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Portable Document Scanner

Posted on 2013-06-02
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Last Modified: 2013-06-05
Hello Experts,

I need help in understanding how a portable document scanner like the one attached works, and what components actually are used to design the device.  I have a homework project and it calls for listing the main scanning components and how they are used in the overall scanning process.  I do not need any great details just the parts or components and where to get more information or the part.  So can you supply this information?  I would also like to know the best development language to use to create the software drivers or functionality in creating the device?  Meaning C or C++ for example.

Thanks in advance,

aj85
portable-doc-scanner.png
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Question by:aj85
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8 Comments
 
LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 200 total points
ID: 39215327
This is for a larger scanner but the ideas are the same.  http://www.ti.com/solution/scanner  Note that their processor is an ASIC, Application Specific Integrated Circuit, which would be a custom designed IC.  It would probably contain a CPU that is also available separately along with custom designed support logic.  C has been the language of choice for low level programming like this though it took a long time for it to be used in place of assembly language.  A lot of microcontrollers have their own version of C that is optimized for their architecture.
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39215945
I think this is the information I was needing, however what components are used for the type of scanner I upload?  Just so I am understanding you, are you saying the same components are used for large and small scale scanners? I thought the smaller type that I uploaded would use a smaller part, if I have misunderstood something, please confirm.

Thanks!
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39216490
Actually, I couldn't make out the picture you uploaded, it was too small.  If it is hand operated, then it would not need the motor controller part and it might not have as many features.  But the guts have to have the same basic components.

"smaller part"?  The mechanical parts may be smaller but the electronic parts are very small anyway.  The size of the parts shown in the diagram are for emphasis, not really to show their relative size.
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39216618
Hello,

Sorry that the image was reduced, attached is a larger version.  Please let me know if this is visible.

Thanks.
handheld-document-scanner.jpg
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LVL 55

Accepted Solution

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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 300 total points
ID: 39216980
Hi AJ,
One of the big differences in scanners is the sensor mechanism. Larger ones tend to use a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) sensor while portable/hand-held ones (such as the one you posted a picture of) tend to use a Contact Image Sensor (CIS). Here's a pretty good description of the two sensors:
http://www.scantips.com/chap3c.html

Note the section at the bottom called "CCD or CIS sensors". Also, take a look at the example posted:
http://www.carlmcmillan.com/DOF/DepthofField.htm

In terms of software drivers for scanners, the three most common are ISIS, TWAIN, and WIA (some scanner manufacturers, such as Fujitsu with its ScanSnap series, develop proprietary drivers). Of those three, the most popular for many years has been TWAIN. I suggest that you study the TWAIN website:
http://www.twain.org/

In particular, take a look at the Driver Developers page:
http://www.twain.org/scannerdriverdevelopers.html

and the Scanner Application Developers page:
http://www.twain.org/scanner-application-developers.html

In terms of languages, the TWAIN.H file is a C/C++ header file used by driver and application developers:
http://www.twain.org/scannerdriverdevelopers/specification-and-tools.html

Good luck in your homework project. I hope you get an A! Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39224604
Hello Joe,

Thank you very much for the posting this really helped a great deal!

AJ85
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Author Closing Comment

by:aj85
ID: 39224606
Thank you!
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39224608
You're welcome! Best of luck to you in your education and your career after that. Cheers, Joe
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