[aprssig] barcodes, etc.

'Scott Miller' scott at opentrac.org
Wed Feb 28 10:15:04 CST 2007

Serial barcode scanners are also widely available.  I got mine on eBay for
half the price of the USB keyboard wedge type that I bought for business
use.  Seems like no one wants serial scanners anymore.  I think I paid
around $20, and it's a high-quality Symbol scanner with an excellent scan
range and width, much better than the cheap LED-based keyboard wedge
scanner.  The power brick is a little bulky, though.

I modified the Tracker2 command processor so that it'll accept commands
bracketed in /* ... */.  That way, you can delimit the text string despite
the fact that it's not possible to encode a carriage return in a barcode.
Yeah, the scanner can be programmed to send a carriage return after each
barcode, but that limits your ability to do things with multiple scans.  For
example, I could scan both a message and a destination address from separate
barcodes, like this:

First runner arrived*/

That much you can do with the T2 now.  I think some scanners can also be
programmed with prefix and suffix text, so you could use a dumb TNC and save
yourself the overhead of the packet source, destination, and path in the


> 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.

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