Custom Sensors CCD Scanners
Part 2 Fixed Mount CCD Scanners

CCD Barcode Scanner FAQ
Part One - Hand Held Scanners

Hand held CCD scanners have competed with hand held laser scanners in Point of Sale and similar applications for many years. CDD scanners have advantages and disadvantages when compared to laser units. This FAQ will attempt to clarify these issues to help users make a more informed decision when considering the purchase of a hand held scanner.

What are the Advantages of Hand Held CCD Scanners over Hand Held Laser Scanners?

  • CCD Scanners have no moving parts. Lasers have oscillating mirrors that are subject to wear and mechanical failure.
  • CCD Scanners use LEDs for illumination. LEDs have about ten times the life of laser diodes. Their illumination level is safe for direct viewing, so safety precautions are not necessary.
  • CCD Scanners are generally smaller, lighter and less expensive than laser scanners.
  • CCD Scanners have scan rates of 45 scans per second or faster, which is comparable to laser units.

What are the advantages that Hand Held Laser Scanners have over Hand Held CCD Scanners?

  • Laser Scanners can operate further from the barcode, with greater depth of field (operating Range). For this reason they are generally easier to use for an untrained operator. CCD scanners usually have to be within a few inches of the code. Lasers can be a foot or two away, depending on model.
  • Laser scanners can read longer barcodes than CCDs. Because the scanner is further from the code, a laser scanner can have a wider sweep and therefore read longer code symbols. CCD units are usually limited to code lengths of three to four inches, depending on model.

What types of Communication Interfaces are available with Hand Held CCD Scanners?

There has always been some confusion about the interfaces available on Hand Held CCD Scanners. This information below is presented in the hope of clearing up the confusion:
  • The Keyboard Wedge interface is probably the most common. Essentially this interface connects between the keyboard and console of a computer system. After the scanner has read a code it emulates the keyboard, sending the barcode data to the computer as though it were typed on the keyboard. You can find more about this interface HERE.
  • The RS-232 interface is the standard serial interface. Data is sent in ASCII format at RS-232 levels. Communications (COM:) ports on a PC are RS-232, however the user must have software drivers to input data from the port. RS-232 is the most common serial data interface, and is used on many products.You can find out more about this interface HERE.
  • OCIA is a common cash register or Point of Sale Terminal interface. The interface is similar to keyboard wedge. The parameters of this interface vary from terminal to terminal. The type of terminal being interfaced with must always be specified when ordering a scanner with OCIA.
  • Wand Emulation is featured in many Hand Held scanners. A scanner with wand emulation will interface with a barcode decoder. The scanner actually decodes the barcode. The output of the scanner however is a TTL level waveform that would be seen coming from an un-decoded scanner. This interface lets decoded scanners interface to older systems that operated with un-decoded scanners.
  • The laser-gun compatible interface is designed to make a Hand Held un-decoded CCD scanner electrically interchangeable with a Hand Held un-decoded laser-gun type scanner. Both have the same nine pin connector and operate from the same supply voltage.

Custom Sensors CCD Scanners