Radio Shack is clearing out Parallax RFID readers for $9; also: where do you go locally for electronics, parts?

Not Fez-specific, but I thought this might be of interest. I picked up a Parallax serial RFID reader kit (,ProductName) on clearance for $9. I have two more being shipped in from other stores. They normally sold it for $50. I already have a few ideas for connecting this to the trusty Panda, and I’m sure some of you could do cool stuff with a cheap RFID reader.

The connection is 2400 baud UART (TTL) and the port is 4x1 @ .1" spacing.

I think someone said a while ago that these use non-standard RFID cards. Anyone wanna clarify? I know my local RS’ have these things.

There are many, many different styles of RFID tags. The Parallax reader uses EM4100 type 125 kHz tags which are a short range type of tag. A quick Google search shows many results and products using them. It does not look like the common HID style tags used for access control for the last few decades though, and they are not the more sophisticated MyFair type tags that encrypt their response.

What is the Radio Shack part number?


Radio Shark PN: 276-0032

Can anyone point me to a RFID reader and tags that have a bigger range? I need about 20cm. The reader will be placed inside my garage and the wall is about 20cm thick. I’d prefer not to mount the reader outside.


really funny! :smiley:

Wish they have the USB version on sell at this price.

Went to a crapShack today, what a let down.

I remember when I was younger all the cool RC cars people used to get me from Radio Shack. Really high quality, man, I ran those things straight into the ground (they were very well loved…) and they never died. Those were such great toys.

Visiting them today, all they had were super cheap electronics and cell phones. They are phasing out what’s left of the component bins at the back of the store :frowning:

[quote]I remember when I was younger all the cool RC cars people used to get me from Radio Shack. Really high quality, man, I ran those things straight into the ground (they were very well loved…) and they never died. Those were such great toys.

It’s seem like everyone felt the same way.
I read an article in Wired Magazien a few month back.
Not only all the cool car toys, RS use to be big in electronic world, they event sell their own PC (famous TS-80, that used cassette tape to load program on to it.)
It’s seem to evolve to the cell phone market more than electronic.

I have to admit, I saw those RFID’s discreetly on sale about a month and a half ago and snapped up 4 for myself and 2 for an Arduino-buddy who’s probably going to marry his way into the family. They’re OK as a toy, and the kids loved the little Arduino doo-dad I threw together that uses the RFID to disarm a motion sensor that ‘guards’ the hallway that leads to their rooms. Failure to swipe early enough, and it sets off a rather loud alarm with strobing high-intensity LEDs. And yeah, I disable it at night :slight_smile:

But you’re right - the RFIDs are hardly state of the art - but that’s typical Radio Shack anyway. If I need 2 10mm blue LEDs, I can be pretty sure they’ll have them somewhere in that drawer unit they hide at the back of the store. Last week, in a fit of optimism, I went down to find a 5V voltage regulator, because I felt creative and wanted to build a simple and small in-line power conditioner for the Panda Tinkerer Kit I’ve been patiently waiting for (ahem). They had a 12v (just a single one) and 2 3.5V.

I asked the guy if he could just do a stock check on regulators to see if maybe, just maybe they had any in stock that I’d missed. What I got in return was a combination of ‘Oh, not much demand for those!’ and “I think it['s so cool that people still build things out of discrete components”. I guess the intent wasn’t to p*ss me off, but it had that effect.

So, I scan their site occasionally for stuff they’re getting rid of, and that’s about it.

These days you’re very lucky to have a fairly good electronics shop in town. I’m in Cincinnati and resigned to mail order since I haven’t found one here. At least the online sources are pretty solid and minimum order amounts are low enough. But it makes that impulse project a non-starter. :frowning:

So interesting question: what city do you live in and do you have a good local electronics shop? (Name it if you do!)

I grew up in Chicago and Neutron Electronics was the place to go, but I don’t think it’s around anymore.

When I lived in St. Louis, Gateway Electronics was pretty good:

^^^ Being a native to West County (West of St. Louis) Gateway Electronics is wonderful. It’s like the great big closet you never had. That’s really the best way I can think of to describe it.

Whatever you need, they have it. they also have random surplus. Want a capacitor the size of a friggin soda can? Well, there’s an entire shelf of those.

In all the times that I have gone there, I have never left empty handed.

They are also quite cheap. My usual bill is around $5. I don’t think I have ever gone much over that.

(Not affiliated, just love em)

I envy you guys… The closest thing I can find in town is RadioShack and it’s not even close to my needs. The next closest thing will be DigiKey… it took me a while before accumulating $30 to send it as an order!