RFID Project

This was my final term project for a course on microcontrollers. I have plans to expand this project like Amal Graafstra to control my PC and door locks on the house but development time and money are an issue so it will have to take a back seat to my other projects for the time being. I really enjoyed working with microcontrollers and would like to get back into some development before I forget all the things I learned.

Side View


Design an electronic lock for machinery in the Niagara College machining center. Using a PIC 18F4550 and a commercial RFID reader/tag system, allow access to machinery once training has been completed.

Project Proposal

This project consists of an electronic lock system for the machining centre in the Niagara College machine shop. It will employ a PIC18F4550 microcontroller a Parallax RFID reader/tag system a Serial EEPROM for card number storage.

Top View

Hardware Description

Hardware consists of 3-position key switch (one position for each function read, write or erase), a Parallax RFID reader and tags (used for the access control) and a serial EEPROM (used to store the RFID tag numbers of authorized cards) and a relay to turn power to the machine on. The key switch will be wired to the digital inputs of the PIC and will be used to select the operating mode (read, write or erase). The RFID reader will be wired to the serial input of the PIC and will be the main form of input. The serial EEPROM will be the storage device for the RFID tag numbers. Of the twenty-two available I/O lines on the PIC two will be used to drive the RFID reader, two will be used for the serial EEPROM, three will be used for the key switch.

User Interface

The user interface consists of a three-position key-switch that will allow the selection of the operating mode (read, write or erase), the RFID reader for input and the status LEDís (red-operation failed, green-operation succeeded). The user can select a function with the key-switch and either add a new Top View RFID tag number to the system or erase a number. When the read function is selected the device waits for an RIFD tag number and if it receives an authorized number the machine will be allowed to power on. When the write function is enabled, passing a new tag by the reader will add the number to the system, allowing the card access to the machine. Finally in the erase position a card passed by the reader will be erased from the system thereby denying the card access to the system. As well a Windows application will be written to allow for adding large numbers of RFID tags to the system. This will be done by loading the numbers from a spreadsheet (or other list format) through the microcontroller to the serial EEPROM.

Parts List


If you would like the drawing and code drop me a note from the contact page of my blog.