Limitation of 10 smart card readers with SCardListReaders

Many customers have noticed that the Windows’ PC/SC subsystem is not able to handle more than 10 readers (or slots in case of multi-slot readers). Actually, the SCardListReaders function -the system call to get the list of available PC/SC readers- is limited to 10 readers max. On old versions of Windows it was possible (although complex) to overcome this limitation by grouping the readers in “reader groups” and querying one group after the other. This is not possible anymore, starting with Windows 8.

Microsoft clearly states in KB #3144446:

Starting in Windows 8, the Windows platform supports a maximum of 10 smartcard readers. If more than 10 smartcard readers are available, APIs such as SCardListReaders return a maximum of 10. All other readers are ignored.

So, sorry, but there’s no way to use more than 10 PC/SC readers (or slots) on a Windows 8 or Windows 10 system. To make things clear, if you connect 2 SpringCard CSB HSP or 2 SpringCard CrazyWriter HSP with the +3 SIM/SAM expansion board, you already have reached the limit.

SpringCard NetPCSC for PCSC-Lite

Introduction

In 2016, SpringCard introduces a new family of network-attached NFC/RFID couplers, providing PC/SC functionnality on top of TCP/IP. The family is built from the SpringCard E663 module, the Ethernet-world counterpart of H663 (for USB world) and K663 (for serial world). The two first products of the family are the TwistyWriter-IP PC/SC, made for OEMs, and the FunkyGate-IP PC/SC, targetting access-control applications. The second one is also available as a FunkyGate-IP+POE PC/SC, where ‘POE’ stands for ‘power-over-Ethernet’, i.e. the device takes its power from the network cable.

To support all the devices based on the E663 module, SpringCard has developed from scratch a PC/SC driver for Windows (see this page). Continue Reading →

SpringCard PC/SC SDK VERSION 2016.03

The version 2016.03 of our PC/SC SDK is now available for download: pcsc-sdk_2016-03.zip.

You can use it with our products in the SpringCard CSB6 Family (CSB6, Prox’N’Roll PC/SC, EasyFinger and CrazyWriter), with our products in the H663 family (Prox’N’Roll HSP PC/SC, CrazyWriter HSP, TwistyWriter HSP, CSB HSP) and our NFC readers/encoders (H512, NFC’Roll).

This SDK is also available on GitHub.

This SDK contains a new version of MemoryCardTool, a new tool called “scriptorxv” and a serie of basic projects for beginners.

SpringCard NetPCSC for Windows

Introduction

In 2016, SpringCard introduces a new family of network-attached NFC/RFID couplers, providing PC/SC functionnality on top of TCP/IP. The family is built from the SpringCard E663 module, the Ethernet-world counterpart of H663 (for USB world) and K663 (for serial world). The two first products of the family are the TwistyWriter-IP PC/SC, made for OEMs, and the FunkyGate-IP PC/SC, targetting access-control applications. The second one is also available as a FunkyGate-IP+POE PC/SC, where ‘POE’ stands for ‘power-over-Ethernet’, i.e. the device takes its power from the network cable.

To support all the devices based on the E663 module, SpringCard has developed from scratch a PC/SC driver for Windows. Continue Reading →

PC/SC Driver updated, from Windows XP to Windows 10

We’ve published a new release of our certified driver for SpringCard PC/SC products.

This new version runs from Windows XP to Windows 10 in 32 and 64 bits.

To download the driver, please go to http://www.springcard.com/en/download/find/file/sd16055

The installer contains both x86 and x64 binaries and will automatically select the most suitable for your system.

This release targets all SpringCard USB CCID readers.

 

New SDK for SpringCard’s RDR products

The SDK for our RDR products has just been released. It concerns the following devices:

Complete programs are included : for example, a program that monitors a lits of readers, and talk to each one independantly (to set a buzzer, or a LED).

There are also more basic examples, like a command line application to retrieve the badge numbers, read on a specific reader.

The SDK provides both source code (in C, C# and java) and the compiled binaries.

It is available through a zip file, downloadable from our website. It can also be tracked and cloned from our Github repository.

Contact us for technical information or for commercial requests.

 

SpringCard PC/SC solution for Android has been released

SpringCard R&D team is proud to release a simple software solution to add support for SpringCard USB PC/SC Couplers to Android tablets (or smartphone).

nexus9-with-springcard-pcsc-reader

A Nexus 9 Android tablet, with a SpringCard Prox’N’Roll PC/SC reader on the USB port, and a Desfire contactless smartcard

The software is made of two parts:

googleplaystore

The SpringCard USB PC/SC Service’s page on Google Play store

This software suite is compliant with all SpringCard USB PC/SC Couplers, for instance SpringCard Prox’N’Roll PC/SC, Prox’N’Roll HSP PC/SC, TwistyWriter HSP, CrazyWriter HSP, CSB HSP… Note that the current version of the Service and Library allows to work only with the Coupler’s contactless slot. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have an interest into addressing the smartcard / SAM slots of the Couplers.

To communicate with a USB PC/SC Coupler -which is basically a USB device, the Android tablet (or smartphone) must provide a USB Host stack. This should be the case of all tablets running Android 3.1 and higher. We recommend Nexus 7 and Nexus 9 tablets, running Android 5.0 or 5.1, which are the reference platforms we use to develop and test the solution. An adapter cable is required to connect the Coupler if your tablet doesn’t provide a full-size USB host connector.

usb-adapter-for-tablets-proxnroll

The USB adapter to use a SpringCard USB PC/SC smartcard reader with a tablet featuring only an USB on-the-go (OTG) mini type B female port

Tip: if you’re not sure whether your tablet supports USB Host or not, just install the Service and the Demo application from Google Play, and check that your SpringCard Coupler is correctly activated by your tablet’s system. Remember that the Coupler will be powered by the tablet’s battery. Some tablets could be powered (by their mains adapter) even when an USB device is present, but most don’t; choose your tablet accordingly if you’re designing a kiosk or public-use system that should be mains-powered 24/7).

Icon of the SpringCard PC/SC Service for Android

Icon of the SpringCard PC/SC Service for Android

To develop your own application using a SpringCard Coupler from Android, download the library (and the sample Demo application) from GitHub, and follow the Quick Start Guide (ref. SpringCard PMD15240) which is included in the GitHub project, or available directly here.

github

The SpringCard SDK for PC/SC on Android is an open-source project hosted on GitHub

We welcome your feedback!

 

scpcsc_feed completes MultiConf

scpcsc_feed is a command-line utility for Windows which is a companion-tool for MultiConf in case you need to configure numerous SpringCard PC/SC couplers in batch mode, or change the settings quickly without a needing a full-featured GUI.

scpcsc_feed is available at http://files.springcard.com/pub/scpcsc_cfg.zip. Just unzip the archive in the folder you want, and open a command prompt (cmd.exe) in this folder to use the tool from the command line.

Connect a SpringCard PC/SC coupler to your computer, and invoke scpsc_feed without any parameter to see the integrated help:

A few interesting commands

Read-back the current configuration

Restore the factory configuration (blank all registers)

Apply the configuration from a MultiConf project

New firmware for all SpringCard PC/SC couplers based on the H663 core

SpringCard has just released a new firmware version, tagged 2.00, for its H663 core.

The H663 core is a versatile contactless+contact module, which supports virtually all proximity/RFID HF chip cards (ISO 14443 & ISO 15693 standards, including Mifare, Calypso, etc), NFC-enabled mobile phones or other objects (ISO 18092, peer-to-peer in initiator mode, passive communication scheme), and could also accept up to 5 contact smartcards (ISO 7816, one ID-1 card and up to 4 SIM/SAM ID-000 cards).

SpringCard H663 is the foundation of the largest family of RFID/NFC USB PC/SC readers on the market:

  • The H663S and H663A “bare” modules (designed respectively for either a Symetrical – balanced or an Asymetrical – unbalanced antenna)
  • The H663-USB OEM PC/SC ready-to-use contactless coupler (H663 core + antenna)
  • The CrazyWriter HSP, a complete multi-slot contactless+5 contact PC/SC coupler made for OEMs
  • The TwistyWriter HSP, a contactless+ID-000 PC/SC coupler made for OEMs
  • The CSB HSP, a desktop PC/SC coupler featuring contactless, 1 smartcard slot and 3 ID-000 slots
  • The Prox’N’Roll HSP, a brand new version of SpringCard’s best selling desktop contactless coupler.

This new firmware version provides only a few new features, but introduces a new software architecture based on FreeRTOS which dramatically increases the device’s performance for a better transaction time – particulary when accessing numerous slots in the same transaction.

freertos

How to upgrade

To upgrade your H663-based product with this new version, please refer to our H663/H512 Firmware Upgrade Procedure.

The 2.00 firmware file is here: uc3b0256_rc663_h663_2-00.hex

(note for future readers: please always use the latest firmware version using this permanent link).

From 30/04/2015, all H663-based products will ship with this version (instead of earlier 1.81).

Some new feature

Adding the reader’s serial number to the slot names under Windows

Starting with version 2.00, the H663 family is able to insert the reader’s serial number in the name of the PC/SC readers as exposed by Windows’ SCardListReaders API call. On machines with numerous readers attached, this makes it possible to know which physical reader is actually bound to a logical slot without querying the reader through a SCardControl call.

To enable this feature, download the latest version of MultifConf; create a new project for the H663-product you own (CrazyWriter HSP typically), and in this project scroll down to “Misc. tricks”. Then find the “Insert the serial number in the name of the slots” entry and turn it ON. apply the configuration to the reader(s) (Project -> Write Configuration into Reader), restart the reader, and enjoy!

multiconf-h663-tricks

 

 

MultiDiag : the all-in-one tool to help SpringCard Support diagnose your configuration

Presentation

SpringCard Support Team is commited into giving the best support service to our customers. In most situations, the first step to solve an issue or only to answer a particular information request is to collect a few technical data regarding the computer – and to clearly identify the SpringCard devices that are involved.

MultiDiag is a small Windows-based tool that retrieves quickly and easily the technical data we need to help you efficiently.

For instance, if you have a Prox’N’Roll PC/SC or any other reader like a CrazyWriter HSP connected to your PC, MultiDiag shows :

  • the status of the PC/SC Service (ScardService)
  • the status of our PC/SC Driver (sd16055)
  • the reader’s serial number and firmware version.

The « copy all to clipboard » button pushes all these information into Windows’ clipboard, so you just have to paste it (Ctrl+V shortcut) into an email to forwared it to out Support Team.

We have tested the program on :

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8

Installation

Download SpringCard MultiDiag setup here.

Run the setup program with administrative priviledges to install MultiDiag.

After installation, launch the application from Start Menu -> SpringCard -> MultiDiag.

Usage

The application displays a single window.

The content of the « General information » and « HID and PC/SC Readers » will be different on your computer.

Multidiag

Multidiag

In the upper right corner you have a button used to copy all system information to the clipboard.
In the top of the screen you have some information about the Scard Service, our PC/SC driver and about your Windows User Account (Control).

The bottom part is used to list the PC/SC and HID readers connected to your PC.
You can double click on each line or click on the « Information » button to get some information about your reader.