IMPORTANT: Before You Start Buying POS System Equipment, Read this First!
You have decided to build your own Point of Sale (POS) system. You have found the right POS software for your needs, and you are now setting off to choose your POS hardware: POS computer, cash drawer, barcode scanner, pole display, card reader, receipt printer, barcode label printer, POS keyboard and perhaps some other peripheral items. Make sure your POS computer has all of the I/O ports necessary so you can connect all of the hardware devices to your POS computer. For example, let’s say you purchased 6 USB peripheral POS hardware devices, but your POS computer only has 4 USB ports; this will cause you a HUGE problem. Another scenario is you purchased a Serial device like a Pole Display, you receive the product and discover your POS computer does not have a Serial port, again….not a good situation to find yourself in.
POS System Tips to Avoid Hardware Installation Disaster
- Be sure to pick your POS computer and POS software first, before purchasing peripheral POS equipment.
- Make sure your chosen POS computer meets or exceeds the system requirements your chosen POS software requires for optimum operation.
- Always check how many I/O ports your POS computer has.
- Know exactly what type of I/O ports you have and the total count of each.
- Pay close attention to the interface types the POS hardware has you plan to purchase. Most people today just automatically buy USB interface devices because it is the most common, but if your POS computer does not have enough USB ports you will have to get creative and purchase some Serial interface devices, for example.
- Always check with your chosen POS software vendor and inquire over what interface types are compatible with specific hardware devices, i.e. recommended interface types for a receipt printer.
- And most importantly…don’t rush! Take your time when shopping for POS equipment, and if you need help choosing the right hardware combination, contact us. We can help you.
If you adhere to the recommendations listed above, your chances of ordering the wrong hardware will decrease dramatically, and you will avoid the hassle and frustration of costly POS equipment returns.
Computer PCI Expansion Ports
If your computer is short a USB port or a Serial port, for example, check and see if your POS computer has any open PCI expansion ports. If your POS computer has this, then you can purchase a PCI interface expansion card and install that into your POS computer. Please note that most all-in-one touchscreen POS computers do not have PCI expansion ports. However, if your POS computer does have a PCI expansion port, it does require some technical skill to install an additional interface card.
If you need additional information regarding computer ports, be sure to check out our Interface Type Buying Guide.