Your RFID reader is connected to your antennas, you’ve adjusted your power settings, and you’ve applied your RFID tags to the items you want to track;
however you’re having trouble reading your tags. Well, you’re in luck because this post will help you troubleshoot some of the common RFID read range
pitfalls. Before delving into the topic, the importance of testing cannot be stressed enough. Regardless of what is stated here, you should always
thoroughly test, make any necessary adjustments, and then retest.
Some hardware is designed for maximizing read range, while other hardware is designed to limit read range. It is important that you have the appropriate
hardware in place for your application. The following six tips walk you through key hardware specifications that will assist you in determining your
If you need more read range, use higher gain antennas. If you need less read range, use lower gain antennas. If you need to read tags up close, use very
low gain proximity antennas.
If tags are aligned with the antenna’s polarization, linear polarized antennas will read farther than circular polarized antennas. If tags are not
aligned with the antenna’s polarization, then circular polarized antennas will read farther than linear polarized antennas.
As a general rule of thumb, small tags will have shorter read ranges, and large tags will have longer read ranges. In order to get the best range from
any RFID tag, make sure that the tag is fully facing the antenna and pay particular attention to tag orientation when using linearly polarized antennas.
Lastly, when tagging objects with high liquid or high metallic content, be sure to choose RFID tags designed for mounting on such objects.
Higher power settings will result in greater read range, while lower power settings will result in decreased read range. Also, in order to maximize read
range, ensure that your reader is set to its highest receive sensitivity.
Cable Length, Multiplexers, and Adapters:
The longer the cable, the higher the loss and using adapters and/or multiplexers inserts additional loss into your RFID system. For maximum read range,
connect the antenna to the reader with the shortest cables you can get away with and don’t use unnecessary adapters or multiplexers. If you must use
longer cables, be sure to offset the loss with a higher rated insulated cable.
MANY environmental factors can affect read range. When attempting to maximize read range, be sure to account for various types of interference and test,test, test!