February 7, 2012
We’re going to need a way to control access to our makerspace. Many other makerspaces and hackerspaces use RFID key cards or fobs to unlock their doors. I’ve done a little checking and it looks like we can buy a complete system for as little as $100. It’s also possible to build one (see this and this). That’s what our friends at Interlock did using an Arduino microcontroller.
We need a volunteer to figure what’s the best product to buy - OR - build us one.
I’ve got an Arduino or Raspberry Pi you can use if you want to build one. It’s up to you but I think the RasPi might be the way to go because it has more processing power, an Ethernet port, 1080p HDMI video output, USB and GPIO ports. Like the Arduino, it also runs on very little power so it could run for hours on a backup battery if we have a power failure.
The Ethernet port would allow us to program card numbers remotely. A web cam, door bell, or security system could also be hooked up to it. And we could use it to display messages, reminders or other useful information on a computer monitor.
Keep in mind before volunteering that we may need something very soon. And you may be the first to build an RFID lock with a Raspberry PI if you go that route. So you may have to figure it all out on your own, including writing your own software.
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