So far I’ve written about using TagMo to write Amiibo backups to cheap NFC tags using an Android phone and how to use the Powersaves for Amiibo to write Amiibo backups to their proprietary PowerTag. This next solution is one you can very easily build yourself, and use to read Amiibo and write tags on your computer.
What you’ll need:
- Arduino Uno
- RC522 RFID Module
- Male-Female connector wires
- you can get those 3 a lot cheaper on eBay if you don’t mind waiting for shipping from China and doing a little soldering
- Amiibomb software
- NTAG215 Cards or Stickers
- Amiibo to backup or .bin format backup files
While it’s not as cheap as using an Android phone you already have to write tags, this is a great, inexpensive way to backup your Amiibo. If you’ve got the patience to wait for shipping from China, and basic soldering skills, you can put the whole thing together, and buy a bunch of stickers or cards to write to for cheaper than buying the Powersaves for Amiibo and only getting the one PowerTag. For those of you who have never used an Arduino before, I promise it’s not hard, especially for this application. As a bonus, there’s a lot of other stuff you can do with it, and I’ll probably have some more tutorials for Arduino in the future.
The first step is to connect the RC522 module to the Arduino. We’ll be following this table from the Amiibomb Github page:
|Signal||RC522 Pin||Arduino Pin|
|SPI MOSI||MOSI||11 / ICSP-4|
|SPI MISO||MISO||12 / ICSP-1|
|SPI SCK||SCK||13 / ICSP-3|
If this looks intimidating, just focus on the last 2 columns, and check out these pictures:
Go ahead and slide the female end of your connector wires over the 7 used pins, all but IRQ. Then connect the male ends to the corresponding pins on the Arduino board:
The next step after connecting the RFID module is to connect the Arduino to your computer, and then flash the custom Amiibomb firmware to it. Just connect up the USB cable that comes with the Arduino between it and the computer, then open the Amiibomb software. Then click File > Flash Amiibombuino > with Internal Flasher. It will pop up the flasher tool, you just need to pick your port and model. If you bought from the links above you’ll choose Uno (R3) and the port should be something like USB Serial device. Then just click “Flash Amiibombuino” and let it roll.
Now that the Arduino is running the proper firmware, you’re all set to backup your Amiibo and write them to your NTAG215 tags. To do that, click on File > Dump Amiibo and then you can chose to use the Arduino, or if you’ve got the PowerSaves for Amiibo that I wrote about in a previous article it can dump Amiibo using that as well. Whichever you choose, on the windows that pops up click “Dump Amiibo Tag” and then place your Amiibo over the reader. This can read official Amiibo, as well as backup tags you have already flashed.
It will read the Amiibo and dump the data to a .bin file in the default directory which is the lib folder under the Amiibomb folder in Program Files. You can then use it with any of the other Amiibo tools I’ve talked about. In order to use this with Amiibomb, make sure you’ve got the lib directory selected in the left panel, and then you’ll see a list of usable Amiibo down below. Click on the one you want and it will show you a preview of the Amiibo in the middle panel. Then in the top right click on Amiibo > Actions > Create NTAG. Make sure it’s got the right port selected, and then click “Create Amiibo Tag” and hold your blank tag over the NFC writer.
There’s a lot of other stuff you can do with this software, but I’ll save that for another day. In closing, while this is more complex than using the Powersaves for Amiibo it’s a lot cheaper than buying an Android device if you don’t already have one, and it allows you to quickly backup your Amiibo directly to your computer. Plus, you can use the Arduino for other cool projects. One day soon I’ll show you how I used mine to build a lighting dodger for FFX.