Arduino Card Reading system


I've googled this topic but i couldn't find anything. I want to know if it is possible to hook up a magnetic card reader to an arduino uno. The specific one is an ID Tech model IDMB-334112B. I want it so that I can swipe a card, ie my credit card and it will be able to match my information on my card into a database or variable. If it finds a match, it unlocks a door, turns on an led etc. Otherwise, it does nothing. Thanks in advance.

I want to know if it is possible to hook up a magnetic card reader to an arduino uno.


A mag card reader can output data in various formats. There are three tracks of data on a mag card and they can all be read with the correct hardware / software.
Basically there is a clock and data signal.

But how... I was sure it was possible, all of the tutorials on google i found were using some non-usb reader. Do I need an external board to connect my usb reader to my arduino?

But how.

Well the data sheet says it has the following interfaces:-

Keyboard (PS/2), RS-232, RS-232 Port Powered, USB keyboard, USB HID, USB CDC

So the simplest way would seem to be to connect the RS-232 output to a RS232 to TTL converter chip like the MAX202 or similar and connect it to the serial in ( RX ) of the arduino and read it with the normal serial commands.
Or if you want to use the serial port for debug then use either software serial or a Mega with four serial ports.

But my model only has the USB/HID

Yes just seen that in the data sheet. That makes it much more difficult to interface to. Basically your arduino has to look like a USB host.
So basically you need a USB host shield.
There are plenty this is but one:-

So there is no other possible way to do this without buying extra parts?

Assuming you do not use an Arduino Due.

You can do it with a Due but then you will probably have to program it yourself, which at a guess from the question you are not up to doing.