Earlier this week, I was working with one of our Honeywell Trendview X-series paperless recorders. The X-Series is capable of accepting data input from a USB barcode scanner — typically used for batch identification or for user name logins — but mine wasn’t working right.
When I tried to scan a barcode, I got an error message, and it stumped me. Luckily, I figured it out in a few minutes.
A USB barcode scanner is an automated text entry device. And my problem was that I wasn’t entering text on a text entry screen, which on a Trendview recorder is the touchscreen keyboard.
When I started my barcode scan, I was on the batch data field screen, where the previous batch ID data is displayed.
When I touched the name field on the screen, the touchscreen keyboard appeared, and the recorder was ready to accept input. So, my scan properly inserted data into the data field.
If the bar code scanner is configured to insert an [Enter] key at the end of the bar code, then the Trendview goes back to the data field.
If the scanner does not insert an [Enter] key, you have to click the green check mark to finish and go back to the data field screen, which now shows the updated data from the bar code scan:
There are four data fields in batching, all work the same way, and the last screen shows a summary so you can quickly check to make sure all fields got the needed data.
Ruling out hardware failure
But how did I know it wasn’t a problem with the barcode reader? Several Lesman customers have asked me how I test for that.
The way I check is to plug the scanner into my PC’s USB port. Then I open Notepad. (If it’s the first time the scanner is plugged into that PC, you have to wait a minute for Windows to identify the device and ‘install’ the device driver.)
Next, I scan a barcode. If things are working properly, the barcode text shows up in Notepad.
The moral to my story is simple:
To get the scanned data into the Trendview just takes being in the right place at the right time. It’s a text entry device, so you have to be in a text entry field for it to work.
For more details on the Honeywell X-Series paperless recorders and all they can do, visit the Lesman website. Start with the chart comparing the three X-Series recorders and their functionality.