RFID Basics

Contributors: Nate, Toni_K, a_cavis
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Depending on the enclosure and environment you are operating an RFID system in, you may run into functionality issues with the readers not accurately reading or writing data from a tag. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind that may help improve your system's functionality.

  • Avoid RF Interference - Any other RF-emmiting devices in the area of your system may negatively affect the performance of an RFID system, especially if they operate in the same band. Having multiple RFID readers near each other can cause system interference
  • Use a clean power supply - Like most electronic systems, noisy and/or dirty power supplies can cause strange behavior in an RFID system. Clean, regulated power sources are recommended.
  • Check for line of site - Open-air readings without other objects obstructing the line-of-site between the reader and the tag can improve outputs.
  • Use an external antenna - This can improve read range for all systems. Onboard antennas are limited in power and range.
  • Stop Holding Tags (UHF systems) - Humans are basically bags of water. If you hold the tag in your hand you'll degrade the range for reading significantly. Instead, tape the tag to a non-metal, non-watery device.
  • Change tag types - Typically, the smaller the tag, the shorter the read range. If you are using a glass capsule, try a button. If you're using a button, try a card.