Barcode Scanners / Barcode Readers
Handheld barcode scanners are available in three basic types. These are
CONTACT WANDS, NON-CONTACT SCANNERS (active and passive) and IMAGERS. RVB Systems Group sells a wide range of all three types of barcode scanners,
including economical general purpose corded barcode scanners, industrial
rugged barcode scanners, multi-line (omni-directional) barcode scanners, bluetooth
wireless barcode scanners, fixed mount barcode scanners, and portable
barcode scanners (mobile computers). Not sure which barcode
best for you??? CALL TODAY to discuss your project and let us
recommend the barcode scanner that is best suited for your barcode scanning needs.
Click on any of the following manufacturer links for
information. We can provide you with any of the products from these
manufacturers at deep discounts. RVB Systems Group is available for
on-site installation, training and system development involving any of these products.
How does a barcode scanner work?
Barcode scanners use light to "read" barcodes. They emit
light which is absorbed by a barcode's bars and reflected back from a
barcode's spaces. The greater the contrast between the bars and spaces,
the better the scanner works. Some barcodes contain 'check digits' which
are used to help insure a successful read. A check digit is defined as a
character included within a barcode symbol whose value is mathematically based
on the other characters within the barcode. If any of the characters
within the barcode are misread by the barcode scanner (poor print quality, un-even
scan speed of contact wand, etc.) then the final calculated check digit will
not equal the actual check digit and the barcode will not scan.
What are the different types of barcode scanners?
Contact wand bar code scanners - These are the least expensive type of
barcode scanners. They require the operator to locate the barcode and move the
wand smoothly and slowly over the barcode. The operator must start
scanning the barcode in the leading "quiet zone" (clear area approx 1/4 inch
on both sides of a barcode) and not stop until reaching the trailing quiet
zone. Operators typically must scan a barcode several times to get a
successful read due to un-even wand movement and/or skipping the quiet zones.
Due to these problems, wands are not recommended for most applications.
Non-contact passive bar code scanners (CCD) - These are low-priced
scanners and are often called CCD scanners. They contain no moving parts
making them very durable. These type of scanners typically must be held
2 to 3 inches away from a barcode for a successful read. The field of
view of this type of scanner is limited and therefore they cannot be used for
long barcodes (typically barcodes over 4 to 5 inches long - check individual
Non-contact active bar code scanners (LASER) - This type of
barcode scanner has
a moving beam that actually scans a barcode hundreds of times a second.
This creates an excellent first pass read rate. This type of scanner can
read barcodes at a greater distance than a CCD barcode reader. Scan
distances 20 feet and beyond can be achieved with the properly matched
scanner, barcode size and label material. These scanners are available
in single line versions or multi-line versions (omni-directional).
Imagers are the newest breed of barcode scanners and act just
like a camera. These devices are able to capture complex two dimensional
barcodes, signatures, or anything or image. These are the most costly
type of hand-held barcode scanner on the market.
Hand-held bar code scanners are available with and without
cables. These type of barcode scanners generally use a base station which is
connected to a PC. Some wireless scanner manufacturers provide models
which allow multiple scanners to be connected to a single base station.
Ranges vary, so carefully check the manufacturer's product specification
How do I connect my barcode scanner to my PC?
Barcode scanners are available in a wide variety of
communication interfaces. Keyboard wedge connections allow the barcode
scanner to act just like a keyboard - that is any active field on a PC will be
populated with the scanned information just as if typed on a keyboard.
The bar code readers with a keyboard wedge output plug directly into the
keyboard port on your PC and they also provide a pigtail connector so that you
can plug in your keyboard at the same time. When you scan a bar code with the
keyboard wedge bar code reader, the data goes into the computer just as if it
were typed in on the keyboard.
USB - Merely insert the scanner's USB cable into any of your
PC's USB ports and start scanning!!!
A RS-232 (serial port) cable allows for more control over the
data from the barcode scanner. You can use software known as a "serial
wedge" to write barcode data to any application.
Cordess bar code scanners (NOT portable data collectors) are merely
corded barcode scanners without a cord. They require a base station
connected to a PC by either a keyboard wedge, USB, bluetooth or serial
interface. Some manufacturers provide cordless scanners which allow for
multiple scanners connected to the same base station while other models are
limited to a standard one-to-one connection.
Still not sure which
type of barcode scanner or bar code reader is best for
you??? CALL TODAY to discuss your project and let us
recommend the barcode scanner that is best suited for your data collection
Need to track inventory or fixed assets. Click
HERE to learn more about Track'Em, an Inventory and Fixed Asset
tracking application that can be used with any of the barcode scanners available
from RVB Systems Group.