Rfish Reader Prototype

Motivated by the success of linking a BlueSmirf Bluetooth module directly to the Parallax RFID reader I began to think about how to package the reader in a way that allows you to use it close to or even in the water. A visit to the local DIY store brought up a cable junction box by Ensto, a Finnish company. Intended to shield high voltage electric installations from dust and humidity, the practically water-tight box comes in clean Scandinavian design. It includes an ergonomic front shield with rounded edges and rubber “buttons” on the side and costs no more than $3.

Ensto Box

Unfortunately, the Parallax reader does not fit into this little box. Convinced that it is pretty ideal to embody the first Rfish reader, I thought about cutting the Parallax shield between the antenna and the reader logic to squeeze it in. Meanwhile the ID-12, a small RFID reader module with built in antenna for only $29.95, arrived from SparkFun. With the previously gained knowledge, the hint from a squid and a soldering iron (d0 to rx-i, /rst to 5v to vcc and fs to gnd to gnd) it was possible to coax the ID-12 into sending the first ID to my laptop via Bluetooth in half a day. And even better: It’s a perfect fit.

Rfish Reader v0

A first test in the kitchen sink seems to prove that both RFID and Bluetooth perfectly work when the box is floating in the water and even when it is submerged a few centimeters. What’s still missing is a sort of feedback in the form of a buzzer or a vibrator, a power switch and maybe a stronger battery (though it has been on for hours now and keeps working flawlessly). Still, I guess we can call this a major milestone without exaggeration.


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Switzerland License.


6 Responses to “Rfish Reader Prototype”

  1. John Says:

    Posted a blog entry to encourage readers to follow your project.


  2. tamberg Says:



  3. tamberg Says:

    To build a clone of this prototype see http://www.instructables.com/id/Weather-proof-Bluetooth-capable-RFID-reader/ for detailed instructions.


  4. Ein anderer Rundenzähler ;) « Schwimmen und ME(E)(H)R Says:

    […] >https://rfish.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/rfish-reader-prototype/ >https://rfish.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/a-simple-plan/ […]

  5. tamberg Says:

  6. Rfish RFID Wristband « How rfish.net works Says:

    […] How rfish.net works Building an RFID based online swim lap counter « Rfish Reader Prototype […]

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