SparkFun M7E Hecto is a simultaneous RFID Reader with USB-C connectivity and a range of up to 5m

SparkFun has announced the M7E Hecto, a ‘simultaneous’ RFID reader in a compact form factor and high-performance capabilities. The RFID reader is powered by Jadak’s Hecto module (M7E-HECTO) from the ThingMagic series which offers a wide RF output range from 0 dBm to +27 dBm and reads up to 300 tags/second.

SparkFun M7E Hecto Simultaneous RFID Reader

SparkFun M7E Hecto builds on the much older M6E Nano RFID reader, adding a USB-C port, increasing the read rate from 150 tags/second, and reducing power consumption. It supports an external antenna (sold separately) which extends the scanning distance up to 16 ft (4.8m) from the 1 to 2 ft (0.3m – 0.6m) range supported by the onboard antenna.

It does come with a warning to ensure that personnel are not directly in the radiation beam of the antenna while they are within 21cm of the antenna (to adhere to FCC limits for long-term exposure to RF emissions).

The high read/write rates and extended range offered by the M7E Hecto can improve processing speed in applications such as asset tracking, inventory management, authentication, access control, and retail checkout.

SparkFun Simultaneous RFID Reader M7E Module
ThingMagic M7E-HECTO

SparkFun M7E Hecto specifications:

  • RFID module – JADAK ThingMagic Hecto RAIN RFID module, supports EPCglobal Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C) with a nominal backscatter rate of 250kbps
  • Separate read and write power levels, command adjustable from 0dBm to 27dBm in 0.01 dB steps
  • Read Rate – Up to 300 tags/sec to read 96-bit EPC format
  • Write Rate – 80ms for standard write of 96-bit EPC format
  • Power via USB-C
    • Supply Voltage – 3.3V to 5V
    • Supply Current – 1A max
    • Consumption @ 5V
      • Full: 0.665W
      • Minsave: 0.140W
      • Sleep: 0.080W
  • Operating Temperature Range – -40°C to 60°C (built-in thermal management)
  • Serial Interfaces – USB-C connector and 0.1”-spaced PTH header (3.3V logic), 2-way switch for interface selection
  • Enable and GPIO PTH pins
  • Antenna
    • Integrated PCB trace antenna (Default)
    • u.FL connector for external antenna connection
  • Dimensions – 60.96 mm x 35.56 mm

The M7E is supported by Jadak’s Universal Reader Assistant (only available on Windows) and the SparkFun Simultaneous RFID Tag Reader Arduino library which handles serial communication, byte manipulations, and CRC verifications. You can download the library through the Arduino library manager or SparkFun’s documentation website. The M7E Hecto is completely open-source and hardware schematics, production files, and documentation are hosted on GitHub.

You can get one from SparkFun for about $300 (with quantity discounts available).

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2 Comments
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Sander
Sander
15 days ago

$300?! Wow! That’s quite some money for “fun”.

Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
Admin

Just the module is $174.78 on Mouser. It’s likely pricey because of the range (5 meters) and capacity (300 tags).

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