While you need to know how barcode scanners work. Well, We first need to narrow down what kind of barcode scanner we are speaking about. There are lots of types of barcode scanners from laser scanners, CCD barcode scanners, imager type scanners, & more. Our first focus will be on how a CCD barcode scanner works.

The CCD barcode scanner is a scanner that has no moving parts. CCD stands for Charged-Coupled Devise Scanner. The scanner has a light source that when pointed to an object or barcode, illuminates that picture. The picture is usually a barcode. Two times the barcode is illuminated, a reflection is created & the barcode scanner reads that picture. How does the barcode scanner read the picture? Well, there is a linear photodiode within the scanner head. This photodiode can read the reflected light off the lines on the barcode. This reflection is a digital picture that is then scanned electronically within the device. When the picture is scanned electronically, each bar on the barcode is converted to the corresponding number or letter.

The barcode scanner is connected to a PC or Mac & the CCD scanner then sends the sequence of numbers and/or letters to the PC or Mac to populate the field of the entry. This connection can be made in a lot of ways. On way is with a keyboard wedge. This is a Y connection where one finish of the Y connects to the keyboard & the other finish of the Y connects to the scanner with the bottom of the Y plugging into the PC where the keyboard would normally connect. This technique is used plenty of times when the PC does not have interfaces. Serial is another connection technique & works with a straight serial cable from the barcode scanner directly to the PC serial connection. USB is now about the most popular technique because most PC’s & Mac’s today have plenty of USB ports. plug & play!

Now they can look at how a laser barcode scanner works. The laser scanner works by sending a low energy light beam or laser beam to read the spacing between a pattern on the picture one space at a time. The beam is moving back & forth by using a mobile mirror which causes a blinking effect. You can usually see the red line moving over the barcode. The reflection comes back & is then read by the fixed mirror in the scanner. The scanner then generates analog & digital signals that match the pattern. A barcode reader decoder then processes the information & sends it through the information communications interface.

Knowing how a barcode scanner works answers lots of questions about where you can use a barcode scanner. They are becoming so popular now, you can find them in every single place in retail stores scanning items.