Description: This is a simple three track magnetic card reader with serial output. This reader connects to your computer with a DB9 for serial and a PS/2 for power and outputs a 9600bps 8N1 ASCII serial stream. Plug the reader into a serial port (or USB to serial converter), swipe your frequent shopper card, and you’ll see the account number plain and unencrypted on the screen. We couldn’t find a card the reader couldn’t read. No drivers needed. No software needed. Just pure, wonderful serial.
Based on 2 ratings:
Nothing bad to say about the product, it’s working flawlessly !
I think it might be nice to explain that when using a serial to USB converter, there is no power, so you also need to plug the PS/2 connector (or use a PS/2 to USB adapter most probably). I know it’s not directly related to the product but the video made me think the Serial to USB adapter was the only thing needed ;)
I didn’t think the product page gave enough information about how to hook this thing up. I wanted to simply use it to read data off magnetic cards directly into my Arduino. I had to make multiple extra orders to make this connection happen:
DB9 null modem male-to-male converter (http://www.amazon.com/CablesOnline-Slimline-Transfer-Adapter-AD-N05M-2/dp/B00HGJ7JMU)
Serial adapter (https://www.pololu.com/product/126)
In the end, I only needed a 5 V, GND, and RX connection to the Arduino. It just seemed like all the extra hardware was overkill to get the connection job done.