Last modified 8 years ago Last modified on 2010-07-27 00:48:05

ActiveRFID

Description

This plugin is intended to provide affordable RFID support for Vera, using ActiveRFID Hardware. Currently, this plugin has been tested using multiple transmitters and the USB RSSI and/or standard receivers plugged directly into Vera. It is fully functional on UI4 (version 1.1029). This has also been tested using multiple receivers connected to vera locally, and over IP using the IPSerial plugin. Check this Description and the Roadmap for current status and upcoming milestones for this project.

Where to Buy

The ActiveRFID hardware, formerly known as cheaperRFID, can be purchased from Cliste Electronics. I also recommend purchasing transmitters without any sealant, especially if you are purchasing multiple 40m transmitters. It's much easier to identify each transmitter if you pull all the batteries, and put them back in, one transmitter at a time. It's easy enough to seal them yourself using plastic dip or liquid electrical tape.

Please note that I am not affiliated with Cliste Electronics in any way. I'm just a customer. I will say that they are responsive, and they deliver within 5 days in the US.

Setup

First Time Installations

  1. Download the latest ActiveRFID plugin from this site. This should include all of the following files:
    • D_ActiveRFID.xml
    • D_RFIDTransmitter.json
    • D_RFIDTransmitter.xml
    • I_ActiveRFID.xml
    • S_ActiveRFID.xml
    • S_RFIDTransmitter.xml
  1. Log into Vera using any web browser.
  1. In the Toolbox, click the "MiOS developers" icon.

  1. A new window will pop up; select the "Luup Files" tab. Scroll to the bottom, and load all six files. Check the box labeled "Restart Luup after upload", and click "GO". Close out of this window by clicking the X in the top right corner.

Receiver Setup

At this point, please note if you are installing more than one transmitter, setup is much easier if you pull the batteries from all your transmitters, and put them back in, one transmitter at a time, per the Transmitter Setup section below.

  1. Plug your RFID receiver into one of Vera's USB ports, or if none are available, plug in a USB hub and plug the RFID receiver into that.
  1. Once again, in the Toolbox, click the "MiOS developers" icon, but this time select "Create device". Under "UpnpDevFilename?", type "D.ActiveRFID.xml" (no quotes). Select a room and click "Create device". Then, close this window by clicking the X in the top right corner.

  1. Back at the dashboard, scroll down to your new device. Click the wrench beside your device name, and select the "Advanced" tab. Name your receiver, then close this window. Scroll up to the top of the dashboard, and click "Save".

  1. One last time, click the "MiOS developers" icon, but this time select the "Serial Port configuration" tab. Here you should find your new serial device, named "pl2303". Rename this if you'd like. At the "Used by device" field, select the new device you created in steps 6-7.

  1. Once you select the device, you will automatically be redirected to your device config screen. Close out of this by clicking the X in the top right corner.

  1. Click Save.

Transmitter Setup

As mentioned above, at this point you should only have one transmitter with batteries in it. This makes identifying each transmitter easier.

  1. At this point, just wait. Your transmitter should be identified. You will see the "Server Busy" dialog, once for the save process in step 10, and once for each transmitter found.

  1. Once your transmitter is found, put batteries into each additional transmitter, one at a time, and note which transmitter is associated with each device created. The rule of thumb is to wait approximately 1-2 minutes between adding each transmitter. Once complete, you should see all of your identified transmitters.

  1. Name your transmitters by clicking the wrench beside each one and clicking the "Advanced" tab.

  1. Click "Save".

Adjusting

By default, a signal (transmission) received from a transmitter expires in 15 seconds. What this means is that when the transmitter is out of range, the plugin will "untrip" after 15 seconds. This is adjustable by editing the "Expire Time" variable in the RFID receiver device.

  1. Back at the dashboard, find your RFID receiver device created in step 6-7, and click the wrench beside it. Click the "Advanced" tab. Scroll down to the "Expire Time" variable, and enter the desired time in seconds.

Please note that the plugin will calculate the number of timers or "buffer" variables based on your Expire Time. What this means is at the default value of 15 seconds, there are a total of 7 timers created, that will represent the first transmission received, and the next six transmissions that will be received during the following 15 seconds. When a timer expires, it will start back up with the next transmission that is received. For this reason, the longer the time, the less likely you will experience false "trips". I'd recommend setting your Expire Time to no less than 10 seconds, but find the balance of reliability and response that works best for you.

Creating Scenes

Now that you have your RFID Transmitters working, it's time to add some scenes. You may want to lock the doors when you leave, open the garage door when you come home, or set the thermostats to Energy Saving Mode only when you're gone.

  1. Back at the dashboard, click the "Add Scene" icon at the top left. Name your scene by clicking the bold "New Scene" at the top of this window.
  1. Select the "Events" tab, and click "Add event". Select one of your transmitters. Choose the type of event, and name it. Select tripped "yes" or "no".

  1. Select the "Commands" tab, then pick a room, and choose the actions you'd like to execute as part of this scene. Close this window by clicking the X at the top right, and click "Save".

  1. Your RFID setup is now complete.

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