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Thread: Dell touch screen erratic cursor behavior...?

  1. #1
    pauloregon Guest

    Question Dell touch screen erratic cursor behavior...?

    Very strange situation. Restaurant has been running BPA on 2 Dell PCs using Dell E153FPT touch screen montors. Went live just after 1/1/06 and the system has been working without one glitch since then.

    Two weeks ago, both monitors started acting erratically. Upon touching the screen with a finger, the cursor would be displayed below and to the left of the actual finger position. Incorrect buttons on BPA screens would be selected, causing problems. Recalibrating the touchscreen software would help for the rest of the night, but the problem would happen again sometime later.

    Systems have not been modified. Software has not been modified. I removed and re-installed the touch screen driver with no change in behaviour. Problem shows up sometimes immediately after reboot, sometimes after a few hours of use. Hard-wired mouse seems to always work correctly if the touch screen does not work.

    If nothing has changed on the machine, I would suspect that something is growing on the system, maybe taking more memory and causing the touchscreen driver to act strangely. eventvwr does not show anything that points to a touchscreen driver complaint. USB cables have been removed and reset.

    Does BPA software grow it's memory needs over time? One machine has 256MB, one as 128MB. Yes, it's not very much memory, but that's what the client wanted and it has worked every night since January.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Justin Guest
    The first thing I would try is to thoroughly clean the monitors and then re-calibrate.
    it is very odd for it to happen on both systems so I would assume that it is not software related.
    try that and then get back to us if it still does not work

  3. #3
    pauloregon Guest
    Hi Justin,
    When the monitors were acting up, I had the servers recalibrate and that resulted in proper behavior for a variable amount of time. Sometimes the systems would be fine all night, other times they would fail right away.

    Cleaning the touchscreen is an interesting idea. I would assume that in a restaurant, there would be a lot of grime of the screens, but they really don't look that bad. Do you have a recommended fluid to use in cleaning the screens?

    One more thought: do you know if these monitors are sensitive to power outages/spikes? I will ask the owner, but I wonder if a power outage and sudden restart might have an impact on the monitors.

    thanks,
    Paul
    Last edited by pauloregon; 09-18-2006 at 10:16 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I would contact Dell to see what they would recommend as far as cleaning goes. Also, a power surge can do a lot to a computer but as far as the monitor goes, I bet just knocking off the calibration would be the most likely thing to go wrong. Just to be safe though, I would recommend that you have this system on a UPS system (uninterrupted power supply).
    Business Software Solutions, Inc.
    (801) 336-3303

  5. #5
    pauloregon Guest
    Tyson/Justin:
    I'm convinced the memory usage on both systems is peaking during busy restaurant nights, causing the mouse driver to behave badly. There is no other logical explanation here. After adding a standard mouse to both systems, we've noticed that when the touch screen mouse becomes erratic, the standard PS2 mouse is erratic too. This test rules out the "fried Dell monitor" theory since the mice are new and the PCs are on UPS systems.

    I noticed that your POS systems for sale have 256MB of memory. I need you to verify that over time, the BPA software does or does not increase it's need for RAM. I'm suspecting that given almost 9 months of clean operation, BPA is becoming a memory hog.

    As an experiment, I will add another memory stick to each machine to see if that changes anything.

    paul

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    This would be interesting to find out.

    Post back what happends to the monitors touch interface after more ram is added.
    Business Software Solutions, Inc.
    (801) 336-3303

  7. #7
    pauloregon Guest
    I'm increasing the RAM on the main BPA system from 256MB to 1GB tomorrow. We'll leave the 2nd (bar) system on the network at 128MB as part of the test. If the main system has no mouse problems for 2 weeks, we'll consider the experiment a success.

    For those who don't follow memory prices, 2 512MB sticks of memory (1GB total) cost $125 locally for the good stuff.

    Note that in monitoring the system during normal usage, Windows performance monitor was showing high pagefault rates when the system was running BPA but nothing was being entered. Physical memory utilization was very high which would explain the page faulting.

    More information coming soon.

  8. #8
    pauloregon Guest
    Update: Main system (Dell Dimension 3000) has been running with 1GB of RAM for a week now with no cursor issues. We're going to run for a total of 2 weeks before declaring victory.

  9. #9
    pauloregon Guest

    Smile

    Final update: No cursor problems were seen over 3 weeks of this test, so we're declaring victory. The machine at 128MB continued to have trouble, so it will be updated to 1GB tomorrow.

    There's still a question for BSS on why the software consumes more system memory over time, but I'll leverage my client's support agreement with BSS to get that answer.

  10. #10
    wearearewe Guest

    Replace the monitor

    We had the same behavior with a POS Dell Touch Screen. The only solution was to replace it with another.


    FYI: POS does not stand for Point of Sale

  11. #11
    pauloregon Guest
    Dell systems are inexpensive for a reason, which may be fine for small and medium businesses that can survive an outage. I'm always amazed by the number of low-end Dell PCs running vet clinic systems, restaurant systems, etc.

    Regarding the Dell touch screen displays, I noticed that Dell is selling ELO touch screen monitors now. Maybe ELO quality is much better?

    I'm curious to hear if your display swap out solves your problem.

  12. #12
    wearearewe Guest

    Yes, problem solved

    I've been a small business service provider for several years and this is the 1st and last Dell touch screen I plan to put in service. I've been using ELO without issue, as the saying goes they take a beating and keep on kicking.

    The Dell was replaced several months ago thanks for asking.

  13. #13
    pauloregon Guest
    Update: Restaurant was moved to mouse vs Dell touch screen since touch screen was erratic and unreliable. Now we are going to move to an ELO or equivalent professional touch monitor.

    Does anyone know what brand of touch screen monitor is sold by BPA in their pre-build turnkey systems?

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Location
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    Business Software Solutions recommends Bematech, Dell, and of course - ELO.
    Business Software Solutions, Inc.
    (801) 336-3303

  15. #15
    pauloregon Guest
    Tyson, thanks for the data. Does BSS sell ELO touch screen devices such as the ELO 1529L or 1515L? Can I assume that all TS monitors will operate wonderfully with BSS software?

    With resistive touch screens, capacitive touch screens and other technologies, it's difficult to tell which are best suited for restaurant POS systems.

    I understand that you recommend Dell, but with the poor performance of our Dell TS devices, we won't be considering that option again.

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