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Any way to "mirror" [duplicate] the magnetic strip off of an ID card?

ElectroWolf 760 September 27, 2007 at 11:17 AM
This may sound kind of dumb, but I've run into a bit of a dilemma. It's not a huge deal, but it would be nice if I could do what I'm thinking, to save a good amount of headache.

Basically, here's the situation: I live in an apartment which has gated access into the parking area. It uses a standard ID card to let you into the parking area. You don't swipe the ID card, but simply hold it close to the sensor, and it will read it and let you in. After parking, you can then walk into the main doors of my apartment. To get in through the secondary doors, you use the same ID card, holding it close to another sensor, and it will let you in those doors.

For me, there is no problem with the way it's set up. However, there is another issue that has developed. My girlfriend, who comes over quite a bit, has to park a couple blocks away (outside of the gated area), because she doesn't live in the apartments, and thus, doesn't have any ID to get in. So, she has to walk a few blocks to get to my apartment, and then has to have me come outside and let her in, since she can't get into the apartment either.

So, my question is, is there any way to mirror the data on my ID card with another ID card, or a blank card? There isn't any lockout feature in our apartment that I'd have to worry about. The only issue is that you can only be authenticated to get into the gated parking lot once every 5 minutes. However, that wouldn't be an issue, since I would have already been in my apartment for longer than that before she would get there. So, if I could give her an exact copy of my ID card, then she could get into our parking lot, and into my apartment, and wouldn't have to walk so far just to get here.

Does anyone know of any possible ways to do that? Is it even feasible?

Thanks for any input!
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22 Comments

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#2
Have you tried asking the apartment managers for another set?
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#3
Quote from maggiesma View Post :
Have you tried asking the apartment managers for another set?
Lol, I suppose I could go that route and do that. laugh out loud I guess I just never thought of doing that, because I figured that they'd deny me immediately.
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#4
Quote from steven_mckenz View Post :
Lol, I suppose I could go that route and do that. laugh out loud I guess I just never thought of doing that, because I figured that they'd deny me immediately.
Since the cards usually have to be programmed to be recogonized by the system you'd be better off asking the apartment manager.
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#5
Quote from w3kn View Post :
Since the cards usually have to be programmed to be recogonized by the system you'd be better off asking the apartment manager.
Yeah, I got that. Which is why I was just wanting to mirror all of the data onto another card. So, in essence it wouldn't need to be programmed into the system, as it would just be an exact duplicate copy of my already authenticated ID.
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#6
there is probably some way to do this, but it would be much easier/cheaper to just ask the office for another.
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#7
yes likely some way to do this, but with some fancy equipment, nothing easy
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#8
I hope you don't "lose" your card.
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#9
If this is a dumb card, you could always 'lose' it (in your girlfriends pocket) and ask for a replacement. The only problem would be if it is a smart card and could be turned off in the system to deny access to that card.

If the card just has to get close, it is probably an RF based card. Does it look like it has a chip in it? Is it thicker than a normal credit card? If so, duplicating would be alot more difficult. Duplicating a magnetic card (typical credit card) is much easier with the right equipment. Hotels do it in about three seconds for room access. Most normal people don't have the equipment to accomplish the task.

I agree that the best bet is to suck up to the office staff and get another card.
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#10
ok. This has nothing to do with the magnetic stripe on the card. it is a Proximity card that has a microchip and an Antenna Embeded in it. You'll probably notice some numbers just below the mag stripe on the back (or someplace else) These numbers are unique and are only duplicatable from the manufacturer as the chip has to be programmed Identically and since most manufacturers won't produce duplicate cards, you wont be able to get another Identical card.

If you "lose" your access card, it will be deactivated as soon as you get a new one and the old card will not work.

You will need to ask for a 2nd card and see if they allow it. It may be written in the contract that you cannot have a 2nd card but you may be allowed to have a "visitor" card. those usually have Timeframes that they work though (aka between 6am and 9pm).

~SB

oh, feel free to ask more or PM me if you need more info about Prox Cards - I'm the System Administrator for the College I work at's ID card Access system.
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#11
Quote from scavnger View Post :
If the card just has to get close, it is probably an RF based card. Does it look like it has a chip in it? Is it thicker than a normal credit card?
Actually, if it's a system that's been around more than, say, 5 years, it's most likely magnetic (but there is no strip; just a magnetic sensitive device within the card). The sensor in the reader scans the chip in the card itself, but they're not RF-based; they're based on magnetic fields.

Here's [cardquest.com] an example of such a card. This particular type of technology has been around for years.

EDIT: Specboy beat me to it. Wink
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#12
Quote from scavnger View Post :
If the card just has to get close, it is probably an RF based card. Does it look like it has a chip in it? Is it thicker than a normal credit card?
Our Prox Cards are the same thickness as credit cards, Approximately 20mil

~SB
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#13
Quote from Specboy View Post :
Our Prox Cards are the same thickness as credit cards, Approximately 20mil
My apologies to all....RF/Proximity....whatever, my point was that it was not a mag strip card, thus could not be duplicated using a mag strip writer. My wife uses a proximity card and it is about two normal CC's thick. It could never be confused with a CC, much too thick.

I stand corrected (ok, I actually sit corrected.)
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#14
Quote from scavnger View Post :
My apologies to all....RF/Proximity....whatever, my point was that it was not a mag strip card, thus could not be duplicated using a mag strip writer. My wife uses a proximity card and it is about two normal CC's thick. It could never be confused with a CC, much too thick.

I stand corrected (ok, I actually sit corrected.)
You're wife's card sounds like it is a clamshell card (non-Printable). is it her Photo ID or is it strictly a Prox Card? We have two different types of Prox Cards at the college, the first being a Mag-stripe/prox card that is used for both door access and library access. we also have a few mag-stripe readers on camups for stand-alone doors. The second being a clamshell card that we use for temporary access cards (like for alumni weekends). We also have the option for key Fobs like the Mobil Speedpass and about a dozen other type of proximity devices. For us, you just leave the card in your wallet and swipe it, your pocket next to the reader, or your bookbag and the doors unlock. they have a range of about 6".

~SB
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#15
IIRC, the range of proximity cards is dependant on the sensitivity of the readers. You might want to make arrangements to meet her at the gate. This is due to the newness of the situation. Gated communities can be highly beneficial if the relationship doesn't work out.
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