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does anyone know the answer to the above - I am struggling to find out the information. I know that a type 5 tag can be read from 1.5 metres away in ideal conditions, but what can I expect from a phone, in situations where the tag is powered (active) and situations where the tag is active. I know a lot of it will depend on various factors, but looking for a ballpark figure at this stage.

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Range is very variable and dependent on tag and device antenna sizes and reader design and ICs used. NTAG 5 Boost versions claim up to 600mm range (see below).

Typically 30 to 100mm ranges are achieved, depending mostly (it seems) or tag and reader antenna design. Best case 600 mm range is claimed - see below.

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The following table and graph is provided by ST.
ST25T&ST25DV-I2C read range evaluation with the ST25R3911B antenna reference design.

With a 15 x 15 tag antenna range is 55 mm to 95 mm as reader antenna varies from 30 x 30mm to 100 x 80mm . AT the other extreme, with a 80 x 50 tag antenna (rather large) range varies from 100mm to 200mm with the same reader antennae as above.

enter image description here

From here

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Practical design. RF430FRL15xH NFC and ISO/IEC 15693 Sensor Transponder Practical Antenna Design
TI Application Report SLOA217–April 2015. 24 pages

The Texas Instruments RF430FRL15xH ISO/IEC 15693 NFC Sensor Transponder is an NFC Tag Type 5 device operating at 13.56 MHz (HF band). Depending on the application communication distance requirements, the antenna geometry can be adjusted. The device gives the flexibility to be used in combination with various antenna geometries. The scope of this document is a short practical guidance on antenna design basics

Results - from page 11 of the above document.
Note - in cm.

enter image description here

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Claimed longer range - NTAG 5 Boost NTAG® 5 boost: NFC Forum Compliant I 2C Bridge for Tiny Devices

OM2NTx5332: NTAG® 5 development kits
Buy on that page or eg from Digikey

NXP Semiconductors NTAG® 5 Family: NTAG 5 boost I²C Bridge for Tiny Devices NXP's I²C bridge for tiny devices is NFC forum compliant and offers active load modulation to enable very small antennas here

47 page introductory document from NXP February 2020 NTAG 5 PRODUCT INTRODUCTION NFC FORUM TYPE 5 TAGS: NTAG 5 PRODUCT FAMILY PRESENTATION

600 mm -

Page 8, 18 : NFC Forum Type 5 Tag compliant ISO/IEC 15693 compliant, up to 60 cm read range

Page 34 - range compariosns.
"Allows the user to build a compact antenna with a smaller footprint without compromising the read range."

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To (probably) add confusion, here are some other sources:

2016 " ... Many are tagged with the popular ISO 15693 tags, which allow for a longer read range. This is useful for scanning library books or checking passes on the ski lift where a 5 to 10cm read range keeps things moving smoothly. Now, NFC phones can read them too. ..."
From here

ST TAG offerings here

NXP offerings here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, thank you very much for such a comprehensive answer, there is a lot to digest there and I shall begin now. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dazza
    Sep 2, 2020 at 13:50

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