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Driver’s License Barcodes Decoded

Posted February 1, 2017

dlscanArguably the most common of form of ID, driver’s licenses are used any time we need to confirm who we are and more often than not, how old we are. If you take a look at the backside of your ID you’ll find a rectangular black and white pattern know as a PDF417 barcode. It may not look like your standard barcode but that PDF417 code contains all the information on the front of your ID in a single code.

PDF417 is a type of 2D barcode that is capable of storing much more information than the standard 1D code you find on products at the grocery store. You may be familiar with QR Codes that you’ve scanned with your phone. Both are types of 2D codes that can be read with a 2D Imager barcode scanner.

Many businesses are using the barcode on your ID and a 2D Imager like the AirTrack S2 to quickly verify your age or capture your basic info to make signing up for a service quicker. The only real snag with the barcode on your license is that every state doesn’t organize the information in the code the same way. The advantage here is that you cannot change the information in the barcode and to create a fake one requires knowing exactly how each state encodes the data. If the barcode isn’t created properly, it won’t read properly.

With the AirTrack S2 scanner you can scan the code on the back of a driver’s licenses from any state to verify someone’s age quickly and accurately due to the scanner’s ability to parse all the data correctly for you. Since each state organizes the data differently the parsing software on the scanner outputs the data you need, in the order you need it, regardless of what state you are dealing with. It’s actually faster than looking at the ID.

Given how simple it is to get up and running, not using a scanner for age verification/customer info just doesn’t add up anymore. With a simple scan you can completely avoid fraudulent ID usage and save your business from legal issues, errors, and lost revenue.


How to Update the Firmware on your Honeywell Scanner

Posted January 6, 2017

Honeywell is constantly updating their scanners’ firmware to improve scanning performance so you want to make sure your scanner performs at its best.  Updating firmware is simple.

How to update Honeywell scanner firmware.

  1. Go get the latest firmware from the Honeywell website.  For the Xenon 1900 go here: http://aidc.honeywell.com/en-US/Pages/Product.aspx?category=hand-held-barcode-scanner&cat=HSM&pid=1900
  2. Click on the “Software” tab and scroll down to “Firmware”.
  3. Save the .MOC file to your hard drive so that you can grab it later. For Bluetooth scanners (Xenon 1902g, Granit 1981i), you will need to update firmware for both the scanner and the charge/communication base.  Always remember – update scanner firmware first!
  4. Download EZConfig (our free scanner configuration tool) or log into the web version.  Both can be found here: http://country.honeywellaidc.com/en-AP/Pages/Product.aspx?category=device-management-software&cat=HSM&pid=ezconfig
  5. Connect your scanner to your computer via USB.
  6. Open EZConfig.
  7. Click “Connected Device”.  See below.  EZConfig will find your scanner.

firm1

  1. Check to see what the latest firmware version you have on your scanner (see below).  Don’t trust EZConfig if it tells you that your “Firmware is up to date.”  Check the Honeywell website – it gets updated first.
  2. Select “Update Firmware” if you need to update your firmware.  See below.

firm2

  1. Click “Choose File”.

firm3

  1. Select the .MOC file you saved earlier.

firm4

  1. Select “Update Firmware” and you are done.

firm5

FOR BLUETOOTH SCANNERS – Very important!

Update the scanner’s firmware first then the base firmware.  Also note that the EZConfig will say that the connected device is a “Xenon Charge and Communication Base”.  The system knows that you are upgrading scanner firmware (when you are updating the scanner’s firmware) and will update the scanner through the charge/communications base automatically.

 


How to Increase a 2D Imager’s Scanner Read Range

Posted December 13, 2016

barcode-scanner-iconWant to know how to increase a 2D imager’s scanner read range?  Here’s a couple simple solutions:

  1. Print a bigger and better quality 1D barcode OR move to a “smaller footprint” 2D data matrix barcode.
  2. There is limited tweaking that we can do to improve depth of field.  If you tweak one thing you affect something else – like speed or the scanner’s ability to read bad barcodes.
  3. Sometimes in a controlled environment you can tweak exposure settings which may help.  This is something that has to be done under the hood – nothing in the manual on this.  But for it to have any affect, you need controlled/consistent lighting, which is not something you find in a warehouse.

Check out our 2D barcode scanner selection or contact one of our representatives for assistance on your scanning solution.


How to Confirm and Update the Firmware of your Honeywell Scanner

Posted December 5, 2016

To get the most out of your scanner, having the latest firmware is key.   Here is a quick and easy way to see what version of firmware you have on your Honeywell scanner and/or your scanner’s CCB (charge and communications base).

Open Word (so you can see what you scan) and scan this barcode:

Your scanner’s firmware number shows up as “Software Part Number”.   See below results from a scan from a Granit 1911i.  There is separate firmware for the scanner and its base.

  • Product Name: Industrial Charge & Communication Base
  • Boot Revision: : 2734
  • Software Part Number: BK000121AAA
  • Software Revision: $ProjectRevision: 3952
  • Serial Number: 13126B1ABD
  • Supported IF: Standard
  • PCB Assembly ID: 000000
  • Product Name: 1911i Industrial Wireless Area-Imaging Scanner
  • Boot Revision: : 2734
  • Software Part Number: BJ000144AAA
  • Software Revision: $ProjectRevision: 4467
  • Serial Number: 13128B031F
  • Supported IF: Bluetooth
  • PCB Assembly ID: 000000
  • Engine Firmware Type: N/A   Revision: N/A   Serial Number: N/A   Checksum: N/A

Latest firmware versions can be found on our external website on each scanner’s web page.  You’ll have to drill down a bit, but it’s there.

To load the latest firmware you’ll need EZConfig – our free scanner configuration tool.  See below for instructions on loading new firmware onto a Honeywell Xenon 1902g

How to load new firmware onto a Xenon 1902g.

  1. You will need to update firmware for both the scanner and the charge/communication base.
  2. Save .MOC firmware files for both the charge/communication base and the scanner (two .MOC files) to your hard drive. You can get them from the scanner’s webpage – http://aidc.honeywell.com/en-US/Pages/Product.aspx?category=wireless-barcode-scanner&cat=HSM&pid=1902 – under the “Firmware” section.
  3. Download EZConfig (our free scanner configuration tool) or log into the web version. Both can be found here: http://country.honeywellaidc.com/en-AP/Pages/Product.aspx?category=device-management-software&cat=HSM&pid=ezconfig
  4. Connect your charge/communication base (with scanner inserted) to your computer via USB.
  5. Open EZConfig.
  6. Click “Connected Device”. See below.
  7. Select “Update Firmware”. See below.

Note:  If you use the version of EZConfig that sits on your PC, it may tell you that your scanner has the latest version of firmware when you actually don’t.  Always check the scanner’s external webpage for the latest.

Another Note:  For Bluetooth Scanners – except for the Honeywell 8670 back-of-the-hand Bluetooth Scanner – you’ll need to update both the base (CCB) and the scanner’s firmware.  lt’s always best to load the firmware on the scanner first then the CCB.


Customize Your Imager’s Scanning Using Honeywell’s Centering, Aimer Delay, and CodeGate Features

Posted October 17, 2016

With all imager based scanners, the default decode mode is the full area of the decode window, so it will decode whatever barcode it sees first. This makes it difficult sometimes to target a specific barcode when the barcodes are close together.  We can help using the below features:

  • Centering(AKA pick list mode or center decode): This feature narrows the scanner’s field of view to make sure the scanner reads only those barcodes intended by the operator.
  • Aimer Delay:  Turns on the aimer for a split second before the scanner scans. This allows time for the operator to position the scanner over the specific barcode before the barcode is scanned.
  • CodeGate:  Similar to Aimer Delay except the aiming beam is on all the time, but scanner won’t scan until scanner button is pressed or specific time passes.

Continue reading »


Battery Types Explained: NiMH vs Li-Ion

Posted October 10, 2016

It’s still surprising to see that there are still NiMH (nickel–metal hydride) batteries being used in some non-industrial Bluetooth scanners

Cons of NiMH batteries include:

  • NiMH suffers from “memory effect.” Memory effect describes the specific situation in which NiMH batteries gradually lose their maximum energy capacity if they are repeatedly recharged after being only partially discharged. The battery appears to “remember” the smaller capacity.
  • High self-discharge rate.  NiMH batteries lose their charge as they sit.
  • It takes longer to charge them.
  • Cannot operate at extreme temperatures. At extreme temperatures, NiMH voltage output will drop.

Advantages of NiMH:

  • It’s cheaper.

Advantages of Li-Ion:

  • Smaller and lighter.
  • Faster recharge.
  • Minimal discharge when not in use.
  • Temperature tolerance. It can tolerate low temperature and warmer environments compared to NiMH cells.
  • It is not susceptible to voltage depression, aka memory effect.

Continue reading »


1D vs 2D Barcodes Explained

Posted October 6, 2016

When it comes to tracking anything from basic inventory to patient data, choosing the right type of barcode can be the difference in how effective your system works. Everyone is familiar with the standard picket fence 1D linear barcodes but more and more applications are migrating to 2D barcodes. Both types of codes have their benefits and advantages and our specialists at Barcodes, Inc can help you determine which is the best fit for your needs.


Honeywell Reread Delay and Superior Scanning Speed

Posted September 28, 2016

Barcodes, Inc. was talking to a customer about the Honeywell Xenon 1900’s blistering scanning speed.  We hooked up the scanner and put it in its stand which automatically puts the scanner in presentation mode (scanner scans without a trigger pull).  The customer did what customers do all the time – started passing the same barcode underneath the scanner over and over.  He was not impressed.  The scanner seemed sluggish.

Here is why – Honeywell programs its scanners to pause for 750 ms (this is the default) before the scanner can reread the same barcode.  750 ms – if my math is correct – is ¾ of a second.  This protects against accidental rereads of the same barcode.  It can also be used to keep the scanner from reading codes to fast into an application.

Barcodes, Inc. explained this to the customer and told them to turn off Reread Delay if they really wanted to see the scanner fly.  We explained that the best way to test scanning speed is to put the scanner into a real life environment or scan different barcodes vs the same one over and over.

In the user guides are barcodes that set the reread delay to 500 ms, 750 ms, 1,000 ms and 2,000 ms.  There is even a barcode that allows the user to set their own time.

So why is understanding this so important? It allows your scanner to optimize its scanning speed.


Why Automate Your Picking Solution?

Posted August 30, 2016

Being right 99% of the time seems like a quality percentage – until you calculate what that 1% actually costs an organization.

  • Babies born annually in the United States = 3,932,181
    • At 99% accuracy 39,322 babies are sent home to the wrong parents
  • Prescriptions filled annually in the United States = 4.27 billion
    • At 99% accuracy 42.7 million Rx are filled incorrectly
  • Distribution Centers pick 250 million units annually
    • At 99% accuracy 2.5 million units are picked incorrectly
      • That’s almost 7,000 units picked incorrectly every day if working 365 days/year

Continue reading »


Honeywell ESD

Posted July 25, 2016

Honeywell Granit 1910i ScannerYou often hear manufacturers reference ESD when discussing scanners.  In fact, on the Honeywell Granit datasheet you’ll see under the “Environmental” section on the back:  ESD.  ±20Kv air discharge, ±8KV contact discharge

What does it mean and why is it important?

  • ESD – electrostatic discharge – is the sudden flow of electricity between two objects resulting from two conditions:
    • Air Discharge.  A high electrostatic field between two objects when they are in close proximity.
    • Contact Discharge.  Direct contact transfer of electricity between two objects at different potentials.  This is similar to the above except you are injecting the shock directly into the computer. A typical example of this would be 20KV Air Discharge into a scanner vehicle mount.  The mount in turn passes an 8KV shock to the scanner.
  • Kv is a kilovolt – or 1,000 Volts. And a volt is…um…a unit of measurement to define voltage.  Think of voltage, using a plumbing analogy, as water pressure.

Continue reading »


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