How to make your own badge with magstripe and encode it

First step to make your own badge with Magstripe is to start BadgeMaker Design. Select the “New Card Design” icon to create a new card design with Magstripe. Set the configuration of the card to CR80, keep the design double-sided and check the Magstripe selection box.

How to make your own badge with Magstripe

You now have a card design with a Magstripe layout.
Add your design, like a background, text and a logo.

How to make your own badge with Magstripe

Now use the quick menu to only show the backside of the card design, so we can focus on the Magstripe.
To encode the Magstripe you first select the Magstripe element on the card layout, the encoding tracks for the Magstripe appear in the Element Properties view.

The magnetic stripe can store data. There are up to three tracks on magnetic cards known as tracks 1, 2, and 3.
Track 1 can hold 77 alphanumeric characters, track 2 can hold 38, but only allows numeric characters.
Track 3 holds 105 characters that are also only numeric.

You can add static data to the tracks or use the dynamic fields to add dynamic data. Let’s create three dynamic fields, that can be connected to project data, such as a Name, Expiration date and an Identification Number.
For the data entered in the track you can check the LRC box to have a longitudinal redundancy check. LRC is a kind of checksum, which can be used to verify the integrity of track data.

How to make your own badge with Magstripe

The setup for the Card Design with the Magstripe is ready. We now need to combine the project data in BadgeMaker Identity with the Magstripe card design.

Click on the BadgeMaker Identity Icon in the quick menu and open the project you would like to connect to the Magstripe card design. Go to “Edit” the “Project Settings” and select “Card Designs” to add the Magstripe card design.

make your own badge with BadgeMaker

Because the Magstripe tracks contains dynamic data we need to bind the dynamic fields to specific data columns in the project.

make your own badge with BadgeMaker

Save the design and settings to your project.

Now link all records in the project to the Magstripe card design.
make your own badge and connect to records

Use and setup a card printer that supports Magstripe encoding. You are now ready to print and encode your Magstripe cards.

Also check out the BadgeMaker Tutorial Videos for more information.

Read More

How to disconnect BadgeMaker key from installation

The BadgeMaker Software lets you disconnect your license key from the software installation, so you can use the License key on another installation. So when you buy a new computer you can install the BadgeMaker Software on your new computer, disconnect the License Key from BadgeMaker on the older computer and then use the key to register the new PC.

In just a couple of easy steps disconnect your license key from your BadgeMaker Software:

Step 1. Navigate to License information

Start BadgeMaker Design or Identity and click on the “Help” button in the main menu. Then select “License information” in the submenu. Press “Ok” to confirm and disconnect Badgemaker key from this installation.

disconnect BadgeMaker Key

Step 2. Disconnect BadgeMaker key

Now click on the button to “Remove license”. BadgeMaker prompts a warning, asking if you are sure you want to remove the license key from this system. You can always find the license key disconnected from the software in your License Manager account. Next to removing the license key, it is possible to purchase an extra key or upgrade a key using a Badgemaker License Manager account.

disconnect BadgeMaker keydisconnect badgemaker key


Read More

Card serial number trigger that reads and writes the number to the project

How to setup a trigger that reads and writes the card serial number from a card to your project.

Step 1. Open your project

Open an existing project with card designs and data.

Step 2. Create an extra column for the card serial number

Add an extra column to your project. BadgeMaker Identity can read the serial number of the printed card and write to the record in that column.

Go to “Edit” in the main menu and go to “Project Settings” and click on “Project Structure”. Click on “Add new property” and name this text data column: Card Serial Number.

Step-2 Create an extra column for the card serial number

Step 3. Add the trigger “after printing”

Go to “Edit” in the main menu and go to “Project Settings” and click on “Triggers”. Now add a trigger on the event “after printing”. Click on the event “After printing”. Now select the data field from the drop-down and add a trigger on “Card Serial Number” and click on “Add Trigger”. BadgeMaker Identity can read the serial number from the smart card and write to your project after printing.

Step 3 Add trigger after printing to read the number

Step 4. Set the trigger to “Set card serial number”

After adding the trigger for the serial number column, select the action “Set card serial number” from the drop-down menu. Also check the first box on how to write the serial number to significant byte first, same as the encoding file.

Step 4 Set the trigger to set card number
Do not forget to save this trigger setup.

Step 5: Link an empty CCI file to your card design

Create an empty CCI file using the CCI Editor and link it to your card design. This will ensure that BadgeMaker will read the card’s serial number so that it is available in the trigger above.

You have now setup the trigger and BadgeMaker Identity will add the serial number to the column for the record that has been printed.

Read More

How to encode smart cards using BadgeMaker


What you need to start encode smart cards

You chose a smart card that is best suited for your organization, now it is time to learn about how to properly implement its functionality. In order to be able to encode smart cards, you need the following:

Encode smart cards

A set of smart cards
Can be either MIFARE Classic, Plus or DESfire, usually in CR80 standard size.

A card printer with a MIFARE compatible card reader
The MIFARE reader is built into your card printer, and will connect to your computer through a separate USB cable. Your operating system will automatically install the device, and list it in the Device Manager.

BadgeMaker Base + Encode or BadgeMaker Pro
We will be using the BadgeMaker software suite by ScreenCheck, which supports encoding of smart cards in its Base version with the Encode Add-on, or in the Pro version.

CCI Editor
This software is part of the BadgeMaker software suite, but we mention it separately because it allows for creation of the encode template file that we use to encode smart cards with.

Start with a Badgemaker Project

Before we start to encode smart cards, setup an existing BadgeMaker project that contains all your data. If you do not have a BadgeMaker project yet, create one using this tutorial, or use the Example Project that is installed with each new installation of BadgeMaker.

For this tutorial, we assume the use of a MIFARE Classic 1K smart card. This is a relatively inexpensive card that you can use for most applications such as access control, or enhanced identification.

Let’s say we want to store information of the card holder in the smart card. Store the list name, email address as well as a unique number that allows other systems to identify them.

The BadgeMaker project data likely looks something like this:

ID (Number)
First name
Last name

Create an encode template with the CCI Editor

Start the CCI Editor to build the encode template. The CCI Editor automatically installs along with the BadgeMaker software. If it is not on your system, run the installer again, and make sure to enable the installation of the CCI Editor. Select the following template in the CCI Editor:

File > New > MIFARE Classic (1K)

An empty template is now created, ready for configuration. First configure the Card Settings. Select the Card serial number byte order, and choose to enable or disable MAD. Leave both options on the default setting.

On the left of the template is a list of 16 individual sectors numbered from 0 to 15. Each sector represents a section of the card that can be filled with data. While each sector holds a total of 64 bytes, not all of that space can be used to our advantage.

Select sector 0, and check the box Include sector in CCI. Notice that a grid of squares becomes visible, some white and some are a hashed color. The hashed squares represent data reserved for either manufacturer information, or with information that is needed to access the data. For now, we enable sector 0.

Configure sector access

Configure access to sector 0, this may look a bit daunting at first, but we’ll keep things simple. Next to the fields for Key A and Key B, is a generate button. Click both buttons to see a series of numbers and capital letters appear. This is the key that applications need to use to access the information in the sector.

Note: Sometimes, these keys are defined by the security or payment system you use in your organisation. You can add these keys to the fields manually as well. Note that the key will always be the same length (12 characters).

The next couple of drop-down boxes allow you to determine how to use the keys to access your data. For example, you may choose to allow both keys to read the data from the card, but not allow them to write information to it. You may also choose to use just one of the keys to write the data to the card. This allows for an extra level of security in your organization, because you can choose to provide one key publicly, and keep the other private. In this example, we will leave all settings to their default setting.

Add data to the sector

It is time to add data to the sector. Take a look at the data table, and notice that we have several bits of information we want to store: First name, Last name, Email address and ID. Let’s start with the ID first. The ID appears to be a number with three digits. Since the data will be encoded into the card through the BadgeMaker software, we need to select “Dynamic data” in the Data block section, and click “Add”.

This will fill 16 of the empty squares with colors. That means that we’ve now reserved a block of data that can hold 16 characters. For the format, we select “Numeric” as the data will contain just numbers. We change the “Left-aligned” default setting to “Right-aligned”, which means that the data block will be filled from the right. We enter “ID” in Field, and notice that the color of the block has now changed. This is merely to visually distinguish one piece of information from another. We have still reserved 16 blocks, while we need only 5, so change the length from 16 to 5. In the description field we enter something that reminds us what the block does, and finally we can leave the Encoding setting to the default setting. You will end up with something that looks like this:

encode smart cards mifare template
We create two more blocks for First name and Last name. We use the ASCII format for both, and set the length to 12 bytes, to allow for longer names. Complete the input box for Field to make the blocks a distinguishable color, and leave the encoding to default, as well as the alignment setting. Your end result will be something like this:

Encode smart card mifare

Use second sector to store more information

We’ve run into a problem. We still need to store the email address, but are out of space in this sector. Do we keep all of our information in one sector, or split up data over multiple sectors? Let’s keep our ID in sector 0, but move our other information to Sector 1. So we do the following:

1.Remove the blocks for First name and Last name from sector 0.
2.Enable Sector 1
3.Generate keys A and B.
4.Re-create the blocks for First name and Last name.
5.Create an additional block for email address.
6.Choose a length of 24 bytes to completely fill the available blocks in sector 1.
We’ve now ended up with two configured sectors, each holding different types of data from our database. Save your template in either the .CCI or the .XML format. The .CCI format allows you to set a password making your template unreadable. If you choose to do this, you will have to enter your password again in the next step of the process.

Link the CCI file to the BadgeMaker project

The template is created, we are one step closer to print and encode smart cards. Start BadgeMaker Identity, and load your project. In order to encode smart cards, we will link the CCI file to the project. This is done by choosing the following:

Edit > Project settings (Opens a new window) > Encode settings

On the Encoding settings screen, click “Add CCI” and navigate to the location of the CCI or XML file on your system. Adding the file might require you to enter a password if you’ve chosen the .CCI format in the previous step.

Once added, you will see a list of all the Fields that you’ve entered in your CCI template. Using the drop-down boxes, you can link each of the fields to one of the columns in your project. We link ID to the ID number, First name to the corresponding column, and so on.

Once completed, we click the second tab titled “Associated card designs” and from the drop-down box at the bottom, we select the card design that we wish to associate with the CCI template. This way, you can configure different templates for each of the designs you have in your project. You can also choose to link one CCI file to multiple card designs. Once this step is completed, click the save button. You are now ready to start producing your very own encoded smart cards!


Print and Encode smart cards with BadgeMaker

As a final step, select a record that is linked to one of the card designs that you associated your CCI file with. If you choose to print, the card will automatically be encoded and printed. If you have multiple printers or smart card readers connected to your system, the software will prompt you to select the correct smart card reader, as this device actually functions completely separate from your printer hardware.

This concludes our first step into encoding and producing MIFARE Classic smart cards. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out to us over email or one of the social media channels.

Read More