BLOG > Tutorial 12 for Arduino: RFID Card Reading

Finally!  It’s been about 3 months since my last arduino tutorial – I’ve been keeping busy as usual.  I’ve been working on this one for some time.  I got the parts months ago, made an outline a few weeks ago, prototyped the circuits and wrote the code last week, and did the filming over the last few days.  I’ve upped the ante for my production capabilities on this video.  I’m using two cameras (A Canon Vixia HF11 and a Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital SLR), a fancy new Rode Shotgun microphone, and more tripods!  I’ve also implemented some improved audio processing on my voice-overs, so let me know what you think!

RFID technology is really really fun in my opinion, and I’ve been wanting to implement it in a project for some time now.  However, doing that can be challenging.  But, thanks to the tutorial below, you should have no problems putting together a simple RFID-based security system!  I explain the physics of how RFID works in the video, but if you’re a physics nerd like me, and you’re hungry for more, be sure to read up on RFID on wikipedia.  In this video, I’ll explain how to setup an RFID reader (like this one) with your arduino, read some serial numbers, and use that data to make a secure entrance database.


You can download the files associated with this episode here:

GNU GPL License Distributed under the GNU General Public (Open-Source) License.
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  1. Hi Jeremy, I wanted to say thank you for the arduino tutorials, they were very helpful and informative. Being that I am very new to this and such a beginner, I’m having a difficult time understand how to set up, attach or code it all so it all works =(

    I am in the process of building a costume and would like to add electronic like an Arduino board to control the lighting, movement, and sound to give it that “wow” factor.

    I wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind offering some assistance and guidance to help complete the project further. I’m sure what I would like accomplish would not be to difficult for you, but honestly, being a beginner, this is completely over my head. Any assistance you could offer would be greatly appreciated.


    email: [email protected]

  2. I want to add to this project by accessing a database on the sd card and using it as a one time entry door lock. if the tag is used I want it changed to allow me to view its status and not be used again. until I reset the value… Is this possible to write additional data to an existing entry of a file.

  3. Hello sir ….
    Thank you for the awesome video thanks a lot
    sir our project is Employee Tracking System using RFID and Xbee technology and for interfacing between RFID and Xbee i am going to use Arduino so arduino read the Tag and send it to xbee…
    I am using Em-18 rfid reader and arduino uno and series 2 xbee …
    I face a problem how to send tag to xbee after read the tag from rfid…
    please help and give guidance,,,
    Thank you:)

  4. Hi Jeremy,
    I want to know if i use rfid rc522 funduino, Is there any change in program you tech in tutorial.
    and if any can you help in that.

  5. Hi Jeremy, can the PN 532 breakout board transfer Ndef messages over xbee into a database on another PC?

  6. I really like this project and all of them thank you
    I have a question out of the subject
    I want to make a simple pic programmer JDM ,but the problem that I don’t have a serial port RS232 on my PC
    so I want to ask you if I can use a transformer cable RS232 to USB and if there is a better solutions
    please help me
    and THANKS

  7. Sir, I want to search a book having rfid tags from a lot…Hw can i make rfid detector using arduino that can search the book from that lot ?? i am only taking book id that has to be searched as input to arduino??

  8. hi jeremy, can i ask for a help… how can you use the rfid number read from the arduino to be automatically sinked in the visual studio that when the rfid card passes by, information about the owner will automatically appear

  9. hi ,
    i am new to arduino my project uses two rfid reader rc522 and am using one arduino uno board my problem is that i cant find a code to make all this two reader to read the tag on the same please if you have the solution may help me

  10. Hi there,
    I would like to code the microsoft windows rfid reader to print the tag no by opening a form by default when it is tagged .. and from there i can move it to my db… pls provide me solution just to alter the rfid code to print the tag in a specific user defined application

  11. Hi,
    I’m using the arduino mega 2560 with rfid reader YHY502 and the MIFARE 4K tag (13.56MHz).

    I’m not able to read to the arduino.
    Please help with the code.

  12. hi jeremy

    iv added softserial, im using a UNO and ICSH008A…. and it is not working (why would it) BUT
    i also have a RC522 board and a UNO…

    is there a way read out the same data with RC522???

  13. hello i wanted to implement the same thing with a distance, ranges from 30cm to 1m…please help me in implementing the code…my mail id – [email protected] ..waiting for ur quick reply…..thank you….

  14. I’m doing my project on arduino mege 2560 and EM-18 RFID module. I’m getting problem in connecting EM-18 module with arduino kit because there are 3 types of output from EM-18 reader module . Please help me in sorting out this problem.

  15. Thank you for the tutorial. I watched the same implementation in the Arduino RFID Tutorial, however, I tried to get this running with a different RF ID card without success. Do you know if there are many different types of cards and if the “newer” standards are more difficult to read or require different hardware?


  16. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I am working on a rfid project and have a rc522 reader and some tags. Reader could read the tags that came along with it, but it is not responding to tags that i bought additionally. These extra card tags have some numbers written on them. If they are blank cards then please help me to program them.

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