125kHz RFID reader comparison - HZ-1050 vs RDM6300

I needed a cheap EM4100 125kHz RFID reader and came across the RDM6300 and the HZ-1050. As I couldn't find a face to face comparison of those 2 readers, I bought one of each and did the comparison myself. So here we go...

Here is a top view of both readers as received, HZ-1050 on the left and RDM6300 on the right: D5100_01242.jpg

Price 4.99 USD4.62 USD
Datasheet ?Datasheet
Packaging quality Poor (ESD protective bag)OK (ESD protection + hard foam to protect headers and antenna + cardboard box)
RFID tag included YesNo
Antenna size 53x34x5mm45x35x3mm
PCB size 62x29mm38x18mm
PCB mounting holes YesNo
Ready to use No (headers have to be soldered)Yes
Pinout printed on PCB YesNo
Power led Yes: red, on top of PCBYes, green, on bottom of PCB
Detection led Yes: red,on top of PCBOptional (header only)
Nominal voltage5V5V
Minimum operating voltage4.2V4.1V
Standby current (@5V) 43mA49mA
Current while reading (@5V) 46mA47mA
Read range5.5cm (@5V)
4.5cm (@4.2V)
5cm (@5V)
5cm (@4.1V)
Delay between reads800ms (during which the led stays on)60ms (the led is on during 1ms at the end of the message)
Wiegand standardYes: W26 or W34, jumper configurableNo. Datasheet says W26 is available, but it seems it is for an alternate model, maybe the RDM630
TTL RS232 standardYes: 9600,N,8,1 or 19200,N,8,1, jumper configurableYes: 9600,N,8,1
RS232 formatBinary:
4 data bytes (card number, blue area)
Ascii message:
STX (0x02)
2 ascii chars (version id, yellow area)
8 ascii chars (card number, blue area)
2 ascii chars (CRC)
ETX (0x03)

To illustrate the output difference, here is what you get with the same RFID tag with both readers:

HZ-1050 RS232, displayed as hex: HZ_1050_scan.png

RDM-6300 RS232, displayed as ascii (the blue trace is the led pin, blank squares are STX and ETX): RDM-6300_scan.png

As you can see, it's the same tag number, but it has to be interpreted completely differently

Hope it helps