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Q: Transmitting data via terminal ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Transmitting data via terminal
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: mhugo-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 04 Jun 2002 12:05 PDT
Expires: 11 Jun 2002 12:05 PDT
Question ID: 20720
I would like to transmit data via a magnetic strip card to a master
server via a basic inexpensive wireline terminal. I would like the
following data to be transmitted to the server:

-Imbedded card number
-Random numerical code to be assigned at purchase

What kind of terminals are capable of transmitting this information &
what are their prices? What company could manufacture the magnetic
swipe cards?

Request for Question Clarification by morris-ga on 04 Jun 2002 12:28 PDT
Could you tell us a little more about the application? There are many
inexpensive magnetic card readers for RS232 (serial terminal) or even
USB connection to a PC, some for under $100. The random numerical code
would not be generated by the swiper but by the server side software.
Are yo actually looking for a complete POS (Point Of Sale) solution?
Many of the readers can also be used as writers, and the companies
selling these also sell cards in bulk. If this is the information you
are looking for, let me know I'll pull it together.  

Clarification of Question by mhugo-ga on 04 Jun 2002 16:17 PDT
I am not looking for a PC connected solution- but a stand alone
terminal. Basically the supplier would swipe the magnetic card, then
enter in a numerical item code on the terminal corresponding to the
purchase. Both the card number and the item code would then be
transmitted to a central server.
What kind of terminals are capable of transmitting this information & 
what are their prices? What company could manufacture the magnetic 
swipe cards?  
Subject: Re: Transmitting data via terminal
Answered By: mosquitohawk-ga on 05 Jun 2002 06:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I believe I understand what it is your looking for. I think what you
want is a magnetic card reader/writer terminal that is capable of
transmitting encoded data to a central server. If this is not correct,
my answer will be off but if you ask for a clarification or followup
to my answer, I'll redo.

I have found a company called All Things Point of Sale
( that has a very extensive selection of
the items you would need to accomplish your task. I will list them

Unitech MSR206 Magnetic Stripe Encoder- 
"The MSR206 Series is designed to offer a card reading/writing
solution for ISO 7811-6 formats." The MSR206 comes equipped with
Magnetic Stripe Reader/Writer, RS-232 (interface), Tracks 1, 2, and 3,
Cable included. It's retail price is $1250 but is on sale with this
company for $864.67, a savings of over $380. The url for this item is
and the specification url for this item is (Note this is an
Adobe .pdf file)

This company also offers card printer/encoder solutions, however, they
are much more expensive but offer the opportunity to design your own
magnetic cards from blank stock. (If you are interested in these
items, go to the above website and in their search field, enter the
word 'encoder'. You will be presented with a list of available

Now I'll move on to your second inquiry as to where you could purchase
bulk magstripe card stock. One company who seems to have very
reasonable prices is CardLogix ( They have
numerous types of plastic card resources, from completely blank card
stock, to blank card stock with magnetic stripe, etc. From your
question, you are obviously already wanting your cards to be fitted
with the magnetic stripe. They sell these in packages of 100. The more
packages you buy, the cheaper the price per package. Their prices
range from $7.50 per package to $37.20 per package, again, depending
on how many packages you buy and what quality of card you're looking
for. The url for their page where they offer these products is

They also offer full, custom-printing of your cards if you like, as
well as flush mount and roll on assembly availability, their cards are
offered in Track 1, 2, 3 and 5. Their cards are CR-80 size in 20 and
30 mil. They use high quality PVC and have finish options of mirror,
matte or combination. They also offer the following colors: silver,
gold, blue, red and green. Other choices also include: punching,
dye-sublimation printing and double blanked cards. They claim years of
experience and full quality control on each card.

I hope this successfully answers your questions, if you need to post a
followup or something isn't exactly clear, let me know.

Thanks and good luck, 


My search strategy included the following terms: terminal point of
sale magnetic card encoder


My second search strategy included the following terms: magnetic
stripe card stock


Request for Answer Clarification by mhugo-ga on 05 Jun 2002 06:59 PDT
The magnetic swipe card will only transmit the card data. As I
described, I would also like to transmit an item code entered at
purchase. I was looking for a solution to my problem- either
recommending a single terminal or a magnetic swipe reader and other
needed appliances - as well as total prices for these solutions.

Clarification of Answer by mosquitohawk-ga on 05 Jun 2002 09:02 PDT
Oh, okay, I understand. I thought you wanted to enter the specific
item number onto the card itself at the time of purchase.

Okay, the major manufacturer of POS systems is NCR, so I contacted
their technical support and spoke to James H. According to James, the
NCR-7452 model ( is
going to be the product you need, at the least cost. I presented him
with your situation, wanting to send with the card reader data, a
self-assigned numeric code to identify the purchase or customer or
whatever you want. He explained that the ability to do this, is a
software issue and not a matter of hardware, so the system you
purchase must be equipped with the software allowing you to do this.
The NCR-7452 is equipped with Scanmaster software which allows you to
manipulate each sale individually as you've requested.

You can contact NCR directly to receive a referral to a retailer in
your area who will contact you for a demonstration and to teach you to
use the system should you purchase it. Their number is 1-800-CALL-NCR

You can also purchase a system online from a new and used retailer
called Xerxes Computer Corporation ( This company
sells new and used POS systems and specifically mentions on their
website the NCR-7452 on their front page. Their phone number is
1-888-777-0531. They do not list a price, but ask the inquirer to call
about a current pricing for used or new. I was unable to contact their
seller, he was out of the office and I reached his voice mail.

These systems are apparently custom, so most places have been
reluctant to give out any prices, but I have forced a few sales people
to give me best estimates on 'average' systems.

Other places I have found are:

Navitech ( who says their average
price for this model is around $3-4000. (1-800-794-9747)

Register5 (
Systech (
National Information Systems (

I hope this clarifies my answer, I know you were probably looking for
something simpler, but when only using a terminal and card reader, you
probably wouldn't be able to accomplish what you want according to the
information I've received. Good luck!

mhugo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Fantastic answer. Thank you.

Subject: Re: Transmitting data via terminal
From: mrdougman-ga on 01 Oct 2002 12:59 PDT
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to transmit data from a
terminal with a card swipe, then I would suggest a verifone Tranz-330
or Zon-Jr XL. This equipment can be found from $50 - $200 dollars
(refurbished), and more importantly, it does not require any expensive
developers kit, etc. to develop the terminal applications.

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