HandPunch Troubleshooting

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Punching issues

At some point you may encounter employees having issues punching at the HandPunch. Issues at the HandPunch can be categorized as being biometric or non-biometric. Non-biometric issues are easiest to diagnose because the employee is not asked to place their hand.

After the employee enters their clock ID and presses Enter, the HandPunch should display PLACE HAND in the display. If the HandPunch beeps twice and the display returns to ENTER ID then the clock ID entered by the employee is NOT in the HandPunch. Reasons for this may be:

  • The employee has not been enrolled
  • The employee is mistakenly using a number that is different from the number that they were enrolled with
  • The employee is not assigned to this time clock in their Clock Info tab
  • The employee is inactive in the software and so the software is removing their clock ID from the HandPunch
  • The employee was enrolled with a clock ID that was previously used by an employee that is inactive and so the software is removing their clock ID from the HandPunch
  • The clock is full and so not all employees that are assigned to the clock are able to be stored in the clock

If the HandPunch displays TIME RESTRICTION then the clock ID entered by the employee is in the HandPunch but the employee is restricted from punching. Reasons for this may be:

  • The employee is in a restricted work pattern type (Work Pattern tab) and the employee is trying to punch outside of the allowable punching zone. The punching zone is determined by the employee's schedules (Schedules tab)
  • The employee is in a punching zone (Clock Info tab) and they are trying to punch outside of the punching zone

Biometric Issues

If the HandPunch displays PLACE HAND after the employee enters their clock ID and presses enter, but the HandPunch displays TRY AGAIN after placing their hand and eventually says TEMPORARILY INVALID, these are the items that you can check:

  • Is the issue limited to this employee, to a few employees, or to most employees? If you as the supervisor can punch and you are getting a SCORE in the same range that you normally get then this would indicate that the issue is isolated.
  • Is the employee using the correct clock ID? If the employee is using the incorrect clock ID but this clock ID belongs to another employee, then it is not a biometric issue at all (in fact the HandPunch is doing exactly what it should be doing - eliminating buddy punching).
  • Is the employee using the correct hand placement. This is critical to successful punching. The hand should be placed flat on the platen, with the fingers touching the pins. If a red light is on, then the person punching is not touching that pin with their finger.
  • Is the wrist visible when punching? If the wrist is not visible then clothing might block the camera from successfully scanning the hand.
  • Has something changed about the employee's hand? Although the HandPunch adapts to small changes in the hand such as weight loss or gain, major changes such as lengthened or shortened nails may require the employee to be re-enrolled.
  • If the employee is getting TEMPORARILY INVALID when they try to punch, another employee or yourself needs to punch first before this employee can punch again. If they can now punch successfully then there is nothing to do.
  • Some employees will be what is known as a "bad puncher" in that they are very inconsistent in their use of the HandPunch. You can raise the Threshold in the Clock Info tab in the range of 200 to 250.
  • If the employee cannot punch because they cannot place their hand flat and make the lights go out (injury, something about their hand limits their movement, missing finger) then you will need to use the No Biometric Verification option in the employee's Clock Info tab.

HandPunch Issues

If the issue with enrolling is not limited to a few employees then it could be the HandPunch that is causing the issues:

  • The HandPunch needs to be kept clean. See HandPunch Maintenance for maintenance and cleaning instructions. If the platen, or the mirror, or the area above the hand is not clean then this can affect all employees.
  • Removing the power to the HandPunch for 10 seconds then plugging back in should next be done. You may need the key so as to be able to remove the power from the back of the HandPunch, if the access to the power supply is not easily obtained.
  • Get the calibration from the HandPunch by pressing the No (*) key 11 (eleven) times. The calibration will show in the top line of the display such as r0 c-1 e123 s. The numbers to the right of the r and the c should be either -1, 0 or 1.

Warm Boot / Cold Boot

  • Warm Boot - a warm boot of the HandPunch is performed by removing the power and then plugging back in. It does not delete any hand or punch information from the HandPunch. The camera will recalibrate when powering up so this may resolve a biometric issue.
  • Cold Boot - a cold boot of the clock is performed by removing the power and then plugging back in while the reset switch is held down.

Re-enrollment Issue

Please note that the hand templates are typically distributed between all of your HandPunches once an hour. There is a small chance that during the re-enrollment process, you may remove a person from the HandPunch while the hands templates are being distributed back to the HandPunch and by the time you get back to the ADD EMPLOYEE menu, the hand template of the person that you removed has now been restored back to the HandPunch. When you go to enroll, if the displays says SORRY, CAN'T ADD, this indicates that the hand template has been restored. You will need to remove the employee again.

Communication Issues

Communication issues occur when the software cannot communicate to the HandPunch. These troubleshooting steps are for Ethernet communications. The Ethernet unit can be an external Ethernet unit (Lantronix UDS-1100), or an internal Ethernet unit.

Network Issue

You first need to establish if the communication error is network based, i.e. there is no communication to the Ethernet. The software error for network based issues is "Failed to get channel". If you are receiving the error from an email then the email will contain both the host name and the port number being used. If the error occurred when trying to communicate in the software then you can get the Ethernet address and port number from the Ethernet tab in Time Clocks Configuration.

  • Is the host name an IP address?
  • If it is not then the HandPunch is remote to the software. At a command prompt use tracert to determine the IP address that the host name is resolving to. If it does not resolve then the host name has either not been updated, or the internet may be down at the remote location.
  • Is the IP address a public IP address? If it is then the HandPunch is remote to the software.
  • If it is not a public IP address then you will only be able to tell if it is a local address by comparing it to an address from a computer in the network where the software is. If it is not local then a WAN or VPN is being used.

The 3 options for the network connectivity are therefore:

  1. The HandPunch and the software are in the same network
  2. The HandPunch is in another network which is connected via a WAN or VPN. Check the WAN is up by pinging the other network's gateway?
  3. The HandPunch is in another network accessed through the other network's public IP address. In this scenario, port forwarding has been setup. Is the internet working at the remote location?

If you have access to the local network of the HandPunch then you should do a ping test, followed by telnet to the listening port. If these both work then there is no issue with local connectivity, so the issue is with the WAN / VPN or the port forwarding. A firewall may also be causing an issue on anything but the local network connectivity.

On the local network side, the following can be checked if you are using the external Ethernet Lantronix UDS-1100 (referred to as UDS):

  • Does the UDS have power?
  • Is the Link light lit on the UDS? If the Diagnostics light is flashing then this can indicate an issue with the UDS or the local network. Count the number of times that the Diagnostic light flashes between pauses. Refer to the UDS manual
  • Power cycling the UDS might resolve issues if the network had been down and the UDS did not reconnect to the network
  • Are users having issues connecting to other items on the network. If the network equipment that the UDS is connected to, is itself not connected to anything then you can have a Link light but still not be "on the network"
  • If you take the UDS to a known good network cable, does the "Failed to get channel" error go away, and you know get COM_TIMEOUT?

On the local network side, the following can be checked if you are using the internal Ethernet:

Is the light on the Ethernet unit red or flashing yellow? This indicates that the Ethernet cable is not plugged in, or no network is detected.

HandPunch Issue

If you are not getting the "Failed to get channel" error then you are getting a COM_TIMEOUT error. This error means that there is a communication problem somewhere between the UDS and the HandPunch. This error is only typical with the external Ethernet. Check the following:

  • Does the HandPunch have power?
  • Is the HandPunch on the wall or looks like it had been knocked off the wall. It is possible that the cable is not connnected to the HandPunch
  • The cable might also be detached at the UDS end (not likely but worth checking)
  • You can power cycle the UDS for good measure
  • The serial cable could be damaged. If you more than one HandPunch then you can swap 2 HandPunches and then depending on what HandPunch now is not communicating will help you determine if it is the UDS / cable or the HandPunch.
  • The clock number may have been changed in the HandPunch (not likely but worth checking)

See also