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Pet RFID chip... seeking readers for maximum range

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  • Pet RFID chip... seeking readers for maximum range

    Working on a little project here at the house... and part of it will involve reading RFID chips which are implanted in pets in our home. I am seeking readers that we can hack or tweak (or which are great simply off-the-shelf) in order to maximize the effective read range of this hardware.

    Can anyone recommend a reader that will pick up the presence of a pet at one foot away? two feet? what is the range at which it becomes impractical, from a power/money/etc standpoint, to read a pet?

    I am hoping to not spend more than $100 on any reader (ideally, i'd like to spend about half that) and am hoping for it to not be utterly huge. (let's say, a size of 5" x 5" would be an ideal maximum size of the reader's front face... but i'm more flexible on this point)

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; September 19, 2012, 15:27.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: Pet RFID chip... seeking readers for maximum range

    At one point I was going to try a fun data collection project using my dogs, but it died in the early planning phase. The best reader I could find couldn't pick up the chips because most readers don't have the power to reach where it is located between the shoulder blades (I want to monitor food dishes from below). Even running a reader directly over my dogs where the tag should be, I couldn't push enough power in to get a ping from the embedded tag using the sub-$40 reader I have.

    I took the easy road and wound up ordering a normal (13.56MHz instead of 125kHz the pet chip is) reader shield and have ordered some tags to place around their collars with the rest of their tags. Then I can place a fixed powered box where I need to for the reading I want. With proper placement and using a wall adapter I can get about 3 inches if the tags fall just right. The longer range high powered readers that operate higher in the band were just too cost prohibitive for a fun weekend project.
    I'm sure someone else knows a way around it with a sweet home brewed reader for that low frequency, but I don't have those skills at the moment.

    I guess this doesn't help a whole lot, I just wanted to share in the frustration :)
    Last edited by gnull; September 19, 2012, 16:00.
    ...dialtone...

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    • #3
      Re: Pet RFID chip... seeking readers for maximum range

      someone on Twitter recommended i consider doing a wire loop around the whole door frame... i imagine it'd be harder to tune that properly, but would it work? the animals in question in this equation do not wear collars and aren't going to be starting anytime soon... so we'll have to find a way to make this work with the sub-dermal chips.
      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
      - Trent Reznor

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      • #4
        Re: Pet RFID chip... seeking readers for maximum range

        Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
        someone on Twitter recommended i consider doing a wire loop around the whole door frame... i imagine it'd be harder to tune that properly, but would it work? the animals in question in this equation do not wear collars and aren't going to be starting anytime soon... so we'll have to find a way to make this work with the sub-dermal chips.
        Dev,
        You might try this, there are "portal/gate readers" that have a similar setup for (un)loading trucks. They read a tag on a pallet of goods as it passes through, and feeds the code down the line to a inventory/database application. Although they normally use a self-powered tag.

        My suggestion would be to try it on a small scale first.

        Give me a yell on my cell when you see this. I can tell you more about RFID chips than you'd care to know, and we can kick around some ideas. Maybe we can come up with something that will work for you.
        Thorn
        "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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