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[aprssig] barcodes, etc.

M J mjandthegang at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 28 14:52:22 UTC 2007

Some times all we need is a little additional insight to take a big "next step."  I share the following with that in mind.

Many bar code readers are designed to be attached to computers through the PS/2 keyboard port (often times, they come with Y-cables so that you can have a keyboard and bar code scanner connected to the same port at the same time).  Why?  Because bar code scanners were created to do one thing: emulate keyboard/manual input.

The bar code itself is simply an encoded text string (the same text that appears in plain language in small alphanumeric characters on the bar code label).

When pull the trigger on the reader, it decodes the bar code back into the plain text and sends it to the PS/2 port, just as if the human operator had typed it on the keyboard.

With that in mind, the least technical way to transfer bar code information via APRS would seem to be to first, encode it in a meaningful way on the label  When it comes time to scan it, (1) open an APRS message window, selecting the destination station, (2) place the cursor in the message text field, (3) scan the bar code and (4) send the message.

Doing this will put all of the power of the APRS client (for retries, delivery confirmation, etc) into play.

Variations of this strategy are certainly possible.  Engage imagination now. :)

'just trying to "give back a little" to the list that helped me to learn.


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