Quick and dirty magnetic card reader


[nevdull] found himself in possession of a magnetic card reader. What else was he to do but show us all how to read from it using an AVR? He goes through the basics of how the card reader works, as well as how to detect the different card states such as entering, reading, leaving. There is source code to download to try for yourself, but unless you have the same reader, you’ll have to do some modifications. While this doesn’t get you all the way to reading the complete content off of the card, its a great start. Maybe you guys can help him finish up the last bits.

13 thoughts on “Quick and dirty magnetic card reader

  1. Does anybody know of a DIY card writer? Someone told me that it could be done with an old fashioned tape recording head……

  2. Reading track 2 should be just more of the same of what he’s doing. He needs to add /strobe2 as an interrupt source and sample /data2 when it asserts.

  3. @lazymegaman,
    I try to sneak puns in whenever I can get away with it. go back and look, I even went nuts once on the ceiling fan POV, I don’t recall if anyone noticed.

  4. Interfacing to older heads is a bit of a PITA, but Magtek has some newer ones that do USB, serial, or bit serial modes and buffer the data so you don’t have to do much timing sensitive stuff. really not that big of a deal these days.

  5. Does anyone have a pic card reader schematic whitch stores data to external eeprom or can someone help me with schematic and source code?

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