How to use a Android device as Wireless Barcode Scanner

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Johann
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How to use a Android device as Wireless Barcode Scanner

Post by Johann » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:17 am

As a followup on my post about Using an Android device as Pole Display, here's a post about How to use an Android device as your Wireless Barcode scanner for DHPOS:

Wireless Android Barcode Scanner for DHPOS
(or "why i ditched DOSBox as running platform for DHPOS" )

Why again Android?

Well since nowadays almost everybody has a smartphone (except of course Dale Harris), this solution is basically ready available for everyone who wants a cheap solution for scanning barcodes.
The needed software to achieve this is also available for other platforms (e.g. iOS) but since i own Android the focus of this guide is on Android.
Also does this guide focus on use with Windows PCs, although the needed software is also available for MacOS and Linux users, the setup wil basically be the same.

This setup is officially NOT supported by Dale! For your and my own safety DO NOT nag to him about techsupport for this setup!

AN IMPORTANT SIDENOTE ON GETTING THIS TO WORK:
At first i couldn't get the setup as described working correctly. Scanning barcodes worked fine, keystrokes where send to my computer and i thought i was good to go.
However every time i tried to scan a barcode to DHPOS weird stuff started to happen. the scanned barcode gave broken numerical codes following by a "hanging keystroke" similar to what happens if you press and hold down a key on your keyboard.
After some pulling hair and trial and errors i pinpointed this problem to DOSBox, in which my DHPOS was running.
So i googled for an alternative to DOSBox and found the freeware vDos, a DOS-emulator similar to DOSBox, but less focused on gaming as DOSBox.
Since DHPOS is darned serious software and the only gaming i do on my POS-computer is the occasional Patience on Windows when i have no customers i decided to give it a go and was pleasantly surprised that now my setup worked perfectly and i could scan codes into DHPOS.


So maybe this is a tip for all who had problems using a scanner that would work everywhere correct except in DHPOS running in DOSBox; Ditch DOSBox and try different emulators!
vDos is freeware and basically does what DOSBox does, it works fine with DHPOS and this includes setups with printer, secondary monitors, Pole-Displays and anything i could test with DHPOS


That being said, lets move on to the interesting part, getting your Android device working as wireless scanner for DHPOS:

Pros:
*Wireless
*Cheap or free (assuming you have a compatible Android device

Cons:
*Results/speed may vary depending on the quality of your Android device, specifically its camera
*Needs additional (but freely available) software
*Needs BONJOUR software by Apple, which probably requires you to signup for download (used for SERVER discovery on your network by Android device)
*Might up your system requirements, although its not clearly stated what the minimum requirements for the needed software are


What you need:
- Your POS-computer running DHPOS in vDos (NOT DOSBox!!)
- Compatible Android device (my Blackberry Z10 also used as Pole-Display would not work, my Samsung J3 worked flawlessly)
- A working WiFi Network
- Barcode to PC SERVER(PC) and CLIENT(Android) software (open source freeware)
- BONJOUR SDK for Windows 3.0


How to setup:
Again i'm assuming you've got a working POS-computer running DHPOS in vDos or any emulator you can find working with this setup (again NOT DOSBox)

1- Make sure both your POS-computer and Android device are connected to the same WiFi network
2- Surf to https://barcodetopc.com/ and download and install the SERVER program
3- Start the newly installed Barcode-to-PC server program on your POS computer

NOTE: At this point two things can happen: 1- the SERVER starts fine and shows a QR-code to scan with your client (Android device) to connect it to you POS-computer OR 2- You will receive a warning that you are missing BONJOUR and connections might fail (which was the case in my initial setup). If your result is the first then your all set on you POS-computer and you can SKIP step 4 of this guide. If your result is the second, then you are going to move on to step 4 and get what's missing.

4- Surf to http://developer.apple.com/softwarelice ... njour.html , find,download and install BONJOUR SDK for Windows 3.0 (probably Apple is going to force you to register to do so, which is annoying as hell but still free)
5- Now on your ANDROID device, open Google Playstore and ,search,download and install the Barcode to PC client app
6- Open your newly installed Barcode to PC app on your Android device, it will ask you to scan a QR-code to connect it to a server
7- Use your Android device to scan the QR-code shown on the Barcode to PC server window, it will scan and connect automatically
8- At this point basically you are done with the setup, go ahead and open up your favorite text editor on your POS-computer and use your Android device to scan a barcode. The scanned code will get send to wherever you placed the text-cursor on your POS-computer as keystrokes with numerical values followed by the termination code [ENTER]
9- Open DHPOS and make sure the cursor is set to the location where you wish to receive your scanned barcodes, e.g. the STOCK NUMBER field on the Purchase screen, scan any barcode and behold as by magic the numerical equivalent of you scanned code will suddenly appear correctly just there where you wanted it.

Congratulations and enjoy your new Wireless Barcode Scanner!
[EDIT:]
Click the following Youtube link for a small demonstration with DHPOS:
https://youtu.be/uUlD2X9jwJE
[/EDIT]

NOTE: The standard settings in Barcode to PC(server) are perfectly set for use in DHPOS including the termination code [ENTER], however [TAB] and/or disabling are also available if needed/preferred.

FINAL NOTE: For above setup i used vDos, Barcode to PC (Open Source) and BONJOUR by Apple, all free to download. However i cannot guarantee that future versions remain free or functional after release of newer version(s). I myself am in no way affiliated with vDos, Barcode to PC or its developer(s) and/or Apple and so can not be held accountable for any issues, damage, Alien/Government abductions or sudden cravings for barbiturates that arise using this setup. Apple has it's own License Agreement, but i would screw them in any way possible(however this view is personal and i am in no way implying you should too). VDos and Barcode to PC are Open Source. Open Source totally rocks! Visit their sites and GitHub/Sourceforge and show some love! . My method as described is probably not the only method. It's very likely not the best method. There are plenty of free and paid solutions claiming this feature, i am just using this specific one. Do not hassle Dale for techsupport on this specific setup. Use at your own risk. May the force be with you!

Links:
https://barcodetopc.com/ -SERVER and CLIENT software for sending your scanned barcode to your POS-computer
http://developer.apple.com/softwarelice ... njour.html -by Apply for network discovery
https://www.vdos.info/index.html -Alternative to DOSBox that actually works in this setup

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