RFID Slow acceptance 2017 – Lack of Knowledge and Understanding

Ξ May 11th, 2017 | → Comments Off on RFID Slow acceptance 2017 – Lack of Knowledge and Understanding | ∇ Active RTLS, General RFID Questions, HF High Frequency, LF Low Frequency, RFID News, UHF Ultra High Frequency |

It is now May 2017 and we are still seeing the majority of potential users with no real understanding of RFID  looking for solutions to help their companies.

While RFID has been around for more than 60 years, there is slow acceptance among the user community simply due to the lack of understanding of “RFID’S”. With businesses looking for ways to reduce labor costs and improve efficiencies and accuracy, existing staff are tasked with “learning” about “RFID’s” so they can be the Team Leader for the “RFID Implementation”.

SkyRFID does offer free basic training but that is not intended to make anyone an expert – Novice maybe – But NOT Expert. RFID means Radio Frequency Identification. While I wrote a blog on this in July 2011 – NOTHING HAS CHANGED!  See blog July 26, 2011 directly below.

RFID is not 1 technology – it is multiple types of identification technologies rolled under the RFID roof – they all use Radio Frequency for Identification. They are not interchangeable between the technologies and in many cases some of the technologies used are really outdated for current needs.  125 kHz and 134.2 kHz enjoyed huge success for many years because that was all there was.  Now we have passive and active technologies in several bandwidths that can do so much more for asset management and tracking.  Better security, better results, longer read distances, read/write capabilities at higher data rates and more, but it is not something that you can just “Learn” or be “Taught” in a short time.

If you have a background in computer sciences and wireless technologies then you will be able to pick up the basics fairly quickly, and then you can get into the ISM band that you want to use for Implementation.  Not understanding IC, TID, EPC, FHSS, WiFi, Bluetooth, TCP/IP, Serial, and other common computer terminology – you will have a slower ramp up time. Most of the hardware documentation available is written by parties that already have considerable experience in the technology and the basics are simply not there – you need to be at Novice Level with some experience in using the technology before it becomes easy to even get an RFID reader (Interrogator) working! Not necessarily correctly – just able to read a tag!

People really do not have the time to “Learn” about RFID – it is simply too complex for most and once you have what you need, unless you are going to be an RFID Expert – you don’t really use the knowledge again. That means a slow long learning curve and then nothing. Unless you are prepared to really learn what you need for your application, you have a great chance of failure and frustration. Implementations are not for UN-initiated people to attempt as it will be a maybe OK – not a 100% correct and working installation.

Fortunately for some of the needed RFID solutions, SkyRFID has been working with Cloud Collected LLC of Delaware to provide Plug and Play Turnkey RFID Solutions. Stay tuned for more details on the new Total Solutions as a Service – (TSaaS) to solve the RFID solution problems.

About SkyRFID Inc.
The leader in Dynamic Asset Management, SkyRFID has become the “go-to” resource for the real-time management of high value, critical assets.
Having developed a full scope capability over the past 30+ years, SkyRFID supports its clients with high-quality, optimal cost hardware components, full requirement real-time tracking and reporting solutions and a global consulting team, across all industry verticals.
With its established global network of engineers, consultants, resellers and system integrators, SkyRFID is the obvious first selection choice for real-time management of high value, critical assets.

SkyRFID excels at Weapons Management and Tracking, Electronic Vehicle Identification and Management, Security Access and Remote Site Asset Management, Mobile Asset Management and more.

For more information contact SkyRFID Inc. at +1 647-476-3265
Web Site: www.skyrfid.com

E-mail: sales@skyrfid.com


RFID Access Control for Offices, residences, nursing homes and more!

Ξ July 26th, 2009 | → Comments Off on RFID Access Control for Offices, residences, nursing homes and more! | ∇ General RFID Questions, HF High Frequency, LF Low Frequency, RFID News |

In past few months SkyRFID has seen a dramatic rise in the requests for and implementations of access control systems for offices, residences, nursing homes, private homes, universities, and other facilities.

We are also finding that the reasoning for these systems is not just for access control but also for safety reasons.  Access control systems not only allow or prevent access to a facility, department, room, waste bin, washrooms, and other access controllable objects; they also provide real time information on who is in the building in case of emergencies such as fire or explosions.

Years ago these systems were expensive complex to install and difficult to maintain.  Today you can now implement a single door access system and then add to it whenever you want and not worry about interchanging access cards or door locks or access readers.

You can built an easy to use access control system with a few components and have a single access reader contain the tag information – with a built in battery back up – in case of power failure, and then you can add more access readers, more doors, remote building accesses, a PC to control all of the access rights and privileges and of course software.  All of these modern components are fairly inexpensive to purchase. DIY (Do it Yourself) software, ready to implement software and source codes for modifying software to your exact requirements are readily available from SkyRFID.

Now for access control you can use 125 kHz or 13.56 MHz RFID technology and have a variety of inexpensive tags that can be killed quickly from the system should you lose an access card or tag. You don’t have to rekey the locks or even issue keys for the access locks! Simply just make the lost key or tag inactive and that’s all there is to it!  And it is real time so the inactive tag can not be used anywhere.  If you do recover the tag you can easily make it active again.  This saves time and money plus you have an automatic audit trail of every access should you ever need it.

Since there is such a demand for these systems, SkyRFID has built several new web pages to educate potential buyers and also display some of the very wide variety of tags, readers, and other accessories that are readily available so you can have your own solution the way you want quickly and easily.

For a better understanding of potential access control solutions simply click on THIS link.

To add Time and Attendance to your Access solution – Click This Link

For a variety of Access Cards and Tags Click Here

And to see our wide variety of Keyfob, keychain, keyholder options click this link!

SkyRFID is a privately held Canadian company specializing in Automated Data Collection (ADC) solutions that use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. SkyRFID has over 20 years of experience in ADC and supplies everything from a single consulting engagement to a complete turnkey global solution. SkyRFID maintains its global presence through its skilled strategic partners that provide local RFID implementations, assistance and support. SkyRFID provides RFID solutions in all passive RFID frequencies and in 433Mhz and 2.4 GHz active technologies. Their specialties are Asset Management, Access Control, Document Management, Library Systems, Field Service, Manufacturing, Parking Management, Supply Chain, Warehousing and Distribution, Weapons Management, Event Management, Fleet Maintenance, and Custom Designer Tags.

For more information contact SkyRFID Inc. at +1 647-476-3265
Web Site: www.skyrfid.com
E-mail: sales@skyrfid.com


How to set up a UHF reader and obtain high read rates.

Ξ June 10th, 2009 | → Comments Off on How to set up a UHF reader and obtain high read rates. | ∇ General RFID Questions, UHF Ultra High Frequency |

There are some misconceptions on RFID FHSS UHF (Radio Frequency Identification, Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum, Ultra High Frequency) technology – Out of the box and the reader is working perfectly is something that just doesn’t happen.

There are no specific settings that will work for any environment – each implementation is different – even if the implementation is exactly the same as the last one if it is in a different physical location there will be differences in the read zone – hence most Gen 2 readers provide a number of different channels (for the frequency hopping) and the capabilities to tune the read zone to your unique requirements.

You need to set up the reader with the antennas and then just determine the read zone. Since readers come with either an integrated antenna or up to 4 antenna ports, the best method is to use just one antenna first to obtain a single read zone.  Once the reader is operational and reading tags you then need to determine the actual size of the read zone.  Then you can change the settings on the reader to build a bigger or smaller read zone that is optimized for the application requirements.

Since a read zone is 3 dimensional you need to determine the area – length, width, height, that gives you the highest read rate – known as the 3 dBi beam width – first. For more information on the 3dBi beam width refer to our antenna tutorial at  http://www.skyrfid.com/RFID_Antenna_Tutorial

To calculate the read zone use one tag only and use the same tag each time.  Keep the tag horizontal for the best read rate – turning the tag vertically will usually drop the read distance by 3 dBi or 50%! Hold the tag away from your body – arms outstretched – to minimize the impact of your body on the read zone.  We humans absorb the RF wave so if you hold the tag close to your body you reduce the read distance by more than 3 dBi!  If you are setting up a read zone for cardboard, metal or other materials, try to use exact samples of the material.  A 0.5 meter (1.5 foot) or longer wooden pole will really eliminate your presence in the read zone if you attach the tag to the material that you have already attached to a wooden pole.   Move slowly around to each outer limit of width and height where the tag still reads correctly and on a predictable basis. Then move away from the reader slowly to determine the length of the read zone.   Make sure that you try to point the tag towards the antenna to get the best read rate and then parallel to the reader to get the fringe of the zone. (The RFID wave comes out from the reader like an expanding funnel so the strength of the wave decreases dramatically with the distance.)

Once you have determined the overall read zone you can then adjust the settings (Frequency and Output Power) one at a time and check the results – the read zone may move forwards, backwards, grow larger or smaller or a bit of each.

To determine  the longest read distance in a non scientific way stand in front of the reader – 3 – 5 meters away and walk backwards with the tag attached to the pole to see when the reads stop. That gives you distance – do the same thing for width and height to determine the area.

Walking in front of the reader is not scientific as you actually change the read zone – going backwards reduces that impact but it is still there.  If you walk forwards again you will actually distort the read zone. It takes about 20 – 30 seconds to disperse the distortion.

After you have obtained the longest read distance and have an idea of the read zone area with the 3 dBi beam width then you can set up the reader so that the read zone hits the tag in the center of the overall read zone and then gives you the best constant read rate for that environment.

With multiple antennas there are a variety of ways to enhance the existing read zone or create new read zones.

For more informaton contact the Experts at SkyRFID – +1 647 476 3265  or +1 519 489 2557


Email: Sales@SkyRFID.com


RFID Tags Maximum Read Distance

Ξ May 3rd, 2009 | → Comments Off on RFID Tags Maximum Read Distance | ∇ General RFID Questions, RFID News |

There is so much confusion on RFID tag read distances and there is certainly a lack of standardization throughout the industry.

Each manufacturer seems to use a different method to calculate the read distance for their specific offerings.  Some companies use the same reader for each tag and set at a specific power rating,  others just make a read and write distance statement without offering any details on how they actually calculated the read and write distances.

Many companies provide a read and write standard based on free air – that is they actually read the tag in a relatively quiet environment but do not mount the tag to anything.  So all that you are getting is a free air read – this means nothing other than in free air the tag will read to a specific distance. If you mount the tag onto cardboard – heavy paper materials, plastic, wood or other similar materials, there likely will be a maximum read distance change in the specification.  Likewise if you mount the tag onto metal or another hard surface the tag read distance will probably drop dramatically.

For metal mount tags – many of the specifications are based on free air read distances and not actually attached to a metal surface. Sometimes manufacturers  call the RFID  tag – a “Surface Independent Tag” – meaning the tag can be mounted on a number of different surfaces and it will read.  You may have only a short read distance compared to the  “Free Air Specification” but the tag will read!    With surface independent tags on what surface was the read distance calculated?

Metal mount tags also have their own unique issues for read distances. There are several different techniques for making a tag read on metal.  Some manufacturers put an air cushion under the inlay so that the tag does not contact the metal.  This allows the tag to be read but usually the read distance is not that great as it is dependent on the air spacer of the tag.  Other manufacturers use an isolation material so that the tag inlay is protected from the metal surface by a material that re tunes the tag to a different frequency.  In free air the tag will not read very well, but when attached to a metal surface the read distance increases.  Some metal tag manufacturers use a combination of isolation materials plus the adjust the tag antenna properties so that the tag itself actually operates on a totally different frequency.  In free air these tags really have short read distances, but when attached to the backing material and then placed on the metal the read distances dramatically improve.  The longest read distance  metal mount tags use a combination of isolation materials and retuning the tag to a different frequency.

The same concepts also go for windshield tags – using a standard tag will work but the read distance is poor when compared to a tag inlay that has been tuned to operate when attached to a vehicle windshield.  Note that all vehicle windshields are laminated glass so attaching a windshield tag to a piece of glass does not work as well.  In free air these windshield tags do not read very well, but when attached to the inside of a vehicles windshield the tags improve extremely well.  SkyRFID windshield tags are tuned to the laminated glass so the free air read distances are under 3 meters (9 feet) but when installed the read distances go over 8 meters! (25 feet) without any problems.

Other problems with the maximum read distance is that the distance may have been calculated in a special environment to obtain the best results.  So when you use the tag in a real world application your read distance is not the same as the specifications.

Last but not least of the problems with calculating read distances is the hardware itself – is it a hand held reader, is it a fixed reader, what manufacturer of reader, what is the power setting used to determine the read distance, what cables and antennas were used to calculate the read distance,  mono-static, bi static, circular polarization,  linear polarization, what attenuation, what beam width, and so many more that until the industry comes up with a standard way of calculating read distances your results will probably vary from the manufacturers  specifications

Since there are all of these variables in the maximum read distance of any tag the best solution is to work with your vendor, understand the differences in manufacturing, ask questions and then obtain some samples and test in your environment before purchasing larger quantities.

About SkyRFID Inc.
SkyRFID is a privately held Canadian company specializing in Automated Data Collection (ADC) solutions that use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. SkyRFID has over 20 years of experience in ADC and provides customers with everything from a single consulting engagement to a complete turnkey global solution. SkyRFID personnel have implemented solutions in all of the Americas and many other countries with great success. SkyRFID provides solutions in Low Frequency (LF), High Frequency (HF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Microwave (SHF) RFID technologies and has considerable expertise in Animal Management,Asset Management, Access Control, Document Management, Library Systems, Field Service, Manufacturing, Parking Management, Supply Chain, Warehousing and Distribution, Event Management, Fleet Maintenance, and Custom Tags.

For more information contact SkyRFID Inc. at +1 647-476-3265
Web Site: www.skyrfid.com

E-mail: sales@skyrfid.com


RFID Free Tutorials for multiple topics.

Ξ August 27th, 2008 | → Comments Off on RFID Free Tutorials for multiple topics. | ∇ General RFID Questions, RFID News, UHF Ultra High Frequency |

To assist RFID newcomers and provide additional knowledge to all RFID users SkyRFID  has added free tutorials for:

Simply click on any of the above links to go to that page or go directly to SkyRFID.com home page and view from there.

Either way it is now very easy to learn more about RFID all in one place when you want to.

Before you start any RFID project let our consulting experts provide you with their advice on the who, what, where, when and why of RFID.

SkyRFID the RFID Experts

SkyRFID the RFID Experts


What are you doing with a Hammer on the DogBone over the Crab?

Ξ August 12th, 2008 | → Comments Off on What are you doing with a Hammer on the DogBone over the Crab? | ∇ General RFID Questions, RFID News |

You could even be putting your Belt on the Web, while looking at the Frog on the Corkscrew and playing with your Banjo.  Or holding the Trident with a Button draped over the HoneyComb under a Monster with a PaperClip.  You could take a Blade to the Imperial, Lasso a Propeller, and Squiggle the Spyder!

What am I doing? I’m writing about some of the names of the RFID UHF inlays that are currently being produced.  No longer is it just a technical number such as JD-234; manufacturers now call inlays by what they visually look like!  So a Frog is a UPM Raflatac UHF Global 860 ~ 960 Gen 2 Power Series Inlay

Rafsec UHF Global Inlay

UPM Raflatac UHF Global Inlay

and a Belt is another UPM Raflatac UHF Global 860 ~ 960 Gen 2 ShortDipole Series inlay.

UPM Raflatac UHF Belt Inlay
UPM Raflatac UHF

Well I do think that the Inlay called the Frog does have some sort of resemblance to a Frog and possibly the one above does look kinda like a belt and it really is easier to remember a Frog and a Belt than a JD-234 and an TF-1969 so I’m OK with it.

Most people really don’t realize just how many inlays there are available for UHF let alone other frequencies and even then people are not aware that you could have a copper, silver or aluminum antenna on the inlay and each one provides different read characteristics.

To help people understand more about what inlays are and what they look like SkyRFID Web site has added a few new pages http://www.skyrfid.com/index.php?pr=RFID_Tag_Inlays for Tag Inlays and other pages for Tag Design, Tag Read Distances and Tag IC’s to help people understand more about RFID tags.  Take a look at the pages and hopefully you will get a better understanding of the tag technology.

SkyRFID your Global source to RFID hardware and RFID Solutions


UHF Gen 2 Tag Direction – Coming and Going!

Ξ June 10th, 2008 | → Comments Off on UHF Gen 2 Tag Direction – Coming and Going! | ∇ General RFID Questions, RFID News, UHF Ultra High Frequency |

Now if you have an Impinj ” Speedway” UHF reader and use their new firmware (incidentally which is called “Octane“) you can tell which direction the tag is going when it is read by the reader!

Apparently this is with any Gen 2 UHF tag – all you need is the “Speedway“and some Octane and you have direction information.

You can use virtually any antenna types and get results in less than a second. All you need is two antennas!

This is really good news for many organizations who use tags for asset control, supply chain management, strategic resource management, retail and more.

Virtually any RFID application can benefit from knowing if the tag is coming or going! While the current version of “Octane ” only supports up to 15 tags at one time, the algorithm used provides an error threshold of less than 1% as it doesn’t report the tag direction if the confidence factor falls below a certain value.

So now you can have a higher comfort level and less programming logic in RFID solutions that need to know if its coming in or going out as the system will do it automatically (provided you’ve enabled it and modify the software to accommodate). I’m adding this feature to all our programs – can be very useful!

Think about all the applications that can benefit from this technology!

Asset management – In and out of rooms, departments, buildings and more

Retail – Did it go out to the display shelf or back into the stock room

Access in or out? How long in, How long out? – Parking lots, buildings, departments, critical secured areas

Events – coming in for the occasion or leaving – total attendance and who’s left behind

Key Personnel – Out to lunch? Where in the building?

Simple key asset location control – where is it? which way was it going last?

Any hospital can use this technology to track key operating room equipment or any other type of expensive equipment with minimum readers and retrieve the needed equipment resource faster – life saving!

Key Equipment for manufacturing – in what area is it?

The usage of direction in an RFID application can reduce costs and save lives.

Cool technology from the high Octane Speedway!

Check out the Impinj site for more details http://www.Impinj.com or call us at SkyRFID – Toronto Canada +1 647-476-3265!


HF and UHF RFID Reader

Ξ May 1st, 2008 | → Comments Off on HF and UHF RFID Reader | ∇ General RFID Questions, HF High Frequency, UHF Ultra High Frequency |

Since we posted the Blog on our 13.56 MHz. (HF) and 900 MHz. (UHF) reader we have had a number of queries asking “Can the reader read both HF and UHF at the same time?”

Unfortunately the two technologies to read/interrogate the tags are completely different.

HF uses Near Field technology known as electromagnetic induction. The reader and tag literally make a transformer for communication and because of this transforming effect the read distance is very short, hence the term Near Field. Once there is a a coupling between the reader and the tag communication is established by the reader changing the amplitude (size) phase or frequency of the carrier wave to get a response from the tag. Since there can be multiple ways to read HF tags a single HF reader does not have the capability to read all HF tags. This is also one of the reasons HF tags are slower to read than UHF tags. HF also has many different encryption/decryption methods and ISO standards which also adds to the read time and makes a single reader possibility for all HF tags almost impossible to manufacture and if you could make one it would be so expensive most companies could not afford to purchase one.

UHF uses Far Field technology known as passive backscatter which is very similar to the radar gun used by law enforcement officials to check vehicle speeds. The UHF electromagnetic wave is partially absorbed by the UHF tag to power the chip and some reflects back to the reader depending on how well the tag resonates to the UHF frequency. While several years ago UHF was Gen 1 class 0 and Class 1 most of this has been replaced by Gen 2 which is a global standard for reader to tag communications. UHF Gen 2 has only two methods or ways to read a tag and that is totally dependent on the surrounding environment at the time of the read request. If the environment is RF noisy then the reader changes its read method to a slower read algorithm that eliminates the surrounding noise. This is done automatically by the reader and since either read speed is very fast users will not even know that the reader changed its interrogation method While UHF normally is Far Field technology, recent developments of small tags for item level deployment have produced the need for the UHF
to also use Near Field technology. Since the frequency is still UHF a change in antenna type is all that is needed to read NF UHF tags. Note that while you can have UHF tags that read 35 feet or more away from a reader Near Field is usually a foot or less depending on the reader power. The biggest reason for the Near Field tag is so that you can use all of the same hardware to read both Far Field and Near Field in the GEN 2 UHF frequencies.


Unless a reader has two different antennas it can not read multiple frequencies (or different read technologies); and unless the reader has 2 separate operating systems, etc. in essence two readers contained in one enclosure you can not read an HF tag and a UHF tag at the same time.


Free Course Spam Filter Settings

Ξ August 14th, 2007 | → Comments Off on Free Course Spam Filter Settings | ∇ General RFID Questions |

Thank you very much for the overwhelming favorable response to our Free RFID course offering.  While most of you are receiving your courses each day we are experiencing some rejects due to Spam filter settings on some of the registered addresses. 


We use graphic images, HTML and hyper links in our course presentation.  Some Spam filters need to be adjusted so that you can receive our Free RFID courses.  Please add Training@SkyRFID.com to your white list if you use one and also change your spam filter settings so that you can receive our emails.  If you are not sure how to do this just ask your system administrator and they will be able to help you.


For those businesses who need more in depth technical training, we recommend our 3 day on site RFID Intensive Training course.  We will come to your site and train your people – up to a maximum of 10 for 3 intensive days.  RFID is very complesx but by the time you finish this course you should be able to specify, design, implement and test an RFID solution with very good results the first time!


If you just need a question answered and don’t know who to go to, simply go to our web site www.SkyRFID.com and select Ask The Expert.  For a small fee you can ask any question that you want to and get an expert answer quickly. 


RFID Web Enabled Mobile Field Service

Ξ July 9th, 2007 | → Comments Off on RFID Web Enabled Mobile Field Service | ∇ General RFID Questions, RFID News |

SkyeWired logo

Announcing the wireless RFID solution for field service from SkyRFID.com

SkyeWired is a secure, easy to use business tool designed specifically for field service operations. Utilizing wireless technologies, SkyeWired is proven to increase accuracy and significantly improve productivity.

With its user-focused design SkyeWired makes running a field service company a breeze. Create work orders, schedule service calls, manage inventory, develop reports and perform payroll and invoicing with ease. As an automatic work order, messaging and invoicing system, SkyeWired guarantee’s immediate productivity gains in the field.

SkyeWired enhances service quality as field technicians are empowered with access to information available globally in real time, such as client histories and diagnostic diagrams.

SkyeWired also acts as an exceptional tracking device, enabling the measurement and tracking of all resources online in real time. As a result, management is given increased control, more accurate job costs and exceptional forecasting capabilities.

What does this mean for the average field service company?

· Unnecessary return visits are eliminated and the increased utilization of time and labour allows room for more service calls per day.

· Improved service quality develops the potential for life long satisfied customers.

· Management responsibility is reduced as informed decisions can be made quickly and accurately.

Furthermore, being wireless network independent, hand-held device independent, and language independent, SkyeWired is highly flexible to each client’s unique needs creating optimized solutions.

For more information feel free to visit our website at www.skyewired.com


SkyeWired fits easily into a number of vertical markets such as:

Commercial HVAC – Residential HVAC – Utilities Power Distribution – Utilities Power Generation

Oil and Gas Refineries, Pipelines and other Assets

Subways and Railroads

Electrical Contractors – Fire Alarm Systems – Security Systems

Commercial Lamping – Street Lighting – Stop Light Lighting

Audio and Video – Telephone and Network Installations

Mechanical Contractors – Elevator Installers

White Goods Repair – Commercial Freezers and Cooling Systems

Equipment Sales and Service – Pest Control

Residential and Commercial Plumbing

ATM Machine Repair and more!


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