Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Technical Discussion on the PhidgetRFID
borisg
Phidgetly
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:25 pm
Location: chaos
Contact:

Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Postby borisg » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:34 pm

As soon as I saw that you had a new RFID reader that would read FDX-B tags, I ordered one. Today, I loaded the new Phidgets libraries onto a virgin machine (in case upgrading would ruin my other working machines) and got a screen where it was indicated that the tag reader was present but it wouldn't read tags. When I plugged in my ancient read-only tag reader it worked perfectly and the only thing I noticed difference about the user interface was the presence of a protocol line.

Initially I was going to say that the new reader didn't read tags at all but it does although the tag has to be in direct contact with the reader antenna and there are only a few points around it's circumferance where reading is possible. When it does read tags, it's only the old EM4100 tags and it doesn't read the FDX-B tags in any orientation.

Defective reader or software problem? Given the inability of the device to read a tag >1 mm away from it I suspect the power output of the antenna is far too low. Fixable at my end?

User avatar
mparadis
Site Admin
Posts: 656
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Postby mparadis » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:39 am

What frequency does your tag transmit at? The 1024 is still only capable of reading low-frequency tags (~125 Hz).

It should be able to read tags at around 10 cm away, so it could be a power issue. Is it plugged directly into your computer's USB ports, or is it sharing a USB hub with other devices?

User avatar
Patrick
Lead Developer
Posts: 3099
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:46 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Postby Patrick » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:35 am

I don't think it's a power issue. Basically, tags that the old reader can read from a distance need to be placed right on the antenna? That's probably a bad antenna. You'll need to contact support@phidgets.com for a replacement.

Actually, maybe it is a power issue. The new readers will show up on USB at a lower voltage then the 1023 because of the new processor, but a too-low USB voltage could cause issues with the antenna voltage. Make sure you don't use an unpowered hub.

All 1024 go through testing, so the antenna definitely worked at the factory, at the expected read range.

-Patrick

borisg
Phidgetly
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:25 pm
Location: chaos
Contact:

Re: Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Postby borisg » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:07 am

Partly a power issue, but now things get stranger. I had plugged the old RFID reader into a regular external hub and it worked fine. New reader behaved as described yesterday. Today, tried plugging the new reader directly into a laptop USB port and this time it read the old style tag from a much greater distance and also read a veterinary FDX-B tag which is partly inside the insertion syringe and code corresponded to the one in the package. However, the read/write tags which I ordered with the new RFID reader didn't show up at all; tried one of the key fob tags and a credit card type tag.

Also, couldn't write to the veterinary tag and got a timeout error. This might be due to the shielding effect of the metal insertion syringe and I don't know if the tags are to be written before being inserted into an animal or after. The veterinary tag is specified as a R/W tag on the packaging. Don't want to break the sterile packing until I'm ready to tag my cat.

As far as reading the veterinary tag, I've got enough working to create an automatic cat door which would only let my cat in but it would be nice to also be able to program tags.

User avatar
mparadis
Site Admin
Posts: 656
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Postby mparadis » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:25 am

Most read/write tags ship blank, so they won't show up at all until you write to them.

I'm not sure what's happening with the vet tags.

User avatar
Patrick
Lead Developer
Posts: 3099
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:46 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Postby Patrick » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:47 am

We only support writes to T5577 type tags. Your pre-programmed veterinary tags are probably not T5577, so you won't be able to re-program them with the 1024. That being said - you would probably not want to reprogram one of these tags, as they come with a globally unique ID. There are many different types of tags which can be programmed to appear as FDX-B animal tags. We chose to support T5577 specifically. I'm actually surprised that you could buy R/W animal tags, as this would make it too easy to spoof an animal/lose the unique ID...

-Patrick

borisg
Phidgetly
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:25 pm
Location: chaos
Contact:

Re: Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Postby borisg » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:02 am

mparadis, thanks for the hint of trying to write to the blank tags first - can't do it in FDX-B mode, but in Phidgets mode it worked. Only thing that needs to be watched is that one doesn't have two tags in the field as my first attempt at writing to the tags wrote the same string to two of them.

As far as the vet tags go, I'm happy with just using the pre-programmed ID but was just curious if could alter it. I have no idea where the vet tags came from as they were given to me years ago by someone who wanted to implant them in people but the FDX-B would have to be switched for a EM4100 implantable tag. Never did figure out a way to sterilize the EM4100 animal tags and the project got shelved. After looking at the size of the needle for the vet tag insertion, I think I'll decline to implant one into my hand and go with the watch type tag for logging onto systems, opening doors, etc.

User avatar
burley
Human-Cyborg Relations
Posts: 441
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:37 pm
Location: Calgary
Contact:

Re: Defective new Phidgets RFID reader or something else?

Postby burley » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:51 pm

borisg wrote:mparadis, thanks for the hint of trying to write to the blank tags first - can't do it in FDX-B mode, but in Phidgets mode it worked.


Likely what that means is that you weren't writing in the expected protocol. When writing in a particular mode you need to adhere to the rules for that protocol. For example in the case of EM4100 you cannot write anything other than a 10 digit hex string (i.e. 0x04c7ba489d) and with FDX-B you cannot write anything other than a 15-digit decimal string. FOr more information on this you can refer to the User Guide for the 1024:

http://www.phidgets.com/docs/1024_User_Guide#Tag_Types

With Phidgets mode it worked because that mode is much less strict as to what can be written.
Brian Burley
403-282-7335 ext. 6003
support@phidgets.com


Return to “RFID”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests