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Fetch barcode from the Metrologic Scanpal2 Reader

Posted on 2006-11-24
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A friend of mine has a Metrologic Scanpal2 data collector/barcode reader. The reader supports uploading an appliucation to the device which is defined by an application generator that is shipped with the device bujt he wants to only fetch the barcode and store it in his access database. How do i approach the task of reading the barcode from the Metrologic Scanpal2 device?
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Question by:seanyp_2007
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by:doraiswamy
ID: 18010637
Generally most scanners have an interface to the PC known as the "Keyboard Wedge". When connected through the keyboard wedge, barcodes scanned by the scanner are converted to keystrokes and can be captured by any application which has input key focus.
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cjard earned 250 total points
ID: 18010993
The scanpal2 is a handheld barcode-capable data accumulator, not a barcode scanner. It doesnt work as a keyboard wedge:

http://www.beechman.co.uk/metrologic-scanpal2-data-terminal.htm

http://www.metrologic.com/corporate/products/pos/scanpal2.htm


If your friend wants a barcode scanner, tell him to buy a barcode scanner, not a data collector. This device is used for wandering round a shop collecting hundreds of barcodes into a csv file for later processing on computer.. To use it as a barcdode scanner you would have to load an application onto it that made it sync the csv file every time it scanned a barcode. Given what the cheapest metrologic laser based barcode scanner costs, you would spend more time and money messing with a datacollector turning it into a slow, inefficient scanner than you would just buying a proper scanner..
:)
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by:seanyp_2007
ID: 18014517
Thank you cjard I was thinking along the same lines but I didn't know if I was in the right about that. Now that you have confirmed it I can go ahead and make a recommendation that he purchase a barcode scanner. One thing I'd like to know though when I use this keyboard wedge scenario on a notebook would the notebook's keypad still work?
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by:cjard
ID: 18018014
It actually depends on the setting in the BIOS of the laptop. By default, every laptop i have seen, allows the laptop keyboard to carry on working when an external keyboard is plugged in. This can be switched off if you choose.

The scanner works just like a keyboard - you plug it into the keyboard port, focus the system cursor on a text box and scan a barcode. The scanner "types" every character it has read and "presses return" at the end of the barcode, so you attach an event handler to return key in your program and use it to determine the end of the barcode

additionally, once upon a time for my companny it was necessary to detect whether the scanner was typing or whether a human was typing (because peoiple were trying to scan barcodes into price fields)

We found the simplest solution was to total up the time taken to enter the barcode and divide it by the number of digits to achieve an "average rate of keypresses". We found that our scanners on average pressed a key every 10 ms, whereas humans were 20 times slower at about 200ms for the fastest typers. Evena  human hammering the keyboard with flat hands couldnt achieve a rate fast enough to confuse the program. If this need arises in your software, thats the way to do it! Scanners are also even, whereas humans type erratically
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