Good question, my friends! Without knowing much about the customer’s cards/fobs I would say go with a TWN4-P, but it can get a little more involved than a guess (regardless of my confidence!)
Our go-to reader model is the Elatec TWN4, this is not a single reader as such, more a range of readers. The TWN4 is what we call a “multi-reader”, out of the box it will read lots of common prox technologies and work on the majority of devices supported by PaperCut MF.
This is ideal if you or the customer doesn’t know which cards they have (you would be surprised how often this is the case!). By default, they come with a PaperCut branded inlay on the black case and a 2m USB cable to connect to most MFDs.
Now, let’s talk about some of the options…
First up we have the standard TWN4 (T4DT-FB2BPC), it reads a boatload of cards; most of them we have never heard of, but you have the popular options like Mifare, HID and HiTag2 (Paxton cards use this). The full daunting list is below:
LEGIC Advant, MIFARE Classic 1k & 4k EV1, MIFARE Classic, MIFARE Mini, MIFARE DESFire EV1, MIFARE DESFire EV2, MIFARE Plus S, X, MIFARE Pro X, MIFARE Smart MX, MIFARE Ultralight, MIFARE Ultralight C, MIFARE Ultralight EV1, NTAG2xx, PayPass, SLE44R35, SLE66Rxx (my-d move), Topaz
Calypso, Calypso Innovatron protocol, CEPAS, HID iCLASS, Moneo, Pico Pass, SRI4K, SRIX4K, SRI512, SRT512
NFC Forum Tag 1-5, NFC Peer-to-Peer, Sony FeliCa, NFC Active and passive communication mode
EM4x33, EM4x35, HID iCLASS , HID iCLASS SE/SR, ICODE SLI, LEGIC Advant , M24LR16/64, SRF55Vxx (my-d vicinity), Tag-it, PicoPass
125 kHz, 134.2 kHz:
AWID, Cardax, CASI-RUSCO, Deister, EM4100, 4102, 4200, EM4050, 4150, 4450, 4550, EM43058), FDX-B, EM4105, HITAG 1, HITAG 2, HITAG S, ICT, IDTECK, Isonas, Keri, Miro, Nedap, PAC, Pyramid, Q5, T5557, T5567, T5577, TIRIS/HDX, TITAN (EM4050), UNIQUE, ZODIAC
Next up we have the TWN4-P (T4DT-FB2BPC-P). This is our go-to reader – it is the A-Team when locked in a garage; it can do anything. It has not let us down and is enabling secure print release on tens of thousands of PaperCut customers. Parents should not have favourites, but we are evidently not good parents!
We think this is great because it’s easy to implement touch-free print release, great for those in a post-Covid office (that’s assuming we’re ever allowed back there!).
The TWN4-P reads everything the standard reader can but also supports these prox types:
G-Prox, HID DuoProx II, HID ISO Prox II, HID Micro Prox, HID ProxKey III, HID Prox, HID Prox II, Indala, ioProx, Nexwatch
Last of all, we have the TWN4-PI (T4DT-FB2BPC-PI). This supports everything the standard and -P model can read but also adds support for these:
HID iCLASS, HID iCLASS SE/SR/SEOS(CSN and Facility Code/PAC),HID iCLASS Elite & SE Elite
You would typically go for the PI model if you needed to read the Facility Code from an iClass card or if you had no clue what cards/fobs the customer was using and wanted to cover all your bases. This is fairly rare which is why nine out of ten card reader orders leaving Selectec HQ involve the TWN4-P.
Is that all? Yes! No… kinda. This bit may get tricky.
So we have our 3 default models, TWN4, TWN4-P and TWN4-PI.
Now let’s take those and talk about TWN4 OEM specific readers:
HP devices have this little “pocket” that a slimline TWN4 reader could fit into. Elatec have just the answer: a smaller, thinner footprint reader with a short mini USB connector that just slides into the pocket and connects to the device to enable secure login via PaperCut.
So just like before we have 3 part numbers based on what prox technologies they support:
They have different part numbers but essentially the same device just in different housing.
Newer Ricoh devices have a sneaky mini USB port near the front panel. This is very useful as it allows you to nicely place a reader on the device. Because of this, Elatec has a “kit” for Ricoh SOP devices. The kit includes a standard TWN4 variant reader, but you have a choice of cables. You have the regular 2m cable that comes with a standard USB connector and shorter 40-45cm cable with a mini USB connector. We make sure the shorter cable is on by default – no point buying the Ricoh kit if you’re not fitting it on a Ricoh, right?
And just like before we have three part numbers.
The “K” and the “R” indicates that it is the Ricoh kit.
And that is a slick segue into the world of Elatec part numbers, let’s take the basic model T4DT-FB2BPC:
T4 = TWN4 range
DT = Desktop reader
F = Multi-technology
B2 = Cable length (2m) (other cable lengths are available if needed)
B = Colour of the reader in this case black (W for white is also an option, but rare)
PC = PaperCut branded inlay
You may have seen T4DT-FB2BEL before and wondered what the difference was, here you have EL instead of PC at the end. That would mean it would come with an Elatec sticker on the reader instead of a PaperCut one… simple!