a remark:

In the meantime I also tested the readers (also 125kHz) ID-12 und ID-20 , these readers are also used by MERG - and got much better results!! More to come on this page!

I want to give a short report about my very first tests with cheap RFID readers in O-scale.

The RFID Readers...

were just put under the rails. A quick and fast test with an RFID tag was successful!

The Detection circuit...

consists of an Arduino with a (serial) 2-line display. The readers have a serial (5 Volt) output as well which is easily connected to the arduino. There are already some example programs to find in the web. (I use two readers to also be able to detect the direction of the movings locos and cars.)

The cars

... get an RFID tag glued under the trucks - and NOW, IT MUST WORK, I thought.

However, the result...

... was pretty much depending on the speed of the train. The RFID reader is so big, that it doesn't fit between the rails (max. 28 mm in O-gauge) and the resulting distance between reader and tag is about 10mm, which works in principle. But in this setup I could only detect slowly moving locos and cars...

Whats next?

I still haven't given up on the idea of using RFID for detection. Yes, I know, there is RailCom® now available for detection of locos - but I would prefer to also detect the cars! I will make some more test with smaller RFID detectors (to be able to put them between the rails) and with different RFID tags...


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