Blog 1 -Start

Project proposal accepted 11/08/2016.
My project is based around the following idea from my project proposal;

Project Activities
I intend to setup an Arduino, with RFID, and Ethernet components. A RFID enabled card or tag, such as the NMIT student card, can be swiped over an RFID reader which will read the unique identifier. This will be sent via the internet to a PHP server, that will insert the data into a database. The unique identifier will be matched with the student’s ID and then marked as clocked into class.”

I have made start on my project. For this project to work I need to be able to read the unique identifier (UID) that is already loaded onto the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) enabled student ID card. I already have a Arduino and an RFID card reader. The reader is a MFRC522 (fact sheet found here)(also known as RFID-RC522). It is a relatively standard and simple reader that can communicate with the Arduino, and can read and write to Mifare type tags/cards. There are a number of different types of cards so I need to work out if the student ID cards are the Mifare type or another type. If they are another type then I will need to get another type of reader. This could be costly and take some time.

The reason I know that above problem can occur is, I have already done some research into the reader and how to wire it up to the Arduino. I looked up the model number, MFRC522, and found on the Arduino website there is a write up about it. It also has the link to the Library of code that will run allow the Arduino to run the RFID reader. The library is available on GitHub and made by . On the GitHub page is the pin layout for connecting the MFRC522 to a number of different Arduino’s. I have a Arduino MEGA so I have copied down the layout, that relates to the MEGA, in my note book. 


And wired it up to the corresponding pins on the Arduino.


Once wired together I plugged the Arduino into the computer and let the Arduino power on. This was to check that the MFRC522’s LED indicator light turned on, indicating the device was powered.

Next I installed miguelbalboa MFRC522 library. I followed the tutorial in the video below to do this. It is a pretty simple process once the library is downloaded.

Once installed I went and loaded up the DumpInfo example that came with the library.

22-08 Dumpinfo.PNG

This example is programed to detect a card when it is held in front of the RFID reader and then print out all the information on the tag. To install the library on the Arduino I first let the Arduino IDE compile and check the code will work with the Arduino. The check came back as positive so I uploaded it.

22-08 Dumpinfo Upload.PNG

Once finished I opened the Serial Monitor where the cards information will be displayed and held a Mifare tag in front of the reader. Nothing happened. I tried another tag and the same thing. I then went back and checked the code. I found that the pin layout configured in the Dumpinfo program was for a Arduino UNO not the MEGA.

22-08 Incorrect pin layout

Incorrect pin configuration

22-08 Correct pin layout

Correct pin configuration

I changed the pin numbers to the correct ones and compiled and uploaded it again. I will have to remember if I use code that I haven’t written then I will need to check and configure the pins to suit the MEGA. To my relief this time it printed out the information on the tag I tried scanning the first time. So next I tested my student ID and it did the same.

24-08 Dump info working.PNG

This confirms that the student ID’s are the Mifare type and will work with my project.

Next I will work I just getting it to print out the UID from the student ID and not dump all the information.

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