Supplier of high quality handheld rfid readers

 

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

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Tracient – Typical Enquiry Responses

General 2

Do you provide free samples?. 2

Where can I get pricing?. 2

Do you supply tags?. 2

What are Tracient’s readers typically used for ?. 2

What material can I use to present Tracient’s readers to my colleagues and customers?. 3

Do you have videos of your readers in action?. 3

Readers. 3

What devices can I connect to via Bluetooth?. 3

What Bluetooth dongles do you recommend for laptops/ desktops?. 4

Can I connect multiple readers at a time?. 4

Can I change the frequency setting on my UHF reader?. 4

How rugged are the readers?. 5

Are there accessories for the readers?. 5

Do the readers have a display?. 5

What’s the difference between the Padl-R HF and the Explore-R HF?. 5

How long do the batteries last?. 6

Can I connect via Bluetooth and charge the reader via USB at the same time?. 6

Can the readers store tag Ids?. 6

Can the readers be used for Tag Validation/ Verification?. 6

Can the reader read the IPX Protocol?. 6

Software. 6

What’s in your Discovery Kit?. 6

How do I purchase a Discovery Kit?. 7

What software do you provide with the readers?. 7

I want to use a different frequency, do I need to buy another SDK?. 7

Why is there a cost for the SDK?. 7

Technical Support 8

I’ve lost my TraceConnect CD.. 8

How do I use the button on the Padl-R readers?. 8

How can I extend the battery life?. 8

What is Burst Mode?. 8

I’m having trouble connecting via Bluetooth. 9

How do I obtain the maximum read range?. 9

What is my reader’s passkey?. 9

Is there a trouble shooting guide?. 9

What do I do if the reader gives me an error message?. 10

 

General

Do you provide free samples?

We will be very happy to supply you with a sample reader for evaluation however you will appreciate we get asked for samples all the time so our policy is not to lend them but for you to purchase one from our online store on this website. Go to the top right hand side of Handheld HF and UHF RFID Readers You will need a Master card or Visa.

This will enable you to familiarise yourself with the reader, confirm its functionality and performance, and the suitability for your applications. If after testing you don’t wish to keep the reader we will refund the cost of the reader  less shipping if you return it in saleable condition within 30 days of the invoice date.

Alternatively there may be a reseller in your region who is happy to lend you a sample. Please click RFID handheld business partner or contact us .

 

Where can I get pricing?

We recommend you contact a RFID handheld business partner in your region. If you can’t find someone suitable please contact us directly.

What do I get with the reader?

Each reader is shipped with TraceConnect, the name we give to our suite of manuals, drivers and demo applications. This includes an RFIDWedge  which allows you to input tag ID’s straight into your application without any programming.  For a more detailed description of what’s sent with the readers, click here for “What’s in the box”

 

 

Do you supply tags?

Yes, each reader is sent with one or more sample tags. We can also  source larger quantities for you. Please see our RFID Tag Services page.

 

What are Tracient’s readers typically used for ?

Applications where our Handheld RFID readers  have proven a successful solution are:

·         Paired with vehicle mounted computers (Tag Ids are batch logged in reader and downloaded at later time) Case Study - Shell Mini Fuels (Petrochemical) Implementation

·         Connected via USB cable to computer to track work in progress in a manufacturing process  Case Study - N4 Post production identification of safety equipment

·         Paired with less ergonomic devices such as Motion F5 tablet.  Case Study Case Inc Equipment Inspection and safety assurance

·         Paired with PDAs the company has already invested in (e.g Blackberrys, IPACs) Case Study - Nauter Asset tracking

·         For inventory control where an embedded RFID device (like Symbol 9000) is too heavy Case Study - SeeNow Apparel Stock Management

More use cases can be found on our ‘Industry  Solutions’ page. 

 

What material can I use to present Tracient’s readers to my colleagues and customers?

There is a short but very good power point presentation on ftp.tracient.com/temp called “Tracient Technologies Handheld RFID Readers”. It summarises our product range, the key features and the uses the readers have been put to.

Also on the FTP site ftp://ftp.tracient.com/videos/ you will find videos of the readers in use with various applications. YouTube  www.youtube.com  has videos of our readers connected to other handheld devices such as PDAs and handheld computers. Search for “tracient”.

There are brochures  , datasheets and case studies  available for download off our website.

 

Do you have videos of your readers in action?

Yes, on www.youtube.com . Search for “tracient”.

We may have others that are relevant to your application, please contact us for details.

Readers

What devices can I connect to via Bluetooth?

Tracient’s wireless handheld RFID readers should be able to connect to any Bluetooth enabled device. However it can depend on a number of things:

1.       The Bluetooth stack your device is using. We specifically support Microsoft, Widcomm and Bluetopia stacks. If these are not available the readers can be connected via the Virtual Comm Port.

 

2.       The operating system. We support Pocket PC (2003), Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6 (Classic and Professional versions, but not Standard).

 

3.       The use mode. We only support devices that have a touch screen.

 

At Tracient we have successfully paired our readers with iPACs and I-Mates. We also have customers who have been successful connecting with Blackberry 8100 (Pearl), 8230, 8300 (Curve) and 8700 devices, but have experienced issues with later models such as the 8800.

 

If you want to go the ruggedised way we regularly connect with Psion Teklogix WorkAboutPros and  Ikons, Symbol 9000 series, Motorola MC75/ MC70/ MC35, Intermec, HHP Dolphin, NordicID, Eurotech and LXE devices.

 

With phones we have had success with Nokia E60 series, Nokia N70 series, Nokia N90 series and Motorola RAZR phones.

 

Regarding desktop operating systems we only 'support' WindowsXP. We have however successfully installed and run TraceConnect on Windows Vista Home Basic Edition, and we have some customers successfully using, and developing (with our SDK) on Windows Vista.

 

What Bluetooth dongles do you recommend for laptops/ desktops?

If your laptop or desktop does not contain a Bluetooth reader we have found dongles which use the Microsoft stack to be the most reliable although we also support Widcomm & BlueSoleil. Kensington is another but please contact us about this as it has some idiosyncrasies.

 

Can I connect multiple readers at a time?

Yes, theoretically up to 7. We have successfully tested 5 (using a USB hub). It makes no difference which model of reader you have  or whether you are using a combination of Padl-R HF, Padl-R UF or Explore-R HF.

NB. Our TraceConnect applications (control panel etc) only connect to 1 reader at a time, so connecting multiple readers will need to be managed using your own application (via our SDK).

 

Can I change the frequency setting on my UHF reader?

Our handheld UHF readers  can read from 862 – 955 MHz. We are not allowed to give customers free reign to change the region and frequency settings due to compliance implications. However, we can provide you with support and tools to upload data files allowing the unit to be reconfigured onto any custom frequency within the regional allocation.

 

How rugged are the readers?

Tracient’s handheld RFID readers    are not ruggedised.  Instead we’ve taken a low mass approach – light items don’t damage as easily when dropped. If there is damage to the casing it is an easy low cost replacement. A neoprene boot is also available to give the Padl-R readers some protection.

 

Are there accessories for the readers?

Yes we provide neoprene boots, retractable key chains, universal chargers, vehicle chargers, lanyards and wrist straps. End user pricing can be found on the Accessories Page on our online store.

 

Do the readers have a display?

Our readers do not have displays mainly because it keeps the cost down and it is hard to reach a consensus of what should go on it so we leave this functionality entirely to the PDA or phone or desktop the reader is connected to.

 

You might think not having a display is a hindrance however when you are waving the device over tags quickly it is not convenient to try to watch a display on the reader at the same time. Having a small PDA in the other hand makes it easy. Larger integrated RFID devices have this problem and it can slow processes down because every time the user reads a tag they have to pull the device towards them to read the display. Our way shaves seconds off the whole process.

 

What’s the difference between the Padl-R HF and the Explore-R HF?

The readers share similar functionality and the ability to read/ write standard HF tags.  And both products can be connected to cell phones, PDAs, handheld computers, laptops and desktops via Bluetooth or USB.

The Padl-R HF reader  is specifically designed to be handheld (light weight and ergonomic). It is used predominantly  in asset tracking, particularly for high value assets such as equipment and machinery. A key benefit of this reader is the ability to batch log and store tag data without connection to any other device so the user does not have to carry a relatively heavy handheld reader in the field. You simply collect the tag data with the Padl-R reader then download the read information later using a Bluetooth or USB connection. Read range on ISO 15693 tags is 8 – 10 cm. User feedback is via 3 LEDs and a beeper.

The Explore-R HF is a credit card sized desktop reader which is perfect for monitoring work in progress/ personnel or proof of concept applications. It does not support tag logging on the unit and has no real time clock. Read range on ISO 15693 tags is 3-5 cm. User feedback is via 2 LEDs only.

 

How long do the batteries last?

Battery life can vary substantially depending on usage an mode of operation (single mode, continuous mode and burst mode) The figures below are approximate and can be extended with various features reconfigured.

Padl-R HF         > 14.25 hours on continuous mode at one read per second.

Padl-R UF         > 7.25 hours on continuous mode at one read per second.

Explore-R HF    > 1.5 hours on continuous mode at one read per second.

 

How many reads per power cycle?

Padl-R HF         30,000 reads    

Padl-R UF         17,000 reads    

Explore-R HF    7,000   reads    

 

How long do the batteries take to charge?

These figures are based on having a completely flat battery to fully charged. In gneneral the unit can be used after about an hour of charge.

Padl-R HF         4-5 hours

Padl-R UF         6 hours

Explore-R HF    2 hours

 

Can I connect via Bluetooth and charge the reader via USB at the same time?

Yes, this is possible with our Padl-R HF and Padl-R UF readers, but not the Explore-R

 

Can the readers store tag Ids?

Explore-R HF    No.

Padl-R UF         Yes. 900 tags with data.

Padl-R HF         Yes. 1,000 tags with data.

 

Enquire about our tag filters that enable  only unique tag Ids to be stored in the reader memory. Also about our application ‘RFIDSync’ which allows you to capture tag Ids, timestamps and reader serial number for download into applications such as Excel or Word, or output as XML into a web based system.

 

Can the readers be used for Tag Validation/ Verification?

Yes, but only via an application on a PC or PDA.

 

Can the reader read the IPX Protocol?

Yes, our UF readers support EM44xx, EM 42xx and EM 4122 tags.

 

Software

 

What’s in your Discovery Kit?

Tracient’s RFID Discovery Kit includes:

·         Reader

·         Tags

·         USB cable

·         Software Development Kit (libraries)

·         Applications: RFIDWedge, RFIDSync, Reader Demo

·         Sample applications for developers  for Windows (Windows desktop e.g. XP)

·         Source code in C++ and C# for sample applications

·         ActiveX control for Internet Explorer browser applications

·         Sample browser applications

·         Java midlets and java class for J2ME phones (on request)

·         User manuals

 

How do I purchase a Discovery Kit?

Discovery Kits may be purchased from our online store on this website. Click here to be taken to  Discovery Kits. You will need a Master card or Visa.

 

What software do you provide with the readers?

All Tracient’s readers come with TraceConnect which is a suite of drivers required to interface the reader with your computing devices (handheld computers, PDAs, laptops, smart phones etc) and three convenient applications  which get you up and running without having to spend time coding software:

 

1.       RFIDWedge lets you export data from the reader and transfer it straight into your office application (just like a bar code keyboard wedge). You can have a Microsoft Excel™ spreadsheet collecting tags in about 1 minute, straight out of the box.

 

2.       RFIDSync allows you to capture tag IDs and data in the reader's log then download them to a PC or Laptop via USB or Bluetooth at a later time. The application can automatically filter out duplicate tags.

 

3.       Reader Demo shows the IDs of tags as they are read, the number of unique tags read and the maximum read rate. 

 

If you wish to do more integration with the reader you will need our SDK.

 

I want to use a different frequency, do I need to buy another SDK?

No, the SDK is the same for all our readers. If you buy it for one model of reader it will work just as well for another model.

 

Why is there a cost for the SDK?

The price we charge (US$500)for the SDK is a nominal cost to help cover  the thousands of man hours we have spent making sure the examples and code are comprehensive and user friendly. It also covers the cost of a reasonable amount of developer support. The benefit to you is considerably less time required to integrate the reader.

We consistently get excellent feedback about our SDK and are confident you will appreciate the real value of it once you get to work with it.

 

Which software development platforms does Tracient support?

·         WinCE (PocketPC 2003 .NET4.2).

·         Windows mobile 5.0, Windows Mobile 6.0.

·         Windows XP.

·         Java for any bluetooth enabled phone supporting J2ME JSR-82 (bluetooth) MIDP2.0 compliant. 

·         Desktop or WinCE web based interfaces via ActiveX controls.

Please contact us if your desired platform is not on this list as we may still be able to help.

 

Technical Support

I’ve lost my TraceConnect CD

The contents of TraceConnect are available from our ftp site. Please contact us for instructions.

 

How do I use the button on the Padl-R readers?

The button is not a mechanical button but a touch sensitive one designed specifically to reduce susceptability to occupational overuse syndrome and to provide complete sealing for dirty environments.

 

To turn on the reader or initiate a read, tap your thumb lightly and briefly on the button. No pressure is required.  If you leave your finger on the button too long then the device takes that as a command to turn off, this can be frustrating to people who leave their finger on the button but this timeout can be lengthened to about 10s in the control panel. Most customers develop the habit pretty quickly and leave the setting at its default of 3.5s.

 

 

How can I extend the battery life?

1.       Set the reader to single read or burst mode (Control panel/ reader tab).

2.       Increase the interval between reads (Control panel/ reader tab).

3.       Wind back the power output (Control Panel/ RF tab).

4.       Connect the reader to a mini USB battery (e.g Kensington K38021US  http://us.kensington.com). Note this only provides a trickle charge rate of 10mA. This can be increased to 0.5A with a hardware modification.

 

What is Burst Mode?

Burst mode is like continuous mode but with a battery saving function. It only starts when the button is pushed, then continues reading until  the button is pushed again or it can no longer detect tags in its field.

 

I’m having trouble connecting via Bluetooth

1.       If you are having a problem connecting with USB AND Bluetooth then the reader battery probably needs recharging. Charge the unit fully for 6 hours before trying again.

2.       Check the reader is turned on.

3.       Familiarise yourself with the TraceConnect applications using USB first. This will give you familiarity with the user interface and reader behavior. Then proceed to try to connect via Bluetooth once you understand the software.

4.       Check with us you have the latest version of TraceConnect Software.

5.       Check you are not already connected to the reader via another application. The reader can only be connected to one application at a time.

6.       Check which Bluetooth stack your computing device is using. The stacks that we support are Widcomm, Microsoft and BlueSoleil. If you aren’t using any of those stacks you can use a virtual com interface to map a com port to the device.

7.       Check you have selected Bluetooth as the communications option in the app you are trying to use. (look under ‘settings’ in the application).

8.       If you are still having problems, contact us for further instructions.

 

 

How do I obtain the maximum read range?

Maximum read range depends mostly on the type of tags being used and the environment they are in (near water, on metal, on glass etc) however there are certain things you can do to optimise the reader’s performance:

1.       Make sure the reader is fully charged (Amber light goes out when USB cable is plugged in).

2.       Make sure the labels are not placed on metal or near water (ask us about tags we  recommend for near metal or water applications).

3.       Check there is no interference from other radio wave transmitters in the room.

4.       Set the reader to full power (Use the RF tab in the Control Panel).

5.       Hold the reader parallel to the tag antenna.

 

Also contact us about recommended use behavior for the Padl-R UF.

 

What is my reader’s passkey?

The passkey is the last 5 numbers of the reader’s serial number.

 

Is there a trouble shooting guide?

Yes, there is a trouble shooting guide in the reader user manual. You will find the manual on the TraceConnect CD sent with the reader. As long as you have installed TraceConnect on your PC you will find the manuals in Programs/ Tracient TraceConnect/ Tracient Docs. If you cannot find the CD, contact us and we will email you a soft copy.

 

What do I do if the reader gives me an error message?

Record the error number on the screen and contact us for assistance.

 

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