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  1. Short answer: 2 inches or 5.5 cm Full answer: It depends on the antenna size, the antenna tuning, the tag type, and the tag orientation. With the low-cost system optimized, I can get reads at 4 inches with a 12mm ampule tag. Antenna size: Optimal size is probably around 10cm--I'm talking about a round loop antenna here. I've not really tested an array of antennas so I don't know what size is best. Antenna tuning: The relationship between the antenna inductance and the tuning capacitor is important. But generally being off by a hundred nanohenries does not matter much Tag type: In general bigger tag antennas give you a much bigger read range. I've not experimented with many tag types, so I cannot provide much insight into how well different tags work. Tag orientation: seems to matter quite a bit with the PIT tag style tags. Read range is greatests when the long axis of the tag points directly into the antenna loop. So if you are mounting tags on animals, it is best to position the tag and antenna in a strategic way.
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