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Description: This it the SparkFun RFID Starter Kit, an all-in-one kit that offer everything you need to get your next RFID project off the ground. This kit includes our USB RFID Reader, ID-12LA RFID module, and two 125kHz RFID cards. We’ve done away with the annoying clamshell and now offer this in the same type of box as the rest of our kits.

The RFID USB Reader is a simple to use, USB to serial base unit for the ID-3LA, ID-12LA, and ID-20LA readers. Simply plug a reader into the headers and attach a miniUSB cable. Open a terminal program of your choice at 9600bps 8N1, then scan your 125kHz ID tag and the unique 32-bit ID will be shown on the screen. The unit is based on a FTDI chip and comes with a read LED and buzzer.

The ID-12LA is a very simple RFID reader module. It plugs directly into the USB reader to allow you to read RFID tags through a USB connection. Power the module, hold up a card, and get a serial string output containing the unique ID of the card.



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Customer Comments

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Read Ranges Using the RFID USB Reader

    Using the ID Innovations125kHz readers, the tested real world maximum ranges of the modules with the RFID tagged items are listed below:


    Card = 0" (you need an external antenna)
    Button = 0" (you need an external antenna)
    Glass Capsule = 0" (you need an external antenna)


    Card = 2" - 2.25"
    Button = 1" - 1.5"
    Glass Capsule = 0.75" - 1"


    Card = 2.75"
    Button = 2"
    Glass Capsule = 0.75"

    The range results were taken from the demo video between 6:13-9:10 => .

  • So if a card has 32 bits or less it would read? In my testing it only works with the cards it was packed with. The other cards I have are 33 bit or more and none are able to read. My cards use a non standard configuration of the facility code but I was hoping to just be able to read the raw data even that last 32 bits of it would be fine, but no such luck.

  • Hello, very a good product. I have a question do you don’t have a simple solution for people who are not programmer to write a card rfid under mac osx?

  • Can the “beep” sound it makes turned off somehow? The product looks nice, but I need it to be silent.

    • A buzzer that sounds when a card is read. If you are using the RFID kit in a stealth application, you can disconnect the buzzer by removing the blob of solder on the Buzz jumper.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5

Based on 13 ratings:

5 star
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1 of 1 found this helpful:

Works as described

Wish it had a little more range. I mounted it in a plastic project box with the surface of the reader right behind the cover and you basically have to put the card right on the cover for it to read. I connected it to a Particle Photon via serial.

RTFM. The serial output puts out non printing characters other than CRLF. I didn’t realize this and the libraries I was sending the read data to didn’t appreciate it. It worked fine once I stripped the non printing characters.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Reader works

Be wary that it works with EM4100 and 4001 cards, but not HID cards. Also, it makes a rousing beep whenever the card is scanned, which can be annoying if scanning many cards.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Works great and easy to implement

I’ve used this in both an Arduino automatic door lock and a Raspberry Pi Windows IOT device for machine locks at a new Makerspace we are building.

The only issue I have is the beep is very similar to the training beep on my dogs collar. When I’m testing the system the dog keep looking at me expecting a command. So I have to test the system and train the dog at the same time.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Good product and easy to use.

I got the reader up and running on both an arduino uno and a raspberry pi in a matter of hours. Good product with great instructions on the sparkfun website.

Excellent product!

The USB allows me to easily record RFID tag serial numbers and the breakout part allows me to easily implement RFID into my embedded projects. Easy to use!

Works really well

I had it up and reading cards on the serial monitor within a few minutes using Arduino.

A good way to start learning about RFID's

I hooked it up as instructed and it did just like it said. I was pleased with the sensitivity. I now need to learn more about how to handle the data it produces.

Solid RFID Reader

I got this board to test how a RF field would hold up through plastic, and it worked great! I literally just plugged a USB in, opened TeraTerm, and started reading tags.The buzzer is a very nice feature. Great product!

Works great

My 11 yr old son got it put together just fine for his science fair project but we had so do some research into figuring out how to extract and display the ID number of the RF tag so he could get it trigger different events. Would be nice if the sample code also included the code to display the RF tag’s ID on an LCD.

RFID made easy.

Very easy to use… Just plug in the ID-12LA and connect the unit to a serial port.

Related Tutorials

RFID Basics

February 23, 2017

An overview of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

SparkFun RFID Starter Kit Hookup Guide

May 5, 2015

Learn the basics of how to get started with the SparkFun RFID Starter Kit.