RFID Beginners Tutorial

Pages
Contributors: Brandon J. Williams
Favorited Favorite 9

Introduction

In this tutorial we'll show you how to make a remote "clock punch" that logs time, location, and identification.

RFID is as magic as waving a card in front of a little black box and doors open for all to pass. This technology is so versatile that it was projected in 2017 to support a $31.42 billion market by 2023. We’ve enjoyed RFID tech as much as the next and we want to share it with you. In this tutorial we’ll touch on some key topics of the technology. Then we’ll work on making a remote work clock punch that can log time, location, and identification. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your own magic in RFID as well.

Items we will be using in this tutorial.

What Is RFID?

In simple terms, RFID Technology is a method of wireless communication between two (or more) electrical components. There is a reader that can emit a signal and passively reads incoming signals. Tags are devices that contain identification or other information. They come in two types, passive or active. Active tags have their own power source to actively transmit their contained information. Passive tags are ‘powered’ through radiated signals from the reader to transmit unique information. Either way it boils down to two devices yelling at each other like two cranky people. This transmission is how we’ll pass this information to our microcontroller to log our "in’s and out’s".

Required Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, you will need the following materials. You may not need everything though depending on what you have. Add it to your cart, read through the guide, and adjust the cart as necessary.

Suggested Reading

Before going further, brave adventurer, please feel free to brush up on other tutorials and content that will help you on your journey.

GPS Basics

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is an engineering marvel that we all have access to for a relatively low cost and no subscription fee. With the correct hardware and minimal effort, you can determine your position and time almost anywhere on the globe.

I2C

An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

Serial Terminal Basics

This tutorial will show you how to communicate with your serial devices using a variety of terminal emulator applications.

RFID Basics

Dive into the basics of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

SparkFun Qwiic RFID-IDXXLA Hookup Guide

The Qwiic RFID ID-XXLA is an I2C solution that pairs with the ID-LA modules: ID-3LA, the ID-12LA, or the ID-20LA, and utilizes 125kHz RFID chips. Let's take a look at the hardware used for this tutorial.

SparkFun GPS Breakout (ZOE-M8Q and SAM-M8Q) Hookup Guide

The SparkFun ZOE-M8Q and SAM-M8Q are two similarly powerful GPS units but with different project applications. We'll compare both chips before getting each up and running.

Displaying Your Coordinates with a GPS Module

This Arduino tutorial will teach you how to pinpoint and display your GPS coordinates with a press of a button using hardware from our Qwiic Connect System (I2C).

Hookup Guide for the SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

Get started with the powerful RedBoard Artemis Nano

Qwiic Connect System
Qwiic Connect System