RFID Door Unlocker

A Change of Pace

by Cory on February 15, 2019 10:38 PM

Ok, it's time for a small detour! I'm getting burnt out trying to make a game engine. I might be sinking too much effort into it for this to be worth it. I think it's time to refresh myself with a bunch of different side projects before banging my head against a wall over and over again.

I have until October until my lease runs out and I decided that I should start screwing around with microcontrollers again. The first useful, small project I can think of is to make an automatic door unlocker activated through RFID. How I imagine this should work is that I get an RFID reader, hook it up to a microcontroller and a solenoid and some rigging. I tape this contraption to my door on the inside of my apartment. The rigging goes around my deadbolt knob, like a pair of calipers. When the microcontroller detects an RFID card, it will activate the solenoid and turn the deadbolt lock into the unlocked state. After this point, I can just open the door by pushing or pulling it, assuming that I leave the actual knob always unlocked and only rely on the deadbolt to keep the door shut. After I go through the door, I let it close and then walk away and the microcontroller will pull in the solenoid and set the deadbolt after not detecting my RFID tag for a couple of seconds.

Basically the problem I want to solve right now is that digging the keys out of my pocket and putting it in the door is a pain in the ass, especially if I am carrying groceries or something. I could try and add a motor to open the door automatically, but I'll save that for the next revision if I get that far.

I don't know anything about RFID and I haven't really touched any of those trendy hobby microcontrollers before so I'm kind of nervous. (Apparently, I bought an arduino years ago when I was thinking about building radios and I forgot about it until I accidentally dug it out of a box when I was cleaning my room.) But there's plenty here to learn.

This Thought is part of RFID Door Unlocker

You know how nice cars like Mercedes or Tesla automatically unlock when you get close to them with the key fob? Let's do that but for my apartment front door.

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