Elo MSR Readers: Switching Between Operating Modes

The Elo USB magnetic stripe readers (MSRs) work in either of two modes:

  • Keyboard emulation (KBE)
  • Human Interface Device (HID)

The desired operating mode is determined by the software that runs the user's business, usually a point of sale (POS) software package. End users often end up with an MSR that is set up for the wrong operating mode for their software. For this reason, Elo now offers MSRs that may be easily switched between operating modes.

NOTE: This document does not apply to serial MSRs, as they do not use either mode.

Switching Modes

To switch the USB MSR operating modes, first download the standard USB Change Mode program and extract MSR Change Mode.exe.

Make sure the monitor is powered on and the Video and USB cables are connected.

  • Locate the MSR Change Mode program - if it is not on the desktop, use Windows Explorer or Search (right-click Start, then choose Explore or Search)
  • Double-click the MSR Change Mode program
  • A dialog should open with three items: the current MSR operating mode, a Change Mode button, and an OK button
    • If a dialog box saying, "MSR Change Mode has encountered a problem and needs to close" is displayed, then the MSR is either not powered or the USB cable is not connected or there is a fault with the MSR.
    • If the MSR Change Mode program opens but constantly displays "???" for the Current Mode, then the MSR is not one that can be changed with the MSR Change Mode utility.
  • Clicking the OK button closes the program with no further action
  • Clicking the Change Mode button will change to the opposite mode
    • This operation may take several seconds; "???" is displayed while the mode is being changed
    • Within a few seconds the opposite operational mode should be displayed as the Current Mode
  • Click OK to terminate the program

Testing Modes

To test the Keyboard emulation mode, open Notepad or any word processing program to a blank document, then swipe a credit card - the card information should be displayed in the document.

The easiest way to test the HID mode is to simply try it with your POS software and see if it reads cards.

More Information

Additional information, including technical reference manuals, can be found on the elotouch.com web site.