In our previous blog we’ve discussed some basic information about getting started using EID/RFID and then we refined that a bit to discover some basic information about the tags themselves.
This time we will broaden the discussion a bit to more information about EID/RFID SYSTEMS.
What is an RFID System?
Any electronic identification system comprised of a scanner/reader and a transponder that can read or write data content using a specified radio frequency. In our case we are mainly dealing with the 134.2 kHz low frequency passive tags.
What is a Scanner or Reader?
The scanner or reader transmits and received radio frequency signals, contains a control unit to execute commands and incorporates an interface to transfer data. It can also receive commands and respond to software commands from the computer.
The scanners/readers are available as handheld or stationary. Some factors taht can affect the range of the scanner/reader are:
- Power available to the reader
- Power available within the tag to respond
- Antenna characteristics and size
- Competition from other devices emitting electronic signals
Will my Tag Work with Other Readers or Will my Reader Recognize Other Tags?
The basic answer is YES – The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has established a specific standard for EID/RFID which clearly lays out the technical requirements for compliance. Many tags AND readers are FULLY COMPLIANT with the ISO Standard so that any truly ISO compliant tag or reader should be interchangeable and functional with other ISO compliant systems (using the same ISO standards). The exception to this might be a user who has an older half-duplex (HDX) reader.
How do I Get Information Back, and will I Be Blamed if Something Goes Wrong?
The cattle industry has simply changed forever with the introduction of Mad Cow Disease, and the change is not only with regard to accountability.
If you are going to offer cattle for consumption in this marketplace, you and they NEED to be identified. A bonus to this scenario is that you can retrieve performance information back from industry partners so that you can improve your herd and offer a better product to those partners. The market will show loyalty to producers of quality animals so the cost is small and the return potential is great.
An important consideration in attaching responsibility in the event of a disease outbreak is the ability to verify that you are not responsible for a particular occurrence or that the animals in question perhaps did not come from your premises.
What type of Software will I need Simply to Read Tags?
For simple reading of tags to the PC, a simple “Wedge” program can be used to funnel the tag numbers to an Excel spreadsheet.
What if I want to Collect More Extensive Data About Each Animal?
There are a number of software programs available with a variety of options to meet a user’s needs. We have a listing of several of these on the “Links” page of our website.