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PrintReader for Tranz Clocks

While our Tranz clocks are designed to take a PIN or swipe card entry for collecting time, we do provide external PrintReaders that can be used to require a fingerprint when employees clock in and out. This article covers topics related to PrintReaders attached our analog clocks: the Tranz 330, 380, 380X2.

Click the link for a printable version of instructions on setting up the clock.

Specifically, this article will cover:

Connecting a PrintReader to a Tranz Clock

The cables attached to the PrintReader have keyed plugs that fit into the sockets on the clock. If your reader has two cables, they are keyed differently and will only fit into their designated socket. If the reader has one cable, it goes into the right-most socket.

The PrintReader does not have a power supply, it draws power from the clock itself.

When you have connected the reader and the clock is powered on, it should briefly flash a red and green light, and beep three times in quick succession. This lets you know it's on. 

Before the PrintReader can be used on a Tranz clock, you will need to associate the two devices. Note, if you are installing a new PrintReader to a clock that already had a PrintReader connected at one time, see Replacing a PrintReader.

Associate or Re-Associate a PrintReader to a Tranz Clock

After a PrintReader has been connected to an analog clock, the reader will need to be associated with the clock before it can be used.

IMPORTANT: If you are adding a PrintReader to an existing clock, you should press 9 to transmit all existing punches on the clock and then be sure your clock has the latest programming, at minimum, version 2.01. You can check the version by going to the timekeeping system and choosing Clock Status from the Settings or Administration menu. Once there, you can click on the serial number to see what version is installed. Reprogramming the clock will ensure you have the latest software.
  1. Press Func/Enter 
  2. Press 1
  3. Type the password 346437 (spells "FINGER") 
  4. Press Func/Enter.
  5. It should display a message stating that the reader was found, when it asks about downloading prints from the server press 1 for yes.
After this is completed, the clock should transmit. If it doesn't do this automatically press 9 to force it. After the transmit is complete, the PrintReader should function normally.

Removing a PrintReader from a Clock

This document explains how to remove a Biometric Print Reader from a Time Clock and restore the clock back to taking just a card swipe or key code to create a punch. This is mostly used in regards to a bad reader when a replacement is not available.
  1. Make sure all punches are off of the clock by manually transmitting the punches (the "9" key) and waiting for it to complete the transmit.
  2. Remove the Print Reader cables from the clock.
  3. Reprogram the clock
If you do not follow the procedure, the clock will refuse to allow anyone to clock in, whether they are enrolled or not. That's because the list of enrolled employees is stored on the PrintReader itself - without it attached, the clock doesn't know who needs verification and who does not.

Before reprogramming the clock, make sure you transmit any punches in its memory. Reprogramming the clock clears the entire memory, including any punches waiting to be sent.

Replacing a PrintReader

If you connect a different fingerprint reader to the clock, the clock will detect this, and will refuse to allow anyone to use the clock until it is resolved. To alleviate this, you will need to enter the manager password (not the print). 

The clock does this because it depends on trusting the database inside the fingerprint reader. If the fingerprint reader has been changed, the clock assumes it can no longer trust the data coming from the reader. 
  1. Plug in the reader, and try to clock in or out. The clock will recognize it's not the same reader, and will ask for the manager password to confirm.
  2. It will then ask if you want to erase the reader's memory - choose YES (choice 1). You want the reader blank so the server can start filling it up with its copy of the finger database. If you do not clear the memory, the system will assume (possibly incorrectly) that the reader's fingerprint database is up to date. 
  3. Transmit the clock by pressing 9 and the print reader should now allow for clocking in and out.
IMPORTANT: The manager fingerprint is not stored on the server, as it can be different for each clock. Any time you perform a full download from the server, the manager fingerprint is irreversibly lost. You will have to use the manager password, and re-enroll the manager fingerprint manually.

Also, if you replace a single-cable reader with a dual-cable reader (or vice versa), you need to reprogram the clock for it to recognize the different reader type.

Enrolling Employee Prints for the Tranz 330/380 Clock

In order to enroll employee prints at the timeclock, you will need to know the employee's PIN or card number that has been entered on the timekeeping website.
  1. Access the manager menu by pressing the number 3 on the clock
  2. Enter the manager password. If this is the first time you are using the clock, the initial manager password is "1234". 
  3. Press 1 to start enrolling prints.
  4. Enter the employee PIN number and then follow the prompts to enroll and verify the finger print. 
You can also view a brief video on the process here.

Re-Enrolling prints would follow the same steps as enrolling the print, however, when the clock recognizes the PIN as a PIN that has already been enrolled, the clock will display "RE-ENROLLMENT" instead of "ENROLLMENT".

What happens when you enroll

Your finger print reader does not actually store any finger print images. Rather, it simply memorizes key points on the finger print that can be used to recognize that same print later. The key points are simply a short string of numbers. Each number string is referred to as a "template". 

The templates are stored on your finger print reader, and not in the TRANZ terminal, with one exception. When you perform an enrollment, a copy of the template is temporarily saved in the terminal so it can be transmitted to the server. The server then sends a copy of that finger print template to any other clocks on the same account. Afterwards, the only copy (besides the backup on the server) is in each of the finger print readers themselves. 

Each finger print you enroll will appear to add 3 or 4 punches to the outgoing batch, which will be transmitted to the payroll server upon next transmit. 

The terminal's memory is limited, especially the TRANZ 330. You may find that after enrolling 20 to 40 employees on a TRANZ 330, the terminal will tell you its memory is full and ask you to transmit. The only way to free up the memory is to transmit the enrollments to the server, which will take about 5 to 8 minutes. Once this is done, you can enroll another batch of 20 to 40 employees. Only the TRANZ 330 has this limitation - the TRANZ 380 is unlikely to ask you to do this. Regardless, this does not limit the total employees that can actually use a single clock. The maximum is approximately 1,900 employees - the capacity of the reader - regardless of whether used with the TRANZ 330 or 380.

Fingerprint Manager Menu

The Mananger Menu can be accessed on the Tranz 330/380 by pressing 3 while the clock is on the date/time screen. The default manager password is "1234", which can be changed in this menu. The following are the menu options:
  1. Enrollment Menu where you can enroll an employee's print for using the clock.
  2. Delete existing print
  3. Set up a manager finger print
  4. Set a manager PIN instead of a fingerprint
  5. Download Print portion
  6. Change the print sensitivity

Deleting Fingerprints from the Clock

You can delete fingerprints from the PrintReader's memory by entering the employee ID number or by touching the live finger to the sensor.

The delete option is especially useful and important if the same finger has been enrolled with more than one PIN as the reader will have troubles identifying the correct PIN when used in fully-automatic mode. 
  1. Press 3 to get to the Print Manager menu and then enter the manger's PIN or use the manager's print to access the menu.
  2. Press 2 to get to the Delete Print menu. 

When you delete a fingerprint, you'll be given the option to delete the fingerprint from the server or from this clock only. If you select delete from server, a message will be transmitted to the server instructing it to delete the print from its database, then a message to delete the fingerprint will automatically be relayed to all of your other clocks. Of course, the print is also deleted from this clock immediately. 

If you select this clock only, the fingerprint will only be deleted locally, and will remain on the server and on all other clocks (unless you delete it manually there as well). 

If you delete a fingerprint from this clock only and want to retrieve it back from the server, you have three options: 

1. Re-enroll the finger (PrintReader (TimeClock) - Enrolling an Employee using the Finger Print Reader for the 330/380)
2. Do a full erase and download (Option F in Downloading Prints article below)
3. Do a missing prints only download (Option P in Downloading Prints article below)

Setting a Manager Password or Print on the Tranz Clock

To change the manager password:
  1. Press 3 to enter the Manager Menu
  2. Enter current manager password (default is "1234")
  3. Press 4
  4. Follow the screen prompts to enter the old and then the new password

To set up a manager fingerprint, the manager must already be enrolled with a print, then:
  1. Press to enter the Manager Menu
  2. Enter current manager password (default is "1234")
  3. Press 3
  4. Follow the screen prompts enroll a manager fingerprint
Even if you set a manager finger print, make sure to change the default password as well. The clock will allow the password to be used any time the manager finger print cannot be read, or if the finger print reader is disconnected or not associated. If unauthorized employees can get to the menu using the password, they can delete their own enrollments or make changes that allow them to defeat the finger print reader. 

The manager password and finger print do not get sent to the server, nor do they automatically propagate from clock to clock. These must be set on each clock individually. It is perfectly acceptable to have different passwords or manager finger prints on different clocks for the same client.

Downloading Prints

Under normal circumstances, any time you enroll or delete a finger the template is automatically transmitted to the server and then passed on to each additional clocks. 

For one reason or another, you may wish to do a fingerprint redownload to ensure that the PrintReader has a fresh copy of everyone's fingerprint. One reason you may do this is to delete a large number of terminated employee's fingerprint templates. Although you can easily delete fingers from the clock, the clock will not automatically delete fingerprints if you terminate employees from the web site. That is, unless you perform a full erase and download. During a full erase and download, employees marked as terminated on the timekeeping website are skipped. This saves memory slots for active employees. 

The download mode is changed by going into the Fingerprint Manager menu (Pressing 3 and entering the manager's password) and selecting option 5.

The clocks have four different configurations: 

Mode I - Normal/Incremental. Your clock will spend most of the time in this mode. In this mode, the clock will receive new enrollments from other clocks each time it connects. 

Mode F - Full Erase and Download. When the clock connects, it will delete all fingerprints from its memory and then redownload the fingerprint templates for the entire employee roster. This could take a while (approximately 1 minute per 6 employees). This mode is initially selected when you install the reader and clear the memory. During the download, employees marked as "terminated" in the timekeeping system will be skipped, unless their fingers have been enrolled in the past 10 days. 

The manager fingerprint will be lost during this process, and will need to be re-enrolled afterward. 
If there are new enrollments in the terminal's memory waiting to be transmitted, you will have to transmit twice - once to transmit the new enrollments, and again to perform the erase and full download. 
Once this is completed, the clock will automatically switch to mode I (Normal/Incremental).

Mode P - Partial / Missing Prints Only. When the clock connects, the server will compare the online database with the clock's own database and will transmit only the fingerprints that the clock appears to be missing. After this is completed, the clock will switch to mode I (Normal/Incremental).
The manager fingerprint will not be lost. 

Mode N - No Download. This mode is ideal for multiple-clock clients with distinct geographic locations, where the clock-to-clock copying of fingerprints is unwanted. Although the clock will transmit new enrollments to the server (which can then be restored later if needed), the clock will not request any updates of any kind to the fingerprint database from the server. This mode stays in effect until you change it. The only way to update the database is to enroll or delete employees locally, or to switch to another mode.

After you change the download mode, you should exit the manager menu, and then press 9 to transmit. 

Changing the PrintReader Sensitivity

PrintReader Sensitivity can be changed by going into the Managers Menu (press 3 then enter the password) and selecting option "6" and follow the instructions on the clock to configure.

The device is already at the lowest level by default so it will be less strict in the prints it accepts which could result in false positives (miss assigned punches). But this rarely happens.

Raising the default level will make the reader more strict with the prints it will accept causing less false positives. This is almost certain to increase the number of rejections for people trying to scan their print to clock in/out causing delays at the clock.

For all intents and purposes it is suggested to not adjust the default Sensitivity setting.

Troubleshooting the PrintReader

If the PrintReader appears to be malfunctioning, please go through this list of troubleshooting steps.
  • ​Does the reader light up or make noise when it is used?
  • Try unplugging the reader and plugging it back in.
  • If an individual print is experiencing problems, try re-enrolling the print.
  • Does there appear to be any damage to the PrintReader prism?
  • Does the timeclock appear to be having problems? If yes, begin with troubleshooting the clock itself.

Error or Mis-Assigned Punches

Sometimes with the PrintReader a punch may appear on the wrong time card in error. This can result in an employee having extra punches on their time card, or perhaps punches on a day when they did not work.

This issue is most commonly due to poor quality finger print enrollments. 

What the PrintReader does at enrollment is instead of scanning the finger print as a whole it scans and captures points or features on a finger print. 

So if during the print enrollment the PrintReader captures very few features on a fingerprint (maybe 3 or 4 as opposed to 10 or 12), this can increase the likelihood that someone else's fingerprint features may appear similar to the system which can have the system then apply the punch to an incorrect time card.

When that happens, it is usually the "Recipient" whose enrollment is more problematic, rather than the person who actually made the punch.

There are 2 things that can be done about resolving this: 

1. You should FIRST delete and re-enroll the employees who were affected. Both the employee that had a missed punch due to it being applied in error to another employee time card and the person that received the punch in error on their time card.

2. There is also a setting on the newest software version of the TimeClock (2.04) that allows you to tighten the matching criteria. From the PrintReader Managers Menu this would be option 6.


You will get best results when enrolling employees if each person completely washes and then completely dries their hands first.

To check to see which version software the TimeClock has you can go to Clock Status then select the serial number for the TimeClock you want to check. You want to look for the number next to 'On-Board Software Version' to see what software version you have. If it is below 2.04 you can FIRST transmit any punches on the clock then re-program the clock

IMPORTANT: The Tolerance Setting cannot add quality where it doesn't exist. It can only enforce a higher quality of match. That is why it is IMPORTANT that if there is a poor quality enrollment that is getting mismatched, the employee's should have their prints deleted then re-enrolled FIRST.

Unable to read data from reader, please check cables and try again

The clock requires that the reader is confirmed present each time the clock is used, even if the employee will not be using the reader. 

Do exactly what it says, unplug the cables and make sure you plug them back in correctly and snug. Once the print reader is plugged back in, press 1 to clock in, and place your finger on the reader. The clock will look for the print reader and tell you if it can or cannot find the print. 

If it doesn't work and you don't have another reader handy, then transmit and reprogram the clock (so it no longer requires the reader) and request RMA for a replacement.


Clock shows "Try Again" when attempting to clock in.

Do just that. Try to clock in again. If you see Try again more often than the green light, you may want to re-enroll your print. When you initially enrolled, the reader may not have gotten a good quality image. On occasion, some people's finger prints just don't work - particularly if they are heavily worn down by job duties, as is sometimes seen in construction workers, farmers, dish washers, etc. You may also want to try to enroll a different finger, or a different part of your finger. Try to avoid the finger tips and focus more on the region close to the top knuckle where the finger bends.

Finger print reader works with some employees, but not others.

If some employees aren't reading very well, try re-enrolling their prints. Make sure their fingers are clean and the reader does not have any dirt or debris on it.

If all else fails, you still have the option of making the employee swipe a card while the others use the print reader. Finally, although we hate to point fingers, we have seen a fair share of employees "protest" the installation of fingerprint readers by intentionally causing poor reads, or damaging the readers with keys, etc. - something to keep in mind.


Update Prints Not Working

If the clock does not replicate/push newly enrolled prints out to all clocks without having to do a erase and re-download of prints, the clock may not have the latest software installed. Version 2.04 or later should fix this.

The software version can be checked by going to Administration > Verify Transmit in TimeWorks and Settings Menu > Clock Status in TimeWorksPlus. If the On-board Software Version listed on this page is not current, you can update it by re-programming the clock.

The replication/push capability should happen with a simple transmit (press 9 on the TimeClock or wait for waiting for the daily auto transmit).

Company has multiple print readers at multiple locations. Employee can clock in at one location, but not another.

The finger prints are stored on our server. When you enroll the prints at one print reader, you must transmit the clock, and upload the prints. At the other stations, you must wait 15 minutes, then transmit the clock to download all of the newly updated prints. 

On the clock that doesn't receive prints press 3 to access the Finger Print Menu then enter the Manager Password then press 5 on the Finger Print Menu and select 2 - Full Download then transmit. Transmit should take several minutes and say Loading the whole time.

If, by chance, that employee still cannot clock in at another location, try re-enrolling their fingerprint on the clock they are having troubles with. ALSO, clock software version 2.02 is common and by default it doesn't transfer fingerprints - either upgrade to the newest version by reprogramming the clock, or re-enable the transfer by choosing option 5 on the fingerprint menu, then selecting Incremental Download. You can check the software version from our Clock Status screen online.


Finger print reader is not associated with the clock

You will first need to associate the finger print reader to the clock before you can enroll employees.

Has the print reader mechanism gone bad?

Go into the manager menu and enroll anyone's finger print under any number. If the reader tries to read your print, and you are able to enroll, the biometric mechanism is in working order.

If the reader does not recognize there is a finger there, contact your timekeeping provider, there may be an electronic ribbon clamp that is loose. This is fairly easy to remedy.

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