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Unleash Your Stories: Raymond Hu

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12 May 2020

Raymond Hu has created one AT Hop ring to rule them all.

Like many students, Raymond uses public transport to travel around Auckland, and has an AT HOP card to tag on and off trains and buses. He found that it was a hassle to retrieve his HOP key tag every time he needed it, as it is attached to his wallet. This inspired him to make something that would allow him to tag on and off the bus effortlessly, without having to dig in his pockets.

Raymond is a first year Engineering student who likes to “browse Reddit, take things apart, and build random stuff.” So, it comes as no surprise that his latest project incorporates all these things. He transformed his AT Hop card into a wearable ring that continues to function like a contactless card. It has student concession, and can still be topped up at Auckland Transport’s self-service machines.

Using the hand-tools, machinery, and materials available at Unleash Space, Raymond extracted the MIFARE DESFire chip from his HOP card and soldered it to a length of coiled wire. He then cast it in epoxy resin which created a smooth ring. He says that it is important when working with epoxy resin to mix it according to the instructions, otherwise you may end up with a jelly-like substance that never cures.

The project took a couple of days. “It probably took me two hours to understand what I was doing and another two hours to actually shape the coil of the ring on a cast.” Then, he needed to rotate the ring over the course of two days to ensure that the resin was spreading evenly while curing.

Like a regular Hop card, Raymond’s ring can be topped up at any of AT’s self-service machines. However, a minor challenge is that “you have to hold the ring in there with one hand and scan your bank card with the other, all while hunching over and squinting at the thing because it’s so low and the screen is dull,” he laughs.

Raymond shared his project on the r/Auckland subreddit, and the response has been hugely positive. “Here I was thinking I was cool for having mine in my phone case,” says a fellow Redditor. “If you’re selling, I’m buying mate. Can’t be bothered fumbling through my wallet anymore,” adds another.

When asked if a bus driver has ever questioned his unique way of tagging on, Raymond says that he has not been called out yet. “I do this for fun, so I’m not planning on doing any commercialisation on the product anytime soon.” However, now that he has finished and tested his first ring, he hopes to make himself an improved version with a cleaner resin cast and a different coil design.

Raymond is thankful that “the people at Unleash Space are very knowledgeable in anything tech, which helps in project development.”

Explore your own options for creating at Unleash Space

James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson

social media

12 May 2020

Raymond Hu has created one AT Hop ring to rule them all.

Like many students, Raymond uses public transport to travel around Auckland, and has an AT HOP card to tag on and off trains and buses. He found that it was a hassle to retrieve his HOP key tag every time he needed it, as it is attached to his wallet. This inspired him to make something that would allow him to tag on and off the bus effortlessly, without having to dig in his pockets.

Raymond is a first year Engineering student who likes to “browse Reddit, take things apart, and build random stuff.” So, it comes as no surprise that his latest project incorporates all these things. He transformed his AT Hop card into a wearable ring that continues to function like a contactless card. It has student concession, and can still be topped up at Auckland Transport’s self-service machines.

Using the hand-tools, machinery, and materials available at Unleash Space, Raymond extracted the MIFARE DESFire chip from his HOP card and soldered it to a length of coiled wire. He then cast it in epoxy resin which created a smooth ring. He says that it is important when working with epoxy resin to mix it according to the instructions, otherwise you may end up with a jelly-like substance that never cures.

The project took a couple of days. “It probably took me two hours to understand what I was doing and another two hours to actually shape the coil of the ring on a cast.” Then, he needed to rotate the ring over the course of two days to ensure that the resin was spreading evenly while curing.

Like a regular Hop card, Raymond’s ring can be topped up at any of AT’s self-service machines. However, a minor challenge is that “you have to hold the ring in there with one hand and scan your bank card with the other, all while hunching over and squinting at the thing because it’s so low and the screen is dull,” he laughs.

Raymond shared his project on the r/Auckland subreddit, and the response has been hugely positive. “Here I was thinking I was cool for having mine in my phone case,” says a fellow Redditor. “If you’re selling, I’m buying mate. Can’t be bothered fumbling through my wallet anymore,” adds another.

When asked if a bus driver has ever questioned his unique way of tagging on, Raymond says that he has not been called out yet. “I do this for fun, so I’m not planning on doing any commercialisation on the product anytime soon.” However, now that he has finished and tested his first ring, he hopes to make himself an improved version with a cleaner resin cast and a different coil design.

Raymond is thankful that “the people at Unleash Space are very knowledgeable in anything tech, which helps in project development.”

Explore your own options for creating at Unleash Space


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