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The open-source active RFID system developed by Touraj Ghaffari. This was his life work and we hope it helps you achieve your dreams.


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This repository has been created in honor of our father, Touraj Ghaffari. He founded ActiveWave, Inc. in 2001. It was his life work and something he loved and enjoyed thoroughly. He also loved spreading knowledge. In honor of that principle, we, his three sons, have open-sourced everything associated with his active RFID system under the Apache 2.0 license. We hope this release helps you acheive your dreams.

What is this?

ActiveWave designed and built active RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) products that work together to provide a new approach to tracking and security. The system includes the following features:

  • Extended Read Range. A single RFID reader can cover up to 30,000 square feet of floor space.

  • Multi-Tag Capability. Our tags employ anti-collision logic to assure each tag's information is read, even when multiple tags are attempting to transmit concurrently.

  • Compact Low-Cost Design. Our exclusive design brings you the advantages of RFID technology, combined with long battery life and low cost.

  • Simplified Installation. Our wireless device attachment capability simplifies the installation and interconnection of ActiveWave system components.

The presentations and website provide a great deal more detail - especially the product datasheets.

What is the project's current state?

This project is currently fully functional in its current state. The minimum system requirements are as follows:

  1. One Standard Reader to both program the tags and read them.

  2. At least one tag (the sealTag and compactTag were the most popular).

  3. Software options:

  4. Use the API to develop your own software; or,

  5. Use the Programming Station to program tags and the Smart Tracker to actually keep track of and monitor the tags.

The Demo Kit included a few extra items: It included a Standard Field Generator to demonstrate how to create zones within the range of the Reader as well as a motion detector to show how third-party devices can be integrated into the system as a whole through the use of the API.

How can I get involved?


  1. Determine how you will configure your system. Remember the minimum system requirements listed above. As long as you have one Reader, one Tag, and either your own software using the API or the ActiveWave software suite (Programming Station and Smart Tracker), your system will work.

  2. Use the BOM files to figure out which parts you need.

  3. Manufacture the parts using the Protel files. All the PCBs were designed using Protel (now known as Altium).

  4. Share whatever improvements you make!

Skillsets required


  • Programming with either C++ or C#

  • Designing PCBs


  • Antenna design

  • Radio frequency communication

  • Soldering

Assistance required

  • We are looking for help to remove some of the old files. We included a few previous versions of each device in order to provide people with some history. We would like to remove all those older files and create a single-source-of-truth folder for each device.

  • We are looking for help to improve documentation. In particular, we would like help to create a guide to stand-up a demo system based on the minimum requirements, a guide to manufacutre each device, and a guide to troubleshoot each device.

  • We would like people's thoughts on whether the current structure is best or if it would be preferrable to have each device seperated out like the sealTag.

  • We would like people's thoughts on the best way to display the BOMs. Should we convert them to markdown? Use a Google Sheet? Something else?


  1. API - Included are APIs for C++ .NET, C# .NET, C# .NET CE, and VB .NET. There is a manual for a Java-based API which we haven't yet found. There is also documentation - both for internal use and customers.

  2. BOM files - These are all the Bill Of Materials we could find. This should provide the different parts as well as costs associated with each based on the time they were made.

  3. Documentation - These are documents, converted to Markdown, that were important enough for inclusion, but without a natural location that we could determine.

  4. Presentations - These are the marketing materials that were sent to potential customers for a few different types of applications.

  5. Protel files - These are all the schematics and other related files that are required to actually manufacture the hardware.

  6. sealTag - One of the most versatile and popular tags of all, this was important enough to reside in its own section.

  7. Software - This includes all the different applications required to actually run the system.

Fun Touraj Fact

Touraj's favorite animal was the tiger - in particular, the Caspian tiger. Just like this project has arisen from extinction, the Caspian tiger should hopefully make a triumphant return as well!

Thank You