Barcode Scanners

Barcode Scanners

Barcode Basics:
Barcodes come in two different forms: 1 Dimensional and 2 Dimensional. 1D is the most common type of barcode and looks like the picture to the right. 1D Barcodes are made up of a series of lines of different widths. Data can only be stored 1 dimensionally in a horizontal manner. A barcode reader scans the codes and retrieves a product code.

The other type of barcode is the 2D. The main difference is though, data can be stored both horizontally as well as vertically, allowing a greater amount of data to be stored. You cannot use a 1D scanner to read the data from a 2D barcode however a 2D scanner can scan both 1D & 2D barcodes.

Connection & Programming
When it comes to connecting your barcode scanner to a particular device you need to take into account compatibility. For example, if you are planning on connecting your scanner to a cash register, will you need to ensure that you have the right connection type and that the cash register is compatible with a scanner. Some cash registers need to be setup at the factory to allow a scanner to be connected to the port.

Once you have established that the cash register is compatible, you need to start programming the cash register to link information scanned to a product code and price.

Connection types include PS/2 (keyboard type), USB (for use with newer PCs) or Serial (commonly used with cash registers).

PS/2 Connection USB Connection Serial Connection


Handheld Barcode Scanners:
The most common type of scanner is the handheld scanner. It generally operates with a trigger button on the handle. As this is the most widely used type of scanner there are a wide variety of models and price ranges, depending on special features and extra functions.

Examples: Metrologic MS5145 Eclipse or Symbol LS2208

Omni-Directional Barcode Scanners:
These types of scanners are free standing scanners that allow you to pass the product into the scanners scan field, without the use of a trigger. Often seen in supermarkets, this is a great option if you need to scan multiple items quickly, without having to use a trigger. The only downside to these is that they are stationary. They come in two different forms: Desktop, and Inbuilt Scanners.

Examples: PSC QVS800PB (Desktop), or PSC QMAG2200VS (In bench/Vertical)

Scale Barcode Scanners:
These types of scanners are often found in the retail environment due to its multi-function ability. It not only scans products but also acts as a scale, making it perfect for a supermarket or grocery store.

Examples: PSC QMAG8102 or PSC QMAG8502-S

Cordless Scanners:
These scanners are almost identical to the handheld barcode scanners, however they have the added ability of being wireless (usually using Bluetooth).

Bluetooth scanners can communicate with any PC, Laptop, PDA, mobile phone, printer that includes an embedded Bluetooth device or an external Bluetooth dongle. Bluetooth is a worldwide standard, and it allows various devices manufactured by different companies to easily connect and communicate with each other.

Examples: (Bluetooth) Metrologic METMS9535S or (CCD) Datalogic DM100P or (Laser) Metrologic MS9535 VoyagerBT

Scanning Technology
CCD vs Laser Scanners
CCD scanners work by illuminating red LED light onto the barcode and capture the reflected code. They work well in an indoor environment, but poorly in well lit areas. They are often used to scan small barcodes and have a shorter capture range than a Laser barcode scanner. Some industrial laser scanners, developed for a warehouse type environment, can scan up to ten metres away. One advantage a CCD scanner has over a Laser scanner is that the CCD scanner has no moving parts, thus making it more shock/drop resistant. Laser scanners are made up of a number of oscillating mirrors that are subject to wear and mechanical failure, especially if mishandled.

Zebra Toshiba Wasp Technologies METO SATO