Can I Use a Simple Radio Transceiver to Determine the Distance to a Passive UHF RFID Tag?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan I Use a Simple Radio Transceiver to Determine the Distance to a Passive UHF RFID Tag?
RFID Journal Staff asked 3 years ago

If so, how would I accomplish this?

—Andrew

———

Andrew,

No, I’m afraid you cannot. If you were to send radio waves to a tag using anything other than a passive UHF RFID reader, you would not receive a response. You would need to use the correct air-interface protocol to communicate with the tag. Additionally, UHF radio waves may bounce off the floor and other surfaces, making it difficult to determine a precise read distance. Many handheld UHF readers will beep louder or more frequently (or both) as you move closer to a particular tag you are looking for. This uses received signal strength to determine that you are approaching the tag, but it is not a precise measurement.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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