Barcode scanner options

7 May 2008

Note: This information is provided as a reference and does not imply that Juniper Systems will provide full support for the use of any specific third-party device or software with a Juniper Systems product.

Update Nov 2018 - Newer information is provided at the following web page.

Extended Caps and Expansion Pods

Archer Field PC

The Archer 2 provides an optional integrated 2D / Linear barcode scanner. This must be purchased pre-installed on a new unit.

The Optical Extended Cap for the previous Archer Field PC model provides an integrated, fully sealed compartment with machined red CR-39 scratch-resistant plastic lense set at the optimum scan angle at the top of the cap for use with CF and SD barcode scanner devices such as the Socket Mobile Scan Card Series. More information is provided in the Archer Extended Caps brochure and on the Socket Mobile website.

Mesa Rugged Notepad

The Mesa can be purchased with (or submitted to a repair center for adding) a 2D / Linear Barcode Expansion Pack.

Allegro Field PC

A barcode scanner can be integrated into an expansion pack for the Allegro 2. This would be similar to the barcode scanner in the Archer 2 and the expansion pack for the Mesa Rugged Notepad. Contact to negotiate the development and/or purchase of such a pack for the Allegro 2.

The Barcode Expansion Pod for older Allegro Field PC models provides an integrated, fully sealed compartment with machined red CR-39 scratch-resistant plastic lense set at the optimum scan angle at the top of the Allegro for use with the built-in Motorola Symbol linear (1D) barcode scan engine. More information is provided in the Barcode Expansion Pod User Guide.

External Barcode Scanners

USB Host

Some barcode scanners, such as the Motorola Symbol LS3408-ER or DS3500-ER, can connect and work directly with the USB Host port on our rugged handheld computers running Microsoft Windows Embedded Handheld (formerly Windows Mobile). The most compatible models can use the built-in USB HID (Human Interface Device, or keyboard) drivers that we ported from the Microsoft Windows CE 5.0 operating system. Scanned barcode tag data is entered as if being typed character-by-character on a keyboard. It may be desirable to disable the Key Click sound settings.

Serial Port (RS-232)

A barcode scanner can be connected to the RS-232 serial port(s) of the Field PC. If the barcode scanner is not battery operated or externally powered, the Field PC can supply up to 5V through the Pin 4 (DTR line) of the COM 1 serial port. This voltage is available continuously to any device plugged into the port such as a barcode scanner, as explained on our "Accessory power supply through ports and card slots" FAQ webpage. No DLL or SDK is required to enable this voltage.

Note: Many serial cable barcode scanners are built to receive 5V power continuously through Pin 9 (Ring In (RI) line) of an RS-232 serial port (due to the lack of use of the Ring In signal on desktop computers and other continuously externally powered devices). Since the RS-232 standard did not define which line should be designated for power supply, and since the Field PC uses Pin 9 (Ring In (RI) line) for many other power conservative applications, it was a more natural fit to use Pin 4 (DTR line) for power supply. A software function may be provided in the JSAPI or using a Windows registry key to enable power on the pin 9 RI line. Otherwise, the 9-pin RS-232 serial connector on a barcode scanner may need to be modified to switch from power on Pin 9 to power on Pin 4. Please contact a Repair Center for help determining if your barcode scanner can be modified for use with the Field PC, or to actually possibly perform the power modification to the serial cable barcode scanner. Frequently modified models include the Datalogic (formerly PSC) 1000 and 1000LR, as well as the Motorola (formerly Symbol) LS3578 and DS3578.

When the Field PC is turned off, the DTR line supplies 0 volts. When the Field PC is turned on, the DTR line supplies either +5 or -5 volts, depending on the state of bit 0 in the modem control register, which is controlled by the serial driver. Generally, DTR is at -5 volts unless the serial port is opened, at which point the serial driver sets it to the +5 volt state.


Bluetooth barcode scanners can easily connect to the handheld computer using the HID (Human Interface Device, or keyboard emulator) profile. Otherwise, the SPP (Serial Port Profile) can be used with a "wedge" application to input barcode data as explained in the next section below.

Wedge Software

Many barcode scanners, such as the Socket Mobile Scan Card Series and the Allegro Barcode Expansion Pod, include software that runs in the background providing what is referred to as "wedge" functions. If the barcode scanner you are using does not include software for inputting data into Windows Mobile, refer to our generic Wedge Software FAQ webpage.

An alternative solution to using "wedge" software with a serial device is to instead find a device that provides USB or Bluetooth HID (Human Interface Device, or keyboard emulation) functionality. This allows ASCII text to be input directly into a text field as if being typed on an attached keyboard, eliminating the need for an intermediate "wedge" program.