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Baltech RFID Reader - Settings, Handling and Instructions
|TS6600 | TwinCAT PLC Lib: RFID Reader Communication|
If a supported Baltech RFID stand-alone device is used, the TwinCAT PLC library can be used as an interface.
An alternative is the use with certain Beckhoff Control Panels or Panel PCs. As an option, an RFID reader can be integrated in these devices.
In this case, an SDK containing the proprietary documentation is supplied.
In both cases, the functional scope of the TwinCAT library is the same.
RFID reader settings
For smooth communication between the controller and the RFID reader, some settings must be made before the system starts. This includes, for example, the baud rate of the serial communication. The proprietary tool 'Baltech id-engine explorer' from the RFID reader manufacturer can be used to transfer these settings to the RFID reader. The tool can also be used to perform a function test to determine whether the RFID device is recognized and whether the transponder cards are recognized.
This standard setting for data transmission has proven itself:
|baud rate||115200 baud|
This corresponds to the factory setting of the supported Baltech RFID devices. If necessary, other parameters can also be set. These must then also be adopted in the reader connection on the software side.
The baud rate of the readers can be changed with the tool 'Baltech id-engine explorer'. (see Baltech documentation: IdEngineExplorer.pdf)
Note: The 'Baltech id-engine explorer' tool can only be run under Windows XP. It is not available for Windows CE. This means that the baud rate cannot be configured under Windows CE.
Note: A fast task is required in the PLC to process the incoming data. When connecting the RFID device to a COM port and a baud rate of 115200 baud, a cycle time of 1 ms is necessary. (see chapter Reader connection)
Note: To configure the baud rate from the PLC, the following byte sequence [0x 1C 00 09 06 00 01 03 00 02 xx xx - where xx xx stands for the baud rate, for example 9600 baud: 96 units a 100 baud -> 0x 00 60] be transferred as a raw data block. More details are explained in the chapter on low level communication. This is also possible under Windows CE, provided that transmission is possible with the currently set baud rate.
Use of the virtual serial COM port (USB)
If the device is connected via USB, the appropriate Usb-To-Virtual-Com-Port driver must be installed. If it is a Beckhoff Panel PC, the driver is already preinstalled. The SDK of the RFID device also contains the driver. The virtual COM port is displayed in the Windows device manager.
Communication with the driver takes place via Beckhoff TwinCAT 'serial communication'. However, no corresponding device is created in the TwinCAT System Manager and no link is made there. Further information can be found in the documentation of the PLC library serial communication.
RFID reader handling
The library supports the usual standard settings of Baltech communication. The 'Host Operation' mode is supported as 'Operational Mode'. Other modes are not supported. Access takes place internally via the BRP (Baltech Reader Protocol) in 'Communication Mode' 'Normal Mode'. If raw data are sent via the low level communication option, make sure that the above settings are correctly specified within the frame.
Note: It should be noted here that not all characteristics of every supported RFID reader model can be named here. For this reason, reference is made to the manufacturer's own documentation for detailed information.
If you work with encrypted transponder cards, it is necessary that the same key is also known in the RFID device. The Baltech RFID reader is configured once. The key then no longer needs to be specified. Likewise, for security reasons, the key cannot be read out of the device configuration. A VHL file is saved in the device configuration to match the encryption of a transponder card. Several such VHL files can be saved in order to get access to different cards without reconfiguration.
There are three options for transferring such a VHL file to the configuration of the RFID device.
|Configuration card||A configuration can be transferred via a configuration card. This is the preferred option.|
|Tool 'Baltech id-engine explorer'||The tool can be used to transfer a configuration to the memory of the Baltech RFID device. (see Baltech documentation: IdEngineExplorer.pdf)|
In simple cases, the specific configuration can be created directly in the tool. Alternatively, the company Baltech offers support with the creation and can send a file with the configuration.
|from the PLC||For Mifare Classic cards, the transfer of a VHL-file configuration can be programmed in the PLC program code. |
The SetConfig command transfers the configuration which is specified at the input in ST_RFID_ConfigIn. The structure of a Mifare card and the possible settings for key allocation are explained on the detail page of ST_RFID_CfgStruct_BaltechMifVHLFile. (Detailed information on Mifare cards can also be found in the Baltech document: Mifare.pdf)
Suitable transponder cards for Baltech RFID devices can be obtained from various manufacturers. If the cards are to be used with encryption, Baltech offers the sale of pre-configured cards.
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