Power - How it can affect your payment systems.

by Vending Marketing Manager
Vending Marketing Manager
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on 2014-08-18 in | 0 Comments
It's easy... Just plug it in to an outlet and it works. Electricity, or power, has many obvious benefits to our industry. It keeps the soft drinks cold and the coffee or tea hot. It lights the machine to attract consumers and provides the convenience of quenching your thirst or shooing away that afternoon hunger.

Power is just as vital for the operation of your payment systems, as well. Many things regarding power can impact the performance of payment systems. So we should all follow a few basic rules when installing the vending machine and the payment systems.

First, know the minimum power requirements of your vending machine. Many machines have refrigeration, heating systems, motors, sensors, lights, etc., etc. And that's without the payment systems. One basic rule of thumb is to have your vending machine plugged into a dedicated line or socket. Doing this will almost always ensure that the power supply, during peak operating times, will not affect the performance of the machine.

Second, if the machine is located in an industrial area where high electrical noise or interference could be a problem, you should consider using some type of surge protector/electrical noise filter.

By looking after the power requirements of your machine, you greatly reduce the potential of power causing problems with the payment systems.

Now for the payment systems.

Connections: Make sure connections are correct and secure. A few things to check are to visibly inspect the connectors. If a pin or wire is loose, it could make the connection intermittent. If there is a locking tab on the connector, use it, make sure it is not damaged and inspect that it is secure.

Cables: Inspect all cables for damaged insulation, exposed wires, and if it will rub or interfere with any mechanical operation of the vendor.

Cable Ties: Always have many on hand. You should use these to secure cables in the machine. This minimizes cable interference with mechanical systems and reduces the chance of cable damage when opening and closing the doors of the machine.

And lastly, the topic of hot plugging:

We are reminded to never disconnect or connect payment systems while the machine is powered on. This practice puts great stress on the vending machine controller's (VMC) power supply. Over time the VMC can be damaged when payment systems are hot plugged. This is because with each hot plug, the stress on the power supply can be accumulative and slowly damage components on the VMC. But, in addition to the VMC, many payments systems can be damaged as well. That's an additional concern for operators and technicians.

Some machines have power switches and some don't. If you don't have a power switch in your machine, you must get creative. Sometimes you can access the main wall plug, so that could be an option. Or you can access a fuse or connector that will disconnect power to the VMC. If you are not sure, contact the vendor manufacture or literature for your options.

The good news on this topic is that all current CPI payment devices are protected against hot plugging through their design. So if the mistake is made, you can rest assured that the CPI Coin Changer, Bill Validator or Cashless System (telemeter and bezel**) will not be damaged. But... let's all be safe and power down the machine before making or breaking connections.

**Given the sensitivity and complexity of the cashless system, hot plug capability is especially advantageous in that it protects these expensive assets and any mix-ups with installation.