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control characters on track 3 in magnetic stripe cards

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by S.S., Mar 2, 2006.

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  1. S.S.

    S.S. Guest

    Values 0xA, 0xC, 0xE (aka ":" "<" ">")are noted as "Control characters"
    in ABA/ISO 7811 spec for track three data. What does this actually
    mean? Does anyone have any examples of how they are used? I understand
    how stop, start and separator are used on a magstripe card but not
    control characters.

    I would like to use the values 0xA, C, and E, as well as 0xD (separator
    value - "=") as meaningful digits in a proprietary encoding scheme (in
    order to cram more application usable data on the track). Are there any
    possible drawbacks to this? For instance, it's not a good idea to use
    0xF (stop sentinel - "?") in such a manner as I've seen encoders which
    (correctly so) would interpret this as the end of your data and not
    encode any digits sent after that. Likewise the start sentinel; so my
    scheme will have the start and stop sentinels in the right place.
    However, it seems harmless to scatter these other 4 characters
    throughout my stripe in ways that are meaningful to my application. But
    before I commit to that, I would like to make sure there are no
    problems with using these values in such a manner. Examples of problems
    would be that certain encoders wouldn't play well with this usage, or
    certain card encoding software packages would not play well with this
    usage.

    Thanks!

    Dave
     
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