Barcode Scanner USB

This is a super easy to use laser Bar Code Scanner. Simply plug the device into USB and it enumerates as a Human Interface Device (HID) - basically it acts like a keyboard. Open a text editor, scan a bar code, and the serial number of the bar code will be displayed as regular visible text. Very accurate, surprisingly easy to use! Comes with a manual of bar codes that configure the unit.

No drivers needed.

Barcode Scanner USB Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

1 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • ddegn / about 13 years ago / 8

    I started a thread in the forum about using this barcode reader with a microcontroller.

    If the forum post is useful bump this comment upward by clicking the star.

  • ddegn / about 15 years ago * / 4

    This barcode reader can also transmit data using a serial connection. I just got this to work with a microcontroller. I used a Category 5 cable to plug into the reader. Power (5V) is pin 6 (of the 8P8C modular plug). Ground is pin 3 and the data line is pin 8. I turned the handshaking off so I didn't need any other wires. There might be CTS and RTS wires as well. This is great. I'm going to put barcodes on everything.
    Don't modify the cable that comes with the barcode reader to use it as a serial cable. The cable it comes with doesn't have enough wires (or at least not in the right place) for a serial connection. Use an eight wire Cat5 cable. The reader needs to be configured with the barcodes in the manual to switch to serial mode.
    Using barcodes with my work is going to save me a lot of time.

    • Ackbar / about 13 years ago * / 1

      Your babies - I want to have them.
      Edit - That was before I tried it. Worked first try, no problems. Beautiful. So beautiful. Saved me so much hassle and cut $100 off my project budget.

  • Member #521671 / about 10 years ago / 2

    Hello guys. I need some help using this barcode scanner with avr atmega168. i tried as "ddegn" suggested, PIN 6 for +5Vcc, PIN 3 as GND and PIN 8 as DATA line but i have no success so far. I even tried changing PIN 2 as DATA but still failed. Please I need some real help. Thanks

  • Is there an electronic version of the manual that I could read before buying?

  • Member #641075 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Good, I love this USB bar code scanner, it's a good component to read bar codes , which can connect to my computer. Hav anyone get it on Amazon?

  • B1llaB0ng23 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Are there any specs available for this scanner? I need to know things like optimal 'viewing distance', scans/sec, types of barcode it can decode..?

    Thanks for any help

  • Member #566220 / about 10 years ago / 1

    very good, it is what i am looking for. i have a .net component to read gs1barcode, do you think it is comaptible with your scanner?

  • Member #479504 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    here is the resource about usb barcode scanner

  • Member #479504 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    that's good! and i used another usb barcode scanner,where you can find many similar usb barcode scanner devices

  • c47334 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    Apparently, the RJ-45 plug may emit a soft click sound when it is only half-inserted into the handle. When the plug is half-inserted like this, the device may work intermittently. It fooled me for a good 10 minutes or so. Each time I pointed the scanner at a barcode, it would beep loudly, blink, and refuse to scan anything. I felt dumb when I realized it wasn't plugged in properly.

    While I'm happy with this barcode scanner, in the future it might be cool to have a scanner that supports Stacked Omnidirectional GS1 Databar, POSTNET/PLANET/IMB/OneCode/4CB, and maybe QR.

    I like that the auditory beep can be silenced, and that this device doesn't require a software driver. Cool product!

  • Member #395438 / about 12 years ago / 1

    i have found this site from google. i was searching barcode scanner USB, now i am really glad to have this site because i am a CCTV Home security system technician. here is a huge range of electronics things.

  • Member #384068 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Hi everyone!

    I really am a noob with arduinos because all I've done is like play with them and do really simple book examples. The thing is that my boss ask me to develop a really simple barcode reader so we can improve our operations!

    Can I connect this barcode with an arduino? What kind of components do I need? can a "noob" develop this project?

    I would really appreciate a comment or some advice! Thanks

    • ddegn / about 11 years ago / 1

      Look at my earlier posts. They give instructions to convert a Cat5 cable to use with this scanner in serial mode.

      You should be able to use the Arduino's UART to receive data from the scanner.

  • let me think of one / about 12 years ago / 1

    Does anyone know how long it needs to see the barcode for before it can give you the result? Could it scan the barcode of an object moving on a conveyor belt for instance?

    • ddegn / about 11 years ago / 1

      This can vary from about a tenth of second to a little over a second. (Don't tell anyone I told you, but there are scanners on ebay that cost less and read the barcodes faster than this one.)

      I doubt the conveyor belt idea would work unless you had really large barcodes.

      • I've had one of these things plugged into my desktop machine for a year or two now, just for whatever barcode comes along, and we use the same model downstairs in our own shipping department. In my limited experience, it's actually pretty fast. I wouldn't automatically rule it out for moving targets.

  • GB1984 / about 13 years ago / 1

    I've lost the manual and hence can't do any configuring, does anyone know where I can find this online??

    • ddegn / about 13 years ago / 1

      Do you still need a manual? I'll scan mine if you would like. Are there certain pages you need? (I'd rather not scan the whole thing.)

  • krivera2 / about 13 years ago / 1

    I have a question how are you going to inteface the usb or serial conection to a microcontroller. is not needed a max232? I have found this comments very helpful, but I am still confused how is the barcode scanner going to interface with a microcontroller.

    • ddegn / about 13 years ago / 1

      You can use this with a microcontroller. You do need to make a different cable. A Cat5 cable works fine. You also need to configure the barcode scanner with the "Serial Mode" barcode on the bottom of page 10 in the User's Manual. I also used "Serial Handshake-None" on page 13 (so I didn't have to figure out which pins to use for flow control). There are also barcodes to set the baud rate on page 13. An earlier comment of mine lists the pins of a Cat5 connector to use with a microcontroller. Since the barcode scanner uses TTL to communicate you may need a series resistor on the data line if you're using a 3.3V microcontroller. I'm using a 10K ohm resistor with my Propeller chips.

  • Member #200338 / about 13 years ago / 1

    I would like to use this Barcode reader in my project, but I have not used Barcode reader before. Has anybody used int a applications before? Could you tell me the libraries you used with it. And your experience.

    • unknowndomain / about 13 years ago / 1

      It works like a USB keyboard so it just types the number out like a person would and then presses enter. There are loads of other settings I am sure but by default almost every barcode scanner in the world with a Serial, PS/2 or USB connection will send numbers and then new line.

  • SonicPete / about 14 years ago / 1

    Hi! Anyone know how to get hold of a stand/holder that fits this scanner?

  • Barbarian / about 14 years ago / 1

    How long is the USB wire and how long can it be extended? Is there a limit?

    • The cable is about 6' long. I'm not sure how long it could be extended, but typically USB maxes out around 15' I think. I'm not sure if this would apply to this cable as well, but I would assuming you don't want to get much more than that out of it.

  • Matthias / about 15 years ago / 1

    Hi everyone. Has anyone an idea of what driver to use for this device with the current Ubuntu Karmic Koala? The device used to use the usbkdb module, which no longer is part of the kernel. For older linux versions, it worked fine.
    As indicated by Koala this currently seems to be an issue preventing one to use it with linux.
    Any ideas welcome.
    Cheers Matt

  • remitops / about 15 years ago / 1

    Does anyone know what the max range of this reader is? Could it be 2 or 3 meters?

    • ddegn / about 15 years ago / 1

      I've found the limit to be about two feet. I'm using barcodes made using 1/2" Brother labels; it might be possible to extend the range with larger barcodes. But I doubt you could get it to read farther than one meter away.

      • lemozine / about 14 years ago / 1

        so when you used this connected to a microcontroller , i take it you had to then adapt a serial port? did you have a 5v source at your microcontroller? i'm hoping to use this to scan an item(s) then also attach 5 other values to that item via the controller.

        • lemozine / about 14 years ago / 1

          ok the more i search this site the of my questions get answered! i'm learning alot today

          • ddegn / about 14 years ago / 1

            I realize I may not have answered you question completely.
            When I say I use "serial connection" it is not the same as a standard "serial port." Most serial ports (at least on computers) are RS-232 which has a signal which varies between -6V and +6V. The barcode reader's serial signal is 0V and +5V (I think it's referred to as TTL). Most microcontrollers can read this signal fine. Some 3.3V microcontrollers might need a level shifter (SparkFun has two on one board for a resonable price). The 3.3V Propeller chip I use just needs a series resistor(10K) in line with the signal.
            I run a small chemistry lab (no not that kind of lab) and using barcodes has made my life so much easier. I see I started using one of these barcode readers about a year ago and it has revolutionized the way to work. I can now get much more done with less time and with greater accuracy. How did I ever live without barcodes (and a reader)?

          • ddegn / about 14 years ago / 1

            Sorry, I don't view these comments very often. Yes, I have to power it with 5V when using a microcontroller. I use a cat5 cable as I've discribed in an earlier comment. I have trouble receiving data with cables over 6ft(2m) long. I've made a small box with a microcontoller (I using Parallax's Propeller(I love those chips)), a LiPo battery with an boost converter to 5V and a XBee to transmit the data (remember XBees (and Propeller) use 3.3V. This box (it used to contain an 8mm video tape) is then attached to the bottom of the barcode reader which is now a wireless barcode reader (too cool!). I've included a PS2 connector so I can also use as a wireless keyboard entry device (I don't have this part working yet, and it really doesn't have anything to do with barcode readers, but hey it's fun). I'm here on this page today because I'm about to purchase my third barcode reader (yes, the other two still work). I'll try to check this page more requently in the future. I've had one of these things completely taken about before so hopefully I can answer any other questions you might have.

            • jweise / about 14 years ago / 1

              ddegn, I just bought this barcode scanner and would love to make it wireless like you have, but I need more specific details because the propeller lipo boost xbee stuff is mostly new to me. I get the gist of it, but you could probably save me a bunch of time, and I'd really appreciate it. Meanwhile, I'm marching off into the wilderness alone. ;) Thanks for posting in the first place. I've been searching for a way to do this for many hours over many months. You've given me hope!

  • Brad5 / about 15 years ago / 1

    Does this scanner have the ability to remain on and constantly be scanning barcodes? The implication I am planning on using it for is to just swipe a card with a barcode on it underneath the scanner without pressing the trigger.

    • ddegn / about 15 years ago / 1

      By default you have to pull the trigger to read a barcode but among the modes are: automatic continuous scan and automatic twinkle. Continuous mode is just what it implies and twinkle mode flashes on and off about once a second. I usually use twinkle mode because it doesn't make my voltage regulator as hot as the continuous mode does. I'm not using as an USB device; see the above post about using it in serial mode.

  • ELee / about 15 years ago / 1

    Does this barcode reader have a "function key emulation" mode? i.e. where it will convert an ascii character to one of the function keycodes.
    I would like to have a barcode that can trigger an AutoHotKey macro (i.e. act as if one of F1 thru F12 keys were pressed).

    • ddegn / about 15 years ago / 1

      Yes, it looks like it can. On page 33 of the manual under "Define the macro key mapping otions - map the key to a character that can be produced in a bar code so that when the bar code is scanned - the special key is output."
      The manual then lists the special keys which include F1 - F12, home, delete, insert, end, page up & down, four arrow keys, key pad enter and alt, ctrl and shift make and break.

  • EvanT / about 15 years ago / 1

    How much power does this use?

    • ddegn / about 15 years ago / 1

      Power requirement: The barcode reader uses the 5V USB power and draws about 40mA while the laser is on. The maximum current draw after about a minute of barcode reading was 55.08mA. There is about a 50mA spike in current as the trigger is pressed and then the current reduces to 40mA while the laser is on. The laser light does not seem as bright as a cheap laser pointer. (Of course the barcode reader's laser is spead out in a line so comparing the brightness of its laser to pointers isn't very meaningful.)

  • Wayne / about 15 years ago / 1

    What barcode standards does this support? Would be nice to be able to see a spec sheet...

    • ddegn / about 15 years ago / 1

      Barcode Standards: This barcode reader can read all the one dimensional barcodes I've tried so far. It can't read POSTNET barcodes. The Brother labeler softeware P-Touch refers to POSTNET as a one dimensional but it seems more like a two dimensional code to me. All the other one dimensional codes listed in the P-Touch software work fine. The codes I've tried with success are: CODE39, I-2/5(ITF), UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN13, EAN8, CODABAR(NW-7), CODE128, EAN128, Laser Bar Code, ISBN-2 and ISBN-5.
      It read codes on USPS, UPS, and Fed Ex packages (one dimensional). I also tested it on Digi-Key stickers, books, soda pop and various food packages. It even read the tiny barcodes on one of my hard drives. I couldn't find a one dimensional barcode it wouldn't read (except POSTNET).

Customer Reviews

4 out of 5

Based on 2 ratings:

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0 of 1 found this helpful:

A Little Past Its Prime

If I had reviewed this after first purchasing it, I'm sure I would have given it five stars. The reason I give it three stars now is I've purchased other Barcode Scanners for much less money which have worked better than this scanner. It scanner is slower reading barcodes than my other barcode scanner. Look for my posts in the comment section about how to use this scanner with a microcontroller. You'll need to make your own cable and change the settings on the scanner. Both of these things are pretty easy to do.

Great product!

Does exactly as advertised. Plug n' Play, reads every barcode scanned from a notable distance.