Abrantix AG
Vending Machine with MBD Protocol, MDB Converter

Introducing MDBConverter: Revolutionize Your Vending Machine Operations

Are you tired of outdated communication protocols limiting the potential of your vending machines? Say goodbye to inefficiency and hello to MDBConverter – your gateway to streamlined operations and enhanced functionality.

MDBConverter empowers you to harness the industry-standard MDB protocol, facilitating seamless communication between payment systems and vending machines. Say goodbye to compatibility issues and hello to efficient data exchange and advanced payment methods.

Easy Integration, Maximum Flexibility

With MDBConverter, integration is a breeze. Our converters handle the MDB-specific 9-bit format and timing constraints effortlessly, ensuring compatibility with RS232 capable devices. Whether you're using USB or low voltage TTL connections, MDBConverter offers unparalleled flexibility to suit your setup.

Cutting-Edge Features for Enhanced Performance

Experience the latest in vending machine technology with MDBConverter. Our converters boast master/slave mode capabilities, allowing for versatile usage scenarios. Plus, with features like 5V output and tracing/logging functionalities, MDBConverter takes vending machine operations to new heights of efficiency and convenience.

Comprehensive Support and Resources

At MDBConverter, we're committed to your success. That's why we provide a comprehensive SDK, complete with sample implementations and detailed specifications. With our easy-to-follow documentation and dedicated support team, you'll have everything you need to hit the ground running and optimize your vending machine operations.

Join the Revolution Today

Don't let outdated protocols hold you back. Join the revolution with MDBConverter and unlock the full potential of your vending machines. Experience seamless integration, enhanced functionality, and unparalleled performance – all with MDBConverter. Ready to take the leap? Get started today!

About MDB Converter (Multi Drop Bus)

Years ago, we at Abrantix set out to create a cashless vending solution for a client. Back then, we did not know MDB (Multi Drop Bus) and its pitfalls. We had initially planned to implement the whole solution without special-purpose hardware, just in software. After we had created a software-based MDB implementation, we quickly realized that this would not work. We had to come up with dedicated hardware that takes care of the proprietary MDB features like the 9-bit format and the timing windows. I have shared some of our experiences from this learning process here. As a result of this process, our MDB converter product range was created. Our goal was to enable other people, so that they do not have to go through the same process.

MDB Converter Overview
The MDB Converter products by Abrantix make it easy to integrate with MDB vending machines. The converters take care of the MDB specific 9-bit format and timing constraints and simply forward the MDB payload to any RS232 capable device using a proprietary serial protocol (called CP) as described in the SDK   documentation. You can find a list of all product editions here.

Master/Slave Mode
Each MDB converter can be used as MDB Master (VMC), or as MDB Cashless Peripherals (except for older product editions). We are working on a Coin Changer implementation at the moment and also have clients that use the converter as Comms Gateway. However, these modes are not officially supported.

Depending on the Product Edition, the converters support the following connection options:
    • MDB Converter 3 and MDB Converter 4 (Multi Drop Bus)
    • USB (with built-in USB to serial adapter)
    • RS232 (serial) Low Voltage TTL


USB Connection Option
The USB connection option is based on a built-in USB to Serial adapter. When plugging in the USB to the PC, the MDB Converter 3 and MDB Converter 4 will show up as serial port. We use FTDI chips as USB to serial adapters. FTDI drivers are available for many operating systems and are pre-installed on many operating systems.

Low Voltage TTL Connection Option
Looking for an Arduino MDB shield? The LV-TTL I/O connection option bypasses the standard RS232 interface and allows to communicate directly to the MDB Converter 3 or MDB Converter 4 micro processor. This allows an easy connection to existing and popular Embedded PCs and Controller boards.

MDB Converter 3 vs MDB Converter 4
MDB Converter 4 is our latest product and is compatible with the MDB Converter 3 in regards to its behavior and APIs. However, the hardware sockets for the USB and serial connectivity options differ and are not the same.

MDB Converter 3
    • Micro USB
    • Molex Serial Socket

MDB Converter 4
    • USB Type B
    • Header 2.54mm 2×5 male

MDB Converter 3 will be phased out in 2021.

Raspberry Pi Integration
The MDB2Pi   is our MDB Converter integration for RaspberryPi. It is a RaspberryPi HAT compatible with RaspberryPi 3 and RaspberryPi 4. In general, this converter edition supports the same features as the MDB Converter 3 and MDB Converter 4, besides for example the connection options.
You can find more information about the MDB2Pi on Pinout.

RTC (Real Time Clock) [MDB2Pi only]
The MDB2Pi   contains an RTC. Real Time Clock capability is achieved through the use of a SuperCapacitor (no battery required).

MDB2Pi Housing
We do not sell a housing for the MDB2Pi. However, you can download a 3D drawing of our housing on thingiverse. This way, you can print your own housings. Of course you can modify the drawings to suit your needs.

Freely Definable MDB Payload and Behavior
The converters use a proprietary serial protocol called CP (Control Protocol) to talk to your application. This protocol only frames the MDB payload and does not put constraints on the MDB messages or behavior. This means that the converters do not implement MDB behavior themselves, which gives you the full control over the messages and behavior.
You can therefore send any MDB data to the bus or implement any MDB behavior you would like. This helped us, for example, with testing, where we implemented different test cases with invalid MDB payloads or strange behavior of the master or slave component.
An exception to this is an Auto-ACKing feature that simplifies the timing behavior. More about this can be found in the manual.

We provide an SDK that contains a sample implementation of a master and a cashless device. The SDK is in C# and also contains the manual and CP specification. For more information, please visit MDB Converter SDK.

5V Output [MDB Converter 3 only]
The converters offer to drive external hardware directly from the MDB Bus with stabilized 5V power @ 1A (up to 5W). Thus there’s no need to deal with the inconvenient MDB Power specifications.

Tracing/Logging [Beta]
Our latest Firmware also includes a tracing feature. This allows using a converter as MDB tracer. This feature is in Beta stage and open for trial by everyone who is interested.

You can find some Videos of our products on YouTube

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