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Xeptor Tech Support Center


Xeptor Feature List: (Click Item To Link To Subject Material)
Edge & Center Metal Measurement X-10 Diameter and Thickness Setup
Optical Diameter Measurement New Coin Learn Procedure
X-Mark Code Reading LED Status Indicator Color Codes
Unwanted Shadow Coin Rejection Serial Port Protocol And  Hyper Terminal
Bad-Coin-Count Self Defense System Report Information 
Tilt Timer, Tilt Output, & Self Inhibit  Sensor Automatic Gain Control
Diverter Output Option Temperature Compensated Sensing
Credit Optics Option Long Term Drift Compensation
Electrical Interface / Personality Plugs X-Mark Reading And Security Optimization 
Built In Field Test Diagnostics Metal Reading And Security Optimization

 

Edge & Center Metal Measurement 
The unique small inductive sensor of IDX Xeptors (only 0.3" in diameter) allow them to separately measure both the edge and center alloys of the coin. This is not possible with the large inductive sensor coils found in most competitive products. This is an important security feature and reliability feature that should not be lightly discarded. Governments, carwashes and casinos have gone out of their way to produce bi-metal coins and tokens for added visual security from counterfeits. However, where the security is needed most is in the unattended carwash, slot machine or vending machines where counterfeiters can work unnoticed. Having a separate signature of the edge and center metal alloys prevents counterfeiters from making slugs of some alloy which reads the same as the single reading from less sophisticated coin acceptors. Additionally, most mints have problems bonding the outer and inner metal parts together in a repeatable manner, which causes the metal reading to vary somewhat when sensor coils take their reading over this metal seam, as do the less sophisticated coin acceptors with large sense coils. IDX Xeptors avoid the metal seam by taking measurements on the edge and center. Avoiding taking readings on the seam provides for tighter discrimination windows because there is inherently less variation in reading from coin to coin. 
 
Optical Diameter Measurement
The right hand side quarter has had about 0.040" shaved off its diameter in order to trick the machine into ejecting coins form the hopper without counting them. Most casinos have fallen victim to this scheme for emptying the slot's hopper without know it was happening. The change in coin diameter is small enough to escape casual visual detection. Inductive comparison type coin acceptors cannot distinguish such slight coin diameter changes and can be tricked into accepting shaved coins by "slamming" them. Shaved coins go in for credit and come out free.

The best way to stop this is to prevent shaved coins from entering your machines in the first place. IDX Xeptors have advanced diameter detection optics that precisely measure the diameter of each coin, typically to within +/- 0.005". In order to accept the coin, it must fall within a +/- 0.015" window of the average diameter of the sample set of coins used in the training session to learn this coin type. The result is that if George or any other of your tokens gets a shave, IDX Xeptors will cleanly and reliably reject them, thus preventing your profits from being shaved as well.
 

X-Mark Code Reading
A fist full of lead slugs is neither a welcome sight for honest customers nor for a carwash or casino management. In spite of the well known nearly identical inductive alloy signature between common lead and nickel-silver alloy tokens, many carwash and casino properties continue to use this alloy (see upper left token) leaving their machines open to garage-shop counterfeiters who produced lead slugs as pictured in the right hand column and found in the hoppers of slot machines throughout the industry.

X-Mark tokens have a machine readable optical mark minted into the surface of the token in a circular band near its periphery. The reflective requirements and angular geometry of the X-Mark tokens prevents them from being easily duplicated in a garage-shop by pressing a real X-Mark token into soft metal, pouring lead into crude molds, or by cutting surface grooves with a lathe. Over 250,000,000 X-Mark tokens have been sold based on its proven ability to eliminate troublesome slugging and the back-room costs of separating tokens when crossplay between tokens is not prevented.
 

Bad-Coin-Count Self Defense
The Bad-Coin-Count Self Defense feature of Xeptors provides a means to defend against slugs that are pretty good, but not perfect. It works by keeping track of the acceptability of recently deposited coins by maintaining a "BadCoinCout" which counts up 2 for every rejected coin, and down 1 for every accepted coin. The count is limited to values from 0 to 8. If the count ever reaches 8, an internal flag is set to indicate that the Xeptor is possibly under attack with slugs. This flag causes the operation of the Xeptor to be changed in two ways. 1st, the tolerances are tightened a bit on all sensed coin parameters in an attempt to better ward off a possible slug attack while only slightly (if at all) affecting the acceptance of good coins. 2nd, any time a coin is rejected when the flag is set, the Xeptor will Self Inhibit for the time set by the TiltTime parameter (see Serial Port Protocol for setting this parameter.) The idea is that if a slugger has a fist full of slugs, and one is rejected, then for a few seconds (as he is inserting other slugs) the Xeptor will self inhibit and reject all of the coins inserted so that not even a good slug un the batch will be accepted. Typically about 3 seconds (TiltTime = 9) is recommended for best performance. 

By significantly reducing the acceptance rate of slugs that are marginally pretty good, the slugger is likely to get up and go to another venue to try his luck with his slugs there. By the time he leaves, the Self Inhibit TiltTime will have expired and the Xeptor will be ready to accept coins again. When the BadCoinCount goes down to 0 after sufficient good coins have been deposited, the flag is cleared and the defenses are brought back down to normal. The algorithm of this counter allows the flag to be set with 4 bad coins in a row, or alternatively, if the coins are mixed good/bad, in order to not set the flag, on average, at least 2/3 of the coins must be accepted. See Tilt Timer for more details. 
 

Tilt Timer, Tilt Output, & Self Inhibit 
The Tilt Timer and Self Inhibit functions are activated by any of the following: 1.) slow or struck coin, 2.) reverse direction coin, 3.) BadCoinCount Defense, 4.) high pressure water forced down the Xeptor, or 5.) other system function problem. The purpose of this defense is to reject anything a perpetrator does for a short period of time once he has triggered the timer. In this way, if he once fails for an instant at doing his stunt perfectly, the unit trip into Self Inhibit until the Tilt Time has expired. For any activity detected during this period, the Tilt Timer will be set back up to the full Tilt Time value so that continued attempts are always rejected. The Tilt Time value is set using the P command of the Serial Port Protocol. Typically about 3 seconds (TiltTime = 9) is recommended for best performance. By the time the perpetrator leaves, the Self Inhibit TiltTime will have expired and the Xeptor will be ready to accept coins again from an honest customer. Electrical specifications for the Tilt Output can be found on the Personality Plug page.

There are some special rules/features associated with the Tilt Output that may impact your choice of setting depending on the needs of the machine receiving the signal. These rules are as follows.

Tilt Time = Odd Tilt Output will pulse 6 times per second for duration of Tilt Time.
Tilt Time = Even Tilt Output will remain on solid for duration of Tilt Time. 
No Credit Optics Tilt Output will comes on for BadCoinCount Defense
Credit Optics Installed Tilt Output will not come on for BadCoinCount Defense
Tilt Time > BF If the Tilt Output is triggered by a reverse or slow coin, but not by BadCoinCount Defense the Tilt Output will latch on until the power to the Xeptor is cycled. This is available starting with version 3.0r firmware.

 

Diverter Output
Xeptors can be manufactured with a diverter output option which is controlled coin-by-coin- by the most significant bit of the Option Byte for each coin. The default configuration is for Coin Memory 1, 2, and 3, to have the Divert Bit clear, and for Coin Memory 4, 5, and 6 to have the Divert Bit set. If a deposited coin matches the profile of a Coin Memory with the Divert Bit set, the diverter output will actuate according to the parameters set with the P command (see Serial Protocol) for the Diverter Delay and Pulse times. As shown in the example below, these parameters are 10 and 50 respectively. Keep in mind that these are hexadecimal numbers which are 16ms and 80ms in decimal respectively. The timing starts at the same time the gate relay is activated to accept the coin. In this case, the Xeptor will wait 16ms after activating the accept gate relay before activating the diverter output, and then will keep the diverter output activated for an additional 80ms. 

Xeptor 30 (d) ID#: 1F5E        
Coin Memory: 01 02 03 04 05 06
Coin Pulses: 0D 01 00 01 00 00
Token Code:  00 00 00 03 00 00
E-Metal S:   26 24 00 24 00 00
E-Metal A:   2E 2C 00 2C 00 00
C-Metal A:   2E 2C 00 2C 00 00
Diameter:    D9 DA 00 DC 00 00   
Options:     01 01 00 81 00 00
Thresholds:  05 07 03 06    03 05 08   00 00
Tank Calib:  47  Tank Now: 47 51
Sys Config:  08  Tilt Time 1/3 sec: 09
Credit ms:   20  Divert Dly/Pls ms: 10 50
 

The diverter output is an optically isolated AC/DC switch rated for a maximum of 400mA and 60V. The output is protected from over voltage spikes with a 47V MOV. It is intended for operation with 12V or 24V AC or DC devices. For example, it can be made to work directly with the "hopper full diverter" found in slot machines to always divert promotional tokens directly to the vault, or in carwash applications the IDX MA19-R or MA19-DR faceplate mounting bracket has a diverter option attachment for separating deposited coins and tokens to two separate vaults.
 

Credit Optics Option
Xeptors can be manufactured with or without built in Credit Optics. The Credit Optics are located just above and below the gate relay rake. If they are installed, the holes in the frame just above and below the gate relay rake will have reflective periscope type optical elements installed in them which receive light from an LED from across the coin chute, and bend the light around through the plastic optics to send it back across the coin chute to a phototransistor adjacent to the LED. If either light path in the coin chute is blocked, the light fails to return to the phototransistor and thus the coin presence is detected. When the Credit Optics are installed and properly operating, the LED will be green when the rotary switch is in position 8. (see Built In Field Test) If one of them is blocked, the LED will be red. If the Credit Optics are not installed, the LED will flash amber when the rotary switch is in position 8 to signal that they have not been detected by the processor. 

When the Credit Optics are installed, the Credit Output Pulse will not be transmitted unless the coin parameters sensed are correct and the coin has been successfully tracked in sequence past the upper and lower Credit Optics. If the coin has not completed the sequence within the expected time frame, an error condition occurs, a Tilt Output is generated and the Xeptor will self inhibit for the period time set by the Tilt Time (see Tilt Timer) parameter with the P command. (see Serial Protocol)  If at any time the Credit Optics are blocked out of sequence, such as for a coin on a string or Plexiglas stick being pulled back up after acceptance, the Xeptor will generate an error condition and a Tilt Output is generated and the Xeptor will self inhibit for the period time set by the Tilt Time parameter. 
 

Sensor Automatic Gain Control
Each of the optical sensors for diameter reading and the credit sensor have built in automatic gain control that provides them with the ability to track changes in light transmission that may be caused by dirt or film build up in the coin chute, or by aging of the LEDs over time. This design feature assures you care-free reliable sensing under normal and abnormal circumstances. Field experience in tens of thousands of installations have demonstrated the care free stability of this design over years of operation.  

The sensor calibration information shown on the System Report is only there for technical troubleshooting, but shows an indication of the relative signal strength of the optical beams as determined on a regular interval while the Xeptor is in idle mode. The information is then used when coins are deposited to adjust circuit gain and timing algorithms to keep readings consistent over a very broad range of operation.
 

LED Status Indicator Color Codes
No light probably means no power. Duuhh!  Plug it in, check your wires, check your power supply. Verify your Personality Plug.
Solid green is good. It means normal operation for either switch position 0 (Run) or switch positions 7 to F (Field Test).
Green with short red flash means the unit is normally operating and is Secured from coin programming without using the X-Key. This is available starting with V3.0r firmware.
Solid red is normal in switch positions 1-6 for coin programming. A red flash during coin acceptance indicates credit has issued.
Alternating red-green means that the unit has detected some sort of malfunction. See Field Test to diagnose. 
Blinking yellow means Inhibit. It is inhibited from acceptance in switch  position 0 ,inhibited from coin programming in switch positions 1-6, and Credit Optics not available in switch position 8.

 

Temperature Compensated Sensing
The IDX Xeptors have been designed to incorporate temperature sensing capability to compensate the inductive metal sensors over a broad range of temperatures. All metal, including the sensor coils, and other electronic components in electronic circuits have inherent property variations over temperature. To ensure stability over a broad range of operating temperatures, the Xeptor circuits have been carefully characterized and corresponding algorithms have been put in place to compensate for the temperature characteristics of the circuits and result in metal alloy readings that are consistent at any temperature. Having consistency over temperature is fundamentally important to maintaining both a high acceptance rate and high security over the span of operating temperatures.
 
Long Term Drift Compensation
Xeptors track the long term average of good coins deposited and will automatically make fine tuning adjustments to any parameters that are not well centered on their acceptance windows. The algorithm only makes fine tuning changes if it is clear that it really is a fine tune adjustment not related to any possible attack on the system with slugs. The advantage of this system is that it self adjusts the coin parameters if the parameters learned were just a wee bit off center so that the discrimination windows are optimally centered and provide the best acceptance rate for good coins and best rejection rate for bad coins. Additionally, as the system ages, if for any reason there is mechanical or electrical drift that slightly alters the average reading of good coins, the Xeptor will automatically stay centered and continue to perform like a champ. 
 
X-Mark Reading And Security Optimization
Under normal circumstances, one wants to optimize operation to provide the greatest customer satisfaction, which means the highest possible acceptance rate for the tokens. Certainly, as tokens age and are battered, the reflective qualities of the X-Mark facets may deteriorate some, and the preference would be to have plenty of margin for such eventual deterioration of the tokens. Fortunately, field experience has proven our hypothesis that slight protection of the facets and deep minted facets are relatively unscathed by the wear and tear in the hopper environment and there is some acceptance margin that can be reasonably sacrificed in exchange for tighter discrimination of the facets to exclude tokens which may have graphical patterns which occasionally reflect light similar to a particular X-Mark code angle, or to exclude outright counterfeit attempts where the facets are not made with the same high level of light reflecting quality required of X-Mark tokens. That said, below are the available strategies for increasing discrimination between X-Mark tokens and any source of troublesome tokens. 

X-Mark Threshold Tied To BadCoinCount. One means of increased security is automatically performed by the Xeptors. The X-Mark sensor threshold is automatically raised if the BadCoinCount flag is set. This causes the Xeptor to require a better reflective signal from the token before it is willing to validate the token as having legitimate X-Mark facets. This in itself may be enough limit any successful slugging.

X-Mark Higher Threshold, Bit 4 SysConfig. One can permanently invoke the raised threshold strategy described above by setting bit 4 of SysConfig. See the last page of Serial Port Protocol for details of how to do this. (This would be 0001 0000 or Hex 10 added to the usual Hex 08 Inhibit bit for a net 0001 1000 or Hex 18.)

X-Mark Lead & Trail, Bit 5 SysConfig. Another additional strategy that can be used to increase X-Mark security is to require that the X-Mark be sensed on BOTH the leading and trailing edges of the token, whereas normally the algorithm is satisfied if it picks up a legitimate mark on either edge. The default strategy allows for a higher acceptance rate in the case where tokens may have bad spots from dirt or battering. By setting bit 5 of SysConfig, you will require the unit to detect the X-Mark in both locations as a requirement for acceptance. This reduces the likelihood of false acceptance of tokens that have marginal but confusing reflections, or actual counterfeit tokens with poorly made facets. See the last page of Serial Port Protocol for details of how to do this. (This would be 0010 0000 or Hex 20 added to the usual Hex 08 Inhibit bit for a net value of Hex 38.)

X-Mark Threshold Learned With Token. Beginning with version 3.0s, the Xeptor firmware measures the average reflectivity of the sample tokens presented during the Learn procedure and uses that information during normal operation to check for reasonable brightness of the deposited tokens. This algorithm allows the X-Mark sensor threshold to be set considerably higher if the quality of the sample tokens is high. In the current incarnation of this algorithm, the Xeptor uses the information stored in Coin Memory #2 to decide where the threshold should be, and as such, at least one set of tokens must be Learned in Coin Memory #2.
 

METAL READING AND SECURITY OPTIMIZATION

Different Batches Of Generic Tokens.
Over the years, many establishments will purchase numerous batches of tokens. Unfortunately, the record of the industry does not include very tight control over the generic alloy composition, particularly when purchased from different mints. One can use Hyper Terminal to connect to the serial port and look at the metal readings of a number of tokens purchased over the years and separate them by reading. If there is more than one group that are separated by more than two counts in the metal readings, each group should be programmed in as separate coin types. Otherwise, a single Coin Memory may be used, but a combination of the upper and lower reading tokens should be used together in the group of 6 sample coins used in the Learn Procedure. 

Different Batches Of Coins.
Over the years, some governments have decided to change the metal alloys of their coins to save money. Notable changes include the US penny, the Canadian nickel, and the Canadian quarter. For these coins, there is one or more quite distinct alloy version, thus requiring them to be learned as at least two coin types. In each of these cases it is not possible to mix the two types and hope that they can be learned as a single coin type. Trying to do so will result in 100% rejection because the average value learned is just too far from the measured values of either coin.

Tight-Metal Test Added, Bit-6 SysConfig.
Beginning with version 3..0s, it is possible to increase the normal metal security by setting bit 6 of SysConfig. By doing so, a fourth overall test of the three metal readings is conducted and provides a means of measurably tightening the acceptance window with virtually no impact on normal coin acceptance rate. It is automatically invoked when the BadCoinCount flag is set. See the last page of Serial Port Protocol for details of how to set bit 6 of SysConfig. (This would be 0100 0000 or Hex 40 added to the usual Hex 08 Inhibit bit for a net 0100 1000 or Hex 48.)