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RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 27 Dec 2018 17:20
by nessinot
I want to add an RFID reader to my home z-wave setup to enable and disable my alarm. The off the shelf product offering is very limited and I am considering to buy the Z-Uno for this purpose.

I have no experience with Arduino, but know how to program.

I have found the RFID Z-Uno example on the Z-Uno site: ... door-lock/

However this is pretty high over and this gives no details on the exact wiring. The link to the reader also points to a discontinued product. Furthermore it seems that most Arduino tutorials use another RFID reader (RC522). They all reference an external library to make this work. I suspect this library will not work with the Z-Uno.

Is there a good tutorial available on how to implement an RFID reader with th Z-Uno?

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 27 Dec 2018 19:48
by Qbic2007
I have a very similar idea, I posted a while back for a NFC reader. (
The NFC reader data would be read out by I2C and the objective would be to send the code over zwave to the controller, where an action could be taken.

I have some experience with arduino and from what I could figure out it should be no problem to load some small liberaries on the z-uno (as long as it is within memory limitation). However sending complex values over the zwave network is an issue at this moment. Several command classes with such values exist, but none have been implemented in the Zuno.

I have been promised that possibly the "EntryControl command class" would be supported, first in August, later in December, but I still see no effort towards any support for this. I doubt it will be any time soon. (by the way I'm not even sure this is an actual standard zwave class)
Obvious if you store the card/tag value(s) in the zuno (hard programmed in the source code), you would not need such advanced variable.

Feel free to get in contact, would like to discuss and get your opinion :D

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 27 Dec 2018 22:47
by nessinot
I see you already gave it a lot more thought than I did. ;-)

My thought was to get it working first. So I wouldn’t mind if the tag values were hard coded to start with. If a burglar has the capabilities and motivation to hack into the Z-Uno, he will probably make it into my house no matter what the security measures are. :mrgreen:

Of course it would be a lot nicer if these could be a variables in the controller (I use Home Assistant).

I am such a newbie to this hardware/Arduino stuff that I won’t be able to discuss a whole lot. But I would already be satisfied if I had a (binary) sensor for every hard coded tag. Each sensor would indicate if the tag was scanned successfully. An additional sensor could indicate if a wrong badge was scanned.

But I am probably overlooking something.

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 28 Dec 2018 12:17
by Qbic2007
Sharing more of my thoughts (not necessarily all correct ;) )
* I choose NFC over rfid cause the reader (antenna) is smaller
* either way best is to choose a reader that connects on i2c and comes with arduino libs
* might be a bit more expensive, but will safe you tons of work and headaches ;)
* I already bought the 'seeed grove NFC reader' and hooked it up to my arduino, works fantastic.
* would also need a feedback system to show the user the state of alarm system, think I will use a NEO pixel for this, sits also on i2c bus, will have to see if I can combine both libs.

* I did not buy a z-uno yet as in august I was still doubting if I would go with the ESP option (=arduino + wifi)
* My intention is to be able to reprogram (NFC) tags on the fly, this for a B&B room where I could then grant access for a day/weekend ...

* think the z-uno supports upto 10 zwave variables, but you can use a non-discreet variable and have 256 (or probably even 64k) values into one var.
* for i2c, if I remember correctly, the z-uno uses even the same pins as the standard uno board, so no adaptation of the libs will be necessary.

Maybe we should start some project together (maybe github?) to share our progress? :idea:

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 28 Dec 2018 16:54
by nessinot
I am doubting on getting the out of the box zwave/rfid mini keypad of Zipato. I want to build the reader into an empty wall socket. So that would mean I have to take it apart. Some other disadvantages of the Zipato: no zwave plus, only battery powered.

By the way according to the manual, the Zipato uses the CLASS: 0x63 COMMAND_CLASS_USER_CODE. Seems that is the standard zwave class one can use for storing and reading codes in the controller. ... l-v1.4.pdf

I fully understand why you want to be able to reprogram the tags. For your B&B scenario having them hard coded is not an option.

I am so new to this stuff that it takes me a long time to even grasp your answer. I have to google each term. :oops: So starting a project is still a bit over my head.

I was looking into this RFID reader:

But I still have no clue how to wire it to the z-uno. Let alone do I understand if it supports the I2C bus you mention. I want to know about the wiring before even considering to buy a z-uno.

You mentioning the Aduino & wifi option got me thinking. This could be a viable alternative. It surely has a lot more documentation and would probably be easier to implement. I could make use of MQTT to communicate with Home Assistant.

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 28 Dec 2018 17:36
by Qbic2007
LOL , I'm not that far ahead of you.

* I programmed an arduino only on one other occasion and I'm no developer of any sorts.
* it is best you get an Arduino UNO to get you started, I borrowed one from a friend for a few days.
* your rfid does rs232, so that should be good and the sample code is readily available, easy as copy-paste
(now I think of it, I should check if I did not do serial also, my NFC bord supports serial and i2c)
* that way you can make sure you have the whole environment correctly setup.

* next you install the zuno software blop, comes with plenty of examples --> I got here at this moment.
* then include the necessary libs and code from the rfid to a simple project

* now some actual coding, finally, to link zwave and serial output.
* done :D

A longer variable??! Cool, I'll try to check it. thx!!

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 28 Dec 2018 17:51
by Qbic2007
oh yeah and it looks like a bad idea to me to put any card reader on battery, it will eat through those batteries quite quickly as the reader coil has to be powered all the time.

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 29 Dec 2018 15:43
by nessinot
Qbic2007 wrote:
28 Dec 2018 17:51
oh yeah and it looks like a bad idea to me to put any card reader on battery, it will eat through those batteries quite quickly as the reader coil has to be powered all the time.
Yeah I wouldn’t expect a long battery life either. Besides I want to mount everything inside a socket. I would hate to have to take everything apart again to change a battery.

I don’t really like zwave battery devices in general. I soldered wires and a power supply to my Fibaro multisensors to make them work without any batteries.

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 29 Dec 2018 18:56
by nessinot
Did some more googling and feel confident enough to give it a go. I just ordered the z-uno board and the rfid reader. Since the holidays (and therefore my vacation) are just about over, it will take a while before I will get around to it.

Thanks for all your tips @Qbic2007!

Re: RFID reader tutorial

Posted: 30 Dec 2018 12:53
by Qbic2007
No worries mate.
If it can help the both of us ....

You might want to check the following post again, major update: ... 32&p=80086