MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Is there some way to enhanse your credit card using a permenent grocery bag

Date: Wed Nov 27 11:58:08 2002
Posted By: Dr. Fred Jeffers, Staff, Magnetic Recording Research, Iomega corp.
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1022345219.Ph

   I was not the person who answered the previous question.  I am not 
aware of the effect you mention.  The signal in a magnetic card read head 
is quite sensitive to the spacing between the card and the head.  Hence 
putting a thin spacer on the card will reduce the signal and so also 
reduce the signal to noise ratio.  Depending on a lot of details, this 
will tend to increase the errors in reading the card, not reduce them.
   The card can be cleaned with a damp cloth and should work if it is not 
damaged somehow.  The standard stripe can be rather easily demagnetized.  
A common rubber refrigerator magnet will do it.  
   I need to know more details of what you observe before I can comment 

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