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How do I use the UniMag reader?

The UniMag series of readers, including the UniMag Pro, UniMag II, and Shuttle, are magnetic stripe card reading devices that interface with a host device via the audio jack. ID TECH manufactures and sells its readers so that third party application developers can create applications that use the reader to collect the data. Generally speaking ID TECH cannot support the third party applications. Instead, you will need to contact the application provider. However, we can help you to verify the reader is functional and able to "work" on YOUR host device (phone or tablet) by using the free UniMag Demo. This free demo app is published on the Google Play store.

The steps below will guide you to install and run the UniMag Demo app. You can use this file to verify your reader is able to "work" on your phone or tablet. 

  1.  FIND THE UNIMAG DEMO IN THE GOOGLE PLAY APP STORE: Search the Google Play Store for "ID Tech UniMag" or "UniMag" to find the UniMag Demo.  Please note that the UniMag Utility is similar, but this guide is specific to using the UniMag Demo app.

  2.  INSTALL/LAUNCH THE UNIMAG DEMO: After downloading and installing the UniMag Demo, opening the app, you will be prompted to select a reader type.  

  3. SELECT YOUR READER: You may select the device by name or by model number.  

    The Shuttle's device label is obscured by a rubber cover. You can peel it back to reveal the model number label. 

    Shuttle's Model Number
  4. IS YOUR SPECIFIC DEVICE SUPPORTED? When the UniMag Demo is installed, a configuration file (umcfg.xml) is also installed. This configuration file includes information about many phones and tablets. This information is referred to as a Device Settings Profile. The Device Settings Profile defines the best settings for the associated device. If your device's model number is in the configuration file, your set. If not please read: How can I check if my mobile device is compatible with an audio jack mobile reader?

  5. A recent (but not necessarily the most recent) version of the umcfg.xml file is included with the demo app.  If the Host device (phone or tablet) is NOT in the included umcfg.xml file, the demo app will report an XML version of null.  

    If the XML Ver: reports null, you device is does NOT have a Device Settings Profile in the umcfg.xml file that is included with the UniMag Demo. Your options are Auto-Config or Reload XML with a revised umcfg.xml that does have a Device Settings Profile for your host  device.
    1. The current most latest config file is available here - umcfg.xml
      1. The Reload XML steps are provided step 5 below
  6. If XML Ver: is NOT null, and connection fails, then please refer to the UniMag FAQ for troubleshooting steps which can help ultimately get the reader connected - -FAQ: Mobile Card Readers
    1. Please also refer back to the FAQ in case connection times out from either reloading another .xml or attempting autoconfig, and in case connection can't be made, then please consider contacting ID Tech support for additional assistance.
      1. Some Android devices may not be compatible with ID Tech audio jack readers, and some may not be compatible without additional consideration in our design, including a customized design change.  To the former, any Android device without a built-in microphone to the audio jack can't support our reader, and to the latter, some devices have a myriad of conditions, including to mention only one, not producing enough output voltage from the audio jack, that require some other, to the ID Tech product, design-level change, in order to be made compatible
  7. If connection is not attempted, and a match is available per the current .xml, then please save that file to local storage of the Android phone or tablet, and refer to Settings within the menu in order to reload that file and apply its present support.
    1. To reload an .xml, first save a config to the Android device's local storage.  Two simple ways ID Tech can recommend are to transfer the file from a Windows computer after downloading it there and using a USB data cable (these are commonly supplied with Android mobile devices), and also to download it from an email client, which the default directory is typically "Download" or "Downloads".  Downloading directly from a browser in Android, such as to a Chrome or other web app, might present some issue, but could be possible, depending on the Android device and web browsing app.
    2. Reload XML is an option from Settings.  Settings will appear after launching the Menu.  The autoconfig walkthrough on our PKB can help illustrate how to get into the menu when it is not obvious to any particular Android device - How to use Autoconfig feature in the UniMag Demo?
    3. Reload XML will report as successful or else give a prompt to remove and reattach the reader in order to attempt a connection after loading that config.  Should another message occur, then please try re-saving the .xml to the Android device, as some transfer methods can incidentally corrupt the file.
      1. In case a path to attempting connection with a manually loaded config is not successful, please consider contacting ID Tech support for assistance further from this guide's instructions
  8. In regards to autoconfig, when there is no present confirmed profile in the latest .xml, then please consider attempting this as a means to get a connection within the demonstration.  This tool in success does require additional effort to translate to either ID Tech's confirmed results or potentially also another software product including our SDK library or some similar means connecting our hardware to a finished product.
    1. Please note that dedicated support is intended for any use of our UniMag devices as other than specifically towards development or another OEM purpose, they are not considered ready for finished use entirely on their own.  The specific value or integration added in another product including ours varies.

Please note that the UniMag Pro does not support two way command exchange, and only the UniMag II and Shuttle can respond to commands such as get serial number.