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Technical: Where are all the protocol specifications?

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I'm an electronics engineer working on making some products for the vending industry.  I need to find the specification/manual for every protocol used (even the uncommon ones).  Does anyone know where to find any of these which don't yet have a link?  (Going off this list)

  • European Electromechanical (1 price, 2 price, 4 price, 10 price)
  • USA Electromechanical (1 price, 10 price):  Only aware it uses Jason/Johnson connectors and 80ms pulses.
  • Asian API Electromechanical (2 price, 10 Price)
  • 😀Protocol A (Executive): Found here
  • BDV: Made by the BDV association, specification is called 'BDV001', the manual is likely all in german.
  • 😀MDB/ICP: Found here
  • 😀MicroMech: Not sure where I found it, but I do have the coin mech connector part of it written down and can post it if nobody has an official link.
  • Simplex III/ L+: An extension of micromech to adapt it outside of the USA, I haven't found anything on this.
  • Simplex 0
  • VCCS: Conntacting Coca Cola hoping to find it.
  • HII: Contacting MEI to request it.

Audit Standards:

  • EVA-DTS (VIDTS/BDV002): Found here after signup
  • DEX: Found here
  • Optical Audit: A bit confused whether this (and DEX) is part of EVA-DTS or its own thing.
  • Printer Audit Protocols (no standard exists, so all of them):

 

 

Also in an attempt to find the protocol used as a MicroMech equivalent for Bill Acceptors, I've found what be a Mars brand only set of terms, but I found a slight description of ILLP/NILLP, IHLP/NIHLP, NISR, and NILL.   This is in the Mars 2000 series Manual.

  • IHLP - Isolated High Level Pulse (NIHLP is NonIsolated).  They say it can be used with a Single Price Interface harness, so may be their wording for USA Electromechanical (1 price).
  • ILLP - Isolated Low Level Pulse (NILLP is Nonisolated).  Has a long and short pulse option.
  • NISR - Says it's also called SMART, with one way DC comms and DC voltage handshaking.
  • NILL - NonIsolated LowLevel.

Can anyone shed light on this?

Anything anyone can add is appreciated.

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Welcome!

Just out of curiousity, why do you need the really old/obscure ones? For instance, the US 4 price protocol is very, very obsolete. Most equipment running 4 price changer have long since been scrapped, and those that remain are not economically viable to perform any upgrades to (there will not be a market for upgrades to those machines). I cannot comment on Euro or Asian stuff but most machines that are in service in the US run Executive, Micro Mech or single price (mostly older stuff) and MDB (anything built in the last 20 years). Also, any machine that has Audit capabilities runs DEX. 

With that said, most vendors here are based in the US, and are not really engineers.

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I'm making a universal retrofit VMC (motherboard), that's the short explanation.  Planning on pulling a steve jobs on the vending industry (good luck with that, i know), it's a very outdated and overpriced industry though.

The 4 price protocol (and every other protocol) I can easily make cheap in-line adapters to translate it to MDB or CCTalk.  There are converters like this available, but I've seen nothing but $200-600 trash.  A 10 or 20 dollar converter makes it cheaper to buy or upgrade 100+ bill validators, you can buy older technology cheaper, and pop in an adapter, or use that stockpile of outdated equipment you were about to just toss in the trash (or try and pawn off to someone new).  That's a use, but the main purpose is for use in my VMC.

So basically for compatibility with everything, and the fact that really old stuff won't be so outdated when I'm done (therefore more commonly used), is why I need the old ones.

I've seen a few post replies talking about technical aspects of things, so figured there's gotta be a chance someone might know something about it.  If not, hopefully someone else who needs the info I've found, finds my post in a google search?

 

I did not know that the commonly used old bill acceptor standard is Executive, thank you, that was something I was wondering.

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The Executive protocol is not used in the US.  It's used in foreign countries only but don't ask me why since I am in the US.  You are wasting time on anything older than Micro-Mech technology.  Just because you can make a $20 converter for a 30 year old machine doesn't make the machine current or even late model.  It would still be a dinosaur without parts or tech support to speak of.  I always find it comical when someone tries to reinvent the wheel when all they are doing is putting air in a flat tire.  If you have no experience in vending and have not been around for 20-30 years like I have to watch it's demise then you have no idea that you are spitting into the wind, so to speak.

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On 12/9/2018 at 12:34 AM, AZVendor said:

The Executive protocol is not used in the US.  It's used in foreign countries only but don't ask me why since I am in the US.  You are wasting time on anything older than Micro-Mech technology.  Just because you can make a $20 converter for a 30 year old machine doesn't make the machine current or even late model.  It would still be a dinosaur without parts or tech support to speak of.  I always find it comical when someone tries to reinvent the wheel when all they are doing is putting air in a flat tire.  If you have no experience in vending and have not been around for 20-30 years like I have to watch it's demise then you have no idea that you are spitting into the wind, so to speak.

I've worked at my father's business about 5 years, he's been in the business 35 years (started at a multi-state vending company, rose the ranks, company got bought out by a sham company, surviving employees started their own business, he eventually bought that business and changed the name back to the original company), so not no experience.

The peripherals being converted to the new standard makes older devices that are just as functional, no longer obsolete, saving some companies a bunch of money.  For my father's business, this is a large stockpile of MicroMech-Era devices (over 100) that are pretty much just trash when he finishes upgrading all his machines to MDB.  In reality, the older ones are more reliable than the new plastic junk.  They can be installed into a MDB capable machine.  All a bill acceptor has to do is accept bills.  Even the few 50 pound ancient monster bill acceptors he's got are capable of that functionality.  Protocol converters aren't actually a part of my product, just something I can do, and why not sell it to the skeptics who don't upgrade to my VMC or something.

Every feature I'm making, has been made with a need/use in mind (originally it wasn't going to be for sale), I'm actually just now looking at the whole thing trying to make an official business plan.

I'm reinventing the wheel, the engine, the whole car, then the road too.  The industry is loaded full of outdated and overpriced technology.  My father's machines, upgrading the firmware on them so they can support MDB, you gotta buy a bigger EPROM with the software on it.  An extremely outdated way to update software, he goes and buys $50 a piece eproms!  Thankfully I stop him only after his test order of 3, order an EPROM programmer, order about 50 more blank EPROMS off Digikey for under a dollar each, and save him a few hundred bucks.  Scams like this are the norm from what I've seen.  It's an industry for those who pay for not knowing, AND pay because there's a lack of competition/options.  He ordered an MDB converter for about $400, which I advised against but was curious to see it as I already had the idea by that time.  It arrives, looks like they went to radioshack and bought an enclosure for it, and a walmart labelmaker that's low on ink to make it look fancy.  No instructions, like a meter of wire in 3 different directions coming outta it.  Nothing at all to tell you whether it's acting as the VMC or a peripheral, thought the plug types indicate that after you see it in person.  No indication that you need to buy a dedicated power supply for it, like they couldn't design one into the board going off the MicroMech connector's plug?  Was just garbage, had to look on the circuit board to see polarity of the wires and what voltages, I'm just going to assume it barely works when you hook it up we threw it away.  Another example, a guy I was reaching out to who was working on a bitcoin payment service for vending machines, I was hoping to convince him to run his product on mine when I get it going (so that becoming an expert in bitcoin/blockchain is one less thing for me to do).  I ended up helping him with where he was stuck.  He was simply trying to make an MDB to wifi connector (something I already had) to run his services on.  He had purchased a $600 dollar MDB sniffer tool and a weird fake vending machine VMC thing too that was over a thousand or two (he's not a vending guy).  He told me he purchased it half a year ago and it hasn't worked once, even after contacting the manufacturer and them trying to help make it work, still, trash is trash, no matter how much people want it to be more.  What is sad about this, is it's possible, to make a sniffer (hardware costs, software being free) for under $5 (price is assuming most people already have a laptop).  I'm working on finishing the code still, but once done it'll be free/open-source, code just anyone could download and configure as a sniffer (or vmc, or peripheral), had he had this and two optical isolators (in short) and a USB cable to cut up, it would have worked and been basically free.

The fixes apply to all aspects of the industry.  My first feature I wanted to add to my father's machines, was automated inventorying.  The best option last time i checked, was Canteloupe Systems' Seed thing.  They market it for automating routes, rather than your entire business though.  So buying the physical devices is overpriced but that's expected in the industry.  What's bad about them, is their royalties!  It turns what should be like $1/month per machine, into like $50/month per machine, PLUS I don't think that included the data plan.  I calculated it out trying to find the price to automate my father's business (the right way, 100%, not just select routes).  For about 100 machines, it came to a few thousand dollars the first month or two, then a few hundred a month in royalties per month after that.  I would fill machines at walmart, which has a machine from every vendor, and the local pepsi company's machine had one of these on there, meaning they use it and pay those unnecessary huge fees.  I also saw them remove it one day (not the vending machine), and understood the likely reason, not profitable enough of a route.  The unnecessary fees stop people from using it to its fullest potential, I will have things fully automated, and later on, work on options for automating the order packing process.  When I'm done with the industry, everyone will have automated inventorying in every machine, for a minimal data fee that's cancelled out by savings and other optional income sources (like paid ads).  There's just too much to really explain.  I've seen the limitations of the MDB protocol cause a vendor to design a change machine with two VMCs so they could have two bill acceptors, this is kinda stupid and adds the cost of another VMC.  In the software of my machine you'll be able to just say you got two (or 50) MDB bill acceptors and it automatically starts two (or 50) separate digital/virtual MDB-VMCs, but you wouldn't really need to in most situations as a change machine is usually placed by other machines, and if they all run my VMCs, you'll be able to go to the ice cream machine and use its bill acceptor when the change machine's bill acceptor is down (then have the change come out of the change machine), or when the change machine runs out of money, go to a different machine to get the rest of your coins, or have it digitally refunded to your account.  Even ancient machines that haven't yet retrofitted a touchscreen or something modern (something my VMC reduces the cost of and makes simple), users will still be able to use their phone as a means of interacting with the advanced features of my VMC.  You can kinda start to understand the extent that I indent to fix things here, every issue I can think of is gonna be fixed, and then we start on the upgrades (fancy modern stuff, that doesn't forget the old/elderly people who get angry at how complex an 80s technology machine is, EVERYONE will like the upgrades).  At what cost?  The most minimal cost I can provide (while still netting a profit), I intend to pass a LOT of savings on to the vending customer as further incentive to make the switch (to maximize the success the device has in becoming the standard hardware used, as well as just make sure it actually helps lots of people).  My profits come from smaller less noticeable sources, kinda like google.  To almost everyone, google just provides free internet search services, free email services, free video sharing services (youtube), free maps services, etc.  But in reality, google makes millions off of these services which YOU (the user) never pay for, what i'm doing is creating a new market or two to profit off of instead of profiting off of my direct customers (vendors).  It's originally made for the small businesses, but very profitable for national companies too.  Some features only the wealthy larger companies will be able to provide.  But i'm starting to get carried away explaining some details on a public forum.  It's not just protocol converters, they're just there because they can be there.  Perhaps I'll start selling them first as I can finish those pretty quickly, but this VMC project is still a year or two away at best.

 

In case you still think I'm just hoping to wish things into existence: Pic includes a prototype (junky one in an electrical engineer's eyes) I made and programmed (controlled a machine wirelessly from my laptop), for that guy who's trying to make a bitcoin payment system.  Connects MDB to wifi (computer/software in between), allows you to make a bunch of different features, including inventory tracking.  The service cost is free if there's wifi, can be free without wifi too just not real time data, or cheap real time using gprs but that's going out of my way to make another pcb when I got bigger stuff to do)   I believe this was 18 dollars or so at quantities of 100 (for the circuit), which I consider expensive, and if investing fully into it I'm sure I could get it around 5 dollars each (at higher quantities, with costly investments, and more time/effort in the design).  Never made the enclosure though lol, don't have a 4 axis cnc mill (didn't wish/believe hard enough), plus it's not my problem anymore.  Could have 3d printed one I guess, but that bitcoin logo is actually a capacitive touch sensor for interacting with the device, with the light ring (which wouldn't actually shine that bright) as feedback.  This project will git-dun eventually, even if it takes a decade.

IMG_0418.JPG

fullsizeoutput_a8.jpeg

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You got some ambitious plans, best of luck!  Yes, vending has a lot of overpriced stuff going on, but some of that is due to the relatively small size of the market for such things.  What I would most like to see is real malfunction monitoring and alerting.  All of the telemetry companies now say they have it, but they really don't, because there is no standard for error codes between manufacturers, and the older devices are not that smart anyway... they mostly look for missing data over X number of DEX downloads and then report that as a possible malfunction.  

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17 hours ago, Southeast Treats said:

You got some ambitious plans, best of luck!  Yes, vending has a lot of overpriced stuff going on, but some of that is due to the relatively small size of the market for such things.  What I would most like to see is real malfunction monitoring and alerting.  All of the telemetry companies now say they have it, but they really don't, because there is no standard for error codes between manufacturers, and the older devices are not that smart anyway... they mostly look for missing data over X number of DEX downloads and then report that as a possible malfunction.  

Real time alerts will be a standard feature for stock (low/sold-out selections), and if you're following procedures correctly (maintaining integrity of digitally tracked stock) it'll be able to alert you if stock is expected to go outdated before it sells (should be able to do this before you fill, but things change), hardware malfunctions will be easily alerted in real time (and adapted around by sharing machine equipment wirelessly, making all machines accept payment as long as one still does), also there will be real time alerting against tampering with machines (mainly rocking them and unlocking them).  I intend to make an attempt at a more secure lock too as almost all vending machines you can just buy a quick lockpick for, then go make a key after you picked it.  Machines going offline due to a power outage or faulty machine (especially frozen/refrigerated foods) will use a small backup power source to send the last error message about power disconnection, and if that doesn't get sent out it'd be the lack of the machine checking in with an "all good" status that triggers an alert.

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What you are doing is mostly available, your gripe is price for service and hard goods.

Good Luck, eventually you will also be one of the "overpriced" technologies you are complaining about now.

 

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22 hours ago, SCOTT1963 said:

What you are doing is mostly available, your gripe is price for service and hard goods.

Good Luck, eventually you will also be one of the "overpriced" technologies you are complaining about now.

 

I haven't mentioned half of it yet, all I've mentioned so far is stuff that should already exist and should almost all be free (but isn't).  Micromarkets for example will nearly be free to operate too.  If I can't manage to make profits work the way I aim to, royalties would certainly be much lower than what's currently available.

What's available now I wouldn't consider technology.

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I'm not going to argue with your dreams, dream on brutha

I would only suggest that it is possible you are not completely embedded or well versed in what is out there, what engineers are working on right now and what has been tried but not economically feasible due to low interest.

In the 4th paragraph above talking about your Dad being ripped off, name names. I want to know where your Dad, with 35 years in the business, was buying eproms for $50 each.

I also am curious which MDB conversion kit was being purchased for $400 that did not replace the boards and display, just a box. $400 is a lot of money, why would you throw it away before even trying it out? You were just saying your Dad was getting ripped off with $50 eproms and you threw away $400 of his money?

What system did your friend purchase for $2000 that did not work even once? Just so none of us get ripped off, fill us in.

 

 

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Anything is possible, even that.  It was a $600 device, not 2 grand.  400 dollar loss (single test purchase) < $50 x ~50 units (2.5 grand).

Given your unnecessarily passive aggressive attitude and what appears to be an attempt to satisfy your own epicaricacy, I don't see value in further response.

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2 minutes ago, DarkerTech said:

Anything is possible, even that.  It was a $600 device, not 2 grand.  400 dollar loss (single test purchase) < $50 x ~50 units (2.5 grand).

Given your unnecessarily passive aggressive attitude and what appears to be an attempt to satisfy your own epicaricacy, I don't see value in further response.

He ain't being passive aggressive, just really skeptical. The reason that he is is because he has probably seen every conversion and replacement board known to man, and knows this niche like the back of his hand.

With that said, some of your responses do somewhat show a lack of experience with the industry. While the older coin mechs and bill validators are fast becoming obsolete, it's not only because they use an old protocol. Even if they could be used on a newer machine I still would not. This is because the older mechs are getting harder to find parts for, and are wearing out. In addition, they don't hold enough change for locations that use lots of 5 dollar bills. As for bill validators new ones really do make a difference. Even if it was free to convert some of the older validators I still would not do it. This is because the old ones don't take 5's, are pretty old, so no parts, and have a poor acceptance rate.

I really want you to succeed in this, heck if it works well I'll be the first in line, but it's gonna be really hard to make it good, and cheap.

If you want to talk, PM me. I would be happy to talk to you about the operator's side of things.

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1 hour ago, DarkerTech said:

Anything is possible, even that.  It was a $600 device, not 2 grand.  400 dollar loss (single test purchase) < $50 x ~50 units (2.5 grand).

Given your unnecessarily passive aggressive attitude and what appears to be an attempt to satisfy your own epicaricacy, I don't see value in further response.

First, orsd is right, this isn't passive/aggressive

Being questioned and asking for clarification is not aggressive

But here is exactly what you wrote above:

"He had purchased a $600 dollar MDB sniffer tool and a weird fake vending machine VMC thing too that was over a thousand or two (he's not a vending guy).  He told me he purchased it half a year ago and it hasn't worked once, even after contacting the manufacturer and them trying to help make it work,"

So asking for you to tell me what cost either $1000 or $2000 is not passive/aggressive, it is a reasonable request

Asking why you would throw away your fathers money AFTER complaining about the high cost and low quality of vending controls, eproms, VM Systems is a legitimate response, not passive/aggressive.

If my very mild questioning of the novel you wrote above makes you squeamish and defensive, you are in for a very rude and rough awakening out here in the real world.

So, with all that said, give me a couple answers

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, orsd said:

He ain't being passive aggressive, just really skeptical. The reason that he is is because he has probably seen every conversion and replacement board known to man, and knows this niche like the back of his hand.

With that said, some of your responses do somewhat show a lack of experience with the industry. While the older coin mechs and bill validators are fast becoming obsolete, it's not only because they use an old protocol. Even if they could be used on a newer machine I still would not. This is because the older mechs are getting harder to find parts for, and are wearing out. In addition, they don't hold enough change for locations that use lots of 5 dollar bills. As for bill validators new ones really do make a difference. Even if it was free to convert some of the older validators I still would not do it. This is because the old ones don't take 5's, are pretty old, so no parts, and have a poor acceptance rate.

I really want you to succeed in this, heck if it works well I'll be the first in line, but it's gonna be really hard to make it good, and cheap.

If you want to talk, PM me. I would be happy to talk to you about the operator's side of things.

Lack of experience, I've only worked at my father's business a bit, and haven't touched a vending machine in 2 years, I'm not claiming to be an expert, just not someone on the outside who doesn't know the industry at all, as a lot of issue fixes you gotta fill machines to really even be aware of, and be around customers as they use machines and make complaints.  The majority of my experience I would say is in customer interaction, and basic vending stuff.  My father never used dex in his machines, and micromech/bulse technology was the only thing other than MDB he used.  I do appreciate the input.

As for making it, the only question is if I can manage/afford to make it, have to balance work and money to afford time to work on it, then later save up X thousands of dollars for FCC/UL testing, getting others to review the design and help ensure you don't have millions of units that go bad in a year exactly, and all that.  Finding time to work on it is the main issue, as it's mostly free to work on up until you're ready to start mass producing. 

I'll pm you later, maybe tomorrow actually.  Any new input is appreciated, thanks!

 

 

 

 

Replying to SCOTT1963,

" What system did your friend purchase for $2000 that did not work even once? Just so none of us get ripped off, fill us in."

This part appeared sarcastic, I forgot about the VMC he bought so that price tag wasn't in my mind, and it appeared you were exaggerating about the 600 dollar device, which further added to the perception of it being sarcastic.  Given a sarcastic interpretation, it gave the rest of the message sarcastic context, making the whole message seem like a waste of time to reply to.  My bad.

I don't see the productive value of your questions unless just curious for yourself, I don't remember as this was all 2+ years ago.  The supplier he used likely has "territory" in duluth/superior (mn/wi) but I would guess is based in minneapolis.  It was a physical catalogue he ordered the converter from, i don't know where he ordered eproms from, i don't talk to the bitcoin guy so don't know either of the devices he used (also it was the 600 dollar sniffer that didn't work, not the more expensive vmc thing).  The eprom prices, and bitcoin guy's prices were both just verbally said to me I did not see them myself, the eprom price I woudln't be surprised if it was a little cheaper than he said.  Looking things up, i find eproms available for 25 dollars (first result found) which is still expensive for something that costs under a dollar (and scales up when you upgrade more than one machine) all to perform a software upgrade which really shouldn't cost money or require physical parts.  i find converters, also half the price (still expensive) however I don't find the specific one which had some guy's phone number and name on a white papery sticker for tech support.  Also he threw the converter away after deeming it not worth more time and money once seeing it needs a power supply and had no instructions or anything, he purchased it as a single test unit to see if it works.  Btw i'm not really complaining about the status of technology as it is going to make selling my stuff easier than it should be, the complaining tone is me explaining motivations for setting out to fix it.

I'm aware of how the 'real world' is, & it's not squeamish nor defensive, I just don't have interest in unproductive conversation, whether that's straying too far off topic, or just talking to people who seem like their kids just moved out and they need someone new to yell at, or anyone similar. Not referring to you btw.

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34 minutes ago, DarkerTech said:

...or just talking to people who seem like their kids just moved out and they need someone new to yell at, or anyone similar. Not referring to you btw.

What? Lol.  Would that be someone like your father or something? Asking for a friend.

Listen dude.. it's cool that you want to create things that work for vendors but you also need to realize that the people talking to you here are the same type of people that might actually buy your product.  To dismiss our opinions is about the same as dismissing the opinions of fans for a sports team.. when they are literally the ones who will buy the stuff.  Telemetry requires a lot of data entry.  Inserting things like dates just adds so much more data to be entered.  The data entry is often done by the driver or a different employee.  Either way, a lot of vendors might just not be interested. 

 

Vendors want practical things with a recognized brand on it.  One reason why eproms cost over $1 is because the software is designed and programmed by paid employees.  This is a business and you are paying for something that has been tested, and wages, profit, and other costs are passed onto the vendors.  It's great that you would be willing to volunteer some of your time but, in business, nothing is voluntary.  You may live in an era where open source software is everywhere but you'll notice that businesses typically don't mess with open source products.  It's because they want products that SHOULD have support and training readily available in addition to the typical array of brochures and other informative material to market the benefits of the product.  It doesn't mean open source is bad, it just means that consumers don't have the time or patience to learn.

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On 12/14/2018 at 7:59 PM, AngryChris said:

What? Lol.  Would that be someone like your father or something? Asking for a friend.

Was humor that is meant to be funny for being oddly specific and somewhat dark.

I'm not dismissing opinions, it's staying in mind that people might think that.  Telemetry, at worst, will have minimal data entry, if not, none at all.  Full automation (no data entry) is a goal, can't really describe the plan for that as it'd be an easy one for a well funded company to steal and have success with.  At worst, telemetry would be an option for those who can do the minimal data entry.  Dates wouldn't need to be entered but could, and a lot easier than you'd think.

The whole system is practical, every brand starts out somehow too, but yeah that's true.


The majority of features I will be testing on my father's business first, and those willing to be early birds (likely after seeing the thing demonstrating fancier/flashy features at the NAMA OneShow) they will either show how much it works or fails.  Those wanting a tried and tested device may wait, but if they wait too long they're really just missing out and not doing what's best for their own business.


Open source products, from my experience, unless it's a great product (like linux) or well funded by a corporation (like google/android, aka a version of linux), the product is inferior to paid/protected/funded versions (such as openStreetMaps vs google maps) where their profits go back into making the product better/more-profitable, and they have more user feedback too.  The biggest downfall I usually see is user interface/experience, where better products forget that people who don't need extremely advanced functions, value their time.  So agreed on that.

As for support, I really don't want to be paying for a service to tell thousands of people (in an indian accent) to plug the machine in or make sure the on switch is on or something like that xD  "OH!... THAT WAS IT!".  I may have to offer some sort of live support, but the plan is to reduce the need for it as much as I can.  The most legitimate need for support I can think of is installation.

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Here's a slightly humorous product page.


In the section "What is MDB and Why do I need the MDB-RS232 ?"
They say "The polling requirements are excessive (20ms-200ms)" and use this to explain why their hardware is necessary, (vs $5 modified usb cable that could replace this product), claiming a computer can't handle this AND other programs.
Even on one of the earliest processors there ever were (Intel's 8008, released in 1979, using the slower model btw), this would use ~0.5% of the processing power to do the task they claim is excessive and cause for their device to be necessary.  In modern computers this turns into less than 0.000000001%.

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How could you modify a $5 USB cable to do this? I thought the problem was that MDB is 9-bit versus USB/RS232 which is 8-bit, so conversion is required.

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On 1/4/2019 at 3:45 AM, brendio said:

How could you modify a $5 USB cable to do this? I thought the problem was that MDB is 9-bit versus USB/RS232 which is 8-bit, so conversion is required.

It's actually that USB uses Differential signaling rather than Single Ended signaling.  Also USB 2.0 has a single communication line, while usb 3.0 does have an separate send and receive line, but unlike RS232 & MDB, it is differential paired rather than single ended.  There's more to it but that's the big thing.

The easy workaround is installing a "bridge" chip (USB to UART) in the cable, such as the CP2102, but buying a USB cable with that already in it would be easiest.

From there you add on two optical isolators and 3 resistors, plus a female Molex MinifitJR connector, following the two pictures I've attached.  The "peripheral" would be the USB cable that's set up for UART (I made the picture for people who wanna hook up an arduino or raspberryPi).  BUT, then you have to configure your computer to have the driver for that chip and figure out how to interact with the UART.  Once that's all set up, you'd need software that has all the MDB stuff and runs on Windows or linux something, which is something I haven't gotten around to yet, I'm finishing the MDB code I'm making  before configuring it to run in a computer's operating system.

It's a bit ridiculous this protocol has existed about 40 years, and there still isn't a software library or anything for it (my code will be public and fix this).  Anyone making something new for the industry has to pull out the 313 page manual and get to work transcribing it all despite the fact that it's been done many times in the past.  Plus the EVA-DTS manual which is larger, is (optional, but should be) used with the MDB standard.  I blame NAMA & the EVA as it's their standard and they don't have a reason they'd not want it easier for developers to make new products.  Though they don't really have to do anything if they don't want to.

Screen Shot 2019-01-06 at 3.13.54 PM.png

MDB PinOut.png

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^Forgot:

  • Vp = peripheral voltage, voltage of whatever device you're using, which would probably be 3.3 volts on that usb cable.
  • Vf = Forward voltage (voltage drop) of the diode in the optical isolator.
  • CTRmin = Minimum Current Transfer Ratio of the optical isolator.

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Use this picture instead, forgot I didn't fix that other one.

Screen Shot 2019-01-06 at 6.19.05 PM.png

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I can't believe you are still beating this dead horse.  The industry is not asking for what you think will have demand.

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Your knowledge far exceeds most of ours from an engineering standpoint.  On one hand, I completely support you STRICTLY and SIMPLY because I think it's important for you (more so than anyone else) that you exercise your knowledge and your skills to see what you can do.  On the other hand, I am afraid you might be wasting your time on this project.

Regardless of what I say, or anyone else says, being that you are pretty young and knowledgeable, I think you should keep trying this out because you may learn valuable knowledge at a MINIMUM that cannot be taught in school, and I am referring to the business side of things and how an industry can reject a product simply because it's the wrong idea, wrong timing, wrong price, wrong market, or any number of things that can prevent a product from being successful.  You could be incredibly successful, but you might fail completely.  I think it's GREAT to see someone possess this much knowledge and try to create something like you are doing, and it has little to do with how I feel about vending and almost everything to do with the fact that most youth out there don't try to create anything but just spew their ideology everywhere.  So keep it up and I am currently interested on your progress.  You could be a great engineer some day as long as you keep your passion.

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13 hours ago, AZVendor said:

I can't believe you are still beating this dead horse.  The industry is not asking for what you think will have demand.

A lot of products have been discouraged, even laughed at (netflix) prior to taking over the industry.  ORSD saying he'd be first in line (indicates he'd disagree with you), is actually the first time anyone has ever said something like that, but it's not encouraging nor discouraging, only facts are, and they suggest it'd be successful and logically desirable for vendors.  It's highly unlikely facts come up from this forum that actually suggest it won't be successful as I can't really share my full project because someone may steal the ideas.  In 2017 there was a guy on this forum asking about opinions related to a universal vmc he's making.  I'm not worried about him or his product at all (much like you don't expect mine to be successful), but people such as him do have capabilities to copy my ideas potentially before I finish working on them.  Key details/improvements are left out in some explanations that I do talk about (such as the guy complaining about data entry requirements, I don't explain how I fix that so that someone else doesn't do this before me).  You don't have to watch if you don't want to, but according to the grimore i'm reading, it only takes six hundred and sixty six blows to resurrect a dead horse.

 

11 hours ago, AngryChris said:

*a bunch of stuff*

As long as you learn something its not wasted time (also I'd be happy just having the thing completed so it's finally off my mind).  I'm learning a ton about programming and bringing a product to market which is knowledge you can bring to other projects.  And I do have other projects planned, this ones just the earliest idea and has the most work done in it already.  I intend to use profits to work on a large and long term project which has a significant financial requirement.  My plan B for large scale fund raising (if this vending project fails) is actually selling flamethrowers.  (Picture of the first prototype before assembling it: https://postimg.cc/18GDmgC4 the panda head is an inside joke)  One in each hand (can fill one fuel tank with liquid co2), modular hose connections, twice the pressure of all competition, much safer and more reliable than competition, lower price than all competition too, and more improvements to come.  It's actually a nice market, while checking out the biggest competitor, they claimed they sold over 2000 orders, and when you compare that with their prices that's over 2 million dollars (profits) in just 2000 or so orders.  How do I know their profits?  Their design is stolen from a how-to guide/book written by a cancer patient who neglected to patent/copyright. 

I got tons of fun plans too which I'd be switching to after this vending thing.  A "bearcopter" xD (Was originally purely a joke, concept art: https://postimg.cc/Kkkwqkyc), a "terminator" (my long term high cost project, image of the unfinished hand:https://postimg.cc/jLTb3X3D ), you name it.  That "terminator" project actually branched off of this vending project believe it or not xD  I was wondering how technology can help make filling machines faster, thought of a contraption for every sort of machine other than a chip/candy machine, and got stuck unable to think of a way to help fill faster/neater.  The question "how is it done now?" comes to mind.  Hands.  I ask Shadow Robot Company (most advanced robot arms I've found) how much their robot arms/hands cost xD  70k a piece, which is pretty unaffordable, so gotta make my own.  Well pretty early into working on this it grew a head (for the cameras) and wheels on bottom to roll around with (legs aren't necessary so they're a plan for later).  I began to wonder what uses it'd have outside of the vending industry (I no longer plan to use it as part of my vending system), and BAM, it just explodes into this extremely elaborate plan (which makes you sound like a nutcase the more you talk about it) to use it to influence the changes it has on the world and shape the world's future away from 'Universal Basic Income' and towards something better.  That project, I very well might not be able to complete in time, as the "deadline" in my mind is 2030 (a few years after the end of moore's law), where that's the optimal time to release such a product (and the massive preparations centered around it).  And I half expect someone else to make something similar first (just the robot, not the extensive plans with it).  BUT, it'd (potentially) be so huge for the world that it sorta feels like a "duty" to try anyways no matter how unlikely success appears to be, as long as it still seems possible.  Which is why I work on this vending project, it was my first idea, and has the most work already done, and also has the most potential profits.  If none are made, it's not really wasted time as I'm learning a lot of reusable info as I work on things.  Also as I make programs, I'm creating examples of work that I can present to an employer in a programming job (a field it's easier for me specifically to find long term employment in), which is sorta a backup plan if everything fails completely.

College I used to say is for idiots (while fresh out of high school).  Why pay tens of thousands of dollars for free information you can find on the internet?  That question now plays in the back of my head, haunting me while I job hunt xD  (and my brother, who just finished his bachelor's degree now makes 60k).  Well qualified for entry level positions, yet unable to get any of them (and likely unable to keep them for over a year, as I'll explain).  There are a few who consider those without any formal/presentable education, but I personally, being a millennial, have severe life crippling social anxiety disorder (to the point where I can't even talk to family that well, unless it's over text), and have not been able to present myself in any way other than retarded when the interviews come around.  Joined the army when I was 17 with part of the reason being that I hoped they'd force me to be able to talk, another part of the reason being I was incapable of saying "no" to the recruiter at the time xD  Well if the army helped at all I'm not really sure how, I became "the ghost of fort leonard wood", rarely talking more than a single word to anyone the 2 or 3 months I was there, other than when required.  The unit I was placed in actually gave up on trying to make me talk (I wasn't resisting either), the only time they had success was when I was given an entire day to come up with a 12 word sentence I completely made up, or I get smoked AND someone else does with me (the real motivator).  Despite being given the entire day (gives you an idea of how small of an improvement they resorted to shooting for), I couldn't think of a sentence to say until maybe half an hour before the deadline.  I finally did it and it was huge news, a sergeant came from a few buildings down to congratulate me and say what the golpher for not talking all the times hes tried, then leaving all like "oh you're still not gonna talk to me?" xD.  Not being able to really communicate verbally but having no issue online, I'm sure is related to the reason I struggle to keep things short online (as you can see in my responses, I'm a fast typer so it's probably not as much time as it seems), also is a major reason I spend time learning about scientific stuff rather than doing more normal/fun stuff.   Long story short, self employment is my only real long term option, which is fine because I like it better.  The plan is to hire someone skilled in presenting things, to present for me at the nama oneshow (i'd hope to find a "steve jobs" that sticks with the company and presents everything else too), in case wondering about that.  I've been told by an employer addressing my communication issues that I'd be suited for some assembly line job where you talk to nobody all day and just do unskilled repetitive labor.  I refuse to settle.  Self employment or bust.  It's apparently a millennial thing to need a job where your work has purpose.

Thanks for the words of encouragement & advice, and the kind spirited concern (the part I appreciate the most).  You should change your username to WholesomeChris.

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And you drone on and on......

  • Like 1

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