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The pen (wand) type bar code scanners work best
for tabulations. These connect to the keyboard port or USB port of the computer.
USB to PS/2 converters can be used for computer without PS/2 ports.
Scanners are available from $100-300. We have had good luck with
the Unitech MS120-3PS2 scanner (below). These are available from
PC Connection and
CDW for under a $100.
The Unitech MS-100-4 is a USB interface scanner that has also been
tested. The USB interface is better for use with modern laptops and
desktops that don't have PS/2 interfaces. (About $80.) The Model
MS-100 is a plastic body.
Any pen type
scanner that can read and decode Code 39 should work.
Notes on using scanners:
When using a USB to PS/2 adapter the bar code
may not reading properly (missing characters). This may corrected by
setting the inter-character delay, Use the shortest value that allows
the reader to work properly (ex. 3 ms). This appears the caused by
transmitting the code to fast. The delay causes a pause between
characters. NOTE: ALL USB to PS/2 adapters are not the same.
Some work and some don't with scanners. TEST prior to the contest.