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Gameworks and Jillians

— Posted by Reaper on 5:01 pm on Mar. 18, 2002

well, i posted someting like this on my other thread about electro magnets. and the idea of using magnets to recharge a jillians or gameworks card came to my mind. so i decided to start a thread of this all in it self. does anybody have/know ways to build a homemade card recharger? This would really be helpful. I mean i doubt that anybody knows how to build one. i would think you would need a scanner. you know those red kinds that they use in stores to add up ur total with? I have an idea of how this would work not really though. i really do think you would need a barcode scanner though. if anybody has any buds, that works in jillians or gameworks ask him if u can try something out or watever. i suppose someone would know how to do it but if u do please post it. thanks.

— Posted by Anto on 12:11 am on Mar. 19, 2002

i dont think you can make chargers for those cards. i know that the local dave and busters uses those cards and the info is stored on one big database. your card is simply a number, and when you put your card into a game it pulls up the info on it and subtracts the credits. hope you get what im trying to explain.


— Posted by Zambosan on 11:08 am on Mar. 19, 2002

This is true of almost every card-based debit system, with a few exceptions.  In my college library, we had copier cards that could be used at any copier or printer.  When you inserted your card, it was kept for the duration of the job.  When you were done, you pressed the “eject” button, and it would come partially out, then feed back in slowly at constant speed as the new (smaller) amount of $$$ was written to the magnetic stripe, and then finally ejected.  If you grabbed it when it first peeked out and yanked, you’d get it back with no money lost.

— Posted by ActionTimedDeath on 11:49 am on Mar. 19, 2002

Heh heh – they’ve got that system in my Uni. Lucky I haven’t been taking advantage of it for the last couple of years… 😉

— Posted by Reaper on 3:44 pm on Mar. 21, 2002

well, then is there a way you can change your number or atleast make the machine think your card has a different number so you can get credits for nothing???

— Posted by Anto on 10:10 pm on Mar. 21, 2002

i dont think so. the card has a magnetic strip and all of the info is stored in there. if there was a way to change it, it would be very hard because the strip is part of the card.


— Posted by Zambosan on 10:33 am on Mar. 22, 2002

Well yes, there is… you can make a card read/write device.  Most magnetic strip cards use a protocol called F2F (2-frequency coherent phase) to encode their data on up to three linear tracks.  You can buy reader devices pretty cheap, most output the data over a serial port.  Writing units are a little harder to find for obvious reasons, but they can be had.  The simplest setup would probably be to create a device (or two separate ones) that interfaces to your PC through it’s serial port, and then write software to read & display the data as hex, and also accept hex sequences to be encoded.  You’re then on your own to decipher the actual data; there are standards for things like credit card encoding, but proprietary systems will have their own format & error detection schemes.  You’re probably better off just paying for your copies.  Credit cards are a different thing altogether, since they store an account number only, not the balance.  And I don’t advocate stealing someone’s credit card number.

— Posted by Reaper on 3:24 pm on Mar. 22, 2002

I mean i dont steal cc’s either, but then what you are telling me is that I can get a card reader/writer from my local radio shack??  

How bout ways to get credits for free in jillians/gameworks, or a way to add credits to your card for free. anybody know how to do that?

— Posted by Zambosan on 3:33 pm on Mar. 22, 2002

I’m not familiar with either establishment.  And Radio Twack is not going to have one, you’re pretty lucky if they have even simple MSI logic devices, and you can be damn certain that *none* of the employees (including managers) are going to have a scrap of a clue about what any of the components are used for.  If they did, they’d be in at least enough demand to not be working there.  Try mail-order low-volume distributors like JameCo, DigiKey, etc.  For this particular component/subsystem, you’ll probably have more luck with surplus distributors, buyouts from defunct companies that used to make vending machines, POS terminals, etc.  Unfortunately, in that case you’re lucky if the parts come with any literature… but the web is a big help there.

— Posted by Scarface on 10:01 pm on Mar. 27, 2002

I used to work for one of the entertanment chains mentioned.   When we distribute the game cards they have code that correlates to the amount of money on the card.  The card number’s never duplicate at any of the others so each one is unique.  In order to somehow alter your points and or money on your card, you must do it at our business, due to our whole computer system every card has history to it, and is not lost.  So if by some chance you find a way to program a card to have more money on it then our system database then the card is blocked if the numbers do not correlate with our computer, making it unnusable and no longer valid.  

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