How to configure a Puck as a reader to read a SpringPass virtual card using keyboard emulation?

SpringCard Puck family products can be used to read contactless passes carried by NFC smartphones. In the SmartReader operating mode, the reader is standalone to run and the computer receives RFID/NFC pass data as if someone would type it on the keyboard.

SpringPass by SpringCard is a service for generating NFC passes in order to dematerialize contactless cards or RFID badges by virtualizing them on mobile phones (smartphones). On Apple iOS (iPhone) architectures, the system is based on Apple VAS technology. On Android architectures, the system is based on Google Smart Tap technology.

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How to read RFID/NFC passes with SpringCard PC/SC couplers

SpringCard contactless PC/SC couplers (NFC/RFID HF) can be used to read contactless passes carried by NFC smartphones.

In particular, the Prox'N'Roll HSP PC/SC and the PUCK configured as PC/SC have been certified :

  • by Apple for reading NFC passes stored in the Apple Wallet application ("Apple VAS" protocol, formerly branded as "PassKit"),
  • by Google for reading NFC passes stored in the Google Pay application ("Google VAS" protocol, still branded as "Smart Tap" or now "Google Wallet").

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Using SpringCard PC/SC Couplers with a Raspberry Pi 4

SpringCard PC/SC Couplers like the H663 family (CrazyWriter HSP, Prox'N'Roll HSP, TwistyWriter HSP...) and the new SpringCore family (PUCK...) are well supported by Linux systems thanks the open-source PCSC-Lite stack and its CCID driver. All these devices are easy to operate on early Raspberry Pi with little to no specificities.

This has changed on Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspian Bullseye and their new power-saving policy: by default, the system now shuts down any USB device that appears as being "unused" -- which is namely the case of any PC/SC Coupler until a card is inserted or presented ;-).

For correct operations of any SpringCard PC/SC Coupler with a Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspian Bullseye, the integrator must therefore disable the USB power control, and this article explains how to do so. It may also be useful to anyone trying to troubleshoot disconnection issues affecting any PC/SC device when used together with an embedded Linux system where USB power saving is enabled by default.

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Using NXP RFIDDiscover with SpringCard PC/SC Couplers

RFIDDiscover (formerly MifareDiscover) is a GUI software provided by NXP to help the developers explore the features of their contactless cards (Mifare, Desfire, NTAG and ICode) and learn how-to use them from a real application.

This software is available to customers under NDA with NXP, through the DocStore document delivery platform (ref. SW1866).

This article shows how-to get started with this RFIDDiscover, in the aim of using it together with SpringCard devices. This is the preferred method to learn how those cards work, before starting the development of any software that would use them for data storage and/or secure transactions.

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Using NXP Card Test Framework with SpringCard PC/SC Couplers

Card Test Framework is a GUI software provided by NXP to help the developers explore the features of their contactless cards (Mifare, Desfire, NTAG and ICode) and learn how-to use them from a real application.

This software is available to customers under NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with NXP, through the DocStore document delivery platform (ref. SW5434).

This article shows how-to get started with this Card Test Framework, in the aim of using it together with SpringCard devices.

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Using NXP TapLinx SDK with SpringCard PC/SC couplers

NXP TapLinx SDK (formerly Mifare SDK) is an high-level sofware library provided by NXP to work with their Mifare, Desfire, NTAG and ICode products.

Written in Java, the TapLinx library has been initially developed for Android, running over Android's NfcAdapter object to communicate with the contactless cards or NFC tags through the tablet's or smartphone's integrated NFC interface.

Recently, the library has been ported to the standard JDK, making it usable in any Java desktop applications thanks to the JRE available on Windows, macOs, Linux, and more. In desktop applications, the TapLinx library relies on the system's PC/SC stack (javax.smartcardio API in Java) to access the contactless cards or NFC tags through a standard-compliant PC/SC coupler.

This makes TapLinx an interesting solution for developers of desktop applications that have to process NXP cards or tags. This article shows how-to get started with this SDK, in the aim of using it together with SpringCard devices.

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PC/SC on Linux and Mac OS X with Mono

One the goals of the Mono project is to make Microsoft .NET applications runnable on Unix systems. Using Mono, it is therefore now possible to maintain a single C#/.NET code base, that runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

In this context, SpringCard's PC/SC SDK (https://www.springcard.com/en/download/find/file/pcsc-sdk) has been updated, so that it now enables developers to write PC/SC applications in C#/.NET, that can execute on Windows, as well as on Linux and Mac OS X platforms.

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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 https://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:

C:\springcard>scpcsc_feed
SpringCard -- scpcsc_feed
-------------------------
Read/write data in the non-volatile memory of a SpringCard PC/SC Reader

Build : Apr 15 2015
Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Pro Active SAS, France
Go to www.springcard.com for information and updates.

Connected through PC/SC.
Connected, device : SpringCard Prox'N'Roll HSP 2.00 [1]
Firmware features : 0073232F

Usage: scpcsc_feed -d            dump configuration registers
scpcsc_feed -r XX         show value of register XX
scpcsc_feed -s XX=YYYY... write register XX with value YYYY...
scpcsc_feed -e            erase all configuration registers
scpcsc_feed -sf FILE      write register(s) from config FILE
scpcsc_feed -t XX=YYYY... set temporarily register XX with value YYYY...
scpcsc_feed -tf FILE      set temporarily register(s) from config FILE

C:\springcard>

A few interesting commands

Read-back the current configuration

scpcsc_feed -d

Restore the factory configuration (blank all registers)

scpcsc_feed -e

Apply the configuration from a MultiConf project

scpcsc_feed -sf [file.multiconf]

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