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Description: RFID (radio-frequency identification) is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields, for the purposes of identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. This is the ID-20LA, a very simple to use RFID reader module from ID Innovations. With a built in antenna, the only holdup is the 2mm pin spacing. Power the module, hold up a 125kHz card, and get a serial string output containing the unique ID of the card.

Note: The new ID-20LA is essentially the same as the older ID-20, but has a lower input voltage.


  • 2.8 - 5V supply
  • 125kHz read frequency
  • EM4001 64-bit RFID tag compatible
  • 9600bps TTL and RS232 output
  • Magnetic stripe emulation output
  • Read range of 180mm

Dimensions: 38x40x7mm


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Customer Comments

  • If anybody is looking to connect this to a Raspberry Pi it’s pretty easy. Use one of the 5V pins from the header to power it, along with ground and then just connect the TX pin of the rfid module to the RX pin on the Pi header. I’ve created a Python module that makes interfacing with the reader quite simple.

  • Can someone tell me if this reader is able to read a 125 KHz tag (nail type) that uses EM4102 protocol? Thank you in advance

  • I’d REALLY like to see an antenna or reader with 2-3 foot range. Possible?

    • Yes, I am looking for one with a better read range as well. I am using the glass capsule RFID and it has to be very close in order to work.

      Or… is there somewhere I can buy a bigger inductance coil to somehow attach to the ID-20LA?

  • Can it read EM4305 tag?

  • Maybe I am missing it but it would be great if you guys included the Eagle name on the page. Searching ID-20 turns up nothing since you named it ID-12/20. This is a common problem I have had using your library. For example I would have never found LED Tactile button (COM-10442) without someone asking you in the comments section to get the answer TACTILE-PTH-LED-12MM.

    • Note that in Eagle, you can use the asterisk as a wildcard when searching for parts in the ADD dialog. Searching for ID* will bring back all the parts that start with “ID”. Searching for *TACTILE* will bring back all the parts with “TACTILE” anywhere in the name. Sorry that the names are cryptic (as you can see they need to hold a lot of information), but the wildcard trick usually saves the day.

      • There are still something like 20 TACTILEs in there I would love to be able to just go to the part. I do like that some reference the site number in the description which is also searched. For example entering COM-10063 finds JOYSTICK_MINI. I still maintain it would be great to have the library name on the product page or the productID in the description of the library part.

  • I know that this won’t fit on standard breadboards but I can’t seem to find the “breakout board available below.” I’ve searched around on Sparkfun as well and found this: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/retired/8423 which looks like it would do the trick, but it has been discontinued. Someone in the comments recommends this product: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8272. Is this the solution now?

  • How does the magnetic stripe emulation output work? Is the output a waveform which could be read using the audio jack of a smartphone (just like the square reader reading magnetic cards)?

  • This reader is malfunctioning for me. Is there any way I could get it replaced?

  • In the video he’s reading 12 digit codes. Does this chip support 15 digit codes?

    • The datasheet specifies that it will output 10 ASCII characters that is in hexadecimal, the next two characters are just a checksum and doesn’t actually make the code any more unique. So… I guess the answer is no.

      • Hmm, now that I look more closely, the “15 digit codes” I’m interested in are 15 decimal digits. Unfortunately I think that still works out to about 13 hex digits…

  • Can you right rfid cards with this.

  • So, does this mean that I can use this directly with the raspberry pi?

    • If you power it directly from the 3.3v (or 5v it looks like?) out of the Raspi, it should work. Skimming through the data sheet I didn’t see the current draw, but I doubt it’s too much, as long as you’re not leaving cards in ‘range’ for very long.

      • Since the Pi inputs are 3.3V, you probably should go with 3.3V to power the ID-20LA. At 3.3V, the ID-20LA current draw is about 18 mA both when idle and when a card is in range. At 3.3V the range is reduced to about 5 cm (using a card type RFID tag). At 5V, the current draw is about 27 mA, and the read range is 7 to 8 cm using a card tag.

        • It looks like the output is open collector.. Does that mean I would be able to power it with 5v for the longer range, and have the output pulled up on a 3.3v GPIO pin on a RPi? I figure if the reader is going to either be open or grounded, then the “high” voltage could depend on the pin it’s connected to? Or.. am I missing something?

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

Based on 3 ratings:

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1 of 1 found this helpful:

Worked perfectly

I used it with Arduino microcontroller ( mega), and it worked perfectly. the shipping also was fast and very good. Thank you.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

worked perfect for my application

Size and compact package and easy hook up

No complaints

I’m using this RFID reader in conjunction with a PIC 16F684 and it’s working great.

Related Tutorials

SparkFun RFID Starter Kit Hookup Guide

May 5, 2015

Learn the basics of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and how to get started with the SparkFun RFID Starter Kit.