CS203 RFID Integrated Reader and Antenna





Product Rating:

The CS203 is an EPCglobal UHF Class 1 Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C integrated UHF reader and antenna from Convergence Systems Limited. Recently upgraded, this unit is IP68 rated for indoor or outdoor applications and has a Mil Standard 810 rating for shock and vibration. Designed with versatility in mind the CS203 reader can be used in a variety of environment including warehouse, parking lot gate, livestock farm, or any location where asset visibility is essential. It also has the lowest price point we've seen for a durable UHF reader on the market.

Click here to watch our video product review of the CSL CS203 Integrated RFID Reader / Anteanna CSL CS203 Integrated RFID Reader / Anteanna

This Starter Kit is offered exclusively through The RFID Network and includes:

  • One (1) CS203 Integrated RFID reader/antenna
  • One (1) Ethernet to Power Over Ethernet (PoE) injector box
  • Two (2) Ethernet cables: IP68 Rated PoE to RJ-45, IP68 Rated PoE to spliced wire (build your own cable)
  • One (1) 12 Volt DC power supply (Optional if using PoE)
  • Samples applications, Documentation, SDK, and source code available via download here.
  • Additional support via ticketing system and forum

We put the CS203 through a variety of tests. The first such test involved 25 different takes utilizing a van moving at various speeds with a series of tags in the windshield. The van passed under a CS203 reader mounted 5.2 meters above the ground. The reader read all 5 tags without fail.

The next series of tests involved two different CS203 units and a variety of passive – RFID labels, metal mount, and battery-assisted – tags. Overall, the results were good with the reader showing a very respectable read range, especially given the unit’s low price point.

Our Rating:
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  • ISO 180000-6C Compliant
  • IP68 rated for dust and water
  • 810 Mil Standard rating for shock and vibration
  • Connects via Power over Ethernet (POE)
  • Available with either a left or right hand circular polarized antenna
  • Read Zone Control

CS203 RFID Integrated Reader/Antenna Benchmark Testing

Our team performed benchmark testing using a variety of commercially available tags affixed to cardboard and metal.

Passive RFID Tags Tested with the CS203 RFID Integrated Reader/Antenna

Small Medium Large
On Body:

On Windshield:

On Metal:
On Cardboard:

RFID Read Performance Miscellaneous

Using the CS6820-2 CSL on a person and the CS6710 CSL on our van’s windshield as it drove by the reader at various speeds our team found the CS203 does have a fairly comparable read distance to other fixed readers.

Average Read Distance Miscellaneous
CS6820-2 CSL ID Card on Body CS6710 CSL Windshield
11FT 39FT
All Numeric Measurements in Feet

RFID Read Performance on Cardboard

For our RFID tag performance benchmarks on cardboard, we used several recently released tags which we have not tested before. We utilized the UPM Raflatac DogBone, AD-826 and the PowerID PowerG tags. As you can see below the PowerID PowerG achieved and amazing 56ft of read distance with the CS203.

Average Read Distance On Cardboard
UPM Raflatac DogBone
AD-826 PowerID PowerG
44FT 21FT 56FT
All Numeric Measurements in Feet

RFID Read Performance on Metal

Using our best performing tags as a baseline, the Omni-ID Prox™, Omni-ID Max™, the Omni-ID Max Pro™ and the latest PowerID PowerM, our team found the CS203 could achieve read distances of up to 62ft.

Average Read Distance On Metal
Omni-ID Prox™ (US) Omni-ID Max™ (US) Omni-ID Max Pro™ (US) PowerID PowerM
9FT 16FT 23FT 62FT
All Numeric Measurements in Feet

CS203 RFID Integrated Reader and Antenna Tag Read Performance

Physical Characteristics

Height: 30 cm; Width: 30 cm; Thickness: 7.5 cm; Weight = 2 Kg


ISO18000-6C, EPC UHF Class 1 Gen 2, Dense Reader Mode available

Frequency Range

One of the following: 865-868 MHz, 902-928 MHz, 952-954 MHz, 919-928 MHz, 910-914 MHz.


Circular Polarization Antenna, choice of LHCP or RHCP.

External Control

2 x GPO and 2 x GPI.


  • Operating Temp: -20°C to 60°C (-4°F to 131°F)
  • Storage Temp: -40°C to 85°C (-40°F to 185°F)
  • Humidity: 98% Non-condensing
  • Dust & Water: IP68, works in outdoor environment
  • Shock: MIL-STD-810F Method 516.5 Procedure V, 75g, 6ms, 2 shocks per axis
  • Vibration: MIL-STD-810F Method 514.5 Category 24
  • Mechanical Impact Resistance: Free falling ball impacting test at 1 meter in height with weight of ball at 500 grams loads


  • Ethernet, with POE
  • Other Connectivity: Compatible with Ethernet-to-USB bridge, Ethernet-to-WiFi bridge and Ethernet- to-GSM/CDMA bridge

Power Supply

12 Volt DC supply, or use POE.

Transmit Power

1W (30dBm) Conducted.

Regulatory Certification

The CS203 has obtained the regulatory certifications from the FCC (USA and most South American nations), Industry Canada, CE (Europe), and Telec (Japan).

Other Features

  • Ruggedized (Mil Std 810) integrated reader with long read range.
  • Dense Reader Mode (DRM) available.
  • Global frequency coverage.
  • Ethernet connectivity, with POE (Power-over-Ethernet).
  • Unique offering: choice of Left Hand Circular Polarization or Right Hand Circular Polarization for dock door implementation.
  • Best of breed antenna performance: excellent axial ratio to give best read zone control.

Final Impressions

We found the CS203 to have strong performance compared to similar integrated readers. Its compact form factor – containing both the reader and antenna and ease of installation, make it an ideal solution in tight spaces. The IP68 rating for indoor or outdoor use combined with a Mil Standard 810 rating for shock and vibration make it an ideal choice for harsh environments. Finally, given the low price point, the CS203 is an RFID reader to be considered no matter what your requirements.

Regulatory Certification

Order Code: CS203ETHER-NXHCP N=1: 865-868 MHz (CE for Europe, India), N=2: 902-928 MHz (FCC for USA, FCC ID: UB4CS203ETHERC1G2), N=3: 952-954 MHz (Telec for Japan), N=4: 919-928 MHz (NCC for Taiwan, ACMA for Australia, also for Malaysia, Hong Kong), N=7: 920-925 MHz (SRRC for China) X=L: LHCP; X=R: RHCP


Telephone and email support is provided with a 24 hour response time.


The CS203 has a street price of around $700.00, making it one of the Lowest Cost RFID integrated readers on the market. To purchase click here.

Download the product datasheet or manuals, firmware, or SDK.

Convergence Systems LimitedIf you’re not familiar for Convergence Systems Limited, CSL is a global company that designs and manufactures a complete line of high performance RFID products that solve a variety of customer needs in a fast and affordable manner. CSL has won numerous awards including the Gold Award for the Most Innovative EPC RFID product from GS1 as well as the prestigious Hi-tech award in China.

Manufacturer Information: ( Convergence Systems Limited )