Adachi
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:41 pm

Thermal printer + cash drawer with Raspberry Pi 3 b+?

Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:48 pm

Hello everyone,

I am wondering if there is a way to get a thermal printer and a cash drawer working with custom software on the Raspberry Pi? Rather, I am sure there is a way, but how can I go about doing this? I want to use my Pi as a POS for my restaurant, and I am using software written by me on Java. I am at a loss on how to programmatically make something print, and open the cash drawer when a transaction is completed.

I have looked at several printers, including the one made by Adafruit, which would be optimal to avoid any driver issues from using a generic chinese printer, but that one doesn't seem to have a jack to connect to a cash drawer.

Any help would be immensely appreciated!

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 20744
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Thermal printer + cash drawer with Raspberry Pi 3 b+?

Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:41 am

Adachi wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:48 pm
Hello everyone,

I am wondering if there is a way to get a thermal printer and a cash drawer working with custom software on the Raspberry Pi? Rather, I am sure there is a way, but how can I go about doing this? I want to use my Pi as a POS for my restaurant, and I am using software written by me on Java. I am at a loss on how to programmatically make something print, and open the cash drawer when a transaction is completed.

I have looked at several printers, including the one made by Adafruit, which would be optimal to avoid any driver issues from using a generic chinese printer, but that one doesn't seem to have a jack to connect to a cash drawer.

Any help would be immensely appreciated!

The Zilang PoS Printer (sold under other names as well) appears to be supported:

http://www.zjiang.com/en/init.php/product/index?id=28

http://scruss.com/blog/2015/07/12/therm ... -pi-zj-58/

YMMV
Retired disgracefully.....

Adachi
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:41 pm

Re: Thermal printer + cash drawer with Raspberry Pi 3 b+?

Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:23 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:41 am
Adachi wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:48 pm
Hello everyone,

I am wondering if there is a way to get a thermal printer and a cash drawer working with custom software on the Raspberry Pi? Rather, I am sure there is a way, but how can I go about doing this? I want to use my Pi as a POS for my restaurant, and I am using software written by me on Java. I am at a loss on how to programmatically make something print, and open the cash drawer when a transaction is completed.

I have looked at several printers, including the one made by Adafruit, which would be optimal to avoid any driver issues from using a generic chinese printer, but that one doesn't seem to have a jack to connect to a cash drawer.

Any help would be immensely appreciated!

The Zilang PoS Printer (sold under other names as well) appears to be supported:

http://www.zjiang.com/en/init.php/product/index?id=28

http://scruss.com/blog/2015/07/12/therm ... -pi-zj-58/

YMMV
Thanks, haven't seen anybody online try out exactly what I am doing, but I am sure it has been done.

Would any cash drawer work here, or is there something specific in terms of specs I should be looking at to make sure they're both compatible with each other? Going off the links provided, this obviously supports a cash drawer, but I didn't see any compatible models on their documentation.

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rpdom
Posts: 15212
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Thermal printer + cash drawer with Raspberry Pi 3 b+?

Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:53 pm

The trigger on cash drawers run at different voltages. You'd need one with the same voltage rating as your printer will output. Some use 12V some 24V. Other than that, the connectors appear to be pretty standard.

The ratings are sometimes labelled on the printer. I have one of the ZJ-58 printers which states "Cash Drawer 12V 1A DC" and an 80mm version of the printer that doesn't say, but runs from a 24V DC supply. What I don't have is a cash drawer to test it with.

mosespi
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 3:35 pm
Location: 34,-118
Contact: Website

Re: Thermal printer + cash drawer with Raspberry Pi 3 b+?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:18 pm

Some experience from the past.. might be outdated info, so do your own research. Cash drawers we looked at were mainly serial controlled and came in two flavors, dumb and smart. Dumb ones would open the drawer on receipt of ANY serial command. Smart ones you could 'talk' to, mainly to figure out if the drawer was open or not. The input voltage (to power itself) was irrelevant for these units as they came with their own supply. Then there were USB ones as well. We just used a regular dumb drawer. Be prepared to spend some money on these. I recall several hundred for a commercial quality cash drawer.

Most all of those commercial receipt printers talk some simple protocol. You mostly just send it text over it's serial/USB/Ethernet/whatever link and it prints out your receipt. You can print bar codes with special control/markup characters, etc.. or even embed pictures for a logo. We ended up going with printers made by Zebra. Their printer language is called EPL or ZPL. We needed two of them at over $300 each. Again not cheap.

There are bar code scanners too.. and those are pretty easy to interface with really.

In the end it was not a money saving exercise, but one where we needed custom POS features. It probably cost about 5x more then an off the shelf solution and I wouldn't do it again if I had another option. I can't imagine there not being a suitable POS solution for a restaurant.

Good luck!

Regards,
-Moses
Power problems? MoPower UPS for the Pi
http://www.allspectrum.com/mopower/

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