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					                   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
      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

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
       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 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

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
      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.

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