Anyway here's my real question. Is it possible to take the maghead from a vhs player or old tape player and use that one to read the data stored on a magnetic stripe, back on a card?
I have some here at home which only have to pins and I don't know which is vcc and gnd.
Highly unlikely with the head from a VCR (you do know that a VCR head spins, right?) - and unlikely with the cassette tape head (but you'd have a better shot).
Basically, IIRC, there are more tracks on a magstripe, and they are spaced closer together than the 4 tracks on a cassette head; at best, you would probably get crosstalk from multiple tracks - but it might be worth experimenting with.
I would first do some more research on this topic, though; I'm sure if you care to brave the mess of various hacker forums you'll find a ton of information on card magstripe reading (and writing). Its not as easy as you think...Finally (depending on where you are located), it might be better to look into obtaining a complete mag swipe unit (that has the head and slot at minimum; if you can get the amplifier circuitry, even better); I've seen such units on the surplus electronics markets every now and then (All Electronics used to carry them; not sure if they still do - also Electronic Goldmine). I've also found Verisign units being sold on occasion at local Goodwill stores; hit 'em up on 50 percent off day, and you can get a real bargain (hey, you'll also get a dot-matrix multi-character VFD in the mix to boot).
Basically read write heads are just a coil on a fancy former. As such there is no polarity. In fact most have an AC voltage applied to them in order to record magnetic information.
Vhs is also helical scan, so usless for linear tracks
Look athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VhsI think you are confused by simple electronics. It dosn't matter which wire is connected to ground, if indeed any wire needs connecting to grain. It is AC, alternating current that feeds the head. That means the voltage polarity across the head is constantly and rapidly changing. This creates a magnetic field which in turn magnetises the tape.A head can't read both clock and data, it only reads back a voltage proportional to the magnetic field. That data could contain a clock embedded in it or not depending on the encoding scheam but it only reads one signal. The electronics in the head can seprate these out and present them as two signals.To use the word hacker in relationship with computer security is a very wrong and old fashion thing to do. A hacker is someone who repurposes equipment, not someone who fakes IDs.
If you still think vcr and linear tape heads are the same, you really need to do some more research
Thank you, but how does it work when the head writes to the magnetstrip?
I have read that it writes when the head gets powered.
But without power it can't read. So power when reading and power while writing, how does that work?
To use the word hacker in relationship with computer security is a very wrong and old fashion thing to do. A hacker is someone who repurposes equipment, not someone who fakes IDs.