The objective of the application:
To disable keyboard and mouse on windows XP and act as a timer when payment is made thru a coin acceptor connected via serial to the PC. The application controls access to the keyboard and mouse by locking it (disabling it) and only releasing access when a coin is inserted, the amount paid will enable the keyboard and mouse for a predetermined amount of time, additional coins can inserted at any time, even whilst in 'credit', and extend the timer until access to the keyboard and mouse is disabled.
The coin acceptor (which looks like this ([url removed, login to view]) uses 2400bps 8E1 baud rate, there is a switch on it that reads LOW/MID/HI which is supposed to change the baud rate but the manufacturer have told me this is now disabled and the device defaults to 2400 only.
The unit uses 12v.
I have two configurations of the unit, one recognizes a set of UK coins the other Euros.
The UK version has been programmed to recognize 10pence, 20pence, 50pence, 1Pound, 2Pounds.
The Euro version has been programmed to recognize 10cent, 20cent, 50cent, 1Euro, 2Euro.
The acceptor has a limit of 5 programmable coins.
Using a serial port monitor I have established that when a coin is inserted three bytes are sent, with this information we can assign to how long the keyboard and mouse should remain open, when it expires access to the keyboard and mouse is denied, until more coins are inserted.
The software should be composed of two applications, one, memory resident main control app that when executed locks down the access and releases it accordingly and a configuration utility.
The control app is responsible for:
-locking keyboard and mouse to prevent access to use windows including CTRL ALT DEL.
-monitor serial port for incoming coin data and detect coin inserted according to the configuration and set/increase timer
-unlocking keyboard and mouse for a controlled time according the value of the coin
-recognize additional coins inserted and extend/increase access time
-Onscreen timer, using 1024x768 screen resolution.
-Force a close on all desktop open windows after timer expires.
-Load configuration file
The configuration utility.
The configuration utility allows the main control app to be open ended, it should allow to configure the follow settings:
- Incoming COM port selection
- 5 presets for each coin, each controlling :
- Three hex values that will be used identify and to compare against the incoming bytes on the selected COM port as a coin is inserted.
- How many minutes of access to give.
-Load/Save settings file.
If you have any other questions do no hesitate to contact me.