Is It Possible to Read a Passive RFID Tag Using an Active Tag?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsIs It Possible to Read a Passive RFID Tag Using an Active Tag?
RFID Journal Staff asked 8 years ago

Is this something that could be done, or would it not be feasible?

—Name withheld


I am unaware of any active tags that would be able to read a passive high-frequency (HF) or ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag. Active tags broadcast a signal at 433 MHz, 915 MHz or 2.45 GHz. In order to read a passive UHF tag, an active tag operating 915 MHz would need to put out enough energy to energize the tag, and then it would need to have a receiver to read the tag. I do not believe an active tag puts out enough energy to power up a passive tag—and, of course, no active tags have the ability to receive a signal.

If any of our readers can provide information regarding the maximum output of a 915 MHz active tag and the minimum amount of energy necessary to power a tag, that would help to determine whether an active tag could energize a passive tag.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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