Frequently Asked Questions / I am trying to read a tag but keep seeing a red Action LED indicating an unsuccessful scan.

This could happen for a number of reasons:

The device could not energize a tag for communication

Our devices are designed to be low powered near-field mobile RFID devices with scan ranges of 2-4 cm. IDBLUE.HF uses a directional HF RFID antenna at the tip of the reader for scanning while IDBLUE.UHF uses an omni-directional UHF RFID antenna for scanning near the front of the device but not at the tip specifically – it is on the bottom and close to the 2 screws towards the front of the device. As the UHF antenna is omni-directional, it is focused towards the front as much as possible and as much power as possible without impacting battery usage expectations – scan UHF tags under the front LED for best performance. You can also notice IDBLUE.UHF can also detect UHF tags under the bottom of the reader (closer to the lanyard loop) occasionally due to the omni-directional antenna signal.

For IDBLUE.HF and IDBLUE.UHF devices, you may also notice greater readability range based on the reader/tag orientation which maximizes the power picked up by the tag inlay.

Additionally, because of the power requirements for mini-tags (tags very small in diameter as small as 10mm or less), there may be readability issues as the energy required is more than what our devices can send.

The device was attempting to read an On Metal tag

RFID tags near metal will have difficulty energizing as metal absorbs more of the signal. To improve IDBLUE.HF performance with tags near metal, we do offer an “On Metal” tip configuration that replaces the capacitive tip with a flat tip to minimize the distance between the antenna and tag. Please refer to the IDBLUE Sales Order form for the tip customization. Because of the design of the UHF omni-directional antenna, this tip will have no performance improvements for our UHF devices.

Devices can only read compatible tags

IDBLUE.HF communicates via the ISO15693 protocol and IDBLUE.UHF communicates via the ISO18000-6C protocol. Our devices don’t support MIFARE and ISO14443 protocols specifically or tags with encryption or very small inlay due to either no support for proprietary encrypted card security or power requirements for energizing the tag. We are looking into future limited support for ISO14443/NFC protocol tags based on increased demand – please contact IDBLUE Support for more information.

If the tags support the protocols above, our device may not support that tag manufacturer identifier.

Our Sales Team has a catalog of known compatible/incompatible tags for reference to our customers – please contact our Sales Team for more detailed information.

Posted in: Device Troubleshooting