- HARDWARE TROUBLESHOOTING:
In this Troubleshooting guide we will look at the most common problems and resolutions for various types of hardware in a typical POS setup.
First of all, we will take a look at the hardware we will be referring to below and then we will go through the troubleshooting.
FEEL FREE TO SKIP TO THE TROUBLESHOOTING PART AT THE BOTTOM IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE HARDWARE AND CABLES.
Till / POS
This is your till, the main part of your POS system. There are numerous types of POS hardware out there however they are essentially the same when it comes to common troubleshooting.
The main differences applicable are the locations of power buttons and cables.
There are some machines that would have the receipt printer and till housed in an ALL-IN-ONE like this
to the right. The same troubleshooting fixes will still apply in most cases.
Receipt Printer (THERMAL)
This is your receipt printer, there are numerous types but essentially, they are the same.
The main differences will be:
- Type of cable connecting to the till (USB – SERIAL – ETHERNET)
- Location of the thermal strip responsible for burning the text/images onto the paper. (cleaning purposes)
- Orientation of the paper roll inside.
COMMON PROBLEMS ARE DIRTY THERMAL STRIP – CABLE UNPLUGGED – ROLLS INSERTED WRONG WAY.
Production Printer (DOT MATRIX)
Production printers are known as DOT MATRIX printers and this refers to the how the text is transferred to the paper. Dot matrix is an IMPACT printer.
A thermal printer’s thin paper will wilt and smear under extreme temperatures. A dot matrix printer uses ink to print whereas thermal printers use the etching process. In restaurants, where cooks and others help with greasy hands and constantly handle receipts, ink is preferred because it won’t smear.
COMMON PROBLEMS ARE INK RIBBON AND RECEIPT PAPER ROLL INCORRECTLY REPLACED OR DAMAGED ETHERNET CABLE CAUSING COMMUNICATION ISSUES.
- Cash Drawer
Cash drawers generally are the same across most types of POS systems, it has 1 cable that normally sits in the back of the printer, this cable receives the signal to open the drawer.
This cable is an RJ11 type cable (standard telephone cable).
There is a quick release mechanism at the bottom towards the very back, the lever/switch can be used to manually open the drawer in cases of a problem with the receipt printer or no key to hand.
COMMON PROBLEMS ARE CABLE NOT PLUGGED INTO PRINTER CORRECTLY, CABLE DAMAGED AND JAMMED DRAWER DUE TO COINS/DEBRIS STUCK BEHIND DRAWER.
Different types of cables used for your POS System.
1. USB Cable
Noticeable by the ‘chunky square’ connection on the right, this goes into the printer, the flat end goes directly into the USB port of your till.
COMMON PROBLEMS ARE PLUGGING INTO WRONG PORT ON TILL OR ACCIDENTALLY UNPLUGGED CABLE.
2. Serial Cable
These cables are of the older type but very reliable so there is a strong possibility your printer uses this cable.
They have a male connector on one end which has 9 pins and a female connector on the other end which has 9 holes.
(These cables generally have 2 fastening screws to allow you to securely lock the cable in place. It is advisable to use the fastener screws to prevent them coming loose)
Male end goes to printer and Female goes to the till connector into a specified COM port (normally COM1).
COMMON PROBLEMS: BENT PINS, UNPLUGGED CABLE OR PLUGGED INTO WRONG COM PORT.
3. Ethernet Cable / RJ45:
One of the most common cables around today, these normally come in multiple different lengths and colours.
It is used to connect your POS Till or Production Printer to an internal network or internet router
Normally referred to as Ethernet cable they have the same connection on both ends.
One thing to note here is the little clip on the top, when removing an Ethernet cable make sure to push this plastic tab down while you remove the cable to allow it to remove easily.
COMMON PROBLEMS ARE DAMAGED / PINCHED CABLES
4. Printer Power Supply (3PIN)
Printer power supplies are generally the same, they normally have 3 pins inside the circular connector and are very similar to the till’s power supply.
COMMON PROBLEMS ARE BLOWN FUSE IN PLUG OR COMPLETELY DEAD DUE TO POWER SURGE/SPIKE OR OLD AGE.
5. Till Power Supply (4PIN)
Most Till systems have a 4-pin connector and a much stronger power output voltage than a printer power supply so they are NOT interchangeable.
COMMON PROBLEMS ARE BLOWN FUSE IN PLUG OR COMPLETELY DEAD DUE TO POWER SURGE OR AGE.
MOST OF THESE ISSUES CAN BE DIAGNOSED AND FIXED BY ALMOST ANYBODY. OUR AIM HERE IS TO EDUCATE THE USER ON THE MOST COMMON ISSUES THAT MAY ARISE AND PROVIDE EASY TO FOLLOW, SIMPLE STEPS TO RESOLVE A PROBLEM AND MINIMIZE THE ‘DOWN TIME’.
IT IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE MORE INFORMATION PROVIDED TO US IN REGARDS TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF ANY PIECE OF HARDWARE FAILING, DRASTICALLY INCREASES THE CHANCES OF A QUICK DIAGNOSIS AND RESOLUTION.
Common Faults – POS (TILL)
BLANK DISPLAY (after trying power button)
First thing we need to understand is whether the till is getting power or not.
Make sure the correct power button is being pressed, check the Power supply is receiving power from the wall, we are checking cables are tight and there is no static build-up preventing the machine from starting. If you get back to the start of Diagram with same issue, call Costa systems support.
TILL SCREEN IS FROZEN/NON-RESPONSIVE:
TILL IS POWERED ON AND DISPLAY IS WORKING OK HOWEVER, IT IS NOT RESPONDING TO YOUR TOUCH AND SEEMS TO BE ‘FROZEN’.
If a screen is not responding to your input, the software may have crashed. If you have a keyboard, you check to see if you can switch windows using alt and tab.
If still no response you need to cut the power to the machine and power it back on again. There may be an error on screen but it should reboot as normal – This must be reported to costa systems at your earliest convenience.
Common Faults – Receipt Printer:
NOTHING IS PRINTING:
A RECEIPT IS EXPECTED BUT THERE IS NOTHING PRINTING. THIS CAN BE NO PAPER COMING OUT OR PAPER IS BLANK WHEN IT DOES COME OUT.
All we are doing here is making sure the roll is the right type of paper and is inserted, all cables are inserted correctly and no error lights showing on printer.
BLANK LINES ON RECEIPT AND OR HALF TEXT MISSING:
RECEIPTS ARE NOT PRINTING PROPERLY, THERE ARE SOME BLACK LINES AND SOME TEXT IS MISSING ON PARTS OF THE DOCKET.
Always remember you can contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the support number if you require any assistance.
(Document is currently in progress – more troubleshooting scenarios to be added)