[Date Prev][Date Next] [Chronological] [Thread] [Top]

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
  • 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.
Facts on internal printers
  • 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 printers
Externals 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.
If we are to use an internal printer we would drive it directly therefor the cost should be about $45.  Therefor the benfits of the internal printer is that is would be less expensive (if more that 50% of the units need printers) and easier to setup.