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Re: [Shop-talk] Toughest EE question ever asked here.

Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Toughest EE question ever asked here.
From: Randall <>
Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 20:08:51 +0000
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---- Matt Wehland <> wrote: 
> I've always said that the sensors should be a little below hip level so 
> you can just wave your butt at them, with the card in your wallet.

I know one reason that might not be a good idea.  A previous employer had them 
at butt level and used them to track when we were in the building (and what 
building).  I always kept my card in my hip pocket (although I pulled it out 
for use).  A large percentage of the time, the incoming reader would trigger on 
the card in my jeans as I walked out through the turnstile.  Then when the next 
person came in, the system would log that I had come back in, rather than the 
other person.

The system didn't allow more than one to go in or out on the same card, so when 
that person then tried to leave, the system wouldn't let them!  Lots of 
confusion, which I found thoroughly amusing.  I quickly learned to lean over 
the turnstile, wave my card at the reader on the other side, then turn it in 
(so the system thought I just came in), so then it would let me out.  The 
guards looked at me funny, but had no procedure that said I couldn't do that, 
so they never objected.

Of course, the problem would have been a lot more serious if there hadn't been 
a guard to override the system (or no way to lean over and trigger the other 

Just for grins, I tried my current card with it held tightly to my cell phone.  
Still works solidly with the phone on the outside of the card, and even 
sometimes with the phone between the reader and card!

And they aren't just proximity detectors, because some doors around here won't 
open for me. (I'm not authorized to be on the roof, for example.)  So far, the 
only failures I've seen have been pretty obvious, like when one of the readers 
filled with rain water or several months after the card delaminated (from the 
constant flexing when I sit on it).


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