SparkFun M7E Hecto RFID Reader – A Simultaneous RFID Reader with USB-C Interface

SparkFun M7E Hecto RFID Reader – A Simultaneous RFID Reader with USB-C Interface


The SparkFun M7E Hecto RFID Reader is a high-performance RFID reader for reading UHF RFID tags. The Tag is built around a powerful M7E-HECTO module by JADAK and can read up to 300 tags per second and write at 80 milliseconds.

The module’s power is also adjustable, so it offers a 1-2 foot range with the onboard antenna, there’s also an option for a solderable external antenna through which the reader can read tags from 16 feet or 4.9 meters away. The reader gets connected with the PC or any other SBCs with a USB-C port and can communicate via a built-in CH340C converter for easy, solder-free setup.

The reader also offers flexibility in power options. You can choose between USB-C or a 0.1in.-header for connecting to an external 3.3V source or microcontroller of your choice. A convenient switch on the board lets you effortlessly switch between these interfaces.

SparkFun M7E Hecto RFID Reader Specifications

  • Main ChipM7E-HECTO module by JADAK
  • Read Rate: Up to 300 tags/sec to read 96-bit EPC format
  • Write Rate: 80ms for standard write of 96-bit EPC format
  • Connectivity and Interface:
    • Serial interfaces:
      • USB-C connector
      • 0.1″-spaced PTH header (3.3V logic)
    • 2-way switch for serial interface selection
    • Enable and GPIO PTH pins
  • Antenna Options:
    • Integrated PCB trace antenna (default)
    • u.FL connector for external antenna connection
  • Performance:
    • Adjustable read and write power levels: 0dBm to 27dBm in 0.01 dB steps
    • Read capability: Up to 300 tags/sec for 96-bit EPC
    • Write speed: Typical 80ms for standard 96-bit EPC
  • Power Specifications:
    • Supply voltage: 3.3V-5V
    • Maximum supply current: 1A
    • Power mode consumption (@5V):
      • Full: 0.665W
      • Minsave: 0.140W
      • Sleep: 0.080W
    • The internal current limiting circuit
  • Environmental:
    • Operating temperature range: -40°C to 60°C
    • Built-in thermal management
  • Standards and Protocols:
    • EPCglobal Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C) compliant
    • Nominal backscatter rate: 250kbps
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.4 inch
External Antenna Connected to M7E Hecto Reader

The M7E Hecto has a lot of software support, including Jadak’s Universal Reader Assistant for Windows users and SparkFun’s Arduino library for seamless integration with microcontrollers. This Arduino library simplifies serial communication, byte manipulations, and CRC verifications, making it easy for users to get started.

The M7E Hecto is fully open-source, meaning all the hardware schematics, production files, and documentation are available on GitHub. This open-source nature encourages customization and community collaboration, making the M7E Hecto a versatile tool for a wide range of RFID projects. The module can be purchased from the SparkFuns website for $299.95.

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About Debashis Das

Tech Content Creator | Hardware Design Engineer | IoT Enthusiast | Digital Storyteller | Video Creator | From crafting digital dialogues at Semicon Media to orchestrating online engagement at, my journey is about making tech talk interesting and accessible. In the quiet corners of the day, I advocate for easier tech education, one tutorial at a time. Let's connect and keep the digital dialogue going!

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