The Elektor-RFID-Reader first came out in September 2006 issue of Elektor magazin. Its hardware and software support a range of contactless 13.56 MHz cards, such as MIFARE Ultralight, MIFARE Ultralight C, MIFARE Classic 1/4K, NFC Tag Type 2, NFC Tag Type 4 and, to an extent, even the  MIFARE PLUS. Both the Reader's firmware and the PC software have been completely revised for this book. The current firmware V3.1 and the PC software also supports the T=CL protocol. With it, it's possible to read from and write to contactless ISO/IEC 14443 Typ A smartcards, such as the MIFARE DESFire EV1.

In contrast to standard PC/SC readers, the Elektor-RFID-Reader offers the option of connecting an LCD using the reader in standalone mode. The Elektor-RFID-Reader also supports sending individual card instructions. This is the only way many card properties, such as the state diagram of an  ISO/IEC 14443 Type A card, be investigated.

The Elektor-RFID-Reader can be used not only for experiments and for educational purposes with a diverse range of cards. Thanks to its powerful microcontroller with I2C-, SPI-, UART- and USB interface, it is ideal for the development of custom applications and systems.

Contactless code-operated gate and door opener, member ID system, storage for passwords and configuration data, payment functions for vending machines, securing electronic devices and battery pack monitoring are only some examples. The combination of secure identity, data storage and a contactless interface presents many possibilities for creative solutions.

The reader firmware supports three different modes:

  • Terminal-Mode
  • PC Reader-Mode
  • Access Control-Mode

The most important features of the Elektor-RFID Reader are:

• Compatible with MIFARE- and ISO/IEC 14443 Typ A
• Both reading and writing are possible
• USB interface for PC connection
• Immediately usable without programming
• Autonomous operation using LC-Display
• Free Elektor-RFID-Reader PC software .NET library
• NXP Reader-IC: MFRC522
• NXP Microcontroller: P89LPC936
• I2C and SPI interfaces
• Available 8-bit I/O-port
• Buffered switched output (T3)
• Customization for user-specific dev. possible
• Free flash tool for firmware updates
• Assembled and tested SMD board available