Introduction: RFID Based Attendance System With Database in MySQL

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Charles Walton, the man behind the radio frequency identification technology (RFID).Since his first patent aboutit in 1973, Walton, collected about $3 million from royalties coming from his patents. Unfortunately for him, his latest patent about RFID expired in the mid-1990s.So he will not make any money from the billions of RFID tags that will appear in the yearsto come. But he continues to invent and his latest patent about a proximity card within corporate PIN code protection was granted in June 2004.

What is RFID?

RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification. Generally a RFID system consists of 2 parts viz a reader, and one or more Transponders, also known as tags. RFID systems evolved from barcode labels as a means to automatically identify and track products and people.

RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification. Generally, a RFID system consists of 2 parts viz a reader, and one or more Transponders, also known as tags. RFID systems evolved from barcode labels as a means to automatically identify and track products and people. You will be familiar with RFID systems generally seen in:

Access Control

RFID Readers placed at entrances that require a person to pass their proximity card(RF tag) to be read before the access can be made.

Contactless Payment System

RFID tags used to carry payment information. RFIDs are particular suited toelectronic Toll connection systems. Tags attached to vehicles, or carried by people transmit payment information to a fixed reader attached to a Toll station. Payments are then routinely deducted

from a user’s account, or information is changed directly on the RFID tag.

Product Tracking and Inventory Control

RFID systems are commonly used to track and record the movement of ordinaryitems such as library books, clothes, factory pallets, electrical goods and numerous items.

How RFID works?

A basic RFID system consists of three components: antenna, transceiver, transponder (RF tag)

In every RFID system, the transponder tags containinformation. This information can be as little as a single binary bit, or be a large array of bits representing such things as an identity code, personal medical information, or literally any type of information that can be stored in digital binary format.

Shown is a RFID transceiver that communicates with a passive Tag. Passive tags have nopower source of their own and instead they derive power from the incident electromagneticfield. Commonly the heart of each tag is a microchip.When the tag enters the generated RF field it is able to draw enough power from the field toaccess its internal memory and transmit its stored information.When the transponder Tag draws power in this way the resultant interaction of the RF fields causes the voltage at the transceiver antenna to drop in value. This effect is utilized by the Tag to communicate its information to the reader. The Tag is able to control the amount of power drawn from the field and by doing so it can modulate the voltage sensed at theTransceiver according to the bit pattern it wishes to transmit.

Components of RFID

A basic RFID system consists of three components:

An antenna or a coil

A transceiver

A transponder (RF tag)

These are described below:

1. Antenna

The antenna emits radio signals to activate the tag and read and write data to it.Antennas are the conduits between the tag and the transceiver, which controls thesystem's data acquisition and communication. Antennas are available in a variety of shapes and sizes; they can be built into a door frame to receive tag data from personsor things passing through the door, or mounted on an interstate tollbooth to monitor traffic passing by on a freeway. The electromagnetic field produced by an antenna canbe constantly present when multiple tags are expected continually. If constant interrogation is not required, a sensor device can activate the field. Often the antenna is packaged with the transceiver and decoder to become a reader (a.k.a. interrogator), which can be configured either as a handheld or a fixed-mount device. The reader emits radio waves in ranges of anywhere from one inch to 100 feet or more, depending upon its power output and the radio frequency used. When an RFID tag passes through the electromagnetic zone, it detects the reader's activation signal. The reader decodes the data encoded in the tag's integrated circuit (silicon chip) and the data is passed to the host computer for processing.

2. Transceiver

The RF transceiver is the source of the RF energy used to activate and power the passiveRFID tags. The RF transceiver may be enclosed in the same cabinet as the reader or itmay be a separate piece of equipment. When provided as a separate piece of equipment, the transceiver is commonly referred to as an RF module. The RF transceiver controls and modulates the radio frequencies that the antenna transmits and receives. The transceiver filters and amplifies the back scatter signal from a passive RFID tag.

3. Transponder

An RFID tag is comprised of a microchip containing identifying information and anantenna that transmits this data wirelessly to a reader. At its most basic, the chip will contain a serialized identifier, or license plate number, that uniquely identifies that item, similar to the way many bar codes are used today. A key difference, however is that RFID tags have a higher data capacity than their bar code counterparts. This increases the options for the type of information that can be encoded on the tag, including the manufacturer, batch or lot number, weight, ownership, destination and history (such as the temperature range to which an item has been exposed). In fact, an unlimited list of other types of information can be stored on RFID tags, depending on application needs. An RFID tag can be placed on individual items, cases or pallets for identification purposes, as well as on fixed assets such as trailers, containers, totes, etc.


The RFID tag can be affixed to an object and used to track and manage inventory, assets, people, etc. For example, it can be affixed to cars, computer equipment, books, mobile phones, etc.

RFID can be used in a variety of applications, such as:

· Access management

· Tracking of goods

· Tracking of persons and animals

· Toll collection and contactless payment

· Machine readable travel documents

· Smartdust (for massively distributed sensor networks)

· Tracking sports memorabilia to verify authenticity

· Airport baggage tracking logistics

· Timing sporting events

· Tracking and billing processes


Scanning Range

An RFID reader can scan a tag as long as it is within frequency range. It does not have any line-of-sight limitations. RFID systems can automatically pick up tag IDs from a distance and, in some cases, through obstacles between the tag and the reader.

RFID Capabilities

RFID systems can scan multiple items simultaneously. For example, you could scan incoming goods in your warehouse in the box, allowing you to check all contents at once without having to run individual barcode scans on each item. Other ID systems typically have a single or limited identifier for each object -RFID tags can contain more information. Some are also read-write, allowing you to add or change data.

Speed and Convenience

RFID readers can scan tags in milliseconds and work automatically. Optical scanning systems may need manual operation and may work less quickly, since the operator has to align the reader and code exactly to scan it successfully. The speed of operation also has convenience benefits in services such as cashless payments.

RFID Costs

Although RFID technology has been around since the 1970s, its initial high costs restricted usage to larger businesses, many of whom developed proprietary systems. Although costs are falling, RFID systems are still typically more expensive to set up and use than alternative systems such as optical scanning. However, RFID systems bring their own cost benefits, such as reduced labour costs and improved efficiency.


Scanning Issues

Despite their reliability, RFID systems can still have problems. Although readers can scan through most non-metallic materials, they have problems with metal and water. The fact that you can scan multiple objects in a range is a benefit, but also comes with possible issues that can cause malfunctions. Tag collision may occur if a reader picks up signals from multiple tags at the same time. Reader collision may be an issue if two readers interfere with each other's signals.

RFID Security and Privacy Concerns

RFID also brings up some security issues. Unauthorized devices may be able to read and even change data on tags without the knowledge of the person who owns the object. Side-channel attacks can pick up RFID data as it passes from a tag to a reader, which could give the attacker access to passwords or information that should be secure. Some states have privacy statutes to restrict activities that might use RFID technology to collect personal information.


As Technica reported in March 2006 an RFID buffer overflow bug that could infect airport terminal RFID databases for baggage, and also passport databases to obtain confidential information on the passport holder.

Global standardization

The frequencies used for UHF RFID in the USA are currently incompatible with those of Europe or Japan. Furthermore, no emerging standard has yet become as universal as the barcode. To address international trade concerns, it is necessary to use a tag that is operational within all of the international frequency domains.




hello everyone, this is rfid based attendance system project built on ATmega328-pu which has been programmed using the pl2303 usb to ttl convertor. The attendance for each day is logged in a text file using a software GOBETWINO. Through the text file we save the data to mysql. This project doesnot involve any ethernet shield or wifi modulle. You just need to make a text file daily and at the end of the day just make tables in mysql and using the info of the text file get the sql database where you can check the attendance of any student at any time.

Step 2: PROGRAMMING THE ATmega328pu USING PL2303

the pl2303 is a usb to ttl converter . u need to download its driver for windows. Link can be found on google.

Now firstly u need to burn the bootloader in your chip. This can be done by firslty making the connections as per the given schematic.

Since pl2303 doesnt have a reset pin, therefore when you upload the code to the ATmega328 , press the reset button manually when the arduino IDE shows uploading. Just press it once and leave it, your code will get uploaded.

Step 3: Using the MFRC522 RFID Module and RTC DS1307

For this project download the MFRC522.h library for the rfid module and for the rtc ic download RTClib.h

download and include these libraries in your IDE

Now make sure the additional rfid cards that you will be using work on 13.56 MHz frequency. There are other cards present which work at 125 khz.

now wire up the whole circuit as per the given schematic.

Step 4: GOBETWINO!!!!!!!

So now we come to the most interesting part of this project. GOBETWINO is a very unknown software but it is very useful. It has a lot of features.

download link is given.

A manual also comes with this. Kindly go through the manual to know more about this software and believe me its worth your time.

There are a few examples also given , please go through them to get further clarification.

Step 5: MYSQL

Now since i did not have an ethernet shield or a wifi module so what i did was to save the attendance record in a text file and then put it in MYSQL . Everyday a new text file is made and its address is specified in the gobetwino software. Then at the end of the day the data written in this text file is uploaded to the MYSQL.

this is the video link that shows MYSQL in action.

Step 6: Final Circuit and Code

now make the final circuit and upload the code.

all the details are given in the report.

Step 7:


DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2017-07-18

Welcome to Instructables. Thanks for sharing with the community.


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