Need help with handheld RFID reader project

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by davidom2513, May 25, 2014.

  1. davidom2513

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 25, 2014
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    0
    I'm hoping to embark on a project to build a handheld RFID reader for animal tags. Something like this, but much more basic: http://www.allflex.com.au/our-products/readers/product/rs420-green-stick-reader

    I want it to have the following functions:
    1) Read RFID tag
    2) Store tag number and related animal details
    3) Transfer the animal data to a PC

    I will be using the following RFID reader module:
    http://www.priority1design.com.au/shopfront/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=4

    So I will need a suitable microcontroller with:
    - Serial UART
    - Data Storage eg. Flash or SD card
    - A means of transferring to a PC


    So my questions are:
    1) What microcontrollers would people recommend?

    2) How should I go about storing the tag data. Can I read and write to flash memory on a microcontroller, or will I need an SD card interface?

    3) Whats the easiest way to transfer the data to a PC? If I went the SD card path, I could take out the card and put it in the PC. Or is a USB interface possible? What would you recommend?

    Thanks,
    David
     
  2. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    1,605
    You can pull the SD card but I've just added a USB interface so I just plug the thing in. I have to say the Bluetooth on the one you see if a nice feature too (one I have never used).

    I'd look for any micro that supports:

    UART for serial data to RFID
    USB to communicate with a PC
    SPI to run an SD card

    Get lots of memory and some extra pins so you don't get cut short. I work with Microchip stuff so I know them best. Offhand the Microchip PIC18F2682 or the PIC18F27J53would be a good starting point. You can download free C compilers and libraries for the UCB and SD stuff.

    I'd also consider adding in:

    Real time clock (either within the micro or external) to time stamp readings
    Alphanumeric display for human interfacing.

    I should add this is NOT a beginners project, but do-able for anyone with perseverance.

    And welcome to the forums!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  3. davidom2513

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 25, 2014
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    0
    Thanks for the response ErnieM, much appreciated. I had searched for hours on end, but couldn't find a suitable microcontroller. Those Microchip ones look suitable.

    I am not a complete beginner to embedded systems, although most of my work has been carried out on the 8051.

    The Real Time Clock and LCD Display would be nice features too. I think what I will do is start with the most important features, and work from there. I will start with reading the UART and saving to SD card.

    I have downloaded the USB and SD card libraries with the demo code. I am currently downloading the MPLabX IDE also.

    Whats the easiest and cheapest way to program the Microchip? I have come across the PICKit2 and PICKit3. Are there cheaper alternatives to these?
     
  4. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    1,605
    Just get a PICkit 3 from Microchip. Not a clone.

    Final answer. :D
     
  5. davidom2513

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 25, 2014
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    0
    What is IDE and compiler would you recommend?

    I downloaded MPLabX IDE but the compiler is very expensive.

    What is the most commonly used free/open source IDE and compilers?

    EDIT: I downloaded mikroC Pro For PIC Trial version. That should do the trick
     
  6. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    The Microchip compilers that work inside MPLAB (X or not) ALL have free versions to download.

    They work as full versions for 60 days or so, then strip out most optimizations.
     
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