It's not magic
RFID is a wonderfully useful tool, but it's not magic. There are a lot of variables that can affect performance and it is important to understand how the technology works in order to best utilize it. Materials made of metal (including foil packaging) or with a high liquid content, can block or distort the RF signal.
RFID uses a radio signal to read tag ids from a far distance. This radio signal can, however, be blocked, absorbed, or reflected.
In the case of plant tags, the canopy of the plants may slightly effect the signal. For this reason, it is best to keep the device parallel with the floor and under the canopy. This allows the RF signal is going into the plants horizontally and unimpeded by the canopy.
Packages can be a bit more challenging. If packages are stacked such that the RFID tag is not visible, the contents of the package may block the RF signal. Make sure the RFID package tag is visible to ensure best readability.
Other package considerations
If packages are packed tightly within a container or box, the outer packages may block the signal from reaching inner packages. There are some packing materials that will distort the RF signal. Foil-lined bags and carbon-based plastics are examples of such materials. An RFID tag placed on such materials becomes effectively useless.
|RF Friendly Materials||Materials that will block RF|
The RF signal emitting from the device actually has an oval shape. For best results this oval shape should match up with the orientation of the RFID tag. It is impractical to expect all tags to be oriented the same way, so we recommend changing the orientation of the handheld device. Making a quick, one or two second, figure-8 motion with your wrist and elbow is a very effective way to obtain all possible orientations.
The RF power can be changed in the app by adjusting the slider bar (pictured above) with your finger. The Read Range distance displayed is an approximation and will depend on environmental factors.
The toggle switch to the left can be used to switch between RFID mode and Barcode mode.
To the right, is the RF Status icon. This icon serves two purposes:
- It turns green to indicate that RFID scanning currently being performed
- It can be tapped to activate RFID Triggerless RFID Scanning
Triggerless RFID Scanning
Triggerless RFID Scanning is turned on by tapping the RF Status icon (as described above). We've found that holding the trigger button for long inventories (1000+ plants) can get tiring. To stop RFID reading, squeeze and release the trigger once.