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Old February 15th, 2016, 06:06 AM
robw robw is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 69
Passive RFID Equipment Recommendations


I'm totally new to RFID and Homeseer but I am looking for advice from people who have passive RFID readers linked with Homeseer.

Want I want to achieve is a small scanner placed by my front door, with a small key fob on my keyring that when I leave and return I can simply scan the tag and this will run a series of events such as Alarm Setting, putting heating in to Economy etc.

I currently use a Z-Wave Keyfob but the battery life is very, very bad and is costing a fortune for batteries every 2 weeks or so for 3 fobs.

I would like some recommendations for equipment (devices that are in use rather than will work in theory) that's not massively expensive, be it hard wired, wireless, Z-Wave etc. If it is hard wired using CAT5 for instance would be useful for the cable runs. If you could supply suppliers that ship internationally or are based in the UK/Europe.

I have the BLRFID Plug-in installed, so equipment that works with this would be ideal, but I see there is a iAutomate Plugin as well and this supplier has a lot of devices available and happy to use their plug-in if they can supply the equipment I need at a reasonable cost.

I'm also interested in the Active RFID for monitoring cars leaving/arriving at the property etc, although costs look high at $400-$1000 for the receiver. Any recommendations for lower cost solutions would be great for me to look at and if anyone knows of any tags that can be powered directly from the car for instance.

So in summary I need advice for a passive reader, a supplier and how this works with Homeseer (setup, installation, Plug-in etc).

Thanks for the help.
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Old February 15th, 2016, 06:12 AM
mrhappy mrhappy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: W.Mids, UK
Posts: 7,314
If you were up for DIY you could do it with an Arduino for virtually nothing, RFID modules with tags are a couple of quid and an arduino clone likewise. You could have a project that sent the data into HS over the serial port (if you have serial ports) and then set devices/events in HomeSeer.
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Old February 15th, 2016, 10:39 AM
kideon kideon is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: virginia
Posts: 824
So I've been putting together the framework of a project and just needing someone to code it. Essentially you would use ESP8266's that would pick the tag up, create a unique # (shorter than the raw tag data, there is a function for thats), and transmit it to Homeseer when it is ready. It could do it directly if there was a way to update a device string through JSON, or through MQTT with a broker, or better yet a plugin if someone would want to write it. Essentially your readers would be extremely small and low powered (battery or wall) and could be put anywhere. The tags could be anything running on the 13mhz band.

Adafruit just started selling the NFC Ring so I am expecting NFC projects to take off over there based on the forum activity.

I'd really like to see a plugin that could handle all of this automagically and incorporate location tracking (assigning readers to rooms) with intelligence to move occupancy based on related scans. Event logic could be applied to do all sorts of fun stuff.

Now the counter to passive RFID is short range but if you have a reader, say by the nightstand, and you scan the tag at a certain time you are obviously going to sleep.

For Vehicles or general asset tracking there is always Bluetooth. You could use the free BLE plugin and put the reader(s) anywhere. I think he made it work on Mono so you could use a pi zero. Personally I don't like using Pi's for this sort of application because they corrupt on power loss, you can't even unplug the thing without shutting it down first. Hard code in firmware is the way to go.

Another solution that works extremely well is Jon00's Bluetooth with the Sedna long range bluetooth receiver. It has over a 1000ft range and then you could use his hacked up car tag.
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