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'[PIC]: Bar Code Wand'
2002\11\07@080629 by Ray Gallant

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Looking for a hi resolution bar code wand or scanner, (possibly a CCD) for reading thermal labels as well as support circuit, plus code concept (possibly KBD scan codes), in order to interface to a pic. Thanks, {slewrate}

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2002\11\07@094145 by Josh Koffman

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I'd look for what's refered to as a keyboard wedge type of system. The
idea is that the scanner "wedges" in between the computer and the
keyboard, and when things are scanned, the computer sees it just as
typing. While I don't have any brand reccomendations, you should be able
to find something on eBay. Then it should be relatively simple to adapt
any of the excellent keyboard decoding apps on the PIC.

Josh
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Ray Gallant wrote:
> Looking for a hi resolution bar code wand or scanner, (possibly a CCD) for reading thermal labels as well as support circuit, plus code concept (possibly KBD scan codes), in order to interface to a pic. Thanks, {slewrate}

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2002\11\07@102330 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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I'd definitly use a model with a "normal" RS-232 output. It
could interface directly to the USART in those PIC's
that have that option.

Using a wedge type of scanner only means that you have to
cope with the extra PC-keyboard style encoding, and why
make things harder then needed ? The wedge expects a decoder
like the ones in the PC drivers (or in the special PIC routines written).

And all wedge style scanneras I'v seen actualy *needs* a PC keyboard
(or VT-style terminal keyboard) to get power and proper signal levels.

And I think there are more models of scanners with a straight
RS-232 interface. And probably cost less also.

Best Regards
Jan-Erik Svderholm
S:t Anna Data
Sweden


>I'd look for what's refered to as a keyboard wedge type of system. The
>idea is that the scanner "wedges" in between the computer and the
>keyboard, and when things are scanned, the computer sees it just as
>typing. While I don't have any brand reccomendations, you should be able
>to find something on eBay. Then it should be relatively simple to adapt
>any of the excellent keyboard decoding apps on the PIC.
>
>Josh

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2002\11\07@103712 by Dale Botkin

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I have used a few of these devices made by Vetra (http://www.vetra.com) in the
past.  They have models that do RS232 to PC keyboard, discrete pushbuttons
to PC keyboard, etc.  Even though they don't use PICS they still work
pretty well <grin>.  It was several years ago that I did business with
them, but their support was excellent.  I still have a few of their boards
in a box out in my garage, in fact.

Dale
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2002\11\07@104148 by Dal Wheeler

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If this isn't a high volume/cost conscious design; HP/Agilent has a nice Bar
decoder chip that will spit out serial data.  HBCR-1612 /family.  I used one
of these in my senior design project with a surplus wand from alltronics or
bgmicro.  It was used to count and score playing cards on an automated card
shuffling deck.  Read speed was pretty decent.  Mechanics of the shuffler
were problematic.  I never did get the project far enough along to design
out the decoder chip -so no decode software here --if I could even find it
now :')...

http://www.semiconductor.agilent.com
-Dal
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Gallant" <EraseMEraygspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTNB.SYMPATICO.CA>



Looking for a hi resolution bar code wand or scanner, (possibly a CCD) for
reading thermal labels as well as support circuit, plus code concept
(possibly KBD scan codes), in order to interface to a pic. Thanks,
{slewrate}

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2002\11\07@112439 by Dave Tweed

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Josh Koffman <@spam@listsjoshKILLspamspam3MTMP.COM> wrote:
> Ray Gallant wrote:
> > Looking for a hi resolution bar code wand or scanner, (possibly a CCD)
> > for reading thermal labels as well as support circuit, plus code concept
> > (possibly KBD scan codes), in order to interface to a pic. Thanks,
> > {slewrate}
>
> I'd look for what's refered to as a keyboard wedge type of system. The
> idea is that the scanner "wedges" in between the computer and the
> keyboard, and when things are scanned, the computer sees it just as
> typing. While I don't have any brand reccomendations, you should be able
> to find something on eBay. Then it should be relatively simple to adapt
> any of the excellent keyboard decoding apps on the PIC.

That's exactly how the original "Cue Cat" scanner worked. I picked up one
for free from Radio Shack back when they were handing them out, and wrote a
simple Perl script to decode the output.

I thought these were still available from BGmicro

http://bgm.bgmicro.com/prodinfo.asp?prodid=COM1161&page=1&cri=cue+cat&stype=3

but I see that these are the USB version. Probably not so useful for
interfacing to a PIC.

Ebay seems to have a selection of the older ones for a few bucks each,
assuming you only need a small number. Look for ones that have two round
PS/2 connectors and not one flat USB connector. There are many websites
that document their workings; just Google for "cue cat".

-- Dave Tweed

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2002\11\07@131045 by Josh Koffman

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I seggested a keyboard wedge as I thought the original poster mentioned
something about also doing some keyboard stuff. I figured he could
perhaps kill two birds with one stone.

Josh
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completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
> Using a wedge type of scanner only means that you have to
> cope with the extra PC-keyboard style encoding, and why
> make things harder then needed ? The wedge expects a decoder
> like the ones in the PC drivers (or in the special PIC routines written).

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2002\11\07@141555 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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>I seggested a keyboard wedge as I thought the original poster mentioned
>something about also doing some keyboard stuff. I figured he could
>perhaps kill two birds with one stone.
>
>Josh


Hi again.
Below is the original post. As far as I can see (English isn't
my native language...), it says "in order to interface to a pic".
No mention about "PC" or "PC-keyboard". Now, I'm not sure
what "possibly KBD scan codes" means, should they be read
from the barcodes lables? And what is a "code concept" ?

My recomendation is still a RS232 based scanner connected to the
USART on the PIC. I'd look at Symbol, Intermec or some other
quality brand.

And a description of the actual application whould help a lot !

Best Regards
Jan-Erik Svderholm.


> Looking for a hi resolution bar code wand or scanner, (possibly a CCD)
> for reading thermal labels as well as support circuit, plus code concept
> (possibly KBD scan codes), in order to interface to a pic. Thanks,
> {slewrate}

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2002\11\07@150004 by Josh Koffman

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I agree, a description of the application would help quite a bit. I
guess it was the part about scan codes that got me thinking about PC
keyboards.

Josh
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completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
> Hi again.
> Below is the original post. As far as I can see (English isn't
> my native language...), it says "in order to interface to a pic".
> No mention about "PC" or "PC-keyboard". Now, I'm not sure
> what "possibly KBD scan codes" means, should they be read
> from the barcodes lables? And what is a "code concept" ?

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2002\11\07@172008 by Peter L. Peres

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David van Horn who used to be on the piclist had code for Z8 I think to do
barcodes to serial.

Peter

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2002\11\07@192241 by Ray Gallant

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1st, thank you all for the numerous & continuous helpful responses.
This new application involves a piece of equipment that reads bar code, a
RTD, and potentially another sensor, then combines all readings, stores
them, & later send data to a computer via RS232, (USB optional).  Other
peripherals include a keypad, module LCD and thermal printer.  I don't know
if the "wedge" type scanner offers similar codes than those of a PC Keyboard
referred to before as "KBD scan codes"  I could HW interface this easily.
Decoding this type of stream is easy as well.  This approach would be my
"code concept" or conceptual design technique. (decode bar code to ASCII).
many tx, {slewrate}

{Original Message removed}

2002\11\08@024326 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Hi.
A "Keyboard-wedge" emulates the type of keyboard it was designed
for.

If designed to be connected to a PC, it emulates the PC-kbd-
scan codes, so the keyboard driver in e.g. Windows "sees" normal
ASCII charactes. The wedge is connected between the normal PC-
keyboard and the keyboard input on the PC box. There is absolutly
*NO* reason to use a PC-kbd-wedge if you *don't* have a PC (or
some other equipment that expects PC-kbd-scan-codes).

Use a "stright" RS-232, ASCII output scanner, no need to decode
anything, just read and act on the data.

You say "decode bar code to ASCII". What exactly do you
mean with "bar code" in this case. The actual digital stream from
the reader (before the decoder) ? I hope not ! Well, if you aren't
building some equipment for quality checking of barcode labels where
you have to measure that, e.g, a Code-31 label are within specifications.

What types of barcodes are you planning to use ?
Only standard 1-D codes such as code-31 or code-128 ?
Or also 2-D codes such as PDF-417 ?. It doesn't matter that
much, just interested...

Is it the "piece of equipment that reads bar code" that will
conntain the PIC ? Or is it the "application" ? And what is the
"computer". A PC ? Or some *real* computer ?

How will the termal printer be controled ? By the PIC ?
And all this other "peripherals", will they be peripherals to
the PIC ?

Jan-Erik Svderholm
S:t Anna Data
Sweden

{Quote hidden}

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2002\11\08@082320 by Ray Gallant

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I thank you in advance for your interest and your help.
Please read on forward for my remarks.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jan-Erik Soderholm" <jan-erik.soderholmEraseMEspam.....TELIA.COM>
To: <EraseMEPICLISTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Friday, November 08, 2002 3:42 AM
{Quote hidden}

I would like to reserve the pic's async package for RS232 to communicate
final results to a PC.

> You say "decode bar code to ASCII". What exactly do you
> mean with "bar code" in this case. The actual digital stream from
> the reader (before the decoder) ? I hope not !

no, not al all!
(make code, break code) I have to research, but didn't think that a PC's
keyboard such as an AT offered raw ASCII.  (I would therfore decode the
scanner's keyboard type scan codes to ASCII)

> Well, if you aren't
> building some equipment for quality checking of barcode labels where
> you have to measure that, e.g, a Code-31 label are within spec.

I will research this fact, tx.  Does the wand's built in scan decoder to
this?
I really need various scanner spec's.  I will try to get spec's on this for
example.
tomshardware.bizrate.com/marketplace/product_info/details__cat_id--42
2,prod_id--6231104,name--Informatics%20Wasp%20Wasp%20CCD%20Scanner.html
> What types of barcodes are you planning to use ?
> Only standard 1-D codes such as code-31 or code-128 ?
> Or also 2-D codes such as PDF-417 ?. It doesn't matter that
> much, just interested...

This is a new project so the bar code type(s) has not been submitted to me
yet. (no pdf stuff)

> Is it the "piece of equipment that reads bar code" that will
> conntain the PIC ? Or is it the "application" ? And what is the
> "computer". A PC ? Or some *real* computer ?

The wand assembly will be interfaced to the pic-hand-held assembly.  The PC
could be remote.

> How will the termal printer be controled ? By the PIC ?
> And all this other "peripherals", will they be peripherals to
> the PIC ?

Yes, also the printer has a 16k buffer.  I have pic usart code to send a
16KB file, which I may have to be convert somehow to support a parallel
printer.  I don't want to, but I could multiplex the pic's serial package to
go the printer's serial interface.

Any thoughts on memory card sticks (credit card size) for data logging
similar to PCMIA or other type?  As always, your feedback is much
appreciated. {slewrate}

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2002\11\08@140440 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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> I have to research, but didn't think that a PC's
> keyboard such as an AT offered raw ASCII.

Well, I really don't *know* PC keyboards to well, but I thought
that they transmitted "scan codes", not "normal" ASCII.

> I would therfore decode the
> scanner's keyboard type scan codes to ASCII

And I said that this isn't needed if you use a scanner that transmit
in plain ASCII on a RS-232 link. But maybe you want/need to use
PC-kbd emulation and a scan-code-decoder in the PIC.

> Any thoughts on memory card sticks (credit card size) for data logging
> similar to PCMIA or other type?

Does they have to be removable ?
If not, take a look at the FRAM's from RAMTRON on http://www.ramtron.com.
I'v got a couple as samples but havn't had time to try them yet.
It depends on how much storage space you need.

Jan-Erik Svderholm
S:t Anna Data
Sweden

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2002\11\08@140904 by Olin Lathrop

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> Well, I really don't *know* PC keyboards to well, but I thought
> that they transmitted "scan codes", not "normal" ASCII.

That is correct for normal PS-2 or AT keyboards.


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