The Plug&Go Reader™

The Plug&Go Reader™: Long range, multiple lane, easy install RFID reader

How does the Plug&Go Reader™ work?

It self adjusts continually based on local wireless conditions. So while a previous generation RFID reader had to be delicately tuned for its site and adjusted to changing site conditions, the Plug&Go Reader™ handles it all for you.

What are the components of the reader? 

Each Plug&Go Reader™ comes with an antenna, and a reader inside an outdoor weather enclosure. We sell antenna cables separately instead of pre-packaging them with the reader, because dealers need different cable lengths.

What’s the read range?

Up to 40 feet. The Plug&Go Reader™ is well suited to long range reading of passive RFID tags, and can easily read multiple lanes of incoming traffic.

However, as a security best practice, we advise that you angle the reader so it can only “see” one vehicle at a time. This prevents unauthorized vehicles from gaining access because the car behind them has a valid tag.


RFID reader positioning best practice: Angle the reader so that only one vehicle is in range.

ABOVE: The reader is angled in such a way to only detect the first vehicle in front of the barrier arm. If it was positioned to read the whole lane, the blue vehicle’s valid credential might permit the invalid red vehicle to enter.

System Compatibility


Can the Plug&Go Reader™ read my existing RFID tags?

In many cases, yes. The reader natively understands 26-bit Wiegand protocol RFID devices: the universal language of access control.

While this protocol is a huge standard, some RFID dealers opt to encrypt their tags with proprietary formats to force you to keep buying their readers. So if you intend for our reader to replace a different reader model, we always recommend that you send us a sample tag that we can test for compatibility.

Can the Plug&Go Reader™ read existing 3M/Sirit 4100 tags? 

Yes, see above: the Plug&Go Reader™ was designed to read open standard 26-bit Wiegand tags. It was designed to be compatible with the latest generation of Sirit credentials, provided that there isn’t any strange proprietary encoding from your distributor.

It’s a bummer that production on the 3M 4100 reader, once the gold standard of RFID readers, has been discontinued. You can’t buy a new one when those devices fail … and service is costly and can take weeks. Or you can replace them with the trusty Plug&Go Reader™ which works with your existing system effortlessly. Don’t leave the gate open for weeks while you get your reader serviced; plug in a Plug&Go Reader™!

What access control software can I use?

Whichever you’d like. The best software is the one you know how to use. As long as your software handles keycards, keyfobs, or any other 26-bit Wiegand RFID credentials, setting it up to read HeadlightStickers™ will be simple. Contact care@headlightsticker.com if you’re not sure whether HeadlightSticker™ will work with your system.

Confirmed compatibility includes AMAG, Door King, HID, Kantech, Keyscan, Keri, Liftmaster, Lenel, Linear, S2 Security, and Software House. Using something else? Ask us about your software and we’ll double check for you.

About Vehicular RFID


Why are HeadlightStickers™ ineffective upon removal? What if someone peels it off?

“Ineffective upon removal” is a powerful security feature. Read here for more.

Access sharing is the most common preventable method of unauthorized access. Of course some end users will miss being able to transfer their access credential between multiple vehicles. But they will also appreciate the peace of mind in knowing that a bad guy can’t steal the tag from their headlight to gain access to their home or workplace.

We recommend always keeping a few extra stickers on hand for quick resolution in case a user needs it for a new vehicle, or if a sticker is stolen.

The Plug&Go Reader™: Long range, multiple lane, easy install RFID reader

The sticker is designed to break upon removal, thereby rendering it ineffective. Don’t worry – it’s easy to remove the leftover sticker.


What about windshield transponders? Keycards?

We have windshield RFID tags and keycards available as well.

Fair warning. Generally speaking, windshield tags are a little more error prone than HeadlightStickers™. That’s because the glass presents a barrier for the signal. In most cases this forces installers to mount the readers above the vehicle lane to be parallel with the sticker. HeadlightSticker™ system allows you to mount the reader much closer to the ground… not so much “in the driver’s face.”

Also consider that many vehicles with metallized windshields interfere with the signal transmission no matter how you position the reader.

Keycards work in a similar manner, but beware: they can be shared with people you don’t know about. If that’s alright, usually keycards have a pretty reliable 20 foot success range with our Plug&Go Reader™ but this can be improved or diminished by factors such as angle of the card, or how the card is held.

Q. What about vehicles with a high amount of radio frequency interference?

A. Some vehicles have features that create a lot of wireless interference, especially driverless cars. The Plug&Go Reader™ is better equipped to successfully read tags on such vehicles, due to its ability to adjust its sensitivity settings on the spot. But we do have some larger in-grill transponders available if your customers have concerns.


Purpose Built for Vehicular RFID


Q. In a market saturated with low-end RFID tags, how is your price point justified?

A. HeadlightStickers™ are purpose-built, high end products with very high success rates and great durability. The ultra-light design eliminates issues like light blocking or heat absorption, while the powerful adhesive and durable polymer extend the expected lifespan by years.

Low price point RFID tags work for one-use, short term inventory tracking. Think meat, clothes in a department store, or shipping palettes. They are not designed for mounting on a vehicle, not designed to withstand the kind of weather or conditions a vehicle endures, and certainly not designed for long term use.

On a vehicle, non-purpose-built tags will cast a noticeable shadow in front of the headlight. They will quickly overheat (damaging the read rate) from proximity to the light bulb or from sitting in the sun too long.  The adhesive may fail or they may simply stop working after a car wash or heavy rain.

Don’t be fooled by the allure of low-end, low-cost tags. When tags start failing all at the same time, you have to schedule hundreds of meetings with each driver to replace their new sticker. The labor cost of that alone negates any ‘savings.’ Meanwhile, you must either leave the gate open, or deal with the wrath of a hundred angry users who can’t get through the gate. Penny-wise, pound foolish.

No one wants to deal with the headache of knock-off tags that have high failure rates. Not you, not us, not your customer, and ESPECIALLY not the resident trying to get home for dinner. The smart choice is the one built to last. The smart choice is HeadlightSticker.™