface              0 
          ** UNRECOGNIZED:  1b 21 00 01 01 01 83 40 01 04 20 16 85 00 00 00 00 00 00 16 05 00 00 00 00 00 00
          Endpoint Descriptor:
            bLength                 7
            bDescriptorType         5
            bEndpointAddress     0x83  EP 3 IN
            bmAttributes            3
              Transfer Type            Interrupt
              Synch Type               None
              Usage Type               Data
            wMaxPacketSize     0x0020  1x 32 bytes
            bInterval               2
          Endpoint Descriptor:
            bLength                 7
            bDescriptorType         5
            bEndpointAddress     0x04  EP 4 OUT
            bmAttributes            3
              Transfer Type            Interrupt
              Synch Type               None
              Usage Type               Data
            wMaxPacketSize     0x0020  1x 32 bytes
            bInterval               4
          Endpoint Descriptor:
            bLength                 7
            bDescriptorType         5
            bEndpointAddress     0x85  EP 5 IN
            bmAttributes            3
              Transfer Type            Interrupt
              Synch Type               None
              Usage Type               Data
            wMaxPacketSize     0x0020  1x 32 bytes
            bInterval              64
          Endpoint Descriptor:
            bLength                 7
            bDescriptorType         5
            bEndpointAddress     0x05  EP 5 OUT
            bmAttributes            3
              Transfer Type            Interrupt
              Synch Type               None
              Usage Type               Data
            wMaxPacketSize     0x0020  1x 32 bytes
            bInterval              16
        Interface Descriptor:
          bLength                 9
          bDescriptorType         4
          bInterfaceNumber        2
          bAlternateSetting       0
          bNumEndpoints           1
          bInterfaceClass       255 Vendor Specific Class
          bInterfaceSubClass     93 
          bInterfaceProtocol      2 
          iInterface              0 
          ** UNRECOGNIZED:  09 21 00 01 01 22 86 07 00
          Endpoint Descriptor:
            bLength                 7
            bDescriptorType         5
            bEndpointAddress     0x86  EP 6 IN
            bmAttributes            3
              Transfer Type            Interrupt
              Synch Type               None
              Usage Type               Data
            wMaxPacketSize     0x0020  1x 32 bytes
            bInterval              16
        Interface Descriptor:
          bLength                 9
          bDescriptorType         4
          bInterfaceNumber        3
          bAlternateSetting       0
          bNumEndpoints           0
          bInterfaceClass       255 Vendor Specific Class
          bInterfaceSubClass    253 
          bInterfaceProtocol     19 
          iInterface              4 
          ** UNRECOGNIZED:  06 41 00 01 01 03
    Device Status:     0x0002
      (Bus Powered)
      Remote Wakeup Enabled

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Skylanders "Portal of Power" possible cheap RFID reader/writer?

    Skylanders is awesome, waiting for a hack to beef up my son's toons (ok mine too, 22 so far). Having the read/write functionality would be cool too.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Skylanders "Portal of Power" possible cheap RFID reader/writer?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeraldC
    waiting for a hack to beef up my son's toons
    Well thats already been done, just do a search for SkylanderEditor.zip. Im not as much interested in that as the possibility of using the portal for other things. Since you can get id's for cheap (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10131) it could be interesting to tinker with. Im just not sure I have the technical prowess to craft up a linux driver for it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Skylanders "Portal of Power" possible cheap RFID reader/writer?

    ...
    /10char
    Last edited by RealityX; 01-30-2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Double Post

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Skylanders "Portal of Power" possible cheap RFID reader/writer?

    Nice I'll have to pick some up. thanks also for the skylander info.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Skylanders "Portal of Power" possible cheap RFID reader/writer?

    Quote Originally Posted by RealityX View Post
    My question is does anyone think that this device could be used as a RFID reader for backtrack, vice having to spend a few hundred on one?
    Few hundred? Touchatag costs only 30€.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Skylanders "Portal of Power" possible cheap RFID reader/writer?

    I was researching the same thing, could a Skylander portal be used as a generic RFID reader.

    Here is some more information...

    1) The NXP MFRC530 chipset found in the portal is the same as found here on SparkFun.
    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10126

    2) and the chips run about $10 each....
    http://www.findchips.com/avail?part=mfrc530

    3) AdaFruit has another example here... with a different NXP chip... (I think more recent)
    http://www.adafruit.com/products/789

    I started looking into whether I could reuse the skylander portal; and am thinking it might be better to try to create one from the samples from adafruit or sparkfun. But, if others have more thoughts and suggestions would love to hear them.

    Thanks!

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