Sometimes, the different terminology that is used to describe a bill acceptor and its interfaces can create confusion.
A bill acceptor is also commonly known as a Bill Validator, Bank Note Reader, Bank Note Acceptor, Note Validator, Note Acceptor. It is the engine of a note accepting system, performing the job of accepting notes, validating them and then accepting a verified or discriminated note or rejecting it.
Once the note has been accepted, it can be directed into a variety of stacking cashboxes.
Each bill acceptor must communicate with a system controller and there are various communication methods to achieve this data transfer. The most common ones are listed below.
The simplest interface is known as Pulse. A single output line is designated to provide a series of pulses, corresponding to the note denomination which is inserted. As an example, a US$1 note could provide 1 output pulse, whilst a $5 note provides 5 output pulses.
Most note validators can be configured to give 1,2,4,5 pulses per credited note denomination.
The GBA has an S software designation for a pulse output configuration.
A parallel interface requires each programmed note denomination to have an assigned output line. If a valid banknote is accepted by the validator, a pulse is provided out of the specific line designated for that denomination. As an example, a bill acceptor is programmed to validate 4 note denominations. If a banknote is accepted and is determined to be the note assigned to line 3, a pulse will be output to that line.
The GBA has a C1 software designation for parallel output configurations.
This interface is commonly used to communicate between a bill acceptor and a 'host' controller. The output of the bill acceptor would typically be connected to a serial comms port on the host. Since bill validators typically provide RS232 TTL output signals, they must be translated to 'true' RS232C compatible signals. This is usually achieved through an interface which utilises a maxim MAX 232 interface semiconductor or compatible device.
The GBA has a variety of Rx software designations for its RS232 configurations.
This interface is a bi-directional, TTL level interface introduced by Mars Electronics and is a common interface employed throughout the industry.
The GBA has an S software designation for a serial output configuration.
Many industry-specific interfaces exist. By way of example, Multi-Drop Bus, MDB, is an interface common to the cold drink and snack vending industry. RS485, on the other hand, is a very common interface used in the security drop safe industry. Protocol A (executive) is an interface typically used in the vending industry.
The GBA supports MDB operations either through the use of a special MDB controller interface and CI software or a separate power supply and C7 software.