MN RFID System

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The System

The RFID system was build in-house by Maker Nexus volunteers. We are proud of what we have created. If you'd like to know more about the system - or even join the development team - let us know. The project is open source, get it on GitHub.

Our system uses cards and other RFID tags that are MIFARE Classic 1K Card, 13.56MHz, 1K Bytes Memory, ISO14443A, Read/Write protect by password. Such as these.

What is the RFID system for?

You will find RFID badge stations in several locations around the shop. The RFID badge system serves several purposes:

  1. Who is in the shop?
  2. Do they have sign-off to use certain equipment?
  3. What equipment is being used over time?
  4. Help build community

Front Desk

It is important to know who is in the shop at any time. If there were an emergency situation, the RFID check-in system will help us account for everyone. When you enter the facility, tap your badge to the station at the front desk. It will read your card, check your membership status, then beep twice and display "welcome". Any other outcome should be discussed with the Manager on Duty. When you leave the facility, tap your badge again and the system will beep three times and display "goodbye".

Shop Area Sign-offs

Other badge stations are associated with sub areas of the shop. You may find a badge station at the 3D printers, textile area, laser cutters, etc. If you use equipment in one of these areas, please tap your badge on the reader. There is no need to badge-out of these areas.

If there is a sign-off required to use the equipment (such as for the laser cutters) the system will check that you have the required sign-off. For areas that don't have a sign-off (such as the electronics bench) the system will just log member usage.

Shop Area Usage

This logging is important for us. Not all equipment usage is in the reservation system. By tapping in to an area you let us know that the area is being used. This helps us prioritize investment.

Community Building

When you have checked-in to the facility your photo and name are shown on the monitor at the front desk. This lets other members know who is in the facility and helps them remember your name. We have found that this makes for a much friendlier and congenial atmosphere. It makes it easier for members to approach each other and get to know them.

About the Data

Sensitive member data is kept in our commercial cloud service, EZ Facility. This company maintains standards of data governance that protect sensitive data. Only Maker Nexus personnel have access to EZ Facility and they are required to have unique log on credentials using strong passwords.

Less sensitive data on machine usage is stored in a Maker Nexus controlled database. It is used for activity reporting and analysis. While this database has lower security barriers on it, the only sensitive information it stores is names. Access to this database is only provided to the Maker Nexus IT staff.