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Hand-held Laser Scanner

Laser Scanners offer the best performance among bar code readers. They read dense bar codes on curved or irregular surfaces and have a great scanning range - typically from contact to 24 inches. Special Long Range scanners can read up to 20+ feet. There are scanners which read in intense sunlight or through glass or plastic bags and CD covers. The scanners can be single-beam for 1-D bar codes or raster for 2-D bar codes such as PDF-417. Some examples are Symbol's LS-2208, LS-4208: Metrologic's Voyager; PSC's PowerScan and QS6000; Intermec's Sabre 1400, Sabre 155X, ScanPlus 180X.


Omni-directional Laser Scanners

Omni directional scanners project multiple beams of lasers to scan bar code. If even one beam goes across a barcode, it can be read. Therefore the orientation of the bar code itself is not very important. These scanners, however, have one limitation. in that they work best for a short range - typically 2" - 5". In most cases you can either bring a bar code to the scanner or remove the scanner from the stand and take it to a bar code. They are popular for high volume applications such as grocery store and libraries. Some examples are Symbol's LS-9208: Metrologic's Orbit and Intermec's Maxiscan 2210/2220.


CCD Scanners

CCD Scanners are best for applications that require short distance to mid distance scanning. Short distance CCD scanners read up to 2-inches from the surface of a bar code but longer range CCDs are also available. The short distance scanners are able to read bar codes as wide as their window which is typically 2.6 or 3.2 inches. CCDs are good for scanning bar codes on irregular or curved surfaces. Some examples of 1D scanners are HHP's LR-3800; Opticon's 6125 and Unitech's MS210. For 2-D bar codes scanners like HHP's 4400 are also available.

Wand Scanners

Wand Readers (Light Pens) come in two variations: undecoded and decoded. Most wands are undecoded, and require an external decoder to decipher bar codes. A decoded wand has an integrated bar code decoder and can be connected directly to a computer/terminal. Wand readers are affordable and work well in clean environments on flat surfaces. A variety of decoders are available to work with undecoded wands. An example of an undecoded wand is Opticon's MSH 119 and an example of a decoded wand is Opticon's MSH-220.