Barcode scanners are a popular mechanism to quickly identify various components on the production shop floor.
Tulip has two methods for scanning barcodes and QR codes:
- Via your device's built-in camera
- Via a physical barcode scanner
This article will focus on method 2.
There are 3 ways that Tulip can work with your barcode scanner. Please note that you can only directly connect barcode scanners to a Windows computer. If you use a Mac, you must use a Gateway to connect your barcode scanner.
1 - If the Barcode Scanner is included in the Device Library, it will immediately work on:
- A Windows computer that is running the Tulip Player.
- The Tulip IoT Gateway
2 - If the Barcode Scanner is NOT included in the Device Library, you should check that the following conditions are met:
- Most barcode readers can be configured to either behave as a keyboard, or as a virtual serial port. Tulip requires barcode scanners to be configured such that they behave like a keyboard.
- The barcode reader must output in keyboard mode, with a newline at the end (or CR suffix).
If these conditions are met, continue to the section called "Connecting Your Barcode Scanner To Tulip." Most barcode scanners are configured in this way.
3 - If the conditions in step 2 are not met, you must re-configure your barcode scanner to meet these conditions. See the section called "Re-Configuring Your Barcode Scanner" to see a couple examples of how to do this.
Here's how you can connect a barcode scanner to Tulip via the Tulip Player or IoT Gateway.
Connecting Your Barcode Scanner To Tulip
Via Tulip Player
The Tulip Player enables you to connect custom barcode scanners to Tulip. You must configure the Tulip Player on each individual computer where you would like to use a custom barcode scanner.
To get started, click on "Tools" in the menu and select "Add Custom Barcode Scanners".
This modal will appear:
On this screen, you can add as many barcode scanners as you want. But, only one scanner should be used at a time with each computer running the Player.
Each barcode scanner that you add must have:
- A name
- A vendor ID
- A product ID
...for you to be able to save it.
The vendor ID and product ID can be entered in decimal (base 10) or hexadecimal (base 16) format. If you need to force the vendor ID and product ID to be hexadecimal, then you must prepend an "0x" before the number.
Your vendor and product ID should be included in the the manual for the barcode scanner. If you cannot find them, please use this guide to find the device details on a Windows computer.
For example, if your barcode scanner has a VID of 0111, that means that it uses hexadecimal format. You will need to enter it into Tulip as "0x0111". Or, use this converter to convert it to decimal format.
When you return to this page, the number will be converted to decimal (base 10) format, so it may be unfamiliar if you used hexadecimal string originally.
You must hit "Save" before your new device can be recognized by Tulip. Then, you can verify that your scanner is working by scanning a barcode. If it is working, you will see a barcode number appear on this screen.
If this does not work, make sure you entered the correct information and that your barcode scanner is configured properly and repeat this process.
Re-Configuring Your Barcode Scanner
Most barcode readers are configured by scanning a special barcode or sequence of barcodes. The specific codes that you need to scan can be found in the barcode’s manual.
Note: In case you’re looking to configure your barcode from a PDF copy of the manual on your screen: Laser-line barcodes need to be configured with a barcode printed on paper. 2D barcode readers can typically read their codes off a computer screen.
For your convenience, listed below are links to a few of the manuals of several barcode scanners that Tulip supports, as well as several configuration barcodes you can use.
For these readers, look for “laptop direct mode” in the manual
From page 13-4, scan the following codes in order:
If you use a barcode reader that Tulip does not officially support, please use the “Live Chat” option in the bottom right of this page.
If you want to troubleshoot your barcode scanner, see this guide.