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FAQ's


Frequently Asked Questions.


 

If you have any questions regarding this web site or any of the products please use the contact us form at the bottom or Tel - 0845 6447809.

Thank you. 

What is a POS System?

A POS System (Point of Sale) is the hardware and software found at the checkout or point where payment for goods or services is taken. The POS system sometimes extends to the back office where the daily house keeping, data entry, price updates etc are carried out. The POS System handles the initial transaction as well as looking after the stock and other backend functions (re-ordering for example). A basic Point of Sale system Consists of...


Front End             Back End (if needed)
  1. Touch Screen/ PC
  2. Receipt Printer
  3. Cash Drawer
  4. Barcode Scanner
     
  1. PC
  2. A4 Printer

 

There are hundreds of software packages available, each differing slightly depending on their intended use. Salon type POS might have customer appointment reminders for example while hospitality software might have a function "happy hours". 

What is PC Based EPOS?

PC Based EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale, now usually refered to as Point of sale/POS) uses a standard personal computer and epos peripherals to to provide all you need to have a complete epos hardware solution, add the epos software and you are ready to go.

Tip - Decide on your software first, make sure it does everything you need then buy the necessary hardware. EPOS Software suppliers sometimes also sell hardware but not at prices like ours. We deal with all the major EPOS manufacturers so if can not find what you need call 0845 6447809 for a price.

In years gone by (and some today) manufacturers made proprietary pos hardware that connected together using proprietary communications, this made adding peripherals from other manufacturers very expensive, as often a special interface would be required. More recently purpose built epos peripherals such as receipt printers, customer displays and barcode scanners have become available using standard interfaces found on most personal computers. USB interfaces are now the most popular. See below for how the cash drawer connects.

How do I open the cash drawer? What is DKD?

Using Epson printers as an example:
On a standard PC there is no standard port that will provide the necessary current to open a cash drawer (uses a solenoid), this is overcome by using a port on the receipt printer, the drawer kick out device or DKD. You simply plug the cash drawer in to the printer DKD port and send the printer the necessary command to open the drawer (this is usually set in the epos software you are using) the printer then opens the cash drawer. 

The easiest way to open the cash drawer for testing purposes or if you are writing your own application is to use the Windows driver:- Open printer driver properties and click printing preferences, then document settings, highlight cash drawer in the box and more drop down menus should appear, choose your required operation.

You can also use the Epson control font, this is loaded when you install the Epson TM printer driver. The control font enables you to use a windows word processor document to control the printer functions, please download example to test your printer and cash drawer

Help - which Interface do I need?

Keyboard wedge or Serial, RS232 or Parallel, Ethernet or USB? Lets start with the common ports found on most PCs:

Com1, Com2 These are the communication ports, also known as RS232 or Serial ports. Usually 9 pin D connectors. Most newer PCs no longer have these ports!
Parallel Port This is the printer port. 25 pin D connector. Most newer PCs no longer have this port!
Ethernet This is the connection to a network. RJ45 connector.
USB This can be used for various peripherals. Usually PCs have 4 or more USB connections.
Keyboard This is the keyboard connection. Small PS2 type on newer PCs or a larger 5 pin DIN on older PCs. Most newer PCs no longer have these ports! they might use a USB keyboard.

 

If your putting an EPOS System together decide on your EPOS Software first, and use the recommended hardware. Most software will still allow you to use the different ports on your PC to connect your peripherals, again USB is by far the most popular.

Find out what ports you have available on your PC. Go for USB if possible as most of the older type ports are going obsolete. 

What is a Keyboard Wedge interface?

Its a simple way of allowing barcode scanning with any software that allows keyboard entries! that includes not only EPOS software but almost all software, including your Windows applications and your old DOS programs. It connects to the PC using the existing keyboard port, you simply unplug the keyboard, plug in your scanner then reconnect your keyboard to the adapter supplied with the barcode scanner. The keyboard wedge works by sending the same keyboard codes just as if you had typed them - with no errors, and you can use the keyboard as you would normally.

What Type of Touch Screen do I Need?

There are many different types of touch screen technologies available, for example - resistive, surface wave, capacitive infra red etc. For general POS applications we recommend the Accutouch technology. For a detailed decription of each type there is more information on the ELO website

Have you got a question or an EPOS problem? use the contact us form at the bottom.