The Torino Electronic Data Collector (EDC), from Aardvark Embedded Solutions
Ltd. (AES) has been developed as a low cost high specification second generation
The Torino EDC unit is connected to the BACTA dataport of an AWP (fruit machine)
and receives and processes messages from the AWP, These message are used to update
records in non-volatile memory that can be retrieved to allow The Torino EDC to provide
the AWP owner complete details on the AWP activity.
The Torino EDC provides two 2.5mm jack sockets. At least one of these is to be
connected to switches operated by the cabinet doors. These switches should be normally
open when the doors are closed (while the switches are closed, they add an additional
drain to the internal battery).
Whenever a cabinet door is opened, the Torino EDC detects this. The fact that the
door has opened is recorded in the machine log, and the Torino unit emits an audible
alarm. At the same time, communication with the AWP ceases, so the AWP should go into
"Dataport Alarm" mode.
Closing the door is not sufficient to clear this, rather a specially programmed
I-Button key has to be presented to the Torino unit to resume normal operation.
As a build option, this audible alarm / key acknowledge sequence can be suppressed
when the unit is on battery - this is for use in situations where the unit will be
completely unattended while running on battery, and so the alarm is irrelevant. With
this option, the event of opening the cabinet doors is silently logged.
The data from the Torino is retrieved by using a handheld terminal. A simple serial
communications protocol is used as RS232 levels, with the connection to the Torino
unit being either a 3.5mm stereo jack, or for better reliability, a re-purposed USB
connector is used. (Note: this not USB data.)
Full details on the protocol for this are given on the downloads page,
Coins and Notes paid in and out
The Torino EDC monitors the Bacta dataport messages that notify the unit
each time a coin / note is paid in or out. All these different
events are independently totalled in non volatile memory by the Torino EDC.
The handheld unit retrieves from the Torino EDC the current totals.
By storing these different totals, this back office software can easily
determine exactly how much has been paid in and out between each visit.
As the total since the last visit is frequently useful, there handheld
can request the Torino EDC to store the currently details for later
retrieval, at which point the individual totals for the period can be
Electronic machine identity
Part of the Bacta dataport specification includes a message that specifies
details of the AWP. This information is sent at power on, and is
stored by the Torino EDC for later retrieval.
All information that can be obtained on how the AWP is played is useful, and
with the increasing use of multiple game AWPs there is also information
to be gained from looking at how the various games are played.
To this end, the Torino EDC attempts to identify how individual players
use the machine. Obviously there is no direct way to identify this, but the
Torino EDC assumes that a 30 second or more gap in machine plays is probably due
to one player giving way to another.
For each or these player "sessions" the Torino EDC identifies which different
priced games have been played, how many plays were made at that price and how
much was paid out in winnings. It also identifies whether the last thing the
player did was to play the game or to collect winnings. The details on each
session make up an entry in the player activity log and can be retrieved by the
Machine usage logs
The first or these is a 400 entry AWP Event log. This contains accurately timed
details of every time that a cabinet door is opened and the relevant details taken
from a number of machine maintenance records, specifically:
- Float Levels (Message code 61).
- Hardware and system faults (Message code 63).
- Recoverable hardware and system faults (Message code 64).
The second feature is a 2000 entry Player Activity log. This enables the owner to
track how players are actually using the AWP.