July 28, 2022

ORCA Update: Card Reader Boops


We appreciate the continued partnership with our riders throughout this transition.

We have received a lot of feedback from our riders since launching the new ORCA system. One of the main themes of your feedback has been the volume of the “boop” on the new ORCA card readers. We truly appreciate your engagement with us and value the feedback of our riders.  

To help resolve the issue, we did significant testing with our vendor’s engineering team. After weeks of work, we’re happy to report that we are setting a louder sound for our card readers. We’re able to increase the power supplied to the speakers by a factor of two, which is right up against the functional limits of the speaker specifications.  

Although that doesn’t exactly translate to twice the volume, the new boops will be easier to hear. The focus was on finding an optimal volume that balances accessibility with equipment longevity.  

One benefit of the increased volume is that the tactile vibration that happens on the front of the validator has also increased. Put more simply, you can feel the beep if you touch the screen as you tap.  

If you’re interested, you’re able to come and test the louder card readers. We’ve released the software with the louder volume to the following Sound Transit station readers for testing: 

  • SODO – V7240003 
  • Mukilteo – V7216004, V7216005, V7216007 
  • Capitol Hill – V7234011 
  • Columbia City – V7243002 

If you’re able to go to one of those stations, you can see the “V…” device number at the top center of the display on the card reader. Those are the ones that have a louder beep. Once the software passes testing it will be released to the entire fleet of card readers over the coming weeks. 

Please continue to reach out to ORCA when you have any questions or comments. We appreciate the continued partnership with our riders throughout this transition. 

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