Long distance rfid reading

RFID Tag Reading for bike station

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I am working on a personal project which consists of a bike “station” similar to those found in big cities that work as bike rental per hour.

I am trying to implement a system that allows the controller to recognize if a bike is in the station, or if it was removed by the user. For this system, I am using an Arduino Nano and an RC522 RFID reading module. However, the range is not enough, probably just 1 or 2 cm, and I want to ensure the system is robust enough to read the tag every time and not only when placed in a perfect position (a variation of millimeters in position fails to read the tag). I already modified the RC522 Arduino library suggesting modifying the dB gain to increase the range but it’s not enough.

The RFID sticker is placed on the front of the bike with a small tab that is introduced inside a locking station and locks the bike in position when pushed forward. It may be important to mention that this tab is metallic, which may interfere with the RFID communication reducing the range (not sure about that, just guessing)

I am looking for an alternative to this reader with a longer range which is compatible with Arduino or similar controller. I did some research and found this 125 kHz RFID Reader however I couldn’t find any EM4100 sticker (that will ship in less than 30 days) that can be glued on the bike tab, only key fobs but there’s no viable way to attach them to the bike.

I am a bit confused about protocols, compatibility between tags and readers, frequencies so I would like to know what would be the best approach to solve this issue.

TL:DR: I am looking for an RFID reader compatible with Arduino which has a longer range than the RC522 (currently working on a 1-2 cm range, but I need three or four times that range) and the tag can be a flat sticker to stick on a metallic tab that locks in position.

Thank you very much in advance.arduinorfidmfrc522shareedit  follow  flagedited 1 hour agoSamGibson14.8k44 gold badges2424 silver badges5050 bronze badgesasked 2 hours agoEduardo Aguirre1 New contributor

  • 1Although EE.StackExchange should not be used for product recomendations, it seems that you are looking for a standard. The RC522 and its 125Khz tags can’t be used at that distance. The RFID standard that you are looking for is 13.56MHz, or even UHF RFID. Look at this link and this link and this. – mguima 2 hours ago
  • @Eduardo Aguirre, Your recommended concise reading is very good. I read it and learn some useful stuff that I don’t know that I don’t know. Ref (1) :RFID Range (30cm to 100m) Overview: What is the maximum read distance of RFID? – SkyRFID: skyrfid.com/RFID_Range.php. Thanks a lot. Cheers. – tlfong01 39 mins ago    
  • Your second recommended article is a bit longer, but as educational: Ref (2) “RFID Card Maximum Read Distance”: uinta6.k12.wy.us/site/handlers/…. – tlfong01 35 mins ago   
  • Your last recommendation, an instructable on a 5 feet RFID reader is interesting. Some months ago I spent 100+ hours messing around with RC522 and PN532 and was disappointing at their short distance limits. I guess I must start learning reading longer distances. Cheers. – tlfong01 27 mins ago   
  • 1@mguima thank you very much for the suggested reading that’s quite helpful! – Eduardo Aguirre 26 mins ago
  • 1@tifong01 I did those recommendations. But this really doesn’t matter at all. Anyways, you’re welcome! 😉 – mguima 1 min ago

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RFID Range (30cm to 100m) Overview: What is the maximum read distance of RFID? – SkyRfid

RFID Card Maximum Read Distance –

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