Is there a high range Arduino RFID reader?

I’m looking to use my implants to unlock my car. My plan is to put a reader under the windshield to scan and get access. I’m using an Arduino to program everything. Right now I’ve got an MFRC522 that I’m using, but the range is horrible. I have to be touching it to get a read. Is there an Arduino compatible RFID reader that will work through a windshield? I don’t really care if it’s LF or HF since I’ve got an NExT.

The RC522 sadly has infamously terrible range with x-series implants, as discussed a few times in this thread:

For easy Arduino integration, your best bet is probably a PN532 board, specifically the elechouse version:
https://www.elechouse.com/elechouse/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=90_93&products_id=2276

I’ve had some decent luck with knockoff ones off of Amazon, but other people here haven’t been as lucky.

If you are willing to gamble with a cheaper one, here’s the one I tend to buy:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I1J17LC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I’ve had a decent success rate, and upon close inspection, the PN532 chip itself on my boards appear to be genuine.

The PN532 chip has some really great and easy to use Arduino libraries, mainly the Adafruit one. It took me less than 5 minutes to have mine spitting out UIDs to a serial console.

I’m not 100% sure that it’ll read through a windshield, but I’ve had decent luck through thick-ish plastic, without having to carefully position the implant or anything.

I’m not sure about the LF side of things with arduinos, the options seem far more limited from what I’ve seen. I’ve got 3 implants and only one of them has LF, so I haven’t looked into it too much. The xACv2 reads it decently well, but that’s more meant as a all-in-one solution.

I would recommend you to use LF for this application. I also got a NExT, and I am using LF on my motorcycle. The range and chip pickup is better than HF in my experience. I am using the xAC with a different antenna that suits my application, I am pretty sure this setup would work fine through a windshield. With HF and x-series, I have doubts it would work without great annoyance.

Looks like the PN532 might be a good choice then. If I can’t get it to read through the windshield, I might try and stash it in the side mirror.

I’ve got an xEM access controller, but the lf side of my NExT is programmed for the badge reader at my work, which is not EM mode. So that’s out of the question unfortunately. That was my first try. I’m also concerned with power usage. I plan on running this off a battery, and don’t want it to die on me. xAC draws too much power

You are correct regarding power, so you would need a switch. I’m using a regular push button, but that’s not optimal on a car. It would not be a problem to use for instance a knock sensor and a timer to wake up the logic, where you just knock on the window to wake the reader, and the timer would shut it off in case of false positives.
But with no LF, no cigar.

I do plan on getting a titan installed. Maybe that plus a magnetic sensor can be used as my switch

That would be even better :slight_smile:
You should also consider a timer module, I’m using in on the bike to be sure to save the battery. I’m pushing a button, which activates the timer and the xAC, and if no tag is presented within 20 seconds, everything shuts off.

Looks like I might be one of the unlucky ones. Just got one from Amazon, and it appears to be fake. The range on it is terrible, even with normal NFC tags. I’m ordering straight from Elechouse now

Sorry to hear that. I wonder if the fake issue has gotten worse due to the chip shortage, with more suppliers swapping the part.

On mine, I definitely get 1-2 inches of range with a standard card.

Hopefully the elechouse one works well for you.

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