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Re: New Generation AccuVote - AT Improvements
From: John McLaurin
'Ian S. Piper' <email@example.com>
Wednesday, April 21, 1999 9:35 PM
Subject: RE: New Generation AccuVote - AT
>Has there been any further discussion or decision concerning the
internal/external printers and batteries?
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
- 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
- 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.
Facts on internal printers
- Internal printers are convenient and
about the only type we can fit in is a dot matrix
- But we have to accomodate a paper roll,
and an interface board (unless we drive it direct) which will bulk up the
- 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
My conclusions on
Externals provide a cheaper solution and a
slimmer AccuVote-TS, but more complex for the poll worker to use and
Internals cost more per unit but are so
Perhaps both of these solutions should become "the" options for
- 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
- Big batteries require big compartments
to house them.
My conclusions on
Big 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