RFID Reader + Arduino


I'm a student about to start a mechatronic project. My idea is to connect a fingerprint scanner to the Arduino Demuilanove to control a door lock. I've had a forum search but not found anything that gives any answers to the feasbility of the project. Has anyone ahd any experience with fingerprint scanners and arduino? I can try and give more details if you need them, however I am just trying to assess how likely this project is to work.

The module I'm looking at in particular is the BA41-00304A from Micron, which is also used in the Samsung P10 laptop. However, I can't find a datasheet for it, so can't assess the connectors and pins it has.

Any help or advice would be very appreciated. Thanks!

EDIT: Now chosen to pursue an RFID reader with this project. Any help is much appreciated!

Can't say much about that part, however a quick search brought me here: Fingerprint Scanner - SEN-08839 - SparkFun Electronics

Description: The Nitgen RS232 serial fingerprint scanner is a powerful ADSP-BF531 Blackfin based system. This scanner is capable of gathering and storing unique finger prints. Simply hold your finger on the optical scanner, query the device over serial, and you will be issued a unique ID. Use that ID within your embedded system to determine access levels, time clocks, door locks, etc.

Unit includes master controller board, optical reader, and ribbon cable to connect read to controller. We are trying to get pigtail interface cables made but in the interim, you will need to create your own connection to the serial connector.


Looking at the pictures of it, it looks like there's a ribbon cable interface back to a controller board, which in turn connects to...probably a USB bus? How does the device present to a PC? (I found a few pictures of the device you're talking about on eBay, but they were, er, less than helpful.) You'll probably be more interested in interfacing with the primary device itself, rather than working with the controller board; tracking the provenance of that piece will likely be easier.

Here's something a little cheaper than the one mentioned above, although it's a slide-scanner rather than a larger unit like the Micron:

It's pretty similar to the device that's in my Thinkpad. :slight_smile:

You might want to check with the fprint folks; they may be able to point you at more information about the device you have:


Oooh that one is nice... Depending on how you want it to work either is viable. The one I linked to uses a ribbon cable, but so does yours, they don't come with the molex type connectors so you'd be on your own there with both... The biggest difference aside from price would be the physical interface, finger swipe or finger place...

Keep in mind that they use TTL serial, so you would not be able to drive them directly via the arduino.

arduino can directly interface to ttl serial. its rs232 serial that they cant.

my bad

Hey guys!

Thanks for the replies! sorry for not replying sooner, I assumed I'd get an email notification if there was a response :stuck_out_tongue:

After talking to my lecturer, I decided to try out an RFID reader as the input rather than a fingerprint scanner module. I've just bought in a reader with 2 keyfobs, and a KS0108 128x64 GLCD screen as an output for messages etc, probably with Processing. The lock mechanism will still be the same.

I'll upload some pics of the project when it's done! If any of you have any words of advice about programming RFID readers with Arduino that would be appreciated; I can see with a simple digital read from the serial that it outputs a 0 or a 1 depending on the signal read, but having trouble getting an accurate measure every time at the moment.

Thanks again for your help!

You can turn on notifications at the bottom of the page.

I have an RFID reader, the one I have basically spits out the number of the token it has read when it comes into range. Wiring is pretty simple, you connect power and ground to a couple of pins, and run the data into D0 (Rx) on the Arduino. Then sit there waiting for incoming data. So you don't "program the reader" as such. You just have a list of tokens that you accept, and reject all the rest.

Thanks for the tips on adding "Notify"!

That's interesting. On the datasheet I had for my RFID it seemed to suggest plugging in to D1 on the Arduino. This worked but not very well, as the serial monitor shows a 1 when the fob came into contact with the reader, but there seemed to be random issues with anomolous 1's appearing every now and again despite the master and fobs being over 10ft away. I didn't think to try changing the digital pin, as I was checking the wiring on my breadboard.

Annoyingly, the RFID is in my locker at my department, so I'll give it a shot on Monday when I have access. I'll also be able to post more detailed issues as well.
Thanks a lot for your help!