Cash Drawer Interfaces:
The majority of the applications for point of sale utilize the signal sent to the receipt printer to open the cash drawer. So, every time a cash sale is sent to the receipt printer the drawer opens. This requires an interface cable between the receipt printer and the cash drawer. Each make and model of cash drawer requires a different cable and is based on the model of receipt printer being used. For instance, if you’re using a POS-X cash drawer and an Epson printer, you would need the POS-X cash drawer cable that corresponds to the Epson brand printer. Pretty easy, really.
However, if the point of sale application opens the drawer directly, the application will utilize a specific interface port (serial, USB or parallel). This requires a cash drawer that does not have a printer interface but, instead has an appropriate serial, USB or parallel interface cable, usually provided with the drawer. These cash drawers are generally more expensive than printer-driven models.
There are a few applications that require an “intelligent” cash drawer to perform specialized functions, such as operating two cash drawers from one printer or allowing two printers to operate one cash drawer.
The main difference between the Intelligent serial (Programmable serial interface) and normal serial interface is:
Intelligent serial interface can be used in conjunction with a printer on the same serial port using a Y Cable. The cash drawer will only operate on a specific command (character code) chosen by using the dip switches on the interface board, the customer’s software would need to be modified for the command.
Normal Serial can only be used alone on the port. The cash drawer will open on any command sent to the port. The customer’s software doesn’t need to be modified.
Parallel interface is also like the Intelligent serial interface, it can be used with a printer attached to the same port. The opening command has to be chosen using the dip switches and the customer’s program. If you are using a Y cable it has to be terminated. Buying a Y-cable is an option. The cash drawer is sold with a standard single connection cable.
http://www.posguys.com carries a wide variety of cash drawers in several interface.