First DIY RFID experience: Arduino controlled Parallax reader

RFIDParallaxArduinoiBookIn the last couple of weeks I became heavily interested in RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology probably because the dangerous idea of all pervasive computing and the opportunities to build sg from the bottom-up. So here is a how-to to my first installed low frequency, read-only RFID system hopefully followed by a more juicy stuff in the ultra high frequency range up to 9 meters.


Parallax RFID reader with 2 tags ($49.99+shipping, Radio Shack)

9-Position Female Crimp D-Sub Connector($1.99, Radio Shack)

4 hook-up wires

Arduino Diecimila microcontroller ($34.99)

Macbook, iBook

Software, code:

Code in C programming language for using the Arduino with the Parallax RFID reader but in order to upload it to the Arduino board and make it actually work I had to put the reader activator line:

 digitalWrite(2, LOW);                  // Activate the RFID reader

into the

 void loop()

function just like in the the sample Wiring tutorial

Arduino software: different packages for Intel based Macbook and PPC iBook

Here is a screenshot on the Serial Monitor reading the tags on iBook:


20 thoughts on “First DIY RFID experience: Arduino controlled Parallax reader

  1. You can get rewritable tags, but they cost significantly more, and tend to be larger.

  2. Thanks for the great information. I like the screen shots especially the one of the serial monitor reading the ibook tags, very interesting

    When writing technical information it is so important to supply visuals for the reader. Look forward to seeing more.

  3. Great DIY RFID Information. I love the research and individual excitement as well as educational & corporate R&D that goes into the furthering of RFID technology.

  4. Hi ! Great tutorial!
    Do you know how to use an antenna with the RFID reader to be possible to read a tag more far than few inches?


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