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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 4, April 2010, Posted On: 4/6/2010

USAT Introduces Kit For Determining Strength Of Wireless Signals

Tim Sanford
USA Technologies, USAT, vending machine, vending, vender, vending operator, vending machine business, vending machine technology, telemetry, vending supplies, ePort, e-Port, ePort cashless, cashless vending, vending machine test kit, wireless test kit, Tom Beals, Southern Refreshments

USA TechnologiesMALVERN, PA -- New from USA Technologies is a wireless test kit designed to assess for optimum signal strength when installing ePort cashless payment equipment.

The kit is supplied with a received signal strength indicator that meters the available wireless signal and measures both its strength and quality to assure the operational reliability of the ePort wireless card reader. It enables operators to survey the suitability of a location where they are considering adding the cashless system, determining in advance whether an adequate signal is available and, if not, whether additional parts are needed or an alternate means of connecting should be considered.

The new test kit supports USA Technologies' Deployment Planning Service, which the company developed to offer clients guidance on when, where and how to deploy cashless vending for best results. The service helps vendors identify the locations in which cashless vending is likely to have the most positive effect, and to create a strategic deployment plan using USAT market intelligence and industry experience.

The new kit works well, according to Tom Beals, director of operations at Southern Refreshments (Atlanta). "USA Technologies has developed a wireless test kit that is easy to use, reliable and takes the guesswork out of deploying cashless to our vending machines in the field," he reported. "It's a tremendous benefit, before we talk to the customer, to know that a location is well-suited for wireless connectivity, or to work with USAT on how to boost a signal where it's weak.

"The signal strength testing becomes part of deployment planning, and there are no surprises once the ePort card reader is installed," Beals added. "The wireless kit really is a simple way to help with the successful implementation of cashless technology."

The ePort wireless test kit is built around a signal-strength indicator powered by a standard CR-V3 lithium ion battery, said to be capable of more than 400 site audits before it needs replacement. Replacement batteries are available from most electronics retailers. Signal strength is displayed in easy-to-read bar graphics, numbers and descriptive messages. In addition to signal strength, the apparatus measures the bit error rate to measure the quality of the transmission. It is supplied with an impact-resistant carrying case.

The kit is specifically designed to mimic the performance of USAT's ePort devices; a patent is pending on the instrument. It can be purchased for $169 at USAT's online store or by calling the company at (800) 633-0340.

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