A Step-by-step Guide to Identify the RFID cards for Your Application.

How to know which RFID card to buy for your existing system?

10. February 2021
Do you have an existing solution for time registration or access control and need new RFID cards? With this article, we will help you understand the differences between RFID cards and find the best RFID cards for your project.
RFID cards are passive RFID transponders containing Radio Frequency Identification chips and antennas. The most frequently used RFID cards operate on frequencies 125 kHz, 13.56 MHz, and 860~960 MHz. The individual chips then differ in the amount of memory, read distance, additional protection, or other functionalities. 

If you have an existing solution and are looking for new cards, you need to get the information about the supported RFID chips. If you cannot get this information, we suggest to use a NFC mobile phone and a free app NXP TagInfo. With the app, you can scan the card and you will get the information about the chip. If a card does not use a 13.56 MHz chip, this method won’t work and you will at least know that your chip is not a standard 13.56 MHz chip.

If a reading is successful, you will be able to see the IC manufacturer and the IC type. If you get Manufacturer: “Unknown” and IC type: “Unknow Mifare class IC, possibly cloned” it means that the chip is made by some other company and a chip is not made by NXP. From our experience, there are good chances you are scanning a 13.56 MHz chip F08 made by Fudan – but other options are possible too.  

Even if you are able to correctly identify a chip there is no guarantee that it will work with your system. Some solutions providers use standard blank chips and allow users to buy the cards on the free market, while other providers encode chips with their specific data and so make the cards unique to their system. If that’s the case, you won’t be able to buy cards elsewhere, but just from your solution provider or authorized dealers.

If you have found the right chip, and your solution provider uses standard chips there is one final thing to consider. You have to know how to register new cards into the system. Sometimes you need to write an ID code into the app, other times you have to have a “Master card” and add a new card directly on the reader or access control device.

To easily read the chip ID or prepare a table with ID codes for import, we recommend using Keyboard Emulating desktop readers. 

If you have any questions send an email to info@rfidspecialist.eu or call +38641 884 124 and we will be happy to help you.
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