Security Access using MFRC522 RFID Reader with Arduino

April 17, 2021
reader

This blog post shows a simple example on how to use the MFRC522 RFID reader. I’ll do a quick overview of the specifications and demonstrate a project example using an Arduino.

Description

RFID means radio-frequency identification. RFID uses electromagnetic fields to transfer data over short distances. RFID is useful to identify people, to make transactions, etc…

You can use an RFID system to open a door. For example, only the person with the right information on his card is allowed to enter. An RFID system uses:

  • tags attached to the object to be identified, in this example we have a keychain and an electromagnetic card. Each tag has his own identification (UID).
tags
  • two-way radio transmitter-receiver, the reader, that send a signal to the tag and read its response.

Specifications

Library download

Here’s the library you need for this project:

  1. Download the RFID library here created by miguelbalboa
  2. Unzip the RFID library
  3. Install the RFID library in your Arduino IDE
  4. Restart your Arduino IDE

Pin wiring

PinWiring to Arduino Uno
SDADigital 10
SCKDigital 13
MOSIDigital 11
MISODigital 12
IRQunconnected
GNDGND
RSTDigital 9
3.3V3.3V

Caution: You must power this device to 3.3V!

Circuit

Mifare_bb

Reading Data from a RFID tag

After having the circuit ready, go to File > Examples > MFRC522 > DumpInfo and upload the code. This code will be available in your Arduino IDE (after installing the RFID library).

Then, open the serial monitor. You should see something like the figure below:

serial monitor1

Approximate the RFID card or the keychain to the reader. Let the reader and the tag closer until all the information is displayed.

serial monitor2

This is the information that you can read from the card, including the card UID that is highlighted in yellow. The information is stored in the memory that is divided into segments and blocks as you can see in the previous picture.

You have 1024 bytes of data storage divided into 16 sectors and each sector is protected by two different keys, A and B.

Write down your UID card because you’ll need it later.

Upload the following code.

/*
 * 
 * All the resources for this project: https://randomnerdtutorials.com/
 * Modified by Rui Santos
 * 
 * Created by FILIPEFLOP
 * 
 */
 
#include <SPI.h>
#include <MFRC522.h>
 
#define SS_PIN 10
#define RST_PIN 9
MFRC522 mfrc522(SS_PIN, RST_PIN);   // Create MFRC522 instance.
 
void setup() 
{
  Serial.begin(9600);   // Initiate a serial communication
  SPI.begin();      // Initiate  SPI bus
  mfrc522.PCD_Init();   // Initiate MFRC522
  Serial.println("Approximate your card to the reader...");
  Serial.println();

}
void loop() 
{
  // Look for new cards
  if ( ! mfrc522.PICC_IsNewCardPresent()) 
  {
    return;
  }
  // Select one of the cards
  if ( ! mfrc522.PICC_ReadCardSerial()) 
  {
    return;
  }
  //Show UID on serial monitor
  Serial.print("UID tag :");
  String content= "";
  byte letter;
  for (byte i = 0; i < mfrc522.uid.size; i++) 
  {
     Serial.print(mfrc522.uid.uidByte[i] < 0x10 ? " 0" : " ");
     Serial.print(mfrc522.uid.uidByte[i], HEX);
     content.concat(String(mfrc522.uid.uidByte[i] < 0x10 ? " 0" : " "));
     content.concat(String(mfrc522.uid.uidByte[i], HEX));
  }
  Serial.println();
  Serial.print("Message : ");
  content.toUpperCase();
  if (content.substring(1) == "BD 31 15 2B") //change here the UID of the card/cards that you want to give access
  {
    Serial.println("Authorized access");
    Serial.println();
    delay(3000);
  }
 
 else   {
    Serial.println(" Access denied");
    delay(3000);
  }
} 

View raw code

In the piece of code above you need to change the if (content.substring(1) == “REPLACE WITH YOUR UID”) and type the UID card you’ve written previously.

Demonstration

Now, upload the code to your Arduino and open the serial monitor.

Approximate the card you’ve chosen to give access and you’ll see:

serial monitor3

If you approximate another tag with another UID, the denial message will show up:

serial monitor4

I hope you found this tutorial useful.

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Thanks for reading,

-Idris Jimoh

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