Part of developing your own battery-free RFID sensors will be to develop the RFID software for the reader. Check what you should take into account.

Let me say it once again: if you are developing your own battery-free sensors, your changes in hardware, firmware or software will affect the other two.

In case of software development, we mean you will have to work on the design of the code to control the RFID reader.

RFID software for strain gage demo

RFID software for strain gage demo

Writing simple, generic code should be simple

Developing software to test performance of your newly designed sensor should be easy. Being able to get readings from your battery-free sensor is just about issuing the correct write and read commands from the reader – if hardware and firmware are OK of course.

Even optimizing read range for testing purposes will be relatively simple. You will just have to focus on maximizing reader output power duty cycle, which will make more power available for the sensor tag.

You can get more information on software development in our free eBook titled ‘The Essential Guide to Developing RFID Sensor Software’.

Developing your specific application

The challenge will come when your specific application increases the requirements in terms of number of sensors to be controlled, faster data rates, ability to work with multiple reader models, etc.

Reading from a single tag in a manual way (i.e.: select an ID and read its sensor data) may be easy to implement. However, reading automatically from 5 different sensor tags at different data rates will be more of a challenge.

The issue here is not only to manage a higher volume of assets but to do it without compromising the duty cycle of the reader – and thus, the read range. You’ll also have to calculate how long it takes for your proprietary tag to charge for the first time – which is dependent on power from the reader, tag sensitivity, capacitor in the startup circuit AND environmental impact on RF transmission.

Data vs. information display

Then there’s the display part of the software of course. We will not go into it here as you will probably know much more than ourselves in this area.

Just make sure you convert the data from the sensor into meaningful information for the end user. You’ll probably make a ‘Download all data’ action available but graphs and reports should always present information to the end user.

For more information about read range in RFID systems download the ‘Develop your own battery-free sensors like a pro‘ free eBook.

Develop your own battery-free sensors

Develop your own battery-free sensors