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RFID Solution Kit Reference Guide

Reference Guide

Revision 1.9 07/07/03


RFID SOLUTION KIT
Reference Guide

Copright© 2003 The Genesta Partnership (Genesta), a Texas general partnership. All rights reserved.

No part of this manual may be photocopied, reproduced, translated, or reduced to any electronic medium or
machine form without permission in writing from Genesta.

The products and other technical information regarding the services described in this document are subject to
change without notice. The information contained herein is proprietary and is provided solely for the purpose of
allowing the user to operate the software described herein.

This guide is provided as-is, without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, respecting the contents
of this guide, including but not limited to implied warranties for the guides quality, performance, or fitness for
any particular purpose, Genesta shall not be liable with respect to any liability, loss, or damage caused or
alleged to have been caused directly or indirectly by this guide. Users must take full responsibility for their
application of the product as specified in this document.

All product names mentioned in this document are the trademark of their respective owners.

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About the Reference Guide
Radio frequency identification (RFID) first appeared in tracking and access applications during the 1980s.
These wireless Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) systems allow for non-contact reading and
writing of electronic identification tags and the data they contain. They are currently in use in transportation,
distribution, security and access control, and animal identification applications. They are also effective in
manufacturing and other hostile environments where bar code labels could not survive.

The RFID Solution Kit (RSK) provides the user with a complete answer for fixed reader RFID stations.
Included in the Kit are:

• a one-piece Peripheral Management Device (PMD), that combines a small footprint, functional PC with
an RFID Reader and the ability to control a wide variety of serial, Ethernet, USB, and PCMCIA devices
(e. g. lights, message boards, sensors, gates and printers).
• a software package that provides the communication protocol and application layer that processes the
data for the user without custom programming
• the peripheral devices required to perform the station’s functional requirements.

This Reference Guide will introduce the RSK components to you and will show you how to configure and use
the system.

The document begins with a system overview. Chapter 1 covers software installation and general
configuration. Chapter 2 deals with configuration and use of the Peripheral Client (PClient) software. Chapters
3 and 4 provide details about the configuration and use of the Tag Commission and Capture and Response
application programs. Chapter 5 gives a brief description of how to use the Tag Commission and Capture and
Responses software.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents...................................................................................................................................... iv
Chapter 1–Getting Started........................................................................................................................... 9
1.1 Before You Begin .................................................................................................................. 10
1.2 Turning on the Hardware ..................................................................................................... 10
1.2.1 Powering Up the PMD .................................................................................................. 10
1.2.2 Powering Down the PMD............................................................................................. 11
1.3 Installing the Software .......................................................................................................... 11
1.3.1 Software Installation..................................................................................................... 11
1.3.2 Starting the Application................................................................................................ 12
1.4 Supporting the Software using Remote Desktop................................................................... 12
1.4.1 Setting up Remote Desktop .......................................................................................... 12
1.4.2 Using Remote Desktop ........................................................................................................ 15
1.4.3 Use Virtual Private Networks for Secure Internet Data Transfer ................................. 19
Chapter 2–ConfiguringthePeripheralClient................................................................................................... 21
2.1 Peripheral Client Main Menu ............................................................................................... 22
2.3 Station Settings...................................................................................................................... 23
2.3.1 Configuring Station Settings ......................................................................................... 24
2.3.2 Adding a New Operation .............................................................................................. 24
2.3.3 Device Properties .......................................................................................................... 25
2.3.3.1 Message Board Properties........................................................................................... 25
2.3.3.2 Computer Controlled Switch Properties ..................................................................... 26
2.3.3.3 RFID Device Properties.............................................................................................. 28
2.3.3.4 Sensor Properties......................................................................................................... 29
2.3.4 Editing an Operation..................................................................................................... 30
2.3.5 Deleting an Operation................................................................................................... 30
2.4 Logging Settings.................................................................................................................... 30
Chapter 3–ConfiguringtheTagCommissioner................................................................................................ 32
3.1 Configuring the Data Source ................................................................................................ 33
3.1.1 Select Source database and Table ................................................................................. 34
3.1.2 Define Primary Key...................................................................................................... 34
3.1.3 Editing and Index Field................................................................................................. 34
3.1.4 Deleting and Index Field............................................................................................... 34
3.2 Configuring the Tag Fields ................................................................................................... 34
3.2.1 Add/Edit Tag Field ........................................................................................................ 35
Chapter 4–Configuring Capture and Response................................................................................................ 37
4.1 Configuring the Data Source ................................................................................................ 38

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4.1.1 Capture Data Source ..................................................................................................... 39
4.1.2 Response Data Source................................................................................................... 39
4.1.3 Configuring a Capture Data Source Text File .............................................................. 39
4.1.4 Configuring the Field Settings ...................................................................................... 40
4.2 Configuring the Tag Fields to Capture Data........................................................................ 41
4.2.1 Add/Edit Data Capture Field ......................................................................................... 42
4.3 Configuring the Event Responses ......................................................................................... 43
4.3.1 Add/Edit Data Response ............................................................................................... 44
4.3.2 Advanced Event/Response Settings.............................................................................. 45
Chapter 5–UsingthePeripheralClient .......................................................................................................... 46
5.1 Using the Peripheral Client .................................................................................................. 47
5.1.1 Tag Commissioner - Commissioning RFID Tags for Use............................................ 47
5.1.2 Reading a Tag ............................................................................................................... 47
5.1.3 Associating a Tag to the Database with the View Records Window ........................... 48
5.1.4 Confirming the Association for the Tag ....................................................................... 49
5.1.5 Capture & Response...................................................................................................... 49
Chapter 6–UsingtheApplication................................................................................................................. 50
6.1 Using the Application............................................................................................................ 51
6.1.1 PCBDCPLC.ini ............................................................................................................. 51
6.1.1.1 Tag Preamble attached to Carrier ID ........................................................................... 51
6.1.1.2 Ignore Duplicates ......................................................................................................... 51
6.1.1.3 Actual Contents of PCBDCPLC.ini............................................................................. 51
6.2 RFCONFIG.ini.................................................................................................................. 53
6.3 Light Logic........................................................................................................................ 56
6.4 Using the LOGS ................................................................................................................ 58
Chapter 7–NEMA Enclosure and Wiring....................................................................................................... 60
7.1 NEMA Enclosure and Wiring ............................................................................................... 61
7.1.1 NEMA Enclosure .......................................................................................................... 61
7.1.2 Wiring Schematic.......................................................................................................... 62
7.1.3 Back Configuration of PMD......................................................................................... 63
Glossary................................................................................................................................................ 64
Revisions Document ................................................................................................................................. 65

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Overview
The RFID Solution Kit (RSK) comes in three basic configurations:

• Networked (Enterprise Edition)


• Stand-Alone
• Laptop

The basic components included in the RSK are:

• Peripheral Management Device, or PMD (Networked and Stand-Alone versions)


• PCMCIA RFID Card Reader (Laptop version)
• Antennae and cabling
• RFlex RFID Software Suite CD
• Test Peripheral Device (Light Kit)
• Tags For Testing

The major RFlex RFID Software Suite CD components are:

• Peripheral Client – Manages the RF/Network/Serial traffic between the hardware devices and controls
the actions of the peripheral devices.
• Tag Commissioner Utility Program – Used to write data to RFID tags.
• Capture and Response Utility Program – Links response actions to process events.

The RSK has been designed to be highly configurable, allowing it to be utilized in any number of situations
where a fixed reader station may be required. The advantages provided by this package include:

• There is no requirement for additional custom programming to implement.


• The software will connect to existing databases.
• The user configures the business logic.
• The user configures the event responses.
• The event responses may be configured to provide feedback via the attached peripheral devices (e. g.
lighting lights, opening/closing gates, displaying messages on message boards, etc.)

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Implementation Example
A hypothetical company, Custom Metal Cabinetry, is employing the RSK throughout its facility to monitor the
production and distribution of metal cabinet enclosures. As a cabinet goes through the various stages of
fabrication, it travels along a series of conveyer belts. At different stations along the path, CMC has installed
and configured a PMD. Some of the devices employ a sensor to detect the presence of a cabinet. All of them
use the integrated reader to read the attached RFID tag. Depending on the software configuration, data may
be read from or written to the tags, the database may be updated, and attached peripheral devices may be
activated to give visual cues as to the status of the process at a given point.

At the process level, as an example (Figure 0.1), CMC wants to insure that a particular line of cabinets goes
through the process of having a lock installed. As the cabinet reaches the station where the locks are installed,
a sensor detects the physical presence of the cabinet. Upon detection, the PMD has been configured to turn
on the RFID reader. The reader reads the tag on the cabinet. It a valid tag is read, the PMD software sends a
message to an attached message board that says “Tag Found” which is easily visible by anyone working near
the station. If there is a problem with the tag, or no tag is present, the message can be “Tag NOT Found”. The
tag contains a unique asset tracking number, and this number is looked up in the database, confirming that the
tag contains a valid tracking number and recording the location of the asset, that a lock is being installed and a
timestamp of the event. At a nearby supervisor’s station, a light kit flashes a green light specifying a good
read, or a red light if there is a problem.

Figure 0.1

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In the warehouse, at several locations (Figure 0.2) are RFID Portals with an attached PMD and antennae,
which track the products via the RFID tags as they pass through. A large message board is located above the
portal indicating the number of products and product type just scanned.

Figure 0.2

At the shipping dock another RFID portal is used to track products being loaded into delivery trucks. The tag
information is collected and invoice information in the database is used to verify completed orders.

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1
Chapter

Chapter 1 – Getting Started

Revision 1.9 07/07/03


1.1 Before You Begin
Before you begin installation, make sure you have all of the following items:

• RFID Reader Peripheral Management Device (PMD)


• Antennae and Cabling
• RFID Tags
• RFlex RFID Software Suite CD
• Peripheral Devices (Lights, Sensor, Message Board, etc.)
• Monitor and Keyboard (user provided) connected directly to PMD

If any of the items are damaged or missing, contact your supplier immediately. Please keep all
packing material and documentation in case any of the items need to be returned.

1.2 Turning on the Hardware

The PMD unit has a black power switch (rocker) on the back of the unit (right side, middle).
Depressing the switch down will turn the power of the unit on. On the left side of the front of
the PMD are a vertical column of small lights. The colors from top to bottom are red,
yellow, green, and green. The bottom light comes on whenever power is connected to PMD.
The light above that is the PMD power indicator, whic h is lit when the user toggles the PMD
power switch (the black rocker switch on the right side of the front of the PMD, above the
power cord connection) ON. The ON position is when the user presses the top part of the
rocker. Off is when the user presses the bottom part. The yellow light, above the two green
lights is the network activity light. It is ON when there is network activity between the PMD
and the network. The red light at the top of the column is the drive activity light and it is ON
when data is being read from or written to the internal drive. You will see two (2) lights left
of the power switch illuminate if power is available. The unit will take 2-3 minutes to “boot-
up” whereby all systems will be initialized and functioning correct. The unit is connected
directly to a UPS which will supply power for a short period of time during power outages;
therefore this rocker switch of the PMD should always be turned to the “ON” position.

1.2.1 Powering Up the PMD

• Connect the power cord, the network cable, the antenna cable, and any other
cables or cords necessary for the device to function. If it is being used with a
monitor, keyboard, and mouse, these should also be connected.

• Toggle the power switch to the ON position by pressing the top part of the switch.
If your power cord was properly connected, the bottom green light would already
be lit. When you turn on the PMD, watch for the green light above it to see that
the PMD is powering up. Watch the top red light to make sure that the drive is
working. And watch the yellow light to see if network activity is occurring.

• The software has been configured to restart automatically, so the application


should begin shortly after the PMD has finished the boot sequence.

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The UPS switch (circled) must be depressed to supply power to the unit. There are two (2) lights to
the right of the UPS switch showing status of power. If power is ON, the Green light will illuminate.

1.2.2 Powering Down the PMD

• If the PMD is being used with a monitor, keyboards, and mouse, perform a
standard shutdown of the Windows operating system before turning off power to
the PMD.

• Turn the power off to the UPS by pressing the switch as circles above. All the
lights should be out except the bottom power cord light.

1.3 Installing the Software


The Stand-Alone and Site-Survey versions of the RSK come with the software preloaded. If you have
the laptop version of this section explains the procedure for installing the software.

1.3.1 Software Installation

Make sure your laptop is on and that no programs are currently running. Locate the RFID Software
Suite CD and insert it into your CD drive. The CD is designed to start the installation automatically. If
the PC is set to activate CD programs when a CD is loaded, the installation process will begin.

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If the installation program does not start, you’ll need to perform a manual installation using the Start |
Run dialog. Use the Browse button to look at the contents of the CD. If there is a setup.exe
program in the main directory, run it to begin the install procedure.

If there is not a setup.exe file in the main folder, the proper procedure is to install the PClient software
first. Go into the PClientSE folder and run the setup.exe program you find there. When the install
begins, follow the instructions and accept the defaults. If you do not accept the defaults, make sure
to record those items you change to refer to should you need support later. Once the PClient is
installed, you’ll need to reset the computer.

Once the computer is reset, use the Start | Run dialog again. Browse back to the CD, go into the
CRUtility folder, and run the setup.exe program there. Perform the same steps to install the TCUtility.

1.3.2 Starting the Application

If the install completed successfully, your Start | Programs menu will have a new entry called
Genesta. Click that entry and follow that branch to find the Peripheral Client SE program. Click that
to start the Peripheral Client SE (PClient) software. If you have not yet registered the software, you
will be prompted for a Product Key. Contact your supplier to acquire a valid key based on your
software serial number. Once you have entered a valid product key, it will be displayed on the Help |
About screen.

The startup software has been modified to AUTOMATICALLY start the application PClient
upon power up to have the application run without any user intervention.

As verification that the application is running, the STACK-LIGHTS will illuminate up and down to show
that the application is ready to start collecting information.

1.4 Supporting the Software using Remote Desktop


The following excerpt was extracted directly from Microsoft’s web site “Using Remote Desktop”. This
software package will install the client portion of Remote Desktop on any of the following operating
systems: Windows 95, Windows 98 and 98 Second Edition, Windows Me, Windows NT® 4.0, or
Windows 2000. (This is the same version of the client software as in Windows XP Service Pack 1.)
When run, this software allows older Windows platforms to remotely connect to a computer running
Windows XP Professional with Remote Desktop enabled.
This package provides flexible deployment options of the full Terminal Services Client, including
auto–repair through Windows Installer technology and application publishing via IntelliMirror™
management technologies or Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS).
Note The Remote Desktop Connection software is pre-installed with Windows XP. To run it, click
Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click Communications, and then click Remote Desktop
Connection. This software package can also be found on the Windows XP Professional and Windows
XP Home Edition product CDs and can be installed on any supported Windows platform. To install
from the CD, insert the disc into the target machine's CD-ROM drive, select Perform Additional Tasks,
and then click Install Remote Desktop Connection.

1.4.1 Setting up Remote Desktop

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To setup your office computer to use Remote Desktop

1. Open the System folder in Control Panel. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control
Panel, and then double–click the System icon.

2. On the Remote tab, select the Allow users to connect remotely to this computer
check box, as shown below.

3. Ensure that you have the proper permissions to connect to your computer remotely,
and click OK.

4. Leave your computer running and connected to the company network with Internet
access. Lock your computer, and leave your office.

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Once you have enabled your Windows XP Professional computer to allow remote
connections, and installed client software on a Windows-based client computer, you are
ready to start a Remote Desktop session. You mus t first establish a virtual private network
connection or remote access service connection from your client computer to your office
network, or host computer.

To create a new Remote Desktop Connection

1. Open Remote Desktop Connection. (Click Start, point to Programs or All


Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications , and then click Remote
Desktop Connection.)

2. In Computer, type the computer name for your computer running Windows XP
Professional that has Remote Desktop enabled and for which you have Remote Desktop
permissions.

3. Click Connect.

The Log On to Windows dialog box appears.


4. In the Log On to Windows dialog box, type your user name, password, and domain
(if required), and then click OK. The Remote Desktop window will open and you will see
the desktop settings, files, and programs that are on your office computer. Your office
computer will remain locked. Nobody will be able to work at your office computer
without a password, nor will anyone see the work you are doing on your office
computer remotely.

Note: To change your connection settings, (such as screen size, automatic logon
information, and performance options), click Options before you connect.

To open a saved connection

1. In Windows Explorer, open the My Documents\Remote Desktops folder.

2. Click the .Rdp file for the connection you want to open.

Note: A Remote Desktop file (.rdp) file contains all of the information for a connection to a
remote computer, including the Options settings that were configured when the file was
saved. You can customize any number of .rdp files, including files for connecting to the same
computer with different settings. For example, you can save a file that connects to
MyComputer in full screen mode and another file that connects to the same computer in

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800×600 screen size. By default, .rdp files are saved in the My Documents\Remote
Desktops folder. To edit an .rdp file and change the connections settings it contains, right–
click the file and then click Edit.

To log off and end the session

1. In the Remote Desktop Connection window, click Start, and then click Shut
Down.

The Shut Down Windows dialog box appears.

2. In the drop–down menu, select Log Off <username>, and then click OK.

1.4.2 Using Remote Desktop

With the Remote Desktop feature in Windows® XP, you can remotely control yo ur
Peripheral Management Device (PMD) from a network PC at another location.

To use Remote Desktop, you need the following:

• Windows XP Professional installed on the PMD, or whichever computer you


plan to operate remotely. This computer is known as the host.

• A remote computer running Windows 95 or a more recent version of


Windows. This computer is known as the client and it must have the Remote
Desktop Connection client software installed.

• A connection to the Internet. A broadband Internet connection improves


performance, but it is not necessary because Remote Desktop transfers only
the minimal data (such as display data and keyboard data) to remotely control
your host computer. Therefore, even low–bandwidth Internet connections
allow you to remotely control your office computer.

This assumes your PMD is part of a corporate network in which Remote Desktop
connections are permitted. If you are unsure, ask your system administrator.

You must first enable the Remote Desktop feature on your PMD so that you can
control it remotely from another computer. You must be logged on as an
administrator or a member of the Administrators group to enable Remote Desktop.

To setup your PMD to use Remote Desktop:

• Open the System folder in Control Panel. Click Start, point to Settings, click
Control Panel, and then double–click the System icon.

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• On the Remote tab, select the Allow users to connect remotely to this
computer check box, as shown below.

• Ensure that you have the proper permissions to connect to your PMD
remotely, and click OK.

• Leave your PMD running and connected to the network with Internet access.

Installing Remote Desktop Client Software

The Remote Desktop Connection client software allows a computer running


Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Me, Windows NT
4.0 or Windows 2000 to control your Windows XP Professional computer remotely.
The client software is available on the installation CD for Windows XP Professional
and Windows XP Home Edition. It may also be downloaded from the Microsoft
website. The client software is installed by default on computers running Windows
XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition.

To install Remote Desktop Connection software on a client computer


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• Insert the Windows XP compact disc into your CD–ROM drive.

• When the Welcome page appears, click Perform additional tasks, and then
click Setup Remote Desktop Connection as shown below.

• When the installation wizard starts, follow the directions that appear on your
screen.

• If you downloaded the install directly from the Microsoft website, just run the
.exe file you received and follow any instructions.

Start a Remote Desktop Session

Once you have enabled your PMD to allow remote connections, and installed client
software on a Windows -based client computer, you are ready to start a Remote
Desktop session. You must first establish a virtual private network connection or
remote access service connection from your client computer to your office network,
or host computer.

To create a new Remote Desktop Connection

• Open Remote Desktop Connection. (Click Start, point to Programs or All


Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and then click
Remote Desktop Connection.)

• In Computer, type the computer na me for your computer running Windows


XP Professional that has Remote Desktop enabled and for which you have
Remote Desktop permissions.

• Click Connect.
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• The Log On to Windows dialog box appears.

• In the Log On to Windows dialog box, type your user name, password, and
domain (if required), and then click OK. The Remote Desktop window will
open and you will see the desktop settings, files, and programs that are on
your office computer. Your office computer will remain locked. Nobody will be
able to work at your office computer without a password, nor will anyone see
the work you are doing on your office computer remotely.

• Note: To change your connection settings, (such as screen size, automatic


logon information, and performance options), click Options before you
connect.

To open a saved connection

• In Windows Explorer, open the My Documents\Remote Desktops folder.

• Click the .rdp file for the connection you want to open.

Note: A Remote Desktop file (.rdp) file contains all of the information for a
connection to a remote computer, including the Options settings that were
configured when the file was saved. You can customize any number of .rdp files,
including files for connecting to the same computer with different settings. For
example, you can save a file that connects to MyComputer in full screen mode and
another file that connects to the same computer in 800×600 screen size. By default,
.rdp files are saved in the My Documents\Remote Desktops folder. To edit an .rdp
file and change the connections settings it contains, right–click the file and then click
Edit.

To log off and end the session

• In the Remote Desktop Connection window, click Start, and then click Shut
Down. The Shut Down Windows dialog box appears.

• In the drop–down menu, select Log Off <username>, and then click OK.

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1.4.3 Use Virtual Private Networks for Secure Internet Data Transfer

Data sent across the public Internet is generally not protected from prying eyes, but
you can make your Internet communications secure and extend your private network
with a virtual private network (VPN) connection. VPN uses a technique known as
tunneling to transfer data securely on the Internet to a remote access server on your
workplace network. Using a VPN helps you save money by using the public Internet
instead of making long–distance phone calls to connect securely with your private
network.

The connection over the Internet is encrypted and secure. New authentication and
encryption protocols are enforced by the remote access server. Sensitive data is
hidden from the public, but it is securely accessible to appropriate users through a
VPN.

There are two ways to create a VPN connection: By dialing an Internet service
provider (ISP), or by connecting directly to the Internet.

If you dial–in to an ISP, your ISP then makes another call to the private network’s
remote access server to establish the PPTP or L2TP tunnel. After authentication,
you can access the private network.

If you are already connected to the Internet, on a local area network, a cable
modem, or a digital subscriber line (DSL), you can make a tunnel through the
Internet and connect directly to the remote access server. After authentication, you
can access the remote network.

To make a virtual private network (VPN) connection

• Open Network Connections. (Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network
and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.)

• Under Network Tasks, click Create a new connection, and then click Next.

• Click Connect to the network at my workplace, and then click Next as shown
below.

• Click Virtual Private Network connection, click Next, and then follow the
instructions in the wizard.

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Notes:
You can create multiple VPN connections by copying them in the Network
Connections folder. You can then rename the connections and modify connection
settings. By doing so, you can easily create different connections to accommodate
multiple hosts, security options, and so on.

If you have an active Winsock Proxy client, you cannot create a VPN. A Winsock
Proxy client immediately redirects data to a configured proxy server before the data
can be processed in the fashion required by a VPN. To establish a VPN, you should
disable the Winsock Proxy client.

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2
Chapter

Chapter 2 – Configuring the Peripheral Client

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The Peripheral Client application is the main component of the RFID Solution Kit. It manages the message
traffic between the host and the application programs and controls the peripheral devices. It starts the
applications, allows the user to view the message traffic in the view window, and provides a centralized
location for all of the configuration dialogues.

2.1 Peripheral Client Main Menu


The PClient main menu (Figure 2.1) consists of File, Communications, Settings, View Window, and Help
options.

File: Contains the Exit button, which closes the PClient Program.

Communications: The user can start or stop one of the PClient SE applications (Capture &
Response or Tag Commissioner) using this menu. One application may be run at a time. If an
application is running, a message appears in the lower left corner of the screen.

Settings: The settings menu allows the user to configure all of the settings options for the PClient
Host, the Station and its peripheral devices, the Program Logging, and the PClient applications.
Before an application can be utilized, the user must insure that the Host, Station, and application
settings have been properly configured. The configuration procedures are detailed beginning in the
next section.

View Window: The View Window setting may be Off or On. When set to On the window displays all
of the message traffic that passes between the computer and the peripheral devices. Turning the
View Window Off and back On will clear the display. The view window function will be discussed
more in the “Using the Peripheral Client“ section of the guide.

Help: Help contains the links to the PClient SE Main Help dialog, and the About screen which shows
the program information including the version and registration number.

Figure 2.1

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2.2 Host Settings
By clicking Settings | Host, the user can view the current PClient Host Settings (Figure 2.2) . These
specify the Station Number, The Host IP Address, and the Host Communication Port. The default values
for these (001, 127.0.0.1, and 4000) should not need to be changed.

Figure 2.2

2.3 Station Settings


The Station Settings (Figure 2.3) define the operations that the user configures to be used by the
applications to respond to different events. You can use the Station Settings to create multiple
operations for the same device. In the Custom Metal Cabinets example, they have configured the
settings for a response by a message board. The message board will display “Tag Found” or “Tag
NOT Found” after a read is attempted. This will inform the operator that either everything is
functioning normally or that a cabinet needs to have a properly commissioned tag attached. Open the
Station Settings window by clicking Settings | Station.

Figure 2.3
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2.3.1 Configuring Station Settings

Default Application: Defines the application to run automatically when the PClient is started. Select
‘None’ if you wish to start Peripheral Client applications manually.

Operations: Used to create and configure peripheral device activities.

New: Opens the Operation Configuration window and allows you to add a new operation.

Edit: Opens the Operation Configuration window with all of the current settings for the selected
operation. This allows you to view and edit the current settings.

Delete: Begins the process of removing the currently selected operation from the Operations list.
The user is prompted to confirm the deletion before the operation is actually removed from the list.

OK: Saves the current operation values and closes the Station Settings window.

Cancel: Closes the Station Settings window without saving any changes that have not already been
applied or saved.

Help: Clicking on the Help button will bring up the PClient help dialog for the Station Settings.

2.3.2 Adding a New Operation

To add a new operation in the Station Settings window, click New to bring up the Operations
Configuration screen (Figure 2.3.2). This will allow you to enter the information for the new operation.

Figure 2.3.2

Operation ID: PClient can automatically set the Operation ID number when adding a new operation
or you can manually set the number.

Description: In the Description section, type in a short description that tells what the operation is
and/or what it does.

Device Type: Listed under Device Type are the different devices that PClient supports. Select the
appropriate device by clicking the drop-down list button and choosing the device you wish to use for
the new operation.

24
Device Driver: You need to select the correct driver for the device. Click the drop-down list button
and choose the driver you wish to use from the list of drivers for the specific device. There may only
be one entry on the list for some devices. After choosing the appropriate driver, you can click the
Info button to see information about the driver, including a brief description and the version number.

Communications: Choose how you will be communicating with the device by clicking the drop-down
list button and choosing your communications type. COM is used for serial port devices like message
boards and computer controlled switches, NAME is used to specify an RFID device, TCP is for a
device connected via the network, and VIRTUAL is used for any device that allows you to select a
virtual driver.

Device Properties: Clicking the Device Properties button will open the Device Properties window.
Each device has a unique set of properties to be configured.

2.3.3 Device Properties

Each type of device has its own unique properties, which must be configured in order for it to function
properly. The devices are utilized by employing custom driver files (DLL’s) that control the
functionality of the device.

2.3.3.1 Message Board Properties

Message Boards come in various shapes and sizes and are used to display information related to a
specific event. For example “Read a tag” or “No Tag” may be displayed during an attempted read
event or the number of tags read may be accumulated and displayed. The message board can be a
real-time device connected to a serial port or it can be a virtual device. The virtual message board
(VMB) displays messages directly on the computer screen and has fewer properties to configure. If
you wish to display a message until a new event occurs, you must configure an operation that
displays the message with the maximum duration and another to display a blank message. See
Figures 2.3.3.1a and 2.3.3.1b.

Board Address: (Not used for VMB) This is defaulted to a factory setting and does not need to be
changed unless multiple message boards are being used on the same communication port.

Quantity: Number of times the message is displayed. You may set this to more than 1 if you intend
to flash the message multiple times.

Alignment: Alignment of the message (Centered, Right Justified, or Left Justified).

Duration: Duration of the message display in milliseconds.

Delay: Time between displayed messages in milliseconds when the Quantity has been set to more
than 1.

Default Message: Message that appears by default.

When a real-time message board is being used, the Communications parameters must also be
configured.

Com Port: The actual serial port being used. Default is Com 3.

Baud Rate: The data speed. Default is 9600.

Parity: The parity bit setting. Default is None.

Data Bits: The number of bits used to define a character. Default is 8.

25
Stop Bits: The number of bits between characters. Default is 1.

Restore Defaults: Pressing this button will set all of the station settings back to their factory default
configurations, If you say Yes when asked to confirm your selection, all new devices or changes to
device configurations, will be lost.

Figure 2.3.3.1a

Figure 2.3.3.1b

2.3.3.2 Computer Controlled Switch Properties

A Computer Controlled Switch (CCS) is a simple device that opens or closes a circuit. The switch
may have multiple relays that can be used to control a light, buzzer, or other “On/Off” device. Just
like the message board, there is a virtual version of the CCS, which acts like a series of 4 lights. The
virtual CCS (VCCS) also has fewer properties to configure. If you wish to turn a device on and not
turn it off until a new event occurs, you must configure an operation that turns the device on for the
maximum duration and another to turn it off. See Figures 2.3.3.2a and 2.3.3.2b.

26
Relay: Defines which relay will be activated

Quantity: Number of times the relay is activated (circuit closed). You may set this to more than 1 if
you intend to “flash the light” multiple times.

Duration: Length of time the relay is closed (circuit completed) in milliseconds

Delay: Time the relay is open between actions in milliseconds

When a real-time CCS is being used, the Communications parameters must also be configured.

Com Port: The actual serial port being used. Default is Com 4.

Baud Rate: The data speed. Default is 9600.

Parity: The parity bit setting. Default is None.

Data Bits: The number of bits used to define a character. Default is 8.

Stop Bits: The number of bits between characters. Default is 1.

Restore Defaults: Pressing this button will set all of the station settings back to their factory default
configurations, If you say Yes when asked to confirm your selection, all new devices or changes to
device configurations, will be lost.

Figure 2.3.3.2a

27
Figure 2.3.3.2b

2.3.3.3 RFID Device Properties

The RFID Device performs the reading and writing of RFID data. It combines a read/write device with
1 or more antennae. Tags may be polled to acquire the ID or they may be read to acquire the ID and
the data. Tag ID’s are read-only, so the only thing that can be written to a tag is predefined data.
There is no virtual RFID device. See Figures 2.3.3.3a and 2.3.3.3b.

Polling Mode: Defines how the reader will read and write to the tags.
• Auto-Poll: Continuous retrieval of tag ID’s
• Auto-Read: Continuous retrieval of tag ID and tag data
• Identify: Singular retrieval of tag ID
• Read: Singular retrieval of tag ID and data
• Write: Singular write to a tag

Poll Delay: Interval between polls in milliseconds

Timer Flag: Initial state of reader. Start Timer turns reader on, Stop Timer turns it off.

Poll Duration: Length of polling interval, in milliseconds.

Auto Timeout: If exceeded before a successful read is completed, will result in an error message.

Field Flags: Specifies the number of fields to read/write. We currently allow for 5 data fields per tag.
If you need to read data from fields 2 and 4, check only those boxes.

Antenna Flags: Defines which antennae are active. Check the first box only if you have a single
antenna.

Reader Name: Unique name for the device. In most cases, there will be only 1 choice, but if more
than 1 device is defined on your computer you will be allowed to choose from a list.

Restore Defaults: Pressing this button will set all of the station settings back to their factory default
configurations, If you say Yes when asked to confirm your selection, all new devices or changes to
device configurations, will be lost.

28
Figure 2.3.3.3a

Figure 2.3.3.3b

2.3.3.4 Sensor Properties

A Sensor device, such as a photo-switch, is used to detect presence. The photo-switch shines a
beam of light on a reflector. When this beam is interrupted by an object, the objects “presence” has
been “detected”. This detection is considered an event and may be used to trigger some other
operation. See Figures 2.3.3.4a and 2.3.3.4b.

Sensor Status: Configured sensor state, either On or Off

Detect Delay: When the sensor has detected a presence, this is the length of time that must pass
without a presence detected before it returns its status to ‘No Presence’.

Com Port: COM port that sensor is attached to. Default is Com 1.

Restore Defaults: Pressing this button will set all of the station settings back to their factory default
configurations, If you say Yes when asked to confirm your selection, all new devices or changes to
device configurations, will be lost.

29
Figure 2.3.3.4a

Figure 2.3.3.4b

2.3.4 Editing an Operation

To edit a device from the Station Settings window, select the device that you wish to edit. Click the
Edit button to open the Operations Configuration window. Make the necessary changes to the device
and properties fields and save them by clicking Apply or OK. For details on the fields, refer to the
section about adding an operation.

2.3.5 Deleting an Operation

To delete a device from the Station Settings window (Figure 2.3), select the device that you wish to
delete and click the Delete button. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion.

2.4 Logging Settings


Logging is the procedure used to record information concerning how the PClient software is working.
Errors are logged automatically even when no logging is selected; however the user may choose to
log more information by setting the logging level. This is useful when some part of the PClient system
does not appear to be functioning properly. The information contained in the logs may help
troubleshoot the problem. To get to the Log Settings screen (Figure 2.4), click Settings | Logging at
the PClient main menu.

Log Level: Defines the detail level of the log file. Error messages are always logged. Other
messages in the program are tagged with a priority depending on their importance. The user
determines the number of messages logged by setting this value. An issue here is that higher levels
of logging may affect system performance.
30
• No Logging: Log only error messages.
• Low Logging: Log errors and very important information (like message buffer contents).
• Medium Logging: Log errors and important informational. This level of logging is
recommended for general troubleshooting.
• High Logging: Log errors and most other information.
• Full Logging: Save every log message in the program. This level of logging should only be
used for advanced debugging purposes as it may adversely affect performance.

Log File Size: Log file size sets the size limit of the log file. Once this limit is reached, the file will be
saved and a new file will be started.

Logs to Keep: Defines how many archived log files to keep on the hard drive. Once the limit is
reached, the oldest log file will be deleted whenever a new log file is created.

Log Path: The log files will be stored in the directory defined in ‘Log Path’. There is a default location
for these files, but the path can be to any folder that is local (or mapped) to the computer.

Figure 2.4

31
3
Chapter 3 – Configuring the Tag Commissioner

32
The Tag Commissioner program is used to write data to tags so that they may be used in the
application environment. In order to track an item throughout a process, it may be necessary to write
a part number or some other information on the tag so that it may be read and recorded at various
stages or locations in the process. To get to the Tag Commissioner setup (Figure 3.0), click Settings
| Tag Commissioner.

Figure 3.0

3.1 Configuring the Data Source


The data to be written will come from a database that has an established System Data Source Name
(DSN) configured for it under the ODBC Data Source Administrator on the computer (Figure 3.1).

Figure 3.1

33
3.1.1 Select Source database and Table

Data Source: Select the data source you wish to use by clicking the drop-down list button and
choosing the correct entry. The list should include all DSN’s available.

Table: Select the table in the database you wish to use by clicking the drop-down list button and
choosing the correct entry. The list should include all tables found in the selected database.

3.1.2 Define Primary Key

After selected the database and table, choose the field (or fields) that define the primary key for the
table.

Field: Select which field will be used for indexing by clicking the drop-down list button and choosing
the correct field. The list should include all fields found in the selected table.

Data Type: Select the correct data type for your index field (character, numeric, etc.) by clicking the
drop-down list button and choosing the correct data type.

Once you have configured your index information, click Add to add it to the Index. You can use more
than one field for indexing. They will be connected in order from top to bottom. The indexing order
can be changed by selecting an index and using the up or down buttons.

3.1.3 Editing and Index Field

To edit an index field, click on the index entry you wish to edit. Make your changes to the Field and/or
Data Type, and then click Apply.

3.1.4 Deleting and Index Field

To delete an index field click on the index entry you wish to delete, click on the Delete button. You
will be asked to confirm the deletion.

Once you have configured your Data Source, Table, and Index, click OK to save the changes and
close the Data Source window.

3.2 Configuring the Tag Fields


The RFID Tag Fields window (Figure 3.2) allows a user to define what fields are on the tag, their
length, and what data they will receive from the database. It also defines what information from the
tag will go to the database and where it will be placed. Click the Configure Tag Fields button to bring
up the RFID Tag Fields window. This will display any currently configured fields.

34
Figure 3.2

Add: Brings up the Add Tag Field window (Figure 3.2.1) that allows you to add a new field to the tag.

Edit: Allows changes to be made to the selected field using the Add Tag Field window.

Delete: Will delete the selected tag field.

3.2.1 Add/Edit Tag Field

Clicking Add or Edit brings up the Add Tag Field window (Figure 3.2.1), which allows the user to add
a new field that will be written to the tag, or edit a field that is already being written. It contains the
following fields:

Figure 3.2.1

Field Description: A descriptive name for the field.

35
Data Type: Choose the correct data type that will be read from the database field by clicking the
drop-down list button and selecting the correct type.

Start Position: Define the character position where the data will start on the tag for this field. It must
be beyond the end position of the previous field.

Field Length: Define the length of the field on the tag.

Write Direction: Choose whether you want the data to go from the database to the tag, from the tag
to the database, or both directions (by defining 2 separate entries).

Database Field: Choose the field in the database that you want the information to be transferred to
or taken from.

36
4
Chapter

Chapter 4 – Configuring Capture and Response

37
The purpose of the Capture and Response program is to gather and process data collected from
RFID tags. Capture and Response allows the user to identify and define tag events and assign
functions to them. This might consist of turning on a green light when a valid tag is read, or starting
the RFID reader when a tagged item is detected by a photo-switch. It could involve writing data to a
database or executing a custom program. To get to the Capture and Response setup (Figure 4.0),
click Settings | Capture & Response.

Figure 4.0

4.1 Configuring the Data Source


In the Capture and Response Program, click the Configure Data Source button to open the Data
Source confi guration window (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1

38
4.1.1 Capture Data Source

The Capture Data Source setting defines the database or file that data will be sent to as data is pulled
from tags that are read. This can be an ODBC connection to a database or a text file.

ODBC Data Source: Select this if you wish to write the captured information into an existing
database. Use the drop-down list to select the correct database.

Text File: Instead of a database, you may wish to write the captured information to a text file. Click
on the Browse button to locate the text file you wish to write data to. After selecting your text file,
press the File Settings button to configure the text file. (See section 4.1.3)

4.1.2 Response Data Source

The Response Data Source setting defines the database that the scanned RFID tags will be queried
against. Choose the response data source by using the drop-down list to select the correct database.

4.1.3 Configuring a Capture Data Source Text File

A text file can be uploaded to a host and can provide an excellent method of tag data validation.
Some legacy hosts may not support ODBC connections and must be configured using a text file.

If you are writing data to a text file, it must be set up to properly store the recorded information. There
are two parts to configure - how the data is separated in the file and how the date and time
information is formatted and stored (Figure 4.1.3).

Delimiter: Defines the character that separates the fields in the text file. Select an option from the
drop-down list.

Fixed Width: Sets the fields to be separated by spaces instead of a character. (Note: The current
version of software does not support this option.)

Date Format: Determines the order in which the month, day, and year will appear in the date field.

Date Delimiter: Defines what character (if any) will separate the month, day, and year in the date
field.

Time Format: Determines what time elements (hours, minutes, and seconds) will be stored and in
what order in the time field.

Time Delimiter: Defines what character (if any) will separate the time elements selected.

Four Digit Years: When checked, the year will be stored in a 4-digit format (e.g. 2004).

Leading Zeros in Dates: When checked, the date information that is stored will contain a zero as a
placeholder if the number of the month, day, or year is not two digits.

39
Figure 4.1.3

4.1.4 Configuring the Field Settings

The field settings must be defined for the text file. The field names are used to send data that is
retrieved from the tags to the correct location in the file. When you choose to use a text file for the
first time, the field settings are not listed for the file.

Defining Field Settings

1. Click Add to add the field to the list (Figure 4.1.4a).


2. Insert a field name (Figure 4.1.4b). This should be similar to the name of the tag field that
contains the information that will be captured. After a second field is added to the list, the
fields can be moved higher or lower using the up and down arrows.
3. To delete a fi eld, select the field and click Delete. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.
4. Once you are finished adding fields, click OK to save changes and close the window.

40
Figure 4.1.4a

Figure 4.1.4b

4.2 Configuring the Tag Fields to Capture Data


Captured data is the information that is written to the database or the text file. Clicking the Configure
Tag Fields button at the first screen in the Capture and Response setup will open the Data Capture
window (Figure 4.2). The Data Capture window allows you to define what fields will be captured from
the RFID tag and stored to either your text file or database. The function of the Data Capture
configuration window works much the same as Configure Tag Fields under the Tag Commissioner
setup. You can add fields and edit fields the same way.

41
Figure 4.2

Delete: Will delete the selected tag field. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.

Add: Brings up the Add Tag Field window (Figure 4.2.1) that allows you to add a new field to the data
being captured from the tag.

Edit: Allows changes to be made to the selected field using the Add Tag Field window.

4.2.1 Add/Edit Data Capture Field

Clicking Add or Edit brings up the Add Tag Field window that allows you to add a new field that will
be read from the tag or edit an existing field being read from the tag. In order for the capture process
to work, the fields defined for the capture must match those fields that the tag was originally
commissioned with.

Figure 4.2.1

42
The Add Field form has following entries:

Field Description: A descriptive name for the field.

Data Type: Choose the correct data type that will be read from the capture database field by using
this drop-down list.

Start Position: Define the character position where the data will start on the tag for this field. It must
be beyond the end position of the previous field. The tag must have been commissioned with the
same start position setting.

Field Length: Define the length of the field on the tag. The tag must have been commissioned with
the same length setting.

Database Table: Choose the database table in the capture database that you want the information to
be transferred to.

Database Field: Choose the field in the capture database that you want the information to be
transferred to.

Format: This button takes the user to a special configuration screen (Figure 4.2.2) that allows special
customization for certain databases. This function should not be used without speaking with a
qualified technician.

Figure 4.2.2

4.3 Configuring the Event Responses


The Data Responses are the actions configured to occur in response to defined events, such as a
photo-switch detecting the presence of an object, or tag data being read from a tag. Since multiple
responses may be configured to occur for a single event, the user is able to create an application flow
by linking the events and responses based on the process logic needed at a particular station.
Clicking the Configure Responses button at the first screen in the Capture and Response setup
opens the Data Response window (Figure 4.3).

43
Figure 4.3

Delete: Will delete the selected Event/Response entry. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.

Add: Brings up the Add Data Response window (Figure 4.3.1) that allows you to add a new
Event/Response entry to the Data Response set.

Edit: Allows changes to be made to the selected field using the Add Tag Field window.

4.3.1 Add/Edit Data Response

Clicking Add or Edit brings up the Add Data Response window (Figure 4.3.1) that allows you to add
a new Event/Response entry to the Data Response list or edit an existing one.

Figure 4.3.1

The Add Data Response screen has the following fields:

Event: Lets user select a specific event from a pre-defined list of application events.

Operation: Lets user select a response from the list of responses defined in the Peripheral Client
Station Settings (Figure 2.3).

Description: Lets user assign a descriptive title to the Event/Response entry

44
4.3.2 Advanced Event/Response Settings

In order to provide the user with the ability to base some of the responses on conditional or custom
logic, the Advanced button on the Data Response screen is available. For some responses, like
turning on the RFID Reader, there are no Advanced settings. But for most events, the user can use
the Advanced Settings feature (Figure 4.3.2) to perform data validation or even call a custom
software module to handle uncommon logic requirements.

Figure 4.3.2

The Advanced Configuration window has the following fields:

Tag Field: Sets the field of the tag that will be used for this operation.

Operand: Defines how this field will be compared to a field in the Response database.

Database Table: Defines the table of the Response database that contains the field that will be used
to query the tag or can specify a user-defined value (which will be entered in the Database Field box).

Database Field: Defines the field of the database that will be used (or the user defined value).

Command Object: A custom ActiveX script that will run if the preceding conditions are met.

The Advanced Configuration will be used in cases where an event needs evaluations that are not
configurable through the standard operations that are offered in the Add Data Response window.
Once the first four fields are evaluated, the Command Object defines a script to run that produces a
specified response.

45
5
Chapter

Chapter 5 – Using the Peripheral Client

46
5.1 Using the Peripheral Client
Once the PClient software has been installed and configured, you are ready to start working with
RFID tags. You may write to (commission) the tags using the Tag Commissioner program and you
may read from (capture) the tag data using the Capture and Response program.

5.1.1 Tag Commissioner - Commissioning RFID Tags for Use

The Tag Commissioner application provides a method for associating an asset with a tag. In our
example, Custom Metal Cabinets wants to track production with RFID tags. Before putting a tag on a
cabinet, it must be commissioned to contain the information that we want to track. CMC has decided
to commission each tag with an asset number and the model number for the cabinet.

Start the tag commissioner by clicking Communications | Start Tag Commissioner at the
Peripheral Client main menu screen. This will bring up the Tag Commissioner window (Figure
5.1.1).

Figure 5.1.1

5.1.2 Reading a Tag

Press the Read button to initialize the reader and commence polling for RFID tags. Once the reader
is polling, move a single RFID tag into the antenna field. The Tag Status of the tag commissioner will
change from “Polling” to “Tag Found” and the tag data, if any exists on the tag, will be displayed in the
Tag Data fields on the left side of the window (Figure 5.1.2). Once the tag has been read, it can be
associated to the configured database. This will copy fields from the tag to the database and/or from
the database to the tag as set up in the Tag Specification.

47
Figure 5.1.2

5.1.3 Associating a Tag to the Database with the View Records Window

Click Associate, this will bring up the View Records window with the database information listed on it
(Figure 5.1.3).

Note: if there is no database defined an error message “Data Source name not found and no default
driver specified” will appear.

The user may then choose which database record to associate with the tag by clicking on the record
then clicking OK.

Sort: The user can sort the records on a particular field. Using the Sort drop-down list, the user
chooses the field to sort the records by. The records will be sorted accordingly.

Find: The user may search for a specific data item. Select the field to search for a record in by using
the Sort drop-down list. Type in the keyword to search for in the Find text box and press Go to
search for the record.

Figure 5.1.3

48
5.1.4 Confirming the Association for the Tag

After selecting the record to associate the tag with, press OK. The View Records window will close
and the Tag Commissioner window will show the record information in the Table Data field on the
right side of the display (Figure 5.1.4). The user may choose which way to write the data using the
checkboxes in the upper right corner of the window. The data may be written to the tag only, to the
database only, or to both. Commission the tag by clicking the Commission button. This will write
the data to the tag, database, or both. The tag is now ready for use by the Capture and Response
software.

Note: The Tag Commissioner will not allow a tag to be commissioned until an option has been
selected specifying where the data will be written. If an error occurs writing the information to the tag,
the user should click “Retry”. Occasionally the write to tag process does not complete the first time.
If the error persists, recheck the Tag Specification settings and ensure that the database in use can
be accessed.

Figure 5.1.4

5.1.5 Capture & Response

After you have commissioned the necessary RFID tags using the Tag Commissioner program, you
may place the tags where they need to be and begin the Capture and Response program. Clicking
Communications | Start Capture & Response at the Peripheral Client main menu will start the
application. There are no screens while Capture and Response is running. The operations that were
configured will be activated when the events associated with them occur.

In our example, Custom Metal Cabinets is moving cabinets containing previously commissioned tags
along a conveyer. As the cabinet enters the field, it breaks the beam the photo-switch is sending to a
reflector and this event causes the RFID Reader to be activated. The attached tag is read and the
data found is validated against the information in the database. If a valid tag is read, a command is
sent to the message board instructing it to display “Tag Found” for a few seconds and the green light
at the supervisor’s station is turned on. If other responses have been configured, they will also occur.
Should the reader not get a valid read, the message board displays “Tag NOT Found” and the
operator removes the cabinet from the conveyer to determine what might be wrong with it. The red
light at the supervisor’s station is lit to notify someone that an error on the conveyer occurred.

49
6
Chapter

Chapter 6 – Using the Application

50
6.1 Using the Application

There are several files that are important to know to allow you flexibility in collecting
information. These files or logic flows established the working environment and modify
the way the system collects transactions.

6.1.1 PCBDCPLC.ini

This initialization file (“.ini”) drives the RFID reader logic to support the serial
communication parameters, relay associations to the stack-lights, logic of whether to
ignore or accept duplicate tag reads, and preamble attached to carrier number.

6.1.1.1 Tag Preamble attached to Carrier ID

The preamble allows the user to modify the transactional information sent to the PLC by
prefixing a variable length string to the carrier ID number read from the RFID tag.

The current preamble field (Preamble=9999_999PPPPPPPPPP) will prefix a carrier ID


read from an RFID tag (e.g. 12345678) with a transaction sent to the PLC of
9999_999PPPPPPPPPP12345678<cr>.

6.1.1.2 Ignore Duplicates

This flag IgnoreDuplicates tells the reader to ignore a RFID tag’s carrier number if read a
successive time. The current values are (zero) 0 for OFF (i.e. accept duplicates and pass
transaction to PLC) and Non-Zero for ON (i.e. ignore successive reads.

The supports the condition where a carrier is “parked” in front of a RFID reader or leaves
the reader and re-enters and the carrier identification is read successive times during
these conditions. Instead of sending numerous transactions to the PLC causing
unnecessary communication traffic, the RFID reader will ignore successive reads until a
new RFID carrier identification is received.

The current field (IgnoreDuplicates=1) is the default condition where the system has
been informed to ignore duplicates when the carrier identification number is received.

6.1.1.3 Actual Contents of PCBDCPLC.ini

#===========================================================
#
# Configuration File
#
# 03/31/03 rgc - Created file
# 04/25/03 rgc - Added serial# preamble
# 05/20/03 rgc - Added Ignore logic flag
#
# Since this file is read in at the time the application is started, if you need to
# change any items here, you MUST shut down and restart the application
# for the changes to take effect.
#
51
# Anything to the right of a pound sign (#) is considered a comment.
#===========================================================
# CommPort = # of comm port
# BaudRate = 110, 300, 600, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 14400, 19200,
# 28800, 38400, 56000, 57600, 115200, 128000, 256000
# Parity = (N)one, (E)ven, (O)dd, (M)ark or (S)pace
# DataBits = 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
# StopBits = 1, 1.5, 2
# Handshaking = 0(None) 1(XOn/XOff) 2(RTS/CTS) 3(Both 1 & 2)
# RTSEnable = (T)rue or (F)alse
# SThreshold = min # chars in trans buffer before MSComm sets
# CommEvent to comEvSend and generates OnComm event.
# RThreshold = # chars to receive before MSComm sets CommEvent
# to comEvReceive and generates OnComm event.
#-----------------------------------------------------------
CommPort=1
BaudRate=9600
Parity=N
DataBits=8
StopBits=1
HandShaking=0
RTSEnable=T
SThreshold=1
RThreshold=12
#-----------------------------------------------------------
# LogPriority = (0)LogError (1)LogVerbose (2)LogLow
# (3)LogMed (4)LogHigh (5)LogNone
#-----------------------------------------------------------
LogPriority=1
#-----------------------------------------------------------
# RedOn=01 etc. Register hold ing the command
#-----------------------------------------------------------
RedOn=01
RedOff=02
YellowOn=03
YellowOff=04
GreenOn=05
GreenOff=06
BlueOn=07
BlueOff=08
Flicker=09
#
Preamble=9999_999PPPPPPPPPP
#
#-----------------------------------------------------------
# IgnoreDuplicates: 0 = OFF / Non-Zero = ON
# Purpose: Turning this feature on causes the PCB to ignore
# a tag that is read a second successive time
52
#-----------------------------------------------------------
IgnoreDuplicates=1
#-----------------------------------------------------------
# IMPORTANT!!
# If you modify this file, do not leave blank lines. You
# may change values on the right side of the "=" only. Do
# not use quote marks.
#-----------------------------------------------------------

6.2 RFCONFIG.ini

The RFCONFIG.INI file allows you to establish several different configurations for the
same or different readers. It contains several settings that allow you to control the
behavior of the RFID reader. For example, here are the contents of a typical
RFCONFIG.INI file:

[TagData App - 1 Antenna]


RFID_SWTT_FILE_NAME=C:\program files\IT500apps\Tagdata\swtt.ini
RFID_ATTR_TYPE=IT500 UAP Reader
IT500_PORT_TYPE=TCPIP
IT500_PORT_NUMBER=6543
IT500_CONNECT_TRIES=3
IT500_PORT_NAME=198.135.205.121
IT500_DEBUG_FILE_NAME="c:\ReaderErrorLog.log"
IT500_INTERR_DEBUG=0
IT500_ANTENNA_TRIES=2
IT500_ANTENNAS=1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
IT500_READ_TRIES=2
IT500_IDENTIFY_TRIES=1
IT500_INITIALIZATION_TRIES=1
IT500_AUTOID_TIMEOUT=100
IT500_WRITE_TRIES=2
IT500_READER_DEBUG=0
dll_name=C:\Windows\system\it500.dll

[TagData App - 2 Antennas]


RFID_SWTT_FILE_NAME=C:\program files\IT500apps\Tagdata\swtt.ini
RFID_ATTR_TYPE=IT500 UAP Reader
IT500_PORT_TYPE=TCPIP
IT500_PORT_NUMBER=6543
IT500_CONNECT_TRIES=3
IT500_PORT_NAME=198.135.205.121
IT500_DEBUG_FILE_NAME="c:\ReaderErrorLog.log"
IT500_INTERR_DEBUG=0
IT500_ANTENNA_TRIES=2
IT500_ANTENNAS=1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
IT500_READ_TRIES=2
IT500_IDENTIFY_TRIES=1
IT500_INITIALIZATION_TRIES=1
IT500_AUTOID_TIMEOUT=100
IT500_WRITE_TRIES=2
IT500_READER_DEBUG=0
dll_name=C:\Windows\system\it500.dll

The figure above shows two separate configurations for the same reader at IP address
198.135.205.121. The first configuration is called “TagData App – 1 Antenna” and the
second one is called “TagData App – 2 Antennas”. Note that you can call the

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configuration what you want provided it is contained within braces. For example, [name
of your configuration], would be acceptable or , [ 198.135.205.121 ], etc.

RFID_SWTT_FILE - This is the address to the file the reader configuration will use for the
software tag type file (SWTT.INI). In the examples above, the SWTT.INI is located in the
c:\program files\it500apps\tagdata directory. The SWTT.INI file defines the field structures
for various tag types as defined in bytes 12 through 17 of the tag's memory. In your case, we
are identifying the tag’s memory to start at memory location 18 for 8 characters to represent
the Carrier ID#.

IT500_PORT_TYPE – This defines the communications type for the reader. Acceptable
values include TCPIP and Serial. The fixed network reader only uses TCPIP, the PC Card
reader only uses Serial. TCPIP represents the Ethernet communications protocol and Serial
represents a Serial protocol.

IT500_PORT_NAME – If you are using TCPIP, this will be the fixed IP address for the
reader. In the examples above this address is 198.135.205.121. If you are using a Serial
communications protocol, you would select the appropriate serial communications port name
“COM1”, “COM2”, etc.

IT500_DEBUG_FILE_NAME = Defines the location and name of the debug file created
when either IT500_INTERR_DEBUG or IT500_READER_DEBUG are set to values other
than zero. Including the file directory and name within quotes will preserve long file names.

IT500_INTERR_DEBUG – This defines the reporting debug level desired for the RFID
module in the reader. Any number other than zero (0) will begin appending operational data
to the debug file, therefore, its use should be limited to times when you are attempting to
troubleshoot the RFID board. Any number other than zero will SIGNIFICANTLY affect the
reader’s performance as several buffer settings and variable and transactions will be recorded
to the debug file. Acceptable values range from 0 to 9.

IT500_READER_DEBUG – This defines the reporting debug level desired for the UAP
2100 module. Any number other than zero (0) will begin appending operational data to the
debug file; therefore, its use should be limited to times when you are attempting to
troubleshoot the reader. Any number other than zero will SIGNIFICANTLY affect the
reader’s performance as several buffer settings and variables and transactions will be
recorded to the debug file. Acceptable values range from 0 to 9.

IT500_ANTENNAS – This is used to configure the antennas on the reader. To configure


antenna N, set the Nth value in the list equal to N (first entry is one [1]). To cause antenna N
to be skipped, set the Nth value in the list equal to zero. For example, 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0, enables

54
the first two antennas; 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0, enables the second antenna; and 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 enables
the first antenna only.

TRIES Settings – These settings are used to control the behavior of the reader. While a
comprehensive explanation of the “TRIES” settings is beyond the scope of this document, we
will attempt to provide you general guidance for their use in most applications. When a
reader performs different protocol attempts (Identify, Read, Write) the reader issues a series
of lower level commands such as group select, unselect, initialization, fail, success and
resend lower- level commands that control the way tags interact with the reader and its
antennas. The following describes how the “TRIES” settings affect this reader, antenna, and
tag interaction. Realize that these descriptions change depending upon the protocol attempt,
number of antennas activated, and the mode of the reader (autonomous or interactive).

IT500_INITIALIZATION_TRIES – Initialization tries affects tags in the field by placing


them in an initialization state, the state required prior to identification. If initialization tries is
set to a value greater than one, you will begin to re- identify the same tags over and over
again at the expense of not reading all the tags in the field. For applications involving a large
number of tags, simply set and keep the INITIALIZATION_TRIES to one. This ensures
only one break (or initialization), before the very first Protocol Attempt is emitted. A value
of zero will result in repeatedly sending Initialize in a loop and places the reader in an
autonomous identify mode.

IT500_ANTENNA_TRIES – Depending upon the settings of other “TRIES” parameters


and the function being performed, this parameter defines how long the reader will dwell on
one or more antennas before returning a result. See the example below to describe how this
setting works.

IT500_READ_TRIES – The number of times the reader will attempt to read data from a
specific tag per antenna before sending back a response. This scheme will be aborted upon
the first completed Read attempt.

IT500_WRITE_TRIES – The number of times the reader will attempt to write data to a
specific tag per antenna before sending back a response. This scheme will be aborted upon
the first completed Write attempt.

DLL_NAME – This specifies the exact dynamic link library file that the reader
configuration should use. This includes the complete path and file name.

55
G4_IDENTIFY_ALL_TAGS
Looks 4 times for new tags
IT500_IDENTIFY_TRIES=4 on Antenna 1, two times
IT500_INITIALIZATION_TRIES=1 before moving to Antenna 2.
IT500_ANTENNA_TRIES=2
IT500_ANTENNAS=1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Returns results after
completing this scheme

G4_READ_DATA
Attempts to Read a tag up to
6 times on Antenna 1, then
IT500_READ_TRIES=6
IT500_INITIALIZATION_TRIES=1 continues similarly on Antenna
IT500_ANTENNA_TRIES=3 2, then returns to Antenna 1
IT500_ANTENNAS=1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 again (Antenna Tries = 3).
Exits upon first Read response.

G4_WRITE_TAGLIST
Attempts to Write a tag up to 6
IT500_WRITE_TRIES=6 times on Antenna 1, then continues
IT500_INITIALIZATION_TRIES=1 similarly on Antenna 2, and
IT500_ANTENNA_TRIES=3 returns to Antenna 1 again
IT500_ANTENNAS=1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 (Antenna Tries = 3). Exits at
upon first Write response.

G4_IDENTIFY_ALL_TAGS
Attempts to Identify new tags
IT500_IDENTIFY_TRIES=0 on Antenna 1 three times, then
IT500_INITIALIZATION_TRIES=1 moves to Antenna 2. The
IT500_ANTENNA_TRIES=3
Reader returns the current tag
IT500_ANTENNAS=1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
list when the application issues
another Identify command

6.3 Light Logic

The light logic determines which lights are turned on or off based on results of reading a
RFID carrier ID or communications to and from the PLC. The lights are associated to a
stack-light attached either directly to the RFID reader or via cable. The light colors of the
stack-light are (from top to bottom), Red, Yellow, Green and Red. Each light represents a
state (condition) of the transaction to provide information to the user about the system.

The Blue stack light on, and others off is the only stack light function controlled by
reader, all other non test functions are based on the serial message received from
RB/DB.

The stack light command affects all 4 lights with a one (1) representing “on” and zero (0)
representing “off” in the proper position.

To Reader: The following commands are in ASCII and are started with <STX> (Start of
text, ^B, 02 hex) and ended with <ETX > (End of Text, ^C, 03 hex).

<STX>2800000000<ETX> Stack Lights: All Off (Leaving, Clear lights)


<STX>2800000011<ETX> Stack Lights: Blue, Green (Good Read)
<STX>2800001000<ETX> Stack Lights: Red (No Read)

56
The Stack lights light up in sequence then flash together during a power up self test.

From Reader: All messages from Reader will end with <CR> (Carriage Return, 0d hex).

Aaaa_bbbPPPPPPPPPPnnnnnnnn<CR> where “aaaa_bbbPPPPPPPPPP” is


considered the Preamble and can be changed as detailed in the PCBDCPLC.ini file.

Aaaa Reader number, unique (if required) or default = 9999.

_ Underscore in correct position required for validation.

Bbb Three place read quality information (if available) 999 is highest quality. Left pad
with spaces, if required. (1 through 999). (future)

PPPPPPPPPP – Position holders for future use.

Sample string from reader:

9999_999PPPPPPPPPP12345678<CR> Tag number 12345678 from reader with a


999 read count (quality information).

The “nnnnnnnn” field on the tag or from the reader should also have the ability to be
programmed with variable length fields with different combinations of alpha and numeric
ASCII characters between 8 and up to 18 to mimic VIN numbers.

The following flowchart supports the logic of reading RFID tags and setting lights:

57
6.4 Using the LOGS

There are several logs generated by the Application. The log of most importance to the user
is the PLC.log file. This file details the communications between the PLC and the
application. Each of these transactions are date and time stamped along with pertinent
information about the transaction. Basically, three (3) fields are sent or received. They are:

58
Date/Time Stamp: MM/DD/YY HH:MM:SS
Direction: |Sent to PLC or Sent From PLC:
Date Sent: Preamble along with Carrier ID
Or
Date Received: PLC Command to handle the lights
<STX>2800000011<ETX>

An actual example of a transaction:

06/25/2003 09:11:15 PM|Sent to PLC: 9999_999PPPPPPPPPP0123456789

59
7
Chapter

Chapter 7 – NEMA Enclosure and Wiring

60
7.1 NEMA Enclosure and Wiring
There are several components to the RFID system when combined support the
application of reading carrier tags in the required environment.

The PMD reader has been built inside a NEMA enclosure containing all of the wiring,
power supplies and connections necessary to operate. The following schematic
documents the components.
7.1.1 NEMA Enclosure

This NEMA enclosure contains the reader, UPS and connections to the outside world:

61
7.1.2 Wiring Schematic

The PMD relays and wiring is configured as follows: The only electrical requirement
needed to support the system is power as describe in the site survey document.

7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
2 UDQJH
<HO

%O

5 HG
XH
ORZ
36
Y
H
: KLW

2 UDQJH

ORZ
DFN
5 HG

%OXH
< HO
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62
7.1.3 Back Configuration of PMD

The PMD connections, switches and lights are configured and show as follows:

Connections:

NET – A CAT-5 Ethernet cable is plugged in here to support the ability using remote
management software, the ability to take control of the system for configuration purposes.

Mouse / KDB – Not needed since the system is used stand-along without the requirements
for a keyboard or mouse.

COM1 – Cable used to connect to the PLC.


COM2 – Cable used to connect to the LCD (located on the panel)
COM3 – Not used
COM4 – Not Used
12vDC – Internal 12volt power source connection – Not Used
ON/OFF – Power Switch for PMD. Always set to ON since the unit is powered by the UPS.
Ant1 – Used to attach RFID Antenna
Ant2 – Not Used
Ant3 – Not Used
Ant4 – Not Used
Relay Bank – Used to control Stack Light – R1 = Blue, R2=Green, R3=Yellow, R4=Red
120-240vAC – Power Cord for Unit. This cord is plugged into the UPS.

Lights – HD and LNK are ON if unit is powered.

63
Glossary
Associate
Part of the tag commissioning process. Allows the user to select the desired record to link to
the tag.

Capture
Process by which data is read from the RFID tag and written to the configured data source.

Capture Data Source


Indicates which data source to use for capturing tag data. The Capture Data Source may be
a pre-configured ODBC configured database or a text file.

Commission
The process of writing data to a RFID tag based on the Tag Commissioner configuration.

Log Level
Determines the amount of logs that are retained.

Logging Settings
Configuration used to define scope of logging while running application tracking events

ODBC Data Source


Data source configured in the ODBC Data Source Administrator (located in the Windows
Control Panel).

Operand
Validation qualifier

Operation
A defined activity performed as a response to a specific event.

Response
The execution of a defined operation brought about by the occurrence of a pre-defined event.

Response Data Source


Indicates which data source to use for responding to tag data. The Response Data Source
must be a pre-configured ODBC configured database.

RFID
Radio Frequency Identification

Start Position
Position on the tag where field data begins

Station
Peripheral Client ID that may be used to track transactions.

Tag Data
The defined data written to a RFID tag with the Tag Commissioner program.

Tag Field
Location on the RFID tag of a specific element of data. Defined by the starting position and
field length in the data configuration.

64
Tag ID
Unique ID on each tag that identifies the tag and allows the tag to be connected to an object
that can be tracked.

Write Direction
Indicates whether configured data field is written to the RFID tag, the configured data source,
or both.

Revisions Document

Revision Date Author Description of Change


1.0 02/22/03 RP Initial release.
1.1 03/04/03 RP Added screen shots; Incorporated revisions.
1.2 03/14/03 RP Added screen shots; Incorporated revisions.
1.3 04/02/03 BC Changed screen shots; Incorporated revisions.
1.4 04/27/03 BC Updated screen shots; Incorporated revisions.
1.5 05/08/03 BC Finalized document.
1.6 06/12/03 RGC Reorganized sections, rewrote much of the
document text, and replaced a number of screen
shots..
1.7 06/24/03 WCA Created generic reseller release
1.8 06/30/03 LAB Fixed tabs, bookmarks and table of contents
1.9 07/07/03 LAB Added PMD Back Configuration

65