I'm doing a home automation arduino / RFID project and using a 12v DC switch mode power supply to power it. This supply will be plugged in to a wall outlet. The project however will have some components inside the wall in a plastic project box. It's an electronic dog door that goes from the inside to outside of the house through a wall. I live in an area with 'critters' that I don't want coming in the house.
When I power the project with battery everything works great and I get really good read distances from the rfid tags. 13 - 18cm depending on the antenna I use.
When I power it from the DC wall supply it barely reads at all. I practically have to rub the tag against the antenna and sometimes that doesn't even get a reading. I don't have a scope to see what's really happening in my power, but it seems pretty obvious that the switch mode type supply is noisy enough to mess up the 125khz rfid signals.
When I connect my circuit's GND to the 3rd prong ground on the wall socket my read ranges go back up almost as good as with the battery. Maybe 1 - 2cm less.
I have a 2-fold question:
Q1: My house was built in the USA in 2015 and has 3 prog wires everywhere. That should mean that all my ground wires are true ground, correct? They shouldn't be connected to the AC neutral wire? Are these are connected to earth?
Q2: My project will be installed in a wall in my house and there is a nearby outlet. Can I / is it safe to run a ground wire from that outlet to the project box (inside the wall) to ground my project circuit? OR is there another better way to properly ground the project.
[Update 2 - What I did] I don't feel that my question about safe grounding was answered. Everyone tried to solve a problem in my circuit, which I had already solved by grounding. I couldn't make power cables shorter but I did twist them as suggested. I added a grounding wire and attached it to some sheet metal that goes around the outside of the house. My read range is acceptable.
[Update 1] As requested here is a photo of the project on breadboards:
Vcc and Gnd from the power adaptor go to the black breadboard and are distributed to the Arduino Nano and the reader module. The black jumper wire on the left is the one I connect to wall ground to improve read distance. The orange/blue jumpers are RX/TX to the reader. The grey jumper cables go to 2 antenna tuning capacitors in the back. This is per the rfid reader board's manufacturers instructions. Green/Blue go to the antenna. There is also a PIR motion sensor in the back but it isn't affecting this issue as removing it makes no difference.
Also to clarify something. I can completely remove the arduino and only connect power to the rfid reader board. Isolate that one component. By attaching an LED there I can see when it reads a tag. Same results are happening even when that board is used alone: battery power = good read ranges, dc supply = bad ranges or no reads at all, dc supply with gnd connected to house ground = good read ranges.