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As I am still getting some response on my post 2 years ago, let me shortly expand.
I have finished the RFID board development about 2 years ago, some information is available on http://eitschess.de (in german but should still be easy to understand). The key challanges are the speed of reading a board by RFID (have a look on the RFID spec so I use ASIC chips), the 32 reader chips incl. appropriate coils, assembling the 8x8 antennas, the microcontroller programming (including some direct read of the antenna signal in order to save components). Getting a good spatial resolution for good off/on square detection is key, and requires a good understanding of the actual detection process. I can operate the board for > 100hours out of the 4 AA batteries which reside in the clock. So low power design is very important, if a separate power supply should be avoided. Putting everything in an wooden board at reasonable height requires everything staying well below 1cm in height, important for PCB, and circuit design as well as the jacks. I also have a modified chess clock, which delivers the time stamp after each move. If you are at this stage you are approximately 25% done, as the other 75% is consumed by the appropriate PC program, which reads the positions / moves from the board and generates a error free .pgn file. It is amazing how much mistakes are mady by the players, even if the electronics works perfectly. Currently I am working on a wireless version, as cables have been turned out to be the most likely source for errors. So overall it is a kind of challange if the entire system should work reliably.
For the future I would be very interested in building an "Open-Source/Open Hardware" state-of-the- art but cheap chess clock. If anyone thinks this is a good idea, please let me know (Felix@Eitschess.com).
@danzman: You need add the 32 tags, the coils, the wooden board and pieces, but I may have not fully understood your concept.
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Posted:Jan 11, 2010
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