Multiple Cottonwood UHF Readers

Hi to all,
I’m new to Arduino, but have tinkered with Parallax robots and lots of C programming.

My question is simply, Can you have multiple ( say 2 ) Cottonwood UHF RFID Readers on the same Arduino board ?
and If so, how would you identify them in code ?
Examples I have seen speak about
Serial.begin(2400);
Serial.available()
Serial.read()
This I understand and all makes sense.

Can you have more than one serial board / shield, and how then do you identify ?
Serial.begin() as board/shield one
Serial2.begin() as board/shield two
Serial3.begin() as board/shield three
etc…

Thanks in advance

TheBearF8

Perhaps your best bet is to use the Arduino MEGA which has four serial ports.

Works pretty much as you suggest, although Serial.begin() will open the first and Serial1.begin() will open the second port. To be able to use Serial1,-2 and -3 commands you do... need a board with several hardware serial ports like the Due or MEGA2560.

When 4 ports (or 1 in case of a 328-based arduino) isn't enough it's also possible to create a softwareserial-port by using the SoftwareSerial-library.

Thanks for that Which is the better choice Due or Mega2560 ? I see that one is 5V and the other is 3.3V the Cottonwood UHF RFID reader I believe is 3.3V and thus would need a 3.3V to 5V board At least from http://linksprite.com/article/shownews.php?lang=en&id=64 I got this notion.

Also I know while testing and coding you can print to the "console" the output. But while the board is running NOT connected to the computer can you still output to the USB port or will you required another USB shield. ?

Thanks again in advance

TheBearF8

Without owning a due or USB-host shield, it's hard to give you good advice :)

The mega2560 is probably supported best by the community, but has no USB-host capabilities without shield. Another option, the Mega ADK is based on the same 8-bit controller (same support) and has a chip with USB-host capabilities on board.

The Due is relative new, 32bits, also has USB-otg capabilities, specs are better, but since it's new it may not be as supported as it's 8 bit cousins yet.

http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Products http://arduino.cc/en/Products.Compare

TheBearF8: the Cottonwood UHF RFID reader I believe is 3.3V and thus would need a 3.3V to 5V board At least from http://linksprite.com/article/shownews.php?lang=en&id=64 I got this notion.

That page shows the Cottonwood UHF RFID Reader being connected directly to the serial port of the Arduino MEGA. From that I would assume that it needs no level shifters.