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How to connect antenna to ThingMagic embedded RFID reader

Posted by Michael Crudele on

Today I was asked...How do I connect an embedded ThingMagic RFID reader module to an external RFID antenna?  


Well, at first glance, this may seem complicated since the ThingMagic modules (ie: Nano, Micro, Micro-LTE, M5e, M6e) have a tiny connector, which in fact is an MMCX style RF connector. However, this simply adds a step in the process but is simple once you know how to handle it.  Here, I'll explain exactly how you make the connection from a ThingMagic embedded RFID module to an RFID panel antenna.


Step 1: purchase a small coaxial jumper cable which will take you from the MMCX connector on the embedded RFID module to the antenna cable.  I would suggest part # CA178-RTNCB-MMCX-6.  This is a 6 inch long RG178 type of small diameter coax cable with an MMCX connector on one end (to connect to the RFID module) and a Reverse Polarity TNC Female (bulk-head) connector on the other end.  This bulk-head connector will protrude out of your device or enclosure and provide you with the same type of connector that you would typically find on an industry standard RFID reader such as the ThingMagic M6, Impinj R420 or Motorola-Zebra FX7500 / FX9500.


So, now you have a Reverse Polarity TNC Female (bulk-head) to connect to.  I would suggest utilizing the all-purpose 10x10 inch circularly polarized panel antenna series from RFMAX. These parts start with S9028PC.  These antennas offer a 70x70 degree beamwidth and 8.5 dBiC gain.  In addition, these antennas include a 96 inch / 8 foot long integrated coaxial cable and RPTNC-Male connector.  if you choose this antenna, I'd suggest you look at the RFMAX mounting kit EZ-M6-Combo.


If you have any further questions regarding how to connect an antenna to a ThingMagic embedded RFID reader, don't hesitate to contact us!



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