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Control Electronics for Sophisticated Parking Meter

Model 450Z Parking Meter (Photo courtesy of VenTek). Click to view larger image

Client:
VenTek International Inc., Petaluma, California, USA
(Photo of "Model 450Z Parking Meter" courtesy of VenTek)

Client's Request:
To design the control electronics for the new "Model 450Z Parking Meter". Requirements included:

  • To accept credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, bills and coins;
  • To give change;
  • To operate under AC power, battery power, as well as under solar power;
  • To allow for data transfer in a wired or wireless network.
  • To integrate up to 90 seconds audio playback for ADA and help systems

KLN's Contribution:
Electronic design, PCB layout, and production of 10 sets of the electronics controlling all the peripheral devices in the parking meter.

Outcome:
VenTek placed the order with KLN on April 9, 2001 with the request to have as many production boards as possible ready eight weeks later, as our client intended to introduce this new and sophisticated parking meter at the IPI 2001 trade show in Las Vegas on June 4, 2001. Two very intensive work months followed, that included providing a testing breadboard to verify the correct functioning of the electroluminescent display module, the two keypads, and the communication with the currency handling devices. Circuit board sets and sheet metal brackets Electronic controller in sheet metal bracket. Click to view larger image Additionally, KLN supported VenTek's software team to program the device drivers and designed and manufactured sheet metal brackets for easy mounting of the electronic boards into the parking meter.

The picture below does not reveal that it was taken on Sunday morning, June 3rd at 4:00 a.m. after a night worked through. Everybody was too happy to show any tiredness. The under-the-time-constraints seemingly impossible goal had just been achieved! Four of the 10 ordered sets had been fully tested and could be packed. They were flown to California a few hours later, installed in the afternoon into four waiting parking meter housings, and then driven over night to Las Vegas. Happiness on Sunday morning at 4:00 a.m.: goal achieved! Click to view larger image Monday morning, June 4th, four brand new Model 450Z Parking Meters were demonstrated in working condition in VenTek's trade show booth at the IPI 2001, one of the biggest parking meter conventions and trade shows in North America, hosted by the International Parking Institute.

As informed a few days later by our client, the new parking meter became an instant hit at the show and attracted lots of interest from potential buyers. It even produced a number of unexpected, immediate sales!


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