Determining the RFID Program Position with Relative Mode

Article ID: 74277168

Issue / Question

Determining the RFID program position with Relative Mode when running tags that do not meet Zebra's placement specifications.

Applicable To

R110Xi4, RZ400, and RZ600

Resolution / Answer

NOTE Zebra provides placement specifications for various RFID tags. For more information, refer to RFID Tag Placement Guidelines .

When attempting to run tags that do not meet Zebra's placement specifications, use the ^RS ZPL command.

The ZPL command ^RS is used to set the Program Position using Relative Mode:

   p = read/write position of the transponder

Setting read/write program position using Relative Mode (leading edge method):
Sets the read/write position relative to the leading edge of the label. Specified in millimeters (mm) and allowing for distances before and after the label’s leading edge.

Values xx are represented in mm relative to the leading edge of the label:

  • Fxxx: Move media forward, printing bitmap, for xxx mm before reading or encoding.
  • Bxx: Move media backward for xx mm before reading or encoding.

Accepted Values:

  • Forward: F0 to Fxxx (where xxx is the label length in mm, or 999, whichever is less)
  • Backward: B0 to B30 (in mm, 30 mm maximum)

Refer to ZPL RFID Commands: ^RS (Page 389) for more details.

In the following example, the tags used are Raflatac M3 Short Dipole tags with a placement of X = 32 (the tag is placed 32 mm from the leading edge of the labels).

Zebra placement specification for the tag is: 
x = 20 mm
Read Power = 15
Write Power = 15
To determine the proper Program Position: 32 - 20 = 12.  
The program position should be F12, and read and write power to 15.  The ZPL would look as follows:


When used in a ZPL format, the command appears as follows:

^FO10,250^A0N,65^FDSimple write^FS
^FO350,250^A0N,65^FDSimple write^FS


NOTE If program position turns out to be a negative number, i.e. -5, then instead of using the F parameter for Forward, the B parameter for Backward can be used. For example:

Helpful Information

Sending ZPL commands to a printer
Programming guide: ZPL RFID Commands

+ Product Codes

  • R110Xi4 RFID Printer
  • RZ400
  • RZ600