magnetic cards and different card readers


Can magnetic cards written by a card reader be read by a different card reader?

I'm assuming same kind of calculator (say 2 HP 67s or 2 HP-41s).

I know that in principle it should work, but I was wondering how *well* it works in practice.


Alex Binca


It sure is suppose to work! In fact, that's the best way to test out repaired card readers. I first make sure that the reader can read its own writing (so to speak), then make sure that it can read the Standard Pac cards finally I make sure that it can read cards written by at least one other 67/97 (or 65 or 41) and can write cards that the other calcualtor can read. I do all these tests repeatedly and only accept a repair if there are no errors. (This means that I have to re-do a repair about 1 out of 3 times.)


The magnetic cards have separate and parallel data and clock tracks, so there is enoug information on the card to allow for synchronizing, even with mechanical variations and tolerances.

In fact, the same principle is used in the hand-pulled (!) card reader/writer of the HP75; so it accomodates differences between the pulling power of differen people (or the same person over time)


Also, the HP41 reader can read, translate, and execute almost all HP67/HP97 programs automatically.


Also, the TI-59 had a module ("RPN simulator") that would translate/interpret (most?) programs originally written for the HP-97.

I got such a module a while ago, but I haven't tried it yet. I believe that it is not really practical, but I always found the idea kind of whimsical,

-- Paul Novaes

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