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I'm doing a high school assignment for a project and I wanted to measure how many people are on a bus at a given time by scanning a bus card onto the reader, which hopefully there would be something that could measure how many times the reader is used. Is there some sort of sensor that could do this? Or is there some sort of technology that could count this sort of thing?

(I do not know anything about electrical engineering so sorry if this question was dumb!! And also I didn't know what tags to put!!)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ why can't you get the info from the program that runs the scanner? \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wasn't really sure where to get information on this as the scanner is for Oyster cards and I couldn't really find anything technical from the TfL. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jenny
    Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 22:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you want it to recognize the card so that duplicate scans are rejected and positive scans and negative scans indicated while counting. A smart phone app that can recognize the ID on the card would be easiest , but still needs to be modified. Consider : 1) detection accuracy: 2) detection feedback, count start and stop inputs,manual correction. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 23:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ The best way would be to somehow modify the scanner so it can produce a count for you. Otherwise does the scanner make some kind of noise when it scans a bus card? Could you somehow detect the noise it makes? \$\endgroup\$
    – user57037
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 1:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ As for using the sound from the reader, this is also a good idea. The scanner makes 2 sounds (one for a successful scan and one for an unsuccessful scan). Would it be possible to use an audio sensor that can detect the frequency of the successful scan's sound and log how many of these successful scans are made rather than using the tags of the Oysters themselves? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jenny
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 14:08

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What you are looking for is called an RFID tag and reader. You can get the components at Sparkfun, and they have a tutorial:

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/simultaneous-rfid-tag-reader-hookup-guide/all

This one is simpler: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15209

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the reply! By any chance, would you know anything about contactless payments on the bus systems and how this is read by a reader? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jenny
    Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 22:45

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