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Fast Release Card Reader Terminal Network Protocol


NOTE: This article is intended for PaperCut ASCs and Resellers interested in using alternative network card readers with the PaperCut Fast Release solution.

Fast Release is a cost-effective print release (Secure/Find-Me Printing) solution that leverages commodity off-the-shelf card readers available from multiple manufacturers. The Fast Release terminals are connected to the network (not the printer) allowing them to be used with any printer on the market. A USB card reader is connected to the the Fast Release Terminal and users use their proximity card to authenticate. PaperCut MF releases the users held print jobs to the printer associated with the Fast Release Terminal.

It’s an ideal solution for any printer or MFP that does not support embedded applications.

See the secure print release and find-me printing page for more information.

PaperCut MF currently has official support for the following network card readers.

  • Elatec TWN3 with the TCP Converter
  • RFIdeas Ethernet card readers

When using these terminals, PaperCut can provide additional functionality to provide feedback to the user (e.g. successful/failed login). For example beeping or changing/flashing the LEDs.

The PaperCut Fast Release solution can work with any generic network card reader to provide basic Secure/Find-Me Printing functionality, if the reader supports the basic protocol described below it can work with PaperCut today.

General Protocol Overview

  1. PaperCut the server opens a TCP socket connection to the network card reader on the configured port.
  2. The PaperCut server does some basic probing of the card reader to try to detect the card reader type. If an Elatec or RDIdeas reader detected we can use a more complex protocol to control beeps and LEDs.
  3. Then PaperCut waits for the card number to be sent over the TCP connection. The card number should be sent followed by a new line character.
  4. After the card number is read by PaperCut it authenticates the user and then goes back to step 3 to read the next card number.

In order to support this workflow all a network card reader needs to do is

  1. Listen on a port of your choice for a connection
  2. Accept the connection
  3. When a card is swiped send the card number followed by a new line character
  4. Wait for the next card swipe and repeat

Default Ports used when setting up the Fast Release Device:

Elatec TCP Converter Type 1

  • USB Device = 7778
  • Serial Device = 7777

Elatec TCP Converter Type 2

  • USB Device = 7777
  • Serial Device = 7778

RFIDeas Ethernet 241 Adapter

  • USB Device = 2001
  • Serial Device = 2000

If you have any questions, please contact your Authorised Solution Centre, your Reseller or PaperCut the support team.

Categories: Reference Articles , Scripting and APIs , Releasing Print Jobs

Keywords: fast release , network reader , protocol , connection , integration , mf-only


Last updated March 25, 2024