Magnetic cards. Questions

We are considering getting a card stripe reader/writer and giving swipe cards to staff members and having a managers card that can be used for discounts and voids. However, I’m a little confused on how this process work. So I basically get a card readed/writer, blank magnetic cards then I write a code to the cards, which I’m guessing will be their login pin for samba? So at the login screen they can swipe a card and it logs them in. And a manager can log in that way too. And if a void or discount is done a managers code is needed but instead the manager can lend his card to the server. That way he doesn’t have to give out His pin, and He doesn’t have to stop what He is doing to come do an approval. We trust our staff but we also do not want them to have access to voids or discounts without prior approval. So please explain to me how I can program a magnetic stripe reader system for our staff to use with logins and manager approvals.

MSR and RFID etc all work the same way, they emulate a keyboard which types the code in very fast.

I used to use MSR but switched to RFID as readers are cheap and the fobs are harder wearing than MSR cards.

Either way you are correct that the code will be there user pin.

What I did on my setup was set the buttons for void etc as confirm admin pin for confirmation.
This will show a pin pad when pressed requiring a user with a user role which has ‘can confirm admin pin’ ticket.

This means that unlike mapping the void button to manager only it is still visible to all but need admin/manager auth to use meaning they don’t have to logout and log back in.

A tip on MSR readers is to make sure the reader has or at least has the option for ‘carrage return’ (like pressing enter) on end of input. Without this it will just enter the pin and you’ll have to press enter onscreen.
I had some problems with some cheap readers not having a utility to enable return as a suffix.

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Okay sounds good to me. Im pretty sure I understand the basic concept. But I need a good program that will write the codes to the cards, MSR seems to be a little cheaper, looks like we can get set up for about $25 with Amazon as long as we don’t have to buy or pay a lot for a program that’s going to write the codes to each card and then read the code and enter it into samba when we swipe. Any ideas?

Reading is irreverent as they work like a keyboard and are usually plug and play.

Any respectable MSR writer will come with the tool to write to cards.
However £25 for a MSR writer seems a little too cheap. My MSR reader/writer cost about £100
Plain readers is more likely to be £15-20.

When I said about RFID you can get basic USB readers for around £5-6 on ebay and buy precoded RFID fobs in bags of 100 for around £20

I know kind of like a dvd drive I need to be sure it’s both a reader and writer, which the amazon listing says it is… I’m just not sure if it comes with any kind of tool, I guess I could get some prewritten cards and then change everyone’s login code but it would be nice not to lose the current codes we have in case we need to enter the code manually no one will need to remember a new code. So I’d like to avoid that if possible. So I guess I should find out if the seller includes a tool to write codes to these cards.

25 does seem low to me but yer.
Additionally you would only need one writer, others can just be readers.
Failing that Find someone with a writer :wink: if you were UK based I’d offer.

Well you get what you pay for. Im sure the $100 setup will be better quality but we don’t need anything fancy.

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@polosrestaurant basic rfid will not support a 4 diget pin, the basic ones only use a 10 diget serial/id number of the fob.
Am MSR or Barcode should be able to support 4 digets.
MSR reader wise I have had issues with cheap readers which dont come with utility when it comes to the ‘return’ at the end.
Most barcode readers have a simple set of barcodes to enable/disable the return function which is usually on by default.

Trying to avoid MSR if possible. The more I think about it a scanner of some type seems better than swiping. So any ideas on a good barcode reader? Since the RFID won’t work unless in change their pins to a 10 digit code (which I don’t want to do) what’s a good barcode reader and supported cards to use? I’m trying not to spend more than 40 bucks if possible, been looking on ebay and amazon

When I looked a scanners the question was a ‘desktop’ one rather than the handheld ones on a stand but they are usually more expensive.

As for ‘cards’ you can use anything with a barcode on.
The chemist in town just print their own small cards and laminates.
Another place just bought blank id cards and stuck a label to it.
These are both perishable but very easily replaced.

Hello, I will just show you the setup I went with, which suffices for me.

I bought a card made for each employee here:
On the card it had the employee name, and a barcode with the numerical equivlant underneath hidden, this was simply a 6 digit pin which the employee chose. this totalled around $15 for 20 cards plus postage.

I bought this for the scanner, then just plugged the usb into the terminal computer and left the scanner next to the terminal. When the employee wants to sign in they just get there card out and scan it. works perfectly!


Hi JTRTech out of curiosity i have set up admin pin for void, but as we use RFid to login for all users when i put RFid tag on scanner to verify pin to void item it doesn’t appear on pin pad for admin verification it appears in order count numberpad on actual ticket and the pin pad is just blank - image is here to explain

Any help would be grateful as i am sure this used to work when i had last time using 5.1.49 but not tried it till now on 5.1.62

Thanks in advance

Interesting, I dont have any production machines on .62 yet so not tried RFID on it, it works fine on .60 which is what they are running, kinda glad ive not upgraded yet as that would be a royal PITA.
Will need to test and see.
If it has changed im sure emre with sort…

It sounds like focus of cursor has not switched to the popup as the rfid is just an emulated keyboard.
Another way to check would be typing pin in on keybord.

Typing works but as the pins are lengthy ones RFid works a lot quicker and no one can see you typing it in but i do think it’s what you said regarding cursor not switching properly… Thanks like you said i am sure Emre will sort it when he finds out.

So if you type numbers they go in the popup?
If so that very odd as RFID reader is usually just a keynote emulator and would enter wherever a keyboard would…

Reckon it pretty significant if that behaviour has changed, do you have access to the Beta 5.62 thread? Maybe you should your link there…

Only happens on RFid used Barcode Scanner and works fine but not on RFid Strange that it picks up one but not the other!

Open up Notepad and scan each type to see if there is any difference with the output?

Hi Paul thats the first thing i tried and both are the same - inputs number then a return, strange i can’t seem to get my head around why it wont work on admin pin pad it works everywhere else for RFid :confused: lol

The code I wrote to read keystrokes probably captures it as RFID driver probably sends it to window instead of the focused element. For next update I added some additional code to check if main window has the keyboard focus. I can’t reproduce it as I can’t test that. I hope that solves the problem.