Great and cheap RFID writer / reader long distance


Some time ago we were making a powerbank renting system with standalone kiosk. One of our goals was to make powerbank return process as easy as it can be and we figured out that we were able to achieve this by using wireless RFID communication between powerbank and kiosk. The problem occurred when we started looking for RFID sensor. Most of the devices available on the market were either too big, worked on a very small distance, or simply cost too much. We found only 1 device that, on paper, satisfied all our requirements – Chafon CF-RU5202.
We tested it and basically:

• Producent advertises that reading distance is 1m, when the device was inside the kiosk we could easily read tags from the distance between 50cm and 70cm, what is a very good result
• Device comes with detailed documentation – what is not a norm for devices in the same price range, bought using Aliexpress
– Documentation includes datasheet, user manual, detailed protocol description, sample code in C# and Delphi and SDK in the form of well documented .dll

• Some other features:
– Serial communication is used with the device
– 2 interfaces are available: RS232 and USB
– Protocol supports CRC16 error detection
– Protocol includes about 40 commands that allows us to process and setup all possible things in the device (from reading / writing / killing tags, to setting single GPIO value); moreover these commands were actually working
– It was possible to change reading distance by manipulating RF power
– There is other version of the device (RU5102) – more compact, but only with USB interface, and with much shorter reading distance (up to 20cm)

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