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The following tech tip is a quick overview on how proximity cards and readers work together.
The proximity card reader is wired to an access control system panel. The wires carry power to the reader, and data from the reader to the panel. The Reader emits an electromagnetic field called the "excite field". This field has an elliptical shape as shown in Figure # 1 below.
As Figure 1 shows, the field extends behind the reader almost as much as in front.
When a proximity card is brought within the field, the card absorbs some of the energy from the field. The card converts this field energy to electricity, which allows the electronic circuits in the card to "turn on" and transmit its number to the reader. The reader then sends the card number to the access control system panel, which then looks up in its database to see if the card number is valid and if it has rights to open that door at this time. If the card is approved, then the control panel sends a signal to the door lock to unlock for a period of time.
The card data transmission distance varies with card type and reader type. Larger, more powerful readers do exist; which can energize some cards at a much farther distance. The distance at which a card will successfully transmit data to the reader is called the "Read Range". The read range is approximate and can vary depending on the details of the installation. Maximum range is achieved when the reader is mounted away from metal and cards are presented parallel to the reader face. This allows the reader field to power up the card transponder at a farther distance.
ColorID is offering the new Zebra HC100 wristband printer system that allows admissions staff to produce wristbands on demand with antimicrobial-coated, long-lasting material so patients can be accurately identified.
Developed specifically to meet the unique needs of healthcare providers, the reliable HC100 patient I.D. solution makes wristband printing easier and more cost effective than any available laser solution. The HC100's direct thermal printer uses easy-to-load cartridges containing the only antimicrobial coated wristbands on the market, Zebra's Z-Band wristbands.
The HC100 printer detects the wristband size (adult, pediatric or infant) and automatically calibrates its settings for optimal print quality that remain scan-able for longer than the average patient stay. The HC100 is competitively priced with an MSRP around $999.
HID has launched a new series of direct to card printers. ColorID has recently evaluated these new models and have reported the results in this post. If you'd like to learn more about the new line of printers, contact ColorID today toll free at (888) 682-6567 or visit us online at www.ColorID.com.
Fargo's new DTC4000 printer comes in a compact design that is easily upgraded. End users can purchase upgrades later and install these on site. Upgrades include: magnetic stripe encoder, dual sided printing, same side input/output hoppers and an extra large 200 card input hopper. Additional options are available; however we'd suggest a factory certified company like ColorID perform these upgrades.
The DTC4000 prints high quality direct to card images very quickly and without card jams. HID has included several key features that help minimize card feeding errors. The new LCD Smart Screen has easy to follow prompts and changing background colors which allow the end user to quickly navigate and determine the printer's status. Another excellent feature allows the printer to have both USB and Ethernet connectivity (previously the printers were either USB or Ethernet).
Throughout the card printing process, the DTC4000 printer showed excellent print speed, no temperature operating issues and it maintained error free operation through 250 card prints. Fargo includes a 2 year warranty with the printer (1 year hot swap warranty, and 2 years parts and labor) which is on par with other printer manufacturer warranties.
Below are some of the DTC4000's specifications and options available:
Printing Method: Dye-Sublimation/Resin Thermal Transfer
Resolution: 300 dpi (11.8 dots/mm)
Colors: Up to 16.7 million/256 shades per pixel
7 seconds per card / 514 cards per hour (K)
12 seconds per card / 300 cards per hour (KO)
24 seconds per card / 150 cards per hour (YMCKO)
Input Hopper Card Capacity: 100 cards(.030" / .762mm)
Output Hopper Card Capacity: 100 cards (.030" / .762mm)
Print Area: CR-80 edge-to-edge and CR79 edge-to-edge.
Warranty: Two Year All Parts and Labor + One Year On-Call Express Warranty Program
Magnetic Stripe Encoder
Ethernet with internal print server
Single Wire Ethernet & USB 2.0 for inline printing and encoding
Same-Side Input/Output Card Hopper
Smart Card Encoding (contact/contactless)
Dual Input Card Hopper
ColorID has noticed increased interest in replacing existing contactless/mag stripe readers with a biometric reader. In this product spotlight, we cover one of our more popular and easy to use fingerprint devices: The Integrated Biometrics , TRU650 fingerprint reader. This solution provides the accuracy and speed to securely enable the use of a single biometric reader for physical access control. The TRU650 generates a robust audit trail of activity based on the most proven biometric in the world. The native TCP/IP communications and Server based computing structure of this modern access control solution assures real time and secure system operation.
The TRU650 has been developed with a patented light emitting sensor film that successfully recognizes real fingerprints. The sensor quickly rejects standard spoofing tactics that typical camera enabled fingerprint readers accept. The fingerprint pad is robust enough to be mounted outdoors and is guaranteed for over 1 million touches.
The reader has the ability to offer dual authentication with the addition of either 125kHz proximity or 13.56MHz contactless smart cards. Here are some additional features that the TRU650 offers:
ColorID's Re-Carding Service allows your institution to outsource your entire Re-Carding event to ColorID. Many offices have state of the art carding centers that can manage the day to day traffic of new ID card & badge production; however, when the entire institution needs to be Re-Carded the extra strain this puts on the resources can be enormous and expensive. ColorID's applies its years of experience working with card offices around the world to quickly and efficiently Re-Card your entire facility .
Re-Carding Service Includes:
Extremely high quality, digital offset, and lithographically Pre-Printed cards, using a state of the art digital laser guided printing process.
Photo and identification information is completed with the highest quality dye sublimation printers. An extra laminate overlay may be applied for additional protection and extended card life.
Our project manager will oversee every step of the Re-Card process. You will be involved at each step of the process and we will proceed only when you are completely satisfied.
Using our parallel print process, we can quickly and efficiently complete your Re-Card project.
CUSTOMIZED PACKAGING AND SORTING
We will package and sort your project to meet your specific distribution needs, and can even mail directly to your consumer.
What To Expect:
AUTHENTICATE THE ELECTRONIC DATA TRANSFER
Ensuring that we can receive and read your electronic database with photos and card data.
VALIDATE DATA CHANGES
Work with you and your IT department on the changes in data or layout for your new card.
SAMPLE NEW CARD DATA
Send new card samples to your office so you can test the new formatting of the variable data.
NOTE: These first three steps are completed before we receive your order so you are 100% sure that we will be able to successfully complete your project.
Pre-Printed CARD ART
Send your Pre-Printed card art to us. We will then create a full color proof for your review and sign off.
PRINTING BASE CARD
We will print the non-variable part of your card using a high quality lithographic printing process (the Pre-Printed card is printed).
PROOF FINISHED CARD
We provide you with a set of real cards that have both full variable printing and the Pre-Printed card. You can check the encoding, printing quality and the layout. When you are satisfied with these sample cards you sign off on these cards.
We can sort the cards in any order to match your distribution plans. We will work with you to establish a process to insure that the cards can be easily distributed after arriving at your facility.
At ColorID we understand how important it is to do our part in using environmentally friendly products and practices every day. Thus we are pleased to introduce the following Eco-Friendly ColorID products. Contact us today to learn more or receive free samples of these products:http://www.colorid.com/
Biodegradable PVC Cardstock: Our Fully Biodegradable PVC card stock is just as durable as our standard PVC, but Biodegradable. Typically these cards only cost a few cents more than a non-biodegradable card. Read an additional article at our website regarding: Pro's & Con's of Biodegradable Cardstock.
Eco-Friendly Badge Holders: Protect your ID cards as well as the environment with our new durable Eco-Badge Holders made from a special material that can be recycled and will not contaminate the environment.
Recycled Neck Lanyards: Our environmentally friendly neck lanyards are made from 100% recycled PET materials. The lanyards are available in 3/8 inch to 3/4 inch, break-away or non-breakaway, blank or with custom imprinting.
Eco-Friendly Strap Clips: Attach your cards with an eco-friendly strap clip. Made with PVC-DOP, recyclable plastic and it's just as durable as our standard 505A strap clip.
Supply Recycling Program: We also offer a shredding service that you can take advantage of at any time. If you have unwanted cards and used ID printer ribbons, ship them to ColorID with the Attn: Supply Recycling Program and we will dispose of them safely and securely.
by: David Stallsmith
Senior Product Manager of Advanced Technology Cards
About 40 years ago, the first campus card was used to monitor access to a university dining hall. A few years later, the mag stripe card was introduced to the university campus. Since then, university ID cards have become as important as backpacks and blue jeans on campuses around the world.
One of the challenges for card offices, security, dining services, housing and IT personnel has been to decide which technologies will make their cards most successful and cost-effective on their campus. In the days of mag stripes and bar codes, this question usually answered itself. But now, with a multitude of chips available for cards, both contact and contactless, the decision has become more difficult.
Although ID Cards were first used for meal plans, it wasn't long before they began to be used to open doors (physical access). Following the lead of the hotel industry, the predominant technology used for physical access was the magnetic stripe. Also used widely for credit cards, the magnetic stripe card is fairly inexpensive and easy to program. The swipe readers on the doors around a campus could be in either online or offline mode.
Until recently, the magnetic stripe was considered secure enough for this physical access. Unfortunately, magnetic stripes have no particular inherent security and are very easy to duplicate. This is not considered a problem for the credit cards that we carry every day, because the credit card issuers (Visa, MasterCard) will not require us to pay for unauthorized purchases. This is a guarantee by the issuer and not a result of the security of the magnetic stripe. For the physical safety of the university population however, the magnetic stripe is now known to be insufficient. Recently, a number of universities have found their names in the local or national newspapers after a student had "cloned" the magnetic stripe card of a prominent university official or fellow student, and breached the system.
About 20 years ago, Prox cards with radio frequency IC chips were introduced. Transmitting at 125 KHz, they provided a much higher level of security than magnetic stripes. Not as easy to clone as a magnetic stripe card, Prox cards have become vulnerable to attacks as their technology has aged.
Recently, the Prox chip has been eclipsed by a new radio frequency chip, known as high frequency "contactless smart cards". Though they are used at the door in much the same manner as Prox cards, they operate at 13.56 MHz. Mifare, Legic and HID's iCLASS fall into this category. These chips provide a significantly more secure card-reader interface than the old Prox chips and their readers. Before the transmission of encrypted personal data, there is a challenge-and-response sequence of communications, through which the card and reader verify that each other is trustworthy for this transaction. Data stored on the card is also encrypted. A significant benefit of contactless over magnetic stripe cards is that the cards are not dragged through swipe readers, which is very damaging to the surface of the cards.
As a university considers changing to a card containing one of the newer technology chips, cost is certainly an important factor in the decision. Any card with a chip in it will be more expensive than a plain PVC card or even a mag stripe card. Installing new or replacing existing readers brings with it the costs of new readers and installation. Fortunately, new contactless card readers can often be installed in the place of existing prox or magnetic stripe readers with no significant change to the existing wiring or mounting box. There is a protocol for security wiring called "Wiegand" and it is an industry standard for many different types of readers. As plans are being made to upgrade an infrastructure, looking into the future reveals two new trends in card reader technology: Wireless contactless readers (Wi-Fi - 802.11), which can be installed in locations that are difficult or expensive to reach with wires; and IP-addressable network readers, which can be employed to interface directly with software and replace old control panels.
In future articles, I will discuss the workings of high frequency contactless cards and the new possibilities they bring for campus card use. Learn more about contactless cards here = Advanced Technology Cards, contact us Toll Free 888-682-6567 or email us at Support@colorid.com.
If you use Proximity or Contactless Smart Cards to secure your Government facility, you may find a new product from ColorID very useful. The PlusID can improve security for highly sensitive areas by adding fingerprint authentication to your Prox credential. The innovative design of this product puts the fingerprint reader on the personal device that the employee carries with them. These are some of the benefits of the PlusID:
One of the biggest differences between printing on blank PVC (Mag Stripe) card stock and proximity cards is the cost difference of the cards. Blank card stock may cost less than a dollar per card while Proximity cards average $3 - $8 (depending on options). Mistakes in the printing of Proximity cards can create significant financial losses. In order to protect your investment here are a couple important points you may consider.
Using Proper Proximity Printing Technology
Problem: Most blank card stock is constructed with an even flat surface, however Proximity cards contain an antenna and chip inside each card. Most dye sublimation printers are direct to card printers. The deviation in the Proximity cards surface (from its internal contents) causes the printhead to lose contact with the cards surface. The result may be a loss of printed information. Some ID offices have accepted the end result with direct-to-card printing. However, improved technology is now available to dramatically improve the quality of your Proximity cards.
Solution: Fargo offers an HDP (High Definition Printer) series ID printer specifically designed for printing on Proximity and Smart Cards. The HDP's printhead never touches the cards surface like a direct-to-card printer. The HDP prints onto a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœtransfer film' first and is then transferred to the cards surface and adhered by pressure and heat. If the cards surface is uneven, the film will cover all its deviations. In addition, the print quality is amazing when compared to a direct-to-card printer. Since the printer ribbon is not being fused into the card, its colors are more vibrant, clear and to the edge of each card. In addition, you can help protect your Proximity cards by adding the standard clear or holographic overlaminate to your cards surface. This will minimize fading and seal the card from the elements. The printer cost is only slightly higher than some direct-to-card printers. The decreased number of misprinted cards and better print quality will help pay for itself in the long run. For those needing a better print quality with vibrant colors, we would suggest a High Definition Printer.
Extended Card Life: How to Protect Your Investment
Problem: Proximity cards that are not properly protected may last only 12 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 18 months before experiencing issues such as cracking, loss or fading of variably printed information, etc.
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Cornelius, NC 28031
CONVENIENT PAYMENT OPTIONS
ColorID provides the highest quality products with superb service at an exceptional value. We want your experience with ColorID to be a positive one - from the ease of ordering products - to the quality of our products - to our follow up and our attention to detail.