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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 07-17-2009, 05:24 AM   #1
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usb device detection, manual insertion card(smart card) reader problem,

Hello there,

i have sort of a strange question, i'm supposed to write a program to communicate with a card reader in linux (i'm using ubuntu 9.04), now my problem is i don't even know if the damn thing is working, i connect it to a 3 - pin power supply on the motherboard and plug in the usb connector, i got both cables with the reader. Also no lights light up on the reader but then again, it says no where in the manual i got, that they are supposed to do so.

Now my question is even if linux doesn't have the drivers for a device connected to it does it recognize that some device is connected via usb(like unknown device detected or something) (assuming the device works fine ofcourse - since that is what i want to find out)?

i tryed lsusb before connecting the device and after but the output was the same so that didn't really help me out.

Thank you for any answers on this matter.
Old 07-17-2009, 05:40 AM   #2
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Please provide more details on this device? Is this for

Open up a console, and run "sudo tail -f /var/log/messages". Then plug in your usb cable.
Post the messages that are printed out.

Do you have opensc installed. The package may install the opensc wiki somewhere in /usr/share/doc/.
Old 07-17-2009, 05:45 AM   #3
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No expert here, but if programs like lusb or lshw and such don't show it, then that's a good sign that it's broken. Something should be detected if the device is working, even if it's unsupported.

Try looking at the output of dmesg when you plug it in. Does it show anything? 'udevadm monitor' can also show you in real time what hardware is detected, and what devices are created for them. Try plugging it in with a card already inserted too.

Your description makes it sound like an internal reader of some kind. If it uses the motherboard's internal jacks, make sure you have the pins matched up properly. Have you tried the device out on any other machines? Can you get your hands on any other readers (internal or external) to test on your machine?

Last edited by David the H.; 07-17-2009 at 05:47 AM.
Old 07-17-2009, 08:17 AM   #4
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thanks a lot guys,

now first for some more info on the device, when i got it, i just got the reader and 2 cables (the power supply one and the usb one), no box and no manual, there is no manufacturer written down anywhere on the device, only a few numbers which i tryed to google unsuccesfuly when i got it :/

so after that we called back to the people that sent us the device and we got a short manual for the:

from CREATOR (
(the readers from this series apperently read IC and/or magnetic cards)

in the manual it is mentioned that the reader supports either rs232 interface or ttl interface (depending on how you set the DIP switch)
(there is no serial port on the device thou, there is however a FTDI chip "FT245RL" which is used in usb to serial port converters as far as i know)
so according to the manual i set the switch up for rs232 (since i'm assuming there is an inbuild usb-to-serial converter).

I tryed:

sudo tail -f /var/log/messages, and then plugged in the device but there was no additional output

also tryed lshw before pluging in it and after that, nothing changed as far as i could discern

also tryed udevadm monitor , pluged the device in and out, but it didn't give me any output

tryed all of the above with and whitout card inserted

i'm using a 3-pin 12V connector on a MINI-ITX DFI GSC-100-N3 motherboard, for the power supply, and used a voltmeter to check for voltage and it was there slightly above 10 V, also tryed another board with the same results. (so i'm ruling out a motherboard or power supply fault).

I also tryed connecting the device when in win xp, but it didn't recognize anything either not even an unknown device.
Old 07-17-2009, 09:50 AM   #5
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Just to make this thread a little clearer.

This device is not the usual camera-card / memory card reader.

It looks like it is a "Magnetic card reader" (as for a credit card)

The CRT-284 has several versions:

and we don't know which the OP has.

The manufacturer's site offers no manual, datasheet, or spec. apart from this:

Name: Manual Insertion IC/Magnetic Card Reader
Model : CRT-284-(003)G-ETN
Features: EMV compliant

IC card Read/write, Mag card read only, Track 1,2,3
Long life, high reliability
Provide custom-made product service
Application: Self-service terminal
Access control system
Vending machine
Adding value machine
Multimedia information kiosk

Card standard IC Card :ISO7816-2
Magnetic Card:ISO7810 ID-1,7811/1,2,3,4,5 and 6
Life Magnetic head:300,000 cycles min
IC card contact: 300,000 cycles min
Communication RS-232/TTL
Power supply DC 5V(+/-10%)
Environmental requirement Operation:0~50oC/0~90%RH(No condensing)
Storage:-10~75oC/0~95%RH(No condensing)
This page has some windows software you can download, including " 3)New Communication Protocol (3 pin) ".
A search for EMV compliant turned up this:

Somehow I don't think this is going to be easy to get working with linux.


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