How do I use a payment acceptor?

How do I use a payment acceptor?

There are three main components that go into setting up a pay per use photo booth that uses a card or other payment acceptor.

  1. The payment acceptor. This can be for a credit card or bills. Once payment is made the acceptor will send a "pulse". This is basically like flipping a light switch on then off.
  2. The acceptor is wired to a relay device called a phidget. This is a USB device that can read the pulse and send a digital signal to the computer that Booth can understand.
  3. Darkroom Booth can be set to start a session only when that signal is received.

Payment Acceptor

This is a card acceptor made by ePort. It uses the same system used by cell phone to contact the company and authorize a credit card for a specific amount you predetermine.  Once that is done it will send the "pulse" or switch to start the session. There are many companies that offer this service and rates vary so look for one in your area. There should be several wires from the back that provide power and other things but 2 of those will be where the pulse is and those will connect to the phidget relay. There are many brands and companies but here is a link to the ePort website for more information.

Phidget Relay

Phidget is a company that makes relays that are supported in Booth. These can be used to turn on or off electrical devices and also receive signals for Booth to start commands. Their website is and the most common one used for a payment acceptor is the model 1011_0. There are also a number of wires but you need to find the 2 for input 1 and connect those to the 2 from the acceptor.

If you have any questions regarding wiring or connecting the device you will need to contact the manufacture of the hardware. Darkroom support agents are not able to give any recommendations as we would not want to be responsible for any damage to this type of hardware.

Booth  Software

In Booth go to Global Settings and then Automation and Device Control. With the phidget plugged in to a USB port it will show up in Booth as shown in item 1.
Next click on Add Input (item 2) and select the input number (item 3). Next click on edit and add the Booth command: Add credit. Now when a card is swiped and authorized it will send the "pulse" to the phidget and then the phidget will signal Booth to wait for the correct number of credits.

Once the phidget and payment acceptor are working you can go to the Controls tab in Booth 3 to set the number of credits to start the session. (see below). This will track the amount of money inserted and remaining, for example, If $5 is the price but you insert 3 $1 bills it will show 3 credits and 2 still needed to start.

To display information on screen add a text box with the following in the size, font and location on the screen template.


Once the minimum required credits is met the session will move from attract mode in Startup.
You will want to create a start button on the screen that is hidden during attract mode.

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