Barcode scanner support

If you have a barcode scanner, you can use it to quickly process incoming electronic part shipments, adding stock to your inventory and creating parts if necessary.

To use a scanner, use the "Scan" menu button instead of the usual "Create" (or "Add Stock"). PartsBox will then wait for input from the scanner. After receiving a code, it will be decoded and one of two things will happen:

  • either you already have the part in your database, in which case the "Add Stock" dialog will be shown,
  • if the part doesn't exist, you will be asked to choose it from matching online parts. Once it gets created, you will be presented with the "Add Stock" dialog.

Barcode scanners that generate keystrokes are supported (that includes most, if not all, USB scanners). The Zebra LS2208 is an example of a 1D scanner that is inexpensive, reliable, and works well. For scanning 2D barcodes, in addition to having a 2D scanner, you also have to configure it to replace special non-printable characters with ASCII sequences, so that it can work through a browser app. Please see the Users's Guide on how to configure a Zebra DS2208 scanner by scanning a special configuration code.

PartsBox supports the following barcodes:

  • 1D barcodes from Digi-Key, Mouser, Farnell, RS Components, and most others that encode the MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) in the barcode,
  • 2D barcodes: DataMatrix and PDF417 containing ANSI MH10.8.2 data encoded using ISO/IEC 15434:2006 (Digi-Key, Wuerth).

If quantity is encoded in the bar code, it will be prefilled in the "Add Stock" dialog.

If you haven't bought a scanner yet, PartsBox recommends a 2D scanner, in particular the Zebra DS2208. More and more distributors will be migrating to 2D barcodes, which can store significantly more information. And a 2D scanner can also decode 1D barcodes as well.

Earlier blog posts: Resources for hardware startups (2017-05-19)
Later blog posts: 2017: A Year in Retrospect (2018-01-09)