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Employee Time Clock hardware?

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  • Employee Time Clock hardware?

    Does anyone have a recommendation for an employee time clock that can be configured to talk w. Alpha? There are a million clocks out there - and I've looked, but I need one where I can retrieve the clock data directly and import into MySQL. This is for a factory environment.
    Peter
    AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

    [email protected]
    https://www.alphabasesolutions.com



  • #2
    Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

    Hi Peter,

    Going by what I have been told??

    Not to throw you off, but most everybody now has a clock in system via computer. Generally cheaper for them to purchase than time clocks. This is generally faster to input with a code and or password. One quick shot and done. I have made the clockin software for this before doing it with a computer. Simply read the in and out times and go on. I think a decent time clock is going to be in the 500+ range and a basic computer these day is under 500 since you need very little memory and minimal disk space. Part of my basis is that they are going to have to pay you more to build both the app for computing plus pay you to make the connections. I am sure your work is not free.

    I just looked at laptops for 350.00.

    Sorry, I don't have a better answer for you.
    Dave Mason
    [email protected]
    Skype is dave.mason46

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

      Thanks Dave. As you probably know, there are a million clocks out there. Almost all are bundled w. a software package. That's ok, but we want access to the clock api so we can read it directly. So far, I found one where they give you the api, but it's all .NET and too complex for me to make sense of. It's possible we could use an industrial touchscreen, but that means you have to have a pc there, Alpha running, etc. This is far from ideal. Having a hardware solution where we can pull in the data to MySQL/Alpha is what we are after.
      Peter
      AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

      [email protected]
      https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

        Just some thoughts here
        I think Dave is on the right track - what medium of check-in would you prefer? Clock cards and clock machines are a little dated.
        There is a factory here that assembles fingerprint as well as retinal scanners forsecurity access control - no reason not to have that hooked up to a PC port instead of the device firmware. The factory are in fact a client, use only my software for orders, production and accounts, not for clocking :)
        Its midnight here - I can call them in the am to get some intel on the devices if you like.
        OTOH I have also done a lot of product barcode reading as I'm sure you have too - why not have a laser scanner read barcodes from say id badges - into a text file or KB wedge which you could read.
        With one of those options do the rest with software like Daves?
        Do employees actually need to see a clock? Could also use a small screen like those price check scanners in supermarkets.
        options are food for thought.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

          Peter, is just some basic calls you're looking for, via an API? If so, and it is in .NET, I may be able to help write some A5 to .NET routines. I have written a few .NET API calls in the past for A5. Finding a time clock you can communicate with directly without .NET is probably like finding a needle in haystack.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

            Ray,

            Thanks for your thoughts. I think you would be surprised if you Googled "employee time clock' or "biometric time clock" or similar phraseology. When I say there are a million clocks out there, I do mean a million. They are widely used and not going away anytime soon. In particular, ideally we want a biometric palm reader. That way there is no "buddy clock-in".

            Chris, I sent you a PM.
            Peter
            AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

            [email protected]
            https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

              Peter:
              I did an interface for a Schlage Hand punch last year. It has a relatively easy to program .Net interface. The device itself is pretty expensive.
              Finian

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

                Yes I see Peter the technology in clocks is way up there - I was still thinking cards and punch-in. I'm the one a little dated.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

                  Your thread made me take a look for myself. Timeclock Plus has a variety of solutions though they seemed a bit pricey to me. $900 for the clock and $1500 for a hybrid web/ desktop app. And of course they charge for how many employees will be clocking in (licenses are dependent on the software package from 8.50 to $25 each), though the sales rep had some room to negotiate on the specs. They do give a pretty good bang for the buck if you need all that. OTOH, AMG offered me a combo proximity swipe/ pin entry clock (model 160C) for $187 and $195 for the software for 50 employees with the ability to connect by usb or use a flash drive. Both clocks will export/ import data to a payroll service.

                  I am wondering if the hand reader suffers the same as the fingerprint models - from dirty hands? I happen to have 3 used hand readers w/o software that you can have for the price of shipping!
                  Last edited by MoGrace; 09-16-2014, 10:57 PM.
                  Robin

                  Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

                    Hi Robin,

                    We need a custom solution to tie into our larger MySQL db.

                    I am wondering if the hand reader suffers the same as the fingerprint models - from dirty hands?
                    No, they don't have that problem. Most measure the size and shape of the hand. Dirty, wet, cold, warm, etc hands don't affect it.
                    Peter
                    AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

                    [email protected]
                    https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

                      We need a custom solution to tie into our larger MySQL db.
                      Jared at AMG might be able to help with that. (323) 254-7448, tell him Robin referred you...maybe I'll get a better deal ;)
                      Robin

                      Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

                        Thanks Robin. I'll let you know if I pursue that.
                        Peter
                        AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

                        [email protected]
                        https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

                          I have been using my proximity/ pin clock for about 3 weeks now. Although I will not have to buy timecards any more, purchasing badges and holders will be an ongoing cost- as employees lose or forget to return them. Setting up pay policy rules was the most confusing, and I still must correct early punches - but that is not too bad with only 30 employees and 2 shifts. But exporting and importing hours from the clock to Alpha and then to the payroll service leaves a bit to be desired. I have tried importing the csv directly into Alpha but the imported data is dropping the decimals. So i open it in Excel and save as xls and import that. Saving in Excel as dbf loses formatting for the character field populated with numeric data.

                          I am not sure a hand reader would be any different, as far as the steps involved - which so far have not saved me any time!
                          Robin

                          Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

                            Peter,

                            I wrote one in Alpha that I use in several of my applications. It is 100% barcode driven so users do not have to use a keyboard or mouse. I physically hide the keyboard and mouse in a cabinet below the monitor. The one I wrote requires 2 inputs to "punch on". Empid (scanned from employee badge), Work Order Number (scanned from shop order). In my case, I wrote some code that then checks to see if the user is already punched onto a job. If they are, then an alert pops up telling them to punch off before trying to punch on as they cannot work on 2 jobs at the same time. There is a Review Time function as well. The user invokes the "Review" from of a permanent bar code posted at the time clock that says "Review Time". If the user scans that bar code, the text from the bar code is then read by the time clock and the appropriate "review from" is shown to the employee that shows all of their punches and total time for the day. The time clock is tied into the employee table in the app and won't let a user clock in that has been disabled in the employee table. I also use the employee table to store the employees' "timeclock id" which I then use to print a label that has their barcode (code 3 of 9). I then laminate the label which was just printed on plain paper and give it to the employee to use as their timeclock badge that they use to scan (to punch on and off of jobs).

                            That is a brief overview. I can give you some more detail if you think you might want to try and roll your own.

                            Regards,

                            Jeff
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Employee Time Clock hardware?

                              Only thing I recommend is not using barcodes if "sharing" is a concern. It is very easy to copy a card with a barcode on it and give to a buddy to say "hey, if I'm running late, here is my card.. clock me in". A police department I was doing work at years ago implemented a barcode system (I think it was for some type of access control, but I can't remember for sure) but the cops quickly showed the upper echelons "look, someone can steal my card, copy it, return it, and then use my access and I get blamed for it".

                              Just something to think about

                              Comment

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