Library and command line utils to use MSR605 magnetic card reader/writer

pip install msrx==0.3



MSR605 is a very well built and popular magnetic card reader/writer. msrx is a library and a command line utility that allows talking to this device.


  • msrx python module compatible with python 2.7+ and python 3
  • Command line utility with read, write and erase functionality


$ pip install msrx


Ensure you've plugged a 9V supply to the power injector on the USB cable before continuing.

To read a card's data, run the following and swipe a card:

$ msrx read
%PA1VSBUTT0 .8W11(BT003423342?|;943300000002342?:|

The output is a pipe ('|') separated track data in ISO-7811 format. In the above example, only tracks 1 and 2 have data in them.

To erase a card, run the following and swipe a card (WARNING this is non-reversible):

$ msrx erase -t 1,3

The above erases tracks 1 and 3. To erase all tracks, leave out -t.

To write to a card, run the following and swipe a card:

$ echo '%HAPPY?||;99?' | msrx write

This writes to tracks 1 and 3 because we left track 2 data empty. Note that restrictions apply as to what set of characters and in what format may be stored in each track. Consult ISO-7811 parts 2 and 6 for more information.

To see other options, run msrx with -h option.

To use msrx as a library:

import msrx
mymsrx = msrx.MSRX('/dev/ttyUSB0')