This instructable connects the popular BlueSmirf Bluetooth module to the ID12 RFID reader and shows how to make a dust and water resistant (IP55) RFID reader that sends IDs to your PC or mobile phone over Bluetooth radio without an additional micro controller and without an external power source. Created as a prototype for an online swim lap counter system named Rfish, it can be used for any project in need of a self contained, weather proof RFID reader.

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hi Tamberg,

i would like to read the rfid tag and send the tag id via bluetooth to an android phone. this tutorial does not teach how to connect it to phone.also how to configure the rfid reader and bluetooth module.

tamberg (author)  shruti.kamtekar1 month ago

Hi, the Bluetooth module in this project just forwards whatever the RFID reader module sends to it. Simply connect to the Bluetooth module using the Bluetooth serial profile (SPP). The standard Android Bluetooth library should do the job. Cheers, Thomas


I should connect the RFID ID12
and the BLUESMIRF gold Bluetooth module to the ID12 breakout board ad
shown in the tutorial. For configuration part i need to connect the
bluetooth module to the android phone using bluetooth serial profile and
the configuration would be done.

tamberg (author)  shruti.kamtekar1 month ago

Yes. There's not much to configure with SPP, as far as I remember.


I have to actually read RFID tag number of every student who boards the bus which has a RFID reader and send their parents message about the child boarding the bus.i am planning to send the tag number to the phone.

is there a cheaper RFID and bluetooth module i could use.

and can you please give the detail about SPP since i have no idea about it.

tamberg (author)  shruti.kamtekar1 month ago

Sounds like a great project. In the meantime there are some cheaper RFID readers and way cheaper Bluetooth modules. If price is critical, check something like Ali-Express.

can i configure and connect other rfid and bluetooth module in the similar way

tamberg (author)  shruti.kamtekar1 month ago

Yes. All serial modules work more or less the same.

can u provide me with more detailed information on bluetooth serial profile or any source from where i can understand it.

tamberg (author)  shruti.kamtekar1 month ago

Just remembered they also call it RFCOMM. See and for Android

tamberg (author)  tamberg1 month ago

Oops, here's a shortened version of the Android link:

I loved this article and its step by step tutorial about making water proof RFID tag. I would like to make this <a href="">TRAKAID On-Metal RFID Asset Tag</a>..

skeet1037 months ago

great little tutorial, curious if you ever tried this with a 125khz ACTIVE rfid tag?

Curious what kind of increased rage it would have....if you know, I'd appreciate the info

tamberg (author)  skeet1037 months ago

Hi Skeet103, never had access to an active 125khz tag. Nice idea, though. Cheers, tamberg

fsaffery1 year ago
Oh I have a number of ID20 and ID12 chips floating about my office each with pins 7 and 1 connected (setting to ASCII). The Bluesmirf is set to 9600 Baud.

Thanks, F.
tamberg (author)  fsaffery1 year ago
All I know about the ID12 is what's written here. Maybe your BlueSmirf has some settings that cause the problem, as it was probably not in the default state. Try to go through the setup steps of this Instructable, maybe with another baud rate. And check the baud rate in your code, too.
fsaffery1 year ago
Hey there I know its been a while since you made this project but quick question. When I connect to a PC and scan a card im getting "☺☻♥♣4F" random characters as its trying to show ASCII of data thats just not there. Now I checked the .cs file and I couldnt see that you were changing the bits into any form of data, just writeln them.

- The chip is set to ASCII mode.
- The reason I ask is I have coded something for android which does output characters but not the unique card ID normally just 002000000 or the like so im trying to find if its my code thats not correct or if its something to do with my circuit. (Had some problems way back when I connected the chip via a wire to the phone with power and it not sending the data correctly).

Thanks, F.
tamberg (author)  fsaffery1 year ago
Hi, which chip are you referring to? Maybe the baud rate is not set correctly?
Hi, I know this is an old pot but just wondering if you can remember roughly how much this cost, and the distance that it would work at asI know most RDIF systems are quite short in terms of reading distance.
tamberg (author)  nadjibfoley1 year ago
Hi, the parts are all linked on the first page. There are cheaper Bluetooth modules on Ebay, around 10$ if I remember correctly. The reading distance is very short (you have to touch the reader) which indeed is quite a disadvantage for most applications. Regards,
Greeting, Just FYI, I tried to download your and it turned out like this

403 Forbidden

Code: AccessDenied
Message: Access Denied
RequestId: 4AB03E36B05CC9D4
HostId: NrN3vGkopox3PnzYj8nNCefc2JJsDFAStAOS1hnyi2StP+4hlPj19AvQdTs0yzSf
tamberg (author)  punisherball542 years ago
Fixed! Thank you very much. Regards, tamberg
Hello, i would like to buy 1 premade.
Can you do this?
How much cost and ship to Florida, USA.

Thank you
tamberg (author)  itismycountry2 years ago
Hi, thanks for the request! I sent you a private message.
LIMAMIN3 years ago
Is it possible to do the same thing with a wifi module instead of Bluetooth?
tamberg (author)  LIMAMIN3 years ago
LIMAMIN, that could work. There should be Wifi modules supporting serial communication (UART). However the setup would probably be different and the system might require more power. Also, I'm not sure if there's any interference between RFID and Wifi, but probably not. Cheers, tamberg
acti3 years ago
The download link for is broken
it says "Forbidden" (error code 403)
tamberg (author)  acti3 years ago
Fixed, thanks.
Did you write the software yourself?
tamberg (author)  jeffjeffwong3 years ago
Hi jeffjeffwong,

yes, I did. That said, there's very little software included here. For a real application you'd probably need some extra code.

sghantous4 years ago
I would like to know if this RFID reader has been tested on and whether it is known to work with a Mac?
Stephen in Montréal
tamberg (author)  sghantous4 years ago
Hi sghantous, the reader communicates via Bluetooth and should work with a Mac, but I never actually tested it. The .NET test program probably needs Mono and some additional tweaking to run on a Mac. Cheers, tamberg
joll4 years ago
I made your project with the ID 20 indtead of the soecified ID 12 (hoping to get additional range).
Everything seems to be made correctly, yet it doesnt read the tags.
Would the ID 20 be the problem??

Regards out of N Zld
tamberg (author)  joll4 years ago
Hi joll,

the main difference between ID-12 and ID-20 (according to seems to be the power requirement. The ID-12 requires 5 VDC @ *30*mA, the ID-20 requires 5 VDC @ *65*mA nominal. While the ID-12 works fine with only 4.5 VDC, this might be too low for the ID-20. If you got a 5V power source you could probably use it instead of the 3 AA batteries. But still, the pin layout is the same on both readers, so I do not really understand either, why the reader doesn't work at all. Can you check the wiring again and make sure you use a EM 4001 or compatible RFID (125kHz)?

Cheers, tamberg
cowen tamberg4 years ago
I work with several groups that talk about ID Theft and since I am on the top of technology I want to show and help people understand the dangers.

Some of the questions I have need to be moved to a less public forum can you email me at

Thank you
tamberg (author)  cowen4 years ago
Hi, if you're at the top of RFID technology, you probably know a lot more about the related security issues than I do. If your questions concern this project, feel free to pose them here, so other makers can profit, too. Cheers, tamberg
cowen tamberg4 years ago
The problem is the lack of security at every level of RFID that is in use. Credit Cards and Passports and lots of other options.

A laptop, an antenna, and some software to log the data, a brief case. All that is needed is a place to walk around and pick pocket people. An Airport is a good place to start.

This all can be done for a few hundred unless you already own a laptop the price drops, most things can be built or bought off ebay cheap the software can be found free and anyone can get a suit case or similar bag cheap.

I would like to know where you picked up your parts and how much. That is the main part of what I want to display to victims is how little it costs and how easy it is to get the designs to do this.
RanaD4 years ago
hello again ,
i am asking if you simulated this .. i mean is there any software  simulation to simulate this if there is no way to execute it in real .. ?

thanks alot
tamberg (author)  RanaD4 years ago
Hi RanaD, simulate what? Could you explain in more detail what you are trying to do? Cheers, tamberg
RanaD tamberg4 years ago
hello ,
in my graduate project i need to attach the bluetooth module to the RFID reader ( as you did physically by wires ) .. but it's not available to us to buy this components .. so ,  i wonder if there is a simulation contains the RFID package and how to communicate with Bmodule .. to simulate it rather than perform it in real because it's impossible ,, :(

is it clear ?
thanx ..
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