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For 30 years I have been helping organisations and individuals with their Barcode and Auto ID issues but now I have decided it is time to move on and retire from being the Barcode Man.

I will continue to respond to emails from existing customers about their earlier purchases, their special programming configurations and warranty issues but I regret I cannot help with new purchases or issues nor recommend alternative products or sources.

Lee Allen, The Barcode Man. February 2010

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Simple-Scanner ™

FAQ and Knowledge Base

<<< Back to the Simple Scanner Main Page

Simple Scanner ™

This page contains extended information about the Simple Scanner and answers some of the questions we get asked most often.

General Questions

  • Question Why is the Simple Scanner such a good choice for Laptops and Notebooks?
  • Answer One of the primary considerations will be for a scanner which draws minimal power in order not to drain the computer and thus extend the battery life to its maximum.

    All scanners draw the most current when the LED's are illuminated so it is important to limit this period. The Simple Scanner switches the LEDs off immediately the code is read even if the user continues to press the trigger.

    Some scanners continue to run their internal microprocessor at full speed when connected to a power source even if the trigger is not pressed and the LEDs are off. Such scanners may only reduce their maximum power consumption by about one half in standby mode. Notice that the standby time is always much longer than the accumulated 'scan' time. Even in high throughput applications the ratio of standby to scanning is unlikely to be less than 50:1. In a typical application this will be closer to 500:1. The standby current is much more important than the maximum scanning current.

    To find out for myself I measured the current drawn by the Simple Scanner against some competing scanners. The first thing I noticed was the actual current used was often considerably at varience with the published figures. Nevertheless in a real comparative measured test in standby mode the Simple Scanner outperformed all the others at 18mA. The second best was the DL6065M0 at 33mA. Another, the MS265 came in at 70mA.

    Even in active 'read' mode the Simple Scanner scored well at 110mA against the DL6060M0 at 57mA and the MS265 - 147mA.

    Based on these measurements it is clear to me the Simple Scanner is the best choice for portable computing.


Capabilities: Can it do...

  • Question I am a librarian. Can the Simple Scanner read ISBN barcodes (sometimes called Bookland in the USA)
  • Answer Yes. The structure of ISBN-13 and EAN-13 barcodes are identical. Both barcode types can be read without any special programming. If your systems need the ISBN-10 format barcode the scanner can be configured to read them by scanning a special barcode in the configuration book supplied with each scanner order. If you should need any help our friendly support desk will discuss the issues with you.

  • Question Can the Simple Scanner be used with Access/Excel/Word/123/Heritage/Limes/Alice/Sims/Sage software?
  • Answer Yes. The Simple Scanner can be used with all these applications and more.

  • Question I work in a quiet area can I mute the Simple Scanner beep?
  • Answer Yes. The Simple Scanner beeper can be set to any of 4 levels. High, Medium, Low and Off. The default is High. The volume is changed by scanning a special barcode in the configuration booklet.

  • Question I am based in Europe. I want to scan UPC A barcodes and have them converted to the EAN 13. Can the Simple Scanner do this?
  • Answer Yes. UPC A can be thought of as a subset of EAN 13. The Simple Scanner can be configured to read UPC A barcodes but treat them as EAN 13 by prefixing the 12 digit UPC A number with a '0' character.

  • Question Can the scanner read 'Full ASCII' code 39.
  • Answer Yes. The scanner can be configured this way. However I would question why you should want to do this unless for a legacy application. If this is a new application there is probably a better way to proceed. Contact the Support Desk for advice.

  • Question I am a computer engineer/design engineer/consultant and have a complicated and detailed technical question. Who do I contact?
  • Answer Call or email our support desk. We have been involved with the engineering of this product and understand it in detail. We will help whenever we can. However be aware we will not be able to disclose proprietary information regarding the design.

Programming: How do I....

General Questions

  • Question How do I get a Programming Manual?
  • Answer We provide at least one Programming Manual with each scanner shipment unless you ask us not to or in cases where we have provided special programming and the manual is not appropriate. In any event we will always supply a Programming Manual to customers if asked.

  • Question I got confused over the programming. How do I set the scanner back to a known state?
  • Answer Scan the 'Default' barcode from the Programming Manual. The scanner emits a distinctive 4 tone sound. (In some cases is might be necessary to first power down the scanner.) The scanner is now at its factory default setting.

  • Question How do I know what are the factory default settings?
  • Answer The factory default setings are shown in the Programming Manual with a asterisk (*) character against them.

  • Question I am not technically minded and do not understand what I need to do to program the scanner. How do I proceed?
  • Answer In most cases the scanner will not need programming because it will already be pre configured for you. However if you need to change the configuration it is simply a matter of scanning the appropriate barcode(s) from the programming manual. If you do not know what configuration you need or you get mixed up during the configuration process our telephone support will be happy to discuss the problem and if necessary take you through the programming step by step. Our technical support is better than most support lines for these reasons...
    1. We try to be friendly, helpful and businesslike. We realise all users difficulties are equally important even though some may have very simple solutions.
    2. We understand there are many intelligent people who do not have technical knowledge of computers or barcodes and who do not understand technical jargon. We promise to treat your problem seriously and without condescension.
    3. We promise to stay engaged with your problem until it is resolved to your satisfaction.
    4. Provided you purchased from us we will continue to provide this level of support for as long as you need it. There is no time limit. We keep detailed records of customers special hardware/software configurations for at least five years. Many of our records go back 10 years or more. It is not unusual for us to provide support for equipment 7 or 8 years old. It has become a cliche to say our business is based on happy customers. In our case it is true.

Specific Programming Examples

The page numbers shown may vary from time to time depending on the print version of the programming manual. When in doubt use the appropriate Section Heading.

  • Question Can I program the scanner so it is 'on' all the time. I have many barcodes to scan and I do not want to press the button for each one.
  • Answer Yes. This is simple, just scan these two barcodes from the programming manual...
    PageSection barcode name
    15 7 SCANNING CONTROLStart
    15 7 SCANNING CONTROLLED on

    Note: When the scanner is set up in this way a safety mechanism is activated to prevent the same barcode being accidentally scanned more than once. If you need to scan the barcode a second time it must first be removed from the scanner field of view and then re-presented.


  • Question How do I program the scanner to send a dot '.' after each barcode? I need this for a particular program I am running.
  • Answer From the programming manual scan these barcodes...
    PageSection barcode name
    35 27 SET SUFFIXStart
    35 27 SET SUFFIXSuffix
    38 Appendix A 2
    38 Appendix A E
    38 Appendix A SET

    Technical explanation: The '2E' sequence in this example is the ASCII HEX code for the 'dot'. Any other character could have been programmed by substituting its code. A list of codes can be found in Appendix B.


  • Question I do not want a RETURN character at the end of each barcode. How do I remove it?
  • Answer From the programming manual scan these barcodes...
    PageSection barcode name
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGEStart
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGENone
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGEEnd

  • Question I do not want a RETURN character at the end of each barcode. I want a TAB character instead?
  • Answer From the programming manual scan these barcodes...
    PageSection barcode name
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGEStart
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGETab
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGEEnd

  • Question I can see from the Programming Manual (Section 24, End ot text Message) it is possible to program a number of different termination characters to be sent after the barcode data. However my application requires something special not listed in the table.
  • Answer There are two ways to append data to the barcode. See sections '27 Set Suffix' and '24 End of Text Message'. The 'Suffix' is transmitted immediately before the 'End of text message'. By using these two features together or singly it is possible to program any termination sequence up to about 16 characters. Here are a couple of examples.

    This programs a 'dot' plus a 'return' character needed by some applications. It is assumed the scanner already appends a 'return'.

    From the programming manual scan these barcodes...

    PageSection barcode name
    35 27 SET SUFFIXStart
    35 27 SET SUFFIXSuffix
    38 Appendix A 2
    38 Appendix A E
    38 Appendix A SET

    Here is a more complicated example. In this case the user requires only a 'Control S' character.

    'Control S' can be programmed in two different ways depending on the interface method used by the scanner. If the scanner is operating in USB or Keyboard Wedge mode it is programmed as a key sequence...

    First stage is to remove the default 'return' character...

    PageSection barcode name
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGEStart
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGENone
    32 24 END OF TEXT MESSAGEEnd

    Second stage add the 'Control S' as a 'Suffix' sequence. We shall program the following sequence...

    1. Left Control key pressed
    2. 'S' key pressed and released
    3. Left Control key released

    From the programming manual scan these barcodes...

    PageSection barcode name
    35 27 SET SUFFIXStart
    35 27 SET SUFFIXSuffix
    38 Appendix A A
    38 Appendix A D
    38 Appendix A 7
    38 Appendix A 3
    38 Appendix A A
    38 Appendix A E
    38 Appendix A SET

    If the scanner were being used in RS232 mode the 'Control S' can be programmed directly as an ASCII Control Character (Character value &H13) like this...

    PageSection barcode name
    35 27 SET SUFFIXStart
    35 27 SET SUFFIXSuffix
    38 Appendix A 1
    38 Appendix A 3
    38 Appendix A SET

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