Proxmark3 RDV4 – Hardware and Accessories Guide

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The Proxmark3 RDV4.01 by RFID Research Group, is the latest in a long line of revisions made possible by the expert work of ProxGrind and Iceman and the rest of their research team. Utilizing the most advanced firmware yet, it also includes some unique hardware features that separate it from the rest of the models out on the market. In addition to its tiny form factor and intuitive standalone functionality, this latest iteration includes the following upgrades: 

  • Gold-plated FPC Connector
  • Antenna “Q-Switch” allowing for adapting antennas to specific operations
  • Antenna Frequency Switch allowing for optimised 125KHz and 134KHz performance
  • Reduced power supply noise

When you purchase the Proxmark3 RDV4 Kit from Hacker Warehouse, you will receive the following components:

  1. Proxmark3 RDV4.01 PCB
  2. Short range LF and HF antenna set
  3. SIM/SAM card adapter
  4. PVC housing
  5. (1) T5557 card
  6. (1) Gen1A 1K S50 card
  7. USB A to USB micro cable
  8. Mini screwdriver
  9. Extra screws
  10. Guitar pick (for opening the housing)

Unlike previous revisions of the Proxmark3, the RDV4 by RRG comes fully assembled and ready for setup on your system right out of the box. This is great news for anyone experienced with the RDV2 and other iterations – which were bulky and not exactly suitable for stealth applications.

There are a number of different accessories available for the Proxmark3 RDV4, all of which can be added to the device using the tools supplied with the kit. This currently includes the following antennas and modules, all available from Hacker Warehouse:

  1. LF Ferrite antenna
  2. Medium Range LF antenna
  3. Long Range LF antenna
  4. Medium Range HF antenna
  5. Long Range HF antenna
  6. Blue Shark Battery and Bluetooth module

To install any of the custom antennas, you will need to remove the antenna housing from the device and using the screwdriver, disconnect the default antennas from the device. Replace the default antenna with the desired LF or HF antenna, securing it to the device with the same screws you just removed. Make sure to match LF and HF sides of each PCB – these connection points are clearly labeled. Note that you will not be able to use the PVC antenna housing in combination with either of the long-range antenna variants.

Installing the Blue Shark battery and bluetooth module is just as easy as attaching an antenna. With the antenna housing removed, use the supplied guitar pick to pry the two halves of the PCB housing apart. The two halves are snap fit together and mounted to the PCB via three plastic posts – use care when separating the housing from the PCB to prevent damage to the device components.

Next you will need to remove any antennas from the PCB in order to access the ribbon cable connector. Carefully lift the clamp on the cable connector and insert the ribbon cable on the back of the Blue Shark module with the connection pads facing down. Close the clamp to secure the cable in place. Align the plastic posts on the back of the Blue Shark module with the holes on the device PCB. Replace the bottom half of the PCB housing, aligning post holes with the posts of the Blue Shark module and carefully snap the two together, covering the PCB. You may now replace the antenna.

The Blue Shark battery and bluetooth module is available for purchase at Hacker Warehouse, as are the 5 custom antennas. The medium and long-range variants of the LF and HF antennas are available as bundled sets and the Ferrite antenna can be purchased by itself.

For more information on how to setup and use the Proxmark3 RDV4, make sure to check out the rest of the articles in this series. 

Although the Proxmark3 RDV4 is by far the most feature-rich and field-capable device in RFID research and security testing, you may want to check out some other great RFID devices such as the Chameleon Mini RevE and the Keysy, offering some of the same functionality as the RDV4. 

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Step-By-Step Breakout
Proxmark3 RDV4 Hardware and Accessories Guide

Installing Modular Antenna:
1. Remove PVC antenna housing from the device by sliding it down and away from the antenna
2. Using the supplied screwdriver, remove the six screws connecting the default antenna from the main PCB
3. Replace the default antenna with desired custom antenna, making sure to align the connection points to the correct side of the PCB
4. Replace the six screws to connect the antenna to the main PCB
5. Medium-range LF and HF antennas are small enough to replace PVC antenna housing on the device, but the Long-range antennas and LF Ferrite antennas are too large and must be used without the housing

Installing the Blue Shark Battery and Bluetooth Module
1. Remove the antenna from the main PCB using steps 1 and 2 above
2. Using the supplied guitar pick, carefully pry the two halves of the PVC housing covering the main PCB and remove the top half
3. Locate the FPC interface in between the two sets of three antenna connections
4. Carefully lift the gate to open the FPC interface
5. Locate the FPC wire on the back of the Blue Shark module
6. Insert the FPC wire into the FPC interface on the main PCB making sure that the exposed connection pads are facing down
7. Carefully close the gate on the FPC interface to secure the FPC wire to the device
8. Remove the protective film covering the double-side insulating tape located on the back side of the Blue Shark module
9. Align the 3 plastic posts on the back of the Blue Shark module with the post holes in the PCB and back half of the PVC housing
10. Carefully snap the Blue Shark module into the back half of the PVC housing, enclosing the main PCB

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