How-to Setup a Defined RFID Read Zone | The Cornhole Edition

How-to Setup a Defined RFID Read Zone | The Cornhole Edition

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Introduction

In this video, we are going to show you how to create defined RFID read zones using a modified game of Cornhole. In our RFID Cornhole demonstration, we have to first set up two defined read zones so that one zone can equal 1 point, and the other zone can equal 3 points. Then we will test our equipment and software by playing a game!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Hi! My name is Selina Malone, and I’m Tyler Lockard, and we are with atlasRFIDstore.com. With the help of some RF engineers, we have set up a few well-defined read zones for two different RFID demonstrations in the office.

In this video we are going to show you how to set up two defined read zones in order to automate scoring for a game of cornhole. After this video, check out our other demonstration on setting up a defined read zone for inventory tracking.

For those of you who are not familiar, Cornhole is a game played with two raised boards and bean bags. The object is to toss the bean bag into the hole which earns your team 3 points. You can also score one point for the bean bag landing on the board. The first team to reach 21 points wins the game.

For the RFID hardware, we put Harting Locfield antennas under the board and then fastened a metal bucket under the hole with an antenna inside. We chose to use Harting Locfield antennas because they are very lightweight and flexible, perfect for the unique shape and incline of the board.

Three Locfield antennas cover the board, and one is coiled inside a metal pail under the hole. The metal pail plays a big part in defining this small read zone because we didn’t want tagged bean bags to be picked up by the other, close-by Locfield antennas. Because metal reflects RF waves, we are using the pail to act as shielding. This ensures any bean bag that goes into the hole is picked up only by the antenna in the pail. This also ensures that any bean bags inside the pail aren’t picked up by the antennas outside the board itself.

The four Harting Locfield antennas, are connected to an Impinj R420. A setup like this can be used for a variety of applications because they need a well defined read zone, but you'll need to do some testing and make adjustments as needed to ensure the zones are configured appropriately. Additionally, you can use several different types of RFID hardware to create this setup, just be sure to carefully select an antenna that fits inside the parameters of the read zone that you are trying to create.

In order to easily capture and view the data – we are using Speedway Connect software, which stores settings on the reader and tells the reader how and where to output the data, and an excel spreadsheet to receive the data. Within the spreadsheet, we’re using custom formulas in order to define the points in each read zone – one point for the three antennas under the board, and three points for the antenna coiled under the hole.

As you can see, when a bean bag lands on the board – a tag is recognized by the reader, sent through Speedway Connect software, and then manipulated within the excel document. The same happens when a tag is read after passing through the hole and into the metal bucket.

For the bean bags – we tested several different tags and tag orientations and decided on using the Invengo LinTrak laundry tags sewn onto the bean bags. Laundry tags ended up working the best because we could sew them on versus using a tag with adhesive that might fall off, plus, they are much more durable than a typical RFID inlay.

Now that we have walked through the set up, we are ready to test out our application to make sure that it works.

As you can see – the zones read correctly and assign points to the particular team which means no one had to keep score – instead, just enjoy the game!

Conclusion

Thanks for tuning into this video on how to set up a well-defined read zone. For more information on RFID and how it is being used all over the world, checkout our blog or our RFID Resources Page.

Don't forget to watch our other video, RFID Inventory Tracking: How To Set Up Defined Read Zones. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and if you have any questions at all, send us an email or give us a call!


To learn more about read zones, check out the links below!