About once a month I receive a phone call from one of our Law Enforcement customers saying they just installed a brand new 4810 Barcode Scanner and it doesn’t work. Our ensuing conversation follows a similar route of troubleshooting the installation. There are two areas where the problem may exist – within the software (about 99% of the time) or occasionally within the hardware.
Software Problem – Incorrect Interface
When you plug the interface cable into a USB port on your computer, the operating system (OS), usually a version of Microsoft Windows, should detect the new hardware. The OS attempts to interrogate the scanner to determine what it is. If the OS recognizes the scanner, you will hear the scanner beep a few times and, if you squeeze the trigger, the LED lights will flash. If you get this far, it means the hardware works, the driver is installed properly and the OS sees the scanner. If your application still cannot get data from the scanner, it is possible that the scanner is configured to have the wrong type of interface to the OS.
The default interface for the 4810 is via COM port emulation. Most applications require this, although SECTOR is a known exception. In Device Manager, you should see an entry in the Ports group with “4810” in the name followed by the COM port to which it sends its data. Use this COM port to configure your application software. If the 4810 does not show up in the Ports group, it is probably configured as a USB keyboard (or HID) device. In this case, download the Quick Start Guide and scan the Return to Factory Defaults barcode at the top of the page. Some applications require the COM port number to be 8 or lower. If the Device Manager shows a higher number, go into the Advanced settings (button on Port Settings tab) of the 4810 Properties and change it. Your OS may require you to restart the computer after this change.
Software Problem –Driver
So you plugged your 4810 Barcode Scanner into the computer’s USB port and nothing happens. It doesn’t beep and the LED lights don’t flash. It’s possible that the driver is not installed. Unplug the 4810 from the computer before proceeding.
Download the zip file that contains the driver and unzip (extract) its contents to a convenient location. When you plug the 4810 into one of your computer’s USB ports, it should display the “Found New Hardware Wizard”. If you don’t see this wizard, try a different USB port on your computer. If the wizard still does not appear, you may have a hardware problem. In the wizard, browse to the folder that holds the driver files you just extracted. When the wizard finishes, the 4810 should beep a few times indicating the driver recognized it. You should now be able to connect your application to the 4810.
Software Problem – Further Troubleshooting
If the 4810 Barcode Scanner shows up in Device Manager with a COM port but your application still does not get data from it, you can use one of the Windows built-in tools to help. I’ll further explain how to do that in another blog.
If you’ve reached this point, it is very likely that you have a hardware problem. I’ll leave hardware troubleshooting to another blog entry.
In the meantime, if you’re still having trouble getting data from your 4810 Barcode Scanner into your application, give us a call. We’re happy to help.