Handheld 865-928 MHz RFID Antenna Power Field Mapper for FCC & ETSI

RFID Antenna Field Mapper

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Handheld 865-928 MHz RFID Antenna Power Field Mapper for FCC & ETSI


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The RFID Power Mapper from RFMAX is a hand-held, battery-free RFID antenna field meter that accurately maps the signal strength and coverage area of RFID antenna installations. It is an invaluable tool for any RFID professional and can help troubleshoot and optimize any UHF RFID installation. The meter is small and easy to handle on the job site and is specially designed to operate throughout both the ETSI and FCC RFID range: 865-928 Mhz. The meter measures antenna range up to 10 meters / 30 feet, side lobes, back lobes, linear vs. circular polarization effects, null cancellations, etc. The meter operates like an RFID tag, being powered by the radio waves, so it is always ready when you need it.



The RFMAX RFID Power Mapper is a handheld, battery-free power meter that accurately maps signal strength/variation in RFID antennas and installations. It is an invaluable tool for any RFID professional and can help optimize any installation.

With the RFMAX Power Mapper you're no longer working in the dark. This meter is specially designed to show nulls in the UHF radio field at large distances from the antenna. You will find it hard to believe how large the signal variation can be, even quite close to the antenna. The meter will show polarization effects and destructive null cancellations, ground and water absorption. The meter relies on the power in the radio waves, so it cannot give a fails reading or have a flat battery. Almost 100% of the signal on at the antenna is shown on the meter, giving a massive 10+ meters (30+ feet) range.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Manufacturer RFMAX
Product Condition New
Antenna Category 902-928 Mhz | FCC RFID
Bands Single, Multi
Polarity Linear
Gain (dBic) N/A
Height/Length (inches) 4.13
Height/Length (mm) 105
Thickness/Diameter (inches) 1.77
Thickness/Diameter (mm) 45
Width (inches) 2.76
Width (mm) 70
Weight (lbs) 2 oz.
Material Plastic
Color Black
Includes Instructions included

Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

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Overall Satisfaction
Review by Smithd964 / (Posted on 1/22/2017)
Very positive; we were blind but no we see!
At CapTag we use the RFmax to look at the signal strength around bottles. We did not realise what we were seeing; the RFmax has given us radio eyes for RFID Gen 2.
Now achieving consistent and measurable results. no batteries; how do they get that range!! Fantastic product for teaching and research as well as installation.
Overall Satisfaction
Review by GigSurf / (Posted on 12/30/2015)
This is a must have in your RFID kit!

The RFMax Power Mapper is a compact tool to determine the radiation pattern for an installed UHF
RFID transceiver system.
The device measures 3 x 4 x 1.5 inch (including the antenna) and weighs about 2 ounces.
It uses a linear (small whip) antenna. This antenna is mounted on a standard SMA female bulkhead
connector and can be removed. When removed, the height of the device goes down from 4 inches to
2.75 inches.
The instrument is equipped with a toggle switch which adds 12dB attenuation when activated, which is
to be used for measurements in near vicinity to a reader antenna, to prevent the meter from pegging
The instrument is based on an analog moving-coil meter. The whole system derives its power from the
RF field, meaning no batteries are necessary.
Test results
Firstly, the instrument was tested with a standard 9dBic antenna fed by a 1 watt PEP RFID reader.
The mapper shows the boundaries of the field well, although an actual RFID tag reads a bit farther than
the minimum meter indication. As long as the user is aware of this phenomenon, this is a good tool to
get a quick impression of the functionality and proper operation of an RFID reader installation.
Also, the tool turned out to be very helpful in determining the circularity of the antenna pattern; by
rotating it around its axis while being held at antenna bore sight, this works very well.
As it turns out, the sensitivity of the instrument does not change much from 850 to 930 MHz, so it can
be used for both ETSI and FCC installations without the need for re-calibration.
Of course, for an instrument working according the principle of a passive RF detector, it makes a
difference in sensitivity whether the reader transmitter is modulated or not (the latter defined as
constant-wave), as the instrument does not have a peak-hold function; it only records the average
amplitude of the transmitted signal. To be more specific; the lower the transmitted duty-cycle of the
emitted signal is, the lower the indication on the instrument will be with all other things being equal. So
if one wants to comparative measurements and/or more absolute measurements, the RFID reader
transmitter should be switched to constant-wave operation when mapping the field with this device.
As a second test, the 12dB attenuator was activated, and the results compared against a 12dB decrease
in actual transmitted field strength (with the meter attenuator off). This showed us that the 12dB
attenuator indeed corresponds reasonably well with a 12dB step in attenuation (within 2dB accuracy
which is very good for a low-cost tool like this)
As a third test, we also tested the detector output to monitor the detected envelope wave form on an
oscilloscope. As it turns out, the detector can follow the modulation transitions without a problem, so
the output signal is a good representation of the actual transmitted signal AM envelope.
Although we have not tested this yet, the SMA connector on this device would also allow for actual
power measurements directly on the coaxial port of an RFID reader, on condition this would be done in
combination with an additional RF attenuator. In this way, actual reader output power could be
measured, assuming a one-time calibration would be done in the lab first for this instrument. This
method could be a good alternative for taking an expensive power meter out on the road (like a Bird 43
and the like) .
To summarize:
We have found the RFMax power mapper to be an excellent and convenient tool when doing RFID
reader installations; it fulfills all promises. This instrument should be a standard part of any RFID
installer's tool box.
Overall Satisfaction
Review by Mike / (Posted on 9/4/2015)