Products for USB Sensing and Control
Products for USB Sensing and Control


Unit 1 - 6115 4 St SE
Calgary AB  T2H 2H9
+1 403 282-7335

PhidgetRFID Read-Write

ID: 1024_0B
Recommended for new designs: This product (or a similar replacement with a compatible form, fit and function) is estimated to be available for ten years or more.

Read and write to RFID tags up to 6cm away. Supports EM4100 series, ISO11785 FDX-B and our own PhidgetTag protocols.


Quantity Available: 1000+

Qty Price
5 $57.00
10 $54.00
25 $48.00
50 $42.00
100 $39.00
250 $36.00
500 $33.00
1000 $30.00

Note: The 1024_0B is identical to the 1024_0, except that it comes pre-assembled in a plastic shell enclosure and you have the option of which length of USB cable you want to include.

The PhidgetRFID Read-Write reads RFID tags that are brought in close proximity to the reader and returns the tag identification number. Writing data to T5577 tags is also supported. For a list of compatible RFID tags that we have available, see the Connection & Compatibility tab.

RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) systems use data strings stored inside RFID tags to uniquely identify people or objects when their tags are scanned by an RFID reader. These types of systems are found in many applications such as passport protection, animal identification, inventory control systems, and secure access control systems.

The PhidgetRFID Read-Write supports reading and writing in 3 protocols; EM4100, ISO11785 FDX-B, and PhidgetTag. The PhidgetTag protocol simply stores up to 24 ASCII characters to the tag, eliminating the necessity for a table of corresponding tag numbers and names in your program. Phidgets sells EM4100 read-only tags that can be read with either of our RFID readers, and writable tags which can be written with the 1024 using any protocol. Any 3rd-party EM4100 or ISO11785 tags can be read.

Because passive tags require a strong RF field to operate, their effective range is limited to an area in close proximity to the RFID reader. The distance over which the RFID tag is usable is affected by such things as the tag shape and size, materials being used in the area near the reader, and the orientation of the reader and tag in respect to each other and in their operating environment. The smaller a tag, the closer it must be to the reader to operate.

The 1024 has two digital outputs, labeled "+5V" and "LED". These work the same as any other Phidgets Inc. digital output, except that the "+5V" output has a higher current rating. You can use these outputs to have an LED or buzzer to indicate when a tag read has occured.


The PhidgetRFID Read-Write is compatible with tags that use either the EM4100 series, T5577, or FDX-B protocols. It is compatible with both the read-only and read-write tags sold here. Here's a list of all available tags:

Product Tag Properties
Image Part Number Price Protocol Typical Read/Write Distance
(with 1024 - PhidgetRFID R-W)
Tag Characteristics
3008_0 $1.10 EM4102 110 mm Passive, Read-Only
3902_0 $1.30 EM4102 80 mm Passive, Read-Only
3903_0 $2.00 EM4102 60 mm Passive, Read-Only
3905_0 $2.75 EM4102 80 mm Passive, Read-Only
3906_0 $2.00 EM4102 80 mm Passive, Read-Only
3907_0 $1.00 EM4102 50 mm Passive, Read-Only
3908_0 $1.00 EM4102 80 mm Passive, Read-Only
3911_0 $1.30 EM4102 100 mm Passive, Read-Only
3913_0 $0.80 EM4102 70 mm Passive, Read-Only
3914_0 $0.80 EM4102 50 mm Passive, Read-Only
3915_0 $1.50 T5577 120 mm Passive, Read/Write
3916_0 $1.20 T5577 100 mm Passive, Read/Write
3917_0 $3.00 T5577 100 mm Passive, Read/Write
3918_0 $2.30 T5577 100 mm Passive, Read/Write
3919_0 $1.50 T5577 50 mm Passive, Read/Write
3920_0 $1.50 T5577 100 mm Passive, Read/Write
3921_0 $2.50 EM4102 80 mm Passive, Read-Only

USB Cables

Use a USB cable to connect this Phidget to your computer. We have a number of different lengths available, although the maximum length of a USB cable is 5 meters due to limitations in the timing protocol. For longer distances, we recommend that you use a Single Board Computer to control the Phidget remotely.

Product Physical Properties
Image Part Number Price Connector A Connector B Cable Length
3017_1 $3.00 USB Type A USB Mini-B 280 mm
3018_0 $4.00 USB Type A USB Mini-B 1.8 m
3020_0 $12.00 USB Type A USB Mini-B 4.5 m
3036_0 $3.50 USB Type A USB Mini-B 600 mm
3037_0 $4.00 USB Type A USB Mini-B 1.2 m

Getting Started

Welcome to the 1024 user guide! In order to get started, make sure you have the following hardware on hand:

Next, you will need to connect the pieces:

1024 0 Connecting The Hardware.jpg
  1. Connect your device to your computer using the USB cable

Now that you have everything together, let's start using the 1024!

Using the 1024

Phidget Control Panel

In order to demonstrate the functionality of the 1024, the Phidget Control Panel running on a Windows machine will be used.

The Phidget Control Panel is available for use on both macOS and Windows machines.


To open the Phidget Control Panel on Windows, find the Ph.jpg icon in the taskbar. If it is not there, open up the start menu and search for Phidget Control Panel

Windows PhidgetTaskbar.PNG


To open the Phidget Control Panel on macOS, open Finder and navigate to the Phidget Control Panel in the Applications list. Double click on the Ph.jpg icon to bring up the Phidget Control Panel.

For more information, take a look at the getting started guide for your operating system:

Linux users can follow the getting started with Linux guide and continue reading here for more information about the 1024.

First Look

After plugging the 1024 into your computer and opening the Phidget Control Panel, you will see something like this:

1024 Panel.jpg

The Phidget Control Panel will list all connected Phidgets and associated objects, as well as the following information:

  • Serial number: allows you to differentiate between similar Phidgets.
  • Channel: allows you to differentiate between similar objects on a Phidget.
  • Version number: corresponds to the firmware version your Phidget is running. If your Phidget is listed in red, your firmware is out of date. Update the firmware by double-clicking the entry.

The Phidget Control Panel can also be used to test your device. Double-clicking on an object will open an example.

RFID (Read/Write)

Double-click on the RFID object labelled RFID Reader/Writer in order to run the example:

1024 RFIDReadWrite Example.jpg

General information about the selected object will be displayed at the top of the window. You can also experiment with the following functionality:

  • Bring a compatible tag close to the 1024 and the tag's string and protocol will be displayed. Blank tags will not display anything until they are written to.
  • Toggle power to the antenna using the checkbox labelled Antenna Enabled. Toggling antenna power decreases power consumption, however, the 1024 will no longer be able to read or write tags.
  • Enabling the Keyboard Output Enabled checkbox will cause your computer to write a string of text whenever a tag is discovered. Park your cursor in an empty text file and try it out!
  • Write to a tag by selecting the protocol from the drop-down menu, entering the desired tag in the Tag String text box, and pressing the Write button. If you enable the Lock checkbox, the tag will be permanently written to, and it will be impossible to overwrite.

Digital Output

Double-click on one of the Digital Output objects available in order to run the example. They are labelled Digital Output, LED Driver, and Onboard LED.

1024DigitalOutput OnOff Example.jpg

General information about the selected object will be displayed at the top of the window. You can also experiment with the following functionality:

  • Toggle the state of the digital output by pressing the button.

Finding The Addressing Information

Before you can access the device in your own code, and from our examples, you'll need to take note of the addressing parameters for your Phidget. These will indicate how the Phidget is physically connected to your application. For simplicity, these parameters can be found by clicking the button at the top of the Control Panel example for that Phidget.

The locate Phidget button is found in the device information box

In the Addressing Information window, the section above the line displays information you will need to connect to your Phidget from any application. In particular, note the Channel Class field as this will be the API you will need to use with your Phidget, and the type of example you should use to get started with it. The section below the line provides information about the network the Phidget is connected on if it is attached remotely. Keep track of these parameters moving forward, as you will need them once you start running our examples or your own code.

All the information you need to address your Phidget

Using Your Own Program

You are now ready to start writing your own code for the device. The best way to do that is to start from our Code Samples.

Select your programming language of choice from the drop-down list to get an example for your device. You can use the options provided to further customize the example to best suit your needs.

Code Sample Choose Language.png

Once you have your example, you will need to follow the instructions on the page for your programming language to get it running. To find these instructions, select your programming language from the Programming Languages page.

Technical Details

Tag Types

We support read-only tags that have been programmed with a supported protocol, as well as T5577 type tags for writing.


T5577 tags can be written with any of the supported protocols. Fresh T5577 tags that have never been programmed may show up as an EM4100 tag, or may not show up at all. After writing, they will always show up as the written tag. We also support a lock function which prevents a tag from ever being re-written.


A protocol is a way of encoding data on an RFID tag. This is not the same as the tag type. For example, we support the T5577 tag type, which can be programmed with any of the protocols which we support. We also support read-only tags which have been programmed in any of these protocols.

We support three reading and writing protocols with the 1024:


EM4100 (also known as EM4102) is the protocol that all previous PhidgetRFID readers have supported. Therefore, if you want to use the 1024 to write to writable tags to be read with previous versions of the PhidgetRFID, you need to write them in this protocol first. This protocol encodes 40 bits of arbitrary data. Read-only tags that are factory programmed with this protocol are supposed to be unique.

Phidgets represents this protocol as a 10-digit hex string, include leading 0's (e.g. 0087f3bc91). This is the format to use for writing new tags, and to expect from the tag events.

ISO11785 FDX-B

ISO11785 defines tags used for animal IDs. If you have a pet cat or dog, chances are high that they have one of these tags implanted. FDX-B refers to the way that the ISO11785 data is encoded on the RFID tag, and is the industry-standard encoding scheme.

This tag consists of a 10-bit country code and a 38-bit unique ID.

The country code is ISO 3166. The '999' code is set aside for testing.

The unique ID is 38-bit unsigned, so that's a range of 0 - 274,877,906,943.

Phidgets represents this protocol as a 15-digit decimal number string - concatenated 3-digit country code and 12-digit id. For example, 999000000000123 would represent the testing country code and an id of 123. Please note that the 12-digit id part cannot exceed the 38-bit maximum integer value of 274,877,906,943.

Note that Animal tags with a valid country code are supposed to be unique. Of course, with the 1024 you can freely copy an existing Animal Tag.


The PhidgetsTAG protocol is an internal protocol only supported by the PhidgetRFID 1024.

This protocol allows storing an ASCII string, up to 24 characters (e.g. I am a Phidgets Tag!)

The ASCII data must be 7-bit, so no extended ASCII support, but standard text is all supported (as well as control codes).

Controlled Outputs

Make sure to attach a diode across the terminals of the relay if you are using output 0 on the RFID board to drive it.

The PhidgetRFID has four outputs - two of which are available to the user, and two of which are for internal control of the Phidget board only. Output 0 is a +5V source from the USB bus through a P-Channel MOSFET with less than one ohm impedance. This can be used to switch a TTL or CMOS device, or it can be used to drive a 5VDC relay such as the Aromat JS1-5V. Output 1 is an LED drive output at 5VDC with maximum 15mA of available current (250 ohm CMOS output). Both Output 0 and 1 are available in hardware at the terminal blocks on the PhidgetRFID board. If Output 0 is used to drive a relay, a fast clamping diode must be placed across the relay drive pins as shown in the diagram on the right. Not doing so can result in permanent damage to the PhidgetRFID board.

Output Function Connection
0 +5VDC Source Terminal Block
1 External LED Drive Terminal Block
LED Internal LED Drive Internal Only
RF Enable RF Antenna Enable Internal Only

Interfering Signals

If you are using multiple RFID readers, placing them too close together will cause interference when reading tags. You could work around this problem by rapidly "polling" each 1024 by turning the antenna on, checking for tags, and then turning it off in sequence. Of course, this will lengthen the amount of time it takes for your system to read a tag, since you may have to wait for the nearest reader to become active.

Object Speed

When trying to read tags, you should allow the tag to remain within detection range for at least 50ms. Tags moving through the detection area faster than this may not register at all.

Further Reading

For more information on RFID readers and tags, visit the RFID Primer.

What to do Next

  • Programming Languages - Find your preferred programming language here and learn how to write your own code with Phidgets!
  • Phidget Programming Basics - Once you have set up Phidgets to work with your programming environment, we recommend you read our page on to learn the fundamentals of programming with Phidgets.


caption Phidgets Inc
FCC ID: SUT1024-0
This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions:
(1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and
(2) This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.
Note: The manufacturer is not responsible for any radio or TV interference caused by unauthorized modifications to this equipment. Such modifications could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.
The user is cautioned that any changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
• Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
• Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
• Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.
• Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
This unit was tested with shielded cables on the peripheral devices. Shielded cables must be used with the unit to ensure compliance.

Product Specifications

Controlled By USB (Mini-USB)
API Object Name RFID
USB Speed Full Speed
RFID Reader
API Object Name RFID
Antenna Resonant Frequency Min 125 kHz
Antenna Resonant Frequency Max 150 kHz
Protocol EM4100, ISO11785 FDX-B, PhidgetTag
USB Speed Full Speed
Electrical Properties
Available External Voltage (+5V) 5 V DC
Available External Voltage (LED) 5 V DC
Available External Current (+5V) 400 mA
Available External Current (LED) 16 mA
Output Impedance (LED) 250 Ω
Current Consumption Min 27 mA
Current Consumption Max 150 mA
Physical Properties
Recommended Wire Size 16 to 26 AWG
Operating Temperature Min 0 °C
Operating Temperature Max 70 °C
Digital Outputs
Number of Digital Outputs 2
Digital Output Voltage Min 0 V DC
Digital Output Voltage Max 5 V DC
Customs Information
Canadian HS Export Code 8471.80.00
American HTS Import Code 8471.80.40.00
Country of Origin CN (China)


Product History

The 1024 - PhidgetRFID Read/Write replaced our previous RFID Reader, the 1023 - PhidgetRFID.
Date Board Revision Device Version Packaging Revision Comment
February 2013 0 100 Product Release
October 2015 0 101 OS X El Capitan USB bug fix
September 2017 0 101 B Added plastic shell enclosure and removed USB cable
May 2018 0 103 B Fixed offboard LED blip and changed default to OFF

Software Objects

Channel NameAPIChannel
RFID Reader/Writer RFID 0
Digital Output DigitalOutput 0
LED Driver DigitalOutput 1
Onboard LED DigitalOutput 2


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Code Samples

Example Options


				Make your selections to display sample code.

Code Samples


RFID Visual Studio GUI C# Windows Download
RFID Java Android Download
RFID JavaScript Browser Download
RFID Objective-C macOS Download
RFID Swift macOS Download
RFID Swift iOS Download
RFID Visual Basic .NET Windows Download
RFID Max/MSP Multiple Download
DigitalOutput Visual Studio GUI C# Windows Download
DigitalOutput Java Android Download
DigitalOutput JavaScript Browser Download
DigitalOutput Multi-Channel Example JavaScript Browser Download
DigitalOutput Objective-C macOS Download
DigitalOutput Swift macOS Download
DigitalOutput Swift iOS Download
DigitalOutput Visual Basic .NET Windows Download
DigitalOutput Max/MSP Multiple Download