UHF RFID systems offer some benefits over other types of RFID technology. For example, UHF RFID provides a greater read range and the ability to read multiple tags with one reading action. That makes it suited to a wide range of applications, particularly in retail, logistics and manufacturing.
Recently we spotted two new products that will be useful in many UHF RFID applications. here are our thoughts on the Nordic ID Sampo S1 One-series desktop and portal reader and the Confidex Suvivor B “BAP” tag.
A Highly Configurable UHF RFID Reader
First, the Nordic ID Sampo S1 One-series. The Sampo S1 One-series is a powerful UHF RFID tag reader with built-in antenna. We particularly liked the flexibility of this unit. It can support multiple different national bandwidth variants for Europe, North America, China, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and so on. It can be used – as you might expect from its design – as a desktop reader. However, the fact that this new unit offers 1W RF power (compared with 500mW for the standard Sampo S1) also means it can be used as portal reader with horizontal or vertical mounting options.
Installation is made easier by the fact that it can be powered over a USB or ethernet cable linking it to its controlling computer (although separate power supply options are also available). In addition, unusually for a low cost reader, it can be configured for different reading approaches. It ‘s possible to select different antenna options (including using up to three external antennas), radio link or reading parameters, for example.
In our experience, success in RFID applications often comes from careful tuning of the reading application and the Sampo S1 One-series offers the software features for this.
The Sampo S1 One-series also has the useful feature of an integrated touch sensor and light so that the reading process can be triggered by touching a tag against the reader with a light confirming a successful read all integrated in the pad of the reader. The flat notebook style design (its only 200mm x260mm by 25mm) makes it ideal for desktop applications. We can see it being used in point-of-sale or point-of-hire, document check-out and personnel / asset tracking applications.
On the other hand it’s price and design means it will also be a good choice for RFID enabled gateways in applications that might have found it hard to justify the costs of other portal readers.
There’s more information at www.corerfid.com/product/nordic-id-sampo-s1/ . (There’s a video here too but you’ll need to turn your sound up!)
Long Range, Battery Assisted Tag
Secondly, there’s the Confidex Survivor B Battery Assisted Tag. We have used Confidex Survivor UHF RFID tags in various applications and they are tough, reliable and with good reading performance. Sometimes though an application needs a tag that can be read from a greater distance. Battery assisted tags are a great aid for this (see our article here) and Confidex have now introduced a battery assisted version of the Survivor. The standard version of the Survivor offers a read distance of up to 18 metres but the battery assisted version can achieve 50 metres or more and with greater read reliability.
Although costing more than a standard Confidex Survivor, the battery assisted version is still far cheaper than active tags which might otherwise be the only viable technology alternative.
This version of the Survivor will be attractive for logistics applications such as container tracking and for systems to keep track of assets such as airfield service vehicles, rolling stock, refuse skips or vehicle trailers. (We’ve worked with a number of train operating companies using the Survivor for keeping track of rolling stock.) It’s a heavy duty tag, suited to rugged environments, adding long range readability to it makes it even more useful.
You can find out more about the Confidex long range Survivor UHF RFID tag at: www.corerfid.com/product/survivor-b-bap/