LF or HF for chicken nest tracking?

Technical Discussion on the PhidgetRFID
Dr. Jones
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LF or HF for chicken nest tracking?

Postby Dr. Jones » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:33 am

Hi there,

I have a newbie question.

I have ten chickens scraping around ny back yard, eating loads of quite expensive organic poultry food. Most of them pay me back in beatiful, delicious eggs. But some do not - I just don't know which.

The only logical solution is equipping all of the feathery ladies with RFID tags, mount readers on all the nests, and gather nest traffic data in a Raspberry Pi. Don't you guys agere?

So, before I purchase the gear, I have an important decision to make: Do I go for LF or HF?

I would like to mount the reader/antenna below the nest, which is a wooden box with about two inches of hay in the bottom. The surface area to cover is about 20x15 inches.

What would you choose in terms of antenna and LF/HF? Any other tips for me before I start?

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Re: LF or HF for chicken nest tracking?

Postby mparadis » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:27 am

Since LF and HF are both known to be able to operate in the conditions you've described, I recommend that you make your choice based on price rather than frequency (since I assume you're going to need 10 individual readers). Find a low cost antenna, test out one nest, and when you're satisfied with it, order the rest of them. Some design considerations:

- RFID readers that are too close together can often interfere with one another. If the nests are too close together and cannot be moved, you may need an RFID reader whose antenna can be turned off via software, and then get your program to toggle each reader in quick succession so that only one is active at any time.

- RFID tags have much better read distances when the coil of the antenna is parallel to the coil inside the tag. I don't know what position a chicken's leg rests while roosting, but if it causes the bird ring tag to lie perpendicular to the reader, you may have a greatly diminished read distance.

- Finding readers that can cover the entire area of the nest may be difficult or expensive. Is there any place you can mount the reader to ensure you'll get the read (for example, in the center of the nest or the entrance)?

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