Very rarely does POS equipment make its way onto sites like Engadget or Gizmodo, but hey sometimes interesting stuff happens. This time it was a video of hardware that can make your receipt printer print out the constitution.

From the article, this is the work of Thibault Brevet, a Swiss artist, who showed off his work at SXSW. The trigger system is apparently a small computer type thing that just fires out the proper commands over to the printer and boom, constitution! Gizmodo claims it’s any receipt printer, but it looks like there are some specifics to the setup. Namely, the printer needs a serial port in order to communicate with the crazy trigger system, and given that it’s an Epson TM-T88V, I assume the commands are sent using ESC/POS. Many printers do support ESC/POS, though sometimes it’s not always exact.

It is interesting to see POS hardware used in unconventional ways. Kind of like using mobile computers to play a song.

POSGuys Grocery POS System

January 15, 2013

We have a new POS System available and hopefully it’ll fit well in grocery stores or delis. Maybe even a hardware store if you sell things by weight. This is the Grocery POS System, another of our pre-configured POS Systems.

POSGuys Grocery POS System

The system was created because many customers have called in asking for a pre-made grocery system, but we didn’t have one available. Our tech team have been known to setup a retail system to support a scale, but we really wanted something online with all the requisite parts together.

We’ve built the Grocery POS System to meet the needs of high volume retailers who sell products both by barcode and weight. The system comes complete with POS Computer, Monitor, Programmable Keyboard, Scanner / Scale, Cordless Scanner, Receipt Printer, and Cash Drawer. That’s a lot of stuff.

POS Computer:
The POS-X EVO PC4 Pro computer included in the system has the power to handle even massive inventory databases with ease. Powered by an Intel Core i3 processor and 4 GB of RAM, the computer makes short work of product lookups and inventory checks. You also get a full complement of interface ports on the back of the EVO PC4, ensuring the plethora of peripherals can make purchase in the system.

Programmable Keyboard:
Preh’s MCI3100 keyboard consolidates 10-key functionality, credit card reading, and programmable key entry into a remarkably durable housing. We have reviewed this keyboard on video, hanging about 20 pounds of weight from either side while entering data successfully. 23 additional programmable keys are fantastic for putting in unmarked or often scanned products, like fruits or gum or something.

Scanner / Scale Combo:
In-counter scanner / scale combos are tanks. There’s a reason you still see PSC Magellans deployed even though they were bought by Datalogic and rebranded like 5 years ago. We’re running with the Honeywell Stratos 2400 in our POS system, mostly because we have had pretty great success in installations with this specific model. It has a 30 pound weight limit, so unless you’re selling lead bricks you should be fine. The two omnidirectional laser scanners are incredibly fast, so even if you’re throwing products across they’ll get scanned.

Cordless Scanner:
You can’t always use the scanner/scale for products you sell. Like dog food, or big boxes of soda that your customer doesn’t want to pull out from under the cart. So for those hulking monstrosities, you have the toughest cordless scanner we’ve ever seen- the Motorola LI4278. We drove over one of these barcode scanners with a BMW station wagon and it still works fine. It also has a 3 foot scan range on retail barcodes, so you don’t really have to stretch to get a good read either.

Receipt Printer:
Epson’s TM-T88V prints out receipts at a blisteringly fast pace, so even if a customer just bought like… 400 dollars worth of groceries, the printout will not be a hold up. A 12 inch per second print speed is terrific for long receipts. In terms of durability, the printer’s mean time between failure is 360,000, or about 41 years of use.

Cash Drawer:
The high security MMF Advantage Cash Drawer is going to keep your money safe all day long. Along with standard features like sturdy bill weights and multiple under-till media slots, the Advantage features a locked compartment connected to one of said media slots, ensuring things such as checks and large bills can be stored without fear of them walking away. The Advantage also sports a 4 million cycle solenoid lifespan, running smoothly for countless years.

We have had a lot of success setting up PCAmerica’s Cash Register Express for use with scales, and the powerful software handles even massive inventory databases. The easy-to-use software uses SQL Express for the database, scaling well to bigger operations and allowing for easy multi-lane setups.

All together, these parts make for a powerful means to handle the high volumes grocery checkstands experience. If you have a grocery store and see growth in your future, our Grocery POS System is a great first step.

We did a video a couple years ago covering the Epson TM-T88V and Epson ReadyPrint T20 receipt printers, including the difference in print speeds. Receipt printer speeds are always kind of nebulous. You can read all these data sheets and product descriptions and come to the conclusion that the TM-T88V is 6 better than the ReadyPrint T20, or maybe twice as fast, but until you see them side-by-side, it’s difficult to grasp what 6 better really entails.

The Epson TM-T88V is the current fastest receipt printer on the earth, so we wanted to get a video together to really show the difference between it and the ReadyPrint T20. Props to Jaime for coming out unscathed.

Epson TM-T88V

May 27, 2010

WordPress has some fun analytics and stats for how visitors find the site, and lately I’ve been getting a lot of traction on the term TM-T88V. Apparently I tossed a typo up on the TM-T88IV video review post and thought people were hitting the site off their own typo. And then I got a press release about the Epson TM-T88V receipt printer, and a couple requests to get it up on the site. So it’s sharing time!

The TM-T88V receipt printer continues Epson’s quest for the ultimate printing experience. At a blisteringly fast 11.8″ per second, the TM-T88V is the fastest receipt printer on the market. Stock up on bandaids because your employees are going to suffer from chronic paper cuts after you install this printer. It’s also 50% faster than the TM-T88IV, so if they keep that pace the TM-T88X will print at 83″ per second. I can’t wait for that, the paper will just appear magically.

The mean time between failures (MTBF) is a determination of how long a product can operate before it fails to the point that it has to be sent in for repair. It’s usually calculated in hours run, and is a sign of how awesome a product is. The TM-T88V has a MTBF of 360,000 hours. I love back of the envelope math, and that’s a little over 41 years of constant use. 41 years. Who does that. So one of these printers is like 340 bucks, that cuts it down to $8.30 per year, or $0.001 per hour of use. Tenth of a cent per hour, and that’s the average failure time.

Either receipt printer manufacturers got tired of returns on legacy hardware or USB interfaces actually cut production costs, because almost every company is building dual interface USB/Legacy receipt printers nowadays, and the TM-T88V is no exception. I guess it helps that a product with a potential 41 year lifespan has the potential to connect to current computers. I really do appreciate the dual interface method; as a tech supporter I used to feel horribly when a customer would get a new PC and try to install their parallel printer on their now USB-only PC.

Energy and resource-efficiency is gaining footholds in the POS industry and so now manufacturers are starting to apply these techniques to their printer lines. Star’s TSP100ECO and now the Epson TM-T88V are Energy Star compliant, so you can save on energy costs and maybe even media. The TM-T88V also allows for print options & configurations so you can use less paper per receipt. So if you combine the printer with its low energy & paper usage with BPA free paper, you can get some pretty solid karma and good feelings. Dude. Karma.

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