In order to get raw parsed data out of a magstripe reader, we first experiemented with a MAGTEK Centurion Keyboard Encoder (PN-21073062). We found that although we could get all 3 tracks of data, it was not possible to have it parsed out. We then purchased a raw magstripe decoder head with track 1 reading, the Omron V3A-6. By writing some parity checking code, we were able to read the raw data off of the magstripe, and parse it into output that would be 'typed out' as an emulated keyboard using a USB-enabled Teensy. An Arduino can also be used, and the data would be output as Serial which may also be useful.
Count Zero's article on magstripe reading/writing reprinted in the sci.electronics FAQ.
A utility that reads the data from magstripe cards and tells you what's on them.
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