Have you ever sat there looking at your credit card or driver's license and wondered what on earth could be stored on that tiny magnetic strip? Now you can find out for yourself by building your own magnetic strip card reader at home for less than $30 and it will connect to your personal computers' game port. This article will show you how to build a game port driven magnetic stripe card reader.
Retrieve the data sheet from the manufacturer of the magstripe unit you are using and keep it handy.
Turn your magstripe reader over and remove the screws with your screwdriver and then turn it back over and remove the top of the unit.
Look over the data sheet for your magstripe reader and locate the pins for Ground (GND), 5V, DATA and CLK.
Warm up your soldering iron and while doing so, split the wires from the cat 5 cable.
Solder the ends of the cat 5 cable to the GND, 5V, DATA and CLK pins on the magstripe reader.
Warm up your glue gun and insert a stick of glue. When warm enough and the solder has had time to cure on the the wires, place a blob of blue over them to keep them from moving.
Grab your DB-15 Male Connector and solder the other end of the cat 5 cable to the DATA, GND, 5V and CLK pins.
Drop some hot glue on to the solder points of the cat 5 you just soldered to the DB-15 male connector.
Use electrical tape to pull the wires together in to one manageable bundle.
Install software to your computer in order to translate the data from the magnetic strip.
Plug the DB-15 male connector in to your computers' gaming port.