Propelling POS (Point of Sale) “Uptime” Via Power Conditioning

(PRWEB) April 13, 2005

To combat the increasing instances of phantom problems and untraceable error codes caused by unstable line power, POS dealers and integrators are now turning to power conditioning units that filter “dirty” line power into “clean” power – thus protecting ECRs and other retail systems devices from the temporal damage caused by over-voltages. The fact that new innovations have now brought the price of power conditioning units down to that of a simple surge protector or UPS means that dealers and integrators can cost-effectively ensure POS reliability.

“I’ve become a big believer in power conditioning,” says Ken Golden, President of Turn-key Business Systems, Inc. of Russellville, Arkansas – a provider of sales, service, supplies and support for MICROS and Panasonic point of sale systems. “If I can stop service calls from coming in, then I’m making money.”

The new preference for protection

In response to the shortcomings of previous attempts – such as using a heavy isolation transformer (IT) or surge protector – to combat dirty power, recent technological advancements have now yielded transformer based filtering (TBF) devices that cost-effectively provide clean, filtered power; AKA “computer grade” power.

Developed by SmartPower Systems (http://www.smartpowersystems.com) of Houston, Texas, these TBF devices incorporate a “smart,” digital, electronic circuit that allows more features – such as prolonged over-voltage protection – at a cost considerably less than that of an IT.

A 2005 report prepared by PowerCET – a power quality consulting, education and training firm based in Santa Clara, California – on behalf of SmartPower, discusses the testing of TBF technology versus ITs by applying IEEE C.62.41 surges of 3000 volts. The results showed that TBF surge attenuation on common mode was less than 0.5 volts, the same as an IT.

Yet, TBF devices also protect against small surges. If line power goes too high (>160VAC) for more than five cycles (80 milliseconds) – powerful enough blow out the power supply and motherboard of ECRs, for example – then the TBF unit cuts the power off to the protected device.

TBF circuitry also addresses a particularly perplexing problem in many point of sale installations – that of ground loop current, which can create havoc in sensitive microprocessors embedded within POS devices. The Smart Ground circuitry within the TBF units avoids this hazard by including an impedance matcher that eliminates ground loop current.

Computer-grade power in practice

“What we look for is a product that is inexpensive, that works, and that will keep us from having phantom support calls,” says Turn-key’s Golden. “When we turn the system on we want the electricity to be correct without any question, and the TBF units are the only way I can guarantee that it’s going to be correct. We use a combination of SmartPower’s UPSs and their Smart Cords depending on the installation. For example, I typically put their cords on all terminals and all printers. The small size is handy, and they are rated at 7-10 amps.”

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About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub is an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. He has written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. He has a clear and simple writing style and is skilled in using infographics and diagrams. He is a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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