Setting Up Your Impinj XArray Gateway Reader
This article will walk through the process of setting up the Impinj XArray gateway reader to read tags with the ItemTest software.
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Setting Up the XArray
First, follow the mounting instructions provided with the XArray and in the Installation Guide above. Power the reader by either PoE or an approved Impinj power supply. Once the reader receives power, the LEDs on the front of the reader will light up.
To connect to the reader, setup a PC on a network and connect the reader to the same network via an ethernet cable. On the PC, open the reader's Web UI by using a web browser to navigate to the reader's hostname, which is "http://xarray-xx-xx-xx", where "xx-xx-xx" is the last 6 characters of the reader's MAC address. These characters should be visible on a label that is adhered to the side of the reader (example below). If the reader is connected directly to the PC via an ethernet cable, add ".local" to the end of the hostname.
To access the Web UI, enter the username "root" and the password "impinj". The Web UI allows the user to see information about the reader, and also allows the user to upgrade the reader's firmware if necessary. Accessing the Web UI is a good way to ensure that all network connections to the reader are functional and that the PC is able to communicate with the reader.
Now that the network connection is established and verified, open the ItemTest software to configure the reader. In ItemTest, select "Reader Settings" at the top of the menu and select the "New" button to add a new reader. in the "Input hostname" textbox, enter the reader's hostname (without "http://") and press OK. If you are connected to the reader directly from a PC, be sure to leave ".local" on the end of the hostname. Once ItemTest resolves the hostname, the reader should be added to the list on the Reader Settings menu. Once this is done, select "OK".
ItemTest Configure Menu
In the Reader Settings menu, selecting the "Configure" button will bring up the Configure menu for the selected reader. The Configure menu is divided into tabs for each of the XArray's primary functionalities: Inventory Mode, Location Mode, and Direction Mode. This is the menu that the user will need to access in order to change read settings for each read mode.
Inventory mode is used to simply read tags and report the tag data being read. This mode includes data such as RSSI, read rate, and the antenna that read each tag, as well as more data that can be included by selecting them in the "Application Settings" menu. To operate in Inventory Mode, simply select the Inventory tab and select the "Start" button to begin the inventory operation. To save the data being reported into a CSV file, simply type the name of the file in the "Log file" text box and ItemTest will save the data in the application's install directory.
This mode's Configuration menu allows for customization of basic RFID inventory settings, such as the Search Mode, Session, and transmit power of the reader.
One very useful setting is the ability to select the specific read zone desired by choosing a combination of different antennas to use. This setting allows the user to specify new read zone layouts, like a narrow band or a full circle.
ItemTest's Location Mode is a feature that is exclusive to the XArray reader. In this mode, ItemTest shows the approximate physical location of tags in relation to the XArray from a top-down vantage.
In order to use this mode, some quick configuration is needed. The user will need to enter the Height value under Placement Configuration in order for the XArray to correctly calculate the location of the tag. Other settings, such as the Location Configuration parameters, can be edited in order to achieve the desired tag response and location accuracy for each read. For example, the lower the Update Interval is set, the faster the software will update the tag's position. However, this sacrifices some of the tag's location accuracy, so all parameters should be considered when changing any one of them.
As the name implies, Direction Mode is used to track the directional movement of a tag. This feature is very useful for applications such as dock doors, where it is very important to know whether a tag is entering a facility or leaving it.
The Configuration Menu allows the user to select what sectors to use as the entrance and exit read zones for a gateway. As a tag moves from one sector to another, the directional movement of that tag can be recorded.