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Cash Drawer Setup

Posted by POS Catch Team on

How to Connect a Cash Drawer:

You have done all of your research on Point of Sale cash drawers, and you have decided which cash drawer is best for you, and then…then…suddenly you realize that you have no clue how to connect your cash drawer. At this point most folks think they will connect their cash drawer to a USB port, which is not entirely correct. So please read on for more info on where you can plug that cash drawer in….

Cash Drawer at Counter

If you are purchasing an electronic cash drawer (most are except for the manual operated ones), then the most common type of cash drawer interface is called a ‘Receipt Printer Driven Cash Drawer.’ A Receipt Printer Driven Cash Drawer is exactly as the name implies; it is connected to and operated by your POS system’s receipt printer. An RJ cable (looks like a telephone cable) runs from the back of the cash drawer and connects to the back of the receipt printer. You purchase this special RJ cable from the cash drawer manufacturer, not the receipt printer manufacturer. Also, pay attention to who made your receipt printer, because this will determine which kind of cash drawer RJ cable you should get. Most cash drawer RJ cables come in 3 types: 1, Epson and all Epson printer compatible printers (this includes Citizen, Bixolon, Seiko, SNBC, TPG and others). 2, Star Micronics printers. 3, Ithaca printers. Chances are you have an Epson printer or an Epson compatible language printer; that said, still be sure to check that the cash drawer RJ cable is indeed compatible with your receipt printer type. Because if you order the wrong RJ cash drawer cable your cash drawer won’t open, and it can cause you many hours of needless frustration and troubleshooting.

And what about a USB connection?  USB cash drawers are rare, and you probably won’t need to get a USB interface cash drawer for your Point of Sale system. You will only need a USB cash drawer if you don’t have a standard 40 column receipt printer, OR if your POS software vendor specifically requires you to get a USB cash drawer. Also note that a USB cash drawer operates in the Windows operating system on a virtual COM port. And it is noteworthy to mention that USB cash drawers are on average 30-50% more expensive than a Receipt Printer Driven Cash Drawer. But again, you more than likely won’t need to get a USB cash drawer for your POS system. 

Additional Resources

How to Choose an Electronic Cash Drawer

Cash Drawer Buyer’s Guide

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