Cash Drawer Setup
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This configuration function, accessed through the Maintenance menu, is used to set up the options and hardware commands required to open an electronic cash drawer.
Most cash drawers are connected through a 3" receipt printer, and are opened with a command to the same port (if using a direct serial or parallel interface) or by printing commands in a special "command" font to the printer if using a Windows printer driver (e.g. for a USB printer). Either of these methods is supported, as well as interfacing directly to a cash drawer without a receipt printer (provided the cash drawer has a serial or parallel interface, or is an APG brand USB drawer). The method used to command the cash drawer depends on the type of hardware interface used, which in turn may depend on the receipt printer interface.
Note that the options are set up for commanding through an Epson printer driver by default, so if that's what you're using then all you need to do in many cases is check the "Cash drawer is present" option. If you're not connecting the cash drawer to the printer, or you're not using a printer driver or using a different brand of printer then you'll need to adjust the options accordingly. Note that we cannot guarantee support for connecting through any receipt printer brand other than Epson, or any USB connection cash drawer other than APG brand.
Networking note: These settings are separate for each workstation, and are specifically not synchronized when a Network Functions / Synchronize local options is performed. If you have more than one workstation on a network, each one must be set up individually since it may have different equipment.
Connecting a drawer through a Receipt Printer
The cable typically used for this has connections similar to a telephone. However, one end is smaller than the other, and the cable only works one way. The smaller end should connect to the printer, and on Epson printers it goes in the connector next to the power cable. The larger end should fit in the cash drawer.
Direct To Port -- If using a the Direct to Port setup for the receipt printer, the option Send command directly to the hardware port should be selected, with the appropriate interface selected (usually LPT1). The Characters to send should be set appropriately for the printer model.. For Epson printers, this will be 27,112, 0, 60, 60.
USB printer, and/or using a Windows printer driver -- If you can't use the Direct to Port connection (e.g. it's a USB printer or you need to share it over the network), then a driver must be installed for the printer. In this case, the option Send command through the 3" receipt printer driver should be selected, with the appropriate Command font entered (usually "control", for Epson printers). The Characters to send should be set appropriately for the printer model. For Epson printers, this will be 65. If you have a 2nd drawer connected to the same printer (using an RJ-11 splitter and special drawer #2 cable), then set it to 97 to open the 2nd drawer.
Connecting a drawer through a USB interface (APG cash drawers only)
This is the recommended method if you don't plan to use a receipt printer and must get a drawer with a USB interface, but only the APG brand of USB cash drawers is supported at this time. The driver for these should be included with the drawer -- you will need to follow the included directions to install the drawer, making a note of the USB port used (usually USB1 or USB0).
Once the driver is installed, you can select "Send command through USB port", and choose the appropriate USB port. The easiest option is to select the "QuickFire" option for the USB port. This is a special interface from APG that is supposed to locate the drawer automatically. However if that doesn't work, then try choosing the port that was shown when you installed the driver.
Connecting a drawer through a Serial interface
This is only advisable if you don't plan to use a receipt printer. The connection must be made directly to a serial port on the computer -- a USB/Serial converter will not work. If your computer does not have a serial port (also known as a "COM" port) built in, you can usually have a technician add one to it. See "Direct to Port" above for setting details.
Connecting a drawer through a Parallel interface
This is only advisable if you don't plan to use a receipt printer, but do have a parallel printer (e.g. laser or ink jet printer). The connection must be made directly to a parallel port on the computer -- a USB/parallel converter will not work. In addition, there must be a parallel printer connected, which would now connect to the drawer as a pass-through connection. The drawer will not work if there is not a printer connected to it and turned on. See "Direct to Port" above for setting details.
Cash drawer is present -- Obviously this should be checked if you want the software to command the drawer. The function to Open Cash Drawer will only appear on the dialogs if this is checked, and it will only open automatically when printing a receipt if this is checked. All other settings are disabled unless this is checked. Note that if a cash drawer is removed, or the database is moved to a computer without a cash drawer, it's a good idea to uncheck this so it won't sent cash drawer commands to the port, possibly resulting in affecting other devices like a printer or modem that's now connected to the same port number.
Show an "Opening Cash Drawer" message while opening drawer -- Check this option if there is a delay opening the drawer (some printer drivers can cause a few seconds' delay). This simply serves as an indication that it did send the command, so you don't have to wonder while you wait.
Send command directly to the hardware port -- Select this to send the command directly to the port. This option is fast and won't feed extra paper, and doesn't require a receipt printer driver to be installed. This can be used whether or not the drawer is attached to a receipt printer, assuming the printer has a special pass-through command to open the drawer. Of course if the drawer is attached directly to a serial or parallel port, this is the only option you can use. Conversely, if you have a USB receipt printer and the drawer is connected to the printer, then this option cannot be used
Baud, Parity, Data bits, Stop bits -- These only apply if commanding directly through the port and if it's a serial port (com1 through com8). Enter the appropriate values according to your cash drawer or receipt printer manual.
Send command through the 3" receipt printer driver -- Select this to send the command through the Windows printer driver, but as text printed in a special font. For instance, Epson printers can be commanded to open the drawer if an 'A' character is sent in the "control" font. Note that this always sends it to the printer designated for the 3" receipt printer (under File / Printer Setup), even if you're printing a receipt to a different printer. It also requires the special printer driver from the receipt printer manufacturer.
Send command through USB port -- Select this if it's a USB cash drawer interface. This only works for APG cash drawers with a native USB connection -- not for serial or parallel drawers connected to a USB port through an adapter. You will also need to select the USB port that was assigned when installing the cash drawer driver, or select "QuickFire" in the port list to use a special interface that locates the drawer automatically.
Send command to another Workstation -- Assuming you have the Networking option, you can use this to tell it that the cash drawer is physically connected to a different workstation (allowing one drawer to be shared between workstations). Just enter the workstation ID that has the drawer. Of course you should make sure that the workstation you're sending the command to has the cash drawer set up as local (direct, printer, or USB interface selected).
When printing a receipt.... -- This selection simply determines when (and if) you want the command to be sent automatically when a receipt is printed. Usually you want it to be sent before the receipt text is printed, so the drawer opens immediately. However this can be changed as needed (it may even be necessary to send it after the text for it to work properly with your printer). Note that it doesn't matter which receipt format you're printing -- even if you print a full-page receipt to a laser printer, the cash drawer command will be sent separately to open the drawer, even if it's connected through a receipt printer.
Open drawer immediately after a payment is entered -- Select this option particularly if you don't always print receipts, but want the drawer to open (and any change due shown) as soon as a Payment is entered on the Transactions or POS dialog. This will open the drawer for any payment, refund, or deposit transaction. If you only want it to open for Cash payment methods, then also check the "... only if it's a Cash payment" box.
Characters to send -- Refer to your printer or cash drawer manual if your printer isn't one of the examples listed on the dialog. The command string must be entered as a string of decimal numbers separated by commas. (Plain text entry is not possible because some codes use non-printable characters.) See above for the appropriate setting, depending on the connection method.
Test -- After everything is set up the way you think it should work, click the Test button to send the specified commands.