In the last 4 years I have gotten to work with all sorts of cool hardware and a lot of those devices really only came with documentation on how to work with them. As a result I had to build an interface that would get them to work. I have decided to start open sourcing these interfaces one at a time.
To that end today I am starting out with the interface drivers for 3 different serial magnetic card readers. All 3 of them are made by Shenzhen World Bridge Electronics Co., Ltd http://www.wbe.com.cn
We have used two of these readers the 98xx and currently the 5000 reader. These are magnetic card readers designed for use in kiosks & ATM machines. The 5000 series is really pretty cool and is fully motorized and even has a tamper guard. The 98xx series is the non-motorized version simplified version of the 5000 series.
The third device the 1370 series partial insertion card reader we install in slot machines as part of our player tracking system. When I have time I will be releasing a more updated and feature complete version of this driver that we use in our android application that runs embedded in the slots. That driver is written in java and leverages the android serialport api for serial communication for an android device with an accessible UART.
So if this is useful to you feel free to head over to github and grab the code and do with it as you please. If you are considering using these devices but have questions about it (the manufacturer a rather random blend of helpful/clueless about their products at least the English speaking people at the company) I have been working with them for almost 4 years now.
Below are pictures of the devices: