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Anyone using the Mifare RC522 13.56MHz RFID Card Reader? — Parallax Forums

Anyone using the Mifare RC522 13.56MHz RFID Card Reader?

vanmunchvanmunch Posts: 567
edited 2014-03-13 06:07 in General Discussion
Hey everyone, I’ve been dabbling in RFID tag readers and saw that there is a Mifare RC522 13.56MHz RFID card reader that seems to be taking over eBay. You can get them for around $4-10.

Has anyone tried them? How hard do you think it would be to use SPI to interface with one?


Link or just search for “RC522 13.56MHz”


  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,494
    edited 2014-03-12 21:30

    How do you plan to use these?

    I've been looking around ebay and you're right, they're all over the place. Here are a few items I thought were interesting.

    US Seller of Reader with Card and Fob $6.99. There are other readers available for a lower price but the less expensive devices are shipping from China so it would probably take longer to receive them.
    China Seller of Reader with Card and Fob $4.54.
    10 Blue Key Fobs $7.99.
    10 Stickers Tags $9.99.
    20 Plastic Disk Tags $19.99.
    10 Clear Keychain Tags $12.99. I think these look cool.

    100 White Cards $36.35. The price drops pretty dramatically if you're willing to purchase 100 tags at once.

    This was just a quick check of prices. I doubt these are the best prices for these items.

    I've been wondering if the card/tags could be used to help a robot find its way around.

    I use barcodes on a lot of things and use a barcode scanner with the Propeller. The barcodes and reader have really made my life a lot easier. I'm really curious if there's some application for these RFID tags that would also make my life easier but I just haven't thought of the application yet.

    It would be cool to lay down a bunch of the cards under carpet before it is installed. You could have a reader on the bottom of a robot and and use the cards under the carpet to aid in navigation.

    As I start to wonder about the range of the reader, I'm reminded of this RFID antenna (approx.$14.88). Would an antenna like this increase the range of a reader?

    I ordered one of the US seller's readers today. While I wait for it to arrive, I'm wondering about possible applications for these devices.
  • vanmunchvanmunch Posts: 567
    edited 2014-03-13 06:07
    Hey Duane,

    Cool :) A couple of the main points about these reader/writers that makes me want to use them are: their size (4x6cm), ability to read and/or write to a rewritable card, and price. I'm also curious about what kinds of advantages there might be with being able to read both 125khz and13.56MHz (using two different readers in the same device). However the most important thing to me is it's size. I've been kicking around an idea for a wearable augmented reality device where the 125khz is too big.

    Regarding range, I think (and everyone, correct me if I'm wrong) the best way to increase range is to use an active transponder instead of a passive one. Beau and Mark_T talked about coil size and reading range here: I think those tollway "EZpass" uses active transponders?

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