I do computer support in our public library. Lately I've run into some issues with the RFID readers we use for our check out and staff stations. I'm trying to troubleshoot the problems we're having, and possible find another source for our antennas.
We use a Smartstation 200 Shielded Workstation from Bibliotheca. I can't seem to find a product page on their own website, but here's an outside vendor.
These come as two parts; the RFID reader that connects via USB, and an external antenna. The reader that ships with this set is a FEIG ISC.MR102-USB. I'm not sure who makes the antenna.
I currently have two different complete setups (reader & antenna) that are malfunctioning. We're having trouble getting help from the company we got them from, so I'm trying to troubleshoot myself. I took the faulty setups and started mixing and matching with ones that were working. I found that the two readers I had worked fine with antennas known to be good, but when I swapped in the two spare antennas I had in to our existing checkout stations they didn't work. So it seems like the antennas were the problem.
They'll each work properly for maybe 30 seconds, then the status LED starts flashing. According to the manual I tracked down this means "Temperature alarm, short circuit on antenna output". I'm not sure where to go from here.
I've gone over the wire that leads from the reader to the antenna and I don't see any visible damage on it. The only thing that looks a little sketchy is the circuit board inside. You can unscrew the metal plate on the base and lift it off, along with a plastic spacer, then you have direct access to it.
Here's one of the ones that's having problems:
Here's a newer one that's had virtually zero use:
Obviously some of the solder connections have a sort of build up around them. I don't know if that could cause any issues. Both of the older ones look similar. Aside from that, I'm lost.
Any other brilliant thoughts about anything I could check, or test?