Name That Ware, October 2018

The Ware for October 2018 is shown below.

Thanks to Michael Dwyer for submitting this ware!

24 Responses to “Name That Ware, October 2018”

  1. waines says:

    Long life low current lithium battery, buzzer, single button & led
    Smoke Detector?

  2. Barry Callahan says:

    From the square form factor, the fact that the enclosure is barely big enough for the board, and the antennae, I’d say this looks like the PCB from a road toll-booth fastpass token (or whatever the local network is calling them)

    You stick it in the front windshield, and as you drive through the toll booth, the buzzer beeps to let you know that the system said it successfully debited the appropriate amount of the toll from your account.

  3. Thomas says:

    Barry, indeed a toll tag. These have long battery lives, explaining the Lithium primary cell, and a beeper to signal transaction status (in an incomprehensible way).

  4. tz says:

    Lets see, it has a RTC crystal in addition to the normal one, large battery backup, but also a switch, LED and buzzer. But it appears to have an attenna in the board.
    There is also a surface connector near the middle on the bottom.

    I don’t think it is a Tolling RFID, but it appears it would SEND a chirp when the button was pressed, so it might be some kind of a transponder, like a big industrial garage door opener with security (hence the RTC) or similar remote.

  5. Ian Scott says:

    Looks like a FasTrak toll tag to me!

  6. Andrew McRae says:

    Yeah definitely seems to be a toll tag

    The two images seem to be the front of two different versions of the device, rather than front and back shots of the same board though

  7. phantom deadline says:

    Now, these are two separate revisions of FasTrak toll tag, not two parts of a singular ware. The first one is the older Atmega-based one: and the second is the newer (2008? vintage) MSP430-based one: see around page 20 here:

  8. phantom deadline says:

    That said, the second one seems to have the buzzer replaced by a button and a LED (compared to the version from the pdf linked above), so it might not exactly be a FasTrak but a different kind of US toll tag (still manufactured by Sirit)

  9. Cody Wheeland says:

    As everyone else is saying, it is definitely a radio toll transponder. Or should I say two of them. The boards do not appear to match perfectly, so I am guessing that one of those is an old transponder and the other is a new one.

    They are Texas Instruments RFID Systems (TIRIS) internal transponders. The first image is the newer one, and the second is the older, if my google-fu is working correctly.

  10. yknott says:

    Totally a radio toll transponder. Specifically for Fastrak. Here’s a picture of the previous revision on it:

    I found another picture of the version Bunnie posted here:

    There are some fun closeups if you scroll through

  11. aki009 says:

    Maybe one of these years I’ll get here early enough. Yup. A FastTrak transponder. Almost exactly like mine.

  12. Drew Rogge says:

    I’m going to guess something like an EZTRAK transponder.

  13. J. Peterson says:

    My initial thought was one of those electronic key finder tags (like a Tile Mate),
    but the toll tag evidence above is pretty convincing.

  14. Dcquery says:

    I am familiar with the EZpass transponders used here in the eastern US, which are silent AFAIK.
    What’s the piezo buzzer used for? And the push button, is it a reset?

  15. mightyohm says:

    I immediately recognized this object as a Fastrak transponder from the thumbnail in my RSS reader, and then I noticed folks on this thread linking to photos I took of one back in 2007. Glad I could indirectly help identify this object. :-)

  16. Martin Vahi says:

    May be an alarm clock that has back lighting?
    The first circuit board has an Atmel MCU with 2 crystals connected 2 it, one fast, another one likely the 32kHz version.

    It might also be a timer, given the single reset button at the second PCB. If it’s a timer then may be it is being used for measuring the time some goods, food products, travel at logistics system. The timer might be placed to the crate, with the transportable goods.

    Those are just wild guesses, I really do not know.
    Thank You for reading my comment.

  17. kodabar says:

    Sheesh, you smart guys really over-think things. Look, the circuitboard is green, just like the one inside my toaster. And it has CPCp printed on it – that’s because I call my toaster a Crappy Piece of Crap when it burns the toast. And that round pink thing must be where the bread goes; it says it right there – in organic. So the organic goes in there and I guess the toast must come out of the black thing, which totally makes sense because it’s just as black as the Crappy Piece of Crap makes my toast. And you guys are supposed to be smart. It’s a toaster! It’s the same shape and everything….

  18. Nate says:

    I’m disqualified since I did a whole talk about these. The interesting thing about the antenna is that it works purely by reflection. The toll plaza sends a carrier wave and the microcontroller changes polarization of the RFID pads in order to transmit a signal back. This makes the transponder very efficient since it doesn’t have to power an amplifier to transmit.

  19. Scott says:

    Hey Bunnie, the cert on bunniefoo is expired. Might want to check that out!

  20. So, as most of you had guessed, these are two different RFID transponders used for automated vehicle tolling. These particular ones were used with Colorado’s ExpressToll system, but identical transponders have been used all over the country, if not the world.

    I think they’re sort of educational because of the changes you can see between the two versions. The first version had a built-in battery and a beeper, and some toll readers could be configured to command the transponder to beep. The later version removed the beeper and replaced the permanent battery with a removable battery, and added a battery test button, that would light the nearby LED.

    The newer one appears to have a greater number of parts, but I suspect still comes out cheaper. The antenna configuration changed dramatically, too.

    But my favorite part is blurred out in the photos. The early Atmel-based device was branded TIRIS (Texas Instruments Registration and Identification System). For the newer model, the company reversed the name to SIRIT, which appears to be a private company in Toronto, now.

    Of course, modern RFID Automatic Vehicle Identification tags are just thin stickers, now, with no batteries required.