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  #1  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 01:35 PM
tdlewis77
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Passive versus active RFID

I would like to integrate radio frequency tags into my home automation system. The iAutomate technology sounds really interesting for some applications (such as my car approaching the garage). This technology uses an active transmitter and a passive reader (the reader in the garage waits for a signal from the transmitter in the car).

I can also see uses for an passive transmitter and an active reader (such as "Where did I leave my glasses?") I can't see putting an active transmitter on everything that I want to track.

Is anyone offering a passive transmitter / active reader for Homeseer?
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  #2  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 02:26 PM
drozwood90 drozwood90 is offline
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The main issue is that the passive can only be read 2-3cm. You'll need active if you want to read farther.

I have written scripts to tie a phidget RFID device to HS (for passive). There are a few active RFID setups for HS. The Lexus/Bentley of RFID is iAutomate's system. from what I can tell VERY reliable and flexible. The hardware costs a bit more, BUT the software is free.

There is also the CheaperRFID which still has growing pains. The hardware is immensely cheaper, software is also free. However, it's not 100% right now.

So, if you have $$ to blow, I would go with the iAutomate's RFID stuff. I think most people can't afford it (as is the case with myself). I should also state that right now CheaperRFID stuff might take a bit more technical knowledge as well as might not be as reliable (especially in extreme COLD/HOT).

--Dan
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Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.
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  #3  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:44 PM
anogee
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I use both. I have passive RFID tags on my keychain for door unlocking. It's range is about 5 or 6 inches, but the tags are small and cheap, and don't require a battery.

I also have the iAutomate active system for trash can and car. I certainly wouldn't call it ultra-reliable, but if you get at least two receivers, and don't expect it to reliably predict range its generally reliable. They are working on a .Net plugin which should help with reliability. iAutomate tags are about $20 - $80 each, bigger than passive tags, and also have a battery that lasts 3 - 5 years. iAutomate tags have non-replaceable batteries, so require tag replacement when batteries die.

So the type of tag depends on the application.
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  #4  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:38 PM
tdlewis77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anogee View Post
I use both. I have passive RFID tags on my keychain for door unlocking. It's range is about 5 or 6 inches, but the tags are small and cheap, and don't require a battery.
I don't object to using both and (at the moment) I'm highly inclined to use the iAutomate solution where a passive reader makes sense.

What are you using for your passive tag solution?
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  #5  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 09:47 PM
anogee
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iAutomate is active.

For passive I use a reader made by Secura Key. It can connect to a computer for logging, but I don't do that since we only use two tags. It has a relay output which connects to my HAI panel which then connects to Homeseer. For reliability, my panel directly unlocks the door.
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