What Is a Magnetic Dallas Key (iButton)? A Short Guide to Dallas Keys (Magnetic and Non-magnetic)

A magnetic Dallas key is also called magnetic iButtons. A magnetic Dallas key(key in short) consists of an iButton(most common DS1990A+F5/DS1990R#F5), an outer iron ring and a plastic fob.

A magnetic key does not have magnetism itself. We call it ‘magnetic’ which means these keys which have iron rings should work with a magnetic iButton reader. These magnetic readers have magnets inside so that they can stick the keys in place and the keys would not drop.

Magnetic Dallas Key

Browse magnetic Dallas keys

Non-magnetic Dallas key consists of an iButton (most common DS1990A+F5/DS1990R#F5) and plastic fob(without an iron ring).

Non-magnetic Dallas Key

Browse non-magnetic Dallas keys

In most cases, non-magnetic keys can’t work with a magnetic reader and vice versa. So it is very important to know what type of reader you have on your systems before purchasing the keys as the two are not interchangeable.

But which type of keys should we choose for our application? It depends on your system. Magnetic keys must be kept on the reader to remain logged in, while Non-magnetic keys can be removed once logged in until you need to log out. For some GPS tracking devices, there are two models you can set up with then you can choose one of them for your application. If you’re not sure you need magnetic or non-magnetic keys, it’s best to contact the company who supplied your system.

Beside these magnetic and non-magnetic keys, actually, there is another type of keys that really have magnetism (outer magnetic rim). This type of keys consists of an iButton, a plastic holder and a magnetic outer rim. These keys can work with a non-magnetic reader as long as the reader has an iron ring for the ground.

*Note: iButton and 1-Wire are registered trademarks of Maxim.