Polytechnic ID Card RFID Reader Module (Project Proposal) by Nick Zalutskiy Zeta Sigma Chapter of HKN at Polytechnic UniversityBrief Description The objective is to construct a RFID reader for the Polytechnic ID cards. The reader design will be a re-programmable module with a number of unused I/O pins that could be used to integrate with other projects. The initial design will be used as an authenticated on/off switch for a companion project at HKN, a robot. Design Goals Construct a working RFID reader that is able to read and decode the Polytechnic University ID cards. Get familiar with in circuit debugging in an embedded environment. Make the reader as small as possible while maintaining maximum read distance. Ensure interoperability with other miscellaneous modules. Design and fabricate a PCB for the select design. Project Plan With the help of Jamal Rahali, Manager of Facilities, we were able to collect enough information on the RFID cards that are in use at Polytechnic University. The cards contain passive RFID tags that function at the 125kHz frequency. Further research brought to our attention a document compiled by Microchip Technology Inc. entitled “microID® 125 kHz RFID System Design Guide”. The document contains a complete design (software and hardware) of a reader that would work with Polytechnic ID cards. However, the design deviates from our design goals. From this observation follows our project plan. Stage 1 – Construct the reference design provided by microchip. Stage 2 – Port the software to a PIC16F87 chip or similar. We will use a Microchip PIC micro controller that supports ICD with at least one breakpoint and compilation from C to ASM. Stage 3 – Design the antenna to maximize read range of the reader. There is a section on this part of the project in the microID® 125 kHz RFID System Design Guide. Stage 4 – Integrate the RFID module with the companion project. Stage 5 – Study the design and identify possible points of improvement. Stage 6 – Minimize hardware. For this purpose we will explore the capabilities of an on-chip ADC, as well as focus on optimizing the filter designs, and perhaps consider using SMD components. Available and Required Resources Members of the club will donate the Microchip PICKit 2 in-circuit programmer and debugger to work with the selected embedded micro controllers, for the duration of the project. In addition, members will supply the materials and chemicals needed to fabricate the PCBs. Members of HKN also have some literature on RFID technology and a number of reference manuals and design guides at their disposal. We require funding for the electronic components necessary to complete the project. In addition we will need access to oscilloscopes, function generators, and multi-meters in one of the EE labs. Initial Bill of Materials and Budget Considerations The detailed BOM can be found in Microchip's “125 kHz RFID System Design Guide” in Section 5.0 “FSK Reader Bill of Materials”. We priced all parts from DigiKey.com. The total came out to just under $70.00 including shipping. We expect to spend another $50 to $100 modifying the reference design and constructing the antenna. Success Benchmarks The reader has a read distance of at least 8”. The reader is able to distinguish between authenticated cards and those that are not. The module is successfully integrated with current projects and supports integration with future projects. The project is sufficiently documented and executed for incoming members of HKN to investigate its details and introduce changes to the design. The project is completed by August 30th, 2007.