This is an article describing the basic features for doing an RFID demo with an RFID fixed reader, the Nordic ID Sampo. The features of the demo application are basically the same on the mobile computer, the Nordic ID Morphic and the Nordic ID Merlin.
Nordic ID RFID Demo is a very easy-to-use tool for managing tag
data. Through the Connection function a connection to the device
can be made through USB, Serial or TCP/IP connection depending of
the model of the RFID reader used. The connection can be either
automatic or manual. From the six orange icons on the left side the
user can see the function options of the demo. When opening the
Nordic ID RFID Demo, the demo first shows whether the device is
connected to the demo or not. As can be seen from the picture, the
Nordic ID Sampo has successfully been connected to the program.
The Easy inventory section defines simple
parameters for inventory. Easy inventory is highly automated and
thus easy to use taking account the users who do not have a deep
understanding about all the various settings and their effect on
reading performance. This view allows the user only to modify the
reading range and the operating region. The available settings for
the reading range are minimum, medium & maximum. Also, the user
can define whether the tags are read only once or whether the
reading is continuous. There is a statistics display that shows for
example the reading speed and inventory speed. Setting the region
correctly is important in order to comply with local laws and to
insure that it matches the antenna tuning of your RFID
The Advanced inventory offers a full control of
all RFID reading parameters, for more in depth testing. In addition
to the parameters set in the Easy inventory, several others can be
defined as well. The Q value defines the number of slots in which
the tag places the answer randomly. Higher Q values should be used
when there are several tags to be read. In addition, there is an
AUTO setting for the Q value, a feature not necessarily found in
other RFID readers.
Advanced inventory also allows the user to define rounds, e.g. how
many query rounds are carried out in one inventory round.
With the tag writer program the user can read and modify the
content of any memory bank, edit the EPC code of a tag, set lock
states for memory banks, set access and kill passwords and kill the
tag. The tag writer can also analyze the content of memory for
instance by showing the manufacturer of the tag IC and possibly
also the marketing name of the IC. However, it is worth noting that
all tags cannot be written. As an example RO (read only) and WORM
(write once read many) tags belong to this group. Also, some of the
memory banks can be of "read only" type, for example the TID bank
and the CRC area of the EPC bank.
The type of the tag determines the editing options for the
information. The memory area of the tag can be protected, which
means that some or all of the banks can be locked. The correct
password must be entered to be able to modify the secured tag
contents and only if such modifications are allowed at all.
The Channel Scanner shows whether other devices
are operating on the same frequency as the one attached to the
demo. If the number of other active devices is high, the
performance of the reader may decrease. The Channel Scanner can be
used to find disruptive RF sources.
There is also the Debugger feature. It can be
used for observing data traffic between the RFID reader and PC and
in depth information about the driver.
The demo gives a basic insight into writing and also reading tags
but as there are many different users, there are many different
possible applications as well.
Co-author on the article: Turo Rantanen.