To encode the tags we are using a Zebra R110Xi RFID printer.
The configuration is for vendor compliance in a 3PL or third party distribution center. The tags will be read as the SKUs are moved through the dock doors and read again as they enter their vendor destination.
Setting up the reader
The XR400 has 4 possible antenna pairs. Two antennas, a Tx and Rx. Each pair can be one choke point or portal. A shipping dock door for instance would be a good choke point. Using epcSolutions software simplifies the setup process since it is designed for vendor RFID compliance. There were three main troubleshooting issues we ran into while configuring the software to start the reader polling and setting the proper RFID tag type.
The first problem was actually finding the reader on the network in order to enable us to log into the Administrative Console via its IP address a web browser. The “default” IP address was not correct and even after resetting the XR400 it did not take on the default IP. By plugging the XR400 into a switched network and running Wireshark on another computer, we were able to see broadcast packets coming from a 192.168.0.73 address. Putting that address into a web browser got us into the Administrative Console. The default user name is admin with a password of change.
The second problem was that the epcSolutions software was unable to “start the reader”. Through some trial and error we discovered that the XR400’s polling was the issue and had to be disabled in the Administrative Console in order to let the software start the polling itself. With polling enabled the software is unable to start the reader and gives an error that says, “Symbol reader returning error status 0x80”. The polling option is under the “Scan Control” menu item.
Next the tags we needed to read were Generation-2, Class-1 (G-2, C-1).
This is setup within the XR400 Administrative Console, under the “Read Point Class” menu option. Then assigned to an antenna pair/portal.
After clearing those hurdles the tags are now being read and all the lights are green. One of the major problems that must be dealt with when configuring RFID is that tags are automatically read and will continue to be read every 1 or 2 seconds for as long as the tag remains within the polling area. Therefore, whatever data collection software is used as an RFID manager it must be ready to manage multiple reads.
The little screencast Video shows how often or quickly the tags are read and reread.