Morehead State University: Vending Machine Interface

Serialio Morehead State Eagle Card

Products: SerialMagic Professional – Windows Mobile and BlueSnap XP Serial RS-232 Bluetooth Dongle

Customer: Morehead State University, Morehead, KY

Application: Cash Sales Download – Vending Units

Customer Description: Morehead State University is a four year public institution of higher education located in Northeastern KY. Enrollment at time of case study was in excess of 9,000 students and 1,500 faculty/staff.

Customer Problem: The EagleCard Office was in need a solution for recording the cash sales made through the 70+ Pepsi and snack machines using HID iClass readers across campus. These reports are to be used as supporting documentation for auditing purposes with weekly cash deposits from each machine. Products Used: SerialMagic Professional, IPAQ 110 PDA and BlueSnap-XP RS-232 Bluetooth Dongle

Solution: We purchased the SerialMagic software with 2 BlueSnap-XP RS-232 Bluetooth Dongle units (Note: BlueSnap AAA can also work for this application) and 2 PDA’s to be used as a collection solution for our Pepsi and snack units on campus. During the summer of 2008 a new card system was implemented on campus utilizing a Cbord system and contactless technology (iClass chip). With our old system, vending staff used a handheld device that they attached to each reader as they collected the cash from the unit. With this device they downloaded sales, both cash and card, into a report that could be printed off and submitted to the business office with the cash deposit for auditing purposes. With the SerialMagic software and PDA’s we are able to perform the same task with the new HID readers utilizing the BlueSnap-XP RS-232 Bluetooth Dongle and IPAQ PDA’s.

How It Is Done: Vending staff opens the front of the vending machine as they would when collecting cash only. They then attach the BlueSnap-XP RS-232 Bluetooth Dongle to the back of the card reader. Once connected, they open a new word document on their IPAQ 110 PDA, present the contactless HID iClass print meter card to the reader, wait for the file to download into a word document, and then save. It works like a charm. When they finish collecting the specified units for the day, they bring the PDA to the EagleCard Office for us to verify and print the reports to be included with the deposits. Results: A contactless/wireless Bluetooth solution which is efficient and inexpensive to implement and maintain. Also, it further supports our commitment to contactless/wireless solutions across the main campus. The individuals that use this on a daily basis said it saves them up to 5 minutes per machine during the collection process due to the speed of download and how easy it is to use. With 70+ machines that time savings in minutes translates to almost six (6) hours per collection period. Additional Comments From The Customer: The cost was minimal for this solution, and we were treated very well and helped along the way. has been and continues to be very supportive with any issues that may arise. We look forward to continuing this partnership and would highly recommend their services to anyone.