October Newsletter 2023

Posted: 29 January 2024

Which EID reader to buy?

There are five models now in the Agrident range.  Agrident is TGM’s preferred reader due to the higher level of functionality available for ‘on reader software development’ compared to many other readers.  The internal rechargeable lithium batteries in all models provide sufficient backup power for many hours of work.
The five models are APR250, APR450, APR600, AWR250 and AWR300. The APR450 and APR600 are identical apart from WIFI connectivity which the APR600 has and the APR450 does not. Take WIFI connectivity with a pinch of salt!  They do not connect to in house WIFI enabled printers and they cannot connect to a router to browse the internet. In fact there are very few equipment items which WIFI is useful for.  Scales are Bluetooth, phones are Bluetooth, laptops and computers usually have Bluetooth, so WIFI is not much of an additional asset. Having said that, some grant schemes may specifically have the APR600 listed as eligible and not the APR450, so if claiming grant aid, check that the reader chosen is eligible. The APR450 is a little bit lower in price compared to the APR600.
APR450 APR600 and AWR300 all have internal memory capable of allowing a user to lookup and browse animal details on the reader screen.  If using software such as Select Sheepware provided by TGM, or the free AgriDataTransfer also provided by TGM, this is very useful for those users doing full management recording and want to look up animals data in the yard.
If using the reader linked to one of the various phone apps, then lookup of animal data will be done on the phone, not on the reader and either the APR250 or AWR250 will be sufficient. If you want to future proof your purchase so that it will work with a phone app, but perhaps in the future you may want to move to software which allows you to browse data directly on the reader, then go for APR450, APR600 or AWR300.
All three3 APR readers are pocket readers.  Of these, the APR450 and APR600 have numeric keypads which are very useful if you don’t have, and don’t intend to get a Bluetooth weigh scale. the APR450 and APR600 are supplied by TGM with an additional quick connector on the rear to enable an extension stick to be clipped on – this leaves these two readers as very versatile.  When the extension stick is off, they can be carried in a pocket. When the extension stick is attached, they become a proper one-handed stick reader which can be very useful when reading tags on animals which are being loaded or unloaded to/from a vehicle.
Of the five reader models, the AWR300 stick has the longest battery life and the highest read range.  This read runs on a 7 V battery rather than 3.5V and this gives a constant read capacity of over 12 hours non-stop – thousands of tags.  This makes these readers very suitable for markets and slaughter houses.  The higher battery voltage also gives these readers exceptional read range. It is quite common for users to attach an AWR300 to the outside of a weigh crate and the read range is sufficient to enable the user to put the reader into automatic save mode for weights. The reader reads a tag, retrieves the weight from the attached Bluetooth scale, automatically saves it and remains in reading mode ready for the next animal, without the user having to press any buttons.
All five Agrident readers are compatible with both Android devices and iPhones. If you have an Android or iPhone app, provided the app developer caters for both operating systems the reader will work on both mobile systems. Not all phone apps will work on both phone operating systems, so always check with the app provided as to which phones they work with and whether or not they can link to EID readers.
So before you purchase an EID reader, think about what you want to use it for. Do you want a pocket reader or a stick? Do you want a reader which can be both pocket and stick? Are you going to use it always linked to a phone, or do you expect to want to record directly on the reader and look up animal data without being simultaneously linked to a phone at all times.
Please contact us if you need help in deciding what is reader will work best for you. TGM keeps all five readers in stock, ready for immediate dispatch.

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