[aprssig] RFID antennas

Greg D. ko6th_greg at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 15 02:22:59 EDT 2008

Hi Bob,

Sounds like what you need are the RFID tags that run the Wi-Fi protocol.  Some of them perform a complete association with an Access Point and send out an ID sentence.  They can be worn by people, or attached to equipment.  The manufacturers have sophisticated (and expensive) means to triangulate the tag coordinates, but if all you want to do is know that one is nearby, and what the ID code is, the resulting solution should be quite simple.  Tie the network side of a cheap Access Point to your computer, and run a program to capture the "chirps" and send them off to xastir or equivalent, using the location of the AP as the coordinates.

Be careful on what brand Tag you get.  Some of them spit out special "chirps" that require modifications to the AP's wireless driver in order to be received at all.  I think the ones from Ekahau do the full association; not sure which others do too.  The "reader" would be just a cheap consumer-grade Wi-Fi access point.  You could remove the antenna to limit the reception range to an arbitrarily close distance.  The biggest problem is probably being able to purchase just the tags, without the rest of their system.  

Just a thought...

Greg  KO6TH

> From: bruninga at usna.edu
> To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
> Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 23:43:32 -0400
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] RFID antennas
>> I would question the need for such a device. 
>> I can see it being used at something like Dayton...
>> but I wonder if there is a significant enough 
>> collection of Hams in other avenues to justify the cost.
>> Where do you see this system used?
> First thoughts that come to mind are at the door to the clubhouse, the EOC (we have 3, county, city and state).  At the mobile comm vans, the HQ and other gathering points for emergency comms.  At each checkpoint in any ham supported event.  At hamfests..
> Then there are applications where we loan our badges to things or people that need to be tracked.  Not just hams.  
> By rolling our own systems, my guess is we could get the readers down to the price of a tracker or so.  The point is, that it would be a new capability that we have never had before, so we dont really know what all the applications would be.  Kinda like barcodes invented for grocerystores, but then they became to be used everywhere for all kinds of applications...
> Bob, WB4APR
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