how easy it is to build a simple nfc tag reader ?
I manage an orienteering club and we are looking at using nfc tags either for overall timing and/or for control points. Runners don't usually carry phones so we are thinking to use nfc tags for each person and then build active nfc tag reading devices for the control points. That way we can also provide timing to each user after the event as well.
We have a few hobby electronics people in the club and I wondered how difficult it would be to make these active tag readers ?
The electronics part is quite easy. I have built one myself with an arduino (uno), shield (sparkfun). For your application you would also need perhaps an SD card breakout board as well to store the data.
The difficult part is probably the programming code but there's a lot of sample code on the internet and you can copy the parts you need. I would say that you don't want to write anything to the tags as it would be too slow. you just want to read the UID from the chips as that's very fast.