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Impinj Speedway RFID Antenna Hub | Setting Up, Connecting, and Using this RFID Antenna Hub

Impinj Speedway RFID Antenna Hub | Setting Up, Connecting, and Using this RFID Antenna Hub

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Video Script

Welcome to this video which will introduce the Impinj Speedway Antenna Hub. In this video we will not only introduce the Impinj Speedway Antenna Hub, but set it up with the Impinj R420 UHF RFID Reader and use it to read RFID tags. To watch this video on YouTube - click here.

Welcome to this video where we will setup and use the Impinj Speedway Antenna Hub. This Antenna Hub enables each antenna port on the Impinj Speedway RFID reader to connect to 8 RFID antennas, which means that one 4-port RFID reader can connect to up to 32 RFID antennas.

The Impinj Speedway Antenna Hub can be used with the following RFID readers, the:

Today we are going to setup our Impinj R420 reader with the Impinj Speedway Antenna Hub and demonstrate connecting and using the antenna hub with 2 RFID Antennas. 

In order to get started with this antenna hub, we will need a few items:

With the R420 and one RFID Antenna Hub, you are able to connect up to 11 RFID Antennas to the reader - 8 via the Antenna Hub, and 3 via the additional RFID reader antenna ports. If you want to connect to more RFID antennas than the 2 we will be connecting to today, simply add additional RFID Antennas and Antenna Cables to your list - up to 11. However, if you need to connect to more than 11, you will need to add an additional RFID Antenna Hub. In that case you will also need to add one of each of these items.

Checking the Software Version

One important thing to note before we get started is that your Impinj RFID Reader must be updated to Software Version 4.10.0.240 or later to use the Impinj Antenna Hub. Most Impinj readers will be updated - but here’s how to check.

Plug in your Impinj RFID Reader and let it get started powering up. If you need help setting up your Impinj RFID reader checkout the link to our Quick Start Guide for the R420, which will also work if you are using the R120 or R220. Once your reader is ready to go - jump to the Web UI which is http://speedwayr and the last 6 characters of your reader’s MAC address, which is located on the side of your Impinj Reader. Type in the user name which is root and the password which is lower case impinj.

Once you have the Web UI open, look for the Software Version and just ensure that is 4.10.0.240 or later. We will come back to the Web UI later, but for now we will set up the additional hardware. Impinj suggests that all cable connecting should be done while the reader is powered off. So I will go ahead and unplug our reader for now.

Hardware Setup

Now let’s do all of our cable connections.

1. First we will connect the GPIO adapter to the RFID Reader via the cable that came with the GPIO Adapter. Plug one end of the cable into the GPIO Input on the GPIO Adapter, and the other end into the GPIO port on the back of your Impinj Reader.

2. Next we will connect the GPIO Adapter to the Antenna Hub via a cat 5 cable, like this.

3. Next we will connect the Antenna Hub and our RFID Reader via a RP-TNC Male to SMA Male Cable, like this.

Now we have all the main parts connected.

It’s important to note that the GPIO Adapter port that is being used must correlate with the Antenna Port on the Reader that is being used. For instance, if you use Port 1 to connect the GPIO Adapter to the Antenna Hub, you must use Antenna Port 1 on the reader to connect the reader to the Antenna Hub.

4. And Finally we will add our two Vulcan RFID S9025PL Antennas using a N-Type Male to SMA Male Cable, like this.

5. Now let’s plug our reader back in.

Web UI

Once the reader is back up and powered, let’s jump back to our reader’s Web UI.

Once you are in the Web UI, we need to enable our RFID Antenna Hub. Go to the Antenna Hub section and click the text “Enable Antenna Hub”. After you have enabled the Antenna Hub the reader must be rebooted, so go ahead and click Reboot. The reboot will start to count down from 60 seconds and when it is finished, the Web UI will refresh once the reader has rebooted. This might take a couple of minutes.

Once you have done that, you can then open the Connections page by clicking the text “Show Connections” and then clicking “Check Connections”. If your antenna hub is connected correctly, a green check mark should appear on the antenna hub that correlates with the antenna port that you are using. Once the green check mark appears, we know our antenna hub is connected properly.

Now let’s jump into Impinj’s ItemTest Software and read RFID tags with our R420 and antenna hub.

ItemTest

Open ItemTest and connect to your reader by clicking on the plus sign next to Data Sources. Input your reader’s hostname in the Hostname box and then click “Add Data Source”. If you need more information on downloading, setting up, and using ItemTest - check out our video Downloading, Installing, and Using ItemTest.

Our reader has now been added and when we click on the reader’s hostname under Data Sources, we can see that ItemTest is aware that our Antenna Hub is enabled. Instead of enabling all antennas on my antenna hub, I just want to check that the 2 I am using are working - so I’m going to clear the Antennas box and manually type in 1 and 5 separated by a comma, and click “Save”. Now, on the home screen, go to the top and press the play button to start reading UHF RFID tags.

As you can see our tags are being read and our antenna hub LEDs are blinking on our enabled antenna ports. If you scroll to the right in ItemTest, you can even see which antenna is reading which RFID tag, which can be helpful in certain applications.

Thanks so much for watching this video all about setting up and using the Impinj Speedway Antenna Hub. Remember to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more RFID videos just like this one!