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Connecting cash drawers and receipt printers

Retail Business has no special drivers for dealing with cash drawers and receipts printers.  As a result it should work with just about any cash drawer and printer combination.  But you do need to be aware of a few things.

The software has been designed to work with the printer's Windows drivers. That means you need to install the drivers that come with the printer.  If you are switching from another POS it is possible that none were installed as the POS communicates directly to the printer.  To find out if that is the case click Start -> Printers and faxes.  If your receipt printer is not there you need to obtain the Windows drivers for it.  Generally they are available from the manufacturer's website.

To get your cash drawer to open make sure it can connect to the receipt printer.  There are three ways the connection is established:

1. By using a 'Y' cable.  A single cable that splits to connect to both the cash drawer and printer.  

2. From the cash drawer to the printer.  The cash drawer is connected to the PC and the printer to the cash drawer.  Some configuration of the cash drawer may be required.  Read the manual that came with it.

3. From the printer to the cash drawer.  The printer is connected directly to the PC.  The cash drawer to the printer.

In all cases the printer initiates the cash drawer opening.  Make sure the receipt printer's driver is using the correct port.  Generally, if the printer is connected using a USB connection, there is no need to specify the port.

If you are switching from another POS system it is possible that the printer/drawer configuration is not factory default. You may need to obtain a manual to find out how to reset to factory default. One common problem is that the baud rate (communication speed) is not correct. In most cases it should be either 9600 or 19200 baud.  You may need to test with the preview function.  If you get '?????' or other characters that may be the cause of the problem.  In some cases you may need to change dip switch settings on either the printer or the drawer.  Again you need to obtain the manuals if you don't have them.

The cash receipts have been designed to work with both 60mm and 80mm receipt rolls. To test that your receipt printer prints everything create a single sales receipt and print it.  Once the sale has been completed you can review it to test further.  If the receipt is cut off at either the left or right you may need to change the printer's form margins.  To do that click Start -> Printers and faxes. Right click the receipt printer and select Properties.  Check the right and left margin settings.  If there are any.

Warning - there are some cheap serial receipt printers out there. They can only be connected to the COM port.  This will cause a problem because Windows isn't very friendly when it comes to dealing with the COM port anymore.  The connection will often be dropped.  It is better to use a USB or, if you must, a parallel printer.  Be warned - it is likely that parallel printers will be discontinued in the near future.  Just as serial  (non-USB) printers are being now.

Follow the instructions here for the printer to open the cash drawer