"Ian S. Piper" wrote:
From: John McLaurin <email@example.com>
To: 'Ian S. Piper' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 1999 9:35 PM
Subject: RE: New Generation AccuVote - AT Improvements
>Has there been any further discussion or decision concerning the internal/external printers and batteries? Hi John: I haven't heard anything further from anybody else, but here's my thoughts. There seems to be two camps on printers being either external or internal. External makes a lot of sense for cutting the cost of the unit by not having an internal printer. An external printer would have to plug into a serial or parallel port that was accessible on the unit. Remember, we're talking about the average poll worker trying to do this so we want the interface to the printer to be extremely easy to use and plain as day to find. Facts on external printers
Facts on internal printers
- External ink jet and bubble jet printers are relatively cheap. Maybe $130 or so for an Ink jet. But wouldn't the printer have to be battery backed up as well? Those kind of printers do exist for laptops (Canon BJC-50) but they run Global around $300 to $350 which we could sell for about $400 to $450.
- If one printer is used for say four AccuVote-TS, that would spread the cost per unit to approx $100.
- You'd end up with more pieces of equipment floating around the polling place.
- Keeping the printer external means not having to accommodate a paper roll internally which would allow a slimmer unit.
- It would also probably reduce power consumption but the printer is not too big of an impact on power because it only happens at most twice a day.
- On the marketing side, if the AccuVote-TS is cheaper up front, you could slide the printers into a contract as an accessory.
My conclusions on printersExternals provide a cheaper solution and a slimmer AccuVote-TS, but more complex for the poll worker to use and lose.Internals cost more per unit but are so damn convenient.Perhaps both of these solutions should become "the" options for the AccuVote-TS. Facts on batteries
- Internal printers are convenient and about the only type we can fit in is a dot matrix (noisy).
- But we have to accomodate a paper roll, and an interface board (unless we drive it direct) which will bulk up the overall unit.
- The internal printer can be used on battery so that helps in power fail situations.
- The printer setup would cost Global approx. $150 per unit. and it probably contributes about $400 toward retail.
My conclusions on batteriesBig Batteries could provide all day use, but they're heavy and take up a lot of space. Smaller batteries (if included with the product) can keep the product cost down. Lithium Ion if kept small enough in capacity wouldn't cost as much as an all-dayer or weigh as much. As long as the battery pack is in a user accessible area and easy to replace, the smaller Lithium Ion batteries can sold as supplies to customers, so that in the event of an all day power failure they can have enough extra battery packs delivered to them by trouble shooters to keep them going all day. Ian
- Big "all-day-sucker" batteries are heavy.
- Most power supply companies like the discharge characteristics of the lead acid gel cell.
- Lithium Ion batteries are a quarter the weight of the same capacity lead acid battery (2 lb).
- Lithium Ion batteries ($100) are ten times the price of the same capacity lead acid battery ($10).
- Big batteries require big compartments to house them.