Bar code Scanner

Hello i have a project related to bar code scanning
I would love to use the imp but i see a lot of scanners that only outputs usb data.

Any advise to choose one for the imp.

Any experience ?


That is an interesting idea. Many bar code scanners will be able to communicate over RS232, and the Kelly reference design was made for that type of communication.

I’m about to make a DigiKey order, and I’ll add the MAXIM RS-232 transceiver to the order. Many handheld bar code scanners have RJ-45 or USB connectors on the bottom. It shouldn’t be hard to make a small plug in module that would both power the scanner and the Imp.

What kind of scanner are you interested in using?

It’s certainly possible.

There is a commercial product called the Hiku which uses the Electric Imp platform. It’s a fridge magnet that lets you scan things to add them to an online shopping cart (or speak them into a microphone for things like apples).

I’m not sure what barcode scanner they’re using - but I’m sure you can find something that talks UART or SPI…

1 Like

Google yields this barcode scanner with UART. There must be more than this one.

1 Like

Depends on the scanner type. A lot of the wireless scanners have a base with a modular connector to hook it up to a computer. You can buy either a USB cable or a serial cable. Haven’t used one with an Imp but have had good luck with the Datalogic PBT7100 using other microcontrollers.

I need a wireless scanner for a 60 square meters warehouse.

i like this

The receiver is a usb dongle
Can i connect this usb to my imp?

You’ll need something like this:

i have this with me now

i just dont remenber what means the 3.3 and 5v

How do i wire this to the imp and the usb receiving dongle of the barcode scanner?

The receiving usb dongle is usb type A connector and this ftdi232 is mini usb

help ?

@beardedinventor you can’t use a USB-serial to connect to a USB wireless receiver dongle - that needs a USB host. Connecting two slaves won’t do anything.

@ramstein the obvious solution is to use a serial scanner and tape the imp to it. You’ll need to work out the power story though. You can get modules like this …which would hook directly to an imp.

Thank you Hugo
I hooked up a usb keyboard to my ftdi232 and the send/receive leds on the ftdi flashes every time i type a letter, so its being decoded (just need to program the imp) and i can for example create a cloud keyboard.
It was just a test to my ftdi chip

But should it work? the usb keyboard also needs a usb host right?

@ramstein74, that looks like a fun component. Report back if you get it working!


i have a usb keyboard connectect to it and it to IMP :slight_smile:

i see the ascii codes in my ide!!

I just found a beauty

@ramstein74 This is a project I would really like to try myself. However I am definitely not a programmer. Would you be able to make some notes and post some where ?

Best wishes.

my simple code so far.

server.log(“USB Host Started”);
function log()

local b =;


ftdi <- hardware.uart1289;
ftdi.configure(9600, 8, PARITY_NONE, 1, NO_CTSRTS, log);

The fun part is ahead. Call a webservice to record the keystrokes and do what must be done.