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Rowe vs Standard changer

My Dad has a MC520RL-DA Standard changer and wanted to purchase another one, so we checked out their booth at the ICA show.  I was very impressed with how simple the changer is compared to my Rowe changer.  This is a comparison of my Rowe changer and a Standard changer.

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I believe this is a Standard MC400RL (left picture) which is a little larger then my Rowe BC-200 (which I would swap out in a minute for).  The Standard changer is very simple looking, has metal coin hoppers, and uses a Mars or Pyramid bill acceptor.  The unit on the right is a MC535RL-CC with is more complicated looking but has a credit card acceptor and a bill acceptor.  Very organized looking and plenty of room in the units.

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Now here is my Rowe BC-200 tank (actually works).  First picture is the changer without the stacker and bill acceptor.  The second picture is the stacker and bill acceptor.  The third picture is the CCC, while trying to fix any problem with a Rowe changer, the final solution is always replace the CCC.

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This coin hopper has to win the most complicated hopper available.  Why not make the coin hopper consist of 2 parts?  One part (left) consists of a motor (red arrow) and a coin counter (top black thing).  Then on the other piece (right, coin hopper) why not have a bike chain with little knobs that snakes up the length of the hopper to spit out the quarter at the top?  You also need to clean this once a month or crap will clog up the chain.

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Next, add the most complicated bill acceptor (BA-50 transport) that needs to be cleaned every week and sent in to get fixed every year (low volume location).  Rowe seems to be in the process of dropping this bill acceptor at this point, which I have to say is the best idea ever.  Maybe that’s why every other changer sells their unit with a Coinco, Mars, Pyramid, etc. option? 

To be honest I never have any problems out of the ccc and coin hopper, except the coin counter needs to be replaced on one of my units.  I do not use the bill stacker and I send my bill acceptor to get fixed every year.

NEW Rowe $5 upgrades

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If the Rowe five dollar upgrade board was released and for sale, this is how you would change it out (like a how-to for a product that does not exist).  You first take out the CCC board from the Rowe changer.  (I lost this guys business card so unfortunately I can not give out his information.  I need to try and get this information from my dad.)  The first picture shows (red arrow) the board that will be replaced.  The second picture shows the board that you will get in the mail.  The distributor said that the kit will also come with 2 chips like the one next to his thumb.  He also said that the chip on your old board will be labeled and that type needs to be on your new board.  He is also pointing at the notch (third picture) that you have to line up with the notch on the ccc board.  Looks pretty easy and he said he will be selling them for around $66. 

Update:  I believe that I found his business card.  Jess Vasquez from Baca’s Changer Service & Sales Inc. bcschangers.com

MEI credit card bill system – in use

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IRS note:  Now the 10 Pepsi drinks I purchased from this Pepsi machine are all a tax deduction.  At only $3 a piece that is a large deduction.  They were actually a good deal because inside the ICA show they cost $3.25.

This is really an update of the previous post on the MEI credit card bill system.  The second picture shows the antena locating for the vending machine.  I really like this bill acceptor and if you watch the exciting video the first time I swipe my card it was not read (which was the only time that happened with my research) the credit card is in very poor condition.

coinco’s new bill acceptor – Vantage

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I also checked out the coinco booth at the ICA show.  I was looking at the BillPro-CRX Card acceptor which attaches on the front of a standard BillPro-CRX bill acceptor so you can accept credit cards.  It costs around $150 and it has a metal bezel.

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I really liked coinco’s new bill acceptor: the Vantage.  This has the coolest features concerning the bill surpressor and others.  The red arrows (left picture) show the suppressor in the out position and the (right picture) shows it in the in position.  This can be activated when somthing strange is inserted into the changer or it can be set to surpress on every bill accepted and stay in that position until another bill is inserted.  There are 3 setting on the suppressor that change the length the suppressor stays back, to help with speed.  Also is has a nice feature that when the bill acceptor gets wet, it will not shut down and the next bill inserted will go in and out to dry out the acceptor.  Cool.  I believe (I did not write it down) that it also can accept 110 different coupons.  The coupons are different then the old ones and use a fancy printing process instead of the old way.  The blue arrows show the bill box locking hasp, which is an add on; pretty worthless but cool if your maintenance man hates quarters and only steals bills.  It also programs easily, but how many time do you really have to do that? 

Etowah Valley Equipment ICA booth

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I checked out the “Genesis” Rowe conversion kit $995 (last picture). It replaces the bill acceptor, ccc, and power supply. The Rowe people were saying that the BC-200 conversion kit will cost around $800 and replace all the same parts.

I really liked this switch (middle picture) that they were selling; it seemed very heavy duty (10 position around $110). It reminds me of the iwash switch.

I also post the fliers that Jim Gosnell was handing out. http://cwguy.com/?page_id=2514

Self serve necessaries

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I picked up my 2008 catalogs at the ICA meeting, I think that everyone should have one of each for self serve car washes or just a pressure washing business.  Why? because each company seems to have different products.  The new catalog I added this year was “CarWash Superstore” which I have never had but Greg really loves them.

Kim Supply kimsupply.com 1-800-444-2783

CarWash Superstore carwashsuperstore.com 1-877-663-9274

Windtrax.com “The Car Wash Store” windtrax.com 1-800-443-0676

Dultmeier Sales dultmeir.com 1-800-553-6975

Kleen-Rite Corp kleen-ritecorp.com 1-800-233-3873

Giant Towels

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I went over to Giant Industries booth who sells the high pressure guns that I use. The lady at the booth explained to me the difference between the stainless steel guns and the all brass gun. She said that the only difference was the discharge fitting was stainless and should provide better life to the gun.

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She also gave me some towels and a “Moistwipe”.

Cool air fresheners

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I talked to the people in the Sonny’s booth and they said they are selling more self serve supplies.  I am not really sure but while looking in their “2008 Auto Accessories” catalog I found my “I Love Jesus” and “Mossy Oak” air fresheners.  So I will have to purchase them and see how they sell.

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I always liked the “Cherry Bomb” air fresheners and the customizing idea, but never have done it.  To customize one side (with their stock image on the other side) $.36, for 2 sides $.39 (also a one time setup for $75).

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I went past Average Joe Auto care products and checked out “The Amazing Aroma-Disk”.  This air freshener seems like a good idea if they sold a special vending machine that you never had to stock (which I asked them about), but you have to just use your current vendor.  Average Joe’s web site says they cost $9.99 for 10 but they might sell through a distributor cheaper?

MEI credit card bill system

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Credit card systems have been popular lately and the MEI system is really nice.  They are selling retro kits for some Rowe changers (of course they do not sell one for my BC-200) the system just replaces the transporter and nothing else.

The CC system runs around $750 per setup (attaches onto a MEI bill acceptor not included) $165 for the credit card face plate (which is metal not plastic).  It is a cellular CC system (which cost $10 a month) and cost 5% for an average ticket less the $10 and 2 3/4% of average above $10.

You could put one CC bill acceptor in you dual changer and then vend tokens.  (Like the bi-metal tokens from TokensDirect.)  The only problem with the system is that each system needs all the parts and can not share.  So if you wanted to install one in every bay then you have to purchase everything over again for each bay.  Also $10 a month per system/bay.

I also checked out the Wash Verify CC system which it nice and can be installed in any environment and not even on a meter box.  Also you can repair individual pieces on the cc swipe, but the server it Windows XP and uses an Internet connection.