This unit was bought from eBay to experiment with Magnetic Stripe cards, for little money. This unit is capable of reading & writing all 3 tracks, & both Hi-Co & Lo-Co card types.
Interfaced to a PC through USB, this has a built in PL2303 USB-Serial IC & requires 3A at 9v DC to operate.
The 3 Indicator LEDs on the top of the unit can be toggled by the included software for Power/OK/Fault condition signalling.
Bottom of the unit with the model labels.
Closeup of the model label & serial number.
Here the bottom cover has been removed, showing the main PCB. The pair of large ICs bottom center interface with the magnetic heads. The IC above them has had the markings sanded off.
Closeup of the Prolific PL-2303 USB-Serial converter IC.
Here the connections to the R/W heads are visible, current limiting resistors at the left for the write head, a pair of signal relays, a pair of optoisolators & a LM7805 linear voltage regulator.
Here is the trio of indicator LEDs on a small sub-board.
The PCB has been removed from the main frame here, the only component visible is the rotary encoder.
The rotary encoder has a rubber wheel fitted, which reads the speed of the card as it is being swiped for writing. This allows the control logic to write the data to the stripe at the correct rate for the speed of the card. This allows the unit to write cards from 5-50 inches per second speed.
The Write head is directly behind the rubber pressure roller.
Here you can see the R/W head assembly. The write head is on the right, read on the left. When a card is written to, it immediately gets read by the second head for verification.
The drivers for this unit are also available here: Magcard Writer Drivers