WD20 connect to USB magnetic card reader

Startbeitrag von Bruce Lee am 25.01.2016 20:09

Hello Everyone,

I am working on a magnetic card reader (by USB). It has usb-to-serial converter.

But when I insert it to my computer, the device manager in Windows system only showed it as HID(human interface device)-compliant device, it doesn't show the port number.

The card reader also comes with a programmer manual and DLL. From the programmer manual, it seems that we can send escape code to card reader to write/read card.

However, if I don't have port number, how can I send code to the card reader? (sopen() needs port number. iEscape() looks like doesn't work in this case).

any advice/experience would be highly appreciated!




I would first try another computer to see if a virtual serial port does show up there.
I've seen cheap usb-serial converters which don't work on all computers, like my laptop for instance!

von Arie - am 25.01.2016 20:19
Hi Arie,

Sorry about the confusion. The usb-serial converter is software driver, no a cable.

This card reader comes with a software, when I plugged in, and run the software, the software works well. It can do read/write to card. (Even the device manager treats it as HID-compliant device.)

I also tried other computers, it does the same thing.

Also, I am thinking, is there anyway to treat it as a printer? So we can use iEscape() to send command.
Thank you.


von Bruce Lee - am 25.01.2016 21:30
Hi, Bruce.

The following may or may not be of help in solving your problem but it refers to
trying to control a GPS device designed for serial ports through USB.

You seem to have installed the driver successfully so this is what the article suggests:
1. Open the Device Manager
2. In the displayed list of devices look for "Ports (COM and LPT)"
3. Below that you should see an entry for the virtual COM port created by the USB driver
something like this: Prolific USB to Serial Comm Port (COM4).
I guess "Prolific" is the brand of the device using COM port # 4.

Hope this helps.

- Mike H.

von Mike H - am 26.01.2016 06:57
Hi, Mike,

Thank you for your reply.

I did what you said, the device manager didn't find my device.

BTW, could you send the link of "control of a GPS device designed for serial ports through USB"? Maybe I can get some useful information from there.

Thank you.


von Bruce Lee - am 26.01.2016 21:27
Hi Bruce

Sorry my post didn't help your problem. Interfacing serial devices through USB has been
of interest to me but not urgently.

Anyway, here's the link to the information I posted:
(That's right - there is no "r" at the end)

Here's another link that describes how the interface works

Hope you get some ideas that I might have missed.

- Mike H.

von Mike H - am 27.01.2016 02:05
Hi Bruce

What model card reader do you have.


von iso - am 27.01.2016 10:03
Thank you!


von Bruce Lee - am 27.01.2016 14:44
Hi iso,

I am using MSR605 and MSR606.
Thank you.


von Bruce Lee - am 27.01.2016 14:47
I use Magtek sureswipe readers in HID mode and prefer HID over keyboard wedge as you don't have to manage control focus prior to card swipe. Magtek publishes an ActiveX control to trap events in HID mode from their readers. Pretty easy to setup. Not sure about the MSRs if they have an ActiveX or like facility to trap swipe events. If you can, I would recommend HID over keyboard wedge..

von Davie - am 27.01.2016 20:12
Hi Mr Black,

Thank you for your reply.

Could you tell me what model of Magtek you were using?
Can it write to swipe card?

I don't see the documentation of MSR mention about ActiveX.


von Bruce Lee - am 28.01.2016 23:27
Right.. Didn't realize you also wanted to write card data..

Here is a link to the readers we use: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16849104006&cm_re=magtek-_-49-104-006-_-Product

For writing, we use Zebra Q3 series card printer with encoder because we also need to print on the card name and ID numbers along with branding graphics.. These things aren't cheap but they work well in the field and are a synch to get working in WD.

von Davie - am 29.01.2016 13:53
Hi Mr Black,

How does Zebra Q3 series work? Does it work like normal printer? Do we send escape code command to it and let it write/print card?

Thank you very much. Your information is very helpful!


von Bruce Lee - am 29.01.2016 14:43
It works like a normal printer. In the driver, you have the option of using default escape sequences or custom to write track data. We create a report in WD with a static control that has the track data escaped by the same sequences as specified in driver. The static control can be overlaid right on top of the report and the Zebra will omit it as it sees it as track data. Pretty easy... No custom DLL stuff or Zebra SDK needed, unless you need to get the responses back from the printer on success or failure etc, then you would need the SDK.

von Davie - am 29.01.2016 14:54
Thank you!

I will do some more research about it.
Thank you for your help.


von Bruce Lee - am 29.01.2016 15:28
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