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NY, USA
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Hello all,

I'd like to begin by saying that I am new to Arduino and even newer to RFID. I've seen RFID readers from ID Innovations and Parallax, however, I'd like to know if there was a RFID IC I could use as a replacement. For example, I've been looking at TI's TMS3705, NXP's HTRC11001T, EM Microelectronic's EM4XXX series, or something from Atmel, although, I am unsure if these are the appropriate ICs. My basic understanding is that as long as these ICs have power, ground and a data I/O they should be able to read the transponder. Or will I need to load software onto these chips first to work (i.e., can these be used "out of the box"?) Also, from what I've read from some of these companies, they need a basestation, which I assume is a microcontroller and would think the Arduino would be appropriate enough.

As for their application, there is not much specifics to it yet, more so experimenting. What I do have in mind is using a 125-135kHz transponder, preferably with anti-collision.

I'll make sure to update this thread with additional questions, comments and information as I come across it. If anyone has used these, I'd enjoy hearing about it as well.

Thanks.
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At a minimum I would expect the RFID Reader chips to require an antenna in addition to power and ground.

You would probably be better off buying an RFID Reader rather than a bare chip.

http://www.trossenrobotics.com/c/usb-serial-rfid-readers-tags-kits.aspx

http://www.sparkfun.com/categories/144
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Thanks for the reply!

I haven't looked into the RedBee, so I will look into that more.

I'm sorry, but I forgot to mention that some of these ideas will require an external antenna. So yes, I will also need to build and attach the antenna to the RFID IC. My IC will now have a power, ground, data I/O, and an external antenna, is there a bare IC that can be used with the Arduino?
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is there a bare IC that can be used with the Arduino?
What do you know about RFID antenna design? An RFID reader with matched antenna is pretty cheap. It seems to me that your asking means that you don't know enough about designing an RFID system to make the savings worth the hassle. I'm willing to be proved wrong, though.
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What do you know about RFID antenna design? An RFID reader with matched antenna is pretty cheap. It seems to me that your asking means that you don't know enough about designing an RFID system to make the savings worth the hassle. I'm willing to be proved wrong, though.

My physics is a little rusty, but I do know for starters the antenna will need the correct inductance, which the formula changes for based on the shape of the antenna. Companies like TI (well that's for HF), NXP (currently can't find their PDF), and Microchip do offer resources for antenna design and building with their ICs.

For the time being, I believe I only need a read only IC, since this is more for identification purposes and not communication. Additionally, none of this data will have to be confidential so it can be public.

While it may be cheaper and easier to just buy something off the shelf, I feel it does not entirely suit my needs. It is sometimes not always about saving money, but more reaching a goal or accomplishment. Basically, I want to do something only because I can  smiley-mr-green
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Basically, I want to do something only because I can
Might I still suggest that you buy a functioning unit, as a basis for comparison, to get yours working?
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Yes, I should and probably will purchase a functioning unit. I'd still like to know if anyone knows or has used other ICs.
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Here's a schematic of the adafruit unit using the PN532 chip.  It will give you an idea of how many external components are needed:
http://www.adafruit.com/datasheets/PN532_Breakout_Schematic_v1.0.pdf

Here's one that uses software and a couple of op-amps instead of a specialized RFID chip:
http://arduino.cc/playground/Main/DIYRFIDReader
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I am using the ID-12 from Sparkfun linked above. Simple to use and no external components required. Simply attach the wires (6 of them) and read the tag.

While cost is a major factor for me, personally didn't want to have to deal with all of the effort involved in designing my own with the added burden of antenna design. It was much easier to simply buy one that suits my purpose.

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Luck,

Wade

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I've made small progress and have come to the conclusion that I will pick up the ID-Innovations RFID reader and also some of the ICs so that I can play around with them, but still be able to have a working reader.


Thanks to everyone for their help!
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